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.


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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PC Bloggs Investigates... Gangs.

It is the end of the tax year and time for GANGS to evaluate their performance over the last twelve months.

We should expect the imminent publication of the Gang League Tables,
making it easier for parents to choose the right gang for their ambitious offspring, and failing gangs can expect tough measures in the next Parliament. In particular, I welcome the setting up of a Gangs Inspectorate to travel the country comparing and advising gangs on where they are going wrong, and launching Inquiries where necessary.

I think everyone is in agreement that we must encourage youngsters into the gang environment, where they can experience the rituals of job application, reference and interview that most will never go through again (unless you count this). Your teen tearaway will need three or four dark-coloured unappealing garments, a variety of offensive weapons, a loose grasp of the English language and a desire to be mean to people he or she has never met.

If your sprog does fail the entrance interview, as a back-up they can always apply to join my gang. It's the big
gest in town and we take anyone.











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Monday, February 26, 2007

The wonders of...

The Twenty-First Century is grand. Among the blessings of modern technology we find webcams, video-phones, state-of-the-art CCTV systems, Bluetooth, Wifi, face recognition, long-distance directional microphones, nanotechnology, high resolution scanners, digital cameras/phones, satellite navigation, PDAs, touch-screens... the essential tools for the modern police officer.

You would think.

Sadly, of the above list, I have used exactly zero as a useful part of any investigation. This is not because our victims aren't out there zealously collecting technological clues to the identity of their attacker. It is because of something called The Budget.

Here is how you play a DVD clip on your computer at home:
  • Load up the clip.
  • Surf the Net to find the software that will play it.
  • Download the software. FREE.
  • Play the clip.
Here is how you play a DVD clip on a Blandmore police computer:
  • Load up the clip.
  • Find it is incompatible with Windows 98 (as is everything).
  • Phone up IT and ask them what to do.
  • Fill in a form.
  • Submit the form online and by post. This is sufficient if you really can't work the fax machine.
  • Wait for two-three days while it receives Approval from the Budget-Meisters.
  • Not Approved.
  • Send the clip to Tech Services.
  • Wait three weeks.
  • Receive a VHS tape back from Tech Services.
  • Search the station for a video-recorder.
  • Locate one at last.
  • Search the station for a working television.
  • Locate one at last.
  • Play the clip.
  • Discover that all quality has been lost in the transfer from digital to video, and the offender is now just a pulsating ball of static.
To any company out there thinking of installing a top-notch security system with in-built burn-to-DVD capabilities, do us a favour: just stick in a VHS tape and hit Record.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Send the Marines.

Sometimes karma happens quickly.

I am disgusted at the above story. It is a self-indulgent display of cost-effective and commonsense policing. If a dead mugger turned up in this country, I would hope for the killer to spend a night in the cells being interviewed by two cops with their sleeves rolled up and then to face the full wrath of the law (ie go to jail for a couple of weeks).

At the very least, I would expect a Public Inquiry. (One of the downsides of a regular Inquiry is that a Public Inquiry always has to be held afterwards, to involve all the pressure groups and newspapers who missed the boat the first time.) The P.I. should include the following:
  • At least one Chief Constable saying that the police take these matters seriously.
  • The Prime Minister promising there will not be a whitewash.
  • A whitewash.
  • Two or three arrests timed strategically.
  • The suspension of at least five police officers.
  • A report of at least 300 pages.
  • An Asian Senior Investigating Officer. Failing that, an SIO with a moustache will do.
Unless these criteria have been met, I just do not see how justice can have been done.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Stealing the Limelight:

I was appalled by this image.

An important and revered figure has here gone out of his way to promote the needs of young people in the community, only to have his message ruined by the graceless public schoolboy who is blocking half the shot. We can't even see properly whether or not Ryan is actually cradling his bollocks.

David Cameron today spoke out defending his actions.

