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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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Billy Goats Gruff

A man has been arrested and bailed following the setting up of an offensive Facebook page hailing the killer of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes a hero. 

Those of us in the blogosphere are well-accustomed to people who think they can post comments that cause real distress to bereaved families, as well as verging on incitement to murder in some cases.  That said, the best way of handling these people is simply to remove their content, or ignore it.  Nobody has to follow a Twitter thread or log onto a Facebook page if they don't want to.  So I am not sure how I feel about the above arrest, though I did not read the content myself to assess its criminal nature.

At some stage an international manifesto will be laid down, as to how best to deal with those who cause genuine distress or incite real life crime via the internet.  Until then bloggers will deal with the issue of trolls in their own way.  

In the meantime, the IPCC appears to have chosen a particularly bizarre time to publish their report on sexual misdemeanour within the police.  They bemoan the vast figure of 54 cases of "sexual assault or exploitation", but the report was largely swallowed up by the outpouring of grief and sympathy for the two policewomen killed on Tuesday.  

I have a few issues with the report: namely that they lump sexual assault in with exploitation, when by the latter what they mean is officers who have pursued a relationship with someone they met in the course of their work.  The article is very unclear, some of these cases appear clearly inappropriate such as an officer using police systems to check up on nearly 200 women - one assumes with a view to some sort of move on them.  But it may also include single officers who happen to meet someone they deal with as a burglary victim.  I am definitely NOT advocating that officers try to date anyone they have dealt with in this way, but it's far from exploitation in every case.  The IPCC is also unclear on how many of the allegations were proven unfounded, or how many were undecided either way, and whether this figure includes those (I can only imagine not).  In any event, I hardly think that 54 cases in five years can be considered an endemic problem, and if it were so important, why bring this out on a day when not a single paper has given it more than a passing nod?  This will only serve to bolster feeling by both police and public alike, that the IPCC has completely lost its credibility.

PS Avid followers of this blog might want to buy The Sunday Telegraph this weekend. They could do with selling an extra copy.

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


Blogger Kaela said...

If one failed to follow Twitter or Blogs, one might not read Ellies work quite as much.

21 September, 2012 08:41

Anonymous StillAnon said...

I suspect that the timing of this report might be similar to the timing of the hillsborough one.. Ie to co-incide with the pension and pay/conditions debate.

21 September, 2012 10:53

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was more than one FB page "Dale Cregan for OBE" and "Dale Cregan Legend". Oderint dum metuant? No way Jose.

21 September, 2012 11:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie I think MTG needs to be told that this is your blog not a public one.You can publish whatever you like and delete whatever you like.
MTG-start your own blog and we can post pompous repetitive crap on it.Then you can delete posts you don't like and I can cry like a baby about it.

21 September, 2012 12:34

Anonymous painauchocolat said...

MTG's "repost" above has been toned down since his original post.

21 September, 2012 13:47

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have got the wrong end of the stick but I'm sure I read it was 54 cases in 12 years. Either way, 5 years or 12 years, its still hardly prevalent.

21 September, 2012 19:21

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot disagree with what MTG is saying here. MTG is right. Well said Melv.

I have not read the other blog (IG)for the past few days, but don't doubt MTG's observations of the hate comments on there towards the killer.

However, when the news of the murders of PC's Fiona and Nicola first broke, the first one to encourage a nasty and violent response towards the killer, as an act of revenge, was someone, a supposed MoP with the ironic name of 'CharitySweet'....who is clearly not very 'charitable' by nature....could be a Member of the Press baiting police officers.

It is true that some people who criticise or challenge police officers mistakes, or wrong doing, do get the 'defensive' smear campaign treatment...As a smoke screen, to deflect any attention away from their mistakes, or wrong doing. Human nature I guess....

22 September, 2012 01:36

Blogger Farley Finster said...

If you're going to accept the idea of suppressing the opinions of people who "cause distress", you have to consider the Muslim fundamentalist actions last week as both acceptable and justifiable.

The idea of Free Speech isn't to protect what you like, it's to protect what you don't.

22 September, 2012 11:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph-son of Melvin.Troll is in the eye of the beholder.I consider you a troll so there!
I do accept people have a different point of view,my point of view is different to yours and Melvins,so that makes me a troll?
I do the job so I speak from a position of strength.I totally respect innocent MOPs,they are not the problem.
Melvin will be along in a minute to congratulate you.

22 September, 2012 11:48

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with painauchocolat, I am fairly certain that MTGs "repost" that he appears to be flyposting on various blogs is somewhat different to that originally posted.

Do we have "melvingate"?


22 September, 2012 12:52

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps his statement has been altered under pressure a la Hillsborough?

22 September, 2012 13:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to the guidelines from the DPP.
It is a difficult line to tread, comments/posts/sites that are grossly offensive, malicious communications or harassment balanced against how easy or reasonable it is to expect the recipient to avoid or ignore them.
It's never going to be easy. Even the right to freedom of speech in the HRA is conditional.

Personally I don't think there should be an unconditional right to free speech - largely because some victims are genuinely traumatised by words and some offenders need to know that there is a line in the sand that it is unacceptable to cross in a civilised society.


22 September, 2012 17:37

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

MTG - your comment is being deleted because it's on the wrong blog. Inspector Gadget and I are two different people and I am not a medium via which for you to communicate with him. If you want to slag off his blog, have the balls to do it to his face.

Those who repeatedly turn up here and make off-comment, tedious remarks, will have all their comments deleted, whatever the content. If you're unhappy about it, feel free to comment on your own blog.

22 September, 2012 20:36

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some points of information:

The timing of the report was coincidental. The publication date was set months ago and the project plan created by working backwards.

The report concentrated on specific types of sexual exploitation, focusing on 54 cases out of 5147 referred to the IPCC with a two (not five) year period.

NONE of the 54 cases looked at for the report involved a police officer pursuing a relationship with someone they met in the course of their work.

All 54 cases were proven.

Hope that helps

24 September, 2012 07:41

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, the report doesn't specify that the 54 cases didn't involve forming relationships with the victims officers met through work.

At least one of the six case studies suggests exactly that the officer involved established sexual relationships with women he met through work.

The report didn't just "focus" on 54 cases. Only 54 cases were found that fell into the category.

And incidentally the remit was "officers attempting to form sexual relationships with members of the public they ought to have been helping in a professional capacity".

Hope this helps ;-)


24 September, 2012 17:45

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Hmmm that's cleared that up then...

24 September, 2012 21:15

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and just to clarify what anonymous said about a case being "proven",
As distasteful and possibly predatory as the incident may be, a complaint of a sexual assault, a defence of consent and a subsequent conviction for "misconduct" (rather than any sexual offence) does not necessarily demonstrate that the sexual offence was "proven" (as illustrated in one "typical" case study)


25 September, 2012 01:54

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Tang0: I agree that the report is ambiguous in places and in my view, this weakens it as a publication.

Hence my effort to provide clarifying information that I know about due to my professional position. I appreciate that I am asking you to take my word for it and as I am just some anonymous person on the internet, you may choose to take that with a pinch of salt (which is entirely your right to do so).

I would however point to the immediate defensive responses by yourself and others as evidence of the culture being described in the report which allows those officers abusing their positions to get away with it over and over again.

25 September, 2012 06:51


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