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)

Friday, June 19, 2009

It would be inappropriate to comment...

It seems to be commonly accepted that it is unwise to comment on an ongoing police investigation. Which is why you will often read in the press phrases such as "enquiries have begun into..." or "police have been called in..."

In actual fact, there is rarely any reason why commenting on an ongoing police investigation will jeopardise anything. And yet when I find myself standing on a cordon guarding a scene of intense public scrutiny, I am usually phoned by the press officer and given one of select few phrases to regurgitate to any passing journalist, including:
  1. "Police have been called to investigate reports of a disturbance."
  2. "At 0500hrs, an assault took place. An investigation has been launched."
  3. "A police incident is taking place and the following roads are closed..."
Half the time, this leads frustrated journalists to try other sources. On one occasion a reporter actually sneaked past my cordon and entered the scene of the Police Incident at great risk to the Seventeen Year Old Male In A Distressed State. Perhaps if I had been allowed to say, "Look, there's a guy up there threatening to kill himself, we're in the process of talking him down and if you stick your big nose he could throw himself off the roof and on your head be it, possibly literally," I think most journalists would keep a respectful distance. Either way, it's not going to make them more likely to interfere.

Through this blog and my book, I've met journalists/editors/producers in print and radio, TV and Internet. I have found them without exception to be reasonable, respectful individuals, albeit often with a different agenda to me. So why are journalists I meet at work so often obstreperous, obstructive and abusive, as opposed to those I meet as PC Ellie Bloggs? I believe it is because Ellie Bloggs tells them the truth about frontline policing, however unpalatable. At work, I tell them only what my employers want me to (which isn't lies, but isn't always the truth).

Of course, I could throw caution to the wind and blurt out whatever I wanted to the press on my cordon. A large part of me wonders if the results would really be as disastrous as the press officer seems to think. Leaving aside cases of ongoing kidnap/terrorism, where we sometimes have to play a tactical game with the media to avert tragedy, when would it really hurt to say: "Well we're looking into the expenses saga because on the face of it, it looks as though some MPs might have acted illegally. We'll keep you posted on what we find." Would this really undermine a future prosecution?

I don't anticipate this kind of frankness appearing in the media any time soon, especially not triggered by the police.

Mr Justice Eady
believes that the nation is desirous of "openness and transparency". How ironic that it is the anonymous police bloggers he is trying to shut down who have actually had the more trusted and open relationship with the public.

Our bosses should be taking note, and figuring out how to get this relationship between police and public to work officially.

Thank you to all my visitors this week who have reached me via Woman's Hour. The BBC have loose plans to turn my book into a TV comedy too (to be confirmed), so soon the world will be bombarded with the truth about policing, whether or not Mr Justice Eady approves.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post

I think the rot set in when police forces introduced press relations people to keep reporters away from their officers.

When I started as a cub reporter 20 years ago I was encouraged to build up contacts in the local force. The super was a drinking pal of my editor and I was privileged to work with some excellent crime reporters.

It was a two way street.Yes, the police got some good PR stories, but when I needed information my contacts were as forthcoming as they could be on the record and gave me plenty of off the record background into the bargain.

I left in the 90s and when I came back 15 years later everything had changed.

Now I'm bombarded with press releases full of unusable quotes containing corporate hogwash. If I'm told once more what a safe and secure county I live in I'll puke. How can press officers bring themselves to send that stuff out with their names on it?

Thank God the police station near me is still open and staffed by people prepared to treat me like a reasonable human being. They also make a nice cup of tea.

By the way, I just feel I ought to say that I have never knowingly or deliberately revealed a source. But then I'm old school. There are still a few of us about.

19 June, 2009 23:04

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this story of a vicious hoodlum taking the law into her own hands !!

20 June, 2009 00:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may well be "inappropriate for me to comment", but I am going to anyway, because someone has to say it, and I did draw the short straw!

After watching the late news on Friday night and seeing all the Muslim men in Iran filled with hatred for the U.K, at a meeting with their Head of State, the religious leader; I felt really quite sad that those people in Iran regard the people of the U.K as their "enemies". WE ARE NOT enemies of Iran. Their religious leader stated at the meeting, that the U.K government were the most treacherous and evil enemy of Iran.

