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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, Read More...



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, Read More...



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

 

 




Police: Anger & Hope

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

Yesterday, I woke up feeling angry.

 

At the loss of innocent lives. 

 

In tower blocks. 

 

On bridges and in markets. 

 

On the streets of our most troubled neighbourhoods.

 

At people getting richer – and damn the consequences.

 

As souls are sold and bucks are made.

 

And the poor get left behind.

 

At the relentless self-interest of so many with power and influence.

 

And the toxic language of hatred and division.

 

At my inability to see the plank in my own eye and my remarkable capacity for hypocrisy.

 

At my failure to understand that I am my brother’s keeper. My sister’s too.

    

And, yet, there is a stubbornness to hope.

 

As I watch firefighters step into burning buildings.

 

And paramedics bind up broken bodies.

 

And police officers venture repeatedly into the hurting places.

 

As I witness the extraordinary courage and compassion of them all.

 

And of those who insist that we have more in common.

 

And the kindness of ordinary people handing out blankets and bottles of...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Dealing With Trauma

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

I’m not really an expert in anything. I’m just a man with a story to tell…

I’ve told some of that story in a book called ‘Blue’ – and the response from people who’ve been kind enough to read it has been extraordinary.

I’m very, very grateful.

The past few weeks in policing have been astonishingly challenging – as, once again, police officers and staff have ventured into the hurting places. The desperate places. The agonising places.

They’ve been joined there by colleagues from the other emergency services – and by ordinary citizens who made the choice to step forwards rather than back.

Only those who were there will ever truly know.

And it got me wondering whether it might be worth making a note of some simple, practical thoughts on dealing with trauma.

What follows is based on my own experience of being a police officer for the last 25 years – and of breaking under the strain. I’m really not an expert – so please make sure you look for good advice wherever you can find it.

(1) Recognise that this is a heck of a...

Continues, Read More...



Police: The Agency of First & Last Resort

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

“I won’t have the police service as the place where all of society’s ills are laid out and blamed on us.” (Cressida Dick, Met Police Commissioner, April 2017)

The painful privilege of policing is to venture into the hurting places – and to encounter the lives being lived there: the damaged and the dangerous, the beaten and the broken, the troubled and the terrified, the abandoned and the afraid.

I’ve said it often before, but it bears repeating: police officers go where most wouldn’t and do what most couldn’t. I’m incredibly proud of the fact that they do.

But we expect an extraordinary amount from them:

  • We expect them to respond when we call
  • We expect them to come quickly and arrive safely
  • We expect them to to provide emergency medical treatment in the minutes before the ambulance arrives
  • We expect them to be able to use a defibrillator
  • We expect them to face violence with steady hearts and hands
  • We expect them to face abuse with an even temper
  • We expect them to show restraint
  • We expect them to preserve...

    Continues, Read More...


Police: The Finest Coppers I Know

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

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Last week, PC Keith Palmer gave his life protecting this city that is my home.

He was a husband. He was a dad. He was a police officer. And he was a thousand other things besides. I never had the privilege of knowing him – but I know what he was. ‘Hero’ barely even begins to cover it.

——————————————

I didn’t actually know any Coppers before I joined the Met almost 25 years ago. Not a single one.

I knew about them of course: I saw them out on patrol; I watched them on TV; I got told off by one of them once for something I hadn’t done.

But I didn’t actually know any of them – what they were like; what made them tick. They were inhabitants of a world beyond my experience and understanding. That’s how it remains for most of us.

These days, I’m proud to count any number of them as friends. And I want you to know that the finest of them are as fine as people can be.

They are brave

Dear God, they are brave.

They are the headlong rush of blues and twos: the first to the scene; the first to the chase; the first to confront; the...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Urgent Assistance

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

“Urgent Assistance”.

Two highly emotive words – instantly recognisable to police officers everywhere.

It’s a distress call.

It’s the distress call: the one radio transmission guaranteed to cut through the relentless background noise – to prompt any Copper within travelling distance (and some much further away) to drop whatever they’re doing and get to a colleague in trouble as fast as they can.

It’s a very powerful thing.

Earlier today, I posted a simple Tweet:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 18.26.22

That’s when the responses from police officers & staff – both serving and retired – started to come in. They offer an extraordinary insight into the working lives of the women & men who stand on the Thin Blue Line.

Here’s what they wrote:

@Supt_IanDS: almost 20 yrs ago, but recall it like it was yesterday!

@BriW74: 13 years ago at Charing Cross railway station. A rather large man had me on the floor and was using my head as a football.

@GrumblingCop: Man swinging sock with snooker ball in it at my head. Rather old-school weapon.

@WYP_1999HARMAN: The noise the radio...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Don’t Go Changing

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

So much of the current talk in policing is of change.

Of the pressing need for reform.

And, truth be told, there is a great deal in this job that needs sorting out.

But, amongst all the conversations about things like modernisation and transformation, it seems to me that we’re in danger of missing something of fundamental importance.

Where is the talk about all that is precious in policing?

About the things that must never change? About the things you cannot put a price on, but that we cannot afford to be without?

Things like…

(1) The simple desire to make a difference

Ask most good Coppers why they joined and the answer will be a simple one. They just wanted to make a difference.

They still do.

It was never about money or status, recognition or reward. It was just about changing the world, one life at a time.

It still is.

(2) The privilege of public service

As the old wisdom suggests, ‘whoever wants to become great among you, must be your servant…’

That precious and old fashioned thing called duty. That willingness to spend...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Nine Things I’m Learning

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

 

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I have a birthday this week. Not an especially significant one but, nonetheless, a prompt to pause and think for just a moment or two.  About work. About life. About the things that really matter.

Almost 47 years of life. Almost 25 years of policing.

And there are some things I’ve been learning along the way.

It’s People Stupid

I won’t tire of repeating this one.

People matter more than anything else. Those we serve and those we serve alongside.

People matter more than performance charts. They matter more than meetings. They matter more than deadlines – more than yesterday’s headlines. This Job is all about people. And they simply have to matter more.

Every contact leaves a trace.

Courage is not the Absence of Fear

You come across some astonishingly brave people in this line of work: men and women who have risked everything for the sake of both friends and strangers.

Then there are those who have paid the greatest price of all.

And here’s the thing. None of them was unafraid. But they responded to something that lies...

Continues, Read More...





Latest Policecommander Stories

Time for a Royal Commission?
Believe in Blue
TEDx Talk
Anger & Hope
Dealing With Trauma

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