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.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting Ahead... 2

Following on from my outline of the improvements in police promotions nowadays, I thought it might be handy to provide a guide for those of you looking to clamber the slippery promotion pole in the near future. Consider it a checklist, or what you will, I’ve tried most of the techniques listed with varying degrees of success.

Before you start, you need to understand that the key to getting the job you want is getting to know the superintendent for resourcing. Never mind your local police commander, chief inspector of the department, or the chief constable him/herself. And never mind just doing a good job and expecting to be noticed. When it comes down to it in the bi-monthly resourcing meeting, and the woman in the grey top says “Sir we need to fill DS X's job in the Child Abuse Unit”, the superintendent will reach into his mind and think, “ooh, so-and-so is interested in that”. Bingo, you have your job.

Now, how to get the attention of this elusive superintendent, when you are a lowly PC or sergeant? Here are the ways that have worked for me:

1. Take up golf. An oldie but a goodie.

2. Make sure you are the main officer on some truly excellent jobs that get the attention of the local press, and do a stupendous and stirling job. Then, write to the superintendent and tell him about them before your inspector can claim the glory.

3. Failing (2), make sure you are the main officer on some total utter balls-ups that get the attention of the local press, and write a lot of emails complaining about how botched it all was. The emails will reach the superintendent, who will speak to you personally about it.

4. Cause absolute chaos by adhering strictly to force policy and Health and Safety. Eventually you will be called in to have a quiet word and the superintendent will never forget your name.

5. Be horrendously incompetent and preferably get somebody killed through your sheer arrogant negligence. When you come in for your disciplinary “advice”, you can throw in that you are kind of interested in a DS post, should one arise.

Stick to my advice and you won’t go wrong. Well, assuming you discount the fact that I haven't actually BEEN promoted since taking up these golden rules… and that I never did learn to play golf.

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


Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

There is no necessity to stoop to such things. Real opportunities for honest, hard working non-masons will arise soon enough in a new Protectorate.

11 March, 2009 08:36

Blogger Hogday said...

When I took the Met promotion exam the job was over 5,000 under establishment. All I had to do was pass (get over 50%) and I would be made Sgt within 10 yrs. There would be a line drawn, called `the competitive line`. Above that and you'd be made within a year. You never knew what the competitive mark would be but it was usually around the 65% mark. So, if you'd passed once but didn't have a competitive mark, you just sat it the next time until you did.

In my year, there were vacancies for several hundreds of sergeants but only 85 passed the bloody exam so papers were re-marked a couple of times until they got around 150 through, which still left hundreds of vacancies. If only I'd spelled my name correctly I might have made it that year. But you know, somehow that sounds fairer than the example Ellie has given?

11 March, 2009 10:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told of the traffic PC who discovered that the Chief Constable, for some presumably archaic reason, received reports of all those booked up for cycling with no lights. He mounted a one man crusade against cyclists got noticed and promoted.

11 March, 2009 22:48

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - More than 1,000 serving police officers in Britain have criminal records, figures obtained under freedom of information laws showed on Wednesday.

Convictions of the 1,063 officers include 77 for violence, 36 for theft and 96 for dishonesty.

Five of these officers were reinstated by the Home Office after being sacked by their local forces.

More than half the convictions were for speeding, drink-driving or other motoring offences, according to the figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats from 41 of Britain's 52 police forces.

Another 210 officers have been dismissed or been required to resign in the past five years because of their criminal convictions.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Chris Huhne said officers convicted of violence or dishonesty should be dismissed immediately.

"A serving police officer is expected by members of the public to be self controlled and self restrained in the use of force," Huhne told BBC television.

"If there is dishonesty, police offices can't actually do their duty in giving evidence ... the defense would completely shred their credibility in court."

11 March, 2009 23:44

Anonymous Oi said...

Anonymous, I agree with you that dishonest cops have no place in the job, but I'm struggling to see how your post relates to promotion.

11 March, 2009 23:49

Anonymous Oi said...

Bloggsy - Please delete my comment and if you see fit, the spam above it. Its posted on other Police blogs as well......

12 March, 2009 01:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I've missed it but you may agree some mention of "The Masons" is worthy of this blog. On quite a number of occasions offiers who are familiar with the funny handshakes and rolled up trouser legs have been ignored over misdemeanours and openly congratulated over incidents which would normally have received a shrug, if that, from the shift Sgt. I understand that ladies can also benefit from this as they now, (a) tend to wear trousers and (b) have joined the august body - I think they're known as 'maisonettes'.

12 March, 2009 20:36

Anonymous Oi said...

Possibly, Plodnomore. Possibly.
However, I'm sure we all know staunch Roman Catholics who share in the same kind of neoptism. Mebers of the BPA?

I personally preferred to take a person as I found him, and treated them alike, no matter what their race, religion or creed.

I certainly received no advantage from my membership, nor would I accept if offered. All my achievement was from my own effort.
{and bloody strenuous effort it was at that!]

12 March, 2009 22:19

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Dear Oi,

Public confidence in police and judicial services will never return whilst they remain controlled by a secret, unelected interest. Individual perceptions of fair play are irrelevant when they have no effect upon that position.

12 March, 2009 23:02

Anonymous Oi said...

Anything you want to know is readily available on the internet.

Melvin, I will concede you have a point when you have disbanded the Black Police Association with its secretive back door methods of promoting its memberss, and removed all the Catholics, amongst others, from positions of authority in the Police. Dont get me wrong, basically I have no problem with the above in the Police, but if you are going to purge one, you must purge the rest.

