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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Thursday, April 09, 2009

My Arse... Revisited

Back in December 2007 I said I had no idea how Secret and Top Secret documents are handled, in comparison to the shoddy effort at confidentiality the police make with less sensitive documents.

Now I know:

And the answer is, in exactly the same way.

"Fired" is a strong word. So is "plonker", and "total utter".

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick didn't just show a secret document to the press, he showed one so sensitive that an anti-terror operation had to be brought forwards. One can only assume, thereby jeopardising months of work and meaning there may not yet be evidence to prosecute the suspects. A situation, perhaps, where the consequences are far higher than the crime.

That said, it was most likely Bob Quick himself who decided to bring forwards the operation, and it is also quite possible that if asked, the journalists would not have published pictures other than as above - with the details blurred out. But I do know that if I had done that, I would be facing a misconduct hearing at the very least.

I also know that if the Met Authority doesn't fire people for letting their force get into such a shambles that they are prosecuted for killing someone under Health and Safety laws, they are unlikely to fire someone for holding a piece of paper the wrong way around.

I wonder at what point in your career you stop being castigated for every minor mistake, and instead become impervious to the major.

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


Blogger The TEFL Tradesman said...

Hmm, this a perfect example of the need for the police to communicate with each other in some secret code that no normal person understands. I would suggest Esperanto, or perhaps some obscure dialect of Basque.

If, by any chance, you need a tutor for one of the above 'top secret' languages, then look no further - here I is!!

09 April, 2009 08:30

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

He's now gone having resigned to the Mayor. Complete school boy error that has no doubt jeopardised a long standing and massive op, unforgivable really especially if they lost evidence by bringing the arrests forward.

09 April, 2009 08:31

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

A little late but how refreshing, Ellie, to find a blog without compulsory First Aid for G20.

I almost felt most sorry for Red Ken as he did all the quick thinking in the televised scalp quest. He reminded me of the poor farmer about to lose his prize boar to Foot and Mouth.

09 April, 2009 09:36

Blogger PC Plastic Fuzz said...

A good point very well made Bloggs.

09 April, 2009 09:51

Anonymous TheWindsor Swindler said...

A bit OTT if you ask me. If there had been no cameras around, it would not have been a problem. Others have done much worse - leaving top secret documents and laptops on trains, for example. Did they get the push, or just theregulation civil-service slap on the wrist?

09 April, 2009 10:09

Anonymous Chris said...

ACPO ranks - part of the new ruling class (along with MPs, Whitehall mandarins, senior public 'leaders', pseudo-charity/quango hierarchs and such) to whom the myriad of laws, rules and regulations that govern the lives of 'the little people' simply do not apply.

What was it the Russkies used to call this sort of unaccountable, largely unelected ruling oligarchy?

PS: Quick's a good start, now for Cressida "butcher of plumbers" Dick.

09 April, 2009 10:19

Blogger Virtual Supply said...

Bye Bye Quickie

Blunder Bobby, Bobbie Quick retires today within hours of sharing Secret information with the world’s media outside Number Ten Downing Street. The met police are certainly in need of a shake up and it seems the Lord Mayor of London has been right all along after dismissing the lead loser hours after taking Office. Now another team leader blunders his way into oblivion. Makes me wonder who is next, and looking at the top rank and file officers in the Met, I can guarantee another, like London buses, will be along in a moment.

Going to be nicked

Homeless Ian Tomlinson Assaulted by Police Officer dies minutes later.

It is too early to make a statement yet, however there is now in the public domain an overwhelming amount of evidence to indicate that a police officer deliberately assaulted homeless Ian Tomlinson. Ian had his back to the officer in question and was walking away with his hands in his pockets, a more defenceless attitude I cannot imagine.

The officer took the cowards way in and attacked Ian from behind and with his Steel Riot baton. He then shoulder pushed him to the ground and walked away as if nothing had happened. Did he think the many photographers around him would fail to see the assault? Did he think that because he wears a uniform that he had the right, and did he think all his mates would cover for him and go politically blind for a few moments?

The officer has crossed the line and deserves only to suffer the same fate as other coppers that take life needlessly; he deserves a long jail term, equal in length and hardship to those who will suffer the loss of Ian. It is time Police Officers realised they are not above the law; they are a part of it. They do not make up their own rules; they abide by the rules and laws we are all subject to. Police officers for the most part are able to do their jobs with pride and have every right to take the credit for a difficult job in difficult times, but when an officer sinks as low as this idiot in London, it is time for them to be removed and subjected to the same long term incarceration as they would inflict on others.

