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)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Words will never hurt me.

What sentence do we anticipate for this mob, who caused a man a fatal heart attack by pelting him with objects the size of bricks? The offenders are aged 12-14.

A day doesn't pass when we don't hear about how our prisons are full and sentences should be shorter. I therefore propose a 2 month Community Order on the kids.

Perhaps you think I'm being sarcastic. Well, Community Orders are no laughing matter. If handed out one of these draconian restraints by a court, the miscreant may have to attend MEETINGS with a youth worker. Worse still, he/she may have to APOLOGISE to the victim or their family! If the offender doesn't comply with the terms of the Order, the court could even go so far as to TELL HIM OFF!!

Let's hope judges can be encouraged to make fuller use of these wonderful deterrents, but they should only be used on the truly unrepentent, who can never be reformed and who will continue to offend until the day they bottle the wrong person outside a nightclub. For those kids who are sorry for killing an old man, a police reprimand might be more appropriate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is it time for TCSOs?

With all the shake-ups in the Home Office this year, and now a new Border Police, (the idea for which just might have been stolen somewhere) isn't it about time we seriously considered the challenges ahead?

The government has skirted round the issue of TERRORISM for years, and I would like to see firm leadership and the immediate introduction of Terrorist Community Support Officers. It is the only way forward.

The TCSOs would be civilians, but trained up miraculously to the same standards as police officers with half the expense. Their introduction would require special legislation to give them the necessary powers to combat terrorism. Most importantly, they would ONLY have powers enabling them to combat terrorism.

Among the new powers would be:
  • The power to detain a terrorist for 30 minutes until a police officer can arrive to arrest him.
  • The power to demand a terrorist to hand over his bomb, and to require his name and address if he refuses.
  • The power to direct traffic around the scene of a bomb.
  • The power to interview terrorists and keep them in custody for as long as is necessary to discover whether or not their arrest has been lawful.
  • The power to REASSURE the public that terrorism is under control, which will be carried out by the use of yellow jackets.
I will soon be lobbying the Prime Minister for TCSOs, and I believe they are an essential tool in the crusade for peace. Once successful in my campaign, I would expect specialist Community Officers to be produced for just about every crime, in the hope of stamping out the need for police officers altogether.


Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is this job a pile of crap?

Thank goodness for eagle-eyed officers in Cleckheaton. Without their powers of observation, and a strategically-located CCTV camera, they might never have identified that a pile of excrement was being deposited by a human and not by a dog.

How this one ever reached the status of 'investigation' I will never know. So many factors had to fall into place.
  1. A member of public actually had to notice the excrement in the same place regularly.
  2. The member of public called the Council.
  3. The Council answered their phone.
  4. Someone at the Council failed to hang up with the words, 'We'll look into it'.
  5. The Council had a dog fouling 'squad' ready and waiting to take on the investigation.
  6. The Council had a spare CCTV camera and the money to position it correctly.
  7. All of the above was done within a short enough timescale to actually catch the offender 'at it'.
  8. The police were willing to receive the evidence and take the investigation further.
No doubt the offender will get charged with littering, public order and/or outraging public decency, and will get a small fine from the Magistrates Court, to justify the expense of the investigation that caught him.

If only points 1-8 above would kick in when the residents of Blandmore complain for the millionth time about the severe rising armed robbery rate or the standard of social services in the area. It appears, as always, that the public services in this country can handle the easy stuff with real prowess. Give them an actual problem... well, I'll let you decide.


Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just what we need...

... ANOTHER police force. This time it's Border Police.

This is a marvellous idea, because it means that there will be one single checkpoint for passports and immigration, instead of several checks. I do think it could be taken further though: after all, if people have managed to sneak into this country for years despite several agencies supposedly checking up on them, will it not be all the more easy when it is just one? For this reason I propose not bothering to monitor our borders at all.

Instead, we should put more money into counting the number of immigrants (legal and illegal), who HAVE managed to get into the country. This could be achieved simply by knocking on every door of every house and seeing how many people are inside. According to Panorama, this might be the only way.

