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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Monday, February 11, 2008

Yet again I read more emergency service whinges. This time it's the firemen complaining about being attacked when they go to fight fires.

I mean, honestly, it's almost as if firemen think people should be GLAD to see them, and welcome them towards the blaze with open arms. Some even think they should be THANKED after saving someone's life!

This kind of naivete in our nation's emergency services has no place in the Twenty-First Century. Police officers have long been told by magistrates that they should expect to get assaulted whilst on duty - it's just part of the job. Those people who do attack the police are merely reacting to government bureaucracy and red tape and should not be held responsible for their actions. Under no circumstances should they go to prison.

Likewise paramedics need to toughen up. Just because they risk their lives driving a large vehicle through red lights to help the injured and dying doesn't mean they aren't fair game for random attacks and happy-slapping.

There is only one emergency service where their job is to turn up to reports of emergencies and then hide in a cupboard to call the police - if you don't want to be assaulted at work, just become a PCSO.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

I agree. It is totally outrageous that on the ONE occasion that Trumpton get called out each night, someone should attack them. It's the blue lights. It confuses the underclass. This simply does NOT happen to them on their second and third jobs, why should they put up with it.

11 February, 2008 20:21

Blogger Minbu said...

Brilliant blog - as always!

11 February, 2008 20:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't they just turn their hoses on them?
They probably need a good wash anyway.

11 February, 2008 21:58

Anonymous Somebloke said...

" Fire Brigades Union says.
Assaults rose from 1,300 in 2006 to 1,500 in 2007...
Official figures fell from 1,300 to 400. "

So who do we believe ? And why ?

11 February, 2008 23:11

Anonymous xtp said...

You've struck a nerve there! An old Paramedic friend of mine used to say (about the brigade) "They're the only emergency service that has to be told what to do" which always made me smile. Can you imagine if WE went to calls with an insp, a sarge an 6 bobbies? Then when we got there all stood around and waited for the insp to tell the sarge to tell the bobbies what to do? Unless we were cutting the roof off a car, cutting the battery wires about 45 mins after the car has crashed ( and is quite obviously not going to catch fire) or standing all over a scene for a group hug!

Save lives?!!! I tell you - if I'm ever lying upside down in a ditch suspended by my seatbelt and I hear wailers I'll be fervently crossing my fingers for an ambulance and hoping it's not a half-dozen part-time plumbers

11 February, 2008 23:44

Blogger Boy said...

Here Here!

12 February, 2008 01:32

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, the team spirit :P

12 February, 2008 09:31

Anonymous purpleavenger said...

PCSO aren't the emergency services , more of a discussion service

12 February, 2008 18:41

Blogger PCSO said...

How vary true...

12 February, 2008 19:54

Blogger PCSO said...

Sorry, 'very.' :I

12 February, 2008 19:57

Anonymous Michael said...

But face it, dear friend on a horse,PCSOs are largely the future of policing in the UK (whether you like it or not).

The reason is that they inspire confidence in most, if not all, of those who see their uniforms!

(And they are really much cheaper and, for the time being, more "scarecrow effective" than real police officers.)

No point in resisting,
just get used to it.


13 February, 2008 11:19

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

Michael, if PCSO's are indeed the future of policing then they will not be cheaper at all. They are employees with the right to strike and join trade unions and not holders of office as we are, so when the government inevitably give them more powers and responsibilities, their unions will fight (and will win) for significantly higher pay than they already get as it will be a drastic change in responsibility and danger compared to what they are currently paid for. In some cases PCSO's are paid more than a PC of 6 years service, and the new pension system is virtually the same for new officers as the ones that PCSO's can opt into, so it will work out as being significantly more expensive.

The other issue is warranted officers will end up being formed into a purely confrontational policing role like the gendarmerie/policia nationale in the rest of Europe where they have 3 tiers of policing (local, national and federal) which is the way we are currently heading with PCSO's, Police officers and SOCA. Policing by consent will be completely out of the window and the UK will be a fully police state instead of being on the cusp as we are now.

13 February, 2008 11:48

Blogger PCSO Bloggs said...

Metcountymounty, I think you have something there with your observation on the way things are going, you're probably wright. Though, I cannot believe that, at this point in time, we have PCSOs on more than a PC with six years service? That’s ludicrous.

13 February, 2008 12:04

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

PCSO Bloggs, you're obviously not in London.

