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)

Monday, July 14, 2008

I love you, please don't shoot me

"Drug dealers are using their entrepreneurial skills. Some of them are controlling three mobile phones at once... If we can help them to recognise they have something of value and if we can help them to develop that skill, it will be one of the greatest things we can do for this generation."

Wow, three mobile phones at once - how did Sir Alan Sugar miss these guys?!

There may be something in this article, that states young people need to "feel loved" to stay out of a life of crime. The trouble is, I think it's their parents who need to love them and not their local youth worker.

The problem with the word "love" is that it conjures up images of fluffy handcuffs and prisons made of candy. But there can be tough love too. The kind of love that makes a parent give their kid a smack for staying out late, or confiscating his pocket money because he used it to buy drugs. Kids understand these messages. They don't understand it when they go on a spree of window-smashing and happy-slapping and their only punishment is a couple of appointments at the Youth Offending Team that they really ought to try and get to on time, and a few hours sweeping the driveway of their local community centre if-they-feel-like-it-but-if-not-it-doesn't-really-matter-and-they- can-just-stay-in-bed.

Police officers don't recommend tough sentences for teenaged offenders because we hate kids. It's because we're worried about them, and we want them to learn. It's a shame the same can't be said of their families.

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


Anonymous pzgirl said...

I recently had a run in with somebody from the Youth Offending Team who wanted to remind me that youths are not youths, they are "children". Had a higher ranking officer not been in the room I would have openly laughed out loud. If only some of the Youth Offending Team would move to the area where these "children" are making life miserable for residents every day, all day.

15 July, 2008 15:41

Anonymous Johnny said...

It gets me when these kids try and use the same tricks on us as their social workers. Recently I recovered a regular misper (15yrs old). After He had threatened to "shank me in the neck" and I threw him in the back of the car in cuffs, he then tried to headbutt me. I then intoduced him to his mandibular angle. He then began to headbutt the car window.
"stop that you will hurt yourself"
"f**k off"
"look, I dont do attention seeking,unlike your social workers who would be covering you in "there there cream" by now. I don't care if you hurt yourself, but damage my car and your getting locked up for that too."
"If I could get out of this car, Id run off wearing the cuffs"
"Really, then you would probably fall and split your head open"
"Then, I could get you gone..."
"oh, could you...."

I know what he needs but I bet he's never going to get it.

15 July, 2008 16:10

Blogger uniform said...

Hand wringing all round, oh dear the yuff of today don’t’ respeck us none.

You would think this youth crime business had arrived with the credit crunch, would you not?

The fact is that the children, yeah right, 14-17 year olds are the progeny of the last youth crime spike in the early to mid- nineties.

I vividly recall chasing a hard core sample of children, a few who had committed 100 crimes each, including robbery and house burglary, BEFORE getting youth detention.

Little wonder that nationally we now have second generation hopelessness.

What has been sowed is now being harvested.

The political response is pathetic, the idea that you can reason with an amorphous blob of gutter grade humanity truly shows how dislocated from reality the cosseted middle classes are.

You made it, now fix it.

Me, I thrash them where ever I find them, legally, of course.

15 July, 2008 20:00

Anonymous Old Codger said...

"The kind of love that makes a parent give their kid a smack for staying out late ..."

Ooh, is that still allowed?

15 July, 2008 20:05

Blogger Noggsy said...

Excellent post Bloggsy - nothing quite so dispiriting (sp?) as trying to work out how best to stop the offspring becoming replicas of the parents (parents used in its most 'I had sex and got pregnant, not my fault, come and sort my kid out cos I can't be arsed' type sense).

I'm with you though, kids crave boundaries and discipline and it's no wonder some of them choose to meet us so often, as we are probably the only ones in a position to give any boundaries to most of them. A shame that it has to be us, who are in the worst position (and usually frame of mind) to act in that role.

