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Preview: Officer Blog - A Tale Of Modern Policing

Officer Blog - A Tale Of Modern Policing



A look into the job of a Reactive Shift officer working in a mix of sleepy villages and nightmare towns. All names / locations have been changed and the views expressed are my own and not of the Police Service. Enjoy! (All views may not exactly reflect o



Updated: 2014-10-07T00:18:48.847+00:00

 



Staffing

2007-10-16T16:30:08.717+00:00

I have now been acting skipper on a reactive shift for about a month ish prior to that i was acting neighbourhood skipper.

There are a hell of alot of differences in the responsibilities. I mean struggling to resource jobs with minimum staffing. Trying to bottom out the sometimes poor handovers from the previous shifts (who to be fair dont have a skipper most of the time). And trying to get the team to perform.

Its quite a balance especially where i dont have the numbers on shift to be able to resource Urgent jobs as well as allowing them time to progress their own jobs. At the same time trying to get the detection rate up and getting their workloads down.

I have had to be quite ruthless with their jobs and file them at the first chance i get to save endless enquiries which will lead nowhere in an effort to bring down the number of jobs they are carrying.

In theory if i reduce their current workload then they will be able to be more proactive and get the drugs searches and public order jobs rather that constantly taking statements to progress their own jobs. Also the less work they carry in theory the happier they will be at work. I mean when i used to carry a heavy workload i used to dread coming in to have to do more paperwork, and when the level dropped then i was happier in my role and was getting the proactive stops, the drugs searches, disrupting the drunks causing problems.

Its just so hard to do these days balancing the needs of victims, and the needs of the community as well as the welfare of my officers. Along with resourcing the new jobs coming in which need attendance.

I dont like to keep callers waiting for attendance, but need to prioritise their call because our grading system isnt the best and we really need several kinds of urgent rather than one.

I am going onto nights this week so will be trying to get my officers out there rather than sitting in the nick doing paperwork. I will be out there too trying in an effort to lead by example.

They are not a bad team, they can work hard when pushed, i just want them to work hard, enjoy the job without being pushed.

Having said that, we had 3 officers on duty recently and still managed to arrest 2 for burglary which resulted in them being late off. Sadly they wouldnt allow me overtime to supervise the final stages and i really hope they did a good job after the arrests otherwise it will marr the good efforts at the scene. I guess i little faith and hope they dont let me and themselves down!

First night shifts for over 3 months, could be interesting.



Results

2007-10-16T16:30:36.001+00:00

Well the results are in and i have the feedback from the Roads Policing board and my application for Sgts Boards.

I got a letter from HQ informing me that i was unsuccessful in my application to boards for the role of Sgt (this is like a paper application before having a job interview).

The same day i got a call from one of the people who did my interview for roads policing. With a "welcome to the department you have passed the board" which is a result for the first time i have ever sat a board. I am quite chuffed and have done my assessment drive which i also passed. So i am just waiting a date to join the department!

Not bad at all, and to be honest if i passed both i was going to withdraw from the Sgts. So hopefully in a few months i will be posing in the guise of a traffic bobby.



100% Attendance

2007-09-25T10:28:10.309+00:00

Not what you are thinking where we get a bonus for not going sick......

It's our policy soon that we could be attending 100% of calls into the police.

We currently attend around 30% and are run ragged!

Now they want attendance if the caller asks for it rather than if it was justified.

With no increase in staffing numbers.

I see trouble ahead.

I think the police is coming full curcle again on its 5 year turn around. You never know they may disband departments to staff shift (like they did 3 years ago).

John the cynical



All Change

2007-09-25T10:23:49.900+00:00

My last post on here was a tad negative.

Partly because i was having a bit of a mare having moved off a reactive shift onto a neighbourhood department and leaving the "security" of my shift who i had worked with for a number of years.

Quite a daunting thing really as it was the first time in my career i had left a bloody good team of people both personally and professionally with probably one of the best skippers i have worked with.

The complaint was resolved and i was basically cleared of any wrong doing. This was good for me as i suddenly realised how many people i have worked with over the years came out and supported me. I kept my head down and got on with the job and let the system do it's job as i knew regardless of the rumours i had done nothing wrong.

Not too long after the incident, i received a phone call, offering me a skippers role on the department which i obviously took and soon took on an acting rank.

This was quite weird for me as for some reason alot of people who i would not normally have access to became available to me. The amount of support was also quite a change and the higher ranks talked to me on a level rather than as a PC.

Needless to say i had a job to do and set about doing that job.

I have never been one for hiding in corners and knew although i will eventually go back to being a PC i was in rank and needed to be a sergeant. This meant some unpopular decisions which i hope wont be held against me when i am back to PC.

But it seems to be working, things changed and the department is now working as a team rather than a fragmented single existence for most of the officers.

Coming off a shift where teamwork is important to a department where it appeared that it was a individual effort rather than team was strange. And i wanted to build a team of reliable officers who i could trust.

And after about a month or so, is starting to take shape.

Only for me to leave sometime in the very near future.

It seems that my work has not gone unnoticed. Although i feel that i am just doing my job, others feel im doing more than that.

I will soon be off to shift again.

Not as a PC but as a shift skipper where i will hopefully have a team of officers to work with. Well depending on how many they want to abstract for other departments, annual leave etc!.

This will be interesting for me, i think i will try and get them working the same as my old shift, whether that works is another story!