13 February, 2008 12:07

Blogger PCSO Bloggs said...

In which case you’re talking about London weighting, their basic would be far les. Even a cleaner in London is on more than a PC out in the sticks, living, travelling and food costs are far higher.

13 February, 2008 13:57

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

er no.... thats a PCSO with less than 2 years in London - being paid more than PC with 6 years in London, after london weighting, shift allowance etc. I know of PCSO's in my old force who have close to 3-4 years being paid more than a Police officer with the same amount of service. In those cases it was argued (by PCS apparently) that PCSO's who work nights should get more than those paid to work only during the day, they couldn't lower the pay for the day staff so they increased the pay for the night staff, meaning they take home more than Police officers.

The only benefit Met PCSO's don't get is the free travel, but then the Met pay an annual amount to network rail for that specifically for police officers to attract from outside the force area. This is in no way uncommon, especially in central London where there are far more PCSO's because of the security zones. PCS are also trying to fight for equal london weighting for PCSO's and also the free travel.

Not too bad for what they do compared to what we are trained and required to do.

13 February, 2008 14:28

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

just as an aside.. some of the higher paid PCSO's take home about £450 a month more than some A&E nurses from the 5 A&E units in my division.

13 February, 2008 14:31

Anonymous Michael said...


You seem to have gotten rather side tracked there!

Never mind, back to your comments on my post:

Your worry about "warranted" officers (I suppose you mean constables) being mainly used in confrontational roles is quite close to what is intended, in the long run.

However, constables are too expensive, and too independent-minded, and not really subject to the discipline that a gendarmarie or a paramilitary force needs.

The current batch of police officers (with the possible exception of ex RUC members of PSNI) are not up to scratch when it comes to real confrontational policing. You have no idea at all how a gendarmarie, or paramilitary police force, really functions.

The days of policing by consent have long gone. Soon it is going to be either PCSOs, or the iron fist of the Interior Ministry troops.

That is what your bosses already know, and they are already manoevering into position for the new jobs in the offing.

And, until the "warranted" ones have been pensioned off or made redundant, or otherwise persuaded to go, the government has very clear plans as to the way ahead: do not believe all that you read about claims of shortages in the armed forces.

Best wishes, anyway.


13 February, 2008 15:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm a fish!

13 February, 2008 15:56

Anonymous Anonymous said...


a reasoned argument , the cost IS the real basis of the political changes happening . Cameron too has similar plans .

However, your analysis is Eurocentric, and in that comparison there are reasons why the UK is different to , say , France or Spain .

Those countries have a different threshold to crime , the recording of it and public expectations of an in-depth investigation .

The result is that a PC/DC in the UK has to carry out more varied and demanding roles than his European counter part,or USA ,for that matter.

One such example demonstrates this .Operation Ore ,Child porn subscribers who used credit cards,emanated from the USA

The USA found 35,000 subscribers and arrested a few hundred

The UK took the list , got 7,300 subscribers and have /are working there way through appx 3000 court files bought to justice .
The USA simply had different rules of evidence and procedure and shut the investigation down !


for Differing European requirements for imprisoning a burglar (buried in the report a few pages down )UK residents expect more of their law enforcement/courts , another example.


13 February, 2008 20:44

Anonymous Anonymous said...

""However, your analysis is Eurocentric""
Err..this is the way to be though when our elected leaders are taking us daily further down the road to full integration in the European Bureaucratic Socialist Superstate.
They did promise us a referendum but that is another story.
I too forsee PCSOs being the "community police", the cops being "national police" and SOCA "the feds". It doesnt take much to drop the "support" out of PCSO...
All the other Euro "states" have tiered policing. In order to be incorporated into the master plan who thinks we will be allowed to be any different?

13 February, 2008 21:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear PC Bloggs,

What with your post last week about PCSO's hiding in the cupboard, your dig at them this week, anyone would think you had a downer on them. Did a PCSO stand you up on a date, never mind, you should be over it after a couple more posts.

