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)

Friday, September 28, 2007

It doesn't get much lower...

... than this.




The trust had the MPs photographed in front of a blue screen, which should have set alarm bells ringing...





Many NHS trusts might be ashamed to have fed tea and biscuits to a government minister, but Tameside General Hospital was so proud of it that they actually faked a picture of the Culture Secretary standing with other MPs.

On a less ridiculous note, here is a picture of me meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week and fascinating him with my views on doughnuts and their role in the 21st Century police force.


Gordon is flabbergasted to discover that WOMEN are allowed in the police force nowadays, AND can eat doughnuts on duty.




Is it me, or has the tone of this blog gone downhill lately?

I do hope so.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oh let's legislate the pain away...

Thank goodness for someone talking sense in government at last. I was starting to worry that we'd have NO new legislation at all under Brown, but I am pleased to see that new laws about self-defence are imminent.


Well, to be more accurate, Jack Straw is "looking into it". The proposal seems to be that instead of the force used to protect yourself or your home being REASONABLE, it should be PROPORTIONATE. See what he did there?


Call me controversial, but I have this crazy theory that the law in this country is actually not too badly written, if a bit long-winded (I'm discounting the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act from this thesis). Traditionally the law just states the basic offences and there is then a slew of codes such as Sentencing Guidelines and Codes which criminal justice agencies can refer to before enforcing laws.


It would be fairly simple, therefore, for the government to tweak Sentencing Guidelines or send out advice to Crown Prosecution Services and police that they want more emphasis to be put on victims and to allow more leeway in prosecuting people who have tried to detain criminals or defend themselves.


But Labour didn't get to be Labour by taking the easy way out. And so a Review of a perfectly sound law in the hope that an even better one can be brought in. I suggest they make a list of weapons and injuries that are acceptable under the new self-defence laws, that way police won't have to apply any discretion (gasp, horror) whatsoever in deciding whether or not to charge.


Roll on, Election.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The BOG Standard

I applaud the move by Greater Manchester Police to ban officers from cycling until a thorough investigation has taken place. Their decision is a result of a trainee PCSO being killed by a truck.

Personally, I think knee-jerk reactions are usually right, and would encourage all forces to follow my Guidelines for Health and Safety at work. You can't be too careful!


The Bloggs Occupational Guidelines (BOGs):

  1. Police officers should be trained in all the skills they will require for their daily work, including how to bend their neck on entering a vehicle, how to run after crooks without tripping over small hedgerows and how to open a can of coke without it spurting everywhere.
  2. As soon as you identify that an officer has a training need, as identified by seeing him falling over at work, sitting too close to a computer or dropping an item of protective equipment, the officer should be removed from frontline duty and re-trained. You should also consider whether other members of staff also require training in these matters and if so, ALL officers should be quarantined within the station until they are up to standard.
  3. Officers must not run after criminals. This has been identified as one of the Four Contributing Factors to Tripping.* A brisk walk should suffice.
  4. Please remember that a large number of work injuries are tea-related. Activities involving tea should be kept to a minimum.
  5. If anybody is injured in any manner whilst on-duty, you should immediately bar all officers from doing that activity until a full 1000-page Inquiry has been completed.

Watery areas should be avoided at all costs.

* The Four Contributing Factors to Tripping:
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Climbing
  • Stepping
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Diary of...

In case anyone wants a preview of my book before splashing out up to £7.99, you can read some edited extracts here.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

A Meeting of Minds

Inspector Gadget has posted about the SMT meetings he has to put up with in his role as mini-echelon of the senior ranks.

I once "shadowed" my sergeant into The Morning Briefing. (It was something to do with my development.) These meetings take place every day and it's where the local commander can find out how many detections his/her troops have generated and pass on messages of encouragement via the duty sergeant.

I was extremely impressed by The Briefing. Not only was there a member of the Domestic Violence Unit there HOLDING A PEN, but the Superintendent actually knew my name.

