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)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

humani nil a me alienum

These are aliens.

These, sadly, are humans.

There's been a lot of talk about the UNDERCLASS lately. This Underclass claims benefits, robs hard-working people, laughs at police officers in trouble and spits in the general direction of the taxpaying majority.

Some people respond to this by blaming the government, some blame the rich, some blame social division, some blame biology, some blame the Underclass itself, and some say there isn't an Underclass, just paedophiles.

Whichever one of the above you go for, there are always two sides to every story. For example, this week a thirteen-year-old ran from the police onto the M1 and was killed by a car. To the family, the child was caring and loving. To the police, he was a runaway bike thief. To his mates, he was unlucky. To a member of Brake, he was the victim of irresponsible driving laws. To the random guy who lives on the estate, it's all the fault of the Council for not making the barriers around the motorway fourteen feet tall. The same could be said for any tale of heroism or woe.

In actual fact all may be right. I will never forget after I'd been in the job a few weeks and was down in custody supervising a prisoner for signs of imminent suicide (he was actually in a better mood than me). While he smoked a cigarette we chatted about the book he was reading (The Great Gatsby), what he thought of the Labour government, what kind of car I should buy next, that kind of thing. He was an all-round nice bloke. Not over-educated, not special, just basically nice.

Just before I put him back in his cell, I asked why he had been refused bail for the meagre offence of common assault. He replied, "Well I'm a convicted sex offender and I failed to notify my change of address." I went and looked him up on the computer later. He had eight convictions for raping boys under 13.

It's nice to pretend these people are another class, an Underclass. They aren't. They're as human as you or I, and as humans they should not be alien to us.

It doesn't mean I still think he's a nice guy though.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger Metcountymounty said...

one of those few insights you can only really get doing our job, even if it does make you feel a bit sick inside occasionally.

10 January, 2008 20:39

Blogger Bitseach said...

Hmm...and yet you can see the face on the briefing slide on somebody else's computer from the other side of the room and still normally (accurately) say, "Nonce?" before you read the slide. It's something about the glasses. And the sweat. And the pasty (usually white, or is that racist?) skin....

10 January, 2008 23:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The underclass are only the underclass because of the liberal do-gooder mentality of the Government.
People have realised that you don't have to struggle and work to feed your family and have a house - you can sit on your backside and sponge off the state, having your *rse wiped by a whole host of guardian reading nonjob social workers.
People were poor in the 30's and 40's - they didnt steal though and went to work and brought up children - many of whom went into respectable jobs and careers. The difference was they had to and didnt have a safety net which was reserved for the really poor and destitute.
Somewhere along the line this safety net seems to have got infinitely bigger.

11 January, 2008 08:53

Anonymous pcr said...

I don’t have a job. I don’t need one; you give me money anyway. And a house. And pay my bills.
If I want new stuff I just nick it.
I’ve got a girlfriend. I beat her up every now and again, but she doesn’t mind.
I don’t live with her, so I just go out all the time.
I getting pissed up and fighting. But only when I’ve got my mates with me. I can’t do it on my own.
I like kicking people’s wing mirrors off. That’s fun.
Shouting outside old people’s houses in the middle of the night is good as well.
I’ve got a kid. You pay for his food and clothes so I don’t have to. My girlfriend looks after him, so I don’t see him very often, but my mum says he’s going to grow up just like me, which is good.
I am human, but not like you………

11 January, 2008 12:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the Police Blogs agree on the same thing, the underclass are the problem and its politicians who have created this problem.

Well you can Carry On Blogging forever about it or you could do something about it.

What, I have no idea but I'm sure you could all do better than this.

11 January, 2008 14:10

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Blogging about it IS "doing something" about it!

11 January, 2008 16:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I agree bloging is doing something about it and I agree with most of what is said but it makes me so angry that the politicians are so useless I only wish you blogers had far more power somehow to change things more quickly, I'm just frustrated.

11 January, 2008 17:40

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

anon, if everyone were to gather in one place to 'change things quickly' well... that would be called a revolution and I'm pretty sure there would be quite a bit of bloodshed and anarchy in the process.

11 January, 2008 20:50

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember that channel 4programme about that prison govener in Arizona?

He wore a Stetson hat and said "break my heart" a lot when questioned about prison food, dental care and the work details of digging ditches in the 100 degree heat. I bet the inmates are all beating a trail to re offend and go back there for more. I think the programme was designed to illustrate the awful conditions in the American prison system. I bet most (98%) of the population of the UK would welcome this as an alternative to the fiasco we have now. Any detractors: `Break my heart`.