I will be interested to see how the government plans to resource the Border Police, if it does indeed consist of fully-fledged police officers. No doubt by paying £5000 more than any other force can afford and then advertising in Police Review.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don't mention the war.

It has long been agreed that previous convictions and bad character evidence have no place in a fair trial.

Recent legislation has meant that a person's propensity to commit specific kinds of offences IS allowed to be heard in court. But it's rare that this is actually admitted in evidence by the judge and it's normally only used if the defendant tries to claim he or she has a good character. For example if the defendant says, "But I didn't realise people sold stolen DVD players, your honour!", and you can prove that he's been found guilty of possessing stolen DVD players before, you'll probably be allowed to use the evidence.

Here's a recent case where this has become an issue. A 15-year-old girl is raped. She doesn't tell anyone for ten years, and then suddenly reads in the papers that the man who raped her has been convicted of raping a six-year-old. She decides to come forwards.

The case has been thrown out because she can't explain why it took her ten years to report the rape without mentioning the case of the six-year-old. As soon as that is mentioned, any jury in the world would struggle not to find the guy guilty.

This is a good example of how we must protect defendants from overwhelming evidence of their guilt. Most police officers I know can give examples of how they have tried to introduce powerful evidence such as 999 tapes of people screaming and convincing CCTV, only to have it refused because it wouldn't give the poor suspect a chance.

One of the fundamentals of our adversarial system is making sure the barristers get to have a juicy debate in court. That won't happen if we produce too much evidence that the suspect is guilty, and it just wouldn't be fair on him.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Absolutely No Laughing:

Every now and again* I receive an email at work which I swiftly delete from my Inbox and Trash, then erase the backup.

It usually contains a link to a website, or the text of a joke, or some pictures. Quite often it will be tasteless and sexist, and quite often it's from a good friend (you know who you are).

Being a Proper Young Lady, I am Most Affronted by these emails, and only occasionally do I phone the sender and ask them to forward it to my personal email instead. Even more rarely do I sneak into the CID office where there is a stand-alone PC, log in as someone else, and open the email there.

At some stage, most of these emails end up forwarded to the Area Commander, who has a tricky decision to make. Should she (a) chortle to herself, delete it and pretend she never saw it, (b) begin a ceaseless crusade to hunt down the perpetrators in foreign climes and bring them to justice, or (c) forward it to all her mates?

Being Institutionally Racist, she normally chooses (a). If the media catch onto it, she goes for (b). Not being one of her mates, I have no idea how often it is (c).

No doubt you are reassured to hear of my professional attitude towards this modern day scourge, and I would expect nothing less of every Twenty-First Century Police Officer out there. Certain subjects are just too serious to be funny, Murder being the least of them. After all, if everyone goes around laughing at the terrors of the world, they won't be afraid of them any more, and then how can the government do its job?

Here's a good example of just how dangerous humour can be.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.
* By "every now and again" I of course mean daily.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Have we gone mad?

These men have been given a higher sentence than this man and this man.

This is a good example of what Criminal Justice in Britain is all about, and I applaud it. After all, shouting about bombs is just as bad, if not worse, than actually planting them. I have nothing against sending extremists to prison, mind you, I just wonder if maybe there's a bit of a double standard going on here with criminal sentencing.

While we're on the subject, all of this was started by some offensive cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed. I think all cartoons are offensive and should not be published, produced or turned into movies. Combine this with anything that satirises religion or terrorism and you can hardly blame the poor radicalists for calling for bombs to fall on Britain.

On another note, according to one of my readers, talking about female issues is a "left turn". I will do my best to be more right-wing in future, and display more male-oriented, nationalist pictures. Now, where did I put that iron...

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I watched G.I. Jane last night. In it, Demi Moore enrols as the first ever female Navy SEAL.

Her trainer is sceptical, thinking she wouldn't be able to haul a 200lb injured colleague out of a war-zone. She doesn't say it, but perhaps if her colleagues were all slim little women like her, she WOULD be able to haul their bodies out of trouble.

Then, later, Demi gets beaten to a pulp by her trainer in front of the assembled male recruits. He then pretends to be about to rape her. Not because he thinks she'll give in, but because he is trying to get the men watching to crumble.

