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Police: The Agency of First & Last Resort

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

“I won’t have the police service as the place where all of society’s ills are laid out and blamed on us.” (Cressida Dick, Met Police Commissioner, April 2017)

The painful privilege of policing is to venture into the hurting places – and to encounter the lives being lived there: the damaged and the dangerous, the beaten and the broken, the troubled and the terrified, the abandoned and the afraid.

I’ve said it often before, but it bears repeating: police officers go where most wouldn’t and do what most couldn’t. I’m incredibly proud of the fact that they do.

But we expect an extraordinary amount from them:

  • We expect them to respond when we call
  • We expect them to come quickly and arrive safely
  • We expect them to to provide emergency medical treatment in the minutes before the ambulance arrives
  • We expect them to be able to use a defibrillator
  • We expect them to face violence with steady hearts and hands
  • We expect them to face abuse with an even temper
  • We expect them to show restraint
  • We expect them to preserve...

    Continues, Read More...


Police: The Finest Coppers I Know

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

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Last week, PC Keith Palmer gave his life protecting this city that is my home.

He was a husband. He was a dad. He was a police officer. And he was a thousand other things besides. I never had the privilege of knowing him – but I know what he was. ‘Hero’ barely even begins to cover it.

——————————————

I didn’t actually know any Coppers before I joined the Met almost 25 years ago. Not a single one.

I knew about them of course: I saw them out on patrol; I watched them on TV; I got told off by one of them once for something I hadn’t done.

But I didn’t actually know any of them – what they were like; what made them tick. They were inhabitants of a world beyond my experience and understanding. That’s how it remains for most of us.

These days, I’m proud to count any number of them as friends. And I want you to know that the finest of them are as fine as people can be.

They are brave

Dear God, they are brave.

They are the headlong rush of blues and twos: the first to the scene; the first to the chase; the first to confront; the...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Urgent Assistance

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

“Urgent Assistance”.

Two highly emotive words – instantly recognisable to police officers everywhere.

It’s a distress call.

It’s the distress call: the one radio transmission guaranteed to cut through the relentless background noise – to prompt any Copper within travelling distance (and some much further away) to drop whatever they’re doing and get to a colleague in trouble as fast as they can.

It’s a very powerful thing.

Earlier today, I posted a simple Tweet:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 18.26.22

That’s when the responses from police officers & staff – both serving and retired – started to come in. They offer an extraordinary insight into the working lives of the women & men who stand on the Thin Blue Line.

Here’s what they wrote:

@Supt_IanDS: almost 20 yrs ago, but recall it like it was yesterday!

@BriW74: 13 years ago at Charing Cross railway station. A rather large man had me on the floor and was using my head as a football.

@GrumblingCop: Man swinging sock with snooker ball in it at my head. Rather old-school weapon.

@WYP_1999HARMAN: The noise the radio...

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Police: Don’t Go Changing

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

So much of the current talk in policing is of change.

Of the pressing need for reform.

And, truth be told, there is a great deal in this job that needs sorting out.

But, amongst all the conversations about things like modernisation and transformation, it seems to me that we’re in danger of missing something of fundamental importance.

Where is the talk about all that is precious in policing?

About the things that must never change? About the things you cannot put a price on, but that we cannot afford to be without?

Things like…

(1) The simple desire to make a difference

Ask most good Coppers why they joined and the answer will be a simple one. They just wanted to make a difference.

They still do.

It was never about money or status, recognition or reward. It was just about changing the world, one life at a time.

It still is.

(2) The privilege of public service

As the old wisdom suggests, ‘whoever wants to become great among you, must be your servant…’

That precious and old fashioned thing called duty. That willingness to spend...

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Police: Nine Things I’m Learning

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

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I have a birthday this week. Not an especially significant one but, nonetheless, a prompt to pause and think for just a moment or two.  About work. About life. About the things that really matter.

Almost 47 years of life. Almost 25 years of policing.

And there are some things I’ve been learning along the way.

It’s People Stupid

I won’t tire of repeating this one.

People matter more than anything else. Those we serve and those we serve alongside.

People matter more than performance charts. They matter more than meetings. They matter more than deadlines – more than yesterday’s headlines. This Job is all about people. And they simply have to matter more.

Every contact leaves a trace.

Courage is not the Absence of Fear

You come across some astonishingly brave people in this line of work: men and women who have risked everything for the sake of both friends and strangers.

Then there are those who have paid the greatest price of all.

And here’s the thing. None of them was unafraid. But they responded to something that lies...

Continues, Read More...



Police: The New Commissioner’s In Tray

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

commissioner

This week sees the final interviews for the job of Met Commissioner. There are some truly outstanding people in the running.

