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, October 27, 2008

The Vortex of Nights

I know I am working nights when I get my news updates from Mock the Week. I didn't know there was a recession on until the custody sergeant told me, whilst he watched me seal up a wadge of notes from a drug dealers pocket.

It has been a busy time in Blandmore, and shift numbers are diminishing by the day. I can't remember the last day all of my team finished work on time.

The SMT are blissfully unaware that staffing levels are low. Let me clarify: they aren't unaware, and they aren't blissful. But they're not doing anything about it all the same. "There just isn't any more money." This is strictly true. But we can all rest easy that the area commander doesn't sleep well at night worrying about it. I don't sleep well at night either - for some reason my sergeant frowns on it if I sleep in a police car.

There literally is no more money. Especially since the force invested it all in Ice Save.*

Fortunately, there is also no more crime.

Most of us down on front-line response are sympathetic to funding and budget issues. But most of us also suspect there is money, just not being spent how it should. We'd like to see some of the current money being diverted away from crime auditors, analysts, performance data recorders and auditor-auditors (those who check the work of auditors to make sure it's being done properly). We'd like to spend our man-hours on locking up burglars and reassuring residents, rather than on investigating children shooting other children with BB guns and neighbours being racist to people who are just as racist back.

The funny thing is, I think the public would agree with us.

Where, between front-line response and the Chief Constable, is the loose connection? Where is the message getting lost? Before I am sure that, one day, our Chief Constable used to think exactly like us.


* This is "irony". No Police Authority would be stupid enough to stick a load of cash in an offshore investment while we are desperate to use it NOW in Blandmore.

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

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link was lost at Chief Super level around 10 years ago. Now the link is lost at Inspector level. I have seen the those Inspectors, well meaning chaps who I was a Constable with turn into gibbering wrecks at the thought of crime figures. The labour party and their ideology are to blame.

I do not think they ever forgave the Police for the miners strike. They did never get away from ken livingstone mindset of meeting the ira in the house of commons.

Look at the secretary of state we have now. She is about as anti authority as it comes. I bet her minions know who is typing this.

A justice minister who was in the communist party and has the purse strings to build the odd jail or so. I bet he will not. Better let the Tories do that then cry from the sidelines about the ruthless Police state.

27 October, 2008 18:57

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet there is money in March, there always is. We spend months doing OT for time off as the boss crys about his budget then in March there are a load of crap Operations put together as he has to use his budget up so he get the same amount next year. Yet another example of Police loonacy.

GEORDIEPLOD

27 October, 2008 19:21

 
Anonymous ginnersinner said...

Geordie - take it as time then let it sit on your card for three months - then it reverts to pay - or take it as pay straight away - regulations say you can, and any attempt by a senior manager to do otherwise is unlawful.

Oh, and does anyone know if Sussex still put down the hour extra you work on nights when the clocks go back as 'casual' thus ditching the first half hour,a s that's unlawful too!!

27 October, 2008 20:02

 
Blogger Brujah said...

pifft same gripe every october, we have our 3 year shafted pay deal now ... and its moving in to the season of half term / holidays / winter ....

Every body feels the pinch now,

the extra hour ginner is "time" so its 1.1/3. back

28 October, 2008 08:53

 
Anonymous Rural Traffic Cop said...

Were on a O/T ban at the moment, if a job is going to take us over our alloted hours we have to ask the duty inspector if they will pay us.

Some PC's use it as an excuse NOT to go to a job up to an hour before the end of duty.

Now even the Sgt's are trying to dictate what we take as payment or time off - I dont think so, i'll have what I want thanks.

Had a night at R/D rates the other day, love it when something serious happens.....

28 October, 2008 09:43

 
Anonymous XTP said...

All of the forces that I've been with had the local agreement that you were lucky if you lost an hour and unlucky if you gained one. Isn't everyone like that?

BTW - we've got money coming out of our ears down here, apparently. I'm sorry to hear that not all of you/us are the same. Very sh@t

28 October, 2008 09:57

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say:

"No Police Authority would be stupid enough to stick a load of cash in an offshore investment while we are desperate to use it NOW in Blandmore."

I say: You might be right as concerns operational cash, but the Police Authority would have no such qualms if it was your pension money.

Toodle pip.

Michael S.

28 October, 2008 10:33

 
Anonymous VS said...

What about a fixed rate of pay, like our wonderful serviceman gets. Fixed uniform, fixed hours (24) and fixed postings.
Soon see enough of you bailing out if you didnt get your jollies and free pay for working an hour longer than you wanted to. Go cry to mummy, if you dont like the pay, leave.

28 October, 2008 11:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that simple though is it, VS?
To apply your logic, why don't the squaddies stop crying to mummy and leave if they don't like their conditions?
That's not an attack on squaddies - just on your argument in seeking to compare apples with oranges.
Most cops have the greatest of respect for the actions of our armed forces - not least because a lot of them are ex military. I know a Marines CGC winner who recently joined the Job, for instance.

28 October, 2008 13:49

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginnersinner

Tried both of those mate. The time just stays on the card or when I put the unauthorised OT sheet in it dissapears 2 or 3 times in an "admin vortex". I do get paid eventually. Normally 4-5 months after doing the OT and by that point I've pissed the boss off so much I cannot get my AL or Leiu days when I want them. Sometimes it seems too much clarting on for the sake of 3-4 hours at 1.3.

