This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but 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 pay my salary.


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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jack o' Night Tales

Oh what a tangled web has been woven by the Leveson Inquiry.

On the one hand, police blogger Nightjack has settled for damages of £42,500 from The Times, who exposed his identity, partly by way of hacking, in 2009.

On the other hand, prosecutions are becoming more common for those who offend and distress the public by posting what I like to term "brain vomit" on their Facebook and Twitter pages. In the latest two high profile murder cases, people have been arrested following sick and twisted posts online.  In less serioues cases, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has made clear that online "banter" is not a subject for prosecution.

The mainstream media has a complicated reaction to the private and social medias of blogging, Facebook and Twitter.  But more and more the standards applied to public media and the current restrictions on free speech in everyday life, are being applied to those using the internet.  Should it worry us public sector bloggers, or reassure us?  Most of us are committing only disciplinary offences (rather than criminal), at the most.  But what about comments we fail to remove, that cause widespread offence?  Or material that is used in ways we did not predict or permit?

As more and more prosecutions for public order or malicious communications occur, it will become clearer just what is and is not acceptable online.  In the meantime, hopefully the only offence this blog will cause is that caused by those perpetrating the folly highlighted here.
 

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

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Real Big Society

We haven't heard a lot about Big Society this year.  In 2010, David Cameron launched it as some earth-shattering new movement, and last year claimed it was his mission.

There is no doubt that Cameron was passionate about the idea of people helping themselves, instead of relying on others.  The problem is, most of us saw it as contradictory to the recession, and not in harmony with Cameron's other policies.  The public as a whole received the message that - rather than the government and official bodies helping us - we were on our own.  

If the whole of society has felt abandoned, so have police officers.  Reading media reaction to Hilsborough, to Ian Tomlinson's death, to all the other negative news stories, is galling at a time when we also feel let down by our own management and the Home Office.  I am sure many police officers up and down the country have been wondering just what we are doing it for.  Wondering whether it's worth continuing, if we just can't bridge the gap to the public we serve.  At times, it has felt as though public support has been lost forever, and believe it or not, most of us wish for it fervently.

This week, there is hope.

















Sometimes, the hardest cynic can be surprised.

Thank you, for your grief for our girls.  

Let's hope April will soon thank you herself.


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

Thursday, October 04, 2012

and a thousand more



 








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

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A thousand words




 







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

 

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