Also if you remember i applied for roads policing for the second time.

Well i passed paper sift and have recently sat a board for the role where i hope i will get in.

Boards are strange things, in roads policing there are alot of things you need to read up on which took a great number of hours, only to briefly cover topics in a 30 minute interview.

Hopefully i did well and will be offered a role, it's hard to work out how i did really!

So potentially over a period of 3 months i will have been.

A shift PC
A Area Beat Officer.
A Neighbourhood Sgt.
A Shift Sgt
And fingers crossed, a Roads Policing PC.

Well i will know in the next 2 weeks if i did enough to get one of the jobs.



Maybe....

2007-08-08T12:20:20.086+00:00

From the nightmare of a last few months working on neighbourhoods, things went downhill very quickly, which lead me to wanting to leave sector and go back to reactive on the hurry up.

But things did take a change, i had a new person to mentor who was a breath of fresh air and made me start to enjoy it again. We have been to a fair few jobs, made a good number of arrests, got some good detections and used alot of common sense when dealing with incidents.

Last months problem was moved and is being dealt with and i have been supported and cleared of any wrong doing.

So last month has been quite a positive one after 2 months of crap and left me feeling better about the job as a whole.

So, i decided to submit papers to board to be a sgt which has all been supported. Only to find out that Roads Policing are again advertising, for the area i want to work. This then leaves me with a problem..... Do i carry on to become a sgt or withdraw to apply for RPD???

I am still waiting to see if i can do both at the moment but deep down i want to do RPD and would be a fool to miss the chance of getting in after all i can board every 3 months to be a sgt and RPD doesn't come around that often and i stand quite a good chance of getting a board.

Also i had a call the other day offering me some acting for 3 months which i accepted.

So in a way things seemed to start going my way, hopefully it will continue and ill eventually get onto driving RPD cars which is ultimately what i want to do.

When things look bad, sometimes things will start to go your way, long may it continue and hopefully i wont drop the ball!



Neighbourhood Policing

2007-06-27T12:02:04.489+00:00

Well after being hastled for a number of months by people of varying ranks i took an attachment to a neighbourhood team.Somehow they deem me to be an "experienced officer" and asked that i come off core response to work in a neighbourhood team with a few other officers.With the promise of some good training which i wouldn't get on response and potentially some good evidence for my PDR i accepted and went onto NHP as a Mentor to some of the new kids coming in from the new training scheme.I like the use of the word mentor because it means they don't have to pay me to be a tutor even though i am actually tutoring.So this post is really 2 things. Its about NHP and the new training scheme which has been adopted by most forces.Firstly NHP, I have never seen so many petty harassment's and complaints in my career. Dealing with people who cant resolve problems themselves. You know the type of thing where the normal amongst us would have a word and try to actually speak with the problem neighbour to sort it out.Well it seems that alot of people claim harassment from a neighbour sitting and laughing at them in the garden or the kid kicking a football against a fence (thanks to NCRS its now crimed as criminal damage or attempt CD) meaning statements need to be taken and the "offender" spoken to or dealt with.I used to be able to attend the job, give "words of advice" to both parties and never have to go back. Now im dealing with idiots who wont listen who hate the neighbour and when i ask "have you spoken with them about the problem?" i get the response "they wont listen to us but they may listen to you so i didn't bother trying"Ahhh its annoying to say the least that people think we can sort every little thing out and i don't have better things to do than say "if you continue to laff at your neighbour you may be liable to arrest"I blame Jeremy Kyle.Incidentally the number of jobs i get sent to decreases when JK or loose women is on telly.The new training scheme has been in effect for a while in my force and after a few days i was forced to speak with the department responsible to find out what the hell is going on as the people i am being sent don't know what to do or how to deal with a job. I know we all have to start somewhere but these are officers who are sent out as fit for purpose and sposed to be able to do stuff on there own.What crap.In the first 2 weeks i got abandoned by my crew mate in a fight because he didnt agree with the level i went in at and i didnt start from the low level and escalate up.Ive been doing this job for a while and know what level to go in at but he was having none of it.He is now seen as a soft touch and was abused by other MOP's in full view of the people he was sposed to be helping. This is something quite scary as its not him thats gonna get hurt its gonna be his crew mate.So i need to re train him from the school view of policing to the reality of policing. Easier said than done im afraid as he knows it all.So i am left with a dilemma.I need to shock him into action and make him realise what the score really is or do i just hope for the best. First option means i may get hurt or his crew mate. Second option means sometime in the future it will go wrong.It wouldn't be so bad but he cant even deal at a burglary without me guiding him through the job!.I have to be quite vague here as im not sure what to do for the best. I know hes only new and needs time to adjust and settle in but hes sposed to be able to deal with jobs at the least. And the public order bread and butter stuff will come in theory, but for him i don't think it will.So this week could get interesting ass im hunting for disorder and attending any violent or disorder type job to at least instill the fact which is you never leave another officer to deal with a violent job on there own, you go hands on regardless.We are sposed to look after each other and work as a team... a skill which is dearly lacki[...]



Another Death

2007-06-15T12:43:05.465+00:00

Tributes to Pc killed in stabbing

Jon Henry leaves a wife and daughter.

Colleagues of a policeman fatally wounded in a triple stabbing have paid tribute to him. Pc Jon Henry was responding to reports of an assault on a window cleaner in Luton when he was attacked on Monday.

