Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: Mission NPAS-ible

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

Sorry about the pun – it was way too tempting!

So here we are – back in the room and wondering where I should go first. The Parliamentary pay rises, the latest in-house politics or the failure of our National Police Air Service to deliver anything like the service that we were promised…
After literally seconds of consideration, I think that NPAS has to take the top spot as it has had a significantly detrimental effect on our ability to catch the baddies since its introduction.

Firstly, and very importantly, I am NOT deriding the skill and value of those on the NPAS teams. I have been lucky enough to spend some time with one such crew and my experience was that they are hugely motivated, superbly capable and represent a massive benefit when utilised effectively in supporting our officers on the ground. The changes in their role and the limitations that Nationalising the service has brought with it are just as frustrating to them as they are to anyone. I am also lucky enough to know a couple of observers from elsewhere in the...

Continues,

Police: Under the spotlight….

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

The blogging business has become a little challenging in the last few months – there have been more than a few fingers pointed in respect of unsanctioned blogging activities within my force. Those with an open sense of ‘let the public know how things are’ or anyone with a couple of suspicious entries in their internet ‘Favourites’ list have been systematically asked into the grey walled dungeon otherwise known as Professional Standards and asked some very direct and potentially career-damaging questions.

I have never been a fan of the fishing trips used by some of our poacher-turned-gamekeeper colleagues. The implication that they know everything and are just asking to see if you are going to lie about it is always there. I am sure that holes in many investigations are routinely filled by those who have unwittingly stumbled into the spotlight and then been leant on in order that the gaps can be filled.

For a while, I have to admit, I wondered if the game was up.

Thankfully it was not – let the writing commence!

See you in 10….

Police: The Rules of Blah

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

As I mentioned yesterday – there are many unwritten rules in Policing and one of these is the Rules of Blah. I first heard of these quite a few years back, but only managed to find one online reference to them in one of my Recommended Reading blogs – Area Trace No Search

So, for the uninformed or for those who had simply forgotten, here they are in all their glory. Please read and inwardly digest…

Rules Of Blah:

Probationary Bronze Card 0 – 2 years service


Bronze Card 2 – 4 years service

1. All Blah to be limited to no more than 30 minutes per tour of duty
2. Must consult a Platinum Cardholder about Blah content before addressing the public arena
3. All Blah to be factual and witnessing officer to be present during presentation.
4. Any Blah from a previously worked division to be supported by MG11 [Statement] from witnessing officer/s
5. Must accept all belittling and ridicule of their Blah efforts in good spirit
6. Under no circumstances to Blah to probationary constables unless supervised by a Platinum...

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Police: Blurring the Thin Blue Line

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

I think that I am in a majority when I say that there are still too few Police Officers on the streets of England and Wales to do the job expected of us in safety and with efficiency. There are a number of solutions to this problem, but Avon and Somerset Chief Constable is being asked to consider one of the most controversial changes to the structure of Policing since the introduction of PCSO’s more than a decade ago. The question being asked of Nick Gargan is whether he should give his authority for PCSOs in the county the power to arrest offenders alongside their Officer colleagues.

The question has been asked by Avon and Somerset PCC Sue Mountstevens and is one that has given some cause for concern about the degree to which the line separating PCSO and PC should be blurred. Whilst this power has been in existence since 2007, it has only (to my knowledge) been utilised within the British Transport Police.
Alongside this decision would also be a review of the equipment provided and routinely carried by PCSOs. A...

Continues,

Police: Another Officer Assaulted due to ‘Appropriate’ Staffing

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

Police Oracle today reported the story of an officer badly injured as a result of being repeatedly struck with part of his own PPE after attending an incident outside a pub in Rotherham last year.

Michael Dolan (49) felled PC Glen Hill, whilst reportedly drunk and on steroids, after the officer attended the incident single-crewed in November. PC Hill was knocked to the ground and then, whilst lying helpless, was beaten around the head approximately 30 times by Dolan, who had taken possession of the officers canister of CS spray. The officer received a deep laceration to his head and required treatment in hospital for his injuries. Dolan subsequently admitted an offence of GBH and was sentenced to 32 months in prison – meaning he will be likely to serve well under a year and a half.

The circumstances leading up to the assault are echoed throughout many counties on a daily basis and have left officers again questioning the rationale behind single-crewing policies. 


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Police: Are Policing Qualifications Damaging the Quality of Specials and PCSO’s

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

Better qualified officers and a more efficient and productive recruitment process are a must-have in the new age of Policing on the cheap a budget. We should rightly look to cut unnecessary spending and streamline expensive processes to make them fit more into the current financial picture.

What we should not do, however, is engage in a process that can ultimately damage the quality of those on the streets and the confidence of the public in those that wear the uniform.

A recent trend in many forces is to take on increased numbers of Special Constables and PCSO’s compared to Regulars. As the Army increase their Territorial compliment and cut the number of full time paid soldiers, so the balance shifts within the Policing world. Historically, the roll of Special Constable has been seen as one that leads some into full time Policing, but for most it is a vocation. This was almost exclusively the case for the PCSO too…until recently.

With virtually no Police Officer...

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Police: If only…

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

If only the judicial system in England and Wales could take on some of the values demonstrated by their American counterparts…

This video cropped up on my radar today and illustrates beautifully how we should treat those that fail to acknowledge that they should be accountable for their actions. Have a watch and see if you share the unstoppable grin that invaded my face during the last quarter of the video.


Police: RIP Paul McKeever – Police Federation Chairman Dies in Hospital

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

From the BBC News pages comes this tragic announcement. A loss that will be felt by Policing throughout England and Wales.

Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this most difficult time.

Police Federation chairman Paul McKeever dies in hospital

Paul McKeever, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has died in hospital.

The federation, which represents rank and file officers, said Mr McKeever, 57, had suffered a suspected embolism.

It praised Mr McKeever, who took on the post in 2008 and was due to retire later this month, as a “true gentleman” and “truly outstanding police officer”.

Mr McKeever joined the Metropolitan Police in the 1970s and had been a key figure in the federation for 20 years.

As one of the police’s most visible spokesmen, he clashed repeatedly with the government over cuts to police budgets and force numbers, which he argued were putting public safety at risk.

‘Total shock’

Announcing his decision to retire...

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Police: Policing – Gangnam Style – Raising Funds for Josh Wilson

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

The first post of 2013 and its a worthy one…

This video has been posted by Sgt Gary Watts from Devon and Cornwall Police and is ‘a tongue in cheek attempt at a parody of Psy’s Gangnam Style to raise awareness and funds for Josh Wilson’ who has severe neuromuscular disabilities that mean he requires a fully adapted home.

Please watch, laugh and then donate at



Police: The Cold Light of Reality

Written by RSS Poster MinimumCover - The Police Officer Blog

Yesterday was horrific.

I would love to be able to cleanse the demons by spilling all the dark thoughts and all the feelings that linger still out onto the page, but due to the nature of the jobs involved – I can’t.  Not because of any legal issue or to protect the investigation.  Simply because many of those who read this blog and (unknowingly) work alongside me would easily spot any attempt to conceal the facts with poetic licence and literary makeup. I have no option but to resist the urge to share the pain of the last 24 hours and await a time when the memories have faded to recount things in hope of closure.

As I lay on my pillow last night, waiting for exhaustion to finally win the battle with my perpetually spinning brain, I have to admit I wondered whether it was actually worth doing this job any more. Day after day, week after week and year after year we put on that uniform and go out into a world that has a fraction of the respect that used to exist, trying to fix more things than ever with a fraction of...

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