Are the people of Iran unaware that the good people of the U.K, are very angry and unhappy about the government here? Many do not want them to remain in power and are demanding changes in government, and in policy and attitude from the politicians.
The ordinary people of the U.K are NOT the enemy of Iran. Our politicians have made mistakes and some of them have been stupid ones.

Gordon Brown has been reported as saying, that he could go tomorrow.

He has made some of the biggest mistakes and failed to lead the world in the right direction, especially over the use of Nuclear weapons and power stations; which the Lord God Almighty commands MUST be abolished, because they ARE the work of Satan, the evil one, who was brought down and chained by the Heavenly Host of Angels in December 2004. But this government have chosen to hide that fact from the whole world!

How many more proud but stupidly deaf world leaders are there out there, who ignore the will of God and desire Nuclear weapons and power? Satan's Nuclear Power which will destroy God's creation - Earth and all life upon it.
Surely Iran, which prides itself on following the will of Allah, will obey God's will and command, and give up the desire for Satan's Weapon of mass destruction, Nuclear?

When I was a small child, aged 4 years old, I was preyed upon by evil males in positions of authority, one of whom was the Beast himself. I was brutally raped, which caused a heart attack that sent me to the gates of Heaven, guarded by two Angels. One told me that it was not my time, and that I had to go back, to "get" that Beast who had just raped me. Another male, who had been watching, was trying to revive me. I could see him and my body in the back of his car. I argued to be let back into Heaven, but was told that God had given me a special job to do, and that I had to go back. I was given information and a message for humanity, from the Lord God Almighty. I have delivered the message a number of times, and still some do not listen to it.

The message from God was very clear, that if humanity fails to obey the will of God, especially regarding Nuclear weapons, then Satan will have succeeded with his evil plan to destroy God's beautiful creation, planet earth.

There was more in the message from God to humanity, but MEN are stubborn and will not hear it.
Women are equal to men and must not be badly treated by men, nor oppressed by them. God does NOT "hate" homosexuals. God loves us ALL equally. God hates wars, bigots and paedophiles, and those who follow Satan, who was God's greatest enemy, now destroyed.

The message from God is that Satan has, over time, been the cause of much suffering to humanity because he sowed the seeds of hatred, intolerance and division amongst all the people of the world. Satan was responsible for bits of false information in Christianity, and in Islam, to set people against each other. God's will is that all the tribes must forgive each other and live in peace, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Bhuddust, we are ALL God's people, and all wars must end now. This is the will and command of God, for the 21st Century and the future for us all.

The Messenger

20 June, 2009 01:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, yeah, I think you might of missed the point there mate.

You're absolutely right though Ellie, If the police were seen to be open and frank about matters that weren't sensitive, people would probably be alot more understanding when the words "It would be unwise to comment..." or variations thereof were spoken.


20 June, 2009 02:48

Anonymous North Northwester said...

It's pretty simple.

If the system sucks, and if the political leadership; Government benches and 'Opposition' alike are part of the same cosy, negligent, profligate club of conspirators against the public good, and if they censor or attempt to censor all criticism (and the press and TV through public sector jobs and 'public information films' advertising revenues), then anonymous blogging is one of freedom's last chances to expose the rotten parts of that system.

Too bad we aren't always perfect, but compared to the political class, we're bloody angels.

And awkwardness and not being 'responsible' are the same virtue; independence.

Keep it up, PC Bloggs, and don't let the reasonable get you down.

20 June, 2009 15:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea to turn your book into a comedy series closaley related to the truth. Rowan Atkinson has already shown the way to some extent with 'Thin Blue Line', it's only slightly exagerated.

20 June, 2009 17:03

Anonymous Blueboy said...

Does anyone remember the comedy series 'Mornin' Sarge'. That was very well informed.

20 June, 2009 17:06

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Guys, if you post libel, it will be deleted (you know who you are)!

20 June, 2009 18:53

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

I never post libel or utter slander. I speak only what I believe is both fair and true. Coppersblog also removed my comments, repasting them later for their own reasons.

In justifying your censorship, please state in frank terms what you claim to be libelous.

