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, September 12, 2008

Conference or Confederates:

From yesterday's Daily Mail:
"The case centres around the right of police officers to confer when compiling their accounts of an incident. If the Saunders are successful in their legal action, this practice may be scrapped, changing the face of policing in Britain."

For non-police readers, it is commonly held that it is legal and normal for police officers to confer whilst writing their statements. The crucial word is "confer" rather than "collaborate".

In general, it is preferred that members of the public do not confer before giving statements to police, although some discussion is inevitable when a group of people have witnessed something.

The reason this is different for the police is - and this is just my opinion - that in general the police have no axe to grind. In bog standard, day-to-day cases of common assault, criminal damage, theft, public order, etc, etc, police officers are not going to risk their jobs by conspiring to fit up a random punter. You may see it in movies, you may read about it in papers like the Daily Mail, but it just doesn't happen. To be quite honest, I couldn't give a toss whether some guy I nick on a Friday night for spitting in some other guy's face gets convicted or not. I've had him off the streets on the night, I've acted in good faith, that's really all I care about.

But in a case where a civilian has been shot by a police officer, now that's quite different.

Perhaps the answer is that we need clearer guidelines on how officers are to give their statements under these circumstances. In Blandshire, a supervisor would normally take their statement rather than them writing it themselves.

Or perhaps the answer is that we need to invest in our recruitment and training methods, trust our police, and have the back-up that we come down hard on anyone found abusing their power. After all, would we rather we uncovered the few corrupt officers, or that the majority became too afraid to act when we needed them to?

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we all know guvnors mess their pants when they have anything difficult to deal with especially firearms incidents or getting to grips with that small number who are yobs in uniform.
Until we get back to real leadership proper training and good standards of discipline aka the good old days....

12 September, 2008 16:16

Blogger Navy Red said...

The reason for this kind of post incident de-brief is covered in Lt Col Dave Grossman's books On Killing and On Combat. Our brains are wired to block out certain events that, during life or death moments, do not help our survive instinct. Our vision narrows, memory gives over "network" time in the brain to the "do-ing" side. So post incident it could take up to 3 days for all the memories to be unlocked and return.

As military I can highly recommend these two books to all police officers. Slightly US in its "hoorahh" feel but its key messages are very good.

12 September, 2008 17:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have gone back to the days that a writ of Habeas Corpus is iout of vougue , so lets get back the priviliges of the plumey few, so that they can be above the law.


ORDERED, That Mr. Samuell Pickering, William Wareing the elder, and William Wareing the younger, be discharged from their Commitment to the Serjeant at Arms, paying their Fees; which Mr. Speaker is desired to moderate.

An Information being given, That one Ralph Whitfeild, Servant to Mr. Progers, a Member of this House, was lately arrested upon a Bill of Middlesex, at the Suit of Anne Wells Widow; and is detained in Custody at the House of one Browne, a Bailiff in Holborne, contrary to the Privilege of Parliament;

Ordered, That it be referred to Mr. Speaker to examine the Matter: And if he find that the said Whitfeild was arrested contrary to the Privilege of Parliament, that then he do give Order for his Discharge.

12 September, 2008 19:43

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your glib reference to trust reveals an inferior understanding of it. Unlike an overdraft, it is not redeemed by the profligate when convenient. Trust, as Syrus observed, is not a commodity and 'like the soul never returns when it is gone'.

Take pointers from propaganda, Bloggsy. When public trust was lost in Windscale it was born again as Sellafield. Lead your new profession as sarky 'Militsiyawoman' and ignore the countering of clever clogs who chortle that a pig with lipstick on, is still a pig.

12 September, 2008 20:02

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure about 'good old days'. I feel that since politicians seem to be able to interfere directly with the police's remit, the police's credibility is tarnished with the public's view of the same politicians (aided by the meeja getting a cheap headline). And trust once used is hard to replace.

However, if one reads the Peelian Principals, our political leaders and, gleefully the meeja, have undermined all 9 points. Unfortunately, most of us, MOPs that is, are unaware of these principals unless we look them up. Perhaps they should be taught at school?

Tony F

12 September, 2008 20:25

Blogger blueknight said...

The problem lies with the 'family' thinking that the Police are 'suspects' and not 'witnesses'. That appears to be the reason why they are creating such a fuss about the Officers 'conferring'.
What actually constitutes 'conferring'? Half a dozen Officer sat round the table discussing and making notes, - obviously. But what about the Officer who rings the control room to ask what time a particular call came in or the Officers arrival time?
As PC Bloggs says, police officers are not going to risk their jobs by conspiring to fit up a random punter. And these days firearms officers are highly trained so if they fire there must have been a reason. They ar not going shoot someone for the sake of it.

12 September, 2008 21:50

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is not the police - it is the government. Of Publilius Syrus I think I prefer -

It is a hard undertaking to seek to please everybody

Pardon one offence and you encourage the commission of many

Never promise more than you can perform

And so apposite for Gordon Brown -

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

12 September, 2008 22:57

Blogger uniform said...

to conspire is to care..and yeah we ALL care about every poxy job that much.

Particularly statements written at 2am , shit on a stick, ring in sick when you have to read that pile of crap at court.