"I turned my head to one side and raised my hand as if holding a small ministerial file. It's called a turn-hold around here. I just did it for a laugh. I thought it would be fun to show off to the guys at home so I walked across in front of him and made the gesture. My mates thought it was funny. I didn't know he was important until an aide told me later that he's a Benchill Maddog."

Cameron's mother was horrified when she heard what he had done, but she put it down to bravado in front of the cameras. However, a local woman expressed her views more strongly,

"Look at that, wearing a suit. That is disgusting. Disgusting."

Young Ryan chose to gloss over the incident, instead promoting the successes his gang are having in filling the streets with illegal weapons and drugs. Within just five years, Ryan hopes to be shot dead.

We can all learn something from this disgraceful image.

For those of you who are not quite sure what Ryan himself is doing, he is merely selecting a question from the audience, as seen here:




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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I will wear purple...

Terrible news for OAPs: just because you are eighty-two does not mean you cannot be given an ASBO. It is devastating news as I had a list of things I planned to do once I turned sixty, committing a robbery with a zimmerframe being the primary one.

This is just the latest in a series of despiccable incidents demonstrating the decay of our great nation. When I was young, old people were allowed to do whatever they wanted. They could feed sweets to strange children, hit people with walking sticks and even swear to themselves in the street, and we all understood it was just loveable British eccentricity.

Now it appears not even the hallowed "Old Codger" is safe from the long arm of New Labour Law. Soon they will be trying to prosecute women for rape and children for assault. Is no one safe!



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Man I feel like a woman!

Here we can see Yassin Omar sporting the traditional "burka", accessorised with a white faux-leather handbag and a dazzling purple halo of light.

Yassin has chosen to complete the look with Magnum Phantoms, the shoe of choice for fleeing disguised terrorists. If you want to see the outfit in action, click here.

Top fashion experts today described the choice as "The opposite of fabulous, darling. Burkas for men are soooo last season." But th
ey did praise Yassin's personal statement, pointing out that "As the only person in a burka at the station, he makes for a striking picture."

On another note, here is a picture of me fleeing the scene of my latest harassment investigation:










Unfortunately I have been spotted by the guy on the right. Should have worn a burka.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

If wishes were...

It is night. The hours are melting away as quickly as butter in the fridge. It is one of those nights when you long for someone to be raped, stabbed or run over just to give you something to do.

Then, it happens.

"Victor-Charlie-2-1-2, PC Bloggs, are you receiving?"

I awake to find myself at a give way sign with the handbrake off. I have no idea how long I have been there and there is a patient queue of one car behind me who no doubt thinks I am guarding the scene of something lethal up ahead.

"Er... go ahead, control."

"Thank you 2-1-2, could you possibly take a drive down Blandmore Ring Road - our caller is reporting some loose horses."

It is a good year since my last Loose Horse Incident (or LHI as we Blandmoreans call them) so I therefore welcome the news as one of those novelty situations you video on your cameraphone and show around the nick for weeks on end. My request to Stores for some emergency packets of Polos and a lasso having been declined last year, I trundle down the Ring Road with no specialised equipment whatsoever, mentally running through possible local fields I might herd the animals into.

The controller elaborates on the unfolding situation, "The offenders are described as large, brown and white, possibly members of the travelling fraternity. Direction of travel is into the town centre at this time."

I spot the suspects causing criminal damage to the Council's daffodils and get out of my car. There is a stand-off which lasts a good second, before they scatter and vanish into the alleys of the Porle estate. Before long the whole shift are down and a containment set up, and we are finally guided in by CCTV to the beasts, cornered outside McDonalds. I master a technique which involves tricking each one into thinking I have food, whereupon two of the guys charge from behind and chase it into the back yard of The White Hart.

At last all five are detained and a note is left for the licensee. We troop to the nearest coffee-dispensing establishment for a well-earned cuppa and rejoice in our successful mission.

The night has been a rarity: I have spent two full hours whole-heartedly serving my community and my pen has not even broken sweat.


