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.

(All proceeds from Google Ads will be donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Visibility, Schmisibility

Sorry for the absence. I've been on holiday.  Luckily, I took my uniform with me, and a lot of British tourists at the resort were highly reassured to see me sunbathing in half-blues.

The totally utterly independent think tank The Policy Exchange has come up with a number of genius suggestions this week that by amazing coincidence and vindication of the Government, coincide exactly with what ministers have been saying:

Apparently, a lot of uniformed police are doing back office roles and money could be saved by giving these jobs to civilians.  The Policy Exchange does not suggest how many of them might be on restricted duties and therefore needing stints away from the front-line.  Nor does The Policy Exchange talk about how many civilians are currently doing front-line roles such as PCSOs, designated investigators, and statement-takers.  Engaging civilian staff has nothing to do with protecting the front-line. 

The next suggestion: police should wear uniform on the way to work.  This would equate to 1200 extra police officers "on the streets".  I must say, there is certainly nothing more reassuring than looking over as you wait in traffic for your daily commute, and seeing that the person waiting next to you is a uniformed police officer.

The Government, as usual, has "welcomed" The Policy Exchange's report, which is another way of saying it was already due to be absorbed into the next police reform paper and they quickly needed an independent body to back them up.

Whichever high-flying Conservative Oxbridge graduate at The Policy Exchange came up with this genius idea, and actually thought it was doable, I'd like to meet him/her.  They'd get on like a house on fire with my Area Commander.

On another note - what does The Policy Exchange think we wear to work currently?  I personally like to travel in dressed in a full red latex gimp suit, just so I'm totally unable to respond should I happen across a crime whilst queueing on the slip-road of my town's bypass.

"Help officer, I've had my bike stolen!"

"Don't look at us, we're just waiting to get into the club on a night out."

You couldn't make it up.  Except that somebody did.

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


Blogger A Polis Man said...

The comments on the BBC are interesting in yoof speak this idea is an epic fail!

oh and 1st :)

05 September, 2011 09:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This wont happen. Mainly for cost reasons as there are strict rules on claiming overtime for off-duty arrests.Secondly a few PC's will get hurt as they wont be carrying the correct equipment and they will end up suing.
What is happening is that the government are floating ridiculous ideas hoping to turn the public even more against us.

05 September, 2011 09:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will we be getting paid from leaving our homes then ? When my windows get put through will my insurance company continue to insure me without punishment knowing that this'll be a regular occurrence from then on. And when my home gets broken into and uniform stolen then used in numerous bogus burglaries, robberies etc will the government still think it's a great idea? What contingencies have they put in place for storing CS/PAVA at home? Likewise taser? Because they are all part of my uniform and if I wear one piece I wear them all. Otherwise what's the point?

05 September, 2011 11:22

Anonymous Juma said...

I think it's a great idea. I think we should ask the same from fire fighters, A&E staff, and maybe a chef or two as well.

Immagine how *reassured* people would feel with a firefighter in full gear and a cook with all his knifes next to them on the bus!


05 September, 2011 15:10

Blogger Hogdayafternoon said...

Maybe if we made double-glazing sales people wear a sign telling everyone what they do.....nah, why should THEY be left alone.

05 September, 2011 15:44

Blogger Lex Ferenda said...

I think it is a sad state of affairs when police officers are saying that it is not safe for them to go to and from work in uniform.
In the 60's and 70's local police officers lived on the estates in communities and went to work in uniform without too many problems. Throughout the 80's they were withdrawn.
The difference between then and now is there was far more respect for the police and we enjoyed the support of the justice system and courts.
Now, parents don't parent, schools cannot discipline anyone. The first time unruly yobs come across any authority that can actually deal with them it is the police and so we have become the enemy. The justice system cannot cope with the numbers of offenders, sentences have lost all deterrent value and those charged with rehabilitating these youths are clueless and treated as a joke.

I think it would be great if we could turn the clock back to those halcyon days of police officers patrolling the streets with nothing more than a whistle and a cuff behind the ear. But what will happen now to the yobs who decide to abuse us or assault us? Bugger all to be frank. So until we have that support you can forget it.

