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)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I vow to thee...

Yet again, the government is "pledging" stuff about the police. This time Gordon Brown has decided to give out the mobile number of every neighbourhood police officer so that the public can contact them directly.

I am always confused by the term NEIGHBOURHOOD OFFICER. In Blandmore, neighbourhood officers get a bonus of £1500, an office with a coded door-lock to prevent people stealing their one marked vehicle and they attend a lot of town meetings. I do feel for them in this regard, for despite the meetings being advertised as taking place between 10-11am, they require a lot of preparation beginning at 8am and always drag on until at least 4pm (or whenever the officer's off-duty time is), thereby preventing the long-suffering neighbourhood officers from attending any reports of crime all day!

According to the government, NEIGHBOURHOOD OFFICERS reduce the fear of crime, are able to tackle persistent problems in areas such as antisocial behaviour, car crime or burglary, and are WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.

When our neighbourhood officers aren't attending their savage all-day meetings, they generally get roped into attending emergencies between their antisocial behaviour, car crime and burglary commitments. If motivated, they might make as many arrests as I do, although they only have one car to share between them to transport the villains in. As a result, most of them are restricted to walking around in yellow jackets smiling at people and disseminating to the rest of us which hotels give free tea to police and which ones spit in it first.

As a mere RESPONSE OFFICER, I am not WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS. My duties entail attending constant reports of antisocial behaviour, car crime and burglary, as well as all the emergencies in-between. I take on investigations into things that have happened to members of my neighbourhood - Blandmore - and I try to resolve them the best way I can. I have a mobile number which I am supposed to give out to my victims. This means they can contact me whenever they want and I only get two or three angry messages a week demanding to know why I am not on duty for twenty-four hours a day and why my phone isn't switched on when I'm not.

I suppose the point I'm making is: aren't we ALL neighbourhood officers? If you're in uniform, and you have contact with the public, you are the face of policing whether you get a £1500 bonus or not. Which begs the question, is pledging to improve neighbourhood policing really a pledge at all?

When will Labour pledge to lock up people like Herbert and Harris BEFORE they do this?

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time the Police arrested all paid up members of the Labour party and locked them up for 48 days whilst you investigate them for terrorizing the public with their insane policies, activities and no doubt a huge amount of corruption.

02 April, 2008 21:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just finished reading a novel about a future society which, to my mind, has an interesting storyline. If someone wishes to comit a crime, they can admit to it BEFORE they do it - called a pre-crime. They then serve 50% of the normal sentence carrying out extremely hazardous tasks for the benefit of the community and, if they survive (not many do) they then have official permission to carry out that crime. However, the penalty for committing the crime prior to any admission or conviction means the WHOLE sentence has to be carried out, without any remission. I wonder if it'll catch on?

02 April, 2008 21:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work as a Neighbourhood Officer but have to say that you are RIGHT. I like and enjoy my job, although I am what we call a 'hybrid' officer that does a bit of both jobs really. It is however wholly wrong that I get paid the extra money whereas response officers don't.

Just my two penn'orth.


02 April, 2008 22:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this post. Right on the money.

BTW Herbert & Harris are absolutely 100% as bad as the press painted them.

As for CBT, I did it for 2 years as my gateway price to CID. I wanted to bust burglars, car thieves, dealers and disco drivers. I planned to deal with the neighbour from hell families. I did that stuff but it made no impact with the locals at all.

I am afraid that the few members of the public who expressed an interest were rather more keen that I
a) solved the dog poo problem
b) guaranteed them their parking spot.
c) curfewed everyone under 18 7pm to 7am
d) walked around a lot on their street

That was about it. Who is to say they were wrong?

02 April, 2008 22:58

Anonymous XTP said...

SNT - £1500 less if you ask me!

Ellie - you mentioned that your PCSOs are sat in front of the TV all day. Well - most of our lot are destined to be the World Pool Champions if they carry on at the present rate!

03 April, 2008 01:12

Anonymous bloody unbelievable said...

1500 bonus! I hope non of them were on the march for more pay!

03 April, 2008 06:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

£1500 bonus for NPT officers? Not here, it must be a force specific thing.