The format was a bit like a Committee Meeting of the local Ladies Pingpong Club. Everyone said their ten cents and then the duty sergeant was given a list of things to-do, which included:

1. Reclassifying a number of last week's robberies as thefts. (Thefts aren't a "violent crime" and there aren't articles in The Times about them.)
2. Making sure some police officers attended the racist incident that had been "open" for a week. To which my sergeant rudely retorted that he had no units available and anyway the victim of the racism was away in Spain for two weeks. The response was to send someone anyway, and to make sure the paperwork was forwarded immediately to the Race Crime officer who would be sitting at his desk upstairs awaiting it.
3. Squeezing just a few more detections out of the troops. The key to this would be only attending incidents where the victim already knew who had done it and had provided his or her name.

As you can see, The Morning Briefing is vital in Blandmore. Without it, the Superintendent would have no way of finding out what policing in his town is like, nor doing anything about it.

Note: The above link to the story about West Mercia's Chief on foot patrol has gone down. It's a sad effect of my linking to any official page, I'm afraid. You can read more about CC Paul West and his many-bowed string here, if you're desperate.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

No bruise, you lose:

Domestic Violence is a funny old thing. Well maybe not that funny, but certainly old.

In terms of how the police deal with it, the whole process couldn't be simpler. We turn up, we view an injury, we arrest the person without an injury, we leave. If they've both got injuries, we arrest both. If there's no injury, it might be about to swell up later, so we arrest somebody at random. The victim is generally the woman, although I've also arrested a large number of women offenders, and the defences in interview are always the same:
  • I didn't touch her.
  • She went for me like a wild animal, I was restraining her.
  • She did it to herself, she's MAD.
  • She hadn't done the ironing, what did she expect? (I've actually only heard that one once.)
Believe it or not, it's not really that hard to prove Domestic Violence in court. As long as the victim has a decent visible injury, the court will be likely to assume she or he didn't agree to it being inflicted. It helps if the victim is a lot smaller than the offender too, as it then seems less likely he or she was the aggressor, or that the offender felt in danger.

The problem only occurs because the victims of Domestic Violence tend to be rather blase about their predicament and don't get off their lazy backsides to come to court. Or they didn't get hit hard enough to show a bruise, which is their own fault.

On the other side of the coin, police doctors will tell you that nine times out of ten, victims of rape have no visible injuries. Consensual sex, however, frequently results in bruising.

Maybe that's why rape is so hard to prosecute. And maybe it means all the victims of punches and kicks we go to see each day are really lying, and should be quizzed more thoroughly on whether or not they actually agreed to it.

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Good lord... I'm on film. How did that happen?

The McCanns think the police are listening to them in the UK. If they're reading (highly unlikely), I would like to reassure them that if there is one thing the UK's police are undoubtedly FAR worse at than any other nation's in the world, it is intercepting people's phonecalls.

Apart from the mountain of forms that need to be filled in just to get authorisation to bug someone's calls, there is the issue of requiring technology that works, a crack secret surveillance team and enough officers to trawl through the footage later.

My message to the McCanns would therefore be: go and have a look out of the window. If there isn't a bobby there with his ear pressed to the wall, you aren't being listened to!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

All power to PCSOs

I had written a superbly amusing post about the PCSOs who watched a boy drown while a "real" police officer and some fishermen jumped in to try and save him. Then I read this defence of them. I still think someone else might have dived in anyway, but have decided not to post my original attack as I wasn't there and don't know.

However it did get me thinking (now there's a surprise). We have a bit of an ongoing problem in Blandmore with PCSOs "interpreting" their job role differently to their police colleagues.

The role of the PCSO is best described by stating what they DON'T do, ie:
  • Confrontation.
  • Investigation of crime.
  • First Aid.
  • Capture of criminals.
  • Assistance of police officers in trouble.
  • Transport of prisoners.
  • Checking out suspicious incidents.
  • Dealing with "major incidents" (definition of which seems to have been redefined by Det Ch Insp Phil Owen of Wigan Police).
The problem with poor Jordon (above, drowned), seems to be that his parents think because PCSOs look and sound and cycle in the manner of police officers, that they possess the same powers and training AS police officers.

