Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: Riot Policing goes down the toilet – every 45 minutes!

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

Normally on this blog I make comment on elements of society and parts of the job that anger or frustrate me. The armed burglars, robbers, and judiciary that make things so much more difficult that they need to be. However, sometimes I read something in the news that appears to serve only to shoot us in the foot. Today is one of those days…

I read with disbelief the story in the Daily Wail regarding the findings of a Federation survey in the West Midlands. Police chiefs are attempting to blame complaints from members of the public of incivility, impoliteness and intolerance on the fact that there are inadequate toilet facilities for those engaged of public order duties at events such as football matches. And even more disturbing, those doing the duties have voiced a demand for toilet breaks every 45 minutes!

Quoted in Police Review, Bryan Higgins, Health and Safety lead for the West Midlands Federation said:

“If you have not been able to go to the toilet and you desperately need to go,...

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Police: Cops on Training Op threatened with a gun

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

We all know that training days are an unavoidable evil in our line of work. We duly gather in smart casual attire (or business dress as it gets called in the joining instructions) at the most inconvenient location in the county and bitch about not wanting to be there whilst pointing at the idiot / swat that came in uniform. All too soon we are summoned away from the £1-for-the-day tea and coffee-making facilities. Filing into a room which is either a blast freezer or a furnace we instinctively head straight for the back row and start trying to avoid eye contact with the trainer at the front.

On rare occasions however, we get the chance to do an operational day when we get to plan something for the whole rota to do. Normally this has to fall within the current flavour of the month, be that serious acquisitive crime, or anti-social behaviour or bolstering up the stop-search figures for the station to ensure we hit the targets we don’t have…
Combating the drug dealing dregs working within the local estate is also...

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Police: MinimumCover on Minimum Cover

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

When I named this blog it was following a set of shifts when things were abnormally bad. We always seemed to have more jobs to do than people to do them. Normally this means that there are a few overdue Grade 3 Nuisance jobs lingering at the bottom of the controllers job list. Kids giggling in a car park was the benchmark for these jobs. The little darlings would only be upsetting someone who (ironically) was actually calling due to some deep-seated self loathing for buying a flat overlooking the said car park in the first place. The job was still there because they called every week and eventually achieved the coveted GOLD VICTIM status which meant we actually had to go.

Recently though things have become even more desperate. We know its desperate as the old “minimum strength” has now become “preferred strength” (in the same way that domestic violence risks are no longer Low, Medium and High but Standard, Medium and High) and this has only served to assuage the guilt of the duties team at letting us go into battle on a Friday with...

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Police: Officer Down…Unarmed PC shot by suspect

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

A Met Police officer was shot and injured in Croydon on Friday night whilst pursuing a suspect on foot. The officer had no ability to return fire, and thankfully was only hit in the arm. This incident he was dealing with was nothing more than a “suspicious person” call, just like the ones we go to time and again. On Police arrival, the three suspects ran off.

Again the subject of routine arming of UK Police officers rears its head.

Firstly, I wish the injured officer all the best and hope he makes a full and speedy recovery with the full support his colleagues, line managers and eventually the CPS and courts…

Secondly, in ten years of service I have been faced with only one armed suspect (talking firearms only here…the knives, swords, and batons are far more significant in number). He had a high-powered and scoped rifle and thankfully chose not to use it. I didn’t like it, and have no desire to repeat the experience if at all possible.

As for the debate on routine arming:

I don’t...

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Police: Naked Gardener put on Sex Offenders Register at 80!

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

Greater Manchester Police have brought a successful prosecution against an eighty year old man who was arrested following complaints about him tending his front garden whilst naked. Kevin Lavelle, 80, of Heald Green, Stockport has now received a suspended jail sentence and more in respect of three counts of Indecent Exposure.

As well as the eight week prison sentence (which has been suspended for six months) Lavelle has also been put on a tagged curfew for two months, meaning he cannot go out between the hours of 4pm and 11pm. As a final sanction, the pensioner has been put on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years – potentially a sentence that will outlive him!

The court case follows 18 months of odd behaviour which appears to have become the focus of the local community. In this case the community appear to have got what they wanted, although the only measure that might have any preventative impact requires Lavelle to commit further offences within the next six months.

I cannot see what is...