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(Coming soon: the Tale of the Wandering Snake.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rather them than me...

Why would anyone do this job? An armed officer describing how he had to bosh in a door, point a gun at someone's head and roll around in a bathtub with them in the dark. It sounds simply awful.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, many police officers actually appear to ENJOY fighting with people! Believe it or not, there are those of us who find something pleasurable in struggling on the pavement with a total stranger, with a crowd of bewildered onlookers cheering one or other of us on. Maybe it is the fact that you know they aren't really out to hurt you (most of the time), or the fact that ultimately you have a gang of several hundred colleagues ready to swarm across the county to your aid (I am discounting the many thousands of officers who have forgotten how to use their handcuffs after years in an office somewhere).

For whatever reason, as a WOMAN I am horrified by this delight in violence and you can be sure I will be looking down my nose at myself as I sit on a few drunks next Friday night.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

An Oldie But a Goodie

This cracks me up. The story is that police forces (S.Yorks being the one featured) cannot always tell which of their own staff was driving a vehicle when it was caught speeding. In this case, it appears S.Yorks have decided to prosecute themselves for the offence.

I will take this up with Blandshire Constabulary. Not only could it seriously improve the points obtained by traffic officers for sticking on their own colleagues, but we could roll out the idea to other areas of policing.

For example, PC Bloggs leaves her fleece on the back of a chair in the report writing room. When she returns, it has gone. We can now launch an investigation into the theft of the fleece and obtain a detection for charging the offender. A raft of thefts could be detected every time pens, ties, epaulettes, and other sundry items go missing around the police station within minutes of being set down.

Another way we could apply this is by prosecuting ourselves under the Human Rights Act every time a member of public gets shoddy treatment. This would satisfy the daily complainers and promote our image as a self-reflecting force.

I think I might be onto something... when, oh when will they promote me!

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Accountability... sigh...

Once again we have been treated to the sight of a Tory with a posh accent talking a lot of sense. This time it was about making police authorities ACCOUNTABLE. As a police officer, I am probably the worst person to ask about the role of the police authority. I have no idea what it is, what it does or how it affects my job or the public. I am therefore extremely happy to hear that it is police authorities that are the problem and not people like me. I don't happen to agree with Cameron's solution, however.

Apparently, we all yearn for accountability. Even PC Copperfield. I heard him say so on television. The Labour Government has found all kinds of ways to make us accountable, some of which merely build on previous Conservative policies, some of which are new and imaginative ideas of their own. Here are some of them:
This is all marvellous and I have felt thoroughly accountable to the Department of Critical Emailing for the last year and a half. My only problem with the approach is that it does not go nearly far enough. We should see police officers filling out forms every time they think suspicious thoughts. How else can we stamp out racism? Police constables whose arrest and detection figures are lower than their colleagues should be Named and Shamed by The Sun. Moreover, Chief Officers responsible for areas where newspapers have printed disparaging stories about the police should be subjected to not just one, but several meetings with the Home Secretary to explain themselves. It's the only way we'll learn.

Cameron's approach is flawed, therefore. As far as I can tell, accountability is not about involving communities in shaping their local police forces, but it is about transferring everything onto bits of paper so that police officers don't have to talk to members of public at all. When our business can be conducted entirely by way of email, fax and meeting, THEN we will be truly Accountable.

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PS For those of you who thought that my last post was in some way disparaging of sergeants, please re-read it.
PPS It turns out my blog isn't broken after all.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Could You?

Are you bored with being outdoors all day? Would you like a job where your strategic problem-solving approach will be utilised? Do you want to be able to give orders without any training whatsoever? Join Blandshire Constabulary and become a sergeant!

In your new post you will be responsible for checking the work of between five and fifteen uniformed officers daily, and submitting it to a variety of people for further checking. You will have strong ethics in your crime-reporting and be able to handle confrontations with civilians trying to take over your job. You will be supplied with state-of-the-art equipment including a chair (quality not guaranteed) and a portion of a desk for your computer.