You can always claim automatic writing,punch the clerk to the court and go off mad !

12 September, 2008 23:58

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think it is true in this case but if police have not acted correctly in an incident with major consequences then they may seek to cover it up and protect each other. It is fair enough for the other side to raise the possibility in my view.

13 September, 2008 11:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was something a bit odd about the case. Why did the guy go off on one and start shooting at a child's bedroom in the first place?
People were saying of him after his death, that he was a lovely guy and a good husband, and they could not understand what had upset him so much as to go crazy with a gun.

Why did police shoot him in the head 11 times? What was the victim "involved" in, that has not yet come to light? Is his death a convenient cover up, to save others from the exposure of serious wrong doing?
All legitimate questions.

The police and judiciary are not perfect angels one and all. There are some dubious characters within these professions who are attracted to those jobs because of the power it gives them over others. Some abuse that power, and always have done.

Doc T Gray quotes someone who, quite frankly, is talking BOLLOX, as the soul CAN and DOES return after death. Reincarnation is a fact, and those who are open minded and sensitive/psychic enough, can communicate with souls in the astral realms, or "afterlife" as it is often called. This is also a fact, which could be quite useful in murder cases.

There is one such case from 1956 - Lynne Whitely aged 6yrs, who was murdered in Manchester. After death she most certainly did communicate with many, mostly children, but also some special branch officers and other adults. She provided a great deal of very valuable intelligence for the S.I.S which saved thousands of lives. The fact of her communicating with kids and adults after her "death" is a documented fact - if the government [and some others] had the balls to admit it.

It is the negative reactions of the ignorant and sceptical "flat earthers", to that sort of reality which can muddy the waters of perception and understanding. The medical profession can also create misunderstandings due to their dogmatic "belief" that hearing a voice communicating with one, is a sure sign of madness. It isn't. It is a sign of psychic sensitivity. Angelic communication and guidance is nothing new, to the enlightened.

14 September, 2008 04:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon@ 04.09. Have you been drinking? To answer the only question in your post that seems to have come from with any basis in reality he wasn't shot 11 times in the head, 11 rounds were fired in total over a five hour siege five of which hit Mr Saunders.

14 September, 2008 04:37

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops sorry. Forgot to take the pills again. Anyone seen my hatstand?

14 September, 2008 11:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you do a piece about the dangers of allowing mad people access to the internet..after all by so doing mad people are making spurious claims about the legitimacy of hearing voices that the police are overun with paperwork and are run by a bunch of idiots with degrees in three dimensional design and that the Home secretary is bang on top of her job...Whats that Mother?Those nice men in white coats are still waiting...Now coming..

14 September, 2008 11:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The recruitment and training is where tis all gone to pot Ms Bloggs. I still keep in touch with a few old colleagues in police HR and recruitment and the checks, the training and the level of individual overall have gone so far done it saddens me greatly.

11 times in the head? You realise after the 4th or 5th round the skull generally starts to come apart, and that dead people dont continue standing in view for the other 9+ rounds you claim hit him in the head.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

14 September, 2008 16:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An escaped mad person who claims to be a Dr. is still and escaped mad person. Any lipstick involved is just an aggravating factor!

Dr. Dave T Muggle.

14 September, 2008 16:33

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is quite right. I often come back in another life, several times a day on occasions.

14 September, 2008 19:15

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One can of course never actually disprove such assertions, it is just that for some reason or another the proof has always been lost or covered up or nobody had a camera or the tapes were burnt in a fire or ...

14 September, 2008 19:18

Blogger uniform said...

oi Bloggs

that comment on Copperfield's blog re Canadian fridges..fecking funny made me laugh out loud, family think I'm a nutter.

14 September, 2008 20:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bloggy,
Are you one of us?
Steven Strait

14 September, 2008 21:51

Anonymous Anonymous said...

19...No I have not been drinking. I very rarely drink alcohol, and no I am not on "medication". Apologies if I misread in the press,how many shots landed in the man's head. Don't the police shoot to just disable people anymore?

And to whoever made the inevitable boring old flat earther comment of "mad person", in response to something true, which must have stretched their poor brain a bit. Sadly you just show how narrow minded and ignorant you are.
There is actual documented proof of reincarnation. A great deal of research has been done over a long period of time, upon children and adults.

And the 6 year old girl named Lynne Whitely who was murdered in 1956, in Manchester, by an act of rape and a vicious beating, IS A FACT. You really should show more respect for the dead, as well as the living, who do perhaps know a bit more than yourself about the case. She was my half sister.

15 September, 2008 03:05

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't the police shoot to just disable people anymore?"
No. Did they ever?

15 September, 2008 10:39

Blogger staghounds said...

What a silly question. Careers are built on catching corrupt officers!

Who was ever promoted, or had his picture in the newspapers, for getting police officers to act when we needed them to?

15 September, 2008 15:11

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Thanks uniform, at least I still amuse someone: shame not on my own blog...

15 September, 2008 17:39

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't the police shoot to just disable people anymore

Police fire at the biggest area of the offender thats currently visible.
Thats normally the torso.
Its unfortunate for the offender that the heart, lungs and other organs that one cant really do without, are lodged in there..........

16 September, 2008 20:48

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