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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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Looking Back in Perturbation

This blog started in 2006 and had nearly 1.5 million readers before I stopped posting regularly in 2012.
When I look back, there are two themes in my last few posts, which did not occur to me at the time:
1. Freedom of speech was under attack from the Leveson enquiry.
2. Policewomen were being killed.
The feeling that I could be seriously harmed on the front-line, and then stuck on for writing about it, was too much.
But the events in France this week have moved me to write.  I set this blog up to give an insight into what it is like to be a female police officer in the Twenty-First Century. This meant talking about what it is like to be a police officer, and what it is like to be a woman.
When I started blogging, it was the Year of the Woman Police Officer.  There had never been more opportunities for females to join the police and surge their way up the ranks.  At the time, I thought it was just the beginning.  This was my earliest post about Equality. 
As a young female PC, all I wanted was to be treated the same as my male colleagues.  I honestly believed that women were on the up, and saw no ceiling to what I could achieve, if I wanted.  In fact, it drove me mad to see pregnant and part-time mothers being allowed to do whatever they wanted in terms of hours and duties, when I was breaking my back on the front-line.
More recently, in this Telegraph article about the deaths of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, I talked about how budget cuts had done for equality what feminist campaigning never could.
Now in 2015, I see those PCs' deaths as a kind of tipping point.  The conflagration of Winsor, budget cuts, and a lack of public stomach for seeing young women (more so than men) killed in the line of duty, has enabled forces to reduce and restrict the options for women year on year.  A fact they will most strenuously deny, and which I don't believe to be intentional.
Blandshire Constabulary has re-written its flexible and part-time working policy since I joined up.  I learn from colleagues in other forces that this is the same nationwide.  Now, if as a woman you want to be a dog handler, firearms officer, or sergeant (and above), it is almost impossible to start a family.  Returning to work as a mother and a sergeant, you are expected to fill a full-time 24/7 sergeant's role, and there are fewer and fewer options for those who cannot do so.
This is a complex situation.  Far too complex for one post on the matter. 
It is enough to say that policewomen are still being killed in the line of duty.  And freedom of speech has never been under more deadly threat.
The matters I wrote about eight years ago are not resolved.  And we should not stop writing about them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see this post.

Given the events of the past few months, I have often wondered what you, Gadget & that great victim of the MSM "Nightjack" would have had to say.

Things aren't looking good, but do post some more when you can.

BTW, Je suis Charlie aussis.


10 January, 2015 13:59

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back. It seems that since most of the honest police bloggers went dark things have fallen even further apart. Let's hope there will be some light at the end of the tunnel soon. All the best.

10 January, 2015 22:25

Blogger Oscar Riba said...

Sad news that you had to use such tragic story to come back from blogging retirement, but it's good to read from you again.

There seems to be an absolute silence regarding police bloggers, when back in the day there were plenty!

11 January, 2015 00:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oscar there is a reason that there are a lack of police bloggers as they are being hounded out. There is a fear from upper ranks and government that the public will hear the real state of the police, hence the sustained attack and shutting down of bloggers.

11 January, 2015 11:48

Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

Great to see you back. I'm on Twitter now, maybe you could join us there? The police here have been hollowed out because apparently 'crime is down' and now we have a national resilience issue (the security situation) and the accountants who decimated us are thinking "Whoops!"

12 January, 2015 18:03

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

I am trying it out now...

12 January, 2015 21:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noooooo! Not twitter, please. It's for twats.

Twitter is no more than a written soundbite, and the search for good soundbites is what has helped to get us into this mess. Shallow, superficial, simplistic . . . we've got enough of that already.

Presumably, Tony Blair has a twitter account, but I had enough from his previous audio version to develop a gag reflex to the genre.


14 January, 2015 07:27

Blogger C Rehill said...

You are back. "After Watt" has gone but a new vista emerges, ask Jean Hatchet/Lisa Marie Taylor.

11 March, 2015 20:06


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