Two other men were also stabbed, with one of the victims said to be in a serious but stable condition. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Chief Constable Gillian Parker said of 36-year-old Pc Henry: "His dedication to his duty cost him his life."

She said: "Jon was one of a large family, a very close family. Jon was a much loved son, brother and husband."

He leaves a wife Mary and a baby Maggie, who is weeks away from her first birthday.
Nicky Dahl, divisional commander for Luton, said Pc Henry had been in good spirits just minutes before he was sent out on Monday morning.

He said: "Jon had been in the police service for three years, and was described by his colleagues as a great guy, always cracking jokes. "At the briefing this morning, he was doing the same. They always laughed, because the jokes were so bad.

"His family described him as someone who was just doing the job he loved, and as someone who loved life."

Pc Henry died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital where the two injured men are being treated.
One of them, a 55-year-old from Luton, was stabbed in the back. Police have not given details of the second man.

Stun gun
Pc Henry was attending 999 calls from two members of the public after a man, said by witnesses to be a window cleaner, was attacked with a knife in Luton town centre. The constable attended in a marked police car and was with a number of other officers when he was wounded.

Police used a baton round and Taser electric stun gun to restrain the knifeman. On Monday Det Supt Keith Garwood, who is heading the murder inquiry, said: "The family are very traumatised by this and are understandably upset and angry.

"This man came to work and they were expecting him home this afternoon and he is not going to be there."

To the scum posting crap in the comments - cowards hide where brave men / women stand.



Another Tragic Event

2007-05-07T20:11:39.097+00:00

A 43-year-old policeman shot dead at the scene of a domestic argument had been commended five times for bravery.

Married father-of-two Pc Richard Gray, a trained firearms officer, was killed while attending a domestic dispute in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on Sunday.

West Mercia chief constable Paul West said the Dundee-born officer had previously won recognition for his part in the arrests of two armed men.

The second man to die has been named as Peter Medlicott, 33, from Shrewsbury.

The pest control business owner is understood to have killed himself after shooting Pc Gray.

A .222 calibre rifle, commonly used in pest control, was recovered from the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed both men died from single gunshot wounds to the head.

The force said a police armed response unit was called to attend a domestic incident at 0610 BST on Sunday in New Park Road.

Det Ch Insp Sheila Thornes said two unarmed officers attended the address as there was no early indication of an armed threat.

"However, when the officers arrived they were challenged by a man who held them at gunpoint," she said.

The officers radioed for help and an armed response vehicle was sent to the scene.

"Both authorised firearms officers were armed and as they went forward they were confronted by a man who shot Pc Ricky Gray.

"Approximately an hour later, the body of a man, now identified as Medlicott, was located by officers close to the scene," she said.

Det Ch Insp Sheila Thornes, who is heading the investigation, said the constable's weapon had not been fired.

She said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Pc Gray, known as Ricky, married his long-term partner last year.

Mr West told a press conference on Monday that the police officer's family was "understandably devastated".

"Pc Gray was an excellent officer. He was very popular with his colleagues, extremely well-liked and held in the highest regard," Mr West said.

"The fact he had been recommended for five commendations spoke volumes about his character."

Pc Gray received a divisional commendation for rescuing a man trying to jump from Shrewsbury's English Bridge into the River Severn, the conference was told.

He also received a chief constable's commendation for his part in the arrest of an "unstable" man with a firearm.

Pc Gray was additionally recognised for his part in arresting a violent man with a semi-automatic pistol who tried to escape police in a stop-check in April, 2006, in Shrewsbury.

The officer had previously worked for Cheshire Constabulary, serving in the Warrington area from 1997. He later joined the armed response unit before transferring to West Mercia Police in 2003.

R.I.P



Forms and Time

2007-05-04T12:37:56.235+00:00

Well by some miracle i managed to pass my sgts exam which i sat in March this year. Quite a surprise as to be honest i didn't put as much time into it as i should have and was expecting to fail the exam.

Part of the reason being that i simply did not have the time to put into it. No time on shift to do revision, and not alot of time on my rest days or in the time off after shift. I always try and leave work at work and found it really hard to do work on my rest days. Kind of a work / life balance thing i guess.

So, great i thought, 5 years to become substantive but the flood of letters and emails from personnel etc wanting me to try and become substantive now but i don't think i have the experience to become a full skipper just yet. I did some cover while our skipper was on leave which i kind of enjoyed but was manic due to trying to do the supervisor role as well as crewing a response car and doing jobs.

I am glad of the break now to be honest, 5 days off with the bank holiday.

We had dramas in the last week with restructuring of the shift and being told we need to loose 2 officers off our shift to resource other shifts. Stressful is not the word id use to describe it! And now they turn around and change there minds........... Ahh consistency in the police, don't ya just love it.

We got some new forms the other day, for stop and account! And we had a training day on how to fill in the new form.

Apart from the fact our old forms were stop and account as well as a producer, we now have lost the producer aspect and need to go back to using the old HORT/1 books. All well and good but we will need to do both forms if we ask a driver to account as well as produce! Estimates put it at about 20 mins to fill in the new form.

I have restarted going to the gym again which is painful! And will be making another attempt at stopping smoking (attempt 6 in 3 years).

Another round of traffic jobs came up last month but not for the base i wanted to passed up on doing that one only to find out recently that anyone who passed the board will go into a pool to fill spaces at the base i wanted. Pissed off a tad i was, so looks like ill have another long wait to apply. I thought i was doing the sensible thing rather than getting posted somewhere miles away! But looks like i have shot myself in the foot here! Doh!

