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, January 06, 2010

Our policy is to use discretion to follow policy

Apparently, Ruralshire's opinion on snowball-throwing yobs is that "there is nothing we can do about [them]". I am disgusted by this approach, which demonstrates that the Discretion Policy is yet to reach Ruralshire and they are obviously still doing things according to the archaic National Crime Recording Standards, under which you might not suppose that crime could involve snowballs. Discretion is the new NCRS, and it has been rolled out force-wide, dramatically impacting on how we police.

So here in Blandshire we can and will do the following if you report a snowball-related crime:
  • The call-taker will use his discretion to create a crime report for criminal damage/assault.
  • The controller will use her discretion to establish that both of these offences are covered by the All Crime Initiative, therefore a PCSO will immediately attend.
  • The PCSO's discretion helps him/her ascertain that a crime has indeed occurred, and it might even be racially aggravated, and he/she will therefore pass the investigation to a police officer.
  • This is an eminently solvable crime (the offender being a youth aged 11-13, with brown hair, wearing a distinctive grey hoodie, male or female), therefore it will make an appearance in the morning meeting and APS Bloggs will be told to use her discretion to ensure a member of her team attends it without fail.

  • Straight after the morning meeting, APS Bloggs will craft a discretionary email to the Local Police Area (LPA) Commander explaining why her shift were unable to attend the incident all day, and save it in the Drafts folder.
  • Several hours later, the LPA Commander will sneak into the report room when APS Bloggs is out, and use his authority to dispatch one of her officers directly to the scene. The officer will phone APS Bloggs from custody and explain how, it being racially aggravated, he felt he had little alternative but to use his discretion to immediately arrest several grey-hoodied youths in the area.
  • The custody sergeant's opinion will be that the case should be immediately dropped, and so he will use his discretion to comply with the new Possible Daily Mail Article Policy, and bail all the youngsters for a specialist review by the Inspector In Charge of Ensuring We Do Not Drop Cases That Might Lead to Detection, Complaint, or Murder.*
  • The Inspector will pore over every scrap of paper relating to the snowball-throwing, race-hate scourge of Blandmore, and will likely order that all the youths be asked to sign contracts against snowball-throwing. This kind of disposal doesn't yet count as a detection, but it might some day soon.
  • At the end of the day, APS Bloggs will accidentally send her drafted email, much to the confusion of the LPA Commander.
As you can clearly see, if you are going to be the victim of a racist snowball attack, you had better be one in Blandshire, where our investigative standards are of the highest order.

If you think the above is funny, you obviously haven't been to Hertfordshire.

* Some critics have argued that the Possible Daily Mail Article Policy may not be strictly legal, but in this era of discretion it's really up to us now whether or not we obey the law.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Ellie!

Is this part of "Community Orientated Policing" - where we finally thought we might get some discretion?And there was I, quite excited when I heard about that.....

Officer and a lady

06 January, 2010 19:56

OpenID inspectorgadget said...

Actually, in Ruralshire, we are also supposed to do all of the above however, none of the SMT can be arsed to tackle the snow in their expensive German cars, so they are not at work, so we can act properly for a change!

And no, the lack of SMT will NOT have any effect at all on the efficient running of the force.

07 January, 2010 07:09

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

The following conversation is true-well nearly-and took place when i was checking the found property with the Insp at the front desk-the Inspector was from OOp North and was known by his nick name of the "Screaming Skull"-MOP in high dugeon enters the station and says "Inspector some louts have been throwing snowballs at me"
Inspector"Fook off cant you see we are busy"
MOP "fooks off" never to be heard of again.

07 January, 2010 11:37

Anonymous R/T said...

Re: the Herts article - it's ALWAYS a poxy Chief Insp, isn't it?

07 January, 2010 14:27

Anonymous MarkUK said...

This made me smile when I recalled an incident from at least 20 years ago.

I wasn't living at my parents' place, but for some reason I was going. My dad had picked me up, and both my brothers were in the car.

As we turned into my dad's street, three lads pelted the car with (loose packed) snowballs. They then ran off down the road.

My dad followed - slowly, as the road was treacherous. Even then, we caught them up as they turned into a cul-de-sac.

Next thing, all four doors of the care were thrown open and four blokes got out. It was like a scene from The Sweeney!

Three young teens were just about cr*pping themselves!

My dad asked for an apology, which they gave in a grovelling manner, and then we drove off. I'm not sure what the lads thought was going to happen to them; being nicked (though we weren't police and never implied that we were) or being kneecapped.

Giving an apology was way below what they expected. Mind you, my dad didn't get snowballed again.

07 January, 2010 22:13

OpenID inspectorgadget said...

People like the one above will soon be deciding our 'local policing priorities' (if the Tories are elected).


09 January, 2010 09:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the term, 'the controller will use their discretion etc' I have phoned Police twice in the last year about suspicious incidents that I had seen. Both times ended with an argument with said controller who did not think it was suspicious. OK, who am I to argue after suffering 34 yrs at the sharp end. Civvy controllers, I love 'em.

09 January, 2010 20:12

Anonymous Elliott said...

BJLF - Being Just a Lobotimised F**kwit?

Bloggs - love the name of the Possible Daily Mail Article Policy!

10 January, 2010 21:15

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really IS the case, that both the Tories and NuLabour have made a lot of mistakes over the past 50 years, and especially over the past 20+ yrs, regarding policing and social policy. We are living with the nightmare results of BOTH parties tinkering with society and how it rubbed along.

I personally will be very happy to see the back of Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and a few others of their ilk, however......Dave Cameron IS NOT the "Saviour" of this nation, nor of the Conservative party. He's too much like Tony Blair, and would do NOTHING to steer this country back in the right direction, IF he became PM. So don't be fooled by his spin.

If the Tories had Boris Johnson, or David Davis, [their former shadow Home Sec] as their leader, well that would be a different story and a lot better for this country. So I hope that Dave Cameron doesn't get into No10, because IT REALLY WILL BE MORE OF THE SAME OLD NONSENSE, and another disaster for this country.

A great pity too, that the Lib Dems got rid of Ming Campbell, because Nick Clegg is also far too weak to save this country from the misguided policies of the Tories and NuLabour. Perhaps the Lib Dems should consider bringing back Ming, or Paddy Ashdown to lead them, or elect Vince Cable as their leader, to help put the UK back on the right track.

This country could certainly do with a change, but NOT back to the Tories led by Dave Cameron, because he's too weak to be a strong PM and sort out the mess that has been made......particularly by the underhanded and deceptive NuLabour lot.....who have FAILED to "get it right" and also FAILED to take notice of very serious Intel warnings, meant to protect national security and people's lives. There is NO excuse for that.

Minority Report Officer

12 January, 2010 01:04

Anonymous Metcountymounty said...

pandy is creeping me out with the constant insistance on 3rd person commentary…… I AM Winston Churchill when he home secretary and I look upon the full blown and profound threat of anihiliation to bring myself, round, unlike that twat Neville Chamberlain who obviously didn’t know the face of evil despite sitting across the table from it.

13 January, 2010 19:05


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