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, June 03, 2010

Newsflash: new law to save all lives!

In a bold move, the new Government has responded to recent events with the swift enactment of the Protection From Insanity Act 2010. Already being fondly referred to as the "Losing It Law", the new act outlaws certain behaviour, and puts in place safeguards to protect society from violent criminals.

Just some of the new laws are:
  • All allegations of a threat to kill must result in someone being incarcerated indefinitely in prison.
  • Those who shy away from regular social contact shall be required to sign the Loners' Register for life.
  • It is illegal to use your legally-possessed firearm to kill another person.
  • Before issuing any person with a firearm certificate, they will be made financially insolvent, diagnosed with a terminal illness, divorced by their partner and made subject to a distressing course of harassment. They will then be carefully monitored by a GP and Member of Parliament for any telltale signs that they are prone to stress. Only those who do not react will be permitted to possess a gun.
The Government is confident that the new measures are necessary to put an absolute stop to all murders, forever.

What a relief.

This article is in no way intended to distress those affected by the terrible massacre in Cumbria this week. Or to rub salt into the wounds of those who knew Rachael Slack. Or to excuse the police where their negligence or incompetence leads to preventable tragedy.

But there is a trade-off. Every step towards protecting people from the unrestrained acts of others is a step away from the same people's freedom from restraint.

We can hold authorities accountable, and call for new laws, and decry negligence. As long as we understand what is at stake on either side.

David Cameron: "You can't legislate to stop a switch flicking in someone's head and this sort of dreadful action taking place."

If Bird hadn't been licensed to possess a .22 rifle and a shotgun, he would have murdered his victims some other way.

Having said that, as Gadget says, perhaps he would have been stopped quicker if the gun laws surrounding the police were not so rigid. The public don't want the police to be armed. But it's still our fault we didn't stop Derrick Bird sooner.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those who shy away from regular social contact shall be required to sign the Loners' Register for life."

Oh dear, that sounds like it would mean going outside. Is it possible to do this online?

03 June, 2010 22:06

Anonymous Pete said...

That you are now trying to gain some sick kudos from your infantile remarks and comments upon the death and murder of a dozen innocent people (including children), in your puerile little "blog" is utterly and completely contemptible.

You are utterly beyond the pale. You absolute piece of shit you, WPC Bimbo.

Do the right thing - and resign.

You fucking stupid, pretentious tart.

04 June, 2010 00:13

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I think your piece is intended to say, there is, finally, no absolute protection against the insane or against the criminally destructive. The probability that any of us will be gunned down by a stranger is tiny but it is not zero. (Nor is the probability of winning the Lotto or being crushed by a falling piano.)

When a "massacre" like this occurs, the British temperament is to find someone to blame. This is an easy game to play because when we look back at an event with the knowledge of hindsight, it is always easy to suggest what could have been done to prevent it or to mitigate its effects.

That does not mean that those things ought to have been done or that people without the benefit of hindsight could have known to do them at the time.

By all means, let's do what we reasonably can to prevent disasters like this but also, let's realize that complete safety for ourselves and those we love is not possible. Let us also realize that there is not always someone to blame.

04 June, 2010 09:19

Blogger AJ said...

I am glad that this government appears ot have decided that it would be a good idea to wait until the full facts of the situation are available and have been fully considered before deciding if any change in the law is required. A nice change from the knee jerk reaction I had come to expect from the previous lot

04 June, 2010 11:31

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

AJ, fully agreed. I think the tide is at last turning when it comes to the plethora of new laws and excessive public inquiries we've seen in the last ten years.

Pete, thanks for your comments, I'll take them on board.

04 June, 2010 12:31

Blogger Busy said...

Even if we were all armed to the teeth. One wonders how many officers were on duty in rural Cumbria on a weekday morning?
Not enough to contain someone on the move in a vehicle I would suggest.

04 June, 2010 13:27

Anonymous AKOP said...

From The Mirror....

Bob Lunn wrote: "I feel sorry for the people who have died, and the family and friends that they left behind.

"But how was this guy not stopped sooner? I can understand the inevitable two or three people getting shot, but 12 dead?

"The police should have been all over it as soon as there was a reported shooting... The police have a lot to answer for in my opinion."

I was listening to this incident live on the radio and believe you me everything that could be done to find and stop him was, this comment is typical of the ignorant kneejerk gutter press looking to sell papers at any cost including the reputation of the local police.

04 June, 2010 13:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete your comments show you to be the kind of person who's opinion is not welcome on what it a serious issue. Please crawl back under your bridge.

04 June, 2010 13:44

Blogger JuliaM said...

Busy:"Even if we were all armed to the teeth. One wonders how many officers were on duty in rural Cumbria on a weekday morning?
Not enough to contain someone on the move in a vehicle I would suggest."

That's a good point. And a good argument against the 'if the police were armed they'd have stopped him!' suggestion.

It seems as if (from what we know so far) the local police attended the scene immediately and there's a report in one of the papers (can't think which one) that they may well have run straight past the gunman, as at that time they did not know who they were looking for, or even what had happened.

From then on, it was off to the races, and there's no reports that police actually saw or caught up with him at any point until after he'd killed himself.

So, assuming there wasn't a 'stand down until ARVs get there' order, what good would them being armed have done?

04 June, 2010 15:10

Anonymous Old Codger said...

It is a good job we have changed government otherwise such a law would have been a possibility.

04 June, 2010 20:25

Blogger Hogday said...

JuliaM: A very good comment and in answer to your final question, it would have given individual officers a chance of protecting themselves had they stumbled across him. As for protecting the public, then they would only have been able to protect them if they happened to be in the same spot as the police officer when said `stumbling upon` happened. Incidentally, an officer armed with a pistol would not have had even a 50/50 chance of surviving a confrontation with that particular murdering bastard. They would have had to have seen him first, been close enough to guarantee a first time hit (extra tricky when you are scared shitless) and then shot him without giving a warning.

05 June, 2010 16:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
If all forces had high numbers of armed units floating around there would be an outcry at the "dangers" and costs.
For some reason something caused Bird to go on the rampage, we will possibly never know why.
Routine police arming hasn't prevented such massacres happening elsewhere in the world.
I must admit, my initial (kneejerk) reaction was that all Police should be armed. But now I'm not so sure- I think Bloggs has got it right. Would they have been able to stop Bird if there was more ready access to arms for Police? I'm not sure. But at least they would have stood a sorting chance.
I remember vividly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about Hungerford (I was still a child then)and Dunblane. That goes to show how rare such tragic events are in the UK.
For now our thoughts should be with those caught up in those terrible events, those who have been injured and those who have lost loved ones.
Once again, hats off to the amazing people who had to deal with the events and the aftermath. I very much doubt they will get the recognition thill gey deserve. Just the usual recriminations from people who have never actually been at the sharp end, nor had to put their life on the line for other total strangers.

06 June, 2010 23:03


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