Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Officer Down

A PC and PCSO have been attacked and stabbed whilst at a bus stop in London; The PCSO is said to have serious injuries, whilst the PC is believed to be in life threatening condition.

Thoughts with this officer and his family, and his colleagues.

News report HERE

An example of the dangers that are faced by our bobbies, and the willingness they have to get stuck in armed with a can of deodorant and a stick.

According to the news report the suspect was wanted on recall to prison. Which means he was SUPPOSED to be inside but had been released early; then continued to offend on the outside.
His release should bring shame to the people that allowed him out. This incident is fully the responsibility of the person who pulled the knife on the Police Officers. But the people that have created the system where he was allowed out to do this need to take a long hard look at themselves.

Sunday, 12 December 2010




After being involved in a few of the student protests over the past weeks, I had the dubious pleasure of watching last week's events unfold late into the night on the various news channels.

Anyone who has done public order policing trains for this kind of situation, but equally doesn't want to ever face it. Well done to the boys and girls on the front line.

The met has released the pictures above of suspects that they are trying to ID - click this LINK to go to the Met homepage.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

MORTIFIED POLICE DENY BEING INJURED BY PONCES

OFFICERS policing yesterday's student demonstrations have returned to work with serious injuries rather than admit they were hurt by some ponce called Ollie.

Many have claimed they were run over by a horse or fell off a drunk woman in a holding cell in a bid stop their colleagues finding out they were banjoed by some humanities-studying dipshit from Buckinghamshire.

Assistant commissioner, Roy Hobbs, said: "If the criminal element know we can be knocked on our arses by somebody sporting an absurd sense of entitlement and a man-bag we may as well set fire to the whole city right now."

Hundreds of protesters were 'kettled' during yesterday's demonstration, drawing comparisons with 1970's Kent State Massacre from a first-year history student with a full bladder and a head full of monkey turd.

But violence erupted as soon as police moved the crowd into a 3G black spot, leaving many unable to update their Twitter feeds with comments that will come back to haunt them when they are earning six figures at HSBC.

One police officer said: "I never thought I'd be kicked in the face by a pair of Doc Martens with daisies painted on them.

"When I got home, I told the wife I was in the evidence lockup pinching the kids some Christmas presents when a load of seized pornorgraphy fell on my head.

"If she knew the truth I'd be little more than a PCSO in her eyes and that's no kind of life."

Ollie Bishop, a furious and passionate 19 year-old from High Wycombe, added: "Gotta get down to it, soldiers are gunning us down. Should have been done long ago. What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground? How can you run when you know?

"Actually - forget that - she's fine. I think she just dropped her iPad."


News story courtesy of The Daily Mash

Thanks to my good friend Blue Eyes for pointing me towards this.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

More Protests

Zoe Williams - one of the heroes of today.

Quote from Ms Williams: "When I asked them what their motivation was they just said 'we're doing it for fun'. I don't understand that."

Once again, mixed with the worst of human behaviour is the best. The Coppers on the street trying to contain the trouble, and help their injured colleagues, and genuine protestors like Ms Williams and Aaron Porter.


A word of advice to any wannabe protestors - injured officers = PISSED colleagues.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Blah

Rules Of Blah:

Platinum Card 15 - 30 years service

Officers in the above category are permitted:

1. Unlimited Blah during any tour of duty
2. The right to tell outrageous tall stories and swing the blue lamp without challenge - even if it's obvious they are lies or physically impossible.
3. However, all the above are obliged to mention the miner's strike, the Brixton/Tottenham Riots or any major act of terrorism or civil unrest and imply they played a pivotal role for which they are entitled to humble acclaim

Gold Card 10 - 15 years service

1. Unlimited Blah during any tour of duty
2. All Blah must be factually based, but subject to generous poetic license
3. May be challenged by Platinum cardholders only
4. Any non divisional Blah to be supported by a witnessing officer.

