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Police: Theodore Roosevelt’s wise words

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

I wonder if Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, 1901 – 1909, had to deal with those at HQ who at the daily morning meeting try to second-guess the actions of frontline police officers… This famous quote, from a speech he made in Paris in 1910 after he has left office, makes me think he did!

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

I love this quote. It’s stuck up on the door of my locker at work.




Police: Could the Fed be getting some traction at last?

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

The Police Federation has written to all MPs ahead of planned “briefings” from Tom Winsor, the entirely independent, non Group 4 Security-aligned, highly successful ex-rail regulator.

Ian Rennie, General Secretary of the Fed, writes:

Dear Colleagues,

As some of you may be aware, Winsor has written to Members of Parliament inviting them to briefings on his final report. I understand that the briefing sessions are to be held tomorrow evening and Wednesday evening (21st and 22nd May 2012).

I have no doubt that Winsor’s parliamentary briefings are in part a response to our lobbying activities. As I stated in my update on the Annual Report at last week’s Annual General Meeting, the pressure that officers and JBBs have applied to their local MPs has been tremendous. I believe we now need to build on that so as to create the conditions which will allow Staff Side to negotiate successfully on behalf of police officers throughout England and Wales.

The Chairman and I have today written to every MP setting out the PFEW’s...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Meet the Team

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

I’ve been tweeting for a little while now and I often mention “the team”.  I thought my reader (singular, this isn’t a very popular or busy blog… yet!) might be interested to learn a bit more about the fine men and women who deliver response policing in our little corner of the UK.

The team is split roughly 65% men, 35% women.  That’s what I’d call a little “cock heavy”, a rather crude way of saying there’s too many blokes, and not enough women.  I’ve always found that a team with too many blokes can become a bit macho, a bit rough round the edges.  The women tend to bring a bit of decorum, a bit of softness, not just in the nick but out on the street.  Most of the scumbags who wouldn’t think twice about thumping a male copper will behave quite deferentially towards a female officer.  Females can often calm down a situation which blokes would wind up.  So ideally, the boss (Inspector) and I would prefer the team to be a little more balanced – but we don’t have a huge amount of control over this, we get what we’re given by HR.

In terms of...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Homeless and hopeless

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

Last night at about 1am I was sent to a report of a female in an elderly lady’s house, refusing to leave. I must admit that being a cynical type I fully expected this to be a druggie, or a con artist, taking advantage of a vulnerable member of the community.

I was taken aback a bit then on entering the house to see a smartly dressed lady in her 40′s who immediately greeted me with “nice to meet you” and held out her hand to shake mine. She introduced herself as Ellen and told me her story.

She used to live with her parents in a large house near to where she was born. Then her mum got cancer, and her dad got into debt paying for the best medical care he could. When her mum died, she was distraught. Not long later, her dad was diagnosed with cancer as well. He died not long after leaving huge debts. The house was sold to pay off the debts paid, leaving Ellen with nowhere to live.

She struggled for a little while before, in a cruel twist of fate, being diagnosed with cancer herself. Cue months spent in and out of hospital being treated. In the...

Continues, Read More...



Police: I felt a bit like Jack Bauer for a minute there…

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

Last week a lad called to report that he had just been victim of a street robbery.  His lovely shiny iPhone 4 had been taken.

I went to the scene and found the victim, who was shaken but unhurt.  He provided descriptions of the two thieves who were on pushbikes (youngsters), which I shared over the radio with team colleagues on area search.

The victim then mentioned that his phone had the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature switched on.  Using my phone, we logged into his account and lo and behold there was his phone, tracking in woods about a mile away.

Apple's Find my iPhone at work

I rushed over there and got out on foot… as I walked towards the area our two suspects burst from cover, cycling madly away from me.  Calling other units to try to cut them off, I continued to track the phone which was now moving quickly away on the map!

Officers on foot caught up with the lads next to the river, but they managed to make off again (bikes are always quicker than a copper on foot!) and I’m sorry to say we lost them, despite the best efforts of a dog...

Continues, Read More...



Police: I felt a bit like Jack Bauer for a minute there…

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

Last week a lad called to report that he had just been victim of a street robbery.  His lovely shiny iPhone 4 had been taken.

