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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...


Police: A Copper’s Christmas

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Allow me if you will to present a retelling of the traditional Christmas story, using detail drawn from a little known historical source – the archives of the Bethlehem Police Department.

One document in particular, the BPD Daily Crime Bulletin, offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and men – whilst shining new light on an old tale.

————————————

Bethlehem Police Department
Daily Crime Bulletin
(Date obscured – believed to be c.2000 years ago)

Late Turn (2pm-10pm)

Team Briefing

  • Day 5 of Operation Census
  • Substantial numbers of migrants arriving at border during past week
  • Low levels of community tension reported; no incidents of note in last 24 hrs
  • Large crowds expected in central Bethlehem this evening
  • No intelligence re: pre-planned disorder
  • Terrorism Threat Level remains at ‘Severe’ (an attack is highly likely)
  • 12 PCs on duty

(Handover note: Roads Policing chariot in for repairs – no replacement available).

14.00hrs



Police: Guest Blog: A Copper’s Tale

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Allow me to introduce you to a colleague of mine, PC Ben Forbes. He’s a remarkable man.

A couple of weeks back, he emailed me his story and asked what I thought of it.

I told him it was powerful stuff – and that people should read it.

He asked me if I’d be willing to publish it.

So here it is. Have a read.

(You can find Ben on Twitter – @BLF090)


 

A Copper’s Tale

ben-forbes

Every police officer has their story – one that is unique and special to them. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell my story – and to explain how it has an impact on everything I do as a Police Officer. I also want to take this opportunity to talk about the vital importance of Partnership work in reducing crime and diverting young people away from damaging lifestyles.

The Beginning

We all have our stories – of lives lived and choices made; of choices made and paths taken; of the people we meet and the impact they have on us.

My story began in the East End of London 27 years ago. I was born to good parents in a difficult neighbourhood – an only child of mixed...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Misconduct & Mistakes

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

images

It occurs to me that, from time to time, police officers make mistakes.

It also occurs to me that we live in a world that is increasingly unforgiving of them when they do.

There are, of course, any number of reasons why police officers might get it wrong:

(1) Because they are human

Though my wife comes close, I’ve yet to encounter an entirely perfect human being.

I’ve certainly never met a perfect police officer.

But I have known officers who make mistakes. I look at one in the mirror every morning before I go to work.

They make mistakes because they are tired; because they are stretched; because they are under pressure; because they aren’t in possession of all the facts; because their instincts have let them down on this occasion; because hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Because they are human.

(2) Because they operate in the hurting places

As I have observed before, police officers go where most wouldn’t and do what most couldn’t. It is a big part of what makes them so extraordinary.

And the places where they so often find...

Continues, Read More...



Police: What Coppers Want

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

pd-trust-report

On Tuesday 22nd November 2016, a Met police officer was stabbed three times in the stomach. He was one of four officers injured in separate incidents on the same day. One PC had their hand broken, one was attacked with a hypodermic needle and another was punched in the face.

They were just doing their jobs.

Just doing their duty.

On the same day, a leading national charity – the Police Dependents’ Trust – released the results of their wide-ranging ‘Injury on Duty’ research. The headlines look like this:

– 10,987 serving UK officers and staff took part

– 81% stated that they had suffered at least one physical injury or mental health issue as a consequence of their police work

– 76% stated that this was in the past 5 years

– 45% stated they needed to take a week or more off work as a consequence

Let those numbers sink in.

The Police Federation for England & Wales estimates that there are more than 23,000 assaults on police officers every year. That’s one every 12 minutes.

Earlier in the year (during June and July 2016), the Federation ran...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Meet the Press

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

images

I know some brilliant journalists. I’m proud to count some of them as friends. And dealing with the media is an important part of my job – something, believe it or not, that I actually enjoy.

As a police officer, I have a professional responsibility to engage, to respond, to explain – and, dare I say, to offer an insight into the person behind the uniform.

But, truth be told, these are challenging times for relationships between the police and the press – with each seeming to nurse and nurture a set of grievances about the other that sets the tone for so many of our dealings.

The potential causes for this are well documented, but I don’t think anyone benefits from the current state of play: police, press or public.

The fact is that the police service needs the media:

To help us in protecting the vulnerable.

To assist us in catching the dangerous.

To support us in getting critical messages out to the wider community.

To inquire. To hold us to account. On occasions, to ask deeply uncomfortable questions.

We do our job better when journalists do...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Two Sides

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

There are two sides to every story.

Every conversation.

Every meeting.

And there are two sides to every encounter between a police officer and a member of the public.

Somewhere out there today, an officer will be dealing with a victim; a suspect; a witness; a protestor; a passer by; a young person being stopped & searched; an agitator with a camera phone; a drunk; an addict; a survivor of domestic violence; a journalist; someone seriously injured in a collision; a local politician; the family of someone who has been stabbed; an innocent in the midst of a mental health crisis; a tourist asking for directions; a parent whose child is missing; an elderly person whose life savings have been stolen; someone like you or me.

In many cases, the encounter will be marked by tension. Or anger. Or violence. Or bewilderment. Or sadness. Or distress. In most cases, it will be far from simple or straightforward. But, in every case, we will have higher expectations of the police officer than we will of the person they are dealing with.

And that is exactly as it should...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Knife Crime

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

I’ve written about this before.

But it keeps happening.

And at what point are we going to accept that current approaches to tackling Knife Crime in England & Wales just aren’t working?

How many more young lives is it going to take?

In 2007, I stood at the scene of the murder of Kodjo Yenga and listened as his family and loved ones wailed and sang hymns. Kodjo was 16 years old when he was hunted down in the street and stabbed to death by a group of teenagers. Some of the suspects were just 13 years of age. Not young adults. Children.

In 2008, I stood with the packed congregation at the funeral of Ben Kinsella. He was 16 years old when he was stabbed to death by three other teenagers.

In 2011, I stood at the scene of the murder of Milad Golmakani – a children’s playground in North London. Milad was 22 years old when he was stabbed to death by a group of four teenagers. His 17 year old companion survived the brutal attack.

In 2012, I stood at the scene of the murder of Dogan Ismael. He was 17 years old when he was stabbed to death. The person wielding...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Heroes

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Soldiering and Coppering are not the same thing – though there are certain common threads that might be drawn from the lives of police officers and military personnel. Beginning with the courage, compassion and simple humanity that characterises the best of them.

Soldiers (and sailors and the men and women of the RAF) are heroes – regarded as such by the vast majority of decent, law-abiding people.

They are recognised and celebrated as men and women who are prepared to risk their lives in the service of their country – and who, on far too many occasions, pay that greatest price.

Those who make it home from foreign fields are honoured and admired as men and women who carry their scars – seen and unseen – and to whom we owe a very considerable debt of gratitude.

We roar our support for injured veterans at the Invictus Games and we understand better than ever before that the incomprehensible trauma of the battlefield can leave wounds of a kind that won’t be fixed with bandages and surgery.

In the last decade or so, visible and vocal support for...

Continues, Read More...





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