11 January, 2008 21:18

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

anon I did see that program, I thought the point was to show that reoffending rates were low becuase the place was such a complete hole, they lived in tents, wore pink clothes and worked on chain gangs for rediculously poor quality food. they did a follow up with some british 'gansta' wannabes and it absolutely scared the crap out of them, along with the occasional (sincere) threats of rape and murder whilst staying there.

11 January, 2008 21:43

Blogger Emma said...

I suppose it just goes to show you never really know who is stood next to you..x

11 January, 2008 22:06

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

Emma the easiest way to look at it is, if you think they're a wierdo, they usually are, that's why we still have instinct and gut feeling, because it's right most of the time!!

11 January, 2008 22:25

Anonymous notellin said...


Quick change of topic, i was watching the news today and saw a very touching piece on a young lad with a very nasty, low survival cancer called Neuroblastoma. It attacks kids, young kids normally from the age of 2 or so. The bit on TV had the lad only 5 or so talking and aware of his own mortality. The lads name is Jack Brown and i warn you its a bit heartbreaking.

His parents, who are both Police Officers, are in a desperate drive to raise money for more treatment something £350,000 or so i think.

Can I put this link here for anyone to have a look at please? They have a donations and “how can you help” bit on the website.

12 January, 2008 10:17

Blogger iarocu said...

"It's nice to pretend these people are another class, an Underclass. They aren't. They're as human as you or I,"

The underclass are human but they are still the underclass. Just as being middle class or upper class doesn't stop you being human.

I don't think the underclass is about being poor either it is about values and respect for others.

I've seen different definitions of the underclass. I prefer the one proposed in the 1980s by Charles Murray who predicted many of todays problems.

"Murray believes that children brought up in single parent families have lacked a male role model and therefore discipline in families has decreased. Young males without a role model and without discipline are now running wild. Without employment also, these young men are turning to crime and drugs. Murray states that their behaviour is "deplorable", and their values "contaminate the life of entire neighbourhoods". Their values are passed on to younger males."

12 January, 2008 11:40

Anonymous Jaques said...

Nice change of tone. A quite well-crafted change of gear with the rhetorical device.

One piece of advice though, the title: presumably you did not mean to say: " Kindness nil a me somebody else's" ? In Latin, "Not human" is "Non humanus" ... and as for the rest exercise for the class?

12 January, 2008 14:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Metcounty - Regards your Instinct and your ...Gut

Please explain then why:-

Police forces around the country have paid out more than £44 million in compensation and damages in the past five years, mostly to victims of alleged police misconduct.

The bulk was paid out for wrongful arrests, assaults, malicious prosecutions and abuses of human rights.

The figures show that between 2002 and 2007 the 55 police forces received more than 31,000 claims.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, the successor to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, received 150 claims for every 100,000 people in the Province and paid out £9.5 million in court judgments, settlements and compensation.

12 January, 2008 14:31

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Sorry Jacques, guess you'll have to take it up with Terence, who died in 150BC or so. That's the pesky thing about quotations, you're stuck with whatever the guy said.

12 January, 2008 16:24

Anonymous Jaques said...

PC Bloggs - Ah, I see.

In that case, there's a bit missing off the front and the back of it.... "Homo (humanus) sum; humani nil a me alienum puto" would make sense. Something along the lines of "I am a human being and so, nothing human is strange to me"

In which case, the subtext of the rest of your post is very poignant.

I was moved by it.

12 January, 2008 17:29

Anonymous Greys said...

Hey PC Bloggs if you ever meet me, and your looking for something Latin to say:
Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?

12 January, 2008 17:55

Anonymous ted said...

Anon said

"The bulk was paid out for wrongful arrests, assaults, malicious prosecutions and abuses of human rights."

I would suggest that in the UK authorities, including the police, bend over backwards to protect peoples human rights. Contrast the above human rights story with some of the abuses on

Last time I looked there wasn't any UK human rights abuses listed on Human Rights Watch homepage.

12 January, 2008 19:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice attempt at a smoke screen, Ted.

However, I suggest that you don't look at lobbyist's homepages but try the FOI Act and source the kosher information straight from HM Government ...

... or this piece in the Times:

or even

You plod are club handed, hypocritical oafs.

Lot of discourse in these blogs lately about Plod and the underclass. For a lot of you sorry , qualitatively, there is no difference between you and the only group in society which you claim to be superior to.