Back onto nights soon so looking forward to that and hope its a good set of shifts rather than the dross we have been dealing with recently.

Everyone and there dog has been calling recently wanting us to sort out their "issues". Although it bit someone who called us to tell of their 13 year old son but in the process both admitted assaulting each other which resulted in both getting nicked! Wont be making that call to us again to tell off kiddy for being stroppy. Although im sure that nothing will come out of the job.



End of the year

2007-03-22T11:03:29.000+00:00

This blog has been running for about 2 years now i think and even though my posts have varied from ranting about how bad the job is to some of the fun times we get to have out there doing the job, i have enjoyed posting up the majority of the content.

Its been good to look back and see what i have been up to as to be honest i have forgotten alot of the fun stuff i have done over the last year or so and it brings a smile to my face.

This has been the first year of me doing PDR (yawn), being a response driver, trying to get into traffic, doing my SGTS exam and being a tutor. Oh and im apparently getting a commendation for saving someones life.

Its been a big change for me coming off the PDP system and actually being a police officer rather than trying to screw the competencies to get signed off as confirmed in post. I was talking to a crew mate one night and likened finishing PDP with someone flicking a switch in your head to become a real copper.

I have also read my mates blogs and kept tabs on what they are up to and its good to see that from being all nervous when we joined to the majority of us doing some good stuff and having fun.

In reality, in the last year i have had a really good time. Yeah the paperwork gets you down, the CPS having no balls and the courts having all the power of a toothless pit bull, all bark and no action. But there has been a great deal of fun out there.

Some cracking jobs, good nicks and some really funny shifts.

Quite a bit of fighting, a few chases both by car and on foot. New kit, more forms, more policies and less discretion.

But the job is what you make it. I choose to make it a good time and enjoy it.

Hopefully things will still improve and there is still fun to be had.

After all you cant do this job unless you have a sense of humour!



Law Enforcement Forum (US)

2007-03-22T10:46:55.814+00:00

As some may have seen i have added a new link to the sidebar to a US site called Online Police Forum.

The site manager emailed me asking for suggestions to get his site into the wider community and to try and get a worldwide selection of police officers posting on the site.

Over there there is a section for UK police to post in and discuss varying items and tactics and compare what we do here to what they do there.

I have started to post over there and it certainly seems that it is worthwhile discussing stuff as to be honest here we go through the same motions with similar content. At least on that site there will be a more "new" style to posts and threads.

Its certainly worth a look and posting there.

Look forward to chatting to anyone that decides to go and join up and post about the UK policing style.



Update Pt 2

2007-01-23T13:42:28.344+00:00

Since my last post is a bit negative, we have had some bloody good fun out there as well.

I got into a nice Pursuit, did all the commentary and driving, kept with the car and caught the driver (well my crew mate did that bit)

All good fun and got me some really good feedback which is all good.

Lasted for about 15 mins or so and went everywhere and anywhere, good job it was over night. Car was nicked and 3 up. Quite a good result as my last pursuit ended somewhat differently with me being rammed and injured.

See thats what i love about the job, we just happen to come across it and gave chase. Proper road wars type, all i needed was the voice of Sheriff John Burnell in the background and it would have been perfect.

We have had some cool jobs really, and to be honest i cant remember them all. Many of which have been a good laugh and good for team work.

Its a shame that the managers don't see that side of the job, the side where we give the Scroats a good run for there money and the public are happy.

"did you find my car"
"yes we chased it for ages, and caught the driver"
"really! you actually chased it and caught someone!!"

And to boot the CPS actually gave some cracking charging advice! No extra work and some nice charges.

For some reason, the job went well from start to finish, lets just hope the mags keep up with it and dish out some proper deterrent sentence to this scrote to prevent his mates who are all at it from doing it again.

Scrote that was arrested has no doubt done it before and never got caught!

And we all live happily ever after!

Well we did,
Dunno about the scrote.



Update Pt 1

2007-01-23T13:32:28.686+00:00

It's been quite a while since my last update here, It's mainly because of Christmas and the like, you know how it is, everything starts to get busy at work, then i spend ages trying to do Christmas shopping (thanks Amazon) and then seeing family.

I managed to get my OSPRE PT 1 application sorted following some cock ups on the part of the force. My application form went astray and it was only by me chasing my registration paperwork that i found out. Fortunately i managed to go to our training center and fill in the form and all is well.

I just need to do some revision now which i am struggling to find time for. Its been a few years since i passed out of Ryton and did exams so im a little bit out of practice. Hopefully be able to squeeze some in over nights.

We have been fairly busy on and off over the past month, mainly with some pretty poor jobs that seem to take an age to sort out. I suspect this is partly to the way we record crime now (seeing as we have been using the same set of rules for ages they keep changing how it is recorded). We are now spending ages bottoming out jobs that are never going anywhere but senior management have decreed we are below on our detection targets so every possibility must be explored. This in turn means we spend more hours on jobs and less time on patrol. It wouldn't be so bad but with some jobs you know it is not going anywhere but we still need EVERY statement and not just the evidential ones before a job can be filed (we used to be able to record witness details and brief account on computers) but now its a full on MG11.

I guess i have become resigned to the fact i can do proactive stuff anymore nor go on patrol as we are too busy doing the paperwork. ( i have been fighting this for ages and still do my best to do proactive stuff).