15 July, 2008 23:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a single parent, my kids learnt "boundaries" and what was expected of them, and what was not. The trouble starts when they get to secondary school and peer group influence. Once they get to the age of about 13 yrs old, parental influence fades and is replaced by the sprogs "friends". If these "friends" also happen to be a less than positive influence, well, that's when the battle of wills really begins.

Kids have also learnt by this stage, that any kind of physical restraint or control, or a raised voice in an argument, and they start crying "parental abuse".... You can't treat me like that...I can get you done.

And WHO do we have to thank for this imbalance of power? Health and Social Care and their influence upon the education system, who have in the past ALSO had THEIR authority undermined.

Gordon Brown has just announced that problem families will be targeted by Social Workers, to make them change their lives. The threat and punishment will be the loss of the family home, if it is council owned.

That will just make matters worse.
This government is completely deluded if it really thinks that the parents of teenagers actually KNOW where their kids are and what they are doing.

16 July, 2008 00:34

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stress of a desk jockey job has obviously got the better of you. Why not take a few months off with unchallenged sickies??

16 July, 2008 08:30

Blogger AngryDave said...

Lets be honest, no one will ever get evicted from their council house. It is just another hollow government threat, just like community punishments (you know the ones they dont have to do if they cant be bothered).
I have to agree with Uniform on this one. They are children who were spawned by other children. With no clue how to raise them, and raised on benefits.
Maybe the way forward would be to put chemicals that make them sterile in the food in juvenille and adult prisons.

16 July, 2008 08:40

Anonymous mac said...

I agree with Uniform and Angry Dave. I've been in long enough (20 yrs) to now be dealing with the scrote kids of the scrote kids I was dealing with when I started.
Any solution that involves targeting the parents will NOT work for the simple reason that if a 35 yr old parent has been having 'intervention'regarding their own behaviour since they were teenagers, without success, then they are not going to take notice of anything relating to their offspring, which they see as someone else's problem. There is a total lack of aspiration for their kids to be anything better than they are, so the aspiration gets lower with each generation. The only solution I see is to reintroduce real teeth back into the education system. I know that's a huge can of worms and would take someting far bigger than my feeble mind can work out in a post. But the police come too late in the 'system'and we should be about consequences and punishment not social education, and the social services exist to 'support' their 'clients' not deliver boundaries and punishment.
One thing I would disagree with AngryDave about is that eviction does happen and does work (sometimes). Where I work there is no such thing as council housing. It is all provided by 'social landlords' - Housing Associations and they are generally happy to work with the council and police in evicting problem families (the tenancy agreements have clauses like 'no resident will cause ASB' etc.) Once one association kicks them out, they can apply to another. If the same thing happens again they start to run out of associations locally so either have to move to another area (effectively run out of town) or have to go to the private slumlord market. No one gets made homeless and they still get their benefits etc, but the quality of the accomodation gets shittier and shittier. Also the slumlords don't mess about when it comes to rent arrears in the way that housing associations will. If they finally get the message and don't come to attention for (I think) 6 months then they are eligible to go back on the Assocoation list. It can and does work but as you can see, takes ages. The process should be speeded up by making them ineligible for ANY social housing after the first infraction.

16 July, 2008 11:59

Anonymous Anonymous said... ?

16 July, 2008 17:52

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids have to learn boundaries and respect for parental authority when they are young. Giving a teenager a slap for staying out too late may work if it is the father who is dishing out the discipline, to a son. That one wouldn't work on girls.

17 July, 2008 00:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not always a lack of parental love that sends kids off the rails. Quite often it can be negative life events which are not handled as well as they could be,
Incidents of long term abuse cause anger in a kid, which comes out in anti-social behaviour. One like that in a group can lead others astray, despite parental love.

17 July, 2008 00:57

Anonymous Mac said...

Anon @ 00.57.

