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, November 18, 2008

Things Are Getting Serious

One of the nice things about writing this blog is that it causes me to get phone-calls from the media inviting me to offer my opinion about this or that breaking police story. Like most bloggers, I do like offering my opinion and I guess I see it as a way to speak publicly about the things that cause me - and my colleagues - to insert our faces into the confidential document shredder on a daily basis.

I just spoke on James Whale's show. He asked me whether I agreed the police were rubbish at investigating crime, whether we enjoyed standing on streets pulling over innocent motorists, whether my Chief Constable is after an OBE, and whether I wrote my blog during work-time. The answer to the last is no, by the way, which can't be said of the other questions.

I quite enjoyed the interview: whilst I do tend to field the same questions when standing outside Blond Nightclub in Blandmore on a Friday night, at least this time the person asking them wasn't halfway through his twelfth Bacardi and Coke and was unlikely to wander off and start a punch-up if I said the wrong thing. At least, I hope so.

Mr Whale seems to reflect the general public's view of the police, and I can't blame him or the public for it. Over the last ten years the police have consistently failed to live up to expectations, and it should be no surprise to anyone that we are now as incapable of detecting violent crime as we are burglary, auto-crime and criminal damage.

I don't think anyone really cares WHY this is: how crime recording standards have forced us to record within 24hrs crimes that the victim has forgotten about within 2; how a racist tit-for-tat between two drunken neighbours is given greater importance by the Home Office than a spiralling culture of cannabis factories and drug-dealing; how front-line police officers are being propelled faster and faster through taller and taller piles of paperwork...

All people really care about is that when they pick up the phone and dial 999, somebody comes to help them. Or that if they can't pick up the phone, we try to help them anyway. If we could just do that, we might be forgiven the rest.

Unfortunately, going out and helping people is at the bottom of the list when it comes to government targets, if it even gets a mention at all.


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

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife drew my attention to something that was happening across the road from where I lived. I watched and thought yes, it was suspicious. A large lorry had parked in a side street, and a transit was along side, goods were being transferred to the transit by three shifty looking characters. I called the local police station and had to argue with the telephonist that this at least deserved investigation, she thought it did,nt. She said it was a usual occurance. With the help of my binoculars I took details from the side of the lorry, and also the transit index. Nothing happened, no one came. I phoned the lorry company later that day, they told me the lorry had been stolen, I told them where it was. I gave up after that.

18 November, 2008 20:36

 
Anonymous PC Michael Pinkstone said...

anonymous @ 20:36

Meanwhile, the police sirens you can hear in the distance were my colleague and I driving at top speed to an address to deal with an 'Immediate Domestic' wherein a female was receiving - yes, you guessed it - life-threatening texts from her ex-partner in another county. Apparently he wanted to kill her. 'U FUKIN DED U BITCH I GUNA GET U CANT BELIEVE U CALLED THE BIZZIES ON ME U SLAG" or words to that effect, and general sentiment.

Once there, we spent at least an hour Assessing The Risk and Taking A Statement - dealing with some chav who cared more for the X-Factor than she did the fact that her life was in mortal danger (the mortal danger bit came from the police recording systems, not from what was actually happening).

So, in all honesty, I apologise on behalf of an incompetent Administration. I would have much preferred to have arrested the driver of the lorry, but instead I sat on a sofa listening to tales of woe from the socially incapable.

PCMP

18 November, 2008 21:04

 
Blogger cramerj said...

At least the police have helped in the suppresion of the most reprehensible and denouncable person in the uk -
the adult heterosexual white male.
boo , hiss.

19 November, 2008 06:07

 
Blogger thinblueline said...

The more and more I read in fellow blogs about paperwork , the less and less I feel akin to it.

In the last year alone I have seen the amount of paperwork required for court cases drop to almost a 3 0r four pages ( not including the actual evidence ) This from a veritable Novel ( 30 +) required only 2 years ago...

I have seen more and more leaps in reducing rekeying of information on IT recording systems

I have seen however more and more fucking hassle in the job by appointed civi's who seem to think its there job to say no to reasonable and nessisary requests by sworn officers...

one of them who is a right pain in my arse I seriously considered arresting for obstruction of an investigation until my DI held me to the chair....

As for investigations the reduction in paperwork has meant I have been able to investigate more crime but the increase in crime has meant that it has been to the same standard it was when I had a pile of paperwork resulting in little or no change to the amoount of time I could invest in investigations...

why ?

CID , crime departments etc are facing a massive skill loss due to unifrom shift patterens and pay.

Only this year has trainee detective posts qualified for SPP payments which lessens the blow for loss of quality of life from our uniformed colleges shift pattern , sure we all earn overtime but who wants overtime after a 15 day 7am to 2am stint..all you want is sleep or your a gibbering wreck..

Paperwork has decreased but the number of people have not.

Uniform, safter neighbourhoods and CSos kncoking about in yellow jackets have seen the increase in "manpower" those in investagive roles have not.

19 November, 2008 07:48

 
Blogger Kenny O said...