And what awaits the successful candidate? Simply, the honour and responsibility of leading the finest police service in the world. The Met has its faults and failings of course – some of them grave – but it remains an extraordinary institution.

More than the institution though, there are the people – as fine a group of women and men as you could ever hope to meet. Some of them fall short, but most of them are about as remarkable as people can be: the everyday heroes and heroines who police our streets. It seems to me that serving them is the greatest leadership privilege of all.

The new Boss is going to arrive to a set of eye-watering challenges – a combination of operational and organisational demands the like of which policing has not seen in a generation and more. And they are not unique to London – policing the length and breadth of the country is feeling the strain.

I’ve written before...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Taking its Toll

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

It seems to me that we, as a society, owe a remarkable debt to police officers and their civilian colleagues.

Pause for a moment to think about what we ask of the men and women in blue – what we expect of them.

Amongst the humdrum and the routine, we expect them to go where most wouldn’t and to do what most couldn’t:

  • Into the hurting places
  • Into the dangerous places
  • Into the damaged places
  • Into the violent places
  • Into the broken places
  • Into the frightening places
  • Into the confusing places, where nothing is quite as it seems
  • Into the distressing places
  • Into the thin spaces between life and death

And we expect them to deal with what they find there.

They don’t always get it right – sometimes they get it very wrong – but, mostly, they carry out their duties with immense courage, remarkable compassion and endless humanity. I, for one, am grateful to them.

And, alongside a debt of gratitude, we also owe them a far greater level of understanding about the impact that working life can have on them – about the scars that they carry, both seen...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Heroes of our Time

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

On Tuesday 24th January 2017, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across the stories of three very remarkable men.

Stories of quite astonishing courage.

But, aside from a passing mention in a couple of newspapers they seem, largely, to have been overlooked by the mainstream media – and that doesn’t seem right to me.

So I want to tell you the stories of Nathan Lucy, Andrew Wright and Martin Finney – some of the finest and bravest people you could ever hope to meet.

———————————————

PC Nathan Lucy QGM is a Hampshire Police Dog Handler.

In April 2014, a vulnerable woman jumped into the sea at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. PC Lucy responded and, as she drifted on the current, he ran ahead of her on three separate occasions, calling for her to come in.

She didn’t respond.

At that point, PC Lucy made a simple choice.

He risked his own life in order to save the life of a complete stranger.

He grabbed a life ring and jumped into the sea. He swam out to the woman and, as he approached her, she kicked him in the chest. He managed to grab...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Addicted to Violence

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Violence.

Society is addicted to it.

In homes. On streets. Outside pubs and clubs on a Friday night. After the football. On TV. In the cinema. On games consoles. On the web. In fact and in fiction.

We pursue it. We portray it. We glamourise it. We normalise it. We show it in slow motion replay. And we present it as entertainment.

I’m not about to come over all ‘Mary Whitehouse’ on you, but I am troubled by the consequences of it all.

Roll up, roll up for:

  • The serial killings
  • The gang rapes
  • The extremist executions
  • The teenage stabbings
  • The 24-hour news loops with scenes of atrocity playing on repeat

Is it any wonder that some of us are becoming desensitised; that some of us are losing the capacity to be shocked; that some of our young people in particular have lost sight of the consequences of their very real acts of violence; that some of us fail to give the most recent manifestation of terror anything more than a passing glance.

  • The murder of Kodjo Yenga
  • The latest killing game
  • The murder of Ben Kinsella
  • The latest torture flick
  • The...

    Continues, Read More...


Police: Policing Challenges in 2017

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

So here we are then, at the beginning of 2017.

And the multitude of challenges facing the police service in Britain are, it seems to me, greater than at any point since the end of the Second World War.

I.    Operational

There are the crime challenges:

  • Terrorism
  • Serious Violence – including Homicide, Domestic Abuse & Knife Crime
  • Sexual Offences – including Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Human Trafficking
  • Cyber Crime
  • Drug & Alcohol related criminality
  • Fraud (some of it on an industrial scale)
  • And so the list goes on.

And it’s not just crime:

  • Mental Health
  • Missing Persons
  • Roads Policing
  • Anti-Social Behaviour
  • And so the list goes on

Given the fact that everything can’t be a priority, there are any number of exceptionally difficult decisions to be made – not least in terms of the people, resources and money we invest in:

  • crime vs. everything else
  • short-term enforcement vs. long-term prevention
  • emergency response policing vs. neighbourhood policing
  • uniform policing vs. detective work
  • the investigation of historical crimes vs. those being...

    Continues, Read More...




Latest Policecommander Stories

The Agency of First & Last Resort
The Finest Coppers I Know
Urgent Assistance
Don’t Go Changing
Nine Things I’m Learning

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