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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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As promised, here is an extract from 'Diary of an On-Call Girl'.

Chapter 2 - "Crap Car"

Believe it or not, I do sometimes patrol alone. Health and Safety don’t like it and, yes, it is dangerous and, yes, I am taking risks. I guess I’m just one crazy gal.

The terrors of stepping out into the darkness without male support are allayed by the cheering remarks I receive from concerned Mops.

Wrinkled old ladies stop me and say, ‘Should you be out on your own?’

Housewives turn back from pouring me a cuppa and ask, ‘Don’t they put you with a man, normally?’

The occasional chap will give me a flirty grin and say, ‘Gosh, you’re too pretty to be a police officer.’ (As a professional woman, I can never hear that one enough.)

Then there are my regulars. They tend to be slightly more direct. Like, ‘Oi, Bloggs, you pig bitch.’

(When I’m crewed with Becks, the above comments will double or treble and also change in nature. For many Mops, two female officers fighting crime on their own is quite the most exciting thing they’ve ever seen; for some, it’s second only to watching lesbian porn movies. And we like being crewed together, as it gives us a chance to bitch about the boys and discuss handbags, jewellery and fluffy animals. Our sergeant understands the womanly need for chats like this, and so he sends us out together at least once a week – and damned be the consequences! I respect him for that.)

I’m on my own today, in a panda, heading to the outskirts of town, but I’m not patrolling. I’m on my own because I have been designated today’s ‘Crap Car.’

CRAP is a police acronym which stands for Quality Service Department. This is a Department set up for the purpose of pacifying people who have been treated badly by the police, and it’s well worth the cost of the staff who have been taken away from serving the public to man it.

When people call the police, they are immediately classified as one of three kinds of caller:

1) Someone who needs the police.

2) Someone who will need the police soon.

3) Someone who doesn’t actually need the police but still wants them and will keep calling until they come.

The first two kinds are seen to by the response units, but the third category is the most important. These are the grassroots callers where we get most of our custom. As you’ll have gathered, it can be a difficult task to identify exactly why some of these people have actually called the police, or what crime is meant to have been committed. But it is always worth the hour-long discussion to find out.

Calls from this category can number up to twenty a day in Blandmore, so one car containing one officer is assigned to deal with jobs like this which have stacked up over the days and weeks; this is the Crap Car.

One of the main duties of the Crap Car is to apologise to as many people as possible for taking a week to get to them.

In briefing, when Chris read out the assignments for the day, I might have let out a quiet moan.

‘I know you’ve been Crap Car twice this week, Bloggsy, but if you will keep turning up to work every day…’

I accepted the sergeant’s sympathy with my usual maturity: ‘But, sarge, it’s not fair. Can’t we just tell the Quality Service Department that we don’t have enough people on duty to provide a Crap Car?’

He looked up in surprise. ‘But, Bloggsy, we have nine officers working today.’

I shared some baffled expressions with my team-mates. With Lloyd in court, Nick still off sick and Guy on a Transit-driving course, I counted five heads in the briefing room.

‘Nine, sarge?’

‘According to the email I got yesterday,’ he elaborated. ‘There’s you five, then there’s Frances, Woody, George and Louise.’

Some of the names evoked a pang of nostalgia. Frances disappeared over eighteen months ago when she fell pregnant. Woody was the team’s serious crime guru until he took an attachment with CID and never came back.

‘Who are George and Louise?’ demanded Becks.

‘George is our new probationer,’ Chris scanned his sheet again, ‘Due to start in a month’s time. Except that he’s come down with glandular fever and will likely be off until the summer. Louise was before your time, most of you, but she was on our Team until she got made Acting Sergeant in Charl. She keeps failing her promotion interview, but they keep her on as an Acting Sergeant because there isn’t anyone else.’

I vaguely recalled a slim, red-haired woman who worked at Blandmore when I started. Back then, I really do remember having nine heads in briefing. I even recall a day when someone had to stand, due to lack of chairs.

‘But how can all of them be counted in our manning levels?’ Becks went on. ‘Most of them aren’t coming back.’

‘No, but technically they’re on temporary absences. We’re actually one of the flushest shifts at Blandmore.’

I took in my colleagues’ faces with new eyes, not having realised quite how good the situation was. With all that manpower, our arrest and detection rates will no doubt start to soar. Any day now.


To read more... order now. Or borrow a copy from the woman at my nick I saw reading it the other day. But if you do, you'll be depriving this charity of the dosh.