A few masons you may wish to denigrate.
Winston Churchill,
Ernest Shackleton,
Peter sellers
Rudyard Kipling,
Duke of Kent... and so on.

The list is endless.
And all shallow self serving wretches by your lights?

13 March, 2009 07:01

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Dear Oi,
Three decades ago a young mason was delighted to enter Lodges, well rehearsed in the more demanding ritual. I immensely enjoyed this and the company of well meaning brethren.

As time went by, I was obliged to renounce the craft upon discoveries weighing too heavily upon conscience. This was nothing to do with the activities of benevolent individuals. My conflict was confined to the nature of masonic grip upon 'democracy'. Better examples of virtue existed in my own Lodge than Churchill, but I would never have embraced what FreeMasonry represents in its entirety, had I known the same at the outset.

13 March, 2009 08:02

Anonymous Mac said...

With the existence of BPA, LGBTPA, Muslim PA. Womens PA et al. I'm starting to think I might have to join the FreeMasons just to level the playing field!!!

14 March, 2009 00:12

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Dont forget NARPO!!!!

14 March, 2009 12:36

Blogger Hogday said...

Can anyone tell me if white officers are permitted to join the BPA?

14 March, 2009 15:58

Anonymous Blanco said...

Fellow coppers like me - I am starting the WPA.

Who out there wants to join?

14 March, 2009 23:58

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Melvin T Gray....Would you please explain what exactly is the "new protectorate" you mentioned in your first comment? For those of us who don't know what you are on about. I would appreciate more details, please.

15 March, 2009 02:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: The comment about 1000 cops having criminal convictions, and many still have their jobs. I should imagine that the utter shame of being hauled before a court and the disapproval of peers would be punishment enough for having made a mistake. We can all make them, but not everyone gets caught and prosecuted for it.

Show me the "perfect" person who has NEVER, ever bent the rules or done something wrong. That person doesn't exist, not on earth.
Most people learn from any regretable "backslide", or less than perfect behaviour, and do not make the same mistake again.

There's an old saying, "It takes a thief to catch a thief", as one needs to have an insight, but not fall into temptation. Presumably, it also takes a "thug" to stop a thug. There is a need for ruftie tuftie coppers, to deal effectively with the thugs out there in the "jungle", or swamp. Obviously totally unnecessary violence towards others is not on.

I saw the article about this in the Mail, and wondered why this is being dragged up for public debate.
There are far worse deeds that have been done by high ranking cops AND judiciary - sexual abuse of children, and worse, but that appears to be kept out of the press. One in particular, a vice cop in the 1950's, who was guilty of multiple acts of abuse, abduction and the fatal rape of children, got off with a formal caution, along with some of his "friends". He kept his job, as did the rest of the creeps, and in later years he was even promoted!

It beggars belief, but it does show that far worse crimes than theft have been committed by cops and others within Law and Order, and a "blind eye" has been turned by the Home Office, as they swept it all under the carpet, more than once. I believe they are currently using the official secrets act to gag police officers and the press about this disgaceful and rather sorry saga. As a child victim and survivor of such abuse, I feel that MY ordeal is NOT a "state secret". It does however appear to be that damn ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!

Minni the Minx

15 March, 2009 03:03

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Dear Anon 0.23,

I used a synonym for 'government' to avoid association with grubby sleaze and exploitation. A notion that trust in the latter is at an all time high (and we want more of the same), is not widely shared.

15 March, 2009 07:43

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 03:03

"..: The comment about 1000 cops having criminal convictions, and many still have their jobs. I should imagine that the utter shame of being hauled before a court and the disapproval of peers would be punishment enough for having made a mistake...."

Coppers are incapableof feeling shame. Also - these are just the ones that they CAUGHT. (on camera and could not be covered up by their mates on the Job) The true number is much higher, of course..

15 March, 2009 08:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...


.. Defend Felons, Taser the Truth?

15 March, 2009 22:01

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @07.42.....and more often than not, also from the judiciary, politicians, the press, doctors, social workers etc. Yes, the whole of the human race is at it. Distorting the truth that is. Disgraceful, but then the truth often hurts and people don't always want to hear it.

In fact some people can get quite uppity, nasty and ruthless even, because of their fear of the truth being told, which may get them into trouble, or make them look bad.
Truth needs to be tempered with tact, and that's not always possible. Lawyers are paid a fortune to tell lies about clients they are working for, or against.

And of course there are "white" lies, to save hurting someone, and there are "black" barefaced lies, which cause hurt to others. There are also political "diplomatic" lies and distortions of the truth, often used to smooth over some potential trouble....or even cause trouble. It has been known. So one cannot single out constables as the sole "villains" in the situation of "truth, or distortion of".

Parents tell "lies" when they tell their kids that the tooth fairy took the tooth and left a silver coin. They "lie" when they tell kids that Santa brings presents at Christmas.

It comes down to whether or not the lie/distortion of the truth causes unnecessary hurt and/or distress to another person. That is what matters most of all.

17 March, 2009 02:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Wilding, Chief Constable of South Wales Police was on TV the other day talking about sexism.
She said that she found the culture in Wales 10 years behind that of London, in terms of attitudes to females and equality.

She also told of her own battle within the force against sexism. It was an interesting programme which gave an insight into how the world is run, and still dominated by men who appear to be making most of the decisions, which of course affect women, who make up half of the population.

Hats off to you Babs, Ma'am, for getting to the rank of Chief Constable.

18 March, 2009 00:38

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