Silver Card 4 - 10 years service

1. Unlimited Blah when supervised by Platinum or Gold cardholders
2. Unsupervised Blah when in company of junior officers - subject to a strict enforcement of no more than an audience of four (4) other officers - none of whom are allowed to hold probationer status
3. May only Blah about any incident attended in company of a senior card holder after that officer has first declined the opportunity to do so or considers the Blah factor to be beneath his exclusive position.

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 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 Cardholder

Probationary Bronze Card 0 - 2 years service

1. NO BLAH WHATSOEVER

Friday, 12 November 2010

Claire Solomon - Car Crash TV

In this clip, the President of the NUS - Aaron Porter - is in my opinion an example of a good man and someone with principles; also someone with a genuine point to make.

Clare Solomon is none of the above. Watch and enjoy.



Notice how many people in this clip are wearing poppies...? Hint: Clare Solomon isn't.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Peaceful Protest

A Peaceful Protest In our beautiful capital.



























































Our Commissioner says he is 'embarrassed' and that it was all unexpected.
Not unexpected by the troops on the ground, obviously. But I'm sure that penny pinching had nothing to do with parading the bare minimum of officers to try and cope with the thuggery that we suspected would happen. I actually have sympathy with the ideology of the 'real' protestors today, but not the mindless idiots that spoilt it. Or the mindless idiots that supported the violence when they should have been rejecting the actions of the thugs who have done a disservice to the genuine fears many currently in education have.

As one of my mates said whilst we tooled around in a public order carrier last night: "Lack of an overtime budget isn't going to stop them kicking off tomorrow. I mean, we can't just tell them there's no overtime available so they have to go home now. That's not the bosses plan. Is it?"

Gadget can probably put it better than me, and possibly with a hint more objectivity.

I do suspect that this is just a taste of things to come, and that we may well be about to experience a winter of discontent. I know I'm not alone in thinking that, most of my colleagues are also resigned to more protests, and more violence evident in them.

Canteen gossip today is suggesting that the havoc today was planned by our senior management. That we have been hammered in the press so much recently when it comes to public order policing, and the bosses have finally said "sod it, let them get on with it without our interference and see how it works out."
I of course have risen above this level of cynicism - but it'll be interesting to see our future approaches to public order incidents/demonstrations.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Question

Question:

When you get back to your house at 0630hours from Night Duty, and you've been so busy dealing with Friday Night Fight Club that you haven't eaten for the duration of the shift, and you have a bite to eat on returning home before bed....

Is it Breakfast, Dinner, or something so far undefined...?

Goodnight.
Or Good Morning - you know what I mean.
Sleep beckons.

Monday, 25 October 2010

AID

As the silly season continues, so our Aid requirement grows.
Police Officers throughout the UK will no doubt be very familiar with the idea of Aid warnings. The basic premise is that when the Farce you work for has an operation on that a normal division cannot handle, officers are pulled in from various places and departments to help out.

This can be in the form of going 'down Londontown' for some yellow jacket reassurance, policing protests, funkily named operations or - more often than not - sporting events such as football.
What this mens is that you get the dreaded email and discover that once again you have lost your rest day so you can spend it babysitting various groups around London. No, before you ask, there is no overtime available.

As a public order trained officer, it means a lot of time travelling around the Met in a battered public order carrier with a vanload of officers, all carrying a kitbag full of robocop gear that smells slightly of mustiness and sweat.

So a plea, from me and the rest of my carrier if the people in charge of operational feeding are reading this: Cabbage? You feed nine officers who will be spending the next ten plus hours trapped in an air tight carrier cabbage!?
Seriously now. Never again.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Peelian Principles

Simply because they're talked about a lot, the Peelian Principles of Policing:

The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Ooh, Nurse

I wasn't intending my first post proper after writing again to be a rant. However, I posted a reply to a blog post that turned into such a long one it probably belonged as a post in the first place.