05 September, 2011 19:09

Blogger Joker said...

I did think the whole leaving/entering your house in uniform would amuse. As Lex Ferenda said, people used to have more respect for officers in earlier days, but it's fanciful to think that's still the case.

The report was a bit naive. Do they want people like Mark Andrews on the streets? Some are (supposed to be) behind desks for a reason...

06 September, 2011 10:42

Blogger Boy on a bike said...

Here is NSW, we went down the civilians in the back office route years ago.

We have a new government. They've looked at the books and found that there are loads of coppers unable to work on the front line due to injury etc, but are sitting around at home doing nothing but still drawing a salary. The new idea is to give the civilian staff the boot and put the burnt out coppers into the back office. It's thought this will help in several ways, not least the fact that they know something about policing!

The worm turns....

06 September, 2011 11:42

Blogger Nationalist said...

On the plus side, if you're forced to commute in uniform you're presumably allowed to go to the pub in uniform (mandatory after work stop off!) drink pints in uniform, nip outside and smoke a fag in uniform and then amble home tipsy in uniform.

And then when you nick someone and the defence brief asks, "Is it fair to say officer that your judgement may have been impaired through drink?" You can quite openly say, "Yes it is, I was half-cut and floating on air when I nicked the scrote and there's nothing you do can about it because I was on my own time and only wearing the uniform because them's the rules."

06 September, 2011 12:44

Anonymous painauchocolat said...

It's a bloomin' ridiculous idea (as illustrated above).

Nice to have Pete back though, I needed a laugh this morning.

06 September, 2011 13:26

Blogger Tulip said...

I can see that leaving your home in the morning, dressed as a police officer, could leave you wondering what was going to happen to your family during the day while you are not there. If you are scared of being a police officer, why did you join up?

In the USA, my colleague was offered lower rent for a house near his station, with a bigger discount if he parked his Police Car on the driveway while off duty. This ammounted to half the cost.

Having a police officer living in the same street tends to improve the general lot for the area and is welcomed in most parts of the world.

I guess in this country, we would be looking over our shoulders in case the police officer living nearby was looking to book us for a minor infringement because he was having a bad day.

I have seen police officers at the local HQ completely ignore vehicles with silly 'number plates' containing corrupted fixings to place a 'dot' over a '1' to make 'i', or parking their motocycles in the handicapped zone. When challenged, I was told to pi55 off as those vehicles were not really breaking the law as they were on a private car park. The fact they 'drove' to and from work seemed to be missed on the officer. But, rules for some and different rules for others.

Yeah, come to think of it, I can see why your too limp wristed to wear uniform to and from work, you might find a need to do something that didn't involve standing watching.

Wear your uniforms with pride, or don't bother wearing them at all and save the tax payer a few bob.

06 September, 2011 14:51

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Errr Tulip, I'm a bit confused. You have a snide dig at police officers because they "might book us for a minor infringement", then in the next paragraph you have another dig at them for not acting IMMEDIATELY when you pointed out.......a minor infringement.

It helps to think these things through before posting on a public forum, otherwise it's possible to come across as a bit thick.

06 September, 2011 17:01

Anonymous bachelors in criminal justice Philadelphia, PA said...

Nice sharing your experiences here. Good informative post. Thanks for sharing. Keep posting. Stay in touch.

06 September, 2011 18:23

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, it really is time you stopped masterbating after the riots. Have you not realised most of the scum involved are now banged up, albeit for a few months.
You have missed the whole point. It is not about being afraid of yobs, it is about having the support of the justice system.

Tulip, you are also part of the problem. Feral youths are a growing problem but so are the middle classes too. You want people done for speeding down your street, using number plates with dots in the wrong place and noisy yobs chastised. But when it is you or your offspring offending then the police should have better things to do and shouldn't alienate nice young people like your Rupert.

06 September, 2011 18:23

Anonymous Paul-UK said...

Just being a real historical anorak here. But early in the history of the police in the UK you had to wear your uniform while you were on and off duty. You identified officers who were on duty by them wearing a striped band on the sleeve. (I think the City of London Police still does it.)

