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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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Teeny Weeny Itsy Bitsy Blue Line

David Cameron: "The budget cuts will not affect front line services."

PC Bloggs: "I've yet to hear a convincing argument of how these cuts are NOT going to affect front-line services. Anyone?"

Today Greater Manchester Police has taken a deep breath and admitted that front line posts will go in the latest round of cuts.   Any force that does not follow suit is lying.  The government will no doubt claim that forces are free to decide how to enact the cuts themselves, and it is therefore GMP's choice to cut front line numbers. In fact, from next year, it will be the people of GMP's choice.  Big Society in action.

Blandshire Constabulary itself has frozen recruitment and will not be replacing retiring officers over the next couple of years.  Which means we're bracing ourselves for a repeat of a couple of years ago when shifts were daily being brought up to strength by officers on overtime and rest day working.  Except that overtime is likely to be limited too.  Indeed, if ACPO get its way and sells front line police down the river for the sake of its bottom line, no one will be willing to work on rest days or do overtime, and someone will successfully take their Chief to the European Court of Human Rights for their right to say no to unreasonable work demands.

Meanwhile, down at the sharp end, officers are attending jobs like this, and daily making decisions whereby their own and others lives hang in the balance.

Sir Hugh Orde made a good point last month (after putting down his pen from signing the secret document regarding reform to police pay and conditions). He said, "We are going to have to ask some really hard questions with the public: what is it that you want the police to stop doing?"  

But it's not the public we should be asking, it's Whitehall, and we should not stop asking until we have an answer that adds up.

NB If you announce that you have axed police performance targets, please inform the body responsible for measuring the police against them.

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


Blogger jezhuggins said...

The cuts to the police budget will affect them; the days of seeing a friendly Police Constable passing the time of day walking down the street near to local schools, shops, parks etc are gone... Public reassurance (Keeping the Peace?) may have to be moved down the definition of a Police Constable?

16 November, 2010 06:56

Anonymous Rufus said...

Andy Hamilton on the News Quiz on radio 4, about 30 Millbank Square:

“They [the students] attacked the Conservative party headquarters and the police were totally unprepared. Funny that, in the light of the spending review. When Cameron rings the Chief Constable to complain, he’ll probably say ‘well, we didn’t have enough policemen. You know, if we end up having even fewer policemen, well you could end up with Conservative HQ being attacked every week’”

16 November, 2010 11:19

Anonymous Draybird said...

Guess their going to raise the retirement age then? Mind you, it's not like we need more officers who've been there, seen it, done it and are sick of it :(

What do us great unwashed want the police to stop doing? Nuthin. We want the police to be exempt from both financial constraints and political shinanigins.

Haven't heard anywhere that anyone's going to bother asking our permission tho....

16 November, 2010 11:41

Anonymous Bill said...

Orde asks: "What is it that you want the police to stop doing?"

Bill replies: "Stop peeing money down the drain. I've seen a couple of grand squandered in the last few days on my patch, and I'm sure it's a regular occurrence."

16 November, 2010 20:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are those bonus payments made to senior officers real or media hype? If they are real, there's your cuts...

16 November, 2010 22:02

Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Minty -
I think Sue Sim has cut her hairdressing budget...

Here we could save quite a lot of money by not paying two people to do half a job each. These aren't job share posts, we seem to revel in petty administrators who were not, are not and never will be of any consequence to the front line.
Add to that our four Divisional HR departments, plus an additional one at HQ and we are probably paying around 100 people to do the job of 10.

Meanwhile, because of some new Control Room protocols, we are taking on more, not less. Noise is not a Police matter, it's an Environmental Health issue and we have no powers. However, noise will now be graded as ASB and we will have to go, otherwise it's inevitable that the mistakes made over the border by Leicestershire will be repeated and people will die in their hundreds. Fortunately, although we still have no powers, we can allocate the job a non-crime ASB number and risk assess it, keeping another minor flunkey in an audit role during these difficult times and tying up a cop with something that could and should be dealt with by another agency.

