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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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Power of the Strike

Hauliers have won a 14% pay rise, putting them on about £9000 more than the average PC on my team. I work between 35-65 hours per week before overtime, am run ragged between jobs on a team with half the number of staff it should have, face confrontation, gore and exhaustion on a daily basis, with a high likelihood of getting assaulted more than once in a year.

Lorry drivers sit behind a steering wheel and eat crisps.

What would the police get if we threatened industrial action in a serious way?

Probably prosecuted.

But then again, Blandshire Constabulary didn't declare a profit of £13.9 billion last year. Apparently there is "no business case" for a generous pay award for the police. Which is great, because clearly the police is no business.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The delivery of fuel is essential for the running of civilisation.

Are the police?

According to most of the police blogs, most police claim not to be able to do their jobs anyway a they're forced to stay indoors filling out forms and ticking boxes.

A clear case of feed the producers I suppose.

21 June, 2008 20:13

Anonymous xoggoth said...

There is not an obvious and simple measure of success of a police force like profit and there is no private sector role that police can be directly compared to.

That does not mean that market forces do not apply as they do in any other field of recruitment, wages need to be just high enough to ensure sufficient quality people join and stay with the force. Maybe the job satisfaction (and I have the impression you do mostly like your job, despite parts of this blog) that prevents you leaving is keeping the wages down.

21 June, 2008 20:35

Anonymous pzgirl said...

Anonymous 20:13 - I can't believe you're actually suggesting that a police force is not essential for the running of civilisation. You quite clearly have no idea of how hard we work to ensure you have a modicom of civilisation in your life, instead of a society left to their own devices, parts of which would not hesitate to rob, steal and worse in order to give themselves a better life.

21 June, 2008 20:43

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pzgirl you really do not understand basic economics.

Nor human nature.

What is pzgirl and abbreviation of? Pizza-Girl?

21 June, 2008 21:13

Blogger uncommon said...


For each police vacancy: how many applications are there?

I mention that because after quite a time of Governments continually dropping police wages through the sixties and seventies: so many left that it was a real problem keeping staff on.

At that point: Edmund Davies proposed a 40% increase, which Labour refused to pay, and Thatcher paid, (sort of).

Then in the nineties: this eejit worked out that there were 17 applicants for every vacancy: and consequently paid much lower wages.

For the last five years or so of my time in service: I never opened my pay slip around the table, because I knew I was far better paid than the new recruits, with rent allowance and the rest I was on about 40K a year.

So: what is the vacancy/application ratio nowadays?

I support the police having the capacity to strike, it is a job, like everyone else has.

It will be a sad day if they ever do.


21 June, 2008 22:21

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Government declares "key workers" as polic officers, teachers, nurses, trumpton and the like.
For me key workers are truck drivers and Supermarket staff.
In most ways everyones job is relatively essential bar one.

Guess which job we could probably do without?
Which type of person do we do without for 2 months in the summer, a month at Christmas?
Which type of job has devolved its responsibility and power offshore to Europe?
The MPs off course.

21 June, 2008 22:31

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't strike and that's an end to it.

Yes we get used and abused and it keeps on going until a government really needs us. It's a well enough paid job. If you're in it for the money then best get promoted or find another job. Policing will leave you comfortable but you're never going to get rich on a Copper's wage.

Are the Police essential for the running of civilisation asks anonymous @ 20.13 before indulging in a snotty slap down. The answer is, that depends entirely on what sort of civilisation you want to live in. Mankind has tried a lot of different ways of organising beyond the village /clan hierachy. In some of those police are essential in some you can get by without.

If we are talking basic economics, at the moment, the ability to drive tankers does command a high market price. This will not be so forever. Within my memory the ability to stop miners entering Derbyshire also had a very high market value and that time will come again.

"Feed the producers" only works in a static / stagnant situation. Once any flexor such as say errrrm passage of time comes into the equation, the producers tend to change. Also there are some interesting anomalies regarding the accumulation and use of capital / trading / perceived added value and the like that mean you can get rich selling crap for lots. Still that's economics.

Human nature? Many Cops know all about the pointy end of human nature. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a pizza to top.

21 June, 2008 23:19

Blogger blueknight said...

Do I think that the Police should be allowed to strike?
The very fact that the question is being asked indicates that the Govt has failed.
If the Police cannot strike, then as far as possible they should not be put in a position where they have to consider it as an option.

22 June, 2008 00:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ten years or so ago the Garda in Southern Ireland fell ill with flu for 24 hours and had to stay at home in their bed. The Government did not provide the correct strength of lemsip so the flu returned a month or so later. The formula for the flu fighting stuff in the lemsip was increased by 25% and the flu went away.