13 February, 2008 21:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Metcountymounty at 11.48 on 13 Feb referred to Policing by consent. This went out the window long ago and now there is only Policing by sufferance. Due to Home Office targets and Government 'guidelines' victims are now offenders, offenders are now victims and the majority of those arrested have not committed any recordable offences. I was threatened with arrest for carrying a Philips screwdriver in my anorak pocket (At 23.10 hrs I had just left my daughter's home where I had been putting together some IKEA furniture and was walking home) - the reason for the stop check was never explained to me nor the explanation under PACE for the search. I then suggested to the officers that if they wished to arrest me, they would be responsible for their decision, as would my comments to the duty Inspector, Duty Solicitor and IPCC. During the short discussion that followed, I explained that I was ex job and they explained that they were being pursued for stop and search stats as the end of the month was looming.
Letters to the Chief Constable and the Police Authority produced nothing more than the bog standard 'get out of trouble' phrases that are normally heard in Politic speak.
It's up to you to decided whether this will continue.

13 February, 2008 21:56

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever nect - The public will be expecting Police officers to actually arrest offenders.
In light of the current political situation I can see some sensitive Police officer suting her Chief Constable and the Police Authority for the trauma suffered in having to arrest an offender - and that officer receiving several thousands of pounds in compensation. Don't laugh - instead, read tomorrow's papers.

13 February, 2008 22:00

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Can I please have one of the "Interior Ministry Troops" jobs? I am serious, I would LOVE that job.

14 February, 2008 11:49

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gadget, stop simpering eh?

14 February, 2008 17:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Metcounty - the answer is obvious.

If you're not going to NSW after all, then why not become a PCSO?

As you say,the pay is better, the hours shorter and you even have the right to strike and there is none of the ongoing aggro associated with your current heroic and unappreciated labours

In fact, why don't all disgruntled PC s elect to become PCSO s?

14 February, 2008 17:25

Blogger stuart said...

You seem to forget that when a policeman gets attacked, he can arrest them and give them a night in a cell/fine them.

Should a paramedic or fireman retaliate against an attacker, they'll be charged with assault and lose their job. I'm pretty sure a fireman in Glasgow turned his hose on a bunch of yobs attacking them and got charged for it.

You might get attacked, but you have a way of dealing with it

15 February, 2008 10:13

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

Stuart, you are unfortunately absolutely right, if a firefighter or paramedic uses force they could be subject to a criminal investigation, however no more so than if I were to use force in defending myself or another person and someone perceives it to be excessive.

I am obviously aware of some very very few cases where emergency services have been attacked, fought back and then been prosecuted however compared to the number that are not it really is minor. I can only speak for what I have personally witnessed, but I've seen paramedics, doctors, firefighters and nurses use force to defend themselves and have never arrested, nor seen anyone else arrest, any one of them. As far as I and everyone I work with are concerned, we are all colleagues and I would defend them just as much and just as aggressively as I would anyone I work on shift with.

Attacks happen all the time, it's just that no one really hears about it, the fact that paramedics all over the country routinely wear body armour (in London it is quite rare in my experience to see one without armour, especially on night duties) is testimony to how bad the situation is. Unless severe punishments are handed out to those who attack all the emergency services, there is no teeth to back up the threat. The new legislation giving a £5k fine is completely pointless, no judge will every issue and secure a £5k fine on some little shit on welfare who has never worked in their life.

I could turn up to a paramedic or fire crew being attacked and then happily and rightly kick ten barrels of shit out of the low life attacking them, but I'll be out of a job before I finished my shift as those further up the chain would never tolerate such an approach. The same goes for all the emergency services, they are so risk, litigation and media averse that they would rather discipline staff for using force than back them up all the way and vigorously fight any allegations.

15 February, 2008 20:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The procedure for a Police Officer under investigation is a nice chat with the Guv, then a chat with HR etc. If you’re in the right than no big deal. If you are a member of public, or one of the other emergency services, the procedure is an arrest and an interview under caution. That’s very different.

15 February, 2008 22:56

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Last anon, it really depends on the charge. If it's excessive force or dishonesty, as a police officer you can expect a taped interview under caution, with Fed Rep and/or Solicitor present. It's not an "arrest" as such. If you're suspected of an actual criminal offence, you can and will be arrested too. Gone are the days of "nice chats".

15 February, 2008 23:04

Anonymous Michael said...

Re Inspector Gadget's Comment
@ 14 February, 2008 11:49

You see: "manoevering" already...



17 February, 2008 08:11

Blogger stuart said...

Wow - for some reason I expected a bit of hostility for my last comment and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised with the response I got :)

It is a completely dreadful situation that we seem to be in, that the criminal gets more support than the victim.