We'd save a fortune if we had the balls to say 'No' a bit more often.

17 November, 2010 10:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notts sarge,
you mean she actually spent money on that barnett????
Waste on non jobs is rife throughout the public sector. Meanwhile those on the frontline feel the pinch as the tools they need to do their job, and the number of staff doing the job is cut further and further.
My workload has doubled in the past 18 months... Minty

17 November, 2010 19:42

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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18 November, 2010 22:50

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ẁhat do I want the police to stop doing? I'll tell you.

I want the police to stop arresting the same person for burglarly/assault/whatever for a fourth time. If ANYONE is arrested for a fourth time, I want a NON-police enquiry into WHY this person was not already in prison, and I want them in prison that day.

I want the police to stop processing the arrests of people who've just been released from prison. Anyone arrested who's been in prison in the last 12 months skips all the usual shenanigans and just goes back inside, immediately, until their cases are processed.

Fundamentally, I want the police to stop having to waste their time and my money chasing after the same half-dozen scrotes over and over and over again. Stop the hand-wringing, stop the rehabilitation, and admit that there are some people on whom it simply makes social and financial sense to give up. Those people should, yes, be housed and fed at the taxpayer's expense - I shall pay that cost with a spring in my step and a song in my heart, if I know that they are
(a) locked up (so they can't burgle/assault/otherwise inconvenience me)
(b) not fat (if their BMI is overaverage their rations should be cut until it's right)
(c) not getting out.

If after three visits to prison someone persists in behaviour that lands them there, then let them stay there for the rest of their life. Why not?

19 November, 2010 11:30

Blogger Fox said...

Anon at 1130 hours

You can stand for elected police cheif for me!

19 November, 2010 19:10

Blogger Fox said...

oops 'chief'

19 November, 2010 19:12

Blogger staghounds said...

Cut the pay of the 5% of senior commanders to equal that of the lowest ranking rookies.

Having the opportunity to serve at such a high rank should be reward enough.

I'd happily take my boss' job for my subordinate's pay, wouldn't you?

19 November, 2010 22:41

Blogger staghounds said...

Here's your budget cut- change the op 10% of senior officers' pay to equal that of the newest rookies'.

The opportunity to serve in such a critically important position ought to be reward enough.

(I'd do my boss' job for my junior's pay, wouldn't you?)

19 November, 2010 22:46

Blogger staghounds said...

Oops, sorry Ell, forgot about the moderation.

I'll be passing near you on Sunday, lunch is on me if you like- staghounds at bellsouth dot net.

19 November, 2010 22:48

Anonymous PJW1 said...

To anon, you're basically talking about the three strikes rule. they've been trying that with gang members in the states for years. hasn't quite workied has it - been to L.A recently? I agree that repeat offending scum must be dealt with severley, however it is more due to the lack of funds given by the government to the various rehabilitation organisations (drugs/alcohol/sexual abuse). ie the courts make an order for an offender to attend such a unit as an out patient and the case workers there only have a very limited time to deal with the offender who may have very complex mental health issues fuelled by drug/alcohol abuse. There are a hard core of criminals who have committed henous crimes and need to be locked up for life. But to lock a teenager or twenty - something up for life because the government haven't invested appropiately in the rehabilitation services is a sad indictment of a 21st century, western society. We have the knowledge, we have the proffessionals trained to help these people. If only the government would pay them to do it instead of housing foriegn terrorists and fiddling expenses.
To sum up, the government need to invest the money in the rehabilitation structure. I not talking about setting up nonentity committees or refurnishing a rehab unit. Im talking about putting the money in the right direction - research, employing the most experienced proffessionals they can find, more liasing with the front line, rank and file police officers who deal with these people face to face on a daily basis.
Anon, your over emotional answer to societies problems is medieavil at best. Proper brain power, correct investment and more police officers on the streets is the answer.