It never ceases to amaze me how naive Mops (Members of Public) can be. They need to understand that when you undergo the PCSO training, you not only learn exhaustively about waving your arms at cars, putting leaflets through doors and the fine art of Risk Assessment, but this information actually REPLACES basic human knowledge that you may have possessed before. Such as the instinct to jump into a pond to save a child.

In any event, half the time the problem with Blandshire's PCSOs is that they desperately WANT to be real police officers and get themselves in all kinds of sticky situations. Why on earth they don't just put in their applications I have no idea.

It might be something to do with real police having to have reached puberty.


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Friday, September 21, 2007

Me and the Beeb

You can read about my interview with Ben Ando here.

I feel it HAS to be pointed out that somebody in the Beeb is living in the last century. First they have a policewoman on Panorama wearing a skirt and with bare legs! Now this hideous picture of some kind of matriarchal nun with my "name" under it.

THAT PICTURE IS NOT ME!

(Nor is the one below it.)

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Those Pesky Brake-Lights

Whenever I stop a car circulated in the area as stolen, or involved in drug-dealing, or the subject of an armed robbery, it invariably contains Mrs Phillippa Greengage, on her way home from the Bingo. Either her number-plate has been cloned, or we've just written it down incorrectly.

If, however, I casually pull someone over for having a brake-light out, with every intention of giving words of advice and pointing out the location of the nearest brake-light-retailer, I know I am about to have a roadside brawl and arrest somebody. I don't necessarily expect to get stabbed.

I don't know why the mad and bad folk of the world always seem to drive around with a brake light out, but if they didn't we might find it a lot harder to catch them.


Police seek to question Jonny Wilkinson in relation to the attack.






No doubt the stabber will get a couple of months for his frenzied assault on PC Duke. Plus a healthy driving ban for the faulty brake light and missing number-plate, which will probably inconvenience him far more.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

A modern conundrum:

Honestly, the British police are SO indecisive.

One day we are risk averse, the next daredevil risk-takers.

When, oh when will we get the balance right?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The British Elite

In our first week in training school we were pre-warned that an incident was going to take place in the classroom at a random time. We would have to observe the incident and write a statement about it afterwards. This was very exciting to us new recruits and we were on tenterhooks for days just waiting for it.

Then, on the third day of the week, the door burst open in the middle of a lesson about stop-searches. A man walked in. He was stocky, stubbled, good-looking in a smouldering kind of way. He crossed the classroom behind the trainer, who stared at him for a moment before continuing with her lesson. He took up a position behind the podium, hands in pockets, an expression of brooding on his face. He was clearly about to act.

For ten minutes our gazes were fastened on him; we were breathless with excitement. Most of the class surreptitiously noted down his description in their pocketbooks. We all watched him unerringly as he fiddled with bits of paper, tapped some keys on the computer screen and popped the tops on and off marker pens.

Then he nodded to the trainer and walked out. We were a little disappointed that the "incident" was so tame, but one girl got out some statement paper and started recording it nonetheless. At this point the trainer spotted her and asked what she was doing, and on hearing the answer collapsed in hysterical laughter for a good five minutes.

It turned out the man was just another trainer, at a loose end for ten minutes, who had popped in to observe a colleague's lesson.

Good thing we weren't training for some kind of special important role, where powers of deduction and observation would be required.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bravo Zulu!

Seeing as it's now several months since the beginning of the tax year, Blandshire chiefs are already turning their attention to next year's budget. In line with the modern fad, we will be going "back to basics", the buzzword of 2008 to be: Zero Based Budgeting.

According to Wiki, ZBB means not assuming that last year's budget worked, and recalculating everything from scratch each year. In Blandshire, it means spending Zero Pounds on improving the police force. For example, instead of employing more police officers, we will simply be transferring some police officers from Response to Neighbourhood, and submitting press releases announcing that more police officers than ever now work in Neighbourhood.

Other ways to Zero Budget are:
  • to glue police cars back together again when they fail, instead of splashing out on all those costly repairs
  • simply not to recruit any more police
  • disband vital specialist units
and Blandshire's favoured route:
  • launch such a violent attack on police morale that half your work-force up and fly to Canada
It's the way forward.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

PC Copperfield is out.