HOw ru today?DO u really have the media call you? How often does that happen..I friend writes a car blog and has been invited to car shows which is cool...
I need your help..I'm looking to make a T-Shirt for my website, I have a post outlining it, Can u take a look and see what u can add?
Cst KO

19 November, 2008 17:50

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, its a good job everyone has been transferred onto the SNT or like my force we would'nt be able to run wonderful operations as we are currently involved in.I wont name the operation but it involves us visiting every house on our beat and introducing ourselves to the resident and then giving them a wonderful form showing our picture and names with a contact number. Ah I hear you say, you can just push the note through and job done, well that would be cheating. No we have to ensure that we have spoken to an adult resident at the address and handed the form over. We then record our visit against a list of all the houses in the area. Our Sergeant then does a check through these lists and picks some at random and calls them to see if we have not cheated. He then records this and hands these results to the inspector who picks a couple of names from the Sergeants list and speaks with the person to see if the Sergeant hasnt cheated. I think we have missed the opportunity to join up with a partner, say an alarm company, who could come round with us and try to sell the occupant some security after we left cos were going to be to busy knocking doors and checking that we've knocked on the doors to actually prevent or detect crime.

19 November, 2008 19:16

 
Anonymous Lorenzo said...

Monty Python sketch - Spanish Inquisition.

Door smashed down, in come the police, "No one expects the British Police".

19 November, 2008 19:23

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be true that a budding writer has no better opportunity than to moonlight as a police officer. However Mr Whale was impudent to voice "the book what you wrote" exploited paid police time, when the decent host would have content himself with the thought of it.

19 November, 2008 19:34

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be true that a budding writer has no better opportunity than to moonlight as a police officer. However Mr Whale was impudent to voice "the book what you wrote" exploited paid police time, when the decent host would have content himself with the thought of it.

19 November, 2008 19:34

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Pinkstone:

We are social crutches for f***wits. There are lots of them where I work. Amazingly they all have the most complex and modern mobile phones with which to text each other from. Dear knows how they got/afford them.

We all know where the choice is: the lorry driver and co. or the F***wit on the text. The labour party want the vote of the F***wit and so after 11 years or so that is who gets the attention.

19 November, 2008 21:26

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LORENZO ....
Monty Python's Spanish Farce.
Door smashed down...in went police.
"No one expects the British Police."

BLOODY McMARVELOUS!
Much merriment and mirth......

Hugs and kisses for the Big Boys.X

Dancing Queen

P.S. I like your blog.

20 November, 2008 04:05

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can assure you that pointless useless jobs are everywhere in the public sector.

I wont mention what department I am in but am really at the front end. I know someone who was completely useless at the front end, ended up applying for a non-job, (correlating diversity data or something equally pathetic) and got temporary promotion for doing it!

It really could only happen in the public sector. These people wouldnt last a couple of weeks in the private sector.

20 November, 2008 19:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try reading the "Grauniad" job section...

Shite like this

http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/771779/childrens-centre-monitoring-and-evaluation-manager/

Jeeessssuusss.

They pap on in this job about "business plans" and "accountability" and they have no real idea.
The public want us to bang up bad people and turn up quickly when they call us. They want us on the streets (albeit not potting them for traffic offences) not sat filling in forms.

20 November, 2008 22:32

 
Anonymous Dave H. said...

Talking of targets, did anyone hear Dizaei Rascal on the PM programme the other night?

He said the only way to increase the proportion of BME officers was to make CCs personally accountable for the targets.

I'm sure this would be uppermost in the public's list of policing priorities too.

I wonder if he still wears his uniform on an evening out.

22 November, 2008 13:52

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you follow the link to the Guardian non job, you may notice an advert for an End of Life Care Commissioning manager, probable the best job in the world if you are Harold Shipman.

23 November, 2008 12:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind a bobbie nicking me for speeding if I knew that they were also nicking baddies who were not such an easy target.
But I guess that, while central government is in charge of police forces, we are all buggered.
Rod The Brit
PS like your blog Miss Bloggs

23 November, 2008 16:05

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm British Police - All of my shift have the Benny Hill theme on our mobiles - its all to do with the running around we do for nothing....

23 November, 2008 20:57

 
Blogger Hogday said...

100 yards of paperwork = 1 inch result = totally pissed off, demoralised police officer.

After banging your head against a solid object for so long, you slowly realise that it stops hurting when you stop banging your head against the solid object = high wastage in the Brit Plods or get promoted far enough out of the mess and become one of the gang that creates the aforementioned `solid objects`. QED.

24 November, 2008 10:04

 
Anonymous Rural D/Sgt said...

To: Members of the Public

From: 99% of cops

We don't like giving speeding tickets. In 12 years I have given one. Please stop whining about it.

I do like arresting scum bag criminals. I can't make the courts give them any more time, nor really meaningfully influence ACPO policy or CPS charging decisions.

Mind how you go now.

03 December, 2008 14:14

 
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rural D/Sgt", I'll wager you're not an officer in rural Lincolnshire then. If 99% of Police Officers only give out one speeding ticket in twelve years then Lincolnshire Police must have LOTS of invisible officers, most people I know have been tagged for speeding, me included, there are three types of motorist in Lincolnshire, 1) Those who have been fined £60 for once doing appx. 35mph in a 30 zone. 2) Those who are going to be fined for once doing appx. 35 in a 30 zone and 3) Off duty police officers riding Hayabusa motorcycles who speed continuously and use their warrant cards as "get out of jail free" cards. Before you slate me for No.3, this was told to me by a former schoolmate of mine who now rides a Hayabuse and is a serving Police Officer. Straight from the horse's mouth, or is "horse" perhaps the wrong designation of farm animal here?

02 June, 2009 10:45

 

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