20 November, 2010 09:58

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statistic 10% of criminals cause 90% of crime is the main point here!
As Anon rightly pointed out, we (police) want this too... but its the courts that are letting us down! I know of atleast 12 people who have over 100 recorded crimes and are still out on the streets, suprise suprise committing more crime!

What about 'Constant supervision' when a prisoner needs one or two officers to guard them because they want to hurt them selves or have taken on overdose (just as the police arrive) so need hospital..
On my shift last night 2 officers on a scene, 2 at hospital guarding a prisoner and 2 on seperate prisoner gards... That was just my shift of 15! Brill!!!

22 November, 2010 16:01

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orde asks: "What is it that you want the police to stop doing?"

Well they could stop building nice, new, police stations and only having them open 10 to 6, but closed for lunch, Monday to Friday.
On Saturday I went down to our new nick to report the loss of my partners purse. Cardigan Station closed and the compound full of nice clean police cars. I just gave up. Why should I bother when the local police don't?

23 November, 2010 07:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a student and I must say I'm greatly looking forward to jamming several thousand unhappy police officers into a small space when they exercise their right to protest.

Just one question: would you like us to leave you a van right next to the media section, or will you provide your own?

26 November, 2010 20:03

Blogger Big Fella said...

anon at 1130, we need more of you in court, on the jury, in the ministry for justice, and the home office MP. that would help the police put the right people away, keep the streets clean and safe for nice members of the public to live their lives without worrying.
I quite like the american sherrif who runs his prison where the inmates where pink are shackled and work all day, they are fed and watered, have the chrisitan channel, weather channel to watch and thats about it. one prisoner interviewed stated he would never commit crime again - it works hard prison none of this open prison, with tvs and ps2s if your good. Crims shoudl admit their guilt to police on first interview not at last chance in court so that they get time off for admission. I could go on and on.

26 November, 2010 20:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The police are the public and the public are the police.

What I would like the Met top brass to STOP doing, is telling porkies to the government and to the media, about serious matters.
There has been a lot of misleading information come out from the Met over the years.

The latest "porkie" being fed to government and the press was....."the police could not have predicted the student riot" a few weeks ago". Utter nonsense and LIES.

They, the Met, and MI5 [et al] had/have foretold Intelligence documents that specifically PREDICTED the students would storm the Tory HQ and TRASH IT.

So, what happened to the Met's copy of their Intelligence document of accurate and credible foretold information and warnings given to protect the public and the best interests of this once fine country? This Intelligence information was obtained and provided by respected and responsible police officers in 1957, who were 100% satisfied of its credibility and value.

"Someone" must have had an alternative agenda, to have consistently dismissed and denied the historical Intelligence records, guidance and warnings. One of which, was to NOT introduce draconian anti terror laws after the FORETOLD 7-7 bombings in London.

Perhaps the Intel about the student take over of Tory HQ was ignored, and too few police deployed on the demo, to then justify another hidden agenda and political manipulation.

Smoke and Mirrors Theresa May!

Operation Beelzebub codename Lawrence - royal protection officer.

29 November, 2010 01:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the portal

29 November, 2010 20:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As with all jobs. If you don't like it, get a different one. Stop moaning.

12 December, 2010 18:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

15 December, 2010 04:06

Blogger Mother Sharon Damnable said...

Ha ha interesting comments :>)

Student annonyouse at 26 November, 2010 20:03 very good!

Although the police have already been kettled and they "didn't like it up 'em"

Although the students certainly showed more good humour than the police do when they kettle innocent

What I really wanted to comment on was this fiction of the "thin blue line" what is this evocative myth?

The thin blue line is held by the people, the police gave up on the Blue line when they changed their uniforms to black, joined the freemasons, sold out to the government and abused the people who REALLY pay their wages.

Please stop using this term, continuation of your use of this term will be considered a criminal offence.................

16 December, 2010 10:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless what you say I think the police are lazy and only choose things what are easy to deal with..I live in the countryside and the police round here are so board that they have become bullies and can only pick on helpless teenagers

29 January, 2011 03:28


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