Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: Computer Says No

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos

Guys, I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. My excuse is that I’ve been concentrating on writing my second book.

I hope you’re all well. Today, for the sake of balance, I’d like to report a couple of positive developments within the Metropolitan Police Service. As you can imagine, it’s not east to find such things, so it’s important to report them when they occur.

Firstly, the Met has upgraded it’s computer operating system from Windows XP (1995-2003) to Windows 8.1. Lucky staff that we are, we received an hour of excellent and entertaining training from Microsoft coaches, and learned that Bill Gates, when standing at a Microsoft urinal, is shorter than you might expect.

old-computerSo, finally we have computers with half-decent functionality, although the hard drives are low spec and there aren’t nearly enough of them. There are however problems: in a typical bizarre snafu, paranoid Met senior management have prevented Microsoft from switching on many useful features. For example, 8.1 allows several...

Continues,

Police: Loops Or No Loops?

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos

I’ve been off-grid for a while, so let’s launch into the British summer with a light piece of typical Met management buffoonery. Okay, I know we’re still in late spring here in the UK, but I’m wearing my shorts, so that makes it summer, okay?

In addition to handcuffs, cops also use leg restraints.


These are wide Velcro straps that wrap around a perp’s ankles and thighs, binding the legs tightly together. They prevent the prisoner from kicking us when he is going bananas, which often happens. They make threats towards us, then generally thrash around.



This can be an entertaining spectacle, but is potentially dangerous for both them and for us.

Against this poor behaviour we have leg restraints – a useful piece of kit that enables us to carry the person safely, without anybody getting hurt. The package normally includes two straps – one for the thighs and one for the ankles, and can be stored in a car’s glove-box.


Continues,

Police: Metropolitan Police Basic Training – Impossible to Fail!

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos

Hendon is still the training site for new recruits to the Metropolitan Police Service. You might recall my recent post about the total absence at Hendon now, of any training in criminal law?

Met Recruits Are Taught No Criminal Lawdilbert_fireThe instructors assume the recruits will either teach themselves, or already have a good understanding of the law from having been police volunteers. Obviously, the reality is that they all need intensive training in the detail of criminal law – when I was a new recruit I spent twelve intense weeks at a residential course. In total, I was in training on and off for two years.

So all I can say is that Met’s senior management have their heads in the sand. How can you put new police officers on the streets, yet not teach them ANY criminal law??

Anyway, I don’t wish to repeat myself. Instead I’d like to give you an update. The latest round of new recruits have all passed their exams. Congratulations to them all, but how exactly did...

Continues,

Police: Moving to:

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos

Guys, I'm rehousing the blog at a self-hosted site:

Obviously, it's a very similar link. Please delete and then 'refavourite' this new address. If you see any broken links or other screw-ups, please do email me at:

[email protected]

See you there!

Police: Attendance Targets – The Tail Wagging The Dog...

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
“If it isn't one target, it's another,” explained Paul. “Senior managers have told the world that there are no targets, but Sir Bernard now has everybody panicking over attendance times.”

Paul is a dog handler in my old county police force.

“As a dog handler, my bread-and-butter is burglaries. I go in with my dog, and he sniffs out anybody who shouldn't be there. We're a specialist team, but there are so many burglary calls that we have no shortage of work.”

 “But since Bernard's Local Policing Model started a couple of years ago, the response teams are running on a shoe-string and can't cope with the number of calls. I arrive at a burglary and the control room shows me on-scene.”

Everything is as it should be up to this point...

“But before I get a chance to go in with the dog, the control room always calls me up – every fucking time. They say 'We've got a domestic just around the corner. Could you just pop in there first, so we can...

Continues,

Police: Prayer and Contemplation

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
It was quite a moment when I discovered the Contemplation Room in my old station. Upon seeing the door-sign, I gingerly pushed the door open, and found two PCSOs and a sergeant, with their feet up on the chairs.

“Shut that door before anybody spots us in here.”

The sergeant said it as if there was shame in taking a breather, in pausing to gather ourselves, and reacquainting ourselves with the fact that we are human beings.

I knew the man – a decent intelligent chap whom I like and respect. Nevertheless, he was as brainwashed as many others in the job – good people who occasionally need a bubble of space and quiet during the day but, within the macho police culture, are ashamed to admit it.

There was no bulb in the light and canteen noise penetrated the paper-thin walls, but still it was a space to sit, read, think. To find a little peace during the police day.

The only such space in the station.

Everywhere else is proudly open-plan, and usually a member of the 'Senior Leadership Team' is able to watch you from...

Continues,

Police: Met Complicit in Smartphone Insurance Fraud

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
People who work behind the front counter of a police station do it with the purpose of helping people, right? That's ultimately why anybody works for the police – it's a calling, a vocation. 

My friend Janine works as a civilian Public Access Officer behind the public counter. She's a compassionate soul and, frankly, a legend.

Like all my police officer colleagues, I've spent many nights working at the public counter. The civilian PAOs only work daytime hours – they can't be forced to work nights. British cops, on the other hand, are not protected by employment law, and are denied employment contracts. So, when this police station was 24/7, the Public Access Officers would clock off around 8pm, and be replaced by one police officer until 7am.

It's a tough job. The queuing public have high expectations, but there is a limit to what we can do for people.

We can't give tourists money for a hotel when they lose their passports and wallets. We can't repair a broken marriage. We can't turn back time and make...

Continues,


Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
I am renovating the blog, as it seemed to resemble the work of an Internet-shy copper, or a small child. This will only take four or five days, so please have a good weekend.

And if you feel like it, read the sample for my new book:

The Accidental Copper :

Police: Met Cops No Longer Taught Criminal Law

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
The Metropolitan Police – the one that all the others look up to, right?

It seems that any absurdity you can imagine has already been perpetrated by the Metropolitan Police. Conjure something crazy to mind, and you can guarantee that the Met management have quietly implemented it.

So what's the latest?

Until recently student officers spent their first year, on and off, learning law and procedure. In my day it was a twelve week residential course followed by six months of intermittent courses. We were totally immersed in learning during that period.

And there's a lotttttt of material – I had to absorb something like the contents of a six inch pile of A4 paper. Some people actually failed the exams.

And what is it like today, dare we ask? My friend Steven has recently been through the process at world-famous Hendon.

“On the first day,” he told me, “the instructor told the class that they would teach us no criminal law. None.” 

“The first words that came out of the...

Continues,

Police: My Sergeant Shot Me

Written by RSS Poster Justice and Chaos
So, we're back on the subject of increasing the UK's armed police officers.

Guardian: Met to announce increase in armed officers

I believe that secretly the Met's senior managers enjoy these sorts of issues, because they take the public's attention away from the perpetual embarrassments of target culture and supervisors' pressure to hit those targets by fiddling the figures...and so many other avoidable problems that I can't be bothered to list.

Anyway, Sir Bernard is caving in to pressure to create more armed officers. But hang on, until 2012 didn't we already have a thousand more armed cops than at present?

Ah yes, We 'lost' those after the Olympics.

The moment the event finished, the Met's reserve of local firearms officers were thanked for working 100-hour weeks and Sir Bernard disbanded them.

The Met had spent millions training those officers, and maintaining their proficiency, only to discard them. And now Sir Bernard is talking about creating more firearms officers...

Well we probably do need more armed cops, yes, but it might be nice if they...

Continues,

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