I have now been using Twitter for around two years, I remember when I first set the account up. I was sat on a coach heading up to London to join 35,000 other cops to protest at Government cuts.
I felt the media portrayal was pretty biased and decided to dabble with the weird medium of Twitter.
My force at the time was not prepared for individual officers using Twitter.
The last two years has been an evolutionary journey for us all. We have had to adapt policies, I have been described as one of the 'pathfinders'.
It has not been an easy journey, I have made mistakes, the force have made mistakes. But we are constantly learning how to use this medium, it is scary for many of our senior officers. They do not control this medium, and in many cases have no understanding of it. That breeds suspicion, and with suspicion comes resistance.
There is serious concern we will tarnish the image of the Police.
For other officers there is jealousy, they do not like that a colleague is achieving a high profile.
With individual accounts we have junior officers...
My role is that of a Sergeant on the response section, we are one of 5 teams who provide Police cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are the first responders, when you require Police in an emergency, to report a crime or the relatively minor stuff we are usually the ones who are first there, we deal with pretty much everything you could imagine. Everyone on different departments likes to think their job is the best, that is very much true of how I feel about life 'on response', I love the variety of it and the challenges it throws my way. I come to work each day and I have absolutely no idea how the day will play out. I could have a slow day, dealing with lots of admin and low level crime to deal with or in a few minutes I may be in command of a major incident such as a serious road accident, a violent crime, a large fire or even an aircraft emergency. In my service I have dealt with pretty much everything you could imagine, the nasty, the evil, the sickening but also the kind, the helpful & the compassionate (which always outweigh the...
So there you are, sitting in front of the telly, watching Corrie when all of a sudden the power goes off and you are sat there in the dark, you wait for a few minutes waiting for it to come back on but nothing happens. What do you do? What preparations have you made?
Alternatively you are sat watching Corrie, there is a knock on the door, a Police officer says the street is being evacuated, you need to leave your home, they have no idea when you will be allowed to return, what do you take with you?
Both these situations are not that common, but they are happening to thousands of people in this bad weather, and you could be asked to evacuate at any time of the year. Last summer I had to oversee the evacuation of several residences due to a large fire.
With a little preparation and forethought these incidents don't have to be a complete panic ridden crisis.
Lets look at power cuts to start with, here's some ideas of things to have ready 'just in case', store them together in a bag or box. Think how many people are likely to be in your house, plan for 48...
Over the past few weeks the coasts of the UK have been hit by storms and very rough seas, sea defences have taken a battering and in many cases have been breached or washed away. Many areas have suffered flooding, and there are warnings of yet more to come.
When the storms hit the coasts we often see massive waves battering the coastline and the spectacle of these and viewing the power of the sea bring many people out to watch.
Picture Mel Bonfield
I can appreciate wanting to go and watch, it is really amazing to watch but what amazes me is that so many people have so little idea of the dangers or the power of the sea, they take risks with their own lives and often with their children's lives too. They get close and think it is funny to play dodge with the waves, the only danger they see is perhaps they will get wet.
Watch this video to see how easy it is to be taken off your feet:
I have spent the majority of my life in and around water, I grew up next to the Thames, I joined the Navy, I have been at sea in horrendous conditions, including...
It was Sunday night, the early hours of the morning, my team and I had been on night shifts since Friday and were into the last few hours before we enjoyed a couple of days off.
It had been a reasonably busy weekend but this evening there had been heavy showers so our night shift had been largely uneventful and routine.
We were taking advantage of the lull in calls and enjoying a coffee at the station while I chatted with the team about a few things, I was new to the team and getting to know my officers. The radio interupted us, asking one of my units to attend a single vehicle RTC (Road Traffic Collision) on one of our main roads, the radio operator had no further details such as if anyone was injured or if the road was blocked.
As it was on a main road I decided that my crewmate & I would head out as well, maybe we would be needed to assist with traffic control. We jumped in the car, turned on the blue lights and were the first out of the station.
The RTC was only a few minutes away and we soon arrived, on the opposite side of the road I saw a lorry parked...
Copied, source unknown, but so true.... Since I joined the Police, way, way back then, I have learned much and performed many, many roles. Some of them easy and some of them not so easy. I have been: a marriage guidance counselor an acting veterinary nurse, a teacher, a babysitter, I’ve listened to advice from knowledgeable and experienced people, I’ve also listened to advice from people who do not have a clue what they are talking about, I’ve been an odd job man, a translator, a wrestler, a boxer, a fight referee, a vehicle repair engineer, a traffic controller, a dog catcher, a nightclub doorman, a member of the sprint detention team, a person who delivers unfortunate and unwanted bad news, a person who sometimes delivers good news, I have entered with a key, without a key through an open door and sometimes kicked or forced that door that prevents entry, a writer of fact, a listener of fiction, I have been a cook, an arbitrary decision maker, a companion, I have not told lies to cover someone else’s backside, I have been a friend, a plan or map drawer, a walking...
In the last 24 hours the M42 motorway was closed for many hours due to a man threatening to jump from one of the bridges crossing the motorway.
The Police had to close the motorway and many thousands were diverted. Twitter & Facebook came alive with many commentators who made some cruel & vile comments. There was no compassion, no understanding, just animosity towards an individual who was in crisis and had caused them a small amount of inconvenience.
Those people seemed to think that they will never be effected by a mental health crisis, it only effects the 'weak'.
Well let me share something - it can affect ANYONE!
I will share something now, not a secret but also not something that I shout about. I too have been in that position, the one where you can see nothing but despair & no hope.
A few years ago I went through a really rough time, my marriage had ended, there were issues over child contact & I had financial problems. I was a serving Police officer & did not feel able to talk to anyone about my problems. I was the big tough cop, I dealt with...
Over the past few weeks Newquay and the UK have enjoyed some great weather, temperatures have been warm at night and as a result a number of people have decided that part of their evenings entertainment will include a swim in the sea.
Almost every individual I have spoken to that has decided to go for a dip has been under the influence of alcohol, most have little or no experience of the sea.
Alcohol contributes to at least 20 per cent of all adult drowning deaths every year. This rises to 41 per cent in the 15–29 years age group but the overall figure is likely to be higher as alcohol is not tested for in all drowning deaths.
We have been fortunate, nobody has yet come to harm, but there are huge risks in going swimming in the sea at night whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Drinking alcohol impairs your senses, encouraging risk-taking behaviour, meaning you are more likely to get into trouble.
If you drink and get into the water, tired muscles and confusion from being under the influence of alcohol, makes it harder to get out of trouble. There...
As a member of the 'blue light services' I deal with traumatic events on a pretty regular basis, A traumatic incident is any event that can be considered to be outside of an individual's usual experience and causes physical, emotional or psychological harm. My employer has a very good system in place to look after my welfare, we use a system called 'TRiM', Trauma Risk Management. This is a trauma focused peer support system that originated with the Royal Marines. It is based on the principles of education, risk assessment and mentoring. I also have a very good support network at home, my wife can tell when it's been a 'bad shift' or call out with the Coastguard, she gives me time and is there ready to listen to me when I need to talk. I never go into details but allowing me to talk things through helps get it squared away in my head. During a conversation at work a few days back it was highlighted that we often deal with members of the public who witness traumatic events, such as a vicious assault, or a serious vehicle accident. There is no support...