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.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Pursuit of Happyness

There's an interesting debate going on here. It started about moustaches on PCSOs and somehow turned into a serious and upsetting litany of anecdotes on under-staffing, the inadequacies of neighbourhood policing, "ethical" crime recording and number-crunching management.

The dissatisfaction for some reason seems to be aimed at the wondrous inventions of NCRS and Ethical Crime Recording, Neighbourhood Policing and the Drive against ASB.

It isn't possible to sum up in one post just how positive and excellent all these new policies are, but I'll give you an example of how things have changed since their introduction. Bear with me, things to do with NCRS are never short:

Let's imagine that two people call the police in Blandmore. One, a petrol station manager, has just seen a beige jeep fill up with fuel and drive off without paying. The other is Kyra Wilkins. She calls the police most days to complain that brother Donald is harassing her by text, that her kids are out of control in the garden and she wants them arrested, or that she saw her ex-partner down the leisure centre and he glared at her in a racist way.

Police response Pre-NCRS/Neighbourhood: Police deploy to the petrol station. They might catch the jeep as it makes off, they might not. Either way, they seize CCTV, take a quick statment and track down the offender pretty soon through intelligence/computer checks. It turns out the jeep has made off without paying for fuel 5 times before. It is also out committing all kinds of burglary, isn't insured and failed to stop after knocking down a cyclist a month ago. It takes them a while to get to Kyra Wilkins, but eventually they do and listen to her woes, before telling her to change her number, sort her kids out and perhaps just ignore her ex.

Police response Post-NCRS/Neighbourhood: As we now have a racist/domestic/child protection incident on our hands, Kyra Wilkins is graded for one-hour response. Three crime reports for harassment, criminal damage and racially aggravated public order have already been created and the relevant parties entered as suspects. If these suspects are not charged, Blandshire Constabulary will see a severe dip in detected crime. Police therefore spend 2-3 hours taking statements from Kyra and the rest of the week arresting the offenders. All the incidents are too trivial even for the CPS, and all prosecutions are dropped. If any do make it to court, they are binned there by frustrated magistrates.

Meanwhile... the theft of fuel is downgraded for slow-time enquiries by the Crime Desk:
  • A pack is sent to the petrol station by a civilian investigator, arriving two weeks later, to be filled in by the witness.
  • It goes into an in-tray and is completed within a couple of weeks. The CCTV may or may not have been erased by that time. The statement may or may not contain evidential points of law vital for a successful prosecution.
  • Now one month since the offence, the civilian investigator receives the pack discovers that the jeep is involved in lots of other crimes.
  • The offences are collated, whilst the jeep continues to burgle, steal and mow people down.
  • 6-8 weeks since the offence, the civilian investigator has identified a suspect, although can't be sure without going to the address - which he/she is not allowed to do in case the suspect is there.
  • The package is allocated to a police officer.
  • Following arrest, the jeep is never recovered having been burnt out a week ago, and the evidence of the petrol thefts is so lousy that the whole thing is dropped.

As you can see, both Kyra Wilkins and the petrol station manager are happy in the Twenty-First Century. Kyra, because she got to see a police officer pretty quickly. The petrol station manager because he didn't have to sit with the police for an hour doing paperwork.

All the people burgled/run over/robbed by the jeep driver...? Well, they'll never know how easily the police could have caught the offender, so they're happy too.

Coming soon: proof of what the government KNEW about NCRS before it happened, and what they did about it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.

18 Comments:

Blogger Paradise Driver said...

Just curious. How many "events" will Amy Winehouse have to be involved in before anything is really done? 100? 1,000? 1,000,000?

27 April, 2008 20:02

 
Blogger Metcountymounty said...

I did a post of NCRS on mine, have a gander i'd be interested to have your opinion on it, I would also not be surprised in the slightest if Labour predicted every spine breaking side effect of NCRS before they brought it in, breaking the back of the Police is something they've wanted to do since way before the 80's when most of us now allegedly experienced officers where living it up with thundercats and the moomins

27 April, 2008 22:20

 
Blogger Stop Common Purpose said...

Stop Common Purpose

If you don't know what Common Purpose is, I suggest you find out.

Common Purpose is a corrupt organisation which must be stopped:

http://www.stopcp.com

In particular, consider how they have corrupted the British police:

http://www.stopcp.com/cppolice.php

27 April, 2008 23:10

 
Blogger willwilliamsdh said...

1. The companies running petrol stations could install pumps where you have to pay for however much you want before you are allowed to fill up.

2. They could use the services of ex-job people with plenty of time and experience to go out to speak to their own managers and then collate all this information and evidence and take statments, then put all the information in to the Police, for the informatoin that is not available to the public to be added on.

I'm not saying this is how things should have gone. Local businesses are entitled to have the Police deal with these sorts of crimes. It's just sad that it's easier (and cheaper) to blame NuLab and their acolytes in the senior ranks of the PC Police Service rather than doing something.

The scrotes get the last laugh and the law abiding public turn further against the Police, with the lower ranks being tarred with the same brush as the seniors who have to spout the guff their paymasters require

27 April, 2008 23:37

 
Anonymous Peter said...