Hogday wrote a post about his medical history during his Police Service, whilst dwelling on the possibility of serving Police Officers having our pension cut or cut back.
It made me think, and I reckon my medical notes (if the job have kept them all) would be interesting reading for me. They'd probably bring back some nasty memories.

I know that I personally have physical scars - with me for the rest of my life - that remind me of some nasty incidents and will continue to do so every time I go swimming or make the mistake of exposing my pallid naked torso to the general public.

I've also had at least one injury that required six months of treatment - although I was back at work days after the injury occurred.

For me the most traumatic have been drugs treatments for HIV/Hepatitis/nasty junky diseases when I've been forcibly exposed to unpleasant bodily fluids.
Months of no sexual contact, no open wounds, scared to kiss family members goodnight in case you infect them with something painful or potentially fatal... a really horrible experience, and it's happened to me twice so far. Despite those not being as long lasting physically (once the all clear has been given) they are definitely the hardest to deal with.

It's not easy being a month into a new relationship and having to have a sit down conversation with your new squeeze and explain that sex, kissing, sharing toothbrushes are all out now, and that I need to check for cuts and scratches before holding hands. It's something that more than one young copper on my team has had to do.

I know people say some of those things are OTT - the holding hands thing for instance - but I'm not alone in taking it that seriously. I've taken the Queen's shilling so I take the hits, but my family and loved ones haven't and shouldn't.

The not insignificant 11% plus that I pay from my pay packet every month is part of the compensation for going through that. We're not in Basra, and I don't pretend to have the same risks as an active serviceman. But we do go towards the dangers, rather than away. We do this voluntarily, and put ourselves, our families, and our friends through the mill numerous times during our career. I don't think our pensions have been gifted to us, we've paid for them in money and sweat.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Babcock? Present!

Breaking news: albeit entirely expected, the coroners court has found that the officers who shot Mark Saunders were justified.
Good to see the result, and it appears the AFOs involved spoke honestly and openly about the situation they faced. I hope the Saunders family can start to move on with their lives now, and put the incident behind them.
I also hope that the firearms officers involved can do the same, despite the stresses they've obviously been under since the incident.

In other news- ok, in my life - there has been a long and so far unexplained absence since my last significant post.

DUring the past few months (and before the last post I made) I have been subject to a false complaint from someone I had dealt with at work. Sadly, the complaint was serious enough to be dealt with by our Department for Professional Standards rather than dealt with on Division.
I've now been given the all clear after the long and uncomfortable wait and the investigation.

I obviously can't talk about the details of the complaint, but my job and mortgage comes first, so during the investigation blogging came to a screeching halt. Apart from the slightly drunk post about The Bill of course.

Suffice to say that during the complaint, I was fully supported by both my senior management, and by my immediate management in my current team and my last.
No one backpedalled desperately on finding out I had a complaint, no one refused to associate themselves with me, and no jobs were put at risk or dropped as it was easier than dealing with the fact I had a complaint against me.
No opportunities to apply for promotion or transfer were denied to me through having a malicious complaint ongoing, and I was fully supported all the way and wholeheartedly by the senior officers who I talked to.
And of course, at the end of the complaint after being informed that the complaint was foundless, I was then naturally told that the complainant would be spoken to regarding their repeated attempts to muddy the waters around an ongoing case and make scurrilous accusations.

Some of the above paragraph may not be entirely accurate.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Bill

The Bill - embarrassingly, I shed a tear.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Sgt Smellie and ex-Commander Dizaei


So today has been an interesting news day for the Police.

In one article, we see that ex-Commander Dizaei has now been fired by the met.
Good riddance, and it's nice to see that we've finally rid ourselves of him.
Incidentally, the Met stopped paying him as soon as he was convicted - so at least he hasn't been adding to his nest egg whilst in prison.

Also, a verdict (and hopefully some closure at last) for Sgt Smellie.

When this News Story came out, I was uncharacteristically silent about the matter.
This was partly because I was actually at the G20 and so couldn't pretend to be objective so close to the incident. It is also because I know some of the people involved in this investigation.