You're right that some kids fit the description you're giving but the truth is the vast majority do come down to parents who don't care. It's not a class thing either. Over here for every kid from the 'wrong side of the tracks' there's another yob who comes from a comfortable middle class house whose parents just want to come in after work, pour the G&T's and don't care what their kids are up to as long as it's not embarassing them with their neighbours. I make a personal point of making sure that we are as high profile as possible when we have to attend the address. Marked car, uniform, rev the engine. If we have to do a nomination, do it in person in a marked car, not over the phone etc. etc. Their biggest fear is whether getting a caution will effect university applications, no concern at all about the fact their kid is a yob. And these are the very same people who turn up at public meetings/write to MP/Daily Mail and complain how the country's going to the dogs!

17 July, 2008 11:35

Anonymous Danny said...

Unless you know these are the same people who complain to the Daily Mail (and how could you?) that the country's going to the dogs, this is just as lazy a stereotype as any.
I complain that the country's going to the dogs (not to the Mail, admittedly, but to anyone who'll listen) and I also make damn sure I know where my kids are, and as far as is possible, what they are doing.
If any were ever to be involved in crime or anti social behaviour they would have me to answer to before you (or immediately afterwards).

17 July, 2008 18:18

Anonymous DisgruntledCS said...

This is a serious subject, obviously, but one worries that PC Bloggs is just touting for business here...

What do I mean?

With the reminder that she is on an "ambitious, career-woman-drive for promotion", she then suggests "there can be tough love too. The kind of love that makes a parent give their kid a smack for staying out late"

I agree... there shouldn't be anything wrong with a short, sharp slap to proffer the tough love... but the way the law and society is now, that will lead to the parent in trouble, another crime statistic and a solve for Bloggs... one more rung closer to that promotion!!!

(All said with tongue wedged in cheek, but seriously you can't blame parents... there are good parents, there are bad parents but society, the govt., the media and the police - as guardians of the laws good, mad and bad - have prevented parents (and schools to be fair) from having any power over their children and what Gordon "texture like sun" Brown suggests simply puts more power in the child's hands - proving once more that he panders to the popular, has not a clue of reality and has the leadership ability of plankton)

18 July, 2008 09:15

Anonymous Mac said...


I don't think I explained myself very well because you and I seem to be singing from the same songsheet with regards to how we bring up our kids. True the Daily Mail bit was a stereotype but in my role I DO regularly put myself on offer at large public meetings where individuals will berate me about Anti-social behaviour, write to the local paper, write to the local MP, local commander (who all cuff the letters to me by the way) but when their own kid gets caught up by the police as part of an alcohol seizure/stop check/arrest etc., write to the same people complaining that our actions are unjustified etc! The point I was trying to make is that in these posts we often talk about scrote parents who don't give a damn what trouble their kids get into, but there is also a vast amount of (usually middle class) parents in complete denial about what their kids get up to when they leave the house. In other words they will get up on their hind legs about the conduct of police officers in a way they can't be bothered to tackle their own offspring. The reason is that it's the embarassment of police involvement in their lives that bothers them, and that's the fault of the police, obviously.

18 July, 2008 14:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that this post is about teenagers, but the whole concept of "child protection" is in a complete mess. If you have read Esther Rantzen's articles in the Mail recently, you will know what I mean. She has also been on GMTV on the issue, but I didn't see that.
She was rebuked by a charity official for showing affection to a child at an event. It has come to light that people involved in child "care" [of the young] are being told they must NOT hug or touch a child in any way. They won't even remove a splinter from a kids finger. So "youths" getting "love" from their social workers Ellie? You must be taking the p**s!
Esther Rantzen's article on thursday was headlined " the day I discovered that Britain has gone bonkers". She's not wrong, and she questions..WHO is making these insane rules?

[Ed Balls?] It certainly is a right "balls up".

Young children who are being cared for, as part of their "care" will NEED to receive affection, reassurance and sometimes comfort if they are upset. This is now being denied them, by the over-protection and paranoia of government legislation. Kids who are denied affection and normal human love, warmth and comfort, grow up insecure and "incomplete".