Has it made any difference.....

Yes recorded crime has increased.
Detection rate has dropped.
Less proactive policing.
More paperwork.

So either way you look at it in 6 months we will get slated from the managers. Crime has gone up what are you doing about it, i want more targeted patrols!

All good fun, i don't get stressed over it anymore. I'm not paid enough to worry about stuff like that!

Maybe we should all resign and come back as PCSO's!



OSPRE PT 1

2006-11-28T13:25:54.543+00:00

Well as some readers may be aware i was considering doing my skippers exams.

Well after much thinking i decided to do the application forms and send them off to HR.

A bit of checking and it was decided that yeah they have authorized the application and i should get some exam papers sent to me to register for the exam next year.

Part of the reason for this is the fact i have 5 years to complete the workplace based assessments. Part 1 is the exam and to become a substantive sgt you have to be assessed over the course of a year (Pt2).

Also if i pass Pt1 then i can be an acting skipper with all the rights and privileges without doing pt 2.

Part of the reason for doing the paperwork is the support i have had from a few people who out of the blue came up to me saying "are you doing your Pt1 because you would be a good skipper" my own skipper has been hinting at me to apply which has been good and give me confidence in doing it.

Downside is i don't want to be a full skipper just yet as i don't really want to be stuck behind a desk. As you know my goal lies with being a traffic officer, but this will hopefully assist in strengthening my application in the future.

I also re read my failed paper application the other day and looked at the feed back. If you recall at the time i was a but peeved at being rejected but the comments from the Chief were quite good really, stating that i was a strong applicant with a good application but he felt i needed more experience on shift before going forward. This all in all has made me feel better about the whole thing and hopefully my career may be going somewhere rather than dealing with crap day in day out. I still have a great deal of fun on shift and don't want to leave but i guess unless you keep trying you ll stay where you are and never get anywhere.

Also i have had some good feedback as i am becoming known to RPD for some of the stuff i do. But you are only as good as your last job and for all the good stuff you do, people only remember the bad things!

But i guess the moral of this is, if you want something bad enough then keep trying and plugging away.

This job has its bad sides, but it also has its great sides, best job in the world and all that. Besides it gives you the best stories to tell people over a beer.

And also make a difference to peoples lives in a way no matter how small.



I caught a burglar!

2006-11-28T13:12:06.199+00:00

Yep for the second time in my career i managed to catch a burglar.

Quite a good one really as when we got to the scene, a member of the public (MOP) shouted to us. "Hes over there" i promptly jump from the panda and give chase as hes running with stolen property under his arms down the busy high street.

I scream at him to stop as he runs past other MOP's but he just carries on (there's a surprise!)

He ditches some of the property but is still making off as MOP's just stand at watch him run past while i give chase.

I thought to myself.

I'm never gonna catch him in all this kit but surprisingly to me i am gaining on him. We go around a few corners and i still have sight of him closing the distance and he lobs the last of the stolen property in my direction, now i am closing quite quickly and im not out of breath.

One of the things i have thought about is "what do you do when you catch someone who's running away" i mean, do you rugby tackle them, baton there legs, push them over, grab an arm and do a "take down".

Its not something i have ever really done to be honest until recently at other jobs where i have been more hands on than i would have been 6 months ago.

Well crunch time, i am in range of him and i just jump on him and we both hit the deck, well he hit head first and i landed on him, gripped his arms up and a colleague came and assisted in restraining him.

Cool i thought.

By this time i saw behind me a number of MOP's standing watching and laughing. Matey boy was cuffed and nicked and taken away. I walk back to the scene to what surprised me the most. A few people clapped and someone came out of a shop asking if i wanted free drinks as he had seen what i did and had watched from the start.

Made me smile somewhat i can tell you.

Now back to the hands on thing.

I in the past have been a bit wary of going straight hands on with no control as we are trained to control people. A lot of times we have no control and getting that control is quite hard compared to training.

I think a lot of policing is down to confidence. In the past year or so i have grown, not only in confidence but in size as well (no not the doughnuts) which i think has helped somewhat.

I have commented in the nick about the new kids that join up and do all the training and are afraid to go hands on or use their tools because of the way we are trained. It takes ages to retrain them from this and get them to go hands on when necessary.

In my view we need to be able to be many people.

We need to be kind, caring and considerate to victims of crime and the the police "service"

But in a split second we need to be forceful and to a degree agressive when dealing with suspects and become a "force".

It takes a lot of juggling to become a balance of the 2 and sometimes we can be aggressive when it is not appropriate and other times to considerate on the flip side.

When you learn the balance then the job becomes enjoyable. As a lot of us are taken the piss out of by suspects or "youths" when giving us lip when we need to be more robust in our response.

But there is also a fine line between aggression and assault.

And public perception is everything. A push in the chest can look from a distance a punch in the throat.



