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.

(All proceeds from Google Ads will be donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

And yet more terror...

Apparently a mobile phone was to be the possible trigger for the car bombs found in London yesterday. I am pleased to note that a "quick-thinking police officer" disconnected the mobile before the bomb squad arrived.

First of all, may I say how nice it is to hear that I am not the only one.

Secondly, if he/she was that "quick-thinking", perhaps running for the hills might have been a better idea?

My untrained reading of the information about the car bombs is that the bomber had left the lid off some cans of petrol, was waiting for the fumes to percolate nicely in the car, then planned to telephone the mobile in the hope of triggering an explosion. No doubt he got his inspiration from petrol station forecourts all over the nation.

He clearly, however, does not watch Brainiac, or he would have seen how Jon Tickle scientifically filled a caravan with petrol vapour and then rang six mobile phones left in it, proving that mobile phones don't cause petrol to blow up.

Had the bomber dressed in nylon and connected himself to the car by a copper wire, THEN we would have been in trouble.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Terror:

As a Twenty-First Century Police Officer, I have a great deal of training in TERRORISM. This has equipped me to approach incidents involving suspicious packages, white powder and bulky jackets with supreme confidence.

Just recently I attended one such incident. A bomb had been discovered in Blandmore, just behind the library. Blandmore being the number-one terrorist target in the UK, this triggered the arrival of the Big Guns, otherwise known as me and my panda car.

I utilised my years of experience to examine the bomb, reporting back that it was indeed an indeterminate metallic object which might well be a bomb, or possibly a bit of scaffolding from the next door building site. My next task was to sit next to the highly explosive pipe for a couple of hours while someone with training in examining bits of metal made their way to my location. This enabled me to do some of the things I joined the police for, namely:
  1. Put up lots of Police tape.
  2. Say repeatedly, "No, the road's not closed, whatever gave you that idea?"
Unfortunately the company who had called us were unappreciative of my efforts on their behalf, and actually expected us to do something prosaic like evacuate the local area. I tried to explain that in most cases, they would not even have got me, and could have expected a phone-call telling them it was unlikely they were all about to die, but if they wanted to leave the building we wouldn't stop them.

The Suicide Unit arrived in under an hour and invited me to watch as they gave the suspicious article a boot in the side. It did not blow up, which apparently was a good sign. I took down my oodles of tape and left Blandmore reassured for another day.

It only goes to show what a professional lot we are.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A PM from the PM

Why does every Prime Minister persist in promising something "new"? More to the point, why do they always say it as if "new" is automatically better?

I would like to see a PM stand up and say, "I'm not going to do anything new. I'm going to carry on taking your money and flushing it down my toilet again and again, then paying several billion for a plumber to come and unblock the drain. I will fire several members of my Cabinet and re-employ them when I think you've forgotten their names, and blame them for every cock-up I make. I'm going to keep drafting pointless legislation, reorganising government departments and inflicting a series of objectives on the public services of this country until I grind them to dust. Just because I can."

At least then no one could accuse him of being dishonest.

PC Copperfield has been fantasising about a post in government, so why can't I?

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Newsflash from the past:

Bit busy doing some actual work this week, so here's one of my earliest posts from 12th August 2006, back in the days before I became sarcastic and cynical:

"21st Century Newsflash - Women achieve EQUALITY:

As I seem to be the only female police blogger out here at the moment (please let me know if I am wrong)*, I thought I should really talk about life as a WOMAN POLICE OFFICER.

To begin, I did some RESEARCH. You can see some of it here, here, here and here (forces chosen from a spread of the country and not very enlightening, but that is all they offer).

I am one of two female officers on my shift of ten (when full strength). It's great being a woman in the police nowadays. In case you were unaware, 21st century women are EQUAL to men. It's taken us a few millennia to catch up, but at last we've done it and the view from up top is pretty fab. I am now permitted to be crewed with another female, which makes for lots of girly chatting. I am also permitted to be single-crewed, which gives me lots of chances to fight men and show how EQUAL I am. For the first time, not all female police officers are lesbians, so that makes for a much happier atmosphere of flirting and inter-colleague affairs, rather than all the nasty insults about "dykes", which are now just reserved for those women officers with short hair.