09 April, 2009 10:24

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

You get to be imperviousby giving up your principles and sucking up to the political class thats how.
And I must agree with virtualsupply it wont be long before another blunder unseats one of the top lot!
Now I wonder-what deal was struck for Quick not to reveal the truth about the arrest of Damien Green?

09 April, 2009 11:38

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

I think that perhaps virtual supply's blog needs a visit from more police officers especially in relation to pc Dougals moonlighting activities that were allowed to go unchecked-FOR GODS SAKE WHERE HAS THE DISCIPLINE GONE IN THE POLICE SERVICE?

09 April, 2009 11:45

Blogger Lord Lillis said...

The answer to your question is: Chief Inspector

09 April, 2009 15:33

Blogger Conor said...

I've just invented something that would have avoided this incident. I'm going to call it a briefcase.
Oh, wait a minute.....

09 April, 2009 19:20

Anonymous MarkUK said...

Firstly, Ian Tomlinson wasn't homeless - he was going home!

From what we are given to believe, Quick can't have jeopardised the operation too much - it was going to go down (for obvious reasons) at 2.00am.

Yes, he was right to resign. No, Boris Johnson wasn't the right person to announce Quick's resignation. That should have been the Commissioner, who was Quick's manager.

However, at least Quick had the courage and honour to resign (even if he wouldn't have had much choice). Incompetent politicians please note.

Incidentally, don't go blaming the photographer. He was just taking routine snaps of anyone going into No 10. This time he happened to get a scoop.

09 April, 2009 20:57

Anonymous xoggoth said...

Hardly a minor error. Having worked in defence I have no doubt that anyone in anti-terror work, let alone someone at this level, has had the importance of maintaining confidentiality drummed into them and has signed undertakings to do so. It should be second nature. There is no excuse at all.

09 April, 2009 23:21

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a lot more to this than has come out in the media, which is partly "spin". Bob Quick deserved to go, but really doesn't deserve to keep his gold plated pension, like another Top Cop who was booted out.....and the full truth didn't come out then either!

One hopes that there will be another one shortly, just like the buses..... better late than never!

I didn't feel sorry for Red Ken at all. I just felt irritated by his spin and sickening loyalty, but then what can we expect from someone who was/is a part of the problem.

But VERY well put Dr Mel T Gray. I needed a larf. Thanks. ;0)

Rosie Dormouse

10 April, 2009 02:35

Anonymous Fee said...

I work in an office. Very boring. Very tightly controlled, Data Protection wise. If we have visitors, our screens have to be blanked as they pass our desks (especially if they're politicians!) in order that our customers' data is protected. This is a howler of a mistake from anyone in possession of sensitive information, but at least he jumped before he had to be pushed.

10 April, 2009 10:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He took Ian Tomlinson off the front pages, bless.


10 April, 2009 10:28

Blogger Constable said...

I think the lack of comments on Virtual Supply's blog adquately sums up the nonsense she deems fit to post.


10 April, 2009 11:52

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us be fair It is just more difficult to leave comment on Virtualsupply.

10 April, 2009 13:34

Anonymous Clive Ponting said...

At least Joseph Fritzl remembered his binder.

Quick has surely released information protected by The Official Secrets Act and yet gets to keep all his benefits, rather than be prosecuted.

It sounds like a Compromise Agreement rather than a resignation has been agreed with the MPA. An act of Gross Misconduct and committing an offense under the OSA leads to reward instead.

What is the point of all the protection mechanisms to keep Secret information secret if this is allowed to happen without sanction.

11 April, 2009 10:10

Anonymous justacop said...

Personally I think he should have done the honourable thing and resigned a long time ago. He was in Surrey previously and along with Blunkett and co. responsible for a lot of the crap and nonsense, i.e. NIM, and neighbourhood policing' that is now taking it's toll on service delivery to the public.

His 'ideas', a far greater long term damaging act than flashing a secret document. This 'schoolboy error' however is an example of someone at the top who who has gained little experience of policing and learning the 'basics' along the way.

Unfortunately there are many more 'thinkers' like him, he is not alone. I am not sad to see him go.

11 April, 2009 18:30

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constable Confused....I don't know what has gone pear shaped, but the link to your blog doesn't appear to work anymore. It brings up your blogger profile, but the link to your blog just brings up a balnk blue page. Pity about that as I enjoyed reading it. Have you given up on your blog? Or is it just gremlins in the works?