Afterwards, he says to his fellow trainer,

"It's not her that's the problem. It's us."

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cash for Detections

The Met are offering £20,000 to anyone who gives information leading to a conviction for Female Genital Mutilation.

I would like to see Blandshire launching a similar initiative, only it needs to go much further. We should be offering cash rewards to anyone who gives information about any crime. In fact, I would like to see two less officers on the streets of Blandmore, and every other town in my force, to fund the rewards.

Not only would this encourage people to call the police for revenge and/or personal gain - which I think you'll agree just does not happen enough at the moment - but we might even get some battered women to prosecute their partners. Let's see if she still loves him when there's a couple of grand on the table!

I should add that I have nothing against prosecuting people who slice and sew up women's parts, for which I apologise. I'm just sensitive that way.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Don't blame it on the sunshine:

I am pleased to see the government taking my ideas seriously this week. Just a few days ago I pointed out the importance of finding someone to blame for every mistake, and today I read that there is to be an Inquiry into whose fault all this rain is.

It used to be simple: it was always the Weather-man's fault.

However in the Twenty-First Century we have moved on from this banal kind of finger-pointing. We now back up such claims with at least 3000 pages of proof and spend a great deal of money in the process.

You can never hold too many Inquiries, and I would like to see proper investigations not only into the rain, but into the sunshine, fog and those days when it just drizzles a bit. We have been practicing this policy in the world of law enforcement for decades, and we are almost at the happy stage where every criminal investigation can become subject to a public inquiry if one of the parties to it is not satisfied with the outcome.

The best part of government Inquiries is when the report is printed and no one agrees with its conclusions. We are then able to Blame our problems on the Boogie, content that we have exhausted all possible alternatives.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blandshire Constabulary is Watching You...

Remember these? Several forces have now trialled the wearing of head-cams and I hear on the news today that it may become standard national issue for police to run around with cameras installed on their heads.

I support this scheme whole-heartedly. You can never monitor the activities of front-line police too closely. Given half a chance, we are all racist thugs waiting to strike.

These cams will apparently reduce the number of substantiated complaints against police too, as we will be able to record our gentleness and polite language to the delightful persons we encounter. As you can see, they are for our own good and should soon be worn proudly by every member of Blandshire Constabulary. For one thing, it will mean we will have to start wearing our hats.

Let us embrace this new era of police accountability.

I breathlessly await the announcement that crime-recording staff and senior management will be wearing the cams as they go about their day-to-day activities...

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm gonna top myself, innit.

Patrick is Suicidal. He's taken 100 tablets, he's cut his wrists and he's going to jump off a very tall building. He's even made sure there's a bus route underneath - just in case.

Patrick is also 15 years old and has a friend in a mental unit who's told him how good the food is.

Three times in a night, once a week, I Talk Patrick Down from the top of a multi-storey car park. He's learnt that if he perches there with his eyes shut, a kindly passer-by will call the police and then we can't even arrest him for wasting police time because "I didn't call yers".

Once a week Patrick is also Assessed by Mental Health doctors, who find that he is not mad or suicidal, has taken no tablets and has barely severed two layers of skin with the butter knife he used. It takes 5 hours and 10 minutes to decide this: 5 hours to gather two doctors and a social worker in one place, 10 minutes to tell Patrick to go home.

It appears our police and social services are full of people with endless patience, who dearly care for these poor mites and their depressions. The trouble is, I wouldn't want to be the one who announces over the radio, "Tell Patrick we're not coming because he's an attention-seeking little brat." You just know he'd jump off to spite me.

I once attended a call about a man who genuinely wanted to kill himself. Suffice it to say he isn't in a position to be talked down off any tall buildings.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Good News!

We can all sleep easy in our beds: it is only going to take fifteen years to defeat terrorism.

In this time, we can expect to eradicate all extremism and emerge into a new era where human beings no longer kill each other. Instead, all will embrace the British way of life. A worthy aim.

This will be achieved through the novel approach of getting people to inform on their neighbours and family. The government has finally realised that crime should not be investigated by the ill-equipped police forces and information agencies of this country, but by the general public. Indeed, I would go further and say that the public should be held accountable not only for all acts of terrorism they fail to stop, but also for their local detection and arrest figures.