You can watch his "outing" here. Having met Stuart a couple of times, I can tell you that he is that nice in real life and, yes, his face just is that shiny.

Panorama itself was interesting. One of the main points is the contrast between what the public THINK we get up to and what we actually do. The clear signal is that we should be educating the public about the nature of real police work, and encouraging them to accept that it isn't all about crime nowadays. There are far more important things like having tea with Minister McNulty and meeting our monthly targets.

Good for Staffordshire Police for standing up to the lies told in the programme. There couldn't possibly ever be just ONE police officer on duty in the whole of a town, what a silly suggestion. Personally I am amazed they didn't make the comment: "Yes, there is frequently just one officer left on duty. It isn't good enough and we want to know what the government is doing about it!"

Then again, that would involve a Chief Constable with some balls. Shame.

For anyone who's interested, there is now a Monday Books blog. It has some snippets about the real David Copperfield, and me.

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Not-so-intelligent briefings

The virtues of Intelligence-Led Policing are forever being extolled in Blandshire Constabulary. It supposedly means that instead of police cars randomly roving Blandmore in the hope of seeing a crime, we base our patrols on recent crime waves and information received from police informants.

In effect, this means that if Roman Grove on the Porle is attacked nightly for two weeks and fourteen cars broken into, for the fortnight following the spate you can be assured there will be plenty of police cars about looking for the thieves. Meanwhile the thieves will have moved onto Grant Way, the intelligence for which should hit our systems at approximately the exact moment they move yet again.

In this way we can reassure all the Mops* who have just been broken into that we are doing something to combat the problem, without any danger of actually catching anybody in the act of anything.

Our daily intelligence briefings (which of course arrive by email) often contain delightful snippets such as:
  • "Thursday is the third most popular day for auto crime in Cakton."
  • "11pm-6am is when the overnight burglaries are happening."
  • "There've been a lot of thefts of metal recently."
  • "Intelligence required on Michaela Jordan [local drug-dealer]. Please hang out outside her house and record her every move, but if asked say it was a spontaneous sighting."
  • "Dale Thompkins has just been released from prison. Should there be any knifepoint robberies of any kind, just arrest him and CID will be delighted to deal with the paperwork in the morning."
  • "CID would like to remind all shifts that they are currently understaffed to deal with robberies and response officers may have to investigate these themselves."
These bulletins are essential to modern police work, as without them we might forget to investigate crime altogether.

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* Mop = Member of Public

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In a lost and lonely part of town...

Tragedy.


You might think I would be exhausted with all my outrage this week, but believe it or not I am in a girlish tizzy yet again. Two young men have been cut down in the prime of life in Chandler's Ford.

I know nothing about the men brutally shot by armed police in a pre-planned attack on Thursday, but I have no doubt they were completely innocent. Police are probably busy planting evidence and fabricating DNA out of thin air to make out their precious firearms officers are totally innocent, as they always do.

The balls of the British police just know no bounds. Now they think it is acceptable to gun down a poor teenager just because he made a slight mistake and tried to bag a bit of cash from a bank. It was probably drugs that drove him to it, which really makes it the fault of society. If only HSBC had been made to pay more taxes to fund the victim's rehabilitation, this never would have happened. In fact, I think their customers should have to pay for the legal case to have the shooters jailed for murder.

This can't go on.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Yet another police murder:

I am disgusted by this story of a woman who lay dead in a house for three years whilst the police failed to save her life and I fully agree with the IPCC who have said the police let down the family of the victim.

The family of poor Sally Shearing raised the alarm immediately they realised they had not heard from her for months. Clearly the police had utterly failed in their duty to phone and write to Sally's family on a regular basis, reminding them to visit and call her themselves.

It would be inconceivable that a worried relative should have to travel as far as Cornwall to check on the living status of someone dear to them, so at this point the police were dispatched. Can you believe it, the officer who attended failed to break into the house and naively believed the neighbour who thought the occupant lived in a home! It's almost as if the copper was completely oblivious to the fact that neighbours are known to be malevolent liars who want everyone around them to die.