20 June, 2009 21:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon Jack @ 2.48 20th June.... Erm no, I have not "missed the point", mate. But it would appear that you have! Read Bloggsy's post again, every word of it, and then THINK about what I wrote in my post.

The shocking truth has been covered up by a corrupted, deceptive, self serving government system for over 50 YEARS. The information in my comment has been in the hands of the Police, S.I.S, Military Intelligence and government since 1957, and mostly gagged by government since then, who cherry picked the Intel info. Government in fact abused their power and the very sensitive information they had, and actually sabotaged a police operation, plus the lives of numerous "key players.
It's a long story which involves plots, lies and skullduggery.

Hero Bloggers like PC Bloggs and PC David Copperfield and, have allowed bits of this truth to be exposed on their blogs. Government knows that it has well and truly screwed up since 1957, and now do not have the bottle, nor the decency to come clean about a scandal that puts the expenses saga in the shade. There are elements within the two main parties, who are very arrogant and rotten to the core, and are colluding to maintain the status quo, and cover their deceitful backsides.

The long established pecking order of "ruling authority" has always been, Monarchy, Military, Government, the Judiciary, Police, Local Councils/Authorities.
Although right at the top of the list, the Monarch must not "interfere" in politics. If the government are corrupt and dishonest, the rot then trickles down the pecking order, tainting everything around it and below it.

The MP's fought for 5 years to hide the facts about their abuses of the expenses system, and would have continued to do so, but for the Telegraph obtaining the uncencored version from a Whistleblower, who did the public a great service. Whistleblowers more often than not, do tend to be given a bit of a hard time, by those who wish to keep the unpalatable truth hidded from the public.

Some do not survive doing that public service. Chris Jons, who made the first public challenge of "authority" in the 90's, about the abuse he and his siblings were subjected to. They and their father DIED. Dr Kelly, tried to challenge the dodgy dossier that took us into war with Iraq, on lies. Government swept under the carpet, what happened to both of the above Whistleblowers, as they have, so far, about the proven to be credible, accurate Intelligence about VERY serious matters - Operation Satan, and Operation Beelzebub 1958 -2009 - codename Lawrence - Royal Protection Officer.
How much longer can a P.M in deluded denial, [who on the record promised "transparency"] keep this truth "officially" covered up, with a gagging order from the Home Office? They talk of victims rights whilst they deny mine.

The Messenger [and a Whistleblower]

21 June, 2009 00:20

Blogger jerym said...

Bloggs,If everyone labels themselves as "anonymous" it`s going to be bloody confusing for old wrinklies like me.
Can you ask them to be a little more adventurous with their nom de plumes?

21 June, 2009 10:22

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@1st anon - you're prob right about rot & PR, but i think the same is true for journalism - it's all about making the story & selling papers. everyone's watching their backs these days, being so careful what is said and so saying "nothing" - any weakness or failing will be exploited. As to the fruity ms madam author bloggs, they're only being nice 'cos they can sell you. but hey good luck (seriously).

21 June, 2009 15:33

Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Credit to you for keeping the blog going PCB. I only hope it doesn't come back to bite you - reading NJ's "apology" was just painful and so clearly not written of his own free will and behest.

If i were you, i'd take a page out of CoppersBlog's book (no pun intended) and start just chain deleting/IP blocking the waster comments - they detract from the discussion at best, and derail it entirely at worst.

21 June, 2009 16:14

Anonymous Lawyer type said...

Er, if she re-posts something which she believes is libellous Dr Gray, she is herself libelling people.

Great blog, by the way PC Bloggs!

22 June, 2009 10:04

Anonymous Owen said...

... and with just a few small changes, one could justifiably say:

"Through the world of blogging, I've encountered police officers in print, radio and Internet. I have found them without exception to be reasonable, respectful individuals, albeit often with a different agenda to me. So why are police officers I meet in real life so often obstreperous, obstructive and abusive?"

Funny old world, ain't it?

(PS, I'm not a journalist)

22 June, 2009 20:15

Anonymous Mac said...

What exactly is the problem with you starting your own blog instead of sniping on others?
You could even make it a blog consisting of nothing but comments about other blogs if you lack the originality to post original (and non-repetitive) thoughts.
Go one, I dare you.

23 June, 2009 16:31

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