As women have found it so hard and taken so long to become EQUAL, there is also lots of help out there for the woman police officer. This site is one such example, as is the British Association of Women Police. Another example is the police fitness test. In 2004 it was lowered from level 8.1 on the "bleep test", to level 5.4, and the "grip test" has now been abolished completely. This was because of campaigns such as the one reported here. Basically, people realised that women simply cannot run faster than a slow jog it's NOT POSSIBLE. They also realised that male and female police officers are equally unlikely to even get out of their station or car on the average day, and the few days per year where a chase occurs it's better to let the men win anyway as they really do love catching baddies more than us.

Another way in which women are helped to stay equal is by flexible working hours. The government long since identified that most women just can't wait to have a darling little baby and many leave the force when they start a family. They are now encouraged to stay through the use of part-time hours, flexi-time, variable hours etc. Men fortunately do not have any desire to spend time with their children, and are happy to keep working night shifts and antisocial 16 hour duties throughout their family life.

It's been a long struggle for us women to attain EQUALITY and we need to be well-protected. Most of my colleagues understand this and I will find myself shunted out of the way whilst running up the stairs to a flat where a man with a machete is barricaded, or the door-enforcer wrenched from my hands before I can strain my delicate back trying to force entry somewhere. Like many women, I do have a tendency to try and do things for myself, and I am grateful for the help I get from my employer in restraining this urge. A colleague of mine recently fell pregnant and she was quite rightly put in an office for 9 months creating spreadsheets for another department, as she just did not know what was good for her and the fool wanted to keep on doing her job and working towards promotion.

If any of my readers (male or female) have some examples of female equality in the police, please let me know."

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* I am irked to say that more female police bloggers have appeared since this post, or at least outed their gender. Like most women, I was happy to complain about being the only one, but secretly I enjoyed it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

Are you:

  • Aged between 14 and 34?
  • Unemployed/expelled?
  • A wearer of tracksuits?
If so, you may have thought that Saturdays were no different than the rest of the days in the week, apart from the telly being different.

You were wrong!

Come on down to Blandmore Police Station any time from 8am-8pm, and join in our fun-packed day of Hanging Out! We have some exciting activities scheduled, including:
  • Report-a-Robbery workshop.
  • Producing documents.
  • Signing on.
  • Trying to collect clothing seized by the police and not going away until it's given us, innit.
Between activities entertainment will be provided in the form of pretty blue and yellow cars zipping past which we will be alternately waving and swearing at. This can be viewed from the gallery, which takes the form of railing that must be hung off or over for the best visibility.

Hanging Out days are always enjoyable and some people even end the day getting arrested! We'll see you there.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Wheels on the Bus...

The hard shoulder has been in use in Blandmore for the last year, to great effect. We have successfully proven that if you take the number of police officers required to police a town, halve it, add one, then divide by the number you first thought of, you will still have enough police officers to police the town. Moreover, the emergency measures you had in place whereby officers could be asked to work long shifts, rest days and have annual leave cancelled can be operated all year round without any detrimental effect whatsoever.

Last week in Blandmore I thought the wheels were going to come off. Two shifts were working the "busy" hours, their hours cunningly overlapping to give double the manpower when most needed. The residents of the town were basking in the radiance of yellow jackets flooding the streets. Then, within the space of a "golden" half hour between two and two-thirty, every single officer in Blandmore arrested somebody. Every officer, that is, except for me: I was halfway through a bacon sandwich at the time.

Not a problem. I am more than happy to police Blandmore single-handedly, as long as it does not mean getting out of my car. I was poised, bacon sandwich at the ready, in front of the television, as the other twelve police officers on duty queued up in custody with their prisoners.

At this point, there was a shooting. I am not ashamed to say that I continued to eat my bacon sandwich as I roared to the scene, decked out in my brightest yellow jacket as the duty inspector's way of ensuring I would deflect any stray bullets. Also as I roared, I radioed up the same duty inspector and told him that the proverbial faeces were just millimetres from the big whirly thing and maybe he might want to see about opening the box of police officers in his office.

Unfortunately I had been misinformed: the inspector does not keep a box of police officers in his office. It appeared that the train wreck that is Blandmore's resourcing situation had finally left the tracks and was hurtling towards a block of flats at an alarming rate. This was a Very Good Thing.

You see, if an utter disaster were to occur, such as a lone PC being shot in the line of duty due to lack of back-up, or even better, if a member of public were to bleed to death due to the shortage of police officers to come to their aid, it would mean press coverage, Inquiries and, ultimately, maybe, more police officers. Nothing less will do the trick.

I got to the scene of the shooting and was able to identify the noise described as a car backfiring. Not only that, but backfiring some distance away. Ten minutes later, two or three officers were released from custody and the thin blue cushion was back under the inspector's backside.

