A hot potato of recent months is the use of police cells to incarcerate the mentally ill.
What intuition and foresight the Care Minister Norman Lamb has, to suggest today that the NHS, local authorities and the police, have pledged to stop locking up these mental health patients in police cells. It's not as if anyone knew that this was a problem before last year, when ACC of Devon and Cornwall Police Paul Netherton tweeted about a 16-year-old being held in custody due to a lack of beds. Well, not since the matter was reported in 2013, or when it was blogged about in 2012, or just about every year before that for ten years or more.
What we'll do, Mr Lamb, is just leave you here for the average time it takes to get the police doctor, followed by two mental health nurses and a psychiatrist, to assess you, then for the time it takes them to find a bed for you. If you weren't crazy before we started, you will be by the end.
It took the tweet from the ACC to prompt serious attention on this subject despite the...
Charlie Hebdo will tomorrow publish three million pictures of the Prophet Mohammed, this time weeping. Whether you consider this unwise, provocative, heroic or moving, there is a clear public desire to see the magazine rally in the face of utter destruction.
In the UK, the phone-hacking scandal instigated a real swing in opinion towards regulation of the press. Cases of police taking bribes from journalists compounded the issue. At the time, as an anonymous police blogger, I no longer felt sure there would be public support for my type of journalism.
Most of these people probably had no desire to insult people's religions. But they liked to know they could if they wanted to.
... I now feel ashamed to have feared for my job, when others are prepared to risk their lives in the name of freedom of speech.
Chief Constable Lynne Owens: what an irresponsible woman. This weekend, she has argued that the police cannot do everything, and that 20% cuts mean that we have to make a decision on what to prioritise.
I am staggered, and propose that Lynne Owens immediately be forced to resign by way of insidious Home Office campaign.
When I joined the police, I fully accepted that most of my time would be spent searching for fourteen-year-olds whose parents sadly did not have time to search for them themselves. To hold the hands of drunk people whose girlfriends had left them. And to assist traumatised divorcees to de-friend their exes on Facebook. I am appalled that this Chief Constable seeks to prevent me fulfilling my dream of becoming an official Stop-Gap while seriously ill mental health patients await assessment by more qualified staff.
The feeling that I could be seriously harmed on the front-line, and then stuck on for writing about it, was too much.
But the events in France this week have moved me to write. I set this blog up to give an insight into what it is like to be a female police officer in the Twenty-First Century. This meant talking about what it is like to be a police officer, and what it is like to be a woman.
When I started blogging, it was the Year of the Woman Police Officer. There had never been more opportunities for females to join the police and surge their way up the ranks. At the time, I thought it was just the beginning. This was my earliest post about Equality.
For anyone who stumbles into this disused box room during a spring clean of their favourites tab, I thought I'd out a short note of explanation on about my absence over the last year or so.
I never took a decision to stop blogging, but it tailed off for various reasons. Some personal - I became busier at home. But also because of work. I started my blog to put across what it was like on the front line of Britain's police force. I did end up satirising performance culture, and bureaucracy, and the insidious world of senior policing. But really my aim was to fly the flag for the front line bobby. I never intended to keep blogging if I was no longer front-line, which is the case at the moment. Although the role I do now is still police work, I am a lot less likely to be assaulted or vomited on. Well, by non-police officers anyway.
I believe that those who take the greatest risk have the most right to tell others what it's like out there. I still fight daily fights for common sense in uniform, and I still have a lot to say...
On the one side, rank and file officers have a gut feeling that the Chief Whip called officers plebs. The feeling was not helped by his refusal to say, in meetings with W.Midlands Police Federation, exactly what he did say if he was denying the word "plebs".
On the other side, the case has added to the public's gut feeling that the police are not to be trusted. This strong feeling is not helped by the police officer who allegedly posed as an independent witness to the incident.
"Always a pleasure."
"Excuse me, did you say Pleb?!"
As an observer, some things should be obvious:
At the time officers filled out the police log of the incident, they were not intending to make an issue of the incident or publicise it. Therefore to assume it was fabricated is a bit far-fetched.
It took Mitchell three months to cough up a full account of the incident, which he...
On the one hand, police blogger Nightjack has settled for damages of £42,500 from The Times, who exposed his identity, partly by way of hacking, in 2009.
On the other hand, prosecutions are becoming more common for those who offend and distress the public by posting what I like to term "brain vomit" on their Facebook and Twitter pages.In the latest two high profile murder cases, people have been arrested following sick and twisted posts online. In less serioues cases, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has made clear that online "banter" is not a subject for prosecution.
The mainstream media has a complicated reaction to the private and social medias of blogging, Facebook and Twitter. But more and more the standards applied to public media and the current restrictions on free speech in everyday life, are being applied to those using the internet.Should it worry us public sector bloggers, or reassure us? Most of us are committing only disciplinary...
We haven't heard a lot about Big Society this year. In 2010, David Cameron launched it as some earth-shattering new movement, and last year claimed it was his mission.
There is no doubt that Cameron was passionate about the idea of people helping themselves, instead of relying on others. The problem is, most of us saw it as contradictory to the recession, and not in harmony with Cameron's other policies. The public as a whole received the message that - rather than the government and official bodies helping us - we were on our own.
If the whole of society has felt abandoned, so have police officers. Reading media reaction to Hilsborough, to Ian Tomlinson's death, to all the other negative news stories, is galling at a time when we also feel let down by our own management and the Home Office. I am sure many police officers up and down the country have been wondering just what we are doing it for. Wondering whether it's worth continuing, if we just can't bridge the gap to the public we serve. At times, it...