This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Language of Diplomacy

Occasionally (by which I mean most days), I read something that reminds me there are two basic languages spoken in every country: the national tongue and media-talk.

Today it's the story of two girls being "strip-searched" in an American orphanage while their mother languished in hospital. I have no idea how a holiday turned out like this, but the complaints seem to be:
  • They were given new clothes.
  • They had to use communal showers.
  • Photographs were taken of them.
  • They were asked if they had been raped.
  • They were 'medically-examined'.
It doesn't sound very pleasant at all, however I suggest that the orphanage would probably describe it thus:
  • Two girls were left alone in a foreign city, so we took them in.
  • We gave them fresh clothes and let them shower.
  • We took pictures in case they went missing in our care.
  • We checked their welfare, as a lot of the kids who come through our doors have medical problems.
  • A doctor looked them over briefly. (I doubt they were 'examined'.)
A couple of years ago a girl was arrested for racist abuse and the complaints were that her jewellery was taken from her, her fingerprints documented and she was kept in custody for four hours. Which to me sounds like a stroppy teenager went through the normal custody procedure and was dealt with pretty efficiently.

Just to clarify, a "strip-search" is when all your clothes are removed and you are asked to bend over while people look up you. It is NOT being given a change of clothes.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

.... but there again you weren't actually there were you?

Are all your cases built upon such a flimsy foundation of prejudice and supposition?

24 January, 2008 22:55

Blogger PC Bloggs said...


24 January, 2008 22:55

Anonymous notellin said...

I wasn't there either but unless you can provide reasonable grounds for me to suspect that said orphanage is nest of peados i am more likely to believe that second version of events.

Call me funny for assuming people are innocent until proven guilty but its just how i am built.

Four hours, shes lucky, it takes 4 hours to book someone into custody at our nick, you cant anything done in less than 8 and 10 is normal for juveniles. Its a good job i do the innocent until proven guilty thing because judging from her picture and between the lines text ........................

24 January, 2008 23:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My you all do like this ant racist dogma.
Don't worry that the streets are not safe - just arrest anyone who is not anti english regardless or age or anything else.

25 January, 2008 00:09

Blogger staghounds said...

If you can build a case on a flimsy foundation of prejudice and supposition, you needn't apply to join the police. It's right into Parliament for you.

First, ignorant and lazy BBC, it's the United States. The hospital's name has no apostrophe, we did away with monarchs. Second, it's not in Harlem, it's in QUEENS. Not even on the same island as Harlem. It took me 30 seconds to find that out, but then I'm not a trained journaliste.

So I call
Gell-Mann effect
on the whole article to start with.

For anonymous,

PC Bloggs bases her article on having seen exactly how this sort of thing works in England. She extrapolates that experience to the US, where I can tell her exactly the same process goes on.

Here is a random visitor to our country who gets pneumonia. In the land of the HEALTH CARE CRISIS, with NO MEDICAL INSURANCE, she is taken in and treated.

She has two minor daughters. Oddly enough the hospital won't take responsibility for them, and has the AUDACITY to contact the agency that is set up to do exactly that. Or would you prefer this headline?


Two British girls were left on their own for 30 hours and had to sleep in chairs at a hospital in Harlem after their mother became ill during a holiday in the US.

Gemma Bray, 15, and her 13-year-old sister Katie also were given no food, and no one offered to find them housing.

Their mother Yvonne Bray of Appledore, Devon, says their human rights were infringed by the authorities.

(And, seriously, how much is the hospital bill she won't ever pay?)

25 January, 2008 01:06

Anonymous Ordinary Joe said...

In all honesty I have been excluded by classmates this way - they spoke to eachother only in Urdu because they didn't like the imposition of the master putting me in their group.

Of course that was well over 15 years ago so when I complained about that to the master, he observed their behaviour (they could all speak perfect English in difference to the girl's case), put them in detention and they later apologised to me. I later became firm friends with two of them and we went on to study together in maths and physics A level. I am still friends with one of them today.

I have no idea about that particular girl's case but IMHO the matter should have stayed in the classroom. At no point does it seem that the girl's claims were investigated by the teachers or the police prior to arresting her days later. That is wrong and far too heavy handed.

25 January, 2008 01:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just goes to show always take out

25 January, 2008 03:11

Anonymous us detective sergeant said...

WOW are you UK cops paranoid or what?

The "mum" comes to a country that does not provide free universal health care with no travelers health care insurance.

She goes into Queen's Borough General Hospital where most people go that have no means of paying for health care.

The children must be turned over to child protective services because of the lack of adult supervision.

The children, before they are put into the general population of the facility, are undressed and searched for contraband. The children are photographed because they are issued ID tags and a photo goes into the child's jacket so that they can be matched up with "mum" if and when she comes for them. They are asked to take a shower in communal showers so that they can be observed and protected from the not so social children in the facility.

The children are issued utility clothing so that they can be readily identified as residents of the facility which would prevent them from going for a walk never to be seen again and the City of NY would be sued for not protecting the children.

I became ill in London once and was asked for a credit card before a physician would examine me. In the US she received medical assistance first without determining if she could or would pay for the service.

I think mum is looking for some deep pockets....she won't find them in NYC.

So I guess I don't understand what PC Bloggs would have done differently had she been running the health care system of the City of New York. Cops in the US are not assigned babysitting duties.

25 January, 2008 03:37

Blogger thinblueline said...

us detective sergeant

Bloggs has a unique writing style , re- read it and think of some thing ironic at the same time


A real detective from scotland yard....

