When I was a young lad I would watch TV Programs such as The Bill where I would see Pc Tony Stamp (Twitters – @grahamcoleact) booting round Sun Hill in a marked up Ford Sierra chasing baddies. I knew at this young age that was the job I wanted to do. Like many people this is what (at the time) I thought policing was all about. The idea of fast driving, excitement, the action, and dare I say it the old fashioned way in which the Relief (shift) would all de-kit and head down the pub as a team appealed to me.
As I grew older I learned a lot about the job from an Uncle who at the time was a serving Inspector within Warwickshire Police (then Warwickshire Constabulary). I started to realise that the job was about improving the life of others and the chasing people around etc was heavily outweighed by the day to day police work. Armed with this new information I was still as determined as before to be a police officer.
Jumping ahead a good few years I had decided that I wanted to join the Army, but that itch to go into police...
Section 3 of the Public Order Act 1986 creates the offence of Affray. Having been asked many times when arresting people for this offence what it means I shall start this post with the definition which reads:
“A person is guilty of Affray if he uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety”.
I will examine this definition in more detail shortly and before I do I have attached a short video that shows a good example of what an Affray is. When you watch it think about the definition above. In the video you will see a separate Criminal Damage offence but for the purposes of this Blog we will ignore that.
In this video the bus driver challenges a passenger for not having the correct fair. As a result the passenger becomes violent and starts to attack the safety screen. If you watched properly you will have seen the gentleman in the black jacket stood behind the suspect at the start of the...
The subject of Police use of Stop and Search is a controversial one which has in the past been of national interest. The power to stop and search a person is a very very powerful tool in a Police Officer’s tool box and its correct use has resulted in some very good results.
Historically stop and search was used discriminately against specific sections of the community and this along with other factors caused a breakdown in relations between the public and Police. Evidence of this can be found within the report into the Brixton Riots written in 1981 by Lord Scarman. Following the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993 a report was written by Sir William Macpherson and in this report stop and search was also highlighted.
Modern day Police Officers receive specific training around stop and search. This training covers everything from deciding if sufficient grounds exist for a search to take place, the conduct of the search and most importantly the justification and recording of a search.
When I applied to join the Police I like many people were concerned that I would not pass the physical fitness test. I first took a police fitness test around the year 2002 with Thames Valley Police at their HQ. Back then the test consisted of the bleep test although I cannot recall if the pass level was higher than the current level, a test of pulling and pushing strength and a obstacle course that from memory included running through cones and climbing. I was not the fittest of people but at the same time I was not unfit. I passed the test however. This style of fitness testing was altered in the few years that followed.
Since then I have taken a number of fitness tests and have passed all of them. I am required for my role to take and pass an annual fitness test. I have a very active career. I have made a number of arrests and during the course of some of those arrests I have faced violence, physical attacks and resistance. I have also faced attacks with weapons which has forced me to defend myself against what...
This morning I read with interest the Blog of fellow Tweeter @inspjulietbravo titled Special Constabulary – Enhancement Or A Replacement? It was very interesting to see the honest views of the Special Constabulary from a regular officers point of view. Having read this I started thinking about the role and other peoples views of Specials so I decided that I would write about my own experiences and opinions.
The role of the Special has developed over the years. Years ago the Special would only be seen patrolling village fetes but today Specials are deployed on response teams, public order units, roads policing teams and many more. These methods of deployment in my opinion reflect the changes in the service and is no different to the Territorial Army where people join a Regiment that reflects their skills (e.g a Doctor joining the Medical Regiment). If someone possesses skills or they have an ACTIVE interest in developing in a area then why should the Police ignore this?
Part of the Police’s role is to reduce the fear of crime and in times gone by I have been asked a number of times how Police work to do this. I grew up on an estate in a Warwickshire town and at the time I was what many would consider to be the hooded youth who hung around with a group of friends. At this point I neither understood or cared what others thought. I was a youngster and I did not think like the adult does.
In my early policing days I did not fully understand exactly what “The Fear Of Crime” was all about. I quickly learned how important this topic was to the public. I myself had experienced thoughts such as “I hope my home is not burgled whilst I am on holiday” or “Probably best I do not get my smart phone out in the street here”.
Today I find myself staying with a relative on an estate in the North of England. I have been here before and I started thinking about my first visit here and this is where my first real fear of crime was experienced.
I recall driving off the motorway and into the estate off an...
Crime is an issue that each and everyone of us will come into contact with at some point in our lives. We may be a victim, a witness to a crime, or simply know someone who has been a victim of crime. Crime fighting and public safety is a primary role for the Police Service and I have experienced first hand negativity when a suspect is released without charge, walks away from court, or a reported crime cannot be progressed due to factors outside of police control such as lack of evidence.
This post has been inspired having heard someone saying “There is no point reporting it as the Police do not give a [CENSORED] and nothing will happen”. This statement requires no explaining but in my opinion is a view shared by many members of the public and this statement could not be further from the truth! Yes we may not be able to deploy a full forensic team to every offence reported to Police but we still need to know what crime has taken place (even if you think we are not bothered). My colleague in West Midlands Police...
A motorist being penalised? A government money making scheme? A rat (nickname for traffic officers)? These are all things that I have heard in my career when it comes to Police and motorists.
This post was decided during my usual drive home from work this morning. It was 7 am and I drove 12 miles through dual carriageways and dark, wet and twisted country roads. I witnessed some disgusting and dangerous driving that not only forced me to take avoiding action but made me think about the importance of life and our responsibilities as vehicle drivers.
The first moment of concern was a large white van driving towards me. It was raining, misty and street lighting was limited. I could see a parked car in the opposite lane, my lane was clear of obstructions. As the van approached the parked car he suddenly swerved into my path narrowly missing the car. Hitting my brakes violently I came to a stop directly in front of the van. Here I could see that his windscreen was steamed up and he was talking...