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

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

""well worth the cost of the staff who have been taken away from serving the public to MAN it""

""With all that MANpower""

Bloggsie !!! Jesus !!! That word....aaarrgggghhh!!!
Book yourself a diversity course immediately.

You'd be out of a job in our force for using that....
oops sorry OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE,OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE,OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE,OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE, OUR SERVICE,..etc to 100

22 July, 2008 21:55

 
OpenID inspectorgadget said...

I have just been to a call where there were two female officers on their own. Literally JUST been there. It was nothing like lesbian porn..... that is what I imagine lesbian porn to be like.... ahem.

22 July, 2008 23:18

 
Anonymous Pete said...

Just laughing when reading that, Bloggsy, reminded me I must dig out my copy again it realy is the funniest book Ive ever read about the Job by MILES

23 July, 2008 08:45

 
Blogger oldandrew said...

Frances disappeared over eighteen months ago when she fell pregnant

I've been noticing the phrase "fell pregnant" more and more lately, I think from reading the Metro. I'd love to know how "falling pregnant" differs from "getting pregnant", "becoming pregnant" or even "being impregnated". Presumably it is some kind of accident that can happen to anybody, without any deliberate act (like, say, having sex) on their part?

Fuuny entry by the way, I will have to buy the book.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Teaching Blog here
Latest entry: 22/7/2008

23 July, 2008 09:09

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Do i really need to make extendable baton jokes re: the lesbian porn bit?

Thought not.

Nice post and i hear that laughable manpower is pretty much a given nowadays. Funny how health & safety are quick to pipe up about cycling without a course or the like, but dead silent on major issues like staffing levels eh?

23 July, 2008 13:11

 
Blogger kingmagic said...

I want to transfer from the Ambulance Service and join the Police...Please?

I wont sleep now...!

(Want to transfer ref the two patrolling WPCs and connotations of *ahem* 'naughty ladies')

23 July, 2008 18:23

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a fucking feminist, how the fuck can you be impartial when it comes to making arrests???

24 July, 2008 00:07

 
Anonymous BrokenJohnny said...

Women shouldn't be allowed to be police officers, because they are not as strong or as smart as men.

I want the best of the best protecting me and my family, not some wannabe dyke who only got the job because she's a chick.

I will be buying your book, photographing every page, compiling it into a PDF file, and offering it for free over BitTorrent.

But don't worry, you can always make money on the side as an unattractive waitress.

24 July, 2008 10:06

 
Anonymous Lee said...

*Jesus* whilst we are in the dark ages, why not take away their vote, make them walk beind us 10 paces and basically shove them in the kitchen.

I worked with many fine female police officers over my 15 years in the job.

*Bloggsy, two sugars in my tea if you please*

24 July, 2008 11:16

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Anon, not that you need a response, but... where in this extract do I talk about women making arrests?

As for being a feminist, yes I probably am, within reason. That comes with being a woman. And no, I'm probably not impartial. That comes with having an opinion.

New post coming soon to end this cycle of woman-bashing! Men, sniff.

24 July, 2008 20:02

 
Blogger blueknight said...

an unattractive waitress??
Not my mental image of you, which until I saw the book cover was loosely based on the WPC in the 'Life on Mars' TV series.

25 July, 2008 00:43

 
Anonymous Andy said...

Ahhh.. We used to call it the
(dis)appointment car! One guy used to get it all the time because of his amazing ability to bosh even the most serious of incident :o)

25 July, 2008 01:24

 
Anonymous notellin said...

Hot Dang!

I never met Bloggsy but i have created a mental image of a Policing Goddess complete with ready witty sarcastic put downs for the "customers" that she delivers with style whilst shes taking names or kicking arse or both.

On the other side any of you who haven't seen exactly how handy a lady can be a scrap should really get out of your nursing home a bit more often.

Frankly if she wasn't a Police Officer i would propose but she is and one depreciating wage / annual wage cut per household is enough.

25 July, 2008 12:38

 
Anonymous Northern cop said...

I forgot to thank you for this one Bloggsy. Our Bosses must have read your book too. Now our force has a crap car. I'm on it tomorrow.......... :)

26 July, 2008 18:00

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Ellie Bloggs, a true star. I ordered your book recently and I have to confess....IT IS BETTER THAN PROZAC! I cannot stop laughing when I'm reading it....and quite a useful insight into how the "guys" deal with rape victims....Hmmmmmmmmm Nuff said

ER Indoors

28 July, 2008 00:43

 
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