The most shocking part of the case is that it was an INTRUDER who discovered the dead woman three years later. I do hope the police remembered to charge him and get the detection for burglary before thanking him for reporting the corpse.

I strongly recommend new legislation making it the police's job to force entry into the houses of anybody whose family hasn't visited for a while.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Magma Bottom:

Things are looking desperate in Blandmore. Once again.

Every few months manpower levels sink to an all-time low. I think this week was a personal best as I turned up for work to find that briefing was to consist of me and me alone. Don't worry, I made sure the jobs were distributed between myself and myself and made an extra cup of tea just to give the impression things were ok.

If you think you live in Blandmore, you are probably not feeling so great about leaving your car parked around the corner tonight. BUT DO NOT FEAR: yet again Blandshire Senior Management have a cunning plan to save us all: the Police Officer Time-Share (POTS).

Instead of having individual teams made up of 8 or 10 officers, who come in and cover the early, late or night shift, there is now just an amorphous mass of officers belonging to no particular team. On any given day, the sergeant's job is to bring up a list of who should be on duty and phone each one to entice them into the response team's briefing with offers of tea, doughnuts and detections. The result is an eclectic mixture of officers from neighbourhood, dog section, tutor unit and a few from response, to make up the numbers for the day.

It can take up to two hours to reach a full complement of officers, by which time one or other of them is probably reaching the end of their tour of duty. Some have called this process STRESSFUL and A DANGER TO THE PUBLIC, but I just like to refer to it as POTS.

I think ultimately, we all benefit.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Foot-in-Mouth

I am delighted to see that the Countryside is having another bash at doing something important. We see too little of our Green and Pleasant land in the news these days and to be honest if it doesn't start pulling it's weight, we may as well just concrete over it.

It is only at times like these that you hear people bemoaning the loss of the British countryside and campaigning for its survival. I would therefore strenuously encourage farmers to import smallpox to their chickens and burn at least three pyres of cattle a year. If they don't have enough cattle, perhaps they could pile up hay and just lay some skins over it?

Policing in the country must be terrifying, when you think about it. Whereas most of the Mops I deal with in Blandmore phone the police merely as something to do in the evening, Country Folk are altogether a different animal. Not only do you have to drive much longer to get to the incident, but the person making the complaint may actually be a genuine victim of crime. They may even want to pursue the case in court!

Hats off to the Rural Forces, I couldn't do it.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Lonely Nights of an ASBO-Receiver.

At last, some sense from a senior police officer on the matter of ASBOs.

No, not that old chestnut about kids wearing them as a badge of honour. Nor the boring trite that they don't work anyway and prison sentences are pitiful.

No, today it is revealed that Chief Superintendent Neil Wain believes ASBOs fail because "offenders... are given little support to stop them offending". The fact that most ASBOs are breached is apparently evidence of the fact that they aren't working. This is news to me, as I had foolishly thought that most ASBOs would naturally be breached and that the point of them was to provide a hefty five year prison sentence for persistent offenders, where otherwise they would just be charged with minor criminal damages and public order. Being a girl, I guess I misunderstood.

Now that a senior police officer has given some guidance, I will of course be introducing some support systems for the local yobs in Blandmore currently operating under ASBO conditions. The support will follow the E E Bloggs model of hoodie-hugging:
  • A stern lecture.
  • Finger-wagging.
  • Afternoon tea at Bloggsy's.
  • Visiting graffiti'd walls for mourning sessions.
  • A really stern lecture accompanied by a frown.
If that doesn't work, well I just don't know WHAT to suggest.

Interestingly, Ch Supt Wain's views are expounded in his new book, which I believe hit the shelves back in June 2007 and was variously described by tabloid newspapers in no way. Also interestingly, Ch Supt Wain's entry on his Divisional Home Page promises to do "everything in [his] power to tackle nuisance behaviour". Everything, I take it, apart from ASBOs.

(Note to self: check back issues of blog for hypocrisy.)

