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)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Truth About Police Pay

When I joined the police in the Twenty-First Century, any request for someone to work overtime was met with a barrage of "Me me!"  Rest day working was pounced on and you couldn't fight bank holiday volunteers off with a stick.

Christmas 2011, on a variety of bank holidays, I had cause to phone a number of officers asking them to come in early, or stay late, for double time.  An hour at a PC's wage might be worth anything up to £30.  Was I batting away eager money-grabbing officers left, right and centre?  Was I heck.  I found not one single volunteer for a couple of hours' overtime, and out of the fifteen officers I phoned to come in early, five answered their phones and only three were available.

When we get to Christmas 2012, and the latest pay recommendations are imposed, those three will be one, if we're lucky.  If someone is the other side of the country, has had a drink, or isn't well, they can't be made to come into work.  Which makes you wonder just what Chief Officers were envisaging when they signed their names to the infamous "forty-nine recommendations" letter that in 2010 signalled the decline of police pay and conditions.

I predict the following moves by Blandshire Constabulary to counter the demotivation and apathy that will accompany the slashing of our pay and perks:
  • They will investigate those officers who say they are away or ill when asked to work on a rest day.
  • They will start to discipline officers who refuse to work overtime or rest days.
  • They will put in place an involuntary overtime system. 

The response will be a gradual challenge by individuals or groups, about whether you can force people to work and place restrictions on their personal lives, in the Twenty-First Century.  The governments of today will see those changes they appear to desire, in the form of:
  • Police officers will become like any other employee.  They will not be able to be forced to work, and will not put themselves out to do so.
  • With no privileges, prestige or perks, or any possibility of self-advancement, new recruits will fall into two categories: those with no real prospects of a promising career, and those desiring to get ahead at all costs.  The concept of the vocational police officer, who has dreamed of wearing the uniform since childhood, will be gone.
Perhaps I'm being melodramatic.  But the police force of this country has been unique, in that university graduates, squaddies, plumbers, lawyers and doctors can all announce their change to the role of police officer without any shame.  It is a career that enables upward mobility, and embraces philanthropists.

The future is uncertain, but it will take giant steps to recover what we are losing.

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


Blogger Dave the Dog said...

Spot on Ellie and it frightens me.

14 January, 2012 17:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most exhaustive study done in the UK showed that when "philanthropists" joined the police one of only 2 things happened. The Liberal agenda was ditched and they became right wingers. Or they left disillusioned.

14 January, 2012 17:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to see a link to that study, Ciaran.
My experience in the police is that there is a fairly wide spread of political viewpoints on most issues, but when it comes to crime and punishment bitter experience and constantly dealing with victims pushes most people to the right in that area.


14 January, 2012 17:46

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet again you have hit the nail on the head. Its a pity our great ACPO leaders don't give a toss about anything or anyone - but themselves.

14 January, 2012 18:15

Anonymous RD said...


14 January, 2012 19:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tango I am currently working on an article on police corruption and don't have much time to link you up, try Google.

14 January, 2012 19:50

Anonymous Asitis said...

I do not recognise the police force I joined over 20 years ago. You are right about the overtime; there was a constant resending of emails offering the same double time, because very few were interested in dealing with violent, drunked, drugged up scrotes with little or no backup due to the reduced staffing levels on bank holidays.

14 January, 2012 21:14

Anonymous ginnersinner said...

Unfortunately for us all, Ellie, they will indeed follow your three-step process outlined. Because, up until now, there have been plenty of volunteers for OT, they haven't had to resort to compulsory overtime (with the two exceptions I can remember of the London Bombings and this year's riots). As such, anyone with not much service will probably think that 'they can't do that' but the sad fact is, they can.

The only real way round will be to make it extremely difficult for them to make the requirement. Remember these points:-
1) You are only require to supply ONE telephone contact number. Make sure it's your home one, have them remove your mobile number from all official lists. For extra protection, change your mobile answer message to include a reminder to any 'professional callers' that this is not your official contact number, and any work-related messages will be ignored.
2) They must warn you IN PERSON (by that I mean by actually speaking with you, not necessarily face-to-face - that's if you're off-duty. It's recognised that if you're on duty, an e-mail is sufficient) If you have a land-line with caller ID, remember not to answer any withheld numbers. If they leave a message, you don't have to call them back. You are not warned until you have had a live conversation with someone.

14 January, 2012 23:48

Blogger guthrie said...

Well I suspect that what they'll actually do is privatise the police thus ensuring a steady supply of low wage cannon fodder.

It would be nice to think I was dreaming, but even my dad (10 years retired after 30 years in the job) has independently said that he could see them doing it, and he's nowhere near the sort of bleeding heart leftie I might be accused of being.

