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Police: A Routine Call

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


Whenever I was called to a job involving someone armed with a firearm, machete, or other weapon of lethal force, I used to be fairly relaxed. 
 
"Are you wearing PPE?" Control room ask.
 
"Affirmative."
 
You have time to stop, put on your body armour or tighten it up, give your PAVA gas a shake and think about how you're going to approach the address, what cover you will use to hide from harm, and how you and your colleagues may subdue the offender. 
 
Inevitably, on arrival, the weapon is nowhere to be seen or is thrown down quickly.
 
It's the "routine calls" that get you.
 
The domestic that turns into an officer fighting for her life against an axe-wielding maniac.
 
PC Lisa Bates lost a finger and sustained a fractured skull in the attack
 
 
 
The vehicle check where the offender suddenly pulls out a handgun.
 
To guard against this type of incident, you would have to train officers to risk-assess like soldiers in hostile territory.  To assume every house, every car, contains...

Continues, Read More...


Police: It's still the police's fault

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


 
Even though the IPCC concluded that Lee Birch was hell-bent on killing ex-wife Anne-Marie, the papers still report this as if it was the police's fault.  No officers had to answer for misconduct and there were "learning points" only, which is effectively when the IPCC tell you to assume every future call will be a potential murder.
 
Domestic murders are particularly grim, and no police officer wants to think they had a chance to intervene in one.  But the papers (and public) repeatedly fail to grasp key facts about this type of crime:
  • It is not news that domestic incidents had been reported to the police before.  Very few people wake up one day and become psychotic murderers with no previous pattern of violent behaviour.
  • If there was insufficient evidence to prove previous reports, then no charges could have been brought.
  • Non-molestation/Prevention against harassment orders are only as good as the sentences given for breaching them. 
  • The police do not make court bail decisions, nor sentencing...

    Continues, Read More...


Police: Off with Stress

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


At last, some concrete figures to support what front-line officers have been feeling over the last few years: police officers off sick with stress is up a whopping 35% in flat numbers despite a decrease in overall police numbers.
 
 
When I joined Blandshire Constabuary in 2003, there was never a shortage of people putting their hands up for voluntary overtime, to stay on dealing with shoplifters, doing scene watches, or just covering shortages on the next shift.  In recent years as a sergeant, trying to find people to stay on was like pulling teeth.  In the end, we'd just draw straws.  Gruelling shift patterns, reduced staffing levels and reduction in rest day working payments, have all contributed.
 
All these measures were designed to save money and alter police conditions to bring it more in line with a "normal" job.  Instead, they are forcing overtime budgets up and now we are seeing the consequence of trying to treat police officers like any other employees. 
 
Police work is not "normal".  That's not me having an...

Continues, Read More...


Police: Facebook Faux Pas

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


Stories like this, in which a judge recalled two drug dealers for sentencing because they bragged on Facebook and were abusive about her, will bring a smile to most police officers' faces.  In fact, I would hazard a guess it was the officer in the case who highlighted this, unless the judge happened to be friends with the males.
 
My question is, should your sentence go from two years in jail (a healthy chunk of time for most adults), to zero, just because you told the court you were sorry?  Justice Lunt originally suspended the sentences due to the contrition shown.  She overturned it because that contrition was proved false.
 
Of all of the factors in an offence, especially one like drug-dealing which requires some forethought, I would have thought contrition would be the least relevant to sentencing.


Daniel and Samuel Sneddon.  Oops.


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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.
Copyright of PC E E Bloggs


Police: Uncommon Sense

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


Since my earliest blogging days, and before, we've been reading about how the police should have more Common Sense.
 
I've bewailed the loss of commonsense from the start.  But here's why I cringe when I hear police commanders and politicians using the phrase as if it represents some brave new world of policy surrounding the police.
 
A few years ago, Blandshire Constabulary trained us all in Professional Judgment.  This was the politically correct term for Discretion, something that is inherent in the office of constable.  Discretion is the ability of the uniformed bobby to listen to the individual circumstances of the human being facing them, and take a decision based on their own moral judgment, with regard to the needs of society, rather than based on any performance target or edict from above.  The fact that the management thought we had to be trained in this was disturbing enough, but the training itself was farcical.
 
I sat for several hours while a trainer and a superintendent told me in exactly what circumstances I...

Continues, Read More...


Police: The Disappearing Reappearing Cop

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


I haven't blogged for a while.  There are a number of reasons, but I am still here, sort of.
 
I've been spending some time this week reading back through my blog in the early days, trying to figure out why I stopped writing it.  To my amazement I started the blog nearly TEN YEARS AGO!
 
