NEWSFLASH: POLICE ARE HUMAN TOO!!

January 14, 2010

After complaining about the police constantly for chasing targets, having no heart, acting like robots and generally being inhuman automatons, a PC from the TeleVision Police – sorry – Thames Valley Police, goes and proves that coppers are…. well…. human.  And gets into trouble for it.

Can you believe that the idiot in charge of the division where this happened actually criticised the police officers involved?  Whatever your thoughts are about their use of police time (how do we know they weren’t actually on a break? Being human, police officers have them too), resources and equipment, you have to admit that this sort of event does nothing but prove that there is a human (and maybe a bit of a child) behind the uniform.

Whatever the superintendent’s motives were for reprimanding this behaviour, you can guarantee that despite his or her misgivings, it will have helped public confidence and made the other members of public in that particular area feel a little more at ease knowing :

a) the hill was being well-policed

b) that coppers are human too

c) that riot shields make damn good tobbogans!

Being a police officer in the UK…

January 13, 2010

It seems all the yahoos, lefties and ‘liberalists’ (read: anarchists) have jumped on the bandwagon with the news that the police use of stop search was illegal.  I was browsing a Guardian blog earlier today at work and, unfortunately, didn’t copy the link to pop it in this blog – I’ve just spent 20 minutes trying to find it at home and I can’t now… Meh.

Note to self: must be more organised with this blogging lark. (And yes, blog more often perhaps!!) 🙂

Anyhow, I was rooting around and found an old e-mail that was doing the rounds about 7 years ago – it seems quite pertinent to the state of public opinion regarding the police at the moment, so I thought I’d post it:

Question:

How do you tell the difference between a British Police officer, an Australian Police officer and an American Police officer?

Answer:

Pose the following question:

You are walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children when suddenly, a dangerous-looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife and charges.

You are carrying a Glock 17 and you are an expert shot.  You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

Evenin' all

Evenin' all

UK Police officers:

Well, that’s not really enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think?

What about the kids?

Have I seen the Risk Assessment for this situation?

Should I write one out now?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What happens to my pension if I injure my back doing that?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?

When did I last have refresher training to use it – and is that adequately recorded?

Was the trainer appropriately accredited?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway and what kind of message does this send to society and my children?

Is it possible that he’d be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 999?

Would there be any police patrols available if I did or are they all engaging with the community on foot?

Why is this street so deserted?

Maybe we need to raise taxes, have a ‘paint and weed’ day and make this a healthier, happier street that would discourage such behaviour?

If I raise my gun and he runs away do I get blamed when he falls over running away, knocks his head and kills himself?

If I shoot him and he successfully convinces the jury he was just pleased to see me and waving hello (having forgotten about the knife in his hand he’d been using to carve a pumpkin for his four-year old daughter), does he have the opportunity to sue me, cost me my job, my credibility and my family home?”

Australian Police

Ya nicked, Bruce!

Australian officer:

BANG!

American Police

I'm sorry? He was texting death threats?

American officer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click, click, click.

Daughter’s comment:

“Nice grouping, Dad!  Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or the hollow-points I bought you for your birthday?”

Just a thought but, if some of the lefties in this country lived in America, I think they’d die of a heart attack in a couple of seconds as the above joke is worryingly close to the truth these days.

Challenge for the readers:

Feel free to add further comments/considerations for the British Police Officers. 🙂

Run silent, run deep.

January 4, 2010
The Swamp Thing

What horrors lurk beneath that fetid water?

So it has begun. The stench from the political swamp suddenly intensifies as even more MP’s crawl out from the murky depths on their yellow bellies, their forked tongues flicking in and out as they dip-test public opinion and gear up for some major shouting and posing before the next election.

In fact, the only thing noisier than the MP’s is the ever present whine, like a jet turbine steadily increasing in pitch, as the spin machines spew out untruth after twisted untruth in an effort to make the other party look like the worst option to the voters.

What does this mean for the custodians of society?  It means we get to practice avoidance; we’re not allowed to speak to the media without following extremely strict guidelines, designed so as to prevent accidental photos of us being taken with MP’s or prospective MP’s from any party or from giving an opinion as to which party is best, or doing or saying anything that may prejudice our impartiality or could be used by the media to imply that we are siding with any particular group.