22 June, 2008 09:32

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many applicants are there for each Doctor post? Does this keep wages down in that area?

What we need is an effective elite who are embedded in Government (like Doctors and Lawyers) at the top, instead of the simpering liberal elite we have as ACPO at the moment.

22 June, 2008 11:16

Blogger uncommon said...


I was only giving the history of how the changes to the wage structure came about in the very late eighties and early nineties.

I'm personally of the opinion that cops should get paid heaps of gold. If I gave the impression that I thought otherwise, I apologise for that.


22 June, 2008 11:59

Blogger Stressed Out Cop said...

My old man used to work for shell and my mate is the one of the union leaders.

They used to earn a good wage - and looked forward to the Shell pension. They were then outsourced and wages took a 25% cut and lost their pension rights. They now have to work till they are 65. You would be pissed off too wouldn't you?

Other companies can't remember either BP or ESSO kept their drivers in house. They earn £45k + and drive bigger loads than they used to = increased productivity.

It's the same in all business More for Less. Could say the same for PCSO's watch the extra powers be handed over to them in some areas and real police posts lost.

The strike worked BUT Shell are still quids in

22 June, 2008 12:20

Blogger tag said...

Anonymous 23.27
Nightjack - you make assumptions, argue by assertion and flatly contradict yourself.

I am sorry as a thick plod I always thought an argument involved challenging the assumptions and pointing out the contradictions in the opposition view. But then trolls wouldn't exist I suppose.

Are the police essential for the running of civilisation?
My view - depends on what kind of civilisation you want. I certainly seem to be kept busy. The vast number of people employed within the criminal justice system would certainly have a shortage of work without us :-)

22 June, 2008 13:28

Anonymous pzgirl said...

Anonymous - 21:13 - I don't profess to understand economics but I understand human nature as well as any other police officer in the country....
...and never you mind what pzgirl stands for.

22 June, 2008 16:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even the vatican has a police force. A good police presence is essential in a civilized country regardless of the population.

I think it is appalling that some kid that has the ability to bounce a ball more than once or hit a ball more than 20 feet with a piece of wood, can negotiate a contract for millions a year - yet the person that is willing to put themselves between the light and the darkness is repeatedly forced to scrimp and scrape for everything they get.

A sad set of priorities.

22 June, 2008 18:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone interested, "feed the producers" and its' unstated corollary "starve the non-producers" are a sales and marketing mantra. It is used in those firms where "producers" are lavishly rewarded and "non-producers" are errrm starved. Great way to run a sales company with a rapid staff turnover and a shelf life of 5-10 years. Not a good basis on which to build a society.

Even the a most rapacious marketing firm needs and indeed employs functionaries, and administrators who are not generally expected to get involved in the game.

22 June, 2008 21:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL but not biting. Already wrote Vichy Cop.

22 June, 2008 21:58

Blogger uncommon said...


Feeding trolls only encourages them.

Starve them, then they go away and bother someone else.

Oh: and we always used to say, pensionable and paid:)

brendan (back to Atlanta on Thursday Yay)....

23 June, 2008 12:40

Blogger tag said...


Aah, strawman arguments, delusions of grandeur, froth-filled rants.

Reminds me of the last person witn MN issues that I interviewed.

Just refresh my memory - aside from trolling police blogs - what was it you do for a living ;-) ?

23 June, 2008 13:16

Blogger uniform said...

Uncommon of course I know you’re correct but I’m a bit of a recidivist when it comes to confrontation.

"We've just about seen”? There are no we, just you.

Billy no mates.

Entitlement and attention issues indeed.

23 June, 2008 16:20

Blogger uncommon said...


I'm the "really: old guy: bin there, dun that...too tired now:)


23 June, 2008 16:21

Blogger uniform said...


I have days like that. And then I see the finish line and thank Jacqui for that nice loading of the lump sum.

Hey, see how we’re communicating together, it’s like we’re on the same team.

Here’s to chocolates and curries on nights, which always taste better on BH @ double bubble.

23 June, 2008 16:49

Blogger John M Ward said...

First: I always thought lorry drivers sat behind a steering wheel eating Yorkies. I'm obviously behind the times...

The idea of Key Worker is a Labour Government device to put lots of our tax money into subsidising housing and whatever for heavily-unionised (especially Labour-supporting Unions) public-sector workers. Probably a deal worked out with the party's main bankrollers some years ago.

It overlaps some of what most would consider to be "key workers", but is purely political, so that is just a coincidence.

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