Flexibility is a must, as you will be expected to shuffle from station to station to fill in for absences. You will therefore be confident at telling off people you don't know, and be able to make split-second assumptions about their characters. You will not have any desire for long-term professional relationships as within a few months you can expect to be replaced by a better sergeant who plays golf.

No managerial experience necessary, nor will you be required to develop the careers of those on your team. The post is ideal for someone with an ailment that prevents them from leaving the office/communicating with human beings.

Successful applicants will start tomorrow and work Christmas every year from now until retirement. Salary inversely proportional to the number of children you have.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Think of the children!

We have miserably failed our children. When I say "we", I of course mean the government, schools, the police, social services and prisons. By no means should "we" be taken to include mothers or fathers.

I can tell you there is no lack of appreciation for children in the homes of Blandmore. Only last week I went to the home of Ryan Collins to berate him for a jolly egg-throwing lark in the aisles of the local Co-op, and I can tell you that his mother was fully supportive of every one of her son's actions. She even went so far as to order me out of her house for her dear boy's protection - now that is love.

And so, the question we have to ask ourselves is how best to address this situation and offer our nation's blessed young the nurture and affection they deserve. Tony Blair has wracked his brains for years and come up with some cracking ideas so far, such as government nannies, city academies and Child Protection. I on the other hand have thought for two seconds about the subject and have come up with the following solution: Drugs.

For an explanation, see here.

I see no other way to produce fine British youngsters with a sense of pride and loyalty to their nation and elders, short of moving somewhere like this:











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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Verdict... Again:

I am enrapt by BBC2's trial and have a question to put to you all:

Should a jury give weight to whether or not a victim appears genuinely distressed?
Yes, how the evidence is given is part of the evidence
No - crocodile tears
Who? What? Huh?

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Mega-Important News!

Every few months another article like this comes out. This is just another example of media hype over an insignicant problem. I really think that three uniformed officers is more than enough to deal with the troubles of your average town of 80,000+ people and only a fool would say otherwise (do follow this link it's worth it).

With three officers on duty, you can put out a double-crewed car AND a single-crewed officer (assuming you have enough cars), which means that you can attend up to one violent incident EVERY DAY! A luxury indeed. If there is a serious crime such as a rape or murder, you will even have enough on duty to deal with the victim and guard a small scene. As long as the offender doesn't need arresting and no other incidents occur in the hours you are waiting for Scenes of Crime and CID, I don't see the problem.

Fortunately the media doesn't waste too much space on these panic-inducing reports, rightly allotting the majority of air-time and newspaper columnage to the really important stuff.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Bloggs' Verdict

For those of you who haven't been watching, BBC2 are running a mock-trial of a rape. You can see it in full online. The lawyers, judge, court staff and experts are real, but the defendants and witnesses are actors and the jury are celebrities. In other words, it's pretty much like reality, except that in real trials the lawyers are celebrities and the judges are actors.

I watched Judge Judy today. I am now having a recurring fantasy where I attend a domestic dispute in which the parties are spatting over the ownership of the dog. My fantasy goes something like this:

PC Bloggs: "Hello, hello, hello, what's all this then?"
Male: "She's fockin stolen my dog, innit."
Female: "He's a fockin liar. It's my fockin dog."
Male: "I bought that dog eight year ago."
Female: "Who walked the dog for eight year?"
Male: "I want her done for theft."
Female: "Well I want him done for assault."
PC Bloggs: [closing her eyes and chosing male or female at random] "I find in favour of the plaintiff. The matter is closed." [bang of gavel]

Perhaps the new "rape" courts can work something like that.

In reality, of course, my closing shot at such a domestic will be to arrest them both and pass the decision-making buck to the CPS. That way when they kill each other a week later it won't be my fault.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Best Friends.

