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, September 17, 2009

Please Extend Me

As a PC, before going off-duty, I usually had a few bits of paperwork to tie up from the shift. As a shift sergeant, I have to do the following before the next shift come in to take over:
  • Type up a list of incidents/action for the next shift to do.
  • Include all significant incidents that happened during my shift in case the senior management team try to ask the next sergeant about them.
  • Log into a database and list cars and people stopchecked by my team during the shift (this will involve phoning all my officers and ensuring they have done this).
  • List what arrest attempts/arrests have been made during the shift.
  • Log into a system and update all open incidents with reasons why we haven't dealt with them.
  • Record the status of all missing person enquiries on a database (another login).
  • Log into the duty system and record on/off-duty times for all officers. They also need to be booked on and off on another system.
  • Log all car-keys back in.
  • Read through all prisoner handovers to ensure they are in a suitable state for the next shift. If they're not, there's not much that can be done by then as it's the end of the shift, so I'll just update them with an apology.
  • Pass onto the next team all witness summons/arrest and statement requests that have been faxed in from other forces/areas. Most of these have been farmed out to officers who never had a chance to do them, so I'll have to remember to collate them all again. Many will end up in panda cars, officers' lockers/dockets/trousers.
  • Email the duty inspector with overtime requests for anyone still on duty.
  • Email the duty inspector with information for THEIR handover about important incidents that have happened/are happening.
  • I'm sure there's more that I'm not doing at the moment. I'll update you when I get the email from senior management.
I start thinking about the handing over process from the moment I receive the handover from the previous shift, and spend a good proportion of the day in and out of these databases, when I can remember my login. When I can't, I spend the day on the phone to IT services. This is, apparently, how the senior management team want shift sergeants to spend their time.

Things that will NOT get me an email from the senior management if I omit them are:
  • Phoning all my officers individually to find out where they are, if they'll be off on time and if they need anything.
  • Staying on late to tie up bits of paperwork for officers going on leave/rest days/overwhelmed with work.
  • De-briefing officers involved in traumatic or significant incidents during the shift to check they're ok.
  • Submitting safety reports about the low number of resources I had to work with that day.
These things, apparently, are not within the remit of the shift sergeant. Or anyone else.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't count everything that matters, everything that matters you can't always count !

SMT & almost everyone at daily management briefings= C*unters

What you are doing matters.

The front line only matters when it counts as far as the SMT are concerned.

Confused you should be!

Have fun with your 8-9 top/main priorities

A Polis Man

17 September, 2009 19:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Email the duty inspector with information for THEIR handover about important incidents that have happened/are happening"

1. Doesn't he/she listen to their own radio, look at the system, get out and see it all themselves?

2. If not, lucky bast*rd for having a Skipper who will email; mine eat doughnuts and tell me everything's fine (even when it isn't) which is the correct answer by the way!

17 September, 2009 20:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that took me a lot of time to get down properly was the art of delegation. My boss taught it to me...

17 September, 2009 23:28

Blogger Busy said...

Christ! Don't be telling the Inspector stuff, that just worries them!
Apparently, last time I was acting up I made it so obvious to the boss that he wasn't welcome he hasn't been seen back since.
That's a result worthy of a morning meeting!

18 September, 2009 00:33

Anonymous Mr Jones said...

Delegation.... not as though it is anything worthwhile which you are doing though, is it?

18 September, 2009 01:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will soon discover that whom that does the most will get more done and that that does the least still will never do it.
welcome to world, having risen many times past my level of Incompetence, but it is fun to finding ways of finding teachers pets that will get thee your pips.

18 September, 2009 03:17

Blogger Virtual Supply said...

Welcome to the first rung on the management ladder. It will get easier. There are somethings you are not doing that you should be doing, advising and informing management on developing situations is the one thing that will keep you out of the mire.

What your teams do on duty is drivel and dross compared to the one important fact that could upset a senior manager when he finds out from your arch rival first.

Push for 'Single Sign On', other forces use it from Captor to Niche, from Lotus Notes to Web Access, even Quest, it only saves seconds, but it does save loads of frustration.

When you reach Inspector you will look back and wonder why you got so alarmed at all the procedural stuff you have to handle and dont forget, each step away from the blue line, is a step closer to a better pension, greater responsibility and greater effect of controlling how things are done, and if your good, they will be done properly.

And, the higher you are, the more you can mess up and get away with it, just keep reading the manuals, procedures and learn the failures of others so that you do not allow history to repeat. Best of luck, though you don't need it. Professionals never do!

Virtual Supply

18 September, 2009 07:11

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

If we can put up with cabbages for chief constables it would be ungracious to deny any fruit or nut the heartiest welcome as a sergeant.

18 September, 2009 09:06

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

So which one is fruity and which one nutty?

18 September, 2009 12:24

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your bothered, I think you sound a good sergeant. I'd respect you as a measly PC.

I always think the job as a Sergeant must be the hardest one, if you can do that one then climbing the ranks is just a matter of passing interviews. Really what does anyone past Inspector do? Nothing in the Policing world anyway.

18 September, 2009 14:44

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really should stop reading these blogs... Just over a month until my Part 2 and my mind is being infected... Arrgghhh (think fluffy non-gender specific thoughts Charlie!)

18 September, 2009 16:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also -

Files checked through and submitted?

Files checked through and knocked back cos they weren't up to the standard (plus face to face words of advice)?

Sickness absence forms?

Resulting calls on the C&C system for closure?

Sign out new FPNs?

Weekly PNB checks?

Plus if they're gonna have a bump in a police car on nights, they'll have it at ten to seven a.m. so by the time you've gone out there, breathalysed everyone, and submitted the form and sketch it's knocking on nine, and you won't get your head down till ten!

And there's probably loads more only I can't think of it right now.

But if you do it right, you're the one they'll remember, and the one whose tricks and nuances they'll copy when they're skippers in a few years time.

I loves it, I does...

18 September, 2009 21:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus a verbal brief to the incoming skipper, of course. :-)

18 September, 2009 21:40

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

No, Druid, it has to be in writing. So that he can blame me for anything I didn't write down...

18 September, 2009 22:44

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

So you see while the police are filling in all these forms updating everyone and being made to be "accountable" they just dont have the time or the inclination to sort out a gang of youths that terrorsed a mother and her disabled family to death.
I bet NO ONE in Leicestershire got/gets a bollocking or more for this disgraceful piece of non police work apart of course for not putting in the bit of paper on time

19 September, 2009 10:46

Anonymous Metcountymounty said...

Last week I got beaten up at a bus stop

20 September, 2009 01:50

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

What a relief to hear news of some happy event. On my site, I wonder if things have become so bad that people can taste how tense and uneasy I am these days.

I guess it may have become much easier to recognise the symptoms of yet another police blog spiralling into terminal wimper.

21 September, 2009 07:48

Blogger PCDC-Copper Bottom said...

gaffer- i know what you mean...

i have turned into a miserable old fecker...

i always thought i would avoid being so cynical.


now i look for other jobs waiting for a nice little op to allow me to leave the job i loved for so many years...

they teach you about stress in training- but what hey dont tell you is that most of the stress comes from feckwits in the job...

trying to screw each other over.. proactive PSD - PCSOs

i am really close to giving up...

21 September, 2009 16:58

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world.........the most complicated bit of being a skipper usually starts with 'Sarge, can I have a quick word?.........'

22 September, 2009 14:41

Anonymous Custodyskipper said...

Hmmmmm, difficult bit about being a skipper is balancing what we must do with what we've got to do it. Second most difficult is telling someone who's first words are "why?".

10 October, 2009 21:37


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