And Ciaran, stop letting the side down by being so damned obtuse, at least give people some names and report titles to google for.

15 January, 2012 00:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The changes to times for return to duty and enforced overtime will breach the european working time directives. Also a few bobbies sticking pandas through shop windows and a couple of hundred near miss forms might get some senior leadership team in court facing the health and safety exc.

15 January, 2012 10:36

Blogger jaded said...

Couldn't agree more with this subject.There will always be one or two money-grabbers on every team but generally my lot have given up doing it unless you are trapped with that last call of the day.I'm buggered if i'm doing the free half hour as well,I make sure everything takes at least an hour.

15 January, 2012 10:47

Blogger Virtual Supply said...

You made a good supposition, however, you do not need to worry. Senior Officers are on a good pay scale, and they will get more and better perks in the next year as the system falls over itself to obtain the best senior officers, albeit, at eye watering cost to your Force.

Fear not, they will have their paid-for cars, long holidays, and lots of trips to the NPIA and other adventures befitting the most senior police officers.

You don't need to worry about being unable to find volunteers for the holiday periods, the Senior Officers will arrange a study, organize Risk Assessment and they will make stringent recommendations supported by ACPO. It will all be taken care of. Senior Police Officers are exactingly recompensed for their commitment and devotion and they will be sure to enable solutions while you are idling away in your tax free home. Oops sorry, you don't get tax free homes anymore! The Senior Officers have even got that sorted for you. Chin up.

15 January, 2012 11:03

Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Virtual Supply
I do not agree that the future for ACPO is that rosy.Having suggested all these things to Imelda someone will have to pay when it all goes wrong this year starting with the Jubilee through the Olympics and into August.Imelda will not take the can so she will turn on ACPO and Tom Winsor will not get his knighthood either.

15 January, 2012 12:46

Blogger Aimee (Second Hand Chic) said...

That breaches the Human Rights Act- Article 8, the Right to a Private Life.

If prisoners rights have to be considered in the act I am sure Police Officers will.

Anyone know any good lawyers?

16 January, 2012 11:46

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love the Fed to test the long held assumption that police officers are not protected by the Human Rights Act.

16 January, 2012 13:44

Anonymous Mrs Doughnut said...

Very good article.
I've long suspected that the main aim is to create a two tier system, recruiting from the social elite for the management, and from poorer backgrounds with not much possibilities of advancement beoynd a certain grade.

Social mobility goes out the window.

A bit like the American Army.

Pity, I think.

As for overtime, I bet you that when enough people avoid it, it'll be managed in a different way, such as more Specials and so on, or made mandatory.

16 January, 2012 15:52

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aimee, the police don't seem to mind abrogating Art 8 (&14) of the ECHR by retaining innocent folks DNA samples.

16 January, 2012 16:34

Anonymous Anonymous said...


When you say, "the police"...are you referring to ACPO? Or all 140,000 and declining in numbers police?

The govt. have won and will reshape the police to what they wanted with sheehy. The police will be slagged off something chronic in the coming months and years....expect lot's more Daily Mail articles. We haven't got the numbers to cope now with the Daily Mail expectations on policing, and they have helped the govt. get their way.

They will not put this in their newspaper of course....but as much as the Sun Newspaper was hated IN Liverpool after Hillsborough.....the Daily Mail will be hated by all Officers and their families.

My phone number will be deleted from works records. When i am forced to be kept on, i will inform the Sgt should i have a migraine and require someone to run me home after work as i fear an accident. It will be documented. I wonder if the Force still wants its Investors In People award? With the reduction in numbers on the streets, it won't be too long before i get another kicking.

It is almost a century since my male ancestors were fooled into the trenches by a sneering contemptuos least they aren't making any pretence that this will be a land fit for heroes afterwards.

16 January, 2012 16:54

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, ACPO are the police. All you are doing is using a Nuremberg defence, "We were only obeying orders". Policing, 1969-2009. How and why has it changed in my adult life? In '69 if you were in trouble it was "Find a policeman", now my advice to any kids would be "Avoid police at all costs". As for causes of WW1 that, I feel, is another topic.

16 January, 2012 17:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciaran, it’s a disciplinary offence for a police officer to disobey a lawful order.

As for the Nuremberg defence (all arguments end up with a reference to the Nazi’s – Godwin’s Law), don’t blame the police for creating and interpreting laws.

All police do is enforce laws which have been created in Parliament and interpreted by the courts. If you’re not happy with a law, go to a European Human Rights Court and if the law is held as being incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, it will amended.