Old people

2006-11-28T12:49:22.667+00:00

Since a lot of my posts recently have been a bit downbeat, i feel the need to post some good stuff that has happened over the past few weeks or so. Mainly because we haven't had a great deal of good jobs to be honest. Some of them are not that funny but its the public responses or those of the suspect that made me chuckle the most.A while ago my crew was deployed to an immediate graded call of "cows walking in the road" well we weren't deployed as such, we took the call as 1) it was immediate graded and 2) there would be no paperwork. We make with the lights and noise going through traffic as it was daytime, we get to a section of road which is duel carriageway. Its all looking good as both our lanes are clear but the opposing carriageway is quite slow moving as there is traffic queueing for a roundabout. I see in the distance an elderly lady on the pavement, she looks like she is going to cross the road (which is still duel carrageway). I think, nah she cant be and then lo and behold out she steps into the road and begins to walk slowly across the duel carrageway. I change tones and she looks straight at us (im slowing down at this point) she continues to walk into the middle of the 2 lanes on our side so i change to the third tones, she then stops in the middle of the outer lane waving her walking stick at us shouting at us to slow down (im going quite slowly now) she stands there wildly gesticulating at us as we are watching her in disbelief. We go past her and then pick back up the speed again and i still see her in my rear view mirror swearing away at us. I chuckle to myself thinking she must be mad as we approach the pedestrian crossing which was a hundred meters or so away from where she was crossing.This happens fairly frequently, you know the elderly people assume we are always traveling too fast and stand there shaking there heads when we have all the kit on. Once someone complained we were making too much noise with our sirens in such a quiet area!It is quite funny sometimes doing immediate drives and the looks we get from the public and other drivers, some seem to want to block our paths and don't move out of the way but amble quite nicely in the road. Its no great issue and ill get past them eventually usually with daggered looks at us from the other drivers who seem greatly inconvenienced by us trying to get past. Again this is usually elderly drivers or pedestrians, who's day i am ruining by making on immediate, spoiling the quiet time in there little worlds. All you can do is chuckle really or you would go mad.One job i went to was a burglary in progress at an elderly ladies home. The job came in as "caller can hear voices and shouting from her spare bedroom" so we turn up literally a few moments after the call came in and we walk into the house. The lady greats us at the door and says she can still hear the voices in her spare room. We go in and check the room with no signs of entry or any persons. I can hear a radio on in the front room quite loudly which was a bbc world type program about china and protests.She says to me, can you hear, they are still shouting, there are quite a lot of them.I ask her "are you sure that's not just your radio?" she replied no, i turned it off a while ago.The radio is positioned hear to the adjoining wall between the front room and bedroom.So i turned it off and asked if she can still hear the shouting. She says they have now gone.I end up concocting a story to make her feel less embarrassed about it being the radio and reassure her that we are in the area and to call us if she hears from them again. For some reason she felt quite intimidated by the noises and part of [...]



Pay award - Now with Conditions!

2006-11-17T16:03:19.592+00:00

In the never ending farse that our fight for a pay increase this year, John Reid has announced that there will be a review into the way our pay increase is determined.No doubt this will be another way of reducing the cost to the government of policing and trying to get "Policing on the Cheap".The Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety (Mr Tony McNulty): On 6 November the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendation on the police officer 2006 pay award was received.The Home Secretary responded to this recommendation, agreeing to implement the 3 per cent pay rise for police officers with effect from 1 September 2006. The Home Secretary also noted the tribunal’s comment that we not only had “the right but a duty to consider and put forward different factors and approaches which could be applied in determining police pay” and said that he would be reviewing the way police pay is determined including indexation and would announce the terms of reference of the review shortly Effective pay arrangements for police officers are essential for a modern police service which delivers high standards of community safety and security to the public. We must move quickly to put police officer pay on a sustainable basis. We cannot continue with arrangements which produce pay rises beyond the level which police authorities can afford to pay without detriment to service delivery. For that reason, we will establish a review of the way police pay is determined, reporting early in the New Year and in good time to inform the 2007 pay round. Following this I will also be asking this review to consider further changes to the police pay negotiating machinery. In particular, I am minded to place responsibility for determining chief officer pay within the remit of the Senior Salaries Review body and the review I have announced will look at this as part of its consideration of the options for replacing the current police officer pay determination arrangements.I have asked Sir Clive Booth to undertake the first part of this review and I am pleased to announce that he has accepted. Sir Clive will report to me in early 2007 with recommendations on the pay determination mechanism that we should use for next year. This along with any other proposals for pay modernisation from the Service or representative organisations will be considered in the 2007 pay round. The Home Secretary and I will consider further how the second part of the review looking at the police negotiating machinery should be take forward including consideration of John Randall’s report on this issue.The terms of reference for the review are:TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR REVIEW OF POLICE OFFICER PAY DETERMINATION AND OF POLICE NEGOTIATING MACHINERY Part 1) To consider the options for replacing the current arrangements for determining changes to police officer pay for 2007 and make recommendations on this. The conclusions and recommendations in part 1 to be framed so as to inform part 2 of the reviewPart 2) To review the effectiveness of the negotiating machinery for the police, including the Police Negotiating Board and the Police Staff Council, and make recommendations for how police pay and other conditions of service should be determined. The review must consider the option of a pay review body for police pay and consider the impact of any proposal for determining police officer pay, on the negotiating machinery for police officersBoth parts of the review must take account of the need for arrangements to reflect and support the following:• The future requirements of the service for the effective and efficient delivery of policing service[...]



Pay Result Press Release

2006-11-11T15:04:06.802+00:00

POLICE NEGOTIATING BOARD – STAFF SIDE
6th November 2006

Police associations join forces to welcome pay crisis arbitration decision.

Welcoming the decision of the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal and speaking for all the police officer staff associations of the UK, Jan Berry, chairman of the Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), says:

"This decision is welcomed by 170,000 police officers throughout the United Kingdom who should have received an increase from 1st September but have been waiting for their pay arrangement to be honoured.