There's a policeman in Glasgow who's been arrested for allegedly attacking a suspect (under 16). However, it's the same individual that was arrested previously for being drunk and carrying a knife and there was a big media fuss because he was kept in a cell for 47 hours or something. He probably deserved a good kicking, because if I was somehow sentencing the little shit he'd be in a juvenile detention centre, or whatever they're called now.

19 February, 2008 01:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes but pc boggs, therein lies the difference. You are more protected as a Cop than an MOP.

I work for the Met and have been a controller for some time. I know of many officers who have been arrested for public order related offences, and numerous other things, most escaped with a demotion, or a telling off and a transfer away from their friends to another station.

Most escape the arrest under caution and as you say, there is a talk with a Fed rep, possibly a solicitor and HR. but that seldom goes on their criminal record does it?

19 February, 2008 10:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s much like army soldiers, they get arrested one night, handed over to the RMPs the next morning for a few laps round the army base, that’s the punishment. There just seems to be a bit of a law for them and one for us approach. I’m not suggesting allegations whilst in uniform are dealt with in the same way, far from it. I know that you can potentially receive a complaint of excessive force every Friday or Saturday night, It’s ridicules to expect an arrest and interview under caution for every allegation. But out of uniform, in civvy street, if you commit a crime, the procedure and the punishment should be exactly the same. It’s only fair.

19 February, 2008 10:15

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Anon, you're missing the point. The non-arrest, Fed-rep, professional standards interviews are for allegations that are not criminal offences, for which members of public would never even be spoken to. If it is a criminal offence, the officer probably will be arrested nowadays, unless an extremely trivial one (the kind for which we would probably do a voluntary interview for a Mop too).

19 February, 2008 19:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No I’m not missing the point bloggsy. If you commit a crime, no mater how trivial, in uniform and on duty, you will not be arrested and interview under caution. This was my initial point.

22 February, 2008 15:34

Anonymous Major General Aysation said...

In answer to Anonymous - 19 February, 2008 10:15
"It’s much like army soldiers..." Mmmm, here's a contributor trying to prove a point by providing a generalisation NOT based on experience me thinks. Allow me to provide an insight into the mysteries of military law and dispell the illusion that squaddies (Armed Forces generally) get off easy. For one; You certainly don't do laps of the drill square to atone for your sins. If you are brought back to your Regiment by RMPs, the powers that be within the Regiment take a very dim view. Assuming the matter is NOT being investigated further by the Military or Civil Police the regiment deals. There's no recorded interviews under caution and lawyers present at tax payers expense here by the way... You're on your own. Trivial offences are usually handled by a Squadron Commander (O.C.) who can award hefty fines (up to 3 days pay) and/or restriction of privilage (that's lashings of F***about Factor). If said O.C. feels his powers are not adequate to deal with the accused he can refer him to the Commanding Officer (C.O) who can remove rank, award a custodial sentence (ie. remove the individuals freedom... and that's not the comfortable single room, pool tables and playstations Civvy nick by the way, it's a proper pokey with bars and a single dim bulb and a shouty man in your face 18 hours a day.) for up to seven days or less and award fines of up to seven days pay. If he (decent upstanding individual that he is) feels it's beyond his remit he can refer to Courts Martial (Military offences) or to Civilian Court (Civil offences). At any point in the procedings the accused can elect for trial by Courts Martial too but must make this decision before accepting any punshment at any layer (O.C, C.O etc) The rule of thumb tends to be, take it on the chin, you get less of a drubbing going in front of the old man (sometimes) obviously if you are innocent you would take it all the way but in most instances you're NOT innocent and even if you ARE innocent... sometimes you're still NOT. Please don't trivialise Military Justice (Now there's a contradiction) It's traumatic at best (bless!), designed to encourage discipline in troops by example and works very effectively. It WILL get you every time. With charges like "Conduct contrary to good order and military discipline (AA 1955. Sect 69)" available, that gives the prosecutors a lot of scope to bag you. I appreciate it doesn't stop ALL Squaddies being t**ts in the town square on a Friday night but then again there are wa***rs in all walks but rest assured if said soldier is passed back to his Unit for disciplinary action, he will be dealt with in a far more severe fashion than that which the civvy courts appear to be doing. Bin there, done that... don't recall a tee shirt being available though.
Thanks for listenin'... I still miss it!
Major General Ayesation

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15 April, 2009 10:12


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