It could have been a shooting. It was close. Very close.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Forensics - why bother?

It really is disgraceful how people are being convicted nowadays under the pretext of "Science". We all know that "Science" can be flawed. Moreover, we all know that Scientists are devious right-wing agents pushing forwards their agenda of hate against innocent folk.

It is Science that led to the conviction of these poor boys. We all know that blood can materialise on the clothing of people who had nothing to do with someone's death. On top of this, did you know that rapists are being convicted years after the event, on the shallow pretext of a mystical entity known as "DNA"?

I was therefore horrified to read about how the killer of Jill Dando was convicted based on some firearms residue in his pocket. Whatever happened to the court keeping an open mind and considering that perhaps the residue flew up into the air, crossed the city and entered the guy's pocket without him even knowing about it?

In any event, I am relieved that this will now be the subject of an appeal, and would hope soon to reach the happy state of affairs where forensic evidence plays no part in the serious business of law.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloggs' Review

I have been asked to contribute my views to an "Independent" Review of policing. The Review is independent in the sense that the Home Secretary has identified the issues and asked HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary to prove him right.

I do wonder sometimes how the Home Secretary became so knowledgeable. What kind of genius he must be, to have come up with the idea of asking serving police officers for their views on police reform. An inspiration to us all.

The Review will focus on:
  • Bureaucracy
  • Neighbourhood Policing
  • Accountability
  • Resources
Unlike some of John Reid's critics, I am confident that he will do his best to reduce all four of the above to zero. Apart from bureaucracy.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good Old Fashioned Crime

With the advent of Ocean's Thirteen this month, I am led to despair that I rarely get to deal with any decent criminals. The fact is I will count myself lucky if I even get to stand on a security cordon at the scene of a bank robbery, let alone a gold heist.

There are some serious bad guys in Blandmore. The kind of people who have not heard of "Threats to Kill" and "Harassment". If they want to steal money there are blueprints and guns and fake police cars. If they want someone dead the person dies, there are no text messages reading 'i 8 u bich u gona b ded'.

Unfortunately, the victims of these bad guys do not require the services of PC Bloggs. They more usually require the services of their passport and a Mediterranean clime. Instead, I find myself dealing with people who wish each other dead on a daily basis but are about as genuinely menacing as a wet flannel. So I spend my time writing out the contents of sixty texts along the above lines, before being told that actually they still love each other and can I not arrest anyone after all. To which I sigh and say ok, but don't blame me if my detection rate goes down.

Every few months there is some excitement in Blandmore and some of the serious bad guys are caught, usually after someone paid more than me has paid one of them to rat on their mates. When we knock on their doors they come quietly because it is beneath them to scrap with the police. They are calm and polite and resigned to their fate. They respect us and we them. They do not post comments on blogs.

When, oh when will I get to meet some good old-fashioned criminals?

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, June 15, 2007

PC Bloggs Investigates... PDRs:

There might be some people out there wondering how we police are trained, developed and monitored. There might be some police officers wondering the same thing. The answer lies, as with most things in the police, in the PDR. You may be trying to guess what this stands for. Do not bother: nobody will be able to tell you whether or not you are right because nobody knows.

The PDR is a folder, computer programme or scrap of paper where police officers record how much the force objectives and strategic policy means to them. It follows them around for their whole career and is equivalent to a personnel record. It is worth mentioning that police officers also have a personnel record, which is equivalent to a dusty shelf in an archive.

The purpose of the PDR is threefold:
  • It gives police officers something to do when there's no crime happening.
  • It involves police officers in the excitement of the tax year.
  • It enables police officers to demonstrate that they should not be fired no matter what they do.
If a sergeant wants to fire someone, they have to spend about a year putting negative reports into their PDR. Every time the person does something right, their sergeant has to start the process again. Police officers can appeal against negative remarks and unless the sergeant wants to attend a meeting - which I can assure you, they do not - they will change the remarks to positive ones.

The public think that shoddy police officers are kept in their job because police forces are institutionally racist, hate civilians and think they can prance around doing as they please. The real reason is PDRs.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

How to Be Hated:

One of my earliest memories of being a police officer is driving down a street of Council houses and seeing three kids at the side of the road. Two were about 12, one was a little toddler with golden hair. As we drove by, the 12 year olds stuck up their fingers at us and the toddler climbed up onto a garden wall and screamed at the top of his voice, "FUCKING PIGS!"