If you don’t like the police in the UK, which countries police do you like?

Believe it or not, the UK is a full democracy, ranked 18 out of 167 in the democracy index (the USA came 19)so your comparison to Nuremburg is very silly!

16 January, 2012 18:13

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, please don't give me guff about it being illegal for the police to disobey the law. I was in the TA and in the field it is different from in the barracks. As civilians you may not know this. Also, the UK is not democracy - 2 million innocent folks DNA on file in contravention of the ECHR. Finally, where do I like? Anywhere that two seven year old girls are not arrested for drawing rainbows in chalk on the pavement. Anywhere cripples like McIntyre are not knocked out of wheelchairs, anywhere guys like Tomlinson, walking away, hands in pockets is not murdered.

16 January, 2012 18:22

Blogger jerym said...

Ciaran you do sound like a complete idiot.
McIntyre seems to be able to walk quite well when it suits him and only takes to a wheel chair when the cameras are on him.
Tomlinson was a tiresome drunk trying to be bloody awkward in a very volatile situation and was pushed yes PUSHED out of the way of police officers going to face a threatening mob.

16 January, 2012 19:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciaran, it’s a disciplinary offence for a police officer to disobey a lawful order.

No matter what anyone says nothing your mind.

Always remember there are two points of view to an argument, yours and the right one.

16 January, 2012 19:43

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerym, do you now look at cripples & think "Cunning ploy, lets knock him over & see if he can crawl or walk?" As to Tomlinson CCTV footage of his being kicked around THE FIRST TIME disappeared. Plod then said it was "Anarchists in stolen uniforms" who had killed him. That same night at a squat the goons in blue shouted "We got one of yours". Lower Than Whaleshit.

16 January, 2012 19:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Maybe you could elaborate on the seven year old girls being ‘arrested’. If two seven year old girls were arrested as you claim, then they would have been released pretty sharpish as they are below the age of criminal responsibility.

Also the words 'cripples' or 'cripple' are deemed to be quite offensive these days.

16 January, 2012 20:03

Blogger jaded said...

Ciaran, how many cats have you got? Surely it's medicine time?

16 January, 2012 20:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, Ciaran, you really didn't answer the question about which police force you'd like. Could you be a bit more specific?

Being ex TA I'm sure you've travelled extensively. I'm sure there are plenty of countries where you prefer their laws, but go on and name a country with a softer police force than the UK.

16 January, 2012 20:11

Anonymous painauchocolat said...

Ciaran Rehill = Chris Ferguson.

He got shouted down under that name, but the song remains the same under the new name.

Have a lot at his blog to understand the bias :

16 January, 2012 20:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was in "The Daily Mail" Anon, it must be true. (Or was it The Guardian?) Cripples? I called McIntyre a cripple he never minded. He plays the white man, know what I mean? Cats? Nil, but I do like cats, dogs (not police ones). How many political prisoners are in UK jails? Now to nations. You seem v interested in my itinerary. Scandinavia is pretty good at that whole FREEDOM lark. Pain in the chocs, Ciaran Rehill, Chris Ferguson? An alias I hardly ever use. What is my real name constable?

16 January, 2012 20:50

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah, when in doubt, name a Scandinavian Police Force. Of course, Scandinavia is not a country and the countries of Scandinavia have much smaller populations than the UK. Yet they still have their riot police and quite happy to use tear gas.

I’ll think you’ll find that all of the countries that make up Scandinavia are under much more direct political control than here in the UK. They also all carry firearms, or have firearms in their vehicles.

In fact the above two facts make them much more a police state that the UK. But you wouldn’t know a true police state if it bit you on your Walter Mitty backside.

16 January, 2012 22:32

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ciaran, as far as I am concerned you can have your DNA sample back. I am not going to delete it from the records myself - because
1)I don't have access to those systems
2)I wouldn't even know where to start using the system to delte it
3)Accessing and deleting those records would be a criminal offence.

Much as I like you - and much as your reasoned argument and pro-police attitude makes me want to help me - I don't really see why I should go to prison for you.

Is that still using the Nuremberg defence - or are you just putting that forward as a lazy argument that allows the lefties to work themselves into a froth about "jackbooted nazi's"?


17 January, 2012 00:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people like Ciaran waste their precious time reading and commenting on blogs like this? Just crawl back into your hole Chris

17 January, 2012 15:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as I hate this, to be fair to Ciaran, many people, not least the former Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham, have observed that the UK is like an elected dictatorship.

What’s made it worse in recent years is all the laws Labour brought in. Labour (helped by McPherson) have made people believe that anything ‘offensive' is wrong, which in effect has limited free speech.

