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)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Child Who Wastes Police Time

Danny is eleven. He's a scrawny kid, with an unflattering home-made haircut and clothes that are too big.

Right now, he's sitting on a bench outside a parade of shops in the Porle, the nether region of Blandmore. I spot him under a flickering streetlight, the orange glow lighting up the shadows under his eyes.

It so happens that Danny is a Misper - a Missing Person. He ran out of his foster carer's home at 6pm and we've twice been passed a description of him over the radio, which is how I know to park up and approach him. I should mention that I have a knack for locating Mispers. This is not to suggest I have any kind of special skills, nor that I try any harder than anyone else to find them. I just do.

It is clear within two minutes that Danny has no intention of getting into my police car and going back to his carer's house. He is quite happy sitting on the bench, making shadow animals on the floor between his feet. I suppose, technically, I have the power to forcibly drag Danny to the car, in handcuffs if need be, and take him somewhere safe. Instead, I turn down my radio and sit down beside him.

After five minutes of silence, Danny tells me that he hates his foster carer. He hates his new curfew, the rules about supper-time, not being allowed to slam his door or swear. He hates not being able to ride his bike in the street, because it's been confiscated to stop him running away on it. He hates being at a different school to all his friends, and he hates being told he can't take the train to London to see them. He hates that he sees his mother less than once a month, and he hates that when he does, that fat woman from Social Services is always sitting in the corner making notes.

For ten years, Danny's only rule was to keep well away from a series of his mother's boyfriends, and to call 999 when she put a needle in her arm and started turning blue.

Danny agrees to come to the nick, where I tell him that he's only eleven, and when he's an adult he can choose where to live and how often to see his mother, and can ride his bike anywhere he wants. He and I both know that's a long, long time, and by then he will be in and out of the probation service for fighting, swearing and stealing.

I help Danny write a letter to Social Services and show him how to use our fax machine to send it - no mean feat. Then I drop him back to his temporary home and the carer greets him with a shrug and the words, "There's some cheese in the fridge." I follow up the fax with an email telling Social Services that the carer's home is clean and warm, Danny has his own room and appears to be looked after. After some thought, I add that he's depressed and lonely. I feel like a real hero for that bit.

The fat social worker did read Danny's letter, and I heard he got moved to a new foster carer, just around the corner from the last. He still goes missing from time to time, but I haven't yet found him back on that bench, and I haven't yet arrested him either.

I don't know if he remembers me.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous Rod said...

It's a f....d up country Bloggs. At least you're in it to help.

26 August, 2007 11:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reviewing foster care and children's home care for a council, and guys like you are heroes, wish more people cared

26 August, 2007 12:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloggsy, you're not a social worker but you do have the skills to be one. If you became one they would only try and change you in to one of them.

26 August, 2007 13:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learning how to be a copper now - hope i get a tutor like you.
Please keep Blogging.

26 August, 2007 16:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the good work which you have done, you have not hit any statistical returns for the day !!!!

And yet Danny could have been from Everton and what a difference that would have made....

When the little things we do carry the same importance as the numbers game, we are forced to play,who know what the future will hold.....
Another Good Blog, look forward to reading the book

26 August, 2007 16:42

Anonymous Dray said...

As we say around here - Bless you 'Sis. 'Bout time someone highlighted this. More power to your elbow.

One of your best posts. Thumbs up.

Social workers have failed to impress me - too wrapped up in method and routine.

26 August, 2007 19:19

Blogger Chuck Unsworth said...

That boy knows exactly who you are.

But will he remember you as a good or bad or neutral person? That's always the question. Let's hope it's the first option, eh?

26 August, 2007 21:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self praise is no praise.

27 August, 2007 00:36

Blogger British National Party member said...

A powerful, original video featuring British street violence and original music.

27 August, 2007 11:30

Blogger Rachel said...

That was really kind. I don't know why that post cheered me up so much but it did.

27 August, 2007 13:22

Anonymous defectiveConstable said...

Danny is my Day, I have encountered hundreds of Danny's over the years i have done what you have done. Its not self praise as one has suggested its my job.
The joys of a family protection detective!!!!!

27 August, 2007 14:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...


27 August, 2007 18:01

Anonymous Sue said...

Many years ago, I was a 'Danny' or rather a 'Dannette' and it was someone who took time to make me beleive I had some choices (when I didnt at times) that made the difference between me making it or breaking it - I like to think I made it. Good post - oh and he WILL remember you - just might not be cool to admit it to people just yet!!!

27 August, 2007 21:54

Blogger thinblueline said...

every little bit helps..

28 August, 2007 01:02

Blogger BelfastPeeler said...

Excellent post. I can't say it of everything I have to do but that makes me proud to say I'm a police officer too.

29 August, 2007 18:08

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shame his social worker couldn't find the time to listen to him

29 August, 2007 22:55

Blogger Whichendbites said...

This is one of your better ones, nice post bloggsy.

31 August, 2007 00:14

Anonymous Ex-CPN said...

Even as a hardened ex-CPN your compassion made me cry. So many Dannys, not enough people like you.

02 September, 2007 22:51

Anonymous Ken Dodds Dads Dogs Dead said...

Anoymous 00:36 - what a pathetic thing to say. You weren't there to help this kid, but Bloggs was, and did more than was expected of her. And then she blogged about it here. That's not praise, its just reporting - blogging.

It's a brilliant thing to read and knowing that it didn't count in any police stats so won't be counted as "police work" is shocking. Good on you Bloggs.

02 September, 2007 23:20

Anonymous Vic. said...

He'll remember you because you did something no-one else has done - spent time with him and listened to him. I believe most of the antics of the kids today is attention seeking.

03 September, 2007 08:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No kindness is ever forgotten.

04 September, 2007 09:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

* Social worker.

The type that sits in an office all day. When some one comes running in DESPERATE for the toilet, will sit them down, give them a cup of coffee, talk about the situation, ask if they REALLY need to piss, discuss a hundred alternatives, offer a thousand leaflets on the dangers of pissing, offer them member-ship of a "self help discussion group", (Pissers annomynous), and then follows you into the bog so as to "share the experience". (Whilst wondering if the roof is leaking again, and calling for a mop).

PC Bloggs, however could start a new trend, of them actualy doing what they are meant for, for a change. GREAT post.

Bundesmarine Polizei.

05 September, 2007 08:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was so refreshing to read that a Police officer was actually doing their job .... looking after community.
Having left the job some 6 year ago I can tell you ..HE WILL REMEMBER YOU .. and without a doubt when he gets a little older, he will come and speak with You, irrespective if he has been in or out of trouble .. and even infront of his mates !!!
Great blogg ... keep up your excellent work


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