Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

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



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,

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,

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,

Police: The Finest Coppers I Know

Written by RSS Poster policecommander



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,

Latest Policecommander Stories

A 25 Year Love Affair
Missing the Point
Time for a Royal Commission?
Believe in Blue

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