Labour are also responsible making ACPO self serving lap dogs which come to heel when called. This came after David Blunkett sacked a couple of chief constables.

Ciaran gets it COMPLETELY wrong when he blames the police for all this. He’s missed the target. He should be going after our law makers, system of government and lack of written constitution which have let things get this far.

To give Ciaran a quote for his debating society, Lord Hailsham also said “I regard freedom of expression as the primary right without which one can not have a proper functioning democracy.”

17 January, 2012 15:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 22.32, I was in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and saw no repressive policing. I was in Bealrus - one lone bored cop guarding the Presidential palace NOT the "True Grit" re-enactment of faux robocops I see in Whitehall. The UK is truly a police state. Did you see "Coppers" last night? Slack jawed goons unale to answer WHY there had been an Uprising. It was not a "retail riot", police stations have few Air Nikes! Tango are you "Anon" or not? Dyin g to know! Anon 15.05 what IS my name?

17 January, 2012 16:30

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat at home recuperating from an operation on my spine which resulted from being assaulted by three blokes (all from a Russell University) who didn't like me telling them they couldn't break windows and sexually assault women. In the main, having been 'out of the job' for a few years now I usually feel unable to join in the fun when I read these blogs. However, in this one, I couldn't resist. As for Ciaran being ex TA - so what? hundreds of Police officers, including me, have been full serving soldiers, sailors and airmen (and women), have probably visited more countries than Ciaran has had political debates and I would bet that the majority of them feel this country is more of a democracy than most - don't forget it is the fact that we live in a democracy which allows Ciaran to spout forth his bile. While, as mentioned above,, it is a disciplinary offence to refuse or fail to comply with a direct order, as citizens of a democracy, there is the right to question or challenge an order which could constitute a criminal offence if carried out.
I would suggest that 99.9% of the Police would be only too happy to give back DNA samples held of 'innocent' - his word, not mine - people. However, the decision to do so rests not with the Police but with the Government of the day - both Labour and Tories have refused to discuss this - so Ciaran should really take this up with them.
The little girls drawing rainbows on the pavement were NOT arrested, though they were spoken to by a Police officer - this incident was badly handled but the news reports complied with the first law of journalism in not letting the whole truth get in the way of a good story.
Finally, let's discuss Jody McIntyre - a sometime student, officially designated as having a disability but, if you read his blog, where he boasts about walking up 18 flights of stairs while his loyal mate carried his wheelchair, it leads to the thought that McIntyre may have a selective level of disability which only fully manifests itself when he's taking part in demonstrations, protests, or riots. He may be a nice bloke but I wouldn't introduce him to my sister (and I hate my sister!). Good luck with your studies Ciaran but feel you may be better suited to a less cerebral course - why not take up knitting?
Plodnomore (ex WO1, ex PC,OU graduate)

17 January, 2012 17:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I no longer live in the UK. Now, don't you feel a total and utter (cont p.9).

17 January, 2012 17:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help myself, please tell us where you do live Ciaran?

17 January, 2012 18:30

Blogger jaded said...

Not on this planet clearly,I guess somewhere where the child sex laws are not enforced as strictly as they are in England.

17 January, 2012 19:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, where you call "Bandit Country". Jaded, so brave in cyberspace, aren't you? To close the debate on Freedom and PROVE the UK is a de facto police state. Dec 2008 S & Marper, ECHR finds that Britain contravened human rights AGAIN. Jan 2012, the ruling has still not been implemented. ACPO has "supremacy" in the UK. (Personal letter from Harriet Moynihan, UK rep to ECHR). FTP.

17 January, 2012 19:44

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple question which country do you reside in?

17 January, 2012 21:54

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know we are moving away from the original blog but I must ask what colour the sky is in your world Ciaran?

17 January, 2012 22:19

Blogger jaded said...

200 years ago people used to pay a penny and go the local asylum and poke the inmates for amusement. Now we get the same fun for free on the internet.

17 January, 2012 22:24

Anonymous DB said...

"....Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham, have observed that the UK is like an elected dictatorship."

No, he didn't. Hailsham was referring to huge, single-party, majorities in the House of Commons when he used the phrase "electIVE dictatorship.

Some of us coppers pay attention at the back, y'know.

You're wasting your time with Rehill/Ferguson etc. He won't listen, he's a pain and he loves the attention.

Good post Ellie. I'm turning off my

17 January, 2012 22:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DB, Sorry if that mislead, it was not meant to. It was not supposed to be a direct quote, but an attempt to encapsulate the general meaning of what he said.

You must admit, even with a collalition government it still feels like we're in a ditatorship!

