Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: A Copper’s Year (2017)

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

December. A month when people seem to write lists.

So here’s one of mine:

Ten Coppering Reflections on the year gone by.

(1) Policing under Strain

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating… These are the most challenging times for policing in this country since the end of the Second World War.

Growing demand. Growing complexity. Rising crime. Falling officer numbers. Growing pressure. Growing scrutiny. The complex consequences of austerity.

And more to come.

There is a difference between a saving and a cut – and I know many more good police officers working under significantly more strain than at any previous point in my career.

And still they keep on saving lives and seeking the lost; still they keep on comforting the broken and protecting the vulnerable; still they keep on confronting the dangerous and, just sometimes, risking it all.

I remain more proud than I can possibly say to count myself amongst them.

I work with heroes.

(2) The Shadows of Terror

Westminster Bridge. London Bridge. Borough Market. Finsbury Park. The...

Continues,

Police: Stories for the Ages

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Stories matter.

And yesterday, at London’s Guildhall, some extraordinary tales were told.

The great old venue played host to a unique and very special gathering of police officers, emergency services colleagues and members of the public. Welcomed jointly by the Met, BTP and the City of London Police, they came to honour those who responded to the succession of terrorist attacks that happened in London earlier this year. And to remember those who died.

Something like 200 commendations were awarded at the ceremony – in recognition of the frankly staggering levels of heroism and humanity displayed following the attacks at Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park – and the stories behind each of them are breathtaking. In the face of the very worst that human beings are capable of, we were witnesses to the very, very best.

Amongst the endless astonishing accounts, I want to make brief mention of three particular individuals.

At about 2.40pm on Wednesday 22 March 2017, a terrorist launched an attack on Westminster Bridge and at the Houses of...

Continues,

Police: Horrible Bosses

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

In any walk of life, it seems to me that there is a bit of a difference between bad management and good leadership.

All the difference in the world in fact.

So here’s a (by no means exhaustive) list of the sorts of things that might just be evident wherever bad management is to be found:

  • People who don’t love people.
  • People who regard people as no more than units of production.
  • People who care more for their own advancement than they do for anything else.
  • People who move goalposts repeatedly and without apparent reason.
  • People who appear unable to distinguish between the important and the urgent.
  • People for whom everything is a priority.
  • People who seem fixated with hitting the target, but who end up missing the point.
  • People who don’t listen.
  • Or who listen, but don’t hear.
  • Or hear, but don’t do anything about what’s been said.
  • People who would rather blame than learn.
  • People who will (in a shouty voice) tell you that their way is the only way.
  • People who surround themselves only with those who share their view of the world.
  • People who...

    Continues,

Police: Back in the Real World

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

In the world inhabited solely by those in possession of armchairs and agendas, it would appear that everything ought to be a priority for the police.

But, in the real world inhabited by police officers and staff, things are a little less straightforward.

In that other world, the police should be doing more of this – and more of that. And more of the other.

Back in the real world, doing more of one thing means – inevitably – doing less of another. Because resources are a little bit stretched just at the moment.

And, in any case, if everything is a priority, then nothing is.

In the real world, every victim of crime matters. But not all crimes are equal. Some have to matter more than others. Domestic Violence, for example, has to matter more than shoplifting. Any crime that has a child or vulnerable adult as its victim, has to matter more than one that doesn’t. And so on.

These realities have consequences for the decisions we make – and for the time and effort we invest in responding to any one type of crime.

But, in the other world, it...

Continues,

Police: Womankind

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Where on earth to begin?

I’m not going to waste your time with some clumsy attempt to set out my feminist credentials but – in a world of pussy-grabbing presidents and molesting movie moguls – I do want to put on record the fact that I’m troubled by the way in which we (men, mostly) treat and regard women.

Really, deeply troubled.

I speak as a husband, a dad, a man. I speak as a police officer.

And this is what I see.

Sexual Offences

According to the Office of National Statistics, in the year to March 2017, the police in England & Wales recorded more than 41,000 allegations of rape. We also recorded nearly 80,000 ‘other’ sexual offences. Numbers rise and numbers fall, but the sheer volume is staggering. And the overwhelming majority of victims are women and girls.