We are told that dangerous dogs are now rife in our society. The proof for this claim is the statistic that the number of them nearly doubled between 2000 and 2005 to the despiccable figure of over 400 incidents! The government must take drastic action straight away. I imagine that some kind of update in the legislation will solve this crisis and I urge you all to campaign for at least seven new offences condemning the use of a dog as a weapon.

The police now take these attacks seriously: whereas before we used to have a bit of a giggle at the antics of our loveable companions, now we grasp the significance of these terrifying attacks and their potential for a detection.

In the year 2000, I would have been expected to deal with a dangerous dog incident thus:
  • Turn up, establish that although the dog was boisterous, no injury had actually been caused.
  • Discover that the caller is a cat-lover.
  • Advise the dog-owner to keep the animal on the lead and the caller to go home.
Now, however, the refined Blandshire approach would be:
  • Turn up, establish that although the dog was boisterous, no injury had actually been caused.
  • Discover that the caller is a cat-lover.
  • Advise the dog-owner to keep the animal on the lead and the caller to go home.
  • Return to the nick to discover that a crime report has been generated in relation to the incident.
  • Inform the crime desk that this is a No-Crime.
  • Wait a week for their response.
  • Read and delete the email telling me that the No-Crime has been rejected on the grounds of Bureaucracy.
  • Complain to my sergeant.
  • Have my sergeant write a rude email to the Crime Desk.
  • Receive an email from the Crime Desk informing me that I should accept that my job in these situations is to arrest someone and kill their dog on the basis of an anonymous call.
  • Visit the "victim" and get them to sign a statement to say that they were not injured and do not want to pursue any complaint, although they would like the dog-owner to be advised of the benefits of cats.
  • Visit the dog-owner and get them to sign a statement admitting that their dog was a bit boisterous and might one day frighten someone into falling over and hurting themselves.
  • Submit all the paperwork to the Crime Desk for forwarding to the Headquarters Auditors.
  • Wait six weeks, then receive an email informing me that the admission by the dog-owner is simply insufficient and there isn't enough evidence to prove this offence.
  • Rip my own throat out with the office scissors.
I do wonder why the number of recorded incidents has increased...

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our Green and Pleasant Land.

Everything grinds to a halt in this country when it snows. Schools close, no one goes to work, people lose the ability to drive over 5mph and still manage to hurtle off the road. Even we police stay snug in our stations and only turn out for absolute emergencies, which we will attend at a snail's pace.

Yet other countries do not behave this way. Indeed, they continue with their day-to-day lives with a flagrant disregard for the fluffy white stuff falling from the sky! When will someone get up off their backside and prosecute these heartless countries under human rights legislation, for forcing their kiddies to school when they could be running amok having snowball fights?

In other news, the DVLA have received a suspect package containing white powder which is apparently not linked to the recent letter-bombs. My question is, did the white powder melt on opening the envelope, because if so I know where it came from.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

A Relieving Day.

I was relieved to hear from David Cameron yesterday that we do not live in a police state. Phew. However, I must condemn any police force who would arrest someone for such a serious offence as conspiracy to kidnap, and then release them without charge. If we aren't going to charge people, we just shouldn't bother to investigate them in the first place, let alone do something as draconian as arrest and interview them.

The most reassuring part of the whole West Midlands Kidnap of a Muslim Soldier Plot, or WMKOAMSP as I will be calling it for ease of reference, is the evidence that the public's ability to understand the ins and outs of a major police investigation remains undinted. What a triumph of detective skills it is that our great British public can determine the guilt and innocence of a man based on snippets gleaned from neighbours, family, police spokespersons and random religious and/or celebrity personalities.

It only goes to prove what I always thought: that we should let the public investigate crime themselves.

Sidenote:
For my fellow bloggers who may be concerned about the threat of Professional Standards descending upon them, do not fear. Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has also been in the doghouse in the past for foolish blurtings on his blog and it never did HIM any harm.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Closing down the Airwaves.