06 September, 2011 20:55

Anonymous bail bonds las vegas said...

Some people just single you out and start trouble with people in uniform for some reason....just happened to some National Guards' members here in Nevada.

06 September, 2011 22:32

Anonymous Pete said...

Hundreds of coppers...... dozens of rioters.

Police? Gutless spineless cowards.

Anyone dumb enough to even *try* to argue with this particular piece of film footage?

06 September, 2011 22:59

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still masterbating over video clips Peter. I have watched your clip and seen a lot worse.
Your problem is you are too stupid and bigoted to understand what you are seeing.
Hundreds of police officers stood in lines watching rioters burning and looting. The problem was with the leadership. Senior officers held the officers back as they were too scared to give the order to charge. They were worried that if the police went in rioters would get battered and we might have another Ian Thomlinson situation. They were also worried that a police officer may be killed or seriously injured.
Doing nothing wasn't going to ruin their future careers. A dead rioter or cop would.
Now troll off somewhere else.

06 September, 2011 23:31

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great policy. Thanks

R835P56X Black Friday

07 September, 2011 09:40

Blogger Tulip said...

I understand, as in the armed forces, police officers are 'on duty' all day and night, regardless of whether or not they are wearing the physical uniform.

That being said, the limitation of paid duty hours are negotiated to ensure police officers are amply rewarded for the job they volunteered to do.

So wearing uniform, is not a limitation on a police officers ability to work, or to receive remuneration. Wear your uniform with pride, or continue to attract attention from those that call you spineless and gutless.

07 September, 2011 11:28

Blogger Tulip said...

Altering a vehicle registration plate is not 'a minor infringement', it is an offence.

Once you understand the implications of an act becoming an offence, minor infringements become a prevarication to reduce the applied work to resolve an activity.

All Police Officers understand the mechanics of the term 'Offence'.

All Police Officers are supposed to record, and effect an activity of one form or another, upon becoming aware of an offence.

You side step a lot of Offences as the work would outweigh the result or the cost would be disporpotionate.

In other words, there are some offences you choose to ignore and some you choose not to ignore, this, and this alone, this selective policing, is that which drives those that see you acting in a way contrary to the excpected , is such enough to earn your well deserved brickbats.

Consistency, accuracy simplicity and transparency are the key ingredients to policing success. I am afraid that for many of you, the recent events captured on worlwide television show a remarkable lack of one or more of those attributes.

I am not anti-Police, but am concerned at the rate of policing failures funded by the public purse.


07 September, 2011 11:42

Anonymous criminal justice colleges Philadelphia, PA said...

Hi, Glad that you are back. Your blog title, 'The 21st century police officer' itself is very attractive and so your blog posts.
Keep posting. Do stay in touch.

07 September, 2011 13:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be pleased to wear my Uniform to and from work. I can imagine it now, pictures of me in the press as I go clubbing after work or into my local for a few drinks. Hey maybe I could go to a strip club in my uniform as per the Human Rights Act I have a right to a private life when I finish my work. It would indeed be more visibale to the public.

07 September, 2011 14:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Tulip, what is the ‘minor infringement’ the cops booked you for? Was that no also an offence?

07 September, 2011 16:15

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tulip,
There is a difference between say, murder, and having a non standard number plate. Yes they are both offences, but most people would acknowledge that one is more serious than the other, and it would be quite accurate to refer to the number plate offence as a minor infringement. I could go on deconstructing your "argument" but I can't be bothered.

07 September, 2011 19:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, You are a troll but here's the thing: I've been in lots of fights, dealt with lots of situations where I've been heavily outnumbered, hell I even disarmed a man waving a cavalry sabre at me once when all I had was a short wooden stick, and I STILL think the wearing uniform to and from work is a particularly stupid and naive idea. It's easy to carp from in front of a keyboard, but it makes you look very immature.

07 September, 2011 19:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pete,
What was it you do for a living?

The cops in the line probably were scared. I know I have been several times in my career. People trying to hurt you generally have that effect. Always ran towards the trouble rather than away from it though. You?