Members of public should moreover keep themselves updated on the status of their crimes - it just isn't good enough that they don't know whether the police have caught their burglars yet or whether there is CCTV of the incident.

Blandshire Constabulary is way ahead of the government here, and long since introduced the idea of handing responsibility for investigations over to the public. Only we call it Neighbourhood Policing.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's a sad state of affairs when your governor introduces your training session with the words:

"I'm afraid this is a rubbish package, guys."

Five hours later, we are forced to agree with him as we leave the training room with no better understanding of the Fraud Act than when we entered. As the Act has been live for several months without any training on it whatsoever, this is nothing to mourn.

Moreover, we depart fully trained that it is not acceptable to smoke anywhere on police premises, except in custody where we can join the prisoners in the yard (to prevent THEM smoking would be a breach of human rights, you see). I don't smoke, but as we all know it is the prerogative of the Twenty-First Century Police Officer to be outraged at the introduction of any new rule, no matter how little it affects him or her. If several hours of moaning and three emails can be added to the outrage, all the better.

On the bright side, over the next few weeks I can expect to be extracted regularly from my duties of running after my own tail to sit in a yellow jacket in the back of the transit. The purpose: to reassure people and use up the force budget of free sandwiches.

Terrorism has its advantages.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Policy Matters

In the police, whenever events take a surprising turn, sergeants and inspectors can console themselves with the thought that the answers to all their questions can be found in the Force Policies. These are also known as Standard Operating Procedures. Or maybe that's something different - no one really knows.

If, as a supervisor, you do what the POLICY says, no matter how things turn out you can never be blamed. You might think most policies relate to firearms incidents, bombs and murders, but you'd be wrong. It was long since identified that the things police officers find hardest to do is to kick out crap officers, respect minorities in the workplace and, apparently, to deal with people having sex in public. Hence a glut of policies that should be strictly adhered to as soon as a PC has a slight headache or fancies someone on their team.

This can be a lot of reading, especially if someone has a headache at the same time as a bomb goes off elsewhere. Fortunately, as a Woman, I can read all the policies simultaneously and still justify doing something totally different.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Monday, July 02, 2007

This is most likely the cover of my book, which should be out by September, published by Monday Books. The cover might be subject to very minor changes, or the subtitle may change. Indeed Dan Collins, my intrepid publisher, has kindly offered a Blue Peter badge to anyone who can improve on it.

The book has lots of true stories about my work and will hopefully shed some light on what it means to be a Twenty-First Century Policewoman. And yes, it is as bitter and cynical as my blog, only there's pages of it.

By the way, the bit about the Blue Peter badge was a joke. I think.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Critical Vocabulary

Which of the following is the biggest news?

(A) Car bombs defused in London.
(B) Car bomb at Glasgow airport.
(C) Car blown up at hospital in Glasgow.
(D) The nation's security and police forces are at "Critical".

If you chose D, you'd be right. At times such as these, it is not important how many bombs are discovered, suspects arrested, or police officers dice with their lives unplugging mobile phones and sitting on flaming terrorists.

What IS important is what level of security alert the nation is at - currently "CRITICAL". The main effect the word "Critical" has on my day-to-day work is that the colour of the cardboard plaque on display just inside the entrance to Blandmore Police Station is red. It is vital that police officers and the public are kept up to speed with the developments in the colour of this plaque, or else we really cannot be expected to thwart the terrorist attacks we face imminently.

Other ways that "Critical" affects me are:
  • Members of Public become far more understanding about delays in attending their burglaries.
  • Extra emails are sent which get read out in briefing, reminding us to be vigilant whilst not forgetting we are short of two or three detections this week.
  • I can cry off all social engagements by stating "I'm terribly busy at work at the moment, you know."
According to the politicians and senior police officers, there are extra patrols on the streets during this "Critical" time. In my experience, the situation in Blandmore has been Critical for the last two and a half years, and that is certainly not a reference to EXTRA patrols. At least now I know where they've all gone.

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