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Blackberry Picking

Inspector Gadget has reminded me of a piece of local police incompetence and I feel it my duty to pass it on to my loyal readers.

It may amaze you to know that Blandshire Constabulary invested in some Blackberries a few years back. I occasionally come across a colleague who received one of the "Pilot" Blackberries and am always flabbergasted to see them studiously logging in and checking emails on their days off. The one advantage of being able to do this is to discover when your court cases have been cancelled, so you can take the day off and go in the next day claiming you had no idea the case had been cancelled and you spent eight hours sitting in the waiting room. If they bother to audit your inbox to find out that you read the email, you can just claim that the Blackberry crashed.

It may further boggle and bamboozle your mind to hear that Blandshire did not buy state-of-the-art, reliable, versatile, expensive pieces of equipment. This would have been pointless, as even though there would be budgetary savings from not having to replace them in two years, within two years you can bet the superintendent who dreamt up the scheme will have been seconded to the Met and the one who has taken over will think they are a waste of time and scrap them.

The result of this economy is that the Blackberries appear to have a slight downside. Namely that if the battery goes flat while you are logged into your email, you lose all the current emails on the screen. No, you don't just have to log in again at work, nor do you make a quick phone-call to IT Services to sort the problem. They are just gone. Forever.


Unripe blackberries: unpalatable, but free.







You might think there's a simple solution - just don't ever let the battery go flat, ie turn the thing off when you're not using it. WRONG! These genius pieces of equipment CANNOT BE TURNED OFF. They are on, whirring away, sucking power from their lifeline, the entire time.

My colleagues in possession of these delicate creatures have learned to time their use with infinite precision, judging just when to unplug the charger and rush away with a good few hours of email-checking time, and when to drop everything and run home to plug it back in.

As a result of this endearing foible, I have developed a master-plan: whenever I take charge of a particularly irritating, futile or unpleasant crime report, I will log into the crime report system on one of these Blackberries, open said crime report and wait for the battery to run down and expunge it for good. Not only will I never again have to arrest Melinda Hodge for Harassment, but it won't do Blandmore's crime figures any harm either.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Speak first, think... never.

The people of Rothley are UPSET.











They are upset at the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. They are upset with the failed search to find her. They are upset with Robert Murat, who we all know DID IT.

But they are MOST UPSET with the Portuguese police, who have clearly run out of leads and have now decided to investigate Maddie's parents.

Portugal's finest would do well to heed the cries of the Rothley Residents. One of the little-known facts about police work is that the friends, relatives and neighbours of any victim have telepathic powers enabling them to Just Know things. It is for this reason that we Just Know the McCanns are innocent, without needing any details or evidence about the case whatsoever.

Strangely enough, I am dealing with a similar case at the moment. Admittedly, it didn't happen at an Algarve holiday complex but in a garden full of washing machines, and it isn't a child that's missing but a small brown handbag. But I think you'll agree the same rules of investigation apply. In my case, the choices are either (A) someone climbed a 12 foot wall and swiped the bag in the space of three seconds when the victim's daughter's back was turned or (B) the victim's daughter swiped the bag. Either way, apparently it was very hurtful of me to tell the victim I doubt we'll ever find her bag.

I don't know what will happen when I arrest the victim's daughter, but I suspect it will go along the lines of a complaint about me and the descent of a mob on Blandmore Police Station because she DIDN'T DO IT and I'M NOT DOING MY JOB.

Sometimes I wish I weren't doing my job. Sometimes I wish I were doing another, altogether more sensible job, like being a police officer.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

I've been experimented on!

What a disgrace. The government has refused to hold a Public Inquiry into the London bombings. I firmly believe that a Public Inquiry should be held whenever a serious crime is committed, to expose the hidden conspiracies occurring daily in senior police's offices.

This could be rolled out to cover ALL crimes. I propose a new system of working that would follow a course something like this:
  • A crime is reported.
  • A police officer is assigned to investigate it (ie the Officer in the Case or OIC).
  • A further police officer is then allocated as the BLAME OFFICER. This can be the same as the OIC or someone different.
  • Next, a lobby group is assigned to the case. Their job is to publicly denounce every development made by the police or courts.
  • Following the conclusion of the case, the Public Inquiry begins.
  • No matter what the Inquiry reveals, the Blame Officer is fired.
  • New legislation is passed to address the issues raised by the investigation.
It's the only fair way to do things.
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Who are the dumb ones...