The fact that we have opinions of our own (strictly not representative of the Force as a whole, all rights reserved, no semblance to persons living or dead implied, etc) is, naturally, not something that we’re allowed to talk about whilst on duty.  Visit any police blog site, however, and you’ll find any number of reasons why the current government are perhaps not favoured by any sane, thinking person.

Our Force, amongst others, is currently saddled with the task of shaving millions off its budget as, over the next couple of years, we’re facing something like a 10-15% cut in our budget.  Don’t let the spin doctors tell you otherwise – with £70m being taken out of our overtime budgets (how else do you think special operations like Op Stack are funded?) and departments being told they’ve got to save 5% before April and another 10% for the next financial year, courses are being cut, operations are under-funded and under-staffed and recruitment has all but dried up.  That’s right – where we’d usually be recruiting between 200-300 PC’s a year, this next year we’re looking at 30-100.

PCSOs, originally funded by the government when they were first introduced as the cure-all panacea, will shortly have to be funded by police authorities.  Naturally, recruitment for them is drying up too.  In fact, it doesn’t take a genius to start working out that numbers will start falling due to natural wastage.

So whatever the spin doctors try to tell you, don’t believe the hype – police numbers are being directly and negatively affected by the government.  Will a different government be any… different?  Who knows?

But I can’t express an opinion, really – all the while we’re in ‘purdah’, we’ve got to run silent, run deep…

Submarine

Don't express an opinion, don't even make a noise...

Note: ‘Purdah‘ is a term used to refer to social exclusion/isolation – for the police it is a time from when an election is announced to when it takes place.  It’s the time of party sabre-rattling, exchanges of insults, mud-slinging and general ‘point-scoring’ against the opposition in an attempt to get the voters on their side (whichever side that may be.)  For the police, it’s a time to keep shtum, be drawn on nothing political, express no preferences either way, for fear of appearing to favour one side over the other and thus lose our impartiality.  It feels like a gagging order and perhaps not accidentally also refers to the practice in Muslim and Hindu communities of keeping women in seclusion, usually via certain clothing (veils, etc.)
N.B.:  I found out today that our projected recruitment figures for the next two years have now dropped to less than 10% of our normal recruitment figures.  This is partly to do with staff who are reaching retirement age wanting to stay on thanks to the recession, but you can guarantee that budget cuts have a huge part to play too.

Where’s the Christmas Cheer?!?

December 29, 2009

Crikey.

Well, I’m back. It’s been busy for myself, the Boss and mini-kop over the last few days – probably something to do with it being Christmas.

I can’t help feeling as though Christmas should be the time to be of festive spirit, full of joy and love for everyone else and having the grace to be pleasant to strangers.

Quite how I survived the foray into Slumtown today I’ll never know. We were off into town to have a chuckle at the “sales” – I have to paranthesise the word ‘sale’ now as I believe they’re a complete misnomer. I didn’t find a single thing that had actually gone down in price. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of offers of ‘up to 50% off’, but surely I’m not the only one who realises that to qualify to legally put up that sign, the shop only has to offer one line of products at 50% off marked price. And that’s 50% off the highest price that item has been offered at over the last 6 months by some store, somewhere. Ever wondered why some things are ridiculously overpriced in one particular (low-footfall) store, somewhere? It’s so that they can offer those same items elsewhere at ‘50% off’.

“Sales”, my @rse.

And the Christmas cheer of which I speak?

You won't find this one in the Highway Code!

That was aptly demonstrated by someone from the shallow-end of the gene pool in his car today. He’d decided that the Highway Code was written by cretins (his relatives, perhaps?) and he was going to force his way across the two lanes of opposing traffic and stop across my path in lane 1 so that he could give me the finger on his way through.

I didn’t recognise him, but I was a little confused as to why I’d been singled out. He could have kept going and been out of my way before I got near him, but no, he had to stop to block me specifically to give me the finger.

Christmas cheer? Something tells me he won’t be getting his Spot The Dog books next Christmas.