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Police: Police Bravery Awards 2011

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

Information from the press release on the Police Federation Website:

A courageous officer from the Metropolitan Police was voted the bravest officer in England and Wales tonight at the 16th annual Police Bravery Awards held at The Savoy in London.

The gala evening organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales, The Sun newspaper, and in partnership with Police Mutual, was attended by fifty-nine of the most courageous officers from forces throughout England and Wales. The ceremony followed a reception at 10 Downing Street where officers were greeted by and photographed with the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The winning officer, PC Graham Hislop, was given the award for his bravery in single-handedly tackling a gang warfare situation. PC Hislop responded to a call to a notorious gangland estate. On arrival, he drove into the middle of two rival gangs fighting in the street, and they were armed with dangerous weapons including a petrol bomb. He bravely exited his vehicle and placed himself between the two groups. In the midst of violent...

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Police: Federation comment on Review of Crime Statistics

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

Simon Reed, Vice-Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said on the 6th July 2011:

We need a consistent approach to the recording and collating of crime statistics and a mechanism that delivers an accurate picture of what is happening and cannot be open to individual interpretation or to suit political agendas.

We trust the government are engaging in this consultation in good faith and are not merely creating an environment in which they can attribute any increase in crime, with numbers of police officers falling, as nothing more than a technical issue due to a change in the way crime is recorded. We will be monitoring to ensure that is not the case as the integrity of crime statistics is dependent upon the process of collection and interpretation being open and transparent.

It would appear that the federation view any changes in how crime is recorded with the same cynical attitude that we on the ground view the sudden arrival of new carpets, chairs and tables in the canteen.

Despite the fact that we...

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Police: Welfare Junkies – The New Epidemic

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

The BBC has been taking a hard-hitting and quite depressing look at those in society who have taken the option (through choice or simply circumstance) to live on what is given to them by the state, and not through employment.
The series, filmed in Scotland, concentrates on a specific estate or “Scheme” where there are a mixture of privately owned and social housing properties. It shows a huge chasm existing between the responsible and the reprehensible in terms of moral and social responsibility, but also shows that those who lack the will or opportunity to find employment don’t usually lack the luxuries the rest of us struggle to afford.

Marvin and Danya

The six families, who were the focus of the series all had wide-screen TV’s, games consoles, enough money to drink, smoke and (in some examples) buy drugs, buy and drive cars and take overseas holidays! All this funded exclusively by the benefits system, and allowed to continue unchecked barring the occasional involvement of the Police and prison service.

I had to smile to...

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Police: Hacked Fuzz – All its missing is Pegg and Frost!

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

We in the leafy suburbs have a number of people on the prospective celebrity hit-list. No doubt some have already been targets and no doubt some of those will have minute aspects of their private lives aired in public once the content of voicemail messages already in the news domain begin to lose the attention of the world and the lawyers.

What I struggle with though is this:

It appears that some of the information passed to the News of the World has been supplied to the press, in exchange for payment, by members of the glorious and omnipotent Metropolitan Police Service, and yet the IPCC are allowing the Met to investigate this THEMSELVES! This concerns me massively as there is already a bit of an incestuous relationship between the Met and News International who control the News of the World.  The opportunity for things to be sorted out “in-house” and avoid any damage / exposure to either party is one which will no doubt be exploited to its fullest extent.

It’s the sort of scenario...

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Police: Tony Martin II 1/2 – Live by webcam

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover

Another week goes by and another UK householder is put in the position of having to defend his home from armed burglars. He has risked his own life to do this, and more frighteningly for him, put himself in the firing line of the British Judicial System with the prospect of spending a considerable amount of time locked up should the worst happen and one of the criminals gets hurt. 

This is a still from CCTV footage of the dramatic scene which was captured by the victim, Adrian Draper, who had set up a camera in his home in case the burglars came….and they did. Answering a knock on the door, Adrian was confronted by two men and had a gun thrust into his stomach before being forced back inside his home.

He was violently assaulted by the two men whilst at gunpoint after briefly disarming the one holding the weapon. On this first occasion the burglars got the upper hand and took the gun back before forcing Adrian into the living room – right in front of the camera. On seeing the opportunity wrestled the gun...

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Latest MinimumCover Stories

Riot Policing goes down the toilet – every 45 minutes!
Cops on Training Op threatened with a gun
MinimumCover on Minimum Cover
Officer Down…Unarmed PC shot by suspect
Naked Gardener put on Sex Offenders Register at 80!

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