It's clear from my early posts that there was a lot of fun to be had at the government's expense.  The Labour government was a delightful source of entertainment for this police blogger, from its wonderful ideas on legalising parenting, to its devil-may-care attitude to spending on operations like Overt and Safeguard, to the all-encompassing Home Office Counting Rules.
 
Things changed in 2010.  The Coalition (or let's call it the Conservative) Government, added a sinister dimension to what had been, up until then, playful tinkering with the police.  Of course, I had not thought of it as playful, but it seems it in retrospect.  Oh, how I came to long for the days when Tony McNulty would exhort the public to "jump up and...

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Police: Cartoon Police Turn Violent

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


 
There are some things you simply cannot make up.  Devon and Cornwall just circulated this poster, before retracting it when someone pointed out that it depicted a riot officer bludgeoning a person lying on the floor.
 
 
D&C's response:
 
 
Clearly the graphic designer working at the force headquarters thinks that drunk people all dress like Jason Voorhees.  Alternatively, he was sniggering, "Let's see if anyone notices this" as he forwarded the jpg.
 
Personally, I think the more shocking aspect of this poster is the claim of a 45% reduction in violent crime, as if this is some kind of achievement.  It is in fact a meaningless statement on its own: if violence was up in every other month, the drop in January is hardly something to brag about and is mostly likely the result of natural variation.  Crime ebbs and flows like any other phenomenon, even if the police do nothing.   
 
In Blandmore, I'm afraid we are judged in a similar way.  The Chief Inspector points at a graph of last year's crime overlaid with...

Continues, Read More...


Police: Cartoon Police Turn Violent

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


 
There are some things you simply cannot make up.  Devon and Cornwall just circulated this poster, before retracting it when someone pointed out that it depicted a riot officer bludgeoning a person lying on the floor.
 
 
D&C's response:
 
 
Clearly the graphic designer working at the force headquarters thinks that drunk people all dress like Jason Voorhees.  Alternatively, he was sniggering, "Let's see if anyone notices this" as he forwarded the jpg.
 
Personally, I think the more shocking aspect of this poster is the claim of a 45% reduction in violent crime, as if this is some kind of achievement.  It is in fact a meaningless statement on its own: if violence was up in every other month, the drop in January is hardly something to brag about and is mostly likely the result of natural variation.  Crime ebbs and flows like any other phenomenon, even if the police do nothing.   
 
In Blandmore, I'm afraid we are judged in a similar way.  The Chief Inspector points at a graph of last year's crime overlaid with...

Continues, Read More...


Police: Rude and Lazy or Rock and a Non Soft Place?

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


Nothing is more likely to trigger The Daily Mail Headline policy than the thought of a complaint against police.  In fact, an incident log need only reference in passing that the caller is minutely displeased with the service they are getting, to result in a flurry of priority-setting and diversion of resources. 
 
Senior (and some junior) police officers react this way because they fear headlines like this, which damage the reputation of the police. 
 
As a sergeant, a complaint from a caller is probably bottom of my list of reasons to prioritise a case.  That's not me being contrary.  Not that I can't be contrary too.
 
When I am sitting behind the duty sergeant's desk at Blandmore nick, scanning the Incident Control System to decide which of the five pages of outstanding jobs to send my one available officer to, I have a checklist.  Is anyone in danger?  Could anyone be in danger very shortly if we don't attend?  Is someone very worried, scared or vulnerable?  Is it a serious crime?  Is there...

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Police: No Yes Means No

Written by RSS Poster PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer


I've blogged about rape repeatedly over the years.  It nearly always results in a fairly heated debate.  A lot of men (and probably some women) think that if you are female, support Rape Crisis, and emphatically state that rape is under-reported and under-convicted, you must be a man-hating, blinkered feminist who is blind to the reality of false rape reports. 
 
Now the DPP is announcing measures to tackle two key rape myths, both of which I have blogged about before.  The core of the measure is placing an onus on the defendant to prove, if it is an issue of consent, that the victim consented.  This could be construed as effectively making it the defendant's job to prove their innocence, which would fundamentally oppose the essence of the British Criminal Justice system.
 
I don't believe it does that.  I am female, I donate my book royalties to Rape Crisis, and I believe our national record on rape is pretty woeful.  I don't hate men, and I've dealt with more than one false allegation of rape.  (I've also dealt with...

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Latest PC Bloggs - A Twenty-first Century Police Officer Stories

A Routine Call
It's still the police's fault
Off with Stress
Facebook Faux Pas
Uncommon Sense

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