A call that I attended with a probationer on Boxing Day was an eye opener too. The usual domestic – Wayne had spent all the fag money on White Lightning and left Waynetta with Chasnay, Reece and some of her other spawn that she couldn’t be bothered to remember the names of, let alone who the fathers were.

Slumtown's latest 'opportunity' developments left a little to be desired.

They were the typical bottom-dwellers and yet they had a decent, 4-bedroom house. Well, it was decent before they moved in and let the kids scrawl crayon all over the walls (Wayne probably did half of it too.)

And the next day, during a chat with the in-laws, I find out that the Boss’s sister and her boyfriend can’t get a house through the council. It turns out that despite both living in Slumtown since birth, paying their dues, not having criminal records or drug habits, a retinue of offspring towing behind with snot rags and dirty faces, and the fact they’ve both got jobs means that the council won’t help them.

Never mind the fact that they’re doing everything right, they’re working, they’re paying taxes, they’re not criminals, etc. The council won’t help them, even though they can’t afford to rent and certainly not to buy. And the best thing of all was?

The advisor who told them the council wouldn’t help them suggested that if they had a kid, they’d get a house.

Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

December 24, 2009
Police car chasing Santa

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Special thanks to everyone who’s stopped by my new blog (it’s still in its infancy, so thanks for all your comments) and an extra special Merry Christmas to everyone who has to work over the holiday; police, ambulance service, fire brigade, coast guard, NHS and everyone else.

Chinook taking off with soldier in foreground

Yep, it's even Christmas in Afghanistan for some.

And let’s not forget the brave lads and lasses over in Afghanistan – I hope you have a safe and merry time, if that’s possible.

I’ll be wishing them all a Merry Christmas from the relative safety of my patrol car tomorrow.

And to the rest of you – have a good one.  Remember, everything in moderation, unless it’s chocolate!!! 😛

Merry Christmas!!!

Keeping abreast of the situation…

December 22, 2009

Okay, so perhaps this is somewhat offensive to various groups on many different levels, but by ‘eck is it funny!!!

I had something similar to this happen to me once when I was doing a speed check in coastal Slumtown in Ruralshire.  Well, okay, I’m not retarded and I didn’t attempt to shoot a hobo, but the response of the driver was the same when I started filling out a ticket.

I clocked a car exceeding the limit by a significant amount – fast enough to not even consider letting them off.  Funnily enough, the driver was female.  I’ve lost count of the number of speeding tickets I’ve had to issue in my time (thanks to the drive to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads), but I can say hand on heart that more than half have been to women drivers.  What is it with them rushing around?!  According to the insurance adverts, they’re the safer drivers!

Anyway, when she saw me get the ticket book out she did something very similar to the video above.

I had to laugh – I thought this kind of thing only happened in movies and that no-one was really stupid enough to think it actually works!  Needless to say, she got her speeding ticket despite her best efforts.

Makes you wonder, though, how many are able to pull the ‘short-skirt discount’ during their driving test or in other times of need!

Boobies!!! 😛

Note: I laughed so hard I nearly choked when I watched the video above.  Do a search on YouTube for ‘retarded policeman’ and you’ll find a treasure-trove of videos featuring the challenged cop.

If you can’t laugh, what can you do? Take up politics, perhaps…

December 19, 2009

So Boris Johnson is unhappy with the way the Met is managed? Get in line, Mr Johnson, because I’m sure as hell you’re not the only one who wants to politicise the management of policing.

Boris holding his hair down

Boris checks his hair isn't MIA

As we all know, Boris is the bleeding edge of Mayorship, and his diamond-edged wit and decision-making ability is rivalled only by his hairstyle.  The fact he’s backed banker’s bonuses is a key indicator of where his morals, and perhaps assets, lie.

However, from behind all this bluster, confusion and windswept hair comes a rather worrying comment from our Boris.  Whilst talking about the disjointed nature of the MPA, it seems our Boris wants more political control of the police.

I couldn’t think of anything scarier or more counterproductive.

When I took the oath, I swore allegiance to the Queen, not some randomly-elected, flavour-of-the-moment scrote in a suit whose only interest is fiddling the taxpayer for all they can get whilst swapping houses and allowances like Top Trumps cards in a school playground.