Perhaps you could produce a list of offences that we should consider as just minor infringements and those that we should consider as proper offences. We could cut it out and keep it to hand when we are on patrol. I am intrigued at your notion that our job is to "record and effect an activity on being made aware of an offence"
And "Once you understand the implications of an act becoming an offence, minor infringements become a prevarication to reduce the applied work to resolve an activity."
With gibberish descriptions like that have you ever though of joining a thinktank or ACPO?


07 September, 2011 19:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tulip, you claim to be ex-military. Would you have fancied commuting around Belfast during the troubles in your uniform? How about hopping on a bus through the Falls Road? The answer is you wouldn't do it even now, as there would be a serious risk to your safety. There are some areas of the UK where wearing a police uniform on a bus or train would constitute a similar risk.

Have a look at the internet, there are plenty of people who have a serious problem with the police, and I do not want them knowing where I live. Am I on duty 24/7? Yes. Would I intervene in a crime off duty? Of course, but flipping out your warrant card isn't always the best method of intervention. If I was in a pub and it kicked off for example I wouldn't step in and try to arrest everyone single handedly, because I reserve the right not to be hospitalised for no good reason. I expect a bit of stick for being a police officer, but I don't expect my family to put up with it, and I'd like to feel safe in my home. For these reasons, I am careful who I tell about what I do and where I live. Also because people like you tend to bore me to death with their theories on modern policing, and how their latest speeding fine is a miscarriage of justice.

07 September, 2011 20:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sh*t, sorry guys! I should not get too carried away

Okay, for arguments sake let us say that hundreds of independent videos from all over the country showing on national tv showing many, many scenes where of hundreds of cops limp wristedly standing by and looking on whilst just a couple of dozen kids looted burnt robbed and attacked people in front of them .... are true!

I blame photoshop for this. It's just like the lunar landings... all lies!!!


07 September, 2011 23:22

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear me anonymous at 23:22
You appear to be so impressed by my arguments that you have decided to pretend to be me. Flattering though that is, the people we come across that pretend to be police split into two categories - those that commit bogus burglaries on vulnerable elderly victims and those Walter Mitty types who still live in their mum's house and spend most of their time unemployed and sat in their room on the computer.
Perhaps you could confirm which one you are Pete?

All the best,

08 September, 2011 07:14

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

"There are some offences you choose to ignore and some you choose not to ignore, this, and this alone, this selective policing, is that which drives those that see you acting in a way contrary to the excpected , is such enough to earn your well deserved brickbats"

Tulip - that's called discretion, and it's a fundamental part of the definition of a police officer in this country. It seems you want officers who mindlessly prosecute everyone for every offence, regardless of mitigating circumstances.

08 September, 2011 08:59

Anonymous Nerville Evans said...

Dear ,
My name is Neville Evans and I am writing to you today, to ask your help in a small matter. I am a serving police officer in South Wales Police and some time ago, I became very disillusioned with the job. When I joined there was a class of 22. Now there are only 8 left, in only ten years! Stress, unethical conduct, disillusionment etc. You know the reasons.
I like you wanted to fight back and get those management gurus to listen and I also wanted to put pen to paper and help some of my struggling colleagues. I decided to write a detailed book about stress and morale issue’s on the frontline.
I’ve sent extracts to middle and senior management across the country. More than 250 emails. Only three replied. Next week, I am in police review and I am not holding out much hope.
Morale Matters – A police officers guide to reducing stress and improving morale in the workplace
This book is detailed, thought provoking, research based, helpful and honest. It’s challenging also. You’re at the top of the tree and I would really like to send you a free copy of the book. For your comments. The book isn’t a whinge, but offers real solutions to this job.

Please let me know, if you could help. I don’t have the support of a publisher as have self-published this book, unfortunately marketing is the hard part.

Kindest regards
Neville Evans

15 September, 2011 21:34

Anonymous Steve at the Pub said...

I'm missing something here.
It would seem from this post that not all police live in a compound behind the police station?

23 September, 2011 19:16


Post a Comment

<< Home


View My Stats
eXTReMe Tracker