03 April, 2008 07:11

Blogger uniform said...

Neighbourhood policing is a political construct.

Accordingly it is all about presentation and spin.

Remember all politicians believe the police are currently overpaid, and that we are all one decision away from corruption.

There is an interesting article in the Pol Fed magazine , you know ,the one usually found on police station toilet floors , or used to prop up tables , in it a C/I talks of the myriad political interferences in the police which are designed to wrest control from CC and police authorities and deliver control to the centre.

Neighbourhood policing including PCSO, Who will have mission creep, will be foot soldiers in this drive, are a facet of this.

At the end of the Nazi reign both Himmler through the SS and Martin Bormann, through his private armies set up organisations within organisations.

A bit swivel eyed you think, however, the emergence of more police police (that is other than your bog standard PC), including the integrity is not negotiable lot, clearly it is see Met v Dizai , is the visible attempt to mould the police as they want it to be

The tension Boggs describes is disbelief that this will solve the persistent problems misses the point.

The objectives are three fold

1. Have PCSO gate guards , meet and greet, patrol on high vis jackets
2. Have PCs running around collecting basic police evidence , blue lighting it , but heavily censored on court files , except traffic matters
3. Squads, rolled out from a central point, murders etc... Limited in number, and no weekend working unless necessary!

It’s happening in slow motion, Supts and ACPO don’t care, they can more deeply become what they want, Business managers, with healthcare and company cars.

03 April, 2008 11:21

Anonymous not the troll said...


'Remember all politicians believe the police are currently overpaid..'

Best paid traffic wardens around I reckon with the added bonus of power of arrest!

03 April, 2008 15:16

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two thirds of the NPT teams at my nick are on the whole a bunch of lazy ba*****s, it is often quite embarrassing listening to the excuses on the radio they come up with for not attending jobs that may involve protracted enquiries, such as a broken window nothing seen or heard or other heinous crime such as a £5 shoplifting or minor common assault.

Just recently two CSO’s had witnessed an assault, were following the offender and were shouting this in, the shift were strapped and it took one of the SGT’s to wriggle free from her pile of paperwork grab a cop from the shift who was busy and race down and lock the offender up. There were 2 NBM’s, from the same neighbourhood team as the CSO’s “talking to a landlord” outside of her pub, who “couldn’t hear their radios”, they were about 500yds from the CSO’s. it turned out to be a S.20.

All to often the 24/7 have to pull out of their bate and go to jobs when the NPT’s are swaning around refusing to even answer their radios, when they do its, we are on disorder patrol, not in our remit, yada yada blah blah blah.

But the SMT are happy as they stick their heads in the sand and trot out all the customer satisfaction excuse.

Can you tell I’m on nights and haven’t slept too well?

03 April, 2008 16:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

not heard of neighbourhood teams getting any extra payments. only ever heard of response officers getting (i think because they have to work full night shifts).

03 April, 2008 19:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on a NPT/SNT and believe me I dont get £1500 extra and it gets my goat that there is all this crap between the teams. Yes there are some lazy ass bobbies on the NPT, I know this as a fact as I work with one of the laziest you could ever meet and seems to the fit the exampes given in all the above messages. But you cant then tell me that all response are hard working martyrs to the cause. I didnt ask for the meetings and the other crap, I was conned into thinking that it was going to be proactive get in their face kind of policing and I have just been bo**ocked for not being interested in dog poo and stuff like that but I have a detection/arrest rate that outstrips all the response who work out of my nick and I have managed to keep it so we work 1/2 night shifts as well, when all the other NPT's have stopped working past midnight. I've just taken a pervert the course of justice to Crown court as an OIC and last year took a PWITS class A all the way on my own. One of my colleagues is dealing with a PWITS class C and money laundering, having just finished with a s.18, so occasionally we do deal with the protracted enquiries and also have emails sent from the repsonse teams asking us to deal with the kids for causing ASB (cos your team are looking to put an ASBO on them) neighbour disputes (as your team understands these issues) and anything else which doesnt tick the that real exiciting box. I want to get on with being a bobby and would like it if we were just one big team, utilising each persons skills, however it doesnt seem like thats going to happen soon so lets stop with the in fighting and get on working together.
** I would like that extra £1500 though **

03 April, 2008 19:21

Anonymous Anonymous said...

