Wednesday, 26 March 2008


This was a comment posted by "Taffy" in response to my post, Kitchen Nightmare. I think it deserves a post of it's own.

Before reading it, please remember that it is friendly rivalry - "Taffy" is in fact a pan-London officer, and like me he has had to call on the TSG (and needed their help badly) more than once. For non-met readers, the Territorial Support Group are the Met's "Hard Boys" - they travel in public order buses and are called out to large scale public order situations, and to assist Boroughs that need their help with situations that are too large for their team officers to handle. They also do a lot of proactive preventative patrols, and, yes, they always wear their flat caps at all times.

My Guvnor likes them for this.

They are also the only non-firearms officers in the Met to currently carry taser. Hence the post.

Great, TSG have taser. Now all we need is for...

# Metcall to write up the request.
# Chief Insp IR to bounce it because it wasn't done properly, or doesn't reflect what the situation is.
# Metcall operator to ask someone what to do.
# Metcall operator to do it.
# Metcall supervisor to check.
# Chief Insp to authorise deployment.
# Pan London despatcher tries to raise Commissioners Reserve.
# Pan London despatcher fails. After all, there is no R/T set in the gym.
# Chief Inspector rings TSG Inspector on the mobile, and leaves a message.
# TSG Inspector waits 5 minutes before calling back " Sorry Guv, dealing with a stop"

TSG Deployed

# Commissioners Reserve "regroup" (ie get dressed) and embus. Time scale depends on co-ordination of hand-sock movement. Carrier skippers check officers boot laces are tied, assisting where appropriate. Precious time at this stage is saved, however, as flat caps were never removed.

# TSG travel in convey to, say, Kingston. From Enfield.

# 45 mins later (lets be generous) TSG arrive at RVP. Local Inspector arrives, having stopped off en route to pick up an incident log and a probationer to use it. Delayed arrival at RVP due to detour to scene to check on welfare of 5 PC's holding naked man down, and to address missing headgear/necktie related issues.

# TSG carriers squabble over who gets to "unleash the fury".

# Two Alpha males from the victorious carrier are duly issued with the device.

# Batteries flat. Leaving do the night before. Second place carrier goes to the scene.

# Man tasered. Local residents see 27 officers leaving the scene, dragging a naked man behind. Photo sent to the Daily Mail.

# Enquiries made with local newsagents by said newspaper indicates man did indeed purchase said paper on saturdays. National outcry. Police brutality, and potentially racism, is the order of the day. This would never have happened under maggie, house prices in the neighbourhood take a nose dive.


PCSO Bloggs said...

Not to mention use of force form, taser evaluation form, Home Office feedback form, exhibit/ produce taser cartridge...

Anonymous said...

I prompted taffy's response. Friendly rivalry or not, its nonsense! especially in the context I posted my comment to 'Kitchen Nightmare'. TSG is currently hugely understrength. There are a variety of reasons for this, one of which is reluctance to move away from 12 hour shifts 4dayson 5daysoff etc. BUT, in my opinion, the theme of this post and other ridiculous 'Thick & Stupid' stories are genuinely damaging. I can quote stats and figures all day long proving how hard TSG work and yes they can be interpreted differently. I can tell you, AS FACT, TSG is responsible for the vast majority of genuine crime clear-ups across the MPS by uniformed patrols. They deal quickly, professionaly and with PRIDE incidents deemed locally 'in the too difficult box'. Consider this though..How many officers have you met that departed TSG by returning to whence they came? The vast majority all move on from TSG to promotion or a specialist post. If TSG don't do a decent job, why aren't the officers already there, especially those just joined, leaving in droves?
As for TASER the rest of the MPS is dependent on TSG to make it a success, again, as I write there have been NO 'Thick & Stupid' moments.
AliG (You'll find me at 2Area)

Anonymous said...

