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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Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Not Wasting Police Time

If you think it's time bloggers and police officers stopped making people laugh and started hammering home some hard truths about the state of the nation, Inspector Gadget would agree.

There are no cheap laughs in Perverting the Course of Justice. You WILL laugh, when you read about how Gadget is not allowed to change the clock in his office in line with daylight saving hours, in case he falls down and hurts himself. If he does change it, the union rep will change it back. You'll also laugh when you read about Operation Inclusive Festival (formerly known as Christmas). And you'll chuckle despairingly at the description of the "mystery shopper" due to turn up at Gadget's police station to test his managerial skills.

But most of the book, written by a serving police inspector, will not, or should not, make you laugh. You will read about a police force in decay, full of number-crunchers and policy-followers who have abandoned commonsense in favour of targets, performance indicators and positive media coverage. This isn't skirted over or lightly-satirised by Inspector Gadget, but dissected and exposed in all its horrifying glory. Think Wasting Police Time meets Private Eye.

He goes further. The decline of British policing into farcical bureaucracy is matched by an equal decline of British society. Gadget gives example after example of feral yobs, out-of-control teens, savage and violent criminals the like of whom the police face daily. You read about people who think nothing of thrusting broken bottles into the faces of bright young policemen and women. People who lay their babies in front of police car tyres to prevent them being chased. People who ransom their own kids back to the police for money seized from their criminal activities. And it's not just the police who are ill-equipped to deal with these people. The desperate scramblings and ineffectiveness of the police is matched by other agencies: hospitals, Social Services, the courts.

Some of it might make you shake your head in disbelief. Not if you are a police officer, especially one on the British front-line. Or it might make you reach for your pen and scribe a letter to your local MP. It should.

If it doesn't make you shake your head, doesn't make you write that letter, doesn't provoke dinner-time conversation and a tad more sympathy for the front-line uniformed cops who grapple daily with this tide of lunacy, I'd suggest that you resign from the Cabinet tonight and - as Inspector Gadget would say - "reset your moral compass".



Note: Gadget's book is from the same publisher as mine, but I don't get any money for promoting him. At least, not yet... hint, hint...

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

18 Comments:

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

I posted a copy to my local MP last week after I finished it. Whether it actually gets read or whether they will get more than one copy, I've no idea, but I sincerely hope the answer is yes to both. The message is getting out though, I have seen people reading Wasting Police time on the train and people I know outside of the job have heard and regularly read some of the Police blogs and actually bring that up as the first topic instead of the usual "my mates mate was nicked, but he blatantly wasn't doing anything, he was just walking home quietly... no I wasn't there" that we get outside of the friends circle.

15 September, 2008 12:51

 
Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Having seen some of his contributions to this blog, I never saw the slightest evidence of revolutionary thinking from Inspector Gadget, or any signposts to a new profundity in literature.

That serious faults in UK policing are down to everybody and everyone other than police, was too wearily predictable to require any confirmatory review from a fellow 'trough mucker'.

I hope he sells a few copies although an ounce of cynicism will keep the public shy of a Copperfield take off and an ounce of sense will keep cash in their pockets.

15 September, 2008 13:39

 
Anonymous Dave H. said...

I had the same thought as MCM. My MP might like to read about governmental madness, although he's Shadow Health. Most likely his constituency staff will treat the package as a suspect device. Rather ironic if the police were called.

MTG your earlier comment mentioning lipstick was (naturally) insulting to the blog author, yet in truth quite witty. Pity about your being such a dick.

15 September, 2008 14:38

 
Anonymous A Real Doctor said...

Melvin! Melvin! Come in now please, it's time for your tablets.

15 September, 2008 15:03

 
Anonymous Pete Keller said...

It's a great book, highly recommended to all. Agree with you that it's quite serious in parts Bloggsy, but then I had a few laughs too.

15 September, 2008 15:36

 
Anonymous John G said...

I got an email today from Amazon saying that it's been dispatched, along with your book. As a regular reader of both blogs and an MOP, I look forward to feeling frustrated!

15 September, 2008 17:38

 
Blogger Steve_Roberts said...

Melvin,
The first step in improvement of any system, is to know, truthfully and clearly, how it performs now. That Gadget has not gone on to next stages - mapping how it should perform in future, and developing the path from here to there - failing to do that in no way undermines the contribution he, and Ellie, and Copperfield, and Nightjack, and MCM and W E B, and the other bloggers-in-blue have made to the public benefit. I trust someone will build on the platform they have built; they have already done, at some risk, as much as can reasonably be asked of them.

15 September, 2008 20:12

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloggsy
Can't you just delete this pillock's comments?

16 September, 2008 09:43

 
Blogger Stan Still said...

Constable.

I read your book soon after it was published and I have never read a more sarcastic, cruel, cutting piece of work in all my days. Brilliant! Wish I could have written it.

Anyone who is in any doubt that PC Bloggs and Inspector Gadget are speaking the whole truth has only to spend a couple of days on any response team anywhere up and down the country to know they are both spot on.

It's almost inspired me to resurrect my own blog, but it would be more of the same and not half as well presented.

Good on you both.

16 September, 2008 18:05

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Cheers stan.

Sorry for the editing of comments. I don't mind criticism as per Melvin T Gay's above, but pseudo-literary waffle is banned, as is anyone who responds to it.

16 September, 2008 20:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She will not find herself in the company of Hensher and Adiga at this year's Man Booker event but I was certainly aware of comparisons drawn between the sarky policewoman and Hemingway. Ellie epitomizes the contemporary notion of blurred lines between police work and fiction. She manages to embody all of Ernest's simplicity without any of his greatness.

Manifest in her new and self appointed role as literary critic, is an inflated ego holding two fingers up to the elementary demands of spelling and grammar.

17 September, 2008 07:07

 
Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

The trouble is that while 90%+ of the population can see what the problems in the public services are the remaining small percentage ie those that run them cant see what all the fuss is about.These include ACPO SMTs those sour women who are constantly arguementative and obstructive and have faces like a dogs bum with a hat on,the sandal wearing round glasses toting men who claim to be experts on diversity/Human Resources/Knowledge Architecture/Health & Safety and then devise software forms and procedures that are totally insane-all so they go on collecting all that info and covering their arses whilst at the same time berating Pcs for arresting too many ethnic minorities for stabbing each other not arresting enough husbands for looking at their wives in a funny way and generally not persecuting the motorist.All these people are part of the club that go from job to job in the public services infesting whatever dept they are working in with their deluded ideas so eventually any challenge to them has you branded a -ist of some sort.-now off for a lie down

17 September, 2008 17:22

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 07.07... well, she's probably sold a few more books than you have!

Unless you have one of those market stalls selling 2nd hand paperbacks...

18 September, 2008 12:56

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

"new and self appointed role as literary critic"

No, it's not new.

20 September, 2008 21:29

 
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