" victims..." ?

04 April, 2008 00:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are lazy people in all walks of life and the Police are no exception - whatever team you're on.

Certainly where I work (large inner city borough) I think things would be a lot simpler if we just paraded 40 bobbies on every shift and just went out there and did the job. All this compartmentalised empire building bolox with multiple little teams with their own little remit just doesn't work.

All it does where I work is stop the public from having a Police Officer on their doorstep to deal with their problem within an acceptable timescale. It leads to pages and pages of jobs some as old as 2 weeks where someone is still waiting for the police to attend. It leads to situations as described by Anon 16:27 where important jobs are coming in and a Police Officer is available but unable/unwilling to attend because of their perceived area of responsibility.

This in turn results in an already stretched officer turning out and adding to an already crazy workload. It de-skills officers on response and reduces them to dealing with less serious offences/not interviewing very often etc...etc...

I'll stop there but you get my point.

Captain Slow

04 April, 2008 11:19

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

The Ruralshire so-called Neigbourhood Teams are ALWAYS meetings.

Most of the Bobbies I know in the NPTs say they were conned into it, and HATE it because the role itself is a joke.

And they DO get an extra £(more than a grand) in Ruralshire Constabulary + no nights or domestics.

04 April, 2008 15:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to qualify my post of yesterday at 1627. In particular to anon who posted at 1921.

I do not for one second think that all the NPT cops at my nick are like those I mentioned yesterday, unfortunately I would estimate that it is upwards of two thirds that are in that sort of category. There are some of the 24/7 staff who are far worse, and you would not want them to be your back up on an assistance shout.

In my force it is a position applied for rather than forced into. So the staff working there are generally doing it out of choice, for whatever motivation they have. The pay is enhanced by about £1000.

Sad as this may sound, when checking figures recently, the detection rates of some of the NPT officers were upwards of 80-85%, whereas mine last year was 23%. I know you can read pretty much anything into statistics, i.e. That I’m a lazy bugger, (I can promise you I’m not!). To me they say two main things; they cherry pick the jobs they attend, shoplifter detained, detained for possession etc. and they pick up very little volume crime. Both of these statements I could back up by radio traffic, or lack of it. Aha not in their remit, well we are all constables are we not.

I accept that NPT have different roles to 24/7, and you have to do the dog poo bit, that 24/7 as a whole don’t. In other area commands their role is far different and beneficial to the community, one of my best mates does such a job, working in schools, youth projects etc. etc. to me that is the ethos of what the role should be and I do think there is room for it in our force.

I like yourself just want to get on with the job of being a bobby, and the last thing I want is to have a them and us situation. What I posted about yesterday is simply what I have encountered.

I slept better today and have a week al coming up!

04 April, 2008 16:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if we just paraded 40 bobbies on every shift and just went out there and did the job"

Absolutely spot on. Bring back relief policing.

04 April, 2008 17:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our APT (which is pretty much synonymous with "where all the shit rolls, especially from response") is soon to be changing into a Neighbourhood Policing Team.

All the really crap jobs we have to deal with (ie, handovers from response and grade 3's) are being transferred to Response with 5 extra officers and a sergeant.

Now, I feel for Response as they have had it relatively easy for the last 3 years and now they are not and it's already hard enough as it is.

However, as an NPT officer I don't expect to get £1500 extra (as if?), nor do I only work office hours. I do not have every weekend off and, as usual, I will be attending almost as many Grade 1 balls of clag as 60% of the response crews attend atm (the other 40% who shout up for ANYTHING are to be highly commended).

Perhaps it's different everywhere else but I do find this NPT/RPT divide both annoying and (aghast, a diversity buzz word!) stereotyping.

Suffice to say, I work as hard within the same shit system as any response officer. So give it a rest that we don't.

Much obliged, nice blog.

p.s perhaps it's just inner city NPTs that work this hard, if you're not inner city and your NPT are a bunch of lazy shysters, then disregard the above :)

11 April, 2008 02:32

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15 April, 2009 10:27


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