Maybe I was naive, but I actually could not understand what had just happened. Now I am a seasoned copper with years of malicious torture of innocent prisoners behind me, I understand that being hated by strangers is to be welcomed and is in fact an essential element of being a Twenty-First Century Police Officer.

To which end, here are my top ten tips on how to be hated:
  1. Arrest people.
  2. Do not arrest people.
  3. Handcuff people.
  4. Say, "I don't believe you sustained that stab wound by tripping on a football."
  5. Fail to catch the offender who keyed the side of a car some time last week but was not seen.
  6. Fail to bring the investigation to the conclusion the victim wanted.
  7. Use blue lights.
  8. Fail to use blue lights.
  9. Die in the line of duty.
  10. Use force on people who are violent towards you - we are a civilised society and this is just unacceptable.
Don't forget, some officers are just so polite and accommodating that even the most shocking lapses in their work fail to elicit the hatred of the public. In this case, running up to random people and batoning them usually does the trick.

Copyright of PC Bloggs

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Days like these

I am not sure how a team goes into work the next day following something like this.

I am distraught that the anti-knives campaigners have failed to make the most of the opportunity. In this they are sadly beneath the contempt of more ruthless lobby groups.

Let's hope days like these remain mercifully rare. Somehow I am not so sure they will.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Proceed with caution:

On hearing the news that 8000 sex offenders were cautioned for their offences, I was horrified. Only recently I was involved in a sex offence that resulted in months of police bail and a complicated file. Had I realised that a caution was available, it could have been dealt with in moments.

It is just typical that police forces are cautioning people even for rape. Just because the victim is unwilling to give a statement is no excuse. I think we should bring people to trial on the evidence of magic spirits, who could be summoned to trial by the incantations of specially-qualified mediums. Blandshire no doubt has a department looking into the matter.

Perhaps, one day, we will enter the glorious age where people can be arrested and convicted without any evidence whatsoever.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Feeling fruity...

A reader has brought my attention to this story about the stresses faced by Twenty-First Century Police Officers, especially Women. It is really too much to expect a female officer to face militants armed with a variety of fruit.

The part of the story that really interests me, however, is her claim that she should have been allowed to arrest the person who lobbed a pineapple into her chest. I must take issue with this. The ancient fad of police officers having the right to defend themselves and take action against their attackers has long passed. The Twenty-First Century Cop needs to be far more resilient, and should expect to be assaulted, spat at and abused on a daily basis without losing their fixed grin. This has been accepted by judges for years now.

On the other hand, the police should be expected to take firm action against those who lob fruit at other civilians or members of their family. But not too firm.

On a sidenote, I am pleased to see from the recent spate of interesting anonymous comments that the person I arrested last week has stopped by to post his thoughts. Keep them coming!

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

How to Detect Crime:

My Terrific Investigating Techniques have lain dormant for some time, but I would like to take the opportunity to advise my fellow up-and-coming Twenty-First Century Police Officers in the art of Detectioning crime*. Follow my ten easy steps and find your detection rate sky-rocketing as colleagues look on jealously wondering what your secret could be.

My top ten TITs for Detectioning:
  1. There is no need to wait for a phone-call from a member of public before you start generating detections. You can just wander down the street, or even knock on people's doors to make sure they are not being harassed.
  2. Select which crimes you attend. Far better to spend your time dealing with a twelve-year-old who has stolen his brother's mobile and hit his sister, before pilfering Mars bars from the school tuck shop, than it is to attend burglaries where you have no chance whatsoever of catching the offender.
  3. Think outside the box: the victim may be telling you that it was just an argument over the telephone bill, but that does not mean you cannot detect a cheeky criminal damage or assault.
  4. Tell your victims you can record in their statements that they do not want to go to court. Afterwards, inform them that now they have given a statement, they might have to go to court whether they like it or not.
  5. Generate a crime report for assault, no matter what offence has taken place. As violent crime is a force priority you will be more likely to get someone charged for it.
  6. If you attend a fight, take statements from everyone watching saying that they personally felt threatened. You will get one detection per victim of affray.
  7. Instead of arresting and charging people (which can take up to six hours for a simple theft), just report them for summons (which takes twenty seconds). That way you can deal with an indefinite number of shoplifters in a day. Indeed, the shoplifter in question will be free to continue shoplifting as soon as you leave.
  8. If no one wants to go to court, get them to provide a statement saying that they lied and no crime happened. You can then no-crime the original offence and give them a ticket for wasting police time (ie a detection).
  9. Don't forget, if CPS decide to drop a case against someone, that doesn't stop you from charging them behind their back. It will be dropped at court but the detection will be on the system under your name.
  10. If all else fails, go and get inmates out of prison, ply them with alcohol and persuade them you will set them free if they admit all the crime in your neighbourhood. Just don't get caught.
Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* Not to be confused with Detecting crime, which does not fall in the remit of the police.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

No joking - it's an emergency:

Some paramedics are in trouble for suggesting that a fattie could only be moved by the fire brigade. While they were standing around laughing, the woman died. Apparently the issue is that paramedics are not aware that patients are "people". Some diversity training is in order.