I went to the scene and found the victim, who was shaken but unhurt.  He provided descriptions of the two thieves who were on pushbikes (youngsters), which I shared over the radio with team colleagues on area search.

The victim then mentioned that his phone had the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature switched on.  Using my phone, we logged into his account and lo and behold there was his phone, tracking in woods about a mile away.

Apple's Find my iPhone at work

I rushed over there and got out on foot… as I walked towards the area our two suspects burst from cover, cycling madly away from me.  Calling other units to try to cut them off, I continued to track the phone which was now moving quickly away on the map!

Officers on foot caught up with the lads next to the river, but they managed to make off again (bikes are always quicker than a copper on foot!) and I’m sorry to say we lost them, despite the best efforts of a dog...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Another example of police budget cuts hurting the public?

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

An email arrived in my inbox at work this week.  It was from our public protection department, officers dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society, announcing that (for reasons that weren’t quite explained) there would from now on be no on-call Sexual Offences Officers (SOO’s for short).

SOOs are police officers with additional training on dealing with serious sexual offences, in particular rape. The police service has a patchy record on dealing with this horrible offence, but we’re getting better.  As a response team, we aim to provide the most efficient and compassionate service we can to the victim, while doing our best in the “golden hour”, our best and often only opportunity to gather vital evidence which may help us achieve a conviction.

As a response supervisor, I’ll always attend incidents of rape, because it’s such a serious offence and it’s my job to direct the initial investigation.  One of my first tasks, once we’ve confirmed there’s been a rape, is to contact CID who in turn call...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Another example of police budget cuts hurting the public?

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

An email arrived in my inbox at work this week.  It was from our public protection department, officers dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society, announcing that (for reasons that weren’t quite explained) there would from now on be no on-call Sexual Offences Officers (SOO’s for short).

SOOs are police officers with additional training on dealing with serious sexual offences, in particular rape. The police service has a patchy record on dealing with this horrible offence, but we’re getting better.  As a response team, we aim to provide the most efficient and compassionate service we can to the victim, while doing our best in the “golden hour”, our best and often only opportunity to gather vital evidence which may help us achieve a conviction.

As a response supervisor, I’ll always attend incidents of rape, because it’s such a serious offence and it’s my job to direct the initial investigation.  One of my first tasks, once we’ve confirmed there’s been a rape, is to contact CID who in turn call...

Continues, Read More...



Police: All in this together…?

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

As the title of the blog implies, I am a Sergeant in a UK police force.  To get promoted to this level I had to study at great length in my spare time, take a written exam in law and procedure, then sit a role play exam testing my management skills.  Then once qualified, I had to pass an interview board held by three senior members of the police service.  Only then did I receive my three stripes.

I’m currently posted to a response team, dealing with the public all day, every day, answering 999 calls.  I do shift work, including night shifts.  I have to manage a team of police officers, deal with complaints, juggling resources to try to keep the public happy when we are working at or below minimum staffing and have hardly enough officers at times to attend all the calls.  I get out on patrol and proactively deal with the public, good and bad, facing the risk of fights, abuse, bodily fluids and personal attack on a daily basis.  If I am forced to work on past the end of my rostered shift, the first half hour I work for free. ...

Continues, Read More...



Police: Winsor Part 2

Written by RSS Poster response sarge

The government drives on relentlessly with its plans for police reform, accepting the Winsor 2 reforms in full and urging rapid implementation. This enacted the usual spluttering from the Police Federation which I expect will most likely have the usual effect – similar to a gnat trying to stop a speeding train.

The reforms mean massive cuts to police pay, an increase in the pension age to 60, increases in pension contributions, mandatory fitness tests (with the threat of being sacked if an officer fails them), the right for a chief constable to make officers redundant, and a steady erosion of police officer pay down to police staff levels. And those are just the best bits. Surrey Police Federation have published a detailed analysis here – worth a read if you’re unsure what Winsor 2 means.






Latest Response Sarge Stories

Theodore Roosevelt’s wise words
Could the Fed be getting some traction at last?
Meet the Team
Homeless and hopeless
I felt a bit like Jack Bauer for a minute there…

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