Interesting post ATNS but as I'm sure you know complete bollocks. The rollout of Taser to the TSG is hopefully the first stage in a wider plan to deliver the option to more borough based units, whether that takes the form of it being issued to every pc or it being held on the local RT car. If you find you can't get the TSG without jumping through hoops and waiting ages just call up for a Trojan unit, we're already on most busy boroughs and we're more than happy to assist with any ' violence of such severity' calls. Our taser protocols are considerablt more pragmatic tanh the TSGs too.
Also what anon says is correct, in my nearly five years with 4 area I had the privelege to work with some of the best coppers I've ever met, people who take pride in working as part of a team and always have a 'can do' attitude.

Beepy said...

True story:

A call comes over the radio for someone to attend a woman who's been locked out of her house by her drunk partner.

Another car takes it but knowing the observer like I do I mosey that was as well. Not because I think he can't handle it but because its bound to be entertaining. Theres the polite knocking on the door, reasoned appeals etc but all to no avail. So we check for alternate exits and 3 of us huddle up for "The plan". It goes thus. Shoulder , door, entry, talking, shouting, grabbing. I even have my baton drawn and by my side as the 3rd man in, just in case.
30 seconds later said drunken idiot is upside down in the back of a car and away for his tea. The front door lock is fixed with the aide of a leatherman and the householder is back indoors. Doubtless in the morning she'll sober up and withdraw her complaint but for now alls well that ends well.

Scarely a week later I'm going home well after finish time because of an arrest. So its a different section on night shift who go to a man whos locked his partner out and says he wont open the door and "I've got a knife". He's alone in the house by now.

This does not go so well and a full cordon is set, negotiator called and the taser team scambled. It took HOURS to resolve and nigh on 30 police officers tied up for the duration. But, at least the TSG taser team NEARLY got to use their new toys. In the end the guy in ignored the police outside and went to bed where he was found when they evenually went in.

Anonymous said...

Beepy it may well be me but what exactly was your point there?

Anonymous said...

If a person says they have a knife in their dwelling(no threat made)& the complainant is safe on police arrival, albeit outside, WHAT POWER(S) EXIST TO DEAL FURTHER WITH THE SCENARIO?
Reminder:-Off weapon cannot be in dwelling..Assault, threat of assault is Non conditional. No Breach of Peace where no violence likely. So as post 5. What's your point...or would you just blunder in and zap the bloke?

Area Trace No Search said...

Sorry for the delay - more computer problems.

I think most officers that work in outer boroughs would agree that the problem with TSG, Trojan, Traffic, Dogs etc is not the service they provide - I'm always geuninely happy to see any of them on the borough. The big problem is getting hold of them.

I know that this is because the vast majority of their work is in other places - but more than that, I agree with AliG that I think they are all under recruited (as are all uniformed posts).

My relief are of the opinion that when the revolution comes, every borough will parade with a dag, traffic, TSG and AFO unit (as someone else mentioned, perhaps the R/T car can be the borough ARV).

However, seeing as we struggle to get enough to cover our minimum strengths on our team, I don't think that will happen in the near future.

On the subject of us being issued tasers... well, that should be interesting. According to a skipper I was talking to from SO19, Glocks are a lot cheaper, so he suspects the Met may just wait for full arming.

Finally - Ali, yes, I agree, TSG (and most specialist units) offer a much better life than response team for most people.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith is too back date the Police pay rise with immediate effect. Its on the BBC web site. She also said you will be getting a 6% increase this year with a one off payment depending on number of years worked!
Gordon Brown was quoted as saying he was delighted and hoped the Police would be happy with the latest offer.

taffy said...

anon - youll have to get out of bed earlier next april the first to get me...

Area Trace No Search said...

Oops... Got me...

Zoe Brain said...

I'm on the other side of the planet. I'm also a member of one of those "minority groups" you have to endure WOFTAMs for. You know, "sensitivity" training, "diversity" indoctrination, etc etc.

Just wanted to say thanks. For enduring the crap you get from the public, the chair-warmers, the politicians, and for doing the actual police work you manage to fit in betweentimes.

It's appreciated. Just thought you should know that. Thanks for blogging it too.

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