My sense of horror is compounded by the knowledge that sexual offences remain significantly under-reported; that the real numbers will be higher still.

How the hell did it come to this? How did we, as a supposedly civilised society, manage to stand by and let it happen? How did we...

Continues,

Police: A 25 Year Love Affair

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

September 21st 1992.

The day I took the oath and began an adventure – a love affair – that has continued for the last 25 years.

I love policing.

When you strip away all the noise and the nonsense, it turns out to be as extraordinary as a job can be. It’s about saving lives and finding the lost. It’s about comforting the broken and protecting the vulnerable. It’s about confronting the violent and pursuing the dangerous. Sometimes, it’s about risking it all.

I love police officers.

When you listen to the stories of their working lives, they turn out to be as extraordinary as people can be. People who confront armed terrorists. People who give CPR on dusty pavements. People who enter smoke-filled buildings. People who whisper words of comfort to the dying. People who work all the hours in all the weather. People who talk down the haunted and the hurting. People who put up with every kind of abuse. People who, without hesitation, put themselves in harm’s way. People who venture repeatedly into the hurting places. People who keep coming...

Continues,

Police: Missing the Point

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Two particular news reports have caught my eye in the last few days.

The first was about vehicle rentals – specifically the call for a robust review of current UK procedures for hiring vans.

In response to the horrifying European terrorist attacks of recent months, it was suggested that the authorities ought to make it more difficult for would-be mass murderers to secure the use of their preferred mode of transport (and destruction).

The second story was about trains – revisiting an old proposal about introducing women-only carriages. It was a reaction to (entirely understandable) concerns about a rising number of reported sexual assaults committed against female victims on public transport.

And you would be forgiven for thinking that, despite what may well have been the best of intentions, both suggestions had rather missed the point.

The simple fact is that the evils of modern terrorism will not be overcome by a bit of incidental tinkering with vehicle rental regulations. We might actually need to look a little further and deeper than that –...

Continues,

Police: Time for a Royal Commission?

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Let’s deal with the title question straight away.

Actually, I don’t think it is time for a Royal Commission on policing in this country. I don’t think it’s time for anything that has the potential to be drawn out, bureaucratic and enormously expensive.

But I do think there is an urgent need for a proper, grown up, joined up, honest, objective and constructive conversation about policing in this country.

Take a glance at the current headlines:

Crime is up

The latest ONS crime figures point to an increase in overall crime of more than 175,000 offences. Of particular concern has to be the 18% increase in violent crime and the 14% increase in sexual offences.

And behind each number, there is a person – amongst them some of the most vulnerable people in society.

A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about knife crime. Last week we are talking about acid attacks. Both weeks we’ve been talking about mopeds. This week it may well be something else.

And we ask and expect the police to deal with it all.

Risk is up

The terrorist attacks...

Continues,

Police: Believe in Blue

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

In March of this year – in the immediate, horrifying aftermath of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack – we discovered and expressed a renewed sense of appreciation for our police officers: for who they are and what they do.

The following month, we lined the streets in our thousands as the funeral cortege of PC Keith Palmer passed by.

Greater love hath no man than to lay his life down.

Across the city, members of the public approached uniformed PCs, shook them by the hand and thanked them for their courage and sacrifice.

Then came Manchester. And London Bridge. And Grenfell Tower. And Finsbury Park.

In recent times, police officers and their emergency services colleagues have displayed extraordinary professionalism and frankly staggering levels of bravery – time and time and time again.

And those same officers and paramedics and fire crews are out there right now, answering endless cries for help: from the abandoned, the assaulted, the addicted and the abused; from any one of us at any moment. The work they do moves in and out of the...

Continues,

Police: TEDx Talk

Written by RSS Poster policecommander


I think I might have done a TEDx Talk…

I think you might be able to watch it here…



Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 18.03.53



Latest Policecommander Stories

A Copper’s Year (2017)
Stories for the Ages
Horrible Bosses
Back in the Real World

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