My opinion now (for what it's worth) is that the courts made the right decision.
The video of Sgt Smellie striking Ms Fisher is uncomfortable viewing, and is not pleasant to watch at all.
Unfortunately, many actions within a public order environment are not pretty. Our sensibilities are understandably designed so that a woman being struck is not something we want to see.
But British law provides for the person using force NOT to be omnipresent, and NOT necessarily to be able to judge all of the facts in the cold light of day. Sgt Smellie was in the middle of a very long tour of duty (I did something like seventeen or eighteen hours on both days), surrounded by a shouting mob, jostled, objects being thrown, and attempting to protect the officers behind him who had their backs turned - and were dealing with something else and so unable to assist or defend themselves.

The thing that struck me throughout the video was how calm the Sergeant is - he does not look to me like a man panicking and unable to make reasoned thought. He looks like an officer in a pile of shit who calmly uses approved officer safety methods to build distance and space and to prevent either an aggressor or potential aggressor from attacking him. His serial are behind him and afterwards he goes back to staying at the back of his serial - Sergeants are trained during public order training to do exactly that, and to make judgement calls about whether to split or even turn the serial to deal with threats. He made the judgement call to protect his serial and allow them to continue to Police.

Have I ever hit a woman with a back hander? No. Have I struck a woman in other ways? Yes, absolutely.
Although we deal with hundreds (thousands?) of peaceful protests in the Met, we also deal with numerous public order incidents of varying description. Sometimes officers have to use force - and they should only be judged (as law states) by the information available to them and the situation they were in at the time.


EDIT - for my views on the G20, written after my policing experience there, see HERE

Monday, 29 March 2010

Not Political

Twelve seconds of adverts to wade through at the beginning, but worth it I think.



Bill Nighy is one of my favourite British Actors.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Rude Awakening


A few days ago I was on patrol with a colleague who had recently joined our team.
Whilst cruising around one of our many sink estates, looking for a wanted male, a call to a pub fight came out - it was closing time so not an unusual call to get.
"Any unit Bravo X-ray sector to a disturbance at the Hare and Billet Pub, Brixley Road. Informant states twenty plus fighting with weapons, on an I-Immediate grade."



As the units started to answer up, I called up and accepted the call as well. We weren't far, and I turned to my oppo and said "I wouldn't worry, that place is always calling in fights. Every time they mention knives or serious injuries or gangs, just to get us there quicker."
I pootled at a reasonable clip down the hill leading to Brixley Road, and pulled left at the junction by it. Blues and Rear reds left on to show other units where we were as much as fend off traffic.

My partner called up on the radio and showed us on scene - as he did, a bottle came sailing over the pub wall and landed on the bonnet with a thud.
Ah.
As soon as we opened the car doors, we could hear the shouting and "sounds of disturbance" that the sealed windows, chattering radio, sirens, and heater on full had hidden. I leant in the car and pushed the horn of it, activating the two-tone sirens again. I wanted the people fighting to know the Police were here, and hopefully stop... I also called up on the radio and asked for an eta for back up units.

As I did, I saw my colleague disappearing into the pub.

Muttering aspersions about his parent's marital status when he was born, I followed. I drew my baton and racked it, adrenalin completely failing to overcome the very real and well placed fear that had taken hold. As I got to the door way I was greeted by the edifying sight of my colleague coming back towards me, sharpish. "I didn't think it would be as bad as it sounded," he breathlessly said.
"And?"
"And it's as bad as it sounded."
As he talked, a pint glass hit the ground and rolled towards us. Followed by what appeared to be a chair leg, this time thrown with more conviction. Reacting simultaneously, we made our way back to our car to wait for more units to arrive

A borough's worth of Police units, and two public order carriers later, peace was restored.
In the wonderful way of drunken scraps like this, no allegations were made. The pub was trashed, there were bloodied and bruised people with ripped clothing scattered about, and numerous people handcuffed after showing aggression. But of course no one saw anything, no one knew who had started it, no one wanting to give details.