11 April, 2009 21:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should have read BLANK blue page......

11 April, 2009 21:08

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not normally one for writing on blogs but with reference to Bob Quick's security breach, it seems to me like it was a genuine mistake he made whilst most likely reading the dossier in the car. The only people who could see this dossier was the media camped outside. Surely a bit of restraint on their behalf holding off on oublication or announcement of the error could have enabled the operation to continue as planned. The press constantly go on about the public's right to know information which I do generally agree with but in this case, the determination of the press to get an exclusive headline seriously hampered the proposed operation. Yes, Quick made a mistake in the first place, of that I cannot deny. I'm sure the press the world over are privy to information that is not published at the time and kept secret from the general public to suit their own goals/headlines. Just look at the John Leslie/Ulrika Johnson affair when they all knew and even said they had known for years but didn't feel it was appropriate to publish.
Quick shouldn't have resigned over this incident but there are lessons to be learnt by all. The country should be run by those that know but now it is virtually run by the media

12 April, 2009 11:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, he had to go i think...

I mean, imagine if he ended up on a dis-panel?

'so, officer- you inadvertantly disclosed an persons offence record to another member of the public?'
'yes sir...'
'well, as a breach of the Data-Protection act I must inform you that at this stage you are looking at dismissal. Do you have anything to say?'
'err, yes sir... noone could have died from my disclosure- nothing was lost from my disclosure- your disclosure was much worse than mine and you are still in the job!!! feck off!!! etc...'

thats why he had to go.. shame- he had 30-years of experience... all gone in a second...

12 April, 2009 18:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This smells to me. Documents like that normally have a cover, it was open a readable page?
according to reports it was 1 guy who photographed it.
There would be an expectation if you were disembarking a car in downing street it should be secure.
Also any journalists in the area.
would be accredited.
The press has made no mention of the treasonable behaviour of the photographer.
If you find top secret papers on the street what do you do? flog 'em to foreign papers or turn 'em in to the security sevices?
Speaking of whom this smells like one of their ops.
were they trying to flush out or put the wind up some of the targets?
There is something so not right about the whole story.

12 April, 2009 21:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Bob Quick should have gone. He was very careless, negligent in fact, with secret documents on counter terrorism Ops.
There would be something "so not right" if he had remained in his job.

"Treasonable behaviour" of the photographer??? Come off it!!!
What a load of nonsense. There is something "so not right" within No10 and the undue influence they have had over the media and certain Met officers.

Quick was careless and that is totally unacceptable in the best interests of this country and national security. End of. He was lucky to have kept his pension and escaped without a disciplinary hearing.

14 April, 2009 00:54

Blogger blueknight said...

The 'blunder' even made the news in the USA. Embarrassing! At least he had the good grace to resign.
Does anyone know why the photographer was there in the first place?

14 April, 2009 01:16

Blogger Virtual Supply said...

Maybe the photographer was a plant, part of a staged event to pre release information to the unsuspecting members of the public... I mentiona as much in, a blog no where as popular as Ellies, but a myopic view none the less.


14 April, 2009 10:08

Blogger Dave H said...

This is O/T, though connected with the document he was holding.

The article below (from the Sun!) is verging on parody. I really can any police officer imagine finding any more damning evidence than this?

"COPS searching the homes of 11 terror suspects have seized bags of sugar — a common ingredient in home-made bombs.

Sugar can be mixed with chemicals to create an explosive for use in bombs and grenades."

14 April, 2009 13:22

Blogger tag said...

Virtual Supply,

Myopic ??

I don't know if English is your first language but your blog certainly is myopic, whether you used that word intentionally or otherwise.

14 April, 2009 17:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virtual supply - can you please make posting on your blog a little easier and what was meant by 'a myopic view none the less'?

14 April, 2009 17:14

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Anon @ 12 Apr
You mean Ulrika was having an affair with John Leslie?
She told me that I was the first !!!!!!!

14 April, 2009 17:19

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retired Sgt:

Hei pappa?

14 April, 2009 18:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain what all these "blue squares" are in the post left by "look". Because whenever they appear on a blog, they seem to make scrolling down very sluggish.

Puzzled MoP

15 April, 2009 03:30

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Puzzled MoP - I think it might be a foreign language rather than "blue squares"... just a guess. But I've deleted them anyway to make your scrolling easier.

15 April, 2009 18:03

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the photograph you display, it does rather look as if Mr Quick had had a good lunch...

15 April, 2009 18:37

Blogger thinblueline said...

Love to see your arse :)

18 April, 2009 10:02

Anonymous Alex Cockell said...

I'd err on the side of the photographer banging off shots of people entering No 10.. the photo could have gone to print... but suddenly...

"Umm - you blown up that shot of Brian Quick?"
"Er, no?"


25 April, 2009 14:01

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think tha Quick did it deliberately so as to get out from under the Damian Green affair

04 May, 2009 16:38


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