This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but 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 pay my salary.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Using Your Christmas Initiative

December is a SCARY month for Senior Management Teams. Apart from reeling in the wake of "burglary" November (for some reason burglaries always rise in that month), they are now facing the festive season of violence.

I am glad to see that we kicked off Christmas with an alcohol-befuddled rape, a famous footballer thrown in no less (just to complete the jolly Yuletide picture). We've also had the added bonus this year of a series of data loss scandals - more to look forwards to in the new year, methinks.

But none of this appears on the radar of the SMT in Blandmore. Instead, they are once again looking at our crime and detection figures. That, and the deteriorating crisis with resourcing. Despite 364 days warning, Christmas has once again crept up on us and areas are putting out less than minimum staffing levels across the board.

Fortunately, the SMT has found a way to tackle both problems at once. A series of officers have been brought in on double-bubble (short notice overtime pays double), with the sole purpose of COVERING the Senior Management Team's ARSE. They haven't actually been told what they're supposed to be doing, and it's a shame no one knows they are there, and to be quite frank a lot of them are reportedly just sitting around the office... but the point is that the SMT have DONE SOMETHING about the problem.

Of course, 25th December itself is fairly relaxed. Policing becomes a fire brigade affair on Christmas Day. We don't leave the office for anything that doesn't involve life, death or free mince pies. So for all those bobbies sitting wistfully in Blandmore nick, wishing they were at home with their families and risking discipline by logging onto my blog, here's a happy Christmas story to keep you going.

It's Christmas Day, back when I was a bright young thing, new in the job, with my cynicism laid out before me. I get called to a missing person. The gentleman's family are most distraught, as they have not seen their grandfather since midnight on Christmas Eve. They haven't wanted to bother us until they were sure he wasn't coming back on his own, but temperatures are now well below freezing.

- "Can I take a description of your grandfather?" I ask
- "Of course, officer. He's an elderly man, with silvery hair."

- "Build?"

- "He's a big guy, fat."

- "And what was he wearing?"

- "Black boots and a great red overcoat with furry cuffs."
- "Uh huh, anything else you can tell me about him?"
- "Well, he had a great bushy white beard."

- "Right. Well I'll go and have a drive around for him."

I reassure the family I will look for their dear relative and leave the address, getting straight on the radio to pass the description to all officers. It is only when the controller chokes me off with laughter that I look back at the description I have recorded. I chalk one up to experience and wend my way back to the police station.

Much later that night I am sharing a coffee in the Wild Bean Cafe with the rest of my team, when we see a confused gentleman trying to put coins in the petrol pumps. He is elderly, with grey hair and a beard, wearing a maroon fur-lined overcoat and big black walking boots.

We all stare at each other. I go out, gently escort the man away from the petrol pumps and return him home to his grateful family.

The moral of the story? Nothing is too far-fetched to happen to the police.

Merry Christmas.

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

14 Comments:

Anonymous AntiPLODian said...

That is a great story!

I hope all have a safe and happy Christmas and a tolerable new year.

I myself will be knee deep in the standard NYE mess of drunken revellers (oh joy) hoping, no praying, I don't run into the same drunken state boxing champ that gave me a proper hiding a couple of NYE's ago (only to have all charges reduced by prosecution to resisting arrest and walking with no conviction recorded I might add!).

25 December, 2007 07:37

 
Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Merry Christmas

25 December, 2007 09:46

 
Blogger William Gruff said...

She who laughs last ...

I've just discovered your excellent blog, thanks entirely to Inspector Gadget, and can honestly say better late than never, though I wish I'd done so earlier.

Merry Christmas PC Bloggs.

25 December, 2007 10:06

 
Blogger Emma said...

Merry christmas and thanks for some very entertaining reading throughout the year..xx

25 December, 2007 11:10

 
Blogger Roses said...

Merry Christmas, hope your mince pies are filled with brandy, your cuppa is always hot and sweet, and you are safe and warm!

25 December, 2007 11:11

 
Anonymous XTP said...

Ellie,

This seems like an apropos time to comment. I smile when I remember the day in Waterstones when my girlfriend (a skipper) found your book and bought it for holiday reading. I had to wait for about a month as she hadn't earmarked it as "first read" but when I finally got my grubby paws on it I read it in one hit. I haven't shaken my head and smiled knowingly so much for years. It was the moment that I finally realised this job that I've been doing for over 20 years is the same all over the country and we're all knocking our pipes out trying to do our best and fighting a losing battle. Remember everyone - there's 140,000 of us and keep smiling.

Happy Christmas!

25 December, 2007 21:00

 
Blogger Minbu said...

Hope you have a great Christmas P C Bloggs and a rewarding New Year. Keep up the excellent work. Best wishes.

25 December, 2007 22:24

 
Blogger Minbu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 December, 2007 22:24

 
Blogger Girl With The Golden Touch said...

Happy Christmas, thats a lovely story! xx

26 December, 2007 15:04

 
Anonymous Dray said...

From Gadgets blog's comments.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7160944.stm

26 December, 2007 23:42

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We weren't allowed near the computer on Christmas or Boxing Days (grandchildrens' computer games, you see) so this is the first chance I've had to thank you for many enjoyable days of reading your blog, sometimes thinking, "I've been there". Hope you have a really good 2008, you don't get identified by your SMT, and continue with the blog.
Plodnomore

27 December, 2007 17:01

 
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