25 January, 2008 09:01

Anonymous Kev said...

US DC - she's on your side, Sherlock.

And you were asked for a credit card before you got medical help in London???

Was the asker Nigerian in appearance?

And did he run away immediately after you handed it over?

25 January, 2008 09:12

Anonymous Essy said...

Am I missing something ?

Where does it say that the mother didn't have travel insurance or that the hospital treatment she received was free of charge to her ?

Staghounds, where did you get that information from ?

25 January, 2008 10:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

steady , its all getting out of control

sang in comedic soemwhere USA accent

"you say tomato , i say tamdo
tamdo , tamto , lets call the whole thing off"

shoulder to shoulder people , play nicely now.

25 January, 2008 12:45

Blogger Noddy said...

Methinks the mother is a veritable ambulance chaser. Staghounds makes the valid point that the various authorities today, both sides of the pond, are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Beam me up Scotty!

Hang on, am I allowed to say 'beam'? I can get away with Scotty though, but don't anyone else try it!


US Det >>>,

Sarcasm is still alive in the UK and Ellie is an acknowledged expert in the field.

25 January, 2008 13:46

Anonymous notellin said...

@ us detective sergeant.

I think you have the wrong end of the stick. The way i read Bloggsy's post was the way you commented. It seems that your agreeing with her, me and most of us.

You also said:

"I became ill in London once and was asked for a credit card before a physician would examine me."


"In the US she received medical assistance first without determining if she could or would pay for the service."

Well i dont know which Doctor you went to but the National Health Service is free to all. Its a socialised system and my taxes pay for it even if for tourists who become ill. In fact no NHS hospital in the UK actually has the ability to accept payments for NHS treatment unless its £6.40 for a prescription (as long as you can afford it).

Its called Universal Health Care, i believe some of your Presidential Candidates are in favour and Canada has a similar system. I have been to the US and i can tell you, unless you have money you don't have health care.

I assume therefore that you went to a private Doctor, which was a bit stupid.

25 January, 2008 14:07

Anonymous chimchimneychimchimeroo said...

"are all your cases built upon...?

Ellie : Yes"

OMIGOD couldn't stop laughing when i read that. Classic.

25 January, 2008 16:14

Blogger Boy said...

Ooo It's all kicking off! I'm also impressed how this has turned into a healthcare arguement from a press arguement.

I regularly bore my friends with tales about how we in the UK are controlled by the press; The brighter among the populus can do what PC Bloggs has done and read between the lines, and see where a newspaper is making news where there was none. Most people will read it and be outraged.


25 January, 2008 17:21

Anonymous us detective sergeant said...

Thin blue line;

I was in London to teach a Homicide Investigation class to UK Detectives. I learned that the "real detectives" were actually Metropolitan Police Investigators and "Scotland Yard" was just an address.

As to being stupid; when I became ill two D/S from Special Branch took me to "their" physician who in turn charged me for his services.

As for Canadian universal health care. I live in the Desert Southwest where we have a large number of snow birds travel down from Canada for the winter. You can't get into local hospitals because of all the Canadians having their surgeries which they had rather pay for rather than receive "free" in Canada.

Guess I'll just keep my dog on the porch in the future and observe.

25 January, 2008 22:45

Anonymous Black Jaque LeFavre said...

Staghounds 1:06

You are honestly believe that you can extrapolate from a single datum?

What a mathematical ignoramus you are.

Don't use analogies that you don't understand eh? ... kinda makes you look like some upper class twit inbred oaf.

(As for the apostrophe business: well technically you're right - if you assume that in language, common usage equates to proper usage - but are you familiar with the origin of the name of that particular Borough of New York)?

26 January, 2008 00:34

Blogger thinblueline said...

I was in London to teach a Homicide Investigation class to UK Detectives

LOL funny as fuck ...

I belive we are the ones who teach you, if I remember right from my MIT course your crime scene management is shite :)
any way not your fault you just have so many murders a day you cant really be expected to put in a decent job.

And S/b ( lol funney .. most are Branch detectives - ie only title )

And I'm sure you were told that all "REAL" detectives are from the yard when introduced

Its nearly all changed now with proper national exams and qualifications

Its not a bash mate but its clear a lot of things have moved on, By the way any jobs going in your neck of the desert , pay here sucks :)

26 January, 2008 12:28

Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Thinblueline

"A real detective from scotland yard...."

Ah, so we actually have one then.

26 January, 2008 13:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That strip search looks fun to me. Perhaps I can volunteer to assist police training in the procedure.

26 January, 2008 14:46

Blogger staghounds said...

For those who seem to think American hospital doors are blocked by the corpses of the uninsured, practice in emergencies is treat first worry about payment later. The indigent- which people from "free health care" places usually are for U. S. medical payment are- are treated at taxpayer expense.

I've since learned that she did have travel insurance, but even if she hadn't, she would have been treated. Just as I would be in a British hospital, even though NHS is now supposed to be charging foreigners.

Mr. Lefavre, I extrapolate that there's no apostrophe in the name because I looked up the hospital's web site, and it's spelled with no apostrophe. The BBC
reporter" failed to do that simple step, or failed to proofread.

That was my point, the professionals got both the spelling and the location wrong although both are easily found.

And my experience has been that generally places in the U. S. which originally had monarchical apostrophes discarded them. Not always, but it's the way to bet.

29 January, 2008 03:35

Blogger thinblueline said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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