Fast forward to Custody an hour later, and a group of four Custody Sergeants getting very pissed off with large group of people being booked in for being Drunk and Disorderly...

A rude awakening for myself for thinking the call was LOB. A rude awakening for my colleague for thinking he was invincible.
And a rude awakening for the pub landlord for allowing the booking from a well known section of the community, known for their attitudes towards drinking and fighting.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Breaking Stereotypes


Here in Metrocity, we are very aware of diversity issues and as street Officers regularly take a moment to challenge stereotypes.
As part of this drive for equal inequality for all, a couple of younger female PCs have been doing the kind of thing that one would usually associate with males.


There are two entrances to our custody suite; the way in from the yard (where the naughty people are brought in from), which is a set of secure metal gates, easily opened from the outside to let people in but locked from the inside.
There is also a set of double doors, in an airlock format, that leads from the cells to the nick. They work together so that one can not be opened unless the other is closed - hence the airlock idea.

The two delightful young ladies mentioned above have been known to play a 'game,' where they will pass wind whilst in the airlock area, thereby trapping the odours between the doors for later people to enjoy.

See? Metropolitan Police: Breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes.


**EDIT** I post this secure in the knowledge that even if the girls involved read this and realised who I was, they would have more potential for embarrassment than I would if they went public...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Jailbreak

Thin Lizzy sang: "Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town."

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here, and guess... the prison?


Meanwhile, an example of GOOD POLICING. And good protesting, come to that.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Police Racism

Recently I was sitting around the table with a few teammates, a Sergeant and an Inspector from another team. We were discussing the various jobs we had dealt with or were dealing with, when a probationer PC piped up about a shoplifting job he had ongoing.

He'd just picked up the CCTV from the shop, which was of the usual quality - nice to have, but nowhere near good enough for a conviction by itself.
He'd played it back and had spotted a black male going into and leaving the shop at the appropriate time, and the suspect that he had arrested at the scene and who was sitting in custody was a black male.
The officer said "The useful thing is, there aren't many black people in that area, only two come in during the whole time, so that makes things a bit easier to ID him."

A long intake of breath followed.

The young in service officer paused. "What?"

Whispered conversation between the Inspector and Sergeant, then the PC was invited out of the canteen to have a chat about his "potentially racist attitude."
How have we got to this point, where a young, naive but eager PC is excited about the prospect of arresting a suspect and he is spoken to about his potential racism?

Yes, the words may have been misconstrued if seen in an isolated sentence. Yes, someone that wasn't in the conversation may have misunderstood. But in the context of the conversation, it was a simple case of a young copper wanting to be able to charge a recidivist thief.

The really sad thing is that the Inspector involved didn't for a moment think that any racism was involved, and the same goes for the Sergeant. What they didn't want (understandably) was to be seen to be allowing racism.

It's hard to keep up sometimes.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Piano

My last post about PC Blakelock attracted a lot of attention, some of it negative.
As a result I've locked the comments and deleted some of the worst trolling.

I've absolutely no problem with being slagged off myself, I've put myself in the public domain like this so fair dos.
Some of the commenters that have had a pop at me in the past have also been correct.
However, using my blog to attack other commenters - or worse, the memory of a man like Keith Blakelock - isn't on I'm afraid.

Here is something slightly less contentious:

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

PC Keith Blakelock



A very quick post - perhaps there is more good news after the Guilty finding of our mate Ali.

Police have now arrested a suspect for the Vicious murder of PC Keith Blakelock in 1985.



The story of his death is well known, but as a small reminder of the horror involved in the attack, he lost his fingers trying to defend himself from the repeated slashing from multiple weapons.

A photo of PC Blakelock's Public Order suit - each white tape represents a seperate stab or slash wound on his body.



The back of PC Blakelock's suit - after he had turned over to try to protect himself, he was attacked repeatedly from the back as he lay on the ground.


