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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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PC Snow

This is a funny take on a politically correct, health-and-safety conscious Christmas.

Officers of Blandshire Constabulary have bigger problems right now than worrying about being politically incorrect, so we can get away with policing in tinsel epaulettes and accepting the odd sip of mulled wine as we attend the usual burglaries, car accidents and domestics that adorn this time of year. For those of us who can actually get into work with this bizarre white stuff clogging up the roads, we find an unusually clear car park, empty offices where the senior management team once were, and twice as much work for half the number of staff. There are some members of the public who do not choose Christmas to phone in their ten year old dispute with a distant cousin, but an equal number do. At other times of year they might get a PCSO coming round to chat about it, but right now I'm the only one visibly in charge, and I put calls like this at the back of my team's queue. Without the presence of the Superintendent Responsible For Prioritising Unimportant Jobs, there's no one to prevent my machinnations. At this time of year I also stop expecting my team to urgently arrest juveniles for offences committed six months ago, advise them not to bother with any file work because no one will read it until the 6th January, and take the opportunity to file a number of crime reports that have been being blocked by someone in a specialist department who's never read the paperwork.

You can bet, despite the empty offices upstairs, that when the SMT do return from skiing/golfing/wherever it is they go at this time of year, they will be scrutinising what the front line has been up to while they were away. No doubt there'll be some religiously aggravated snowball fights that APS Bloggs incorrectly updated as "not a priority", and some extremely aggravating emails will be sent to me about these and the other ways in which I have brought down Blandshire Constabulary during the festive season.

One of my priorities: to avoid this over Christmas.

In case you're wondering what I DO prioritise at this time of year, the list includes:
  • Calls asking the police to check someone's elderly relative is still alive as they haven't heard from them since the the police attended last New Year's. Whilst the question "Don't you think you should go round yourself" is always valid, at least if we attend I'll know that the relative in question will have one visitor on Christmas Day.
  • Finding and locking up recidivist acquisitive or violent offenders and getting them remanded until after Boxing Day. Sounds like persecution? Good.
  • Making sure my officers are off on time. We're working part of Christmas this year, so they've only got a few hours to snatch with their families as it is.
  • Double-checking everyone's overtime and Special Priority Payment forms to ensure they go through ok, and hand-delivering them to the finance department before they go on holiday.
It all sounds rather selfish, but it's the one time of year when we can police as we choose with little interference from above. As you might imagine, things work rather smoothly most Christmases.

Until New Year's Eve, that is.

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


Blogger The Black Rat said...

I thought all sensible policing went out in 1997. Well done, more power to your elbow but a merde storm is acoming your way by those who apparantly know better above you.
A very merry Christmas and New Year to you & long may we annoy by celebrating Christian holidays

24 December, 2009 13:34

Anonymous Jack and Daves Dad said...

Merry Christmas Bloggsy. Like your values as a skipper.

24 December, 2009 14:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas!

24 December, 2009 15:06

Anonymous Mac said...


Spot on! I've always liked working the fortnight around Christmas because it always feels like how we would police if we could do it our way.

Merry Christmas and here's to Sgt Bloggs in 2010.

24 December, 2009 15:44

Blogger Crime Analyst said...

Have a great Christmas Ellie - Best Wishes - Steve & the gang at Thin Blue Line uk

24 December, 2009 16:39

Blogger Hogday said...

To badly paraphrase from the film "Alien";

`Over Christmas, nobody can hear the SMT scream`.

Thank you for being there and may your Gods be with you.

24 December, 2009 16:47

Anonymous Serpico said...

Merry Christmas Bloggs. I like your comment about locking up recidivist acquisitive or violent offenders. Just what I'm planning to do tonight :)

24 December, 2009 17:53

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

Good postand Merry Christmas to you Bloggsy. My personal body count for this fine Christmas Eve was a drink drive (between 65&70) who was also disqual after a routine "hmmm don't like the look of that dude" - remanded, and my crew mate got a billy on a no bail warrant after a S.23 search. Merry Christmas!!!

24 December, 2009 21:59

Blogger Stressed Out Cop said...

Merry Christmas Sgt Bloggs and all the best for 2010

24 December, 2009 23:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that Santa could have brought the British Public more coppers like you & Gadget.

Have a good one.


25 December, 2009 09:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Bloggsy and all the regular readers of this great blog. Thank you Bloggsy for many an interesting and often inspiring read. God bless you and all the good folk out there, those who "go the extra mile", to help and improve the lot of those in difficult situations. You know who you are. Heroes, loved by Angels.

25 December, 2009 23:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's heart-warming to know there's still coppers up and down the country plotting which scum they can nick at just the right time to keep them in over Christmas.

It's just about the only thing we have left near to torture. That and not allowing them to smoke of course.

26 December, 2009 15:48

Anonymous Steve D. said...

I left my role as an ADS in Central London five years ago, to take a two-year career break in Australia. At that time I had 21 very happy years on the clock (well all except the last couple anyway).

It was so nice down-under that we stayed and I resigned by letter. I read your Blog regularly and it constantly reminds me that I have made the right decision. I really miss the Police, but I've realised I'm missing the job as it used to be. A time when policing was done fairly and with common sense, when bringing villains to justice was a main aim and a certain amount of team spirit was encouraged. It now seems officers spend their whole life completing reams of ACE (Ass Covering Exercise) paperwork, which seems deliberately designed to keep officers off the street, or at least to slow them down to the point of making them totally ineffectual. Team spirit is now called ‘Canteen Culture’ and is strictly prohibited, prisoners are called customers, and certain aggravated section 5 POA offences receive a higher priority than rape and murder.

I keep in contact with my ex-colleagues and it’s sad that they’ve now reached the stage where their moral has been finally crushed. They are still dedicated, but they are resigned to keeping their heads down until retirement. It seems the more an officer does these days, the more grief they attract (especially from above) and the more uncomfortable their life becomes. I seriously doubt that SMTs now view a good thief taker on their team as an asset.

I take my hat off to you and all the other current serving officers, who despite being kicked around like political footballs and having both arms tied behind your backs, continue to provide a very good service in a sensible way and to the best of your ability. Best wishes to you all for a happy and safe 2010.

27 December, 2009 06:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easily I acquiesce in but I dream the collection should acquire more info then it has.

27 December, 2009 12:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is already far not exception

27 December, 2009 14:14

Blogger English Pensioner said...

Your description of the police hierarchy makes it very clear why more and more law-abiding citizens want smaller police forces with local accountability and elected chiefs. The public are interested in results not political correctness and someone facing election would provide them.
The more I read about what is happening here, the more I begin to favour the US system of having Sheriffs in charge!

27 December, 2009 19:08

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