18 January, 2012 07:21

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - Ireland, Republic of. In many ways it is worse than Britain in the police state stakes. Tango, honey, it s "I presume, you assume" in English.

18 January, 2012 10:15

Anonymous Ted said...

You were asked for a link to your ""philanthropists" study but said you were too busy. You then contributed most of the responses on the thread. So you can't be that busy.

Can I suggest if you quote studies you give a link. Otherwise we might staert thinking you just make things up as and when it suits you.

Found that link yet?

18 January, 2012 23:56

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Comments off-subject (or otherwise uninteresting) will be deleted from here on. But I don't have a problem with anything Ciaran has written. Mindless abuse I can and will delete, but anti-establishmentarianist sentiment, expressed in words of more than one syllable and not designed to be personally insulting, makes a nice change. Some of us in the police don't agree with the extent of the DNA database either, nor the way our force might be managed or run from the Home Office. That doesn't mean there isn't still good work to be done as a police officer. Like it or not, we are a long way from a police state, although I believe this government is moving us closer to one - whilst pretending to do the opposite.

19 January, 2012 18:24

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

PS, Ciaran this blog (and others) proves this is not a police state... unless everyone reading it is abroad too.

19 January, 2012 18:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never been a fan of 'vocational' Police officers - this isn't a vocation it is a Job. Those joining to 'help' or 'make a difference' probably don't have the right mental attitude. That said people learn.

20 January, 2012 10:22

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The study followed 125 police recruits through their 2-year training; this included interviews and sociometric testing at regular intervals. Findings were augmented by interviews with instructors and officers responsible for recruitment and training, with the constables supervising trainees in their first postings, and with experienced constables.

Observations of training sessions provided information on instruction techniques. A review of the concept of socialization highlights distinctive features of socialization into the police force. An examination of recruits' initial motivation for joining the force reveals an idealization of police work as social service. The increasing sense among recruits that their career choice has significant consequences for their self-identity is demonstrated. Following a profile of police training, the study discusses recruits' experiences of local (training establishment) and regional (district training center) input as the basis of the recruits' recognition of a disjunction between formal and informal police practices and culture. This disjunction is sustained by experience in their first field postings. The study documents the changes recruits undergo as they adjust to and cope with the realities of police work. Aspects of police attitudes considered are ambition, conflicting loyalties, perspectives on female officers, police rights as employees, and the discipline system. A discussion of the development of police professional competence draws conclusions and recommendations on reforms in police training.

Google Scholar - not just for Them!

20 January, 2012 10:46

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting abstract. A few points.

I note that it is a book rather than a paper - so it's conclusions are unlikely to be summed up in one (rather facile) simple sentence.

It was published in 1988 (so 5 years study prior to 1988 suggest the data is at least 23 years old - and the officer's that took part in it will have 28 years in - if not already retired by now).

A fair amount has happened externally in society as well as internally in the police in the last 25 years. I wonder how accurate that study is today?

It would be interesting to see what controls/other studies have been carried out to examine the changing in attitude of the general public as a whole as they get 5 years older, so that an accurate comparison can be made. (It may well have been done - I haven't read the book).

21 January, 2012 17:10

Anonymous Ted said...


Again it appears that you are quoting a study (without quotation marks though) but not giving a link. It isn't hard. If you can't quote your source then I just ignore what you say.

22 January, 2012 15:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie. Sigh. Merely because one can write "This is a police state" and have it printed does not mean it isn't. There are gradations wee girl! Is it as bad as North Korea? No. Is it a functioning democracy such as America, Holland or Norway? No.

24 January, 2012 16:08

Blogger Joker said...

Was watching 'Blue Bloods' last night, the episode where Tom Selleck's police commissioner has to deal with a police union boss. Don't know if this series will get a third season, never mind a fourth, but it has a refreshing way of involving viewers in the trials and tribulations of the enforcers of law, from PC to rookie cop (switching from a degree in law), via hardbitten detective and a legal counsel always mindful of the prospects for a successful prosecution. and all in the same Irish-descended family It's a bit of a morality tale, but it's not the fault of the producers that real life isn't so easy to wrap with a neat little bow.

At least 'Blue Bloods' is addressing the issue of financial constraints. The union boss dropped the phrase, 'Blue Flu', as a kind of veiled threat. Some might have heard the afternoon drama on Radio 4 yesterday. I only listened with one ear, but it seemed pertinent to the current debate...

07 February, 2012 11:45

Blogger Kaloy said...

Im quite moved by this blog. Thank you so much for sharing this blog to us.
How To Become A Police Officer

09 February, 2012 04:53


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