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, October 15, 2007


Why is that however many strikes there are among crucial workers in this country, we know the strike will come to an end at some point? It seems that once the relevant strikers have had a couple of weeks off, they are happy to come back to work for less than they originally demanded.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to strike. Would I go and stand on a picket line somewhere, or just click onto Police officers "can't" strike, whatever that is supposed to mean, so the biggest threat we can offer is to "work-to-rule", whatever THAT is supposed to mean.

According to the Federation, we police do a lot of things voluntarily at the moment, such as carrying firearms and riot shields, and driving over the speed limit (ie all the things that most of us joined up for). Working to rule means not doing anything that we don't have to (a policy by which I have survived a good few years in the police so far). Only joking.

Here are some things I currently do voluntarily:
  • Arrive half an hour early for work so the shift before me can go off on time.
  • Drive in my own car to court.
  • Attend incidents that force policy says other departments should be attending.
  • Go out single-crewed on a Friday night because there aren't enough of us.
  • Receive telephone calls from the Duties or Finance departments, or the CPS, when I'm at home, without claiming four hours overtime for them.
  • Use my own pen to sign things.
  • Buy my own boots.
  • Get prisoners in early for their bail just so we can count the detections towards this week's target.
  • Check my email.
Sadly I don't think the public would notice if I stopped doing those things. Nor do I think they'd notice if we stopped carrying guns and speeding.

They might notice if we stopped coming out to arrest their children for throwing meringues at each other, or refused to charge their ex-partner with harassment for sending two text messages calling them a meanie. The bosses might notice that too.

Just on the subject of "can't" strike: we most certainly can - in a literal sense anyway. I wonder what they'd do if we all just didn't come into work one day. Probably nothing.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger MattMacL said...

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Maybe stealing this suggestion might make a difference!

(great blog btw)

15 October, 2007 15:23

Anonymous Metplod said...

Careful Bloggsy, sailing close to the wind with this one! can imagine the dogs with ginger eyebrows starting to salivate.......

For the benefit of the tape, I do not condone discussion about industrial action...

*phew covered* :-)

15 October, 2007 15:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'round here we'd only notice if PCSO's went...somewhere....

Couldn't have you striking. Who'd 'police' the picket line? Besides, you'd become temporary Mops like wunnit? Think of the sick pay for that! Weeks of chillin' ;)

The post office guys are holding wildcat strikes because they can't get overtime to clear the backlog.

And your backlog would be? "can imagine the dogs with ginger eyebrows starting to salivate..."

15 October, 2007 17:46

Blogger Phill said...

Personally I would love to work for a part of the public sector that is barred from going on strike. Unfortunately instead I'm stuck with a union that wants to go on strike to protect the fire service and post offices. Neither of which are connected to us. The days of sympathy strikes died with Elvis Presley IMHO.

I do find it bizarre that Prison and Police officers can be legally barred from strike action yet there is nothing stopping a nurse or fireman from walking out. Talk about inequality.

15 October, 2007 19:59

Blogger jerym said...

Another problem with strikes as far as us,the public, see it is that it always seems to be about a demand for more money.This is probably the way it is reported in our wonderful media but I think if it was made plain that the serious discontent amongst the police,teachers,nurses,doctors etc with the insane systems and bureaucracy you are revealing in your blogs was probably the real underlying reason you would get a lot more support.I am pretty sure that you would`nt say no to more money but in all the many comments i`ve read in the past year or so money does`nt crop up a lot.

15 October, 2007 21:17

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

If there was a strike in Ruraltown by everyone except Response - maybe we could get a parking space at the nick? Parking spaces for the people who actually do the work? outrageous idea - what was I thinking!

15 October, 2007 21:18

Anonymous South Coast Copper said...

"Parking spaces for the people who actually do the work?"
Heh, nice one centurion, like it! See sir? Off to be a DI and yer losing touch already!

15 October, 2007 23:46

Anonymous Coral said...


What a darn cheek!

Now, what would happen if you went into work in slip slops, "Sorry cannot afford 'em and my boots fell apart"?

Betcha things would get sorted out really quickly!!

16 October, 2007 13:44

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to condoen Industrial action but....

Under HRA isn't our right to industrial action/representation protected???

Don't ALL european forces strike and have UNION membership??

Can't the federation try to change this under HRA??

I may be wrong in this but it's something I've heard a lot of PC's/PS's discuss.

16 October, 2007 13:51

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Government rely on the inability of the Police to strike or take other industrial action whenever the pay discussions arise. They want to give the Police 2%, for instance, so offer 1 1/2% knowing that the Federation can only discuss or argue the case. In the end, the Govt grudingly accept the Fed's proposal of 2% resulting in the Fed telling everyone how good they are, the Govt auditors go home chuckling and the Home Office Ministers take advantage of the situation by changing their 'main address' from their constituency to the London one, thereby raking in a larger housing allowance - the money saved has to go somewhere! When the rent allowance was removed my force actually had a Fed approved ballot whether we should consider some form of indistrial action. Over 80% said that, although they were angry, they would not take any such action. Can you imagine telling someone who's been assaulted/burgled/raped,etc, that you're not coming out because you want an extra 75 pence an hour?
As far as the boots are concerned, wasn't it only in the past 8 years or so that boots were issued - prviously they were bought and paid for by the officer who used the special tax allowance to offset the cost. I imagined Doc Marten would have been short of a bob or two when boots started to be issued.
In the meantime, enjoy your time in the sun and hope you don't get sunburn on any bits you wouldn't show old ladies, children or horses.

17 October, 2007 17:05

Anonymous Cotlake said...

The last thing we want is the right to strike. It's interesting at my nick, many wish for the right but state they would never use it. This would be the worst case scenario. It's not having the right to strike which makes us a SPECIAL case and gives us strength in negotiation. As soon as we become like everyone else, that ace card is lost for ever. Now we will probably still get a bad deal this year and who no what is to come, but be sure, if we can strike, we won't be able to negotiate. Bollocks to HRA.

17 October, 2007 21:09

Anonymous Steven Harris said...

It's illegal for the police to go on strike.


who would arrest the police if they were to do so?

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