But in the meantime...

...the jeep has been used in
88 drive-by shootings,
one rape and
26 robberies.

[have I spelled that correctly]

I blame your Chief Constable...
(and all the other members of the chief officer club)...

..for being so low
as to accept the assurances
of the nuLabour whores.

Peter

28 April, 2008 10:00

 
Anonymous BszzaH said...

A lot of petrol stations are run by sole traders on a franchise from the big companies and need people in the shop to buy other things which is where they make their profits and thus are able to live. People should stop blaming the victims and start blaming the thieving toe rags. My wife has one of these types of site and makes very little from the petrol. PC Bloggs is spot on with her run down of how make offs are forgottem about. I see it from both sides, being in the job.

28 April, 2008 10:23

 
Anonymous dangerous said...

It is clear that PCSO's are offensive to many, but insult my moustache and it will be war!!

28 April, 2008 10:50

 
Blogger blueknight said...

The garages only make a few pence a litre. The money comes from the sweets, newspapers, cakes and coffee that the motorist buys when he comes in to pay.
I had two garages on my beat and I used to investigate drive offs. A surprising number involved stolen or cloned cars and the many cars that had been flagged for involvement in drugs, burglary or shoplifting. Drive offs are the life blood of a good many other crimes.
( A DRUG addict who steals from shops and petrol stations to fund his habit has been given an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) to keep him out of Aldershot town centre.
Persistent offender James Latham (pictured), 34, appeared before Basingstoke magistrates and admitted 51 offences of theft. He was jailed for a year.
His offences included stealing nearly £200 worth of goods from stores in Aldershot town centre and more than £250 of petrol.
The ASBO bans him from entering any petrol station forecourt or shop in north-east Hampshire, whether he is a driver, passenger or pedestrian.
Latham is also unable to carry more than one fuel canister in any vehicle owned or driven by him and is prevented from causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in north-east Hampshire.
The ASBO will come into force as soon as he leaves prison and will last for three years.
The majority of Latham’s offences were making off without paying for petrol where he would fill up his cars, a minibus and several canisters he kept in the vehicles.
He would then sell the fuel to friends for cash to fund his Class A drug habit. He had also been disqualified from driving earlier in the year for various offences which included driving under the influence of drugs.
Latham’s shoplifting offences included stealing a doll from Woolworths in High Street, Aldershot, and packets of meat from Marks & Spencer.)
So now we know.

28 April, 2008 23:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Persistent offender James Latham, 34, appeared before Basingstoke magistrates and admitted 51 offences of theft. He was jailed for a year."

That'll learn 'im then.

29 April, 2008 11:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The obvious solution is of course, make the drivers pay for their petrol first, NOT, at the pump but queue up in the shop, hand over their cash "£10 please" and then the pump is authorised to pay out £10.

That way they still buy all the crap they never intended to and also stop make offs.

This is a crime that could be stopped very quickly with a bit of common sense and WITHOUT loss to the hard pressed garage owners.

So the garage owner doesn't loose out as they still sell the extras, the public doesn't loose out as we don't have to spend money investigating make offs but the shit bag doing the make off is completely out of luck.

Works in other countries just fine and they make the same profit per litre as our lot do and the don't suffer reduced shop sales. You can tell as they are still in business.

29 April, 2008 13:11

 
Blogger TotallyUn-Pc said...

You forgot the risk assessment and briefing for the operation to arrest the jeep driver. You can't just go and knock on a door these days... oh god no.... wheres your intel? Threat assessment? correctly trained staff? contingency module? have you considered the Human Rights of the suspect? his right to life? right to family life and well being? Right to a speedy trial? I mean, 6 weeks later sounds like an abuse of process to me.....

29 April, 2008 17:33

 
Blogger Jamie said...

Just went and bought your book today Bloggsy, should have done it much earlier, as I've been reading the blog for ages. Fantastically funny and really, really informative. The only reason it wasn't shocking is because I've read DC's book a few months ago. Not entirely sure if you've helped or hindered my ambition to the job, but never mind. Keep it up, absolutely hilarious and bloody interesting. Cheers.

29 April, 2008 22:32

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blueknight said ( the ASBO )"prevented ( scrote )from causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in north-east Hampshire"

Does that mean it's OK for him to do it eleswhere ?

01 May, 2008 06:13

 
OpenID pcbobbydazzler said...

Great post Bloggs. I have commented on this post on my blog.

02 May, 2008 13:13

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post leaves no doubt about the situation, providing that is of course that everybody who steals petrol is also activley engaged in robbing people and running them down.

How about the scenario where the person who drive off without paying was just absent minded and comes back the next day to pay while at the same time the police arive at the woman's house just in time to arrest her ex who had just turned up with a sawn-off ready to kill the whole family.

You can always find or make up isolated incidents to justify pretty much anything you fancy. I am not saying you don't have a point, but this post certainly doesn't make it if you have.

07 May, 2008 17:16

 
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15 April, 2009 10:21

 

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