Good luck to the team investigating it.

LINK

Monday, 8 February 2010

Commander Dizaei



A crook in uniform is as much a crook as one that breaks into your house late at night to nick your tv, if not more so.






Commander Dizaei has at last been found guilty, for Assault, Perverting the Course of Justice, and Wrongful arrest.
He's a shameful example of how appallingly a small minority of officers behave - and a reminder that rank doesn't always equate to a good person, let alone a good copper.

The Black Police Association were hugely verbal throughout, stating that Dizaei was innocent, and accusing the Police of racism for charging soon to be ex-Commander Dizaei.
This despite the victim also being from an ethnic minority.

Disgraceful behaviour on his part. When you "accidently" delete the texts that apparently were sent to you, and are believed by doctors to have self harmed in order to set someone up... I'm just glad that he no longer wears the uniform that I do.

As a final aside, listen to his 999 call, HERE

Again, embarassing. Firstly, his shout for 'Urgent Assistance.' This is a Golden phrase, and when used EVERY copper on duty will run - firstly from your area and neighbouring areas, then central units, then potentially met wide. If a Police Officer is in dire straits and is about to get seriously hurt, we will do anything including putting ourselves at risk to get to you.

He used this assistance call for his own lies - and listening to the tape, even if the arrest had been justified and truthful, there is no way that he is in an urgent assistance situation. He is calmly talking to the detained male (who was by the way in handcuffs) and frankly I'd be hard pushed to understand a brand new probationer calling for urgent assistance in those circs, let alone a supposedly experienced officer.

He also used bullying tactics and ordered the operator to let him speak to "Chief Inspector IR" - Chief Inspector Information Room. Whether he thought this implicit threat would help, or that he was entitled to special service because of his rank, who knows... I'm sure that if I called 999 and demanded to speak to Chief Inspector IR I'd be given deservedly short shrift.

And lets not even get into the hows and whys of him being in uniform, off duty, in a cafe, conducting private business deals, with handcuffs to hand.
Actually, why hasn't this been dealt with?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow - Naughty


In case someone in Britain hasn't noticed, it has been snowing. A bit.
This apparently is a recipe for DISASTER. I believe that it is a fact that I am one of the only adults in the whole country who has ever seen this type of precipitation before, let alone driven in it.

At least, that's what the news items would have you believing.



Inspector Gadget once again sums up my feelings perfectly about snow and Policing. So much so that there isn't a lot of point me expanding on it.

Instead, I'd like to tell you a story about what happened to me a few hours ago. Driving along a less gritted and less well known track after having refs, I spotted a group of oiks hanging around at a corner. They'd eye - fucked me as I'd driven past earlier, and so I took a little more interest than I would usually. Especially when I noticed them packing their snowballs hard into their gloved hands.
Not a problem. I slowed down and waited for it - sure enough, the barrage of ice balls came and reverberated off the windows and doors with loud bangs. The little darlings.
Obviously, I'm beyond stopping the car and yelling at them for a little bit of snow ball action. Besides, then I'm pretty sure that there would have been a second supply of snow balls, and I hate having to dry my uniform.

However, a rear wheel drive car in the snow does have it's uses. A little squirt of the gas caused the back wheels to spin, and spray said oiks with the lovely brown, dirty slush that collects on the road in weather like this.

Was it wrong of me to find this the funniest thing I've seen in days?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Diamond Jubilee


I've just been reading THIS news item.

So first of all I'm happy that in 2012 there will be another bank holiday. This will either mean that I get an extra day off (as rest to counteract the effects of working so many hours during the olympics) or an extra days overtime (in order to add to the effect of working so many hours during the olympics).

However, another, more pressing item has come to mind regarding the jubilee. Do any coppers know if this is another chance for us to get easily earned medals...?


Before anyone asks, I'm trying to not to even think about Jack Straw. Lets face it, even the medal made me start to seethe about politicians.