"It is disappointing that this had to go to arbitration but the arbiters’ independent decision reaffirms what we have been saying all along – that the Official Side of the PNB acted unfairly and unjustly by reneging on their commitment to honour our current pay arrangement until it has been renegotiated."

The independent decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal is binding on both the Official Side and Staff Side of the Police Negotiation Board, and is now passed to the Home Secretary, John Reid, for ratification.

Calling upon the Home Secretary, Mrs Berry says:

"You know the strength of feeling amongst police officers across the UK, who have felt cheated, angry and undervalued throughout this dispute. The independent arbitration tribunal has now delivered its decision and found in our favour. The matter now rests with you Mr Reid. Only you can put this right. Show your support for the police service; honour our pay agreement and pay the 3 per cent now."
ENDS
Further information:
Police Federation of England and Wales press office, 020 8335 1071



3% Is it really enough?

2006-11-11T11:02:07.779+00:00

It has been a while since my last update, partly because i have been busy dealing with the poorest of jobs which in an ideal world would not be attended, trying to regain control of certain areas where the "youths" have taken a liking too and getting rammed.

I find it quite hard to believe what people deem to be acceptable anymore. When i was a kid and a police officer spoke to me i was polite to him as he was to me if they asked me to move on i would have done, no questions. Now all we seem to get is abuse from them along with a load of backchat which no matter how hard you try will always get your back up. Now imagine what the parents are like. Their little darlings are wreaking havoc and we get it in the neck because "he's only having fun".

Yeah at someone else's expense literally.

Every evening its the same, if I'm not getting grief from little johnny, I'm getting grief from his mum or dad for moving him on, or speaking to him about an offence that has occurred a minute ago around the corner from him.

I am apparently victimising him.

Nothing to do with him being as guilty as sin.

Anti Social behaviour does piss me off, there is no need for some of the behaviour some of the 10 - 17 year olds display, no respect for people or property and the parents are just as bad, no discipline, no consequences for their actions. As its just Kids having fun.

Personally they can do what they like provided they arnt upsetting local residents, im not there to spoil the fun, im there to ensure the local residents can enjoy their peace and quiet.

The parents join in and if thats the kind of attitude that the parents display towards police is it any wonder the kids are just Mini Mee's

So to the title of my post.

3% pay rise that has not been honoured by government, i have kept quiet on this issue for a while but the increasing demands on my and my personal life from the job is getting unbearable. We have massive commitments throughout the force meaning all overtime is cancelled because we are skint, and we are unable to take leave because we have run out of police officers. Duties are changing patterns to keep shifts at minimum manning as well as resourcing other commitments.

This means i am run ragged, most rest days are not honoured. When i attend court i don't get wound back off nights because they will be under staffed on shift. I'm more and more knackered.

I have less time off.
More work due to less numbers on shift.
More and more is being asked of me and my shift which we cannot fulfill safely.
Officer safety is at risk due to tiredness and low staffing levels.
Its only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or worse because of what the powers that be are doing to us.

But strangely, i still really do enjoy my job. Must be a warped sense of humour or more likely, i like being the underdog and come out fighting!

Just gimme my 3% please I've worked hard enough for it this year as well has the majority of officers that i know.



Moral

2006-11-11T11:02:07.675+00:00

Well, what a crap month it's been for policing in general.

I don't know about anyone else out there but every job i have attended has been shite. Even public order stuff has been on the slow side with no real incidents of disorder.

I have a docket full of crap jobs i can't get rid of, why....
Well part of the problem is we don't have enough officers on shift to be able deal with the incoming work so we have to drop our own enquiries so we can attend the incoming jobs on the system.

This leads to our own jobs getting smellier and smellier as we cant progress them, we then have to extend bail to enable us to get the enquiries done!

The other part is the whole management thing at the moment. We are still under pressure to hit targets which we are all failing badly at right now, again this is down to the low shift numbers, being unable to redeploy to jobs as we are stuck with a non starter generating paperwork and a general moral draining set of circumstances.

To top it all off out duties department have refused all leave we are applying for and say "sorry but you cant carry it all over" Oh but we require you to work on your rest days to cover other low staffed shifts.

There is no time to relax from work, let alone see families at the moment due to the long hours and frequent recalls to duty.

It's a no win situation at the moment, hence why i haven't posted for a while.

But on a lighter note, a funny thing happened to me the other day (well was funny to me)

We went to a fear for welfare type job at an elderly residents house.

No answer at the door so off i wander to find an open window so i can climb in, Aha, an open window.

Check that its still part of the same house and yeah, looks bout right.

So in i climb and go to the front door to let me colleagues into the house.

I open the front door and get a funny look from the other officers, i look around and see that they are banging on next doors house.

Shit, as i slyly close the front door hoping no one saw me, i had climbed into the next doors house and opened their front door.

Cue lots of laughing and piss taking.

That was actually quite funny and really made my shift, its times when the silliest of things happen that make you laugh and enjoy the job.

I was also thinking bout doing my sgts exams, hmmm £10k pay rise for me if i become a skipper, but will it take me too far from what i do actually love doing??

Answers on a post card, or alternatively the comments box!

Cheers all,

JS



A Poem

2006-11-11T11:02:07.540+00:00

When i was at Ryton doing my training in the last week of my course, my Tutor gave us all a A4 sized piece of paper titled "When God Made Police Officers".

