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, January 06, 2012

Headline Famine

The first week in January generally brings a lull in the madness that has been Blandmore for the last few weeks.  This year, it seems, there is also a lull in news.

At least, that's the only explanation I can find for the ludicrous headline: "Police called to killer's house" which has been used to head a number of articles today about the fact that police had visited Michael Atherton's house "four times in just two years".

Whoever signed off on the use of the word "just" in this sentence should be brought before the Press Complaints Commission.  For starters, the two years in question were 2002-2004.  Secondly, four times in two years is not an inordinately high number - at least, not by the standards of families that have the type of domestics resulting in police attendance.  There is a couple in Blandmore who have police attendance twice a month, usually because she's refusing to let him pick up the dog for his weekly access visit, or because he's sent her a text saying she's a 'hoare'.  He might kill her one day, but so might I.

There is a relevant piece of information in today's news: that Atherton in 2008 threatened to shoot himself.  In Blandmore, in 2012, if he did that, his shotguns would be removed.  However, if he saw a doctor and showed that he had made the remark in an intoxicated state, and was not suicidal or crazy (which I would guess Atherton was not when sober), the guns might be returned.  This is because we do not live in the world of Minority Report, where you can be arrested and imprisoned for crimes you are yet to commit.

By contrast, unlike the media, and no doubt the IPCC, the government, and a slew of people with two slews of opinions, the Bidve family has been conducting itself with the utmost dignity, following the fatal shooting of their son.

Said Mr Bidve: "The only person we blame is the person who was responsible for taking Anuj away from us in this senseless act of violence on Boxing Day morning."

If more victims and families took this approach, the law in this country would be a lot simpler.

That said, a blogger will be the first to admit that the police always have room for improvement.  It might be interesting to compare the 2012 investigation and trial of "Psycho Stapleton", for the Anuj Bidve shooting, with the utterly botched investigation into the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence, that has finally reached some sort of resolution.  Whatever your view on institutional racism and the lorry-load of bureaucracy the phrase has brought about, the Stephen Lawrence murder has fine-tuned our approach to scene management, exhibit-handling, and identification matters.  I don't know what part these played in the Bidve investigation, but I imagine the approach was thoroughly professional.

Whatever the outcome, the headlines today show that in the years I've been writing this blog, two things have not changed:
  • Murder is always tragic.
  • The culture of blame is alive and well.
It is 2012, and this Twenty-First Century Police Officer is still wringing her hands.

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


Anonymous Not Long Now said...

I can think of families in our area that since 2002 have had AT LEAST 150 reported domestic incidents... and that doesn't count incidents where police have been called to the same families for non-domestic matters etc. In the vast majority of domestic murders I've had any involvement or knowledge of the common factor is either no or very little previous history.

06 January, 2012 21:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lack of headlines? How about the vermin in blue that helped Dobson & Norris? Not yet in a Minority Report situation? Explain how notices were sent to students ordering them to stay away from peaceful protests. You fuckers will be Figure 11s soon enough.

06 January, 2012 21:28

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Chris, would you like some salt for that chip on your shoulder?

Maybe we are living in Minority Report, but sadly we haven't yet found a way to stop criminals with an axe to grind spouting shit on the internet.

07 January, 2012 06:03

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My chip is perfectly balanced with a chip on the other shoulder! Now get back to your BNP meeting constable. Moaty you legend!

07 January, 2012 11:16

Anonymous Mrs Doughnut said...

I felt so terribly sorry for Bidve's parents. By all accounts he was a good son, a great friend, and a man with a bright future ahead of him.

The world is a very different place now from 20 years ago, for better and for worse.

I just hope they give Stapleton a looooong sentence.

07 January, 2012 15:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Lawrence enquiry also hampered by those senior officers who thought they could become a detective by adding the word before their rank? Rather than actually performing some detective duties during the formative years of their career!

07 January, 2012 17:15

Anonymous painauchocolat said...

Well it looks like we've got another troll (Chris Ferguson).

Have a read of his (or her) "After Watt" blog, honestly it's hilarious.

Happy new year, y'all.

08 January, 2012 12:56

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Criticism is fine. Swearing, if funny enough, is acceptable. Petty insults that could be dreamt up in a Year Five playground will be deleted.

By the way, Chris, as you're such an avid reader of my blog and for that reason very welcome - did it ever occur to you that police officers who blog are, like you, trying to highlight some of the negative aspects of policing and are pushing for change? Agreed, police bloggers are in essence pro-police, so I don't expect us to be going out for a drink any time soon, but surely there is some common ground where we would both like to see changes to the police? Some of the views you express on your blog are shared by police bloggers. Which is a bit inconvenient, for someone who appears to disregard any remark said by a police officer, no matter what the content. Do you read the Guardian, perchance?

08 January, 2012 18:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear "Ellie", Thank you for your reply. On the occasion of my first arrest you kept calling me by my first name, as I said at the time, that is for my pals and antagonises me. Forget Psychology 101, I did my stint in your cells. If you address me at all Ferguson is fine. Now then, don't let the Orwell go to that pink fluffy head of yours, there may be 1% of you that can parse a sentence but the 99% I dealt with are corrupt, cowardly, mendacious racist scum. Common ground? OK. What common ground did Lenin have with Tsar Nicholas II? I am an avid reader of The Guardian, thank you for the compliment.

08 January, 2012 20:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote Ferg… con't do it. To quote Chris “there may be 1% of you that can parse a sentence but the 99% I dealt with are corrupt, cowardly, mendacious racist scum.”

Or just good at arresting criminals who don’t like it when their criminal behaviour is interfered with!

09 January, 2012 16:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, attending peaceful rallies is not criminal and here is the crux of the matter. You alienated the white middle class by being too yellow to actually nick real criminals. Easy targets. Then the target turned. Blame it on Whitehall, on attaining whatever orders you got, on fin de sceile malaise, whatever it is you are loathed and policing by consent has gone the way of the Dodo.

09 January, 2012 17:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, you went on a demonstration, got carried away, went too far and got nicked. You're a criminal.

09 January, 2012 21:59

Blogger jaded said...

99% of people called Chris Ferguson are cocks.
Another stupid statistic,just like yours.

09 January, 2012 22:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Moaty you legend'

Chris - a woman-beating sexual inadequate who shot an innocent man dead because he was giving the girlfriend what Moat couldn't, and then went on the run, hiding like a cowardly rat in a sewer, before slotting himself while blubbing about his pathetic life and how everything was someone else's fault... you're right, he was a legend.

If only you and the rest of your ilk could take the same way out!

10 January, 2012 10:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Wasn't arrested on a demo.
2. Moat was lifted 12 times and released without charge.
3. Gruaniad got it right reviewing "Coppers" last night "RSPCA woman was the best thing in it".

10 January, 2012 17:55


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