28 October, 2008 14:22

 
Blogger quixote said...

vs,

How does it work in your world?

Cop work rendered odious, so you ditch that and spend a couple of years training to be a, say, computer tech. Once techs are a dime a dozen, the work there isn't so great, so you ditch that and spend a couple of years training to be a nurse's assistant. (Oh, you'd rather have a nurse's pay? That'll be at least four years training.)

Since nursing was such a great choice, soon there are too many nurses, the work conditions become horrible, but you don't cry to mummy. You ditch that and train as a . . . what? flight attendant? You'd be in your 30s by now. They might not be that eager to hire you. But what the hell. Let's say they do. Then it turns out there's a credit crunch, your airline goes under, and other people who've been flight attendants all their lives are retained and you're out on your ear.

But crying's not what you do, so you go off and flip burgers because you've got no time for training at this point. Work conditions there not so great either. What's your next step? I wouldn't know, but I'm sure you'd have a great plan all worked out.

Honestly. Were you born stupid? Or did you have to study?

28 October, 2008 14:39

 
Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Chief Constables never used to think like us. They didn't have to. In their day, there were two Inspectors, four Sgts and twenty PC's on each shift, people were respectful towards authority and citizens would help the police to catch criminals. The Courts would sentence properly and an underclass breeding generations of work shy chavs did not exist. They never had to face what we face. I know. I was there.

28 October, 2008 18:58

 
Blogger Roses said...

Actually, I do know how they're spending the money.

Norfolk just 'invested' in a a re-branding exercise that costed £35,000 to monotonise the logo. Whichendbites covered it.

I know in terms of a budget that covers millions, £35,000 could easily get lost...but really! I'm sure there's better things that could have been spent on.

28 October, 2008 19:27

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VS.

Just a couple of minor points that always get my goat, when people compare the Police to the Armed Forces.

The military staff gets a greatly reduced rent allowance/Housing costs for married quarters. I get none, and have to pay my mortgage in full.

The military staff live in secure guarded and gated establishments. I get to live with the general public (which I hasten to add, I actually don't mind).

The military staff can eat VERY cheaply (as it’s subsidised heavily) in an onsite restaurant, and that’s 3 COOKED meals a day. I have to pay normal prices for my food (only one of which is cooked a day, and not by a chef, but by me).

The military staff pay NOTHING for housing and food when on operational duties and ‘in theatre’. Since I live 'in theatre' does that mean I can get free housing/food too?

I have worked as a soldier, and now as a cop, and the two jobs have NO comparison whatsoever. You might as well compare mice to igloos.

Just a point.

PING

28 October, 2008 19:36

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roses,
A turkey in a blue helmet could have satisfied frugality and simplicity.

28 October, 2008 19:39

 
Anonymous Lorenzo said...

Look, Brown's just given India £800m in aid, and its a credit crunch, know your friends. Every item the police are ever short of could have been provided by Stasi Brown at any time, just im'n Jaquiboot don't seem to like you. I do, good on ya guys.

28 October, 2008 19:47

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FFS don't go down the "my job's tougher than your job" road. Professional police officers, servicemen/women, nursing, fire and rescue....the management dictats can all be traced back to the same source. I saw my job start to go down the tubes as soon as the accountants and bright young things at the Home Office started playing with stats, slide rules and calculators, and their political masters started listening to them instead of the real practitioners. A lot of fine up and coming seniors then sold their souls for bigger pensions. And I think you could say the same for the aforementioned NHS types.

29 October, 2008 12:56

 
Anonymous pcR said...

I'm thinking of jacking it in and joining the army. I've seen the adverts.
All those opportunities for foreign travel and windsurfing? And the hats are better.
Where do I sign?

29 October, 2008 15:45

 
Anonymous Inspectorgadget said...

Liberal elite, chavs, liberal elite

Simper, simper, simper

30 October, 2008 22:11

 
Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

At the end of March beginning of April pop down to your Headquarters &
there you will see Supts and Ch.Insps that you didnt even know existed lugging year old furniture out of offices and throwing it in skips to make way for new stuff-and at your nick you are still using war time utility furniture and trying to jam all your kit into the worlds smallest locker....

31 October, 2008 13:54

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after watching the job accelerate down the tubes from PACE to RIPA to countiung rules, I'm still less bitter and twisted than `vs` (above comment). I call that a result!

31 October, 2008 14:53

 
Blogger uniform said...

look bloggs , you really are going to have to get it past you Alice band.

Anyone beyond Insp, don't give a rats arse what you think , they only care what you do, and by implication what damage it could do to thems careers

02 November, 2008 19:59

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Slight divergence - but on the topic of wasted money:

Try (10+ years ago) an extra (i.e. over the normal amount) £1.2m spent on advertising a "recruitment drive" to get "the best" candidates.

Of which they ditched the best 30% of applicants to provide room for their minority candidates quota.

Note that in this case, the minority candidates were scoring well below the minimum levels for entry. Guess what they were admitted.

Net result? £1.2m down the crapper. I'm sure this story isn't unique to my former farce.

06 November, 2008 23:59

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am really surprised that some of the police think kids shooting other children with BB guns is not an issue. Is this actually true?

16 November, 2008 09:29

 
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