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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Friday, April 29, 2011

God Save the Bank Holiday

Only the hardest-hearted of us would begrudge anyone their wedding.  And in spite of the over-£20 million bill for Wills and Kate's do today, it isn't the royal couple's fault that so many nutters might be out to destroy their day.  Any couple getting married who faced the same level of risk as they, would have the right to expect that level of security.

Nor is it theirs, or David Cameron's fault that protesters could choose to make the issue political, that extremists might see it as an opportune moment to strike, or that people will take to the streets in their thousands and no doubt raise crime and disorder levels nationwide.  Well unless you count Cameron's anti-establishment if-you-want-a- street-party-you-can- have-your-street-party speech.

What IS David Cameron's fault is that the 5000 officers required for the wedding security alone will be being paid double, as will every other police officer on duty everywhere else in the country.  The bill for making 29th April a bank holiday is estimated at £5 billion, about the same amount owed by Britain in PFI deals set up in the Blair/Brown days.  In what universe should bosses have to pay people bank holiday rates for turning up to work in Yorkshire, or Cornwall, because someone's getting married in London?

In the weeks after police officers have been threatened with the removal of their compensations for anti-social working, for Cameron to put this burden, not just onto the Met police who have to staff the occasion, but every other police force, and employer, is outrageous.  A Prime Minister's role in such situations is not to announce a transparent gimmick to garner support and good feeling, but to represent the country's interests by perhaps suggesting to William and Kate that their wedding might take place on one of the four bank holidays occurring anyway around this time.

In the light of Winsor and Hutton, this latest faux pas shows the Coalition Government's proposed reforms to the police have nothing to do with saving money.  Instead they intend to continue the drive by the last government and the European Court, to gradually erode the offices of public sector workers to prop up the sovereignty of Parliament.

Once constables have no privileges, no perks, and no special status - whether in their pay and conditions or sworn office - the ability to think for themselves and disobey unlawful orders will be a thing of the past.  The great British bobby is on its way out.

Melodramatic?  Check out ACPO's simpering response to the catastrophic Neyroud report.

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


Anonymous a said...


29 April, 2011 09:14

Anonymous A Polis Man said...

Sorry that was me

29 April, 2011 09:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See how many Special Constables are on duty today?Double nothing is still nothing.They have been put under severe pressure to work today.
This is future of British policing,unpaid,undertrained PC's.

29 April, 2011 10:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say 20million. I think with the pre wedding work and all the protection work it will be more than that. But i guess we'll never know.
Still all the press hype has a large number of the proles waving flags feeling good, although i suspect they don't know they're paying for it all.....

29 April, 2011 13:08

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Looking at the time of the post either you have just finished nights or have been woken early by the demented cheeping that now passes for the dawn chorus,but you are spot on and I don't take any pleasure in saying this but in 10 years time they will not be the sworn office of constable and you will work for the private sector-controlled by politicians

29 April, 2011 17:47

Blogger English Pensioner said...

Governments like giving away things which cost them nothing. Was it Wilson who introduced the May Day bank holiday?
At least this is (until Prince Harry marries) a once only cost, Wilson's continues on an annual basis.
Oh and what about the Jubilee next year?

29 April, 2011 21:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on Bloggsy. I agree with what you say here. Personally, I do feel that the wedding could and should have been held a bit later on in the year. I cannot help wondering what "bad news" has been buried or just brushed aside by all the Royal Wedding media hype.

But I certainly do NOT begrudge Wills and Kate their wedding, no matter how much it has cost. Early press reports stated that Prince Charles and H.M Queen were paying for most of it, and that the bride's parents were sharing some of the costs too. So I doubt and question the claims that the taxpayers paid for the wedding. The cost of policing will have been paid by tax contributions, to which the royal family also contribute themselves. They also generate a lot of money due to tourists who value our royal heritage...It's a top class "show"!

I did watch it on TV and thought that the wedding service was beautiful and very moving too. Clearly Wills and Kate have thought it all through, taken their time and are sure about each other and that they do want to spend the rest of their lives together. I wish them all the luck in the world and hope that NOTHING will spoil their lives together.

After the grief and heartache William and Harry went through after their mother's tragic death, only the hardest of hearts would seek to put any of the royal family through that sort of situation ever again. Wills and Kate deserve to be allowed to live their lives free of any press intrusions and harassment.

The fact that the media have constantly compared Wills and Kate to the late Diana, gets my alarm bells ringing. The U.K media might have learnt to have some restraint and respect for William, but have the foreign media?

The ruthless actions of the foreign press certainly could place the newly weds at risk, unless they do leave them in peace to enjoy a normal married life, and to get on with the job they will do.

Best wishes to the royal newly weds, Prince William and Princess Catherine.

30 April, 2011 22:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the last person colleagues would describe as a lefty.
The Royals (Tax payers) and the family paid for the direct costs, NOT the policing, military (SF), Security services, costs to companies for paying staff for another bank holiday etc etc.
Tourists come to see the pomp and ceremony not necessarily the Royals themselves.
From a purely policing perspective I was interested that the uniform cops were in ceremonial code, tunics and white gloves and no ppe, yet there was sufficient threat that overtly armed officers were backing them up. Although that was another con like the Queen mother's funeral where unattested trainee officers were out on cordons and therefore legally could not carry ppe.Also the apparent coincidental pre-emptive raids and arrests on the usual suspects who MPS SMT let run riot a few weeks ago when there was no royal wedding, strange that. I guess you don't get your QPM if the undesirables protest during the world spectacle.
Smoke and mirrors. For those police officers that think it was all very wonderful, let's see if you think the same when this government bends us over and gives us the good news on pensions, overtime and conditions , because this whole thing was a feel good exercise by the current public school / Oxbridge uling classes to hoodwink those that have to do real work to live.

01 May, 2011 01:28

Blogger The Custody Sgt said...

I was quite pleased it was a Friday. These normally qualify for special discounted rates. It would have been so much mire expensive to do it on a Saturday.

05 May, 2011 13:22

Anonymous JohnM said...

Wasn't the 29th a PUBLIC holiday, and not a bank holiday ?
If so, there was no obligation to pay those who had the day off !
And the PFI scheme was started by the previous conservative government.

10 May, 2011 07:57


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