I am saddened by this story, sent to me by a reader, that radio chatter is to be stemmed by Northants Police in a move to save cash. One of my favourite pastimes is giving amusing "closures" for jobs and making wry comments over the air. (Closing a job is when you inform the control room of the outcome of the incident and what actually happened - as opposed to what the caller said when they called initially.)

My top six wry radio comments are:

  1. "One of them called the police but no one wants to own up to it."
  2. "I know the original caller said someone had been stabbed, but there really are no offences here!"
  3. "I think by 'suspicious', the caller meant 'Irish'."
  4. "The only unwelcome person in this pub is me."
  5. "I have two words for you: substance abuse."
  6. "These aren't the boys we're looking for, they can go about their business. Move along."
Please comment with your own, and join my campaign for our right to yabber.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

An Announcement:
















The time has come. I have signed up to the small army of police officers marching between two towering walls of water in the hope of leading the nation to the promised land. Or at least making it laugh at the sight of the water crashing down on our heads.

In other words, I am writing a book.
It will (hopefully) come out later this year and I plan to claim overtime for the hours spent writing it. (In case my Finance Department is reading, this is what is commonly known as a "JOKE".)

If the apparent views of most of my readers are to be believed, I am not the only one who is worried/terrified about the way policing is heading in this country. No matter how loudly we shout it, the only people listening are the ones who already agree. The only option is to shout at more people, more often, in more ways.

Being female, I am an expert at this kind of persuasion, and expect to have the Home Secretary cooking me supper and doing the ironing before the year is out.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Petitions, petitions...

Some of you may have already found this site, where Tony Blair promises to email the founder of a petition if he/she obtains over a hundred electronic signatures. I have just spent an amusing ten minutes browsing the available petitions and have decided to promote this one.

There are some other excellent petitions, such as the lady trying to get a law passed to make it an imprisonable offence to steal a family pet. Hmm.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Taking it personally.

If it isn't enough that I can see my profession slated daily at the press of a button or turning of a page, I am now having insulting articles sent directly to my inbox. This arrived today, about how apparently British cops are lazy, scared and no good.

I would comment, but I can't be bothered, I'm afraid I'll crash the computer, and it just wouldn't be funny.

On a sidenote, can my police readers all please vote in ExtraSpecialCopper's poll as I am interested to see how many people are willing to work the Speed Camera Team but not Traffic.

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A great big TIT.

A reader has sent me this story. The essence of it is that the victim of a mugging got her phone returned by texting "I don't blame you" to the mugger.

This heralds the return of my Terrific Investigating Technqiues. As followers of my TITs will know, I recommend a victim-based approach to investigating. Namely, that you get the victim to do most of the investigating. In the case of a mugging, or "robbery" if you want to be technical, I will undertake the following immediate actions to apprehend the rascal:
  • Ask the victim what the offender's name is.
  • Ask the victim where the offender lives.
  • Ask the victim if there is any CCTV.
  • Get the victim to identify the offender from a group of possibles.
  • Get the victim to ask his buddies and neighbours if they saw anything.
  • Tell the victim to call me if he finds out who the offender is.
  • Subtly suggest to the victim that if he phones/texts the offender off his own back it might bypass the need for an inspector's authority and a three month wait.
  • Seize the victim's clothing.
  • Seize all the victim's belongings.
  • Take the victim's DNA.
  • Take photographs of the victim.
  • Make the victim subject to a medical examination.
As you can see from the above, in Equal Britain the police treat our victims exactly the same as the offenders. That way we cannot be accused of favouritism.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Should I Arrest?

Last week a Blandmore resident watched two youths robbing a young kid of his mobile phone. He dialled 999 and confronted the youths, asking the call-taker, "Can I use force to detain them?" The call-taker said, "No. It would be an assault and illegal." Oh dear.