Perhaps it should be reiterated that it is not the job of the emergency services to make snide remarks about the people they go to help, no matter who the person may be. The slightest smile or laugh from a paramedic or police officer should be taken as a sign that they are not taking the matter seriously. After all, it has been scientifically proven that laughter prevents the brain from working.

I would therefore like to propose that the radio transmissions relating to every incident are burned to disc and posted to the relevant party. After hearing themselves described in the unprofessional, sarcastic Blandmore manner I like to refer to as "honesty", with any luck they will never call the police again.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Specialists

I attended a training session recently to "update" my skills. I was almost excited at the prospect of being taught something by a human being, as opposed to filling in a two-hour workbook online. Unfortunately, the training was delivered by the sergeant of a certain department in our force area and within five minutes had deteriorated into a slanging match.

The sergeant himself seemed embarrassed to be there, and his efforts to defend his department were woeful. The last two years have seen the manning levels in his office almost double as PC after PC is recruited from response teams. Yet the impact on our workload has been negligible. If anything, it has gone up, as we now find our paperwork winging back to us with further work suggested by our former crew-mates, and every week a new form or risk assessment is designed by someone needing material for their PDR.

Meanwhile, that Friday night, fights and car crashes went unattended as Blandmore completely ran out of police officers. It was a case of phoning back the victims in ten minutes to see if they really did need the police or could they wait until the morning. By the morning, perhaps we need not bother.

I reaped the rewards of that Friday night for several weeks as I chased witness after victim after CCTV to cobble together some kind of investigation into each of the disasters I had shown my face at. The specialist departments helped me out by email prompts every time I forgot something. It was a bit cheeky of me to expect them to take over the investigations before they were complete.

By 2012, I expect to have seen most of Blandshire's specialist departments dissolved, and then reconstructed with new names. If we keep things fluid we can say we're doing something.

It's a tricky choice for the force that only has enough police either to attend incidents happening NOW, or to investigate the incidents properly afterwards. If I were lying in the road getting a kicking, I know which one I'd want.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

In a fit of pique I turned today to the Daily Mail for some news. Is it just me, or has the world gone crazy? We have children being told not to put their hands up, police consulting psychics to find Madeleine and Belgian psychologists exonerating mothers from guilt by stating it is too much to expect a woman to have a full-time job AND remember not to leave her baby suffocating in the back of her car.

Then again, they also have a great expose about the 90,000 coppers let off their speeding offences. This is outrageous. In only a quarter of the cases were the blue lights flashing, and as we all know well, if the blue lights and sirens aren't on, then they aren't really police officers and shouldn't be going to emergencies at all. I am also shocked to hear that some officers were given written warnings instead of being prosecuted - almost as if they have some kind of special training and do some sort of special job that involves getting to a lot of places quickly.

As I sped through several red traffic lights today for no good reason on my mission to kill a small child, I realised that it isn't the world that's gone mad, it's just the Daily Mail.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, June 01, 2007

CSI: Portugal

I am pleased to see that the Portuguese police have to jump through the same hoops as I do when it comes to submitting swabs for DNA testing. It appears their turnaround is somewhat slower than Blandmore's though, even when it comes to the most high profile abduction of the year. Perhaps the PC who submitted it put the wrong barcode on the bag, or forgot to write down the seal number. Quite possibly the exhibit was lost in the freezer or accidentally thrown out to make space. These are the obstacles faced by the Twenty-First Century Police Officer.

"CSI: Jamaica" have their own problems this week as they learn how to tell the difference between someone being strangled from behind by a mafia hitman, and someone who has just had a heart attack from eating too many sweets. As a result of the Mysterious Case of the Coach Who Died of Natural Causes, I have recommended to my Area Commander that we reopen some of Blandmore's old shootings, on the off-chance that we have routinely been mistaking embolisms for gunshot wounds.

Come on world, get your act together. You're starting to make the British police look halfway competent, and that would never do.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


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