Merseyside Police seem to think that this criminal is dumb because he left his name and the name of his gang at the scene of his crime.

It certainly would make life harder for the police if gangs carried out their attacks in secret, never boasted about them and if each gang consisted of one member only. Why don't any of them think of that?

Personally, I don't see the attraction of being in a gang. I mean, what possible pleasure is to be had from prancing about in matching attire, picking on random passers-by and doing whatever you want safe in the knowledge that dozens of your pals will come to avenge you if anyone raises a hand?

Of course, gangs don't have to keep statistics on the numbers of people successfully bullied, nor do they have targets for recruitment of ethnic minorities into their ranks. I do wonder sometimes how they know if they're doing their job properly.










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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Soft" Justice

What is "Soft" Justice? People are always going on about it.

Today, "Soft" Justice is on-the-spot fines. (It should be noted, under certain circumstances, these are also Way Harsh and Unfair.) Tickets can be given out for public order, low value shopliftings, criminal damage, wasting police time, and a few other minor offences that no one's ever heard of. They can't be given out for offences where there's a personal victim (eg assault, sex offence etc). Yet. I've blogged on them before so it should be clear I am in favour of these tickets (mainly because they only involve the creation of a crime report - no statement, custody procedure or court file).
It appears it is Soft to give out a ticket because it doesn't involve a court appearance. What do people imagine happens during a court appearance for one of these minor offences, especially for people who are well used to the judicial system?

I always think it helps to imagine the process as being like Crufts. A series of crazy people who can't get a proper job parade their evidence around the courtroom all washed and fluffed up. After a bizarre show, the judges deliberate and pick their winner. Everyone watching wonders if the judge was looking at the same thing they were.

In any event, there's no use moaning about police over-using these tickets, because if the court system had its way, the police wouldn't be allowed to send anyone to court for anything.

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Time to knuckle down!

Where, oh where, is the Spirit of the Blitz?


I am disgusted at the comments on some of my posts about under-manning and inexperience. It's almost as if police officers seem to think they deserve training, money and support as a matter of course. As if the police is some kind of disciplined organisation performing a vital role in society!




I'm too tired to write more, having just spent the night pulling an armed knifeman from a wrecked car, only to wrestle him to the tarmac and have him arrested, before breaking up three or four fights, dealing with five prisoners, locating a missing child, carrying out a siege for a hostage situation, solving three family crises and giving someone a ticket for driving with a mobile phone.




Only kidding, actually I've been at work.




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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fumbling on the Front-line

Apparently half of BTP's police have less than five years' service. if BTP count their officers the same way Blandshire do, these figures will include officers who are pregnant and stuck in offices, languishing at home with broken limbs and fighting in Iraq. Rolling this out to non-railway-patrolling forces, the figures also almost certainly include detectives and PCs in non-confrontational roles, such as in the Being Nice to Criminals Department.

The actual percentage of inexperienced front-line officers is therefore probably closer to 100%.

If you think I'm kidding, pop into Blandmore nick any time, any day, and try to locate a response officer with more than three years' service who isn't on the brink of transfer to specialist department or the Met (which are NOT the same thing). If you find one, I'll buy you a Mars bar, and you should know I don't give away chocolate.

Why is this? Officially, it's because police forces have "recruited heavily following the July bombings in 2005". Unofficially, it's because of this.

These statistics are a victory for all those responsible for police budgets and training. We have finally achieved the happy state of affairs where you can learn everything you need to know about front-line policing in just a couple of years. For proof, just check out the length of service of the officers who have died by violence on the front-line since 2005.



It only goes to show you don't need to be a seasoned bobby to be successfully shot and stabbed nowadays. Would they have died if there had been more experienced, more numerous colleagues around them? Maybe.

Maybe not.



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