12 January, 2008 19:47

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

anon, yet another pathetic attempt a trolling and insulting... If you read my comment I said -

"if you think they're a wierdo, they usually are, that's why we still have instinct and gut feeling, because it's right most of the time!!"

There is a little thing called evidence and belief in guilt that we have to have before making an arrest, it doesn't mean that I can't use gut feeling and instinct. I will be the first to admit that my gut feeling and first instincts about someone have been wrong in the past, usually it's actually a pleasant surprise, however sometimes it's a very unwelcome one.

It has done a pretty good job of stopping me getting seriously injured a few times and a damn good job of helping me pick out and find suspects, especially drink drivers and burglars.

So, if you don't mind terribly, I'll keep using my gut feeling, and encouraging other people to do the same thing.

Thanks for your input though, always valued and welcome.

12 January, 2008 21:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rely on instinct and intuition to help you detect drink drivers and burglars? - you need a six sense, because you ack the other five I suppose?

(Hint: erratic driving smell of alcohol on breath and seeing people exiting from windows instead of doors... bit subtle I know mate but....)

Then you r furious back pedaling..

...Metcounty Old Fruit - so basically what your saying about gut instinct i that you've got no guts.

I can certainly believe that.

.. and that, above all is most probably the real thing that has prevented you: "..getting seriously injured a few times..."

12 January, 2008 22:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW: Metcounty, Od Fruit -

- your devastating response to the fact that £44 million has been paid out in compensation and damages in the past five years, mostly for wrongful arrests, assaults, malicious prosecutions etc,

Mostly due to lower echelon Plod like you using their "gut instinct" what exactly?

12 January, 2008 22:17

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

furious back pedalling? you need to live a bit and see what proper fury is my friend.

And my response to the fact that there have been £44m in payouts is simply this - shit happens, life is unfair and people make mistakes.

People get things wrong and sometimes others have the luxury of sitting in a nice safe warm office deciding if an action that someone took with whatever information they had at the time was wrong, sometimes unjustly but that is a matter of ones perspective. When you have people dealing with people you're going to get mistakes of which there will always be outcry but then everyone ignores the times when whomever made whatever decision which happened right. Which, funnily enough, is considerably more often than not, whether you believe it or not.

Exactly what perfect system do you suggest to replace it? complete 100% compliance by every citizen with the letter of every law as decided by a unbiased and unsympathetic robot? That is pretty close to the system we are getting and as expected the public (that would be you) don't like it.

We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't, personally I'd rather get off my arse and actually be out there doing something (again, whether you acknowledge that fact or not, I don't care really) than sitting in the comfort of my home slagging off those who do choose to do something.

12 January, 2008 23:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Metcounty, pardon me for stepping in -
Anon 2145 (and earlier)- ever been in the job?

13 January, 2008 22:48

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I meant 2217 on the 12th

13 January, 2008 22:51

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Metcounty Old Fruit... I should " a bit and see what proper fury is .."

That's who you are today is it? - Captain Fury and your power is your boundless rage. .. as always, that absurd hero complex of yours still shining through I see.

Wading through the excessive use of the passive voice in your grammatically-mangled waffle, all your evasion and prevarication - it seems that you do (grudgingly) admit to :-

Habitual gross errors of judgment.

No doubt you are referring to your own daily misadventures more than anything else - but no doubt the rest of your lower echelon Plod buddies are just a capable as you at being inept and incompetent.

BTW you say : "..personally I'd rather get off my arse and.." Really?.... Well, you've been bleating for a long time about how the job is f*cked and packing it all in and going to NSW where you'd be appreciated.

What's stopping you? Except for the fact that you're all all gob, of course.

14 January, 2008 00:50

Blogger Bitseach said...

What a rude little person this latest Anon is. And what's this about we Plod being "Club-handed"? I can't work out if it's more disablist or anti-left-handed.

Either way, what paucity of thought! Chin-chin, Old Fruit! [freak]

15 January, 2008 23:24

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacques: It's a quote from the latin poet Terentius; usually given in the longer form "Homo sum : nil humani alienum a me puto"

Roughly translatable as " I am a man: I regard nothing of man as alien to me"

Ellie's subset means "Nothing of man is alien to me"

('man' the species, not the sex)


16 January, 2008 10:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitseach let's see -

- you're someone who's keen to offended, relishing it in fact.

... guess you ain't married eh, fella?

17 January, 2008 13:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, Bitseach is female.

17 January, 2008 18:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'nuff said

17 January, 2008 22:21

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