Politicise policing and you’ll end up with the same problem the French have – the police won’t do anything about the farmers/fishermen striking and blocking the ports, causing chaos in the UK thanks to Op Stack, because their commissioner (or préfet or whoever it is – not sure of the exact terminology as my French isn’t that hot!) won’t get re-elected as they’ll have lost the votes of vast numbers of militant onion sellers (the worst kind – militant onions play havoc with your tear ducts when you’re slicing them.)

Note: Unfortunately I couldn’t link to the actual news article that sparked this post as it is in a members-only area of Janes Police Review website.  I have, instead, tried to find other relevant news articles, although they’re a bit older, that get the same message across.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it….

December 18, 2009

Okay, so the forecasters got it right for a change and it snowed a bit this morning.

No problem, thought I.  I have nearly two decades of driving experience, including a number of police driving courses (and a standard course which coincided with some of the worst snow we’ve had for quite a while), and a stable and highly dependable vehicle equipped with flourescent jacket, first aid kit, food supplies (well, some dextrose tabs and chewing gum) and I was prepared for the journey.

I forgot about other motorists, though.

You know the weather’s been bad when you see people driving past in their people carriers, their driving experience limited to doing the school run through the spring/summer months, with no headlights on and the tiniest slit carved through the snow and ice across their windscreen to peer out of like some WW2 armoured scout vehicle.  And when they finally summon the courage to exceed 10 mph on a dual carriageway with nothing more offensive than salty water on it, their vehicle turns into a mobile blizzard as the 6″ of snow caked onto the roof gets blown off in intermittant avalanches of visibility-impairing snow.

And best of all, they still think their headlights and indicators work, despite the fact they couldn’t be bothered to scrape a foot of snow off them, either.

Another ‘ard day at t’mill…

December 16, 2009

Funny as hell, but utterly demotivating, is my superintendent’s ability to both make a mountain out of a molehill, but also to get two teams of moles working on it from different sides so neither knows the other is there until they start to notice that its raining soil on their heads.

Still, it keeps me busy and I like to get home and unwind by cooking a nice dinner for the boss and, if I have the time, a quick go on the PS3. Blimey, is it me or do some people really get irate about violence in games?

Car runs over pedestrian (in a game!)

Carmageddon - no, that's not a real pedestrian!

For better or worse (I guess I’ve got a good career lined up if I ever leave the police) I’ve spent too much time with computers since I was a nipper.  As a result, I’ve grown up playing games like Carmageddon, where you get more time on the race clock by running over pedestrians, and Grand Theft Auto (most variations) where you get to steal cars, take ‘ladies of the night’ for one-way rides and gun down other gangsters in gory, bullet-ridden shoot outs.

And guess what?

Nope – haven’t once had the urge to ‘go postal’ and start up a massacre, or drive around at lunatic speeds trying to run people over (unless I’ve got the blues ‘n’ twos on.)

My personal thoughts? If kids/adults are easily affected by violence in games, then they’re going to be easily affected by violence in films and far more affected by violence in their childhood/family/environment.  As a result, they’re going to be unstable anyway and have a tendency to violence more so than the average Joe who has all their marbles present and accounted-for; trying to blame a safe stress-valve like a game is madness, perpetuated by those who know nothing of games.

My first foray into the world of blogging…

October 28, 2009
Cherry

My blogging cherry

Okay… this is it… I’ve been a regular on other blogs, I’ve seen people writing about what ires them, what motivates them, what makes them happy/sad etc and I’ve decided that I want a bite of the cherry.

The problem is; what to write?  Do I really want to expose my thoughts and feelings to the great unwashed (conscience: calling people ‘the great unwashed’ probably won’t help our cause!) and if I do, how do I go about making it individual and not merely a mirror of other great blogs that I visit and draw inspiration from?

The next thing, then, is perhaps to set out my stall from the very beginning.   I neither expect nor desire huge numbers of visitors (ego: a couple would be nice, though) and I don’t think this blog will last long – it’ll probably be consigned to the bin marked, “Tried It, Didn’t Have Time For It” or something similar.

Anywho – this is probably the first and last post I’ll be making here, but at least I can say I’ve tried it out. 😉