I have been sat here trying to explain to someone what its like being a member of my shift which got me thinking about the poem again. I managed to find an American version which is similar to the British one:

When the Lord was creating Police Officers, He was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said,"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the requirements on this order?
A Police Officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle their uniform."
"They have to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day."
"They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals, and they have to have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands . . . no way!!"
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord,
"it's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord nodded.
"One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before they ask, 'May I see what's in there, sir?'"(when they already know and wish they'd taken that accounting job) "Another pair here in the side of their head for their partner's safety, and another pair of eyes here in front so they can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll be alright, ma'am,' when they know it isn't so."
"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."
"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."
The angel circled the model of the Police Officer very slowly. "Can it think?" she asked.
"You bet," said the Lord, "it can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes, recite Miranda warnings in its sleep, detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop . . . and still it keeps its sense of humor.
This officer also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Police Officer.
"There's a leak," she pronounced, "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."
"That's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."
"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."
"You're a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber.
"I didn't put it there," He said



An Idea

2006-11-11T11:02:07.403+00:00

A while back i was crewed with another guy off shift and we got to talking about specialist roles.

At the moment if you want to specialize you need to transfer off core shift and into a specialist department.

Now i actually quite enjoy core shift work where i have many roles ranging from emergency response to social services to traffic warden.

I would like to specialize in Roads Policing (Yawn i hear you cry, he's mentioned this hundreds of times) I have applied and been rejected, but i will reapply.

Now my crew mate wants to join Tac Firearms or ARV as they are more commonly known. This again will involve him leaving shift.

So we were discussing this and came up with a solution which may actually make sense.

We decided that core shift was the dumping ground for the force (crap rolls downhill) and experience is a big issue, i mean I'm the most experienced on shift at the moment and i have just under 3 years in.

What we would like to see is a multi role core shift where there is a class 1 driver in a fast response vehicle or maybe 2 which could deal with core shift responsibilities and also deal with traffic related incident, thus keeping experience on shift and enabling officers to learn from each other.

Also we would like to see AFO's on shift so that should there be a spontaneous incident they can be authorized to arm and deal in the immediate instance until more armed support arrives, thus avoiding issues of waiting 30mins for ARV to arrive from miles away. Again experience retained on shift with that little bit extra.

We even thought that maybe a couple of CID trained officers on shift to assist where there is serious incidents to enable proper planning and interviewing skill to be utilised.

This would mean core shift would suddenly have masses of tactical options available 24hrs a day 7 days a week. We would have experienced and well rounded officers on shift who can pass there knowledge to others. Rather than being detached from shift for a few months on attachment.

Just imagine a fully staffed reactive shift with firearms / pursuit / traffic / CID capabilities and each officer able to learn about all these areas. Who would want to leave shift unless they wanted to become dedicated AFO, Traffic or CID. It could even be a stepping stone to these areas thus reducing the drain on resources and keeping core shift at the top of its game with the best mix of abilities and knowledge and each officer knowing what is required from different departments!

Am i dreaming or is this a good idea?

John



PC Copperfield's Book

2006-11-11T11:02:07.300+00:00

I have just seen on PC Copperfield's blog that he has managed to get a book deal.

It's not been released yet but you can pre-order here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0955285410/026-3909426-5639660?v=glance&n=266239

Should be a good read and look forward to getting my copy, especially if its anything like his blog.

JS



Sorry

2006-11-11T11:02:07.196+00:00

Sorry, seems to have been a fault somewhere along the blogging lines where my blog was not being displayed.

All seems sorted now and normal service will be resumed.

John



Metpol Ban Blogging

2006-11-11T11:02:07.097+00:00

I have just read from here http://worldwearydetective.blogspot.com/ (i know im a few months behind the times, its only just been drawn to my attention) that he is hanging up his blogging due to pressures from the powers that be. Its a shame that the views of the underlings are suppressed to keep the public from knowing what we do and how we feel about the job. We don't give any secrets away, we don't name and shame nor do we give any intelligence away. We just comment on our lives as police officers and the effects on us.

I get the impression from reading various websites that the general public like to know what its like on the inside of the secret society known as the police and shows we are not just robots handing out tickets and not arresting anyone.

We show how we are restrained at times, but encouraged at others and we all try to do the best we can with the tools we have been given and that its not actually always our fault, but the fault of the courts, and the senior management team and the government.

I quote from His blog:-

On Friday 3rd March 2006, the Management Board of the Metropolitan Police Service issued the following statement to all members of staff:

'Recently the organisation has become aware of a series of web-logs or blogs - where authors - claiming to be police officers - have offered their views on a number of issues in a highly personalised, often controversial manner.'

This statement is followed by 'guidance' on writing blogs. In summary, this states that although 'blogging' cannot be stopped, the 'impact of expressing views and opinions that are damaging to the organisation or bring the organisation into disrepute' must be considered. Disciplinary proceedings may be considered against posters of material that may be (among other things) defamatory, offensive or otherwise inappropriate.

I have committed no crime. I have compromised no police operations. I have received no payment for anything published on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own.

It is therefore with deep regret and great sadness that I must announce that I will no longer be submitting posts to this blog. I cannot challenge New Scotland Yard. I am weary indeed and cowardice is my bedmate. The protection of my family must take precedence.

To each and every one of you - take note of what has happened here and be afraid.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. - George Orwell.

Best of luck out there, stay safe.

John