Next week's Panorama talks about whether you should fight back if you are the victim of crime, but more usually the question is whether to get involved in other people's crimes, by trying to prevent it or capture the offender. Here is a checklist for whether or not to make the "citizen's" arrest:
  • Can you pronounce the word "indictable"?
  • Do you know what the word "indictable" means?
  • Do you know what the word "offence" means?
  • Can you put the two together and understand it?
  • Can you make a list of "indictable offences"?
  • Can you remember all of this when you are on the stand in court?
If the answer to any of the above is "yes", well done, you are ahead of most police officers and can now consider issues of your own personal safety and whether, when all is said and done, you really give a crap. If you do not, try Tony McNulty's suggestion of "jumping up and down". That will ensure that the baddie turns his attention away from his victim and onto you.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blandmore Press Release:

Following a recent spate of crime in Blandmore, police are advising the public of some simple steps they can take to avoid falling prey:
  • Do not use your mobile in public places. Peferably mobiles should be used only in the privacy of your own home.
  • Do not listen to your iPod in the street.
  • Do not buy expensive items for use outside the home.
  • Do not go out with your mates.
  • Do not drive.
If the worst happens and you do get mugged, make sure to get the registration number, description, name and address of the offender. If you cannot even manage that, don't bother calling us as there is bugger all we can do.

Above all, remember: we do not live in a free society. You cannot expect the police and law-makers to prevent crime - it is up to you to avoid it.

Stay safe out there!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Made Up?

This beggars belief.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What alternative?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has had his ten cents today by speaking out in favour of community sentences instead of prison. Sadly, instead of accepting the genius of this expert on criminality, as usual his way of thinking is roundly criticised.

So for what it is worth, I would like to back the Archbishop and put my hat firmly in the camp of community sentences. After all, what can deter a young person from crime better than the thought of having MEETINGS with probation officers or - worst of all - Youth Justice Panels! If someone is sorry for what they have done, no matter how heinous, what is the point of sending them to prison?

Moreover, I don't think the proponents of prison have clearly thought about the traumatic effect that a simple curfew order can have on a young felon, especially when he or she knows that should he breach the order, he will be put back before the court for a severe telling off. And just by sentencing one runaway kid to an ASBO restricting his movements around town, waves of terror will ripple through the criminal fraternity.

And let's not forget, there is always the threat of prison should these terrifying orders be broken. Assuming we can find the guy.

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Copyright of PC Bloggs.

It was bound to happen.

At last, the media has realised that the low conviction rate for rape is all the police's fault. I have been saying it for months. If we will insist on trying to prosecute people for things that happened behind closed doors with no witnesses, where the state of mind of both parties is the crucial question, what do we expect?

I also fully support Minister Mike O'Brien's solution that the only way to fix this low conviction rate is by "a change in the law". It is a little known fact that the solution to everything is a change in the law and I for one can't get enough of them.

However, I must take issue with the allegation that police "wrongly" recorded a third of cases as No-Crimes. As you can see here, I fail to believe that this number of crime reports, let along rape allegations, could ever get past the scrutinising gaze of our crime auditors. The Blandshire Constabulary auditors would probably refuse to no-crime a murder where the victim had been found alive.

(For newcomers to the happy world of police terminology, a No-Crime (or non-crime) is where a crime report has been created, but evidence has been found to suggest that it never happened in the first place so it is re-designated a No-Crime.)

Here is a quick guide to some things that courts like, should you be considering pursuing a rape allegation that far:
  • Injuries and photos of them.
  • Tears.
  • Virginity.
  • Medical statements.
  • Lack of drug-taking and prostitution.
  • Witnesses.
  • CCTV.
  • Forensic evidence.
  • A good grasp of the English language.
  • Articulation.
  • Lack of previous convictions.
If you cannot produce all of that, you are about to become one of the 95% of victims whose case collapses. I am keen to see what change in the law the Minister proposes to fix these glaring loopholes.

You can read the full report here if you have several hours to spare.

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