This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Is being rude a criminal offence?

"Public Order" is a funny old thing. A good proportion of my Detections arise from the Public Order Act of 1986, which makes it illegal to be physically or verbally threatening in the street, or to abuse passing Members of Public, or even just to be abusive to no one in particular (if a passing Mop is upset by it).

Despite this straightforward definition, there appears to be some confusion in Blandmore about exactly how to commit a public order offence. Here are some tips:
  1. The word "F**k" always does the trick. Even when said in passing conversation to a friend, this is a very upsetting word and is rightly clamped down on by most police officers, especially those short of their Detection target that week.
  2. Urination. Depending on the force and area in which you live, this can be committed virtually anywhere as long as a police officer spots you doing it. If you are female, urination is even more disgusting and should be treated twice as harshly by the courts.
  3. Waving your arms about. Whilst also a tactic to prevent crime, a judiciously-waved arm can constitute a public order offence if, as stated, the passing officer is short of a Detection.
  4. A raised voice. Regardless of what you are saying and why, shouting is highly antisocial and will not be tolerated in a civilised society.
  5. Asking someone the time. Just don't do it.
I give out an £80 fine for public order every couple of weeks, which is more money than the local Magistrates Court sometimes fine people in a month. Each time I give a ticket, I have "brought someone to justice", whether or not they ever pay the fine. This is an excellent form of policing, as it involves filling out a form containing someone's personal details, filling out a crime report containing the same details, writing a short report and sending an email - which as we all know are four of Peel's principles of policing)*. Sometimes I go to town and give out two or three tickets in a night. You can, of course, still obtain Detections from public order the old-fashioned way: arrest, fight, custody, charge, court case, etc., but that would be missing the point, wouldn't it?

Our local leaders take steps to ensure that we do not forget about the many advantages of public order, and to that end we are encouraged to detect it even in the unlikeliest of places, such as in passing a deserted alleyway, or someone's window. Occasionally a PC will encounter difficulties where no Mop was around to hear the abuse or see the urination, in which case the Crime Auditors will bounce back the Detection. Therefore it is always good practice to put in your statement that you DID see someone looking disgusted in the background, even if you were unfortunate enough not to catch their name before they boarded a bus to the West Country.

So, as you can see, being rude IS a criminal offence, and rightly so: without it we wouldn't have a hope of meeting our weekly target.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

* In case you are wondering, the other five Peelian principles are:
  • Faxing something.
  • Completing a file.
  • Photocopying at least ten pages.
  • Getting a detection.
  • Achieving positive media coverage.


Blogger Big Fella in Blue said...

you forgot filling out paperwork in triplicate and filling out the same information on differently named sheets of paper just because thats the system!!

30 April, 2007 23:08

Blogger Paradise Driver said...

That "waving the arms about" could be construed as racial profiling. Italians must be very high on your detections for that violation.


01 May, 2007 00:27

Blogger Stan Still said...

My force have done away with an opportunity for pointless form filling that seems to still be available in your force.

When an offence is dealt with by way of a PND, the completed ticket, together with crime number, is considered the equivalent of a crime report and detection sheet and therefore, those two forms need not be filled in.

It saves time and paper and therefore has no place in a modern police organisation!

01 May, 2007 12:58

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you must admit there are many situations when the police really must step in for the preservation of public order. For instance, that teenager who was arrested and kept in a cell for 5 hours for barking at some dogs. The owner had no desire to press charges, as fortunately the dogs hadn't been traumatised by the incident. However the police officer quite rightly saw fit to take this disreputable little urchin off the street for the protection of public order. I feel so safe right now.


01 May, 2007 15:39

Blogger PC South West said...

Big fella, you forgot to mention sending the triplicate paperwork to two or three separate admin departments that are usually located in the same office. So that they may count it and file it and justify their existence.

As for being rude. That is an offence as long as it's not being rude to an officer of the law.
We just have to put up with it don't we!!

01 May, 2007 19:46

Blogger staghounds said...

1. Paradise Driver, that commment is in itself a racist incident. Please credit PC Bloggs with a detection, send 80 pounds to Blandmore Magistrates Court, and report to the nearest reeducation facility.

2. What about Peel's principle of consulting experts, thus avoiding responsibility for any decision?

03 May, 2007 00:54

Blogger staghounds said...

3. Pick another destination for your "witness"- no one going to the West Country could possibly have been offended.

03 May, 2007 00:58

Anonymous Angela said...

On Saturday i was visiting someone at Vanderbijlpark Police Station, a Police Woman by the name of Tshidi was shouting at me, i didn't appreciate the manner she was talking to me as she raised her voice and i was cool. They should know how to treat people because they are working with people whereas their slogan is "Batho Pele" but they don't apply it. Angela

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