As Esther's article states, YES, we have to be alert to the dangers that paedophiles pose to young kids, but there is a world of difference between being alert and the rampant paranoia that has developed over the past 20 years.

Government policy and paranoia, often mis-directed at the wrong people, is actually ruining and destroying the joy of childhood.
It makes me want to weep.

Mac...I agree with what you say. I know from my own experience of raising kids. It was the so called "respectable" middle class parents, often professionals, whose kids were the worst influence on being the single parent on a low income.

My own insight into this problem, is that the mothers who worked to bring in the dosh, for a "better" standard of living, were not able to provide ALL the love, care, affection and attention that all kids need, from birth to 16-18 yrs.

P.S. Anon 16th July @8.30.... The stress of 24-7, 52 weeks of every year, for decades, raising kids and the stress of having to deal with a VERY difficult ongoing serious situation "got to me". It disabled me with a serious illness, but thanks ever so much for your suggestion to take a few months off on a "sickie". Had I been able to do that as a full time single mum, when I first became ill, well I probably would have got better! Too late now, I'm permanently KNACKERED...overwork, whilst ill. Desk Jockey my a*se.

19 July, 2008 02:34

Anonymous Thespecialone said...

As a father of 2 girls (25 & 15), but divorced from their mother, I believe that being a parent is a mixture of 'tough love' and 'real love'. My now 25 year old (a nurse in a well-respected hospital) had a shock when she was 15. I was already divorced from the mother but my daughter was having a go at her mother went too far. I grabbed old of my then 15 yr old and pinned her against the wall of their house. I told her in no uncertain terms not to speak to her mum like she did. Years later my now adult daughter says that it taught her a great deal. She still argues with her mum (her mum is an extremely difficult person) but my eldest has intervened when my youngest daughter starts having a teenage tantrum.

I agree about the postings about middle class parents who let their kids do what they want as long as they dont embarrass them (the parents). I am a 'special' whose patch is in a typical 'nice middle class' area but we used to have more problems with underage drinking than the large council estates.

ps my first posting on this blog!

19 July, 2008 13:03

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a psych facility in California that has a youth unit. Easily half the population there has drug induced psychosis.
The families these kids come from are absolute crap and the system is unable to help the kids turn around because the home life promotes and encourages the scrote way of life.

The kids won't respond to fluffy cuffs and candy prisons - you are right; but until the parents open a can of whoop-ass now and again, it will be the role of the PC clean up the mess.

19 July, 2008 17:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad joined just as birching was outlawed. Still swears by it today. Can't see that being allowed in a million years, given that you lot are supposed to arrest people if they leave a mark when smacking their kids. And class it as DV and get social services involved.

23 July, 2008 22:48

Anonymous Tpk361 said...

I think the above responses say it all.

I remember about 10 years ago, there was a retired Brigadier General on GMTV. He was the outgoing head of Personnel for either the army or joint services, I can't remember the fine details to be honest. He said that since corporal punishment was abandoned in schools, the quality of candidates (for both officer and enlisted)had dramatically nosedived. Since the 'non-corporal punishment' candidates had begun to filter through the selection system, the armed forces had seen an exponential rise in unacceptable behaviour, lawsuits against NCO's for 'shouting at recruits' and upsetting them etc.

Following his appearance on GMTV, he was then on the mid morning news, conveying the same message. A message that he was not allowed to convey as a serving General, due to political restrictions.

His story was picked up by BBC, C4 and Sky.

However, when the early evening news aired.......Not a solitary mention on ANY channel.

Coincidence? Story dropped due to lack of interest? Or interference of the media by politically correct fuckwits with an agenda?

You decide.

28 July, 2008 22:27

Blogger Dougal said...

Social Worker: What you do for a living when you have a useless degree and can't be arsed actually WORKING for a living

28 July, 2008 23:09

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