Wednesday 29 April 2009

'Cos It's Hard Duw, It's Hard, Harder Than They Will Ever Know

Something found hanging in a Police Station somewhere in Metrocity.

Incidentally, a rarity by itself - the two silver stripes meant it was an Inspector's helmet, not something that has been issued for a long time here.

Cultural reference - miners used to turn their hats as well on retirement.
Something to remind them of the flowers that could have grown in vases over their heads.

To friends that have gone before.

Thursday 23 April 2009

Patience = Low

"Bravo X-ray two-two, Bravo X-ray two-two, an 'I' grade call now, Brixley High Street, PI Accident. Car versus motorbike."
"Received, show X-ray two two D-delta to your last - but we're running from the opposite end of the divsion"

A two minute pause

"Bravo X-ray, show Bravo 2 to your last as well. We're clearing the last call and not too far"
"Received. Bravo X-ray two-two, can you cancel to your last? We've got another immediate grade call, this time at 27 Letsby Avenue for a confirmed sequential alarm."
"Bravo X-ray, we can, but we've just made our way through traffic away from that last location."
"Received, there's no one else - I'll send it through."

Another two minute pause.

"Bravo X-ray from Bravo 2 - sorry, we've had to 54 the vehicle with a flat tyre. Can you cancel us from the last?"
"Received. Bravo X-ray two-two, can you re-attend the Brixley High Street call please to the Persons Injured accident?"
"X-ray, received. We are nearly TOA on the other call though."
"Received, sorry to do this to you but there's no one else shown."

Three minutes pass.

"Bravo X-ray two-two, you can cancel to your last. LAS on scene and stating no injuries, drivers exchanging details and no obstruction."
"Received Bravo X-ray. We're going to stop for a break, my operator's started to feel sea sick with all this too-ing and fro-ing, and we're due refs."
"Um, X-ray two-two - can you just quickly deal with the other outstanding immediate call on your way back...?"

Yes. This is how I often spend my day. Although I dealt with quite a bit of self created incidents I came across direct, after twelve hours of rushing about today I actually resulted the grand total of one call.
A threats by text domestic from an ex-boyfriend's new partner.

Sunday 19 April 2009


So, an update is apparently due.

Not Metrocity

I have come back from peace and quiet away from the smoke, to hear that PC Gary Toms has died from the injuries he sustained whilst attempting to arrest a number of Robbery Suspects.
Sad news for the Police, for the Met, for Gary's department and team, and for his friends and family.

On top of that, more officers injured doing their duty.

I also come back to the news (via email) that we are still racist in my division, in case whilst away I started to believe that I was open minded or relaxed.
It's always nice to be told how you feel, in case you get confused.

Never mind. The being away did me good, not least because I managed to not think about the following: Protests, Detections, Crime in general, House prices, The Recession, Sleep deprivation and, of course, Shaving.

Instead, I have been mostly seeing this, whilst visiting Southernshire. Or was it Ruralshire..?

No Detection here

No fighting, spitting, domestic violence here.

No evidence of an offence in sight

Meanwhile, please give a warm welcome to two more Police blogs that have appeared.
The first is Southernshire Constabulary, a PC on response in Southernshire - of course - and the second (new-ish blog) is Sierra Charlie, an SPC based in Metrocity.

As Nightjack sadly leaves, others move to try to fill the gap left by his departure.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Ian Tomlinson

I've had quite a few emails asking for my opinion on the death of Ian Tomlinson.
I've also had even more conversations about it at work, in the canteen, in the carrier, on scene at incidents.
I've also been asked about the incident involving Sgt Smellie and Ms Fisher.

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to talk about it on this blog - It's a little too close to home for me.

Instead, here are some links to Police Bloggers that aren't scared to talk about it:

Inspector Gadget

Sgt Stressed Cop

PC Michael Pinkstone

Ex-PCSO Bloggs

Ex-PC 200 Weeks

Ex-UK PC David Copperfield

PC Disgruntled

Sierra Charlie

And finally, a comment from Hogday. He's a gent, and this post has nothing at all to do with Ian Tomlinson's death.

Friday 3 April 2009

Whose Street? Our Street!

PC Area in his brand new hi-viz. NOT asleep, despite what his colleagues may say

So - stories from G20, in no particular order.

A couple of people obviously read internet blogs, or at least the books that follow. I heard two officers (not from my carrier luckily) discussing how they'd try and spot Inspector Gadget.
And MCM.
And ASNT...

In my carrier we ran a competition on the second day for spotting the best bit of graffiti. The only rule was that the graffiti had to be on a Police vehicle. Lots of them had been damaged the day before, and so still had spray paint on.
Our favourite was one of the armoured warthogs with "PIGS" sprayed tastefully below the Police sign on the bonnet. Spot on.

Scary moment when I got hit by something, and looked at my arm to notice that I was bleeding, and bleeding heavily through my boiler suit.
Then a relieved moment as I realised that it was just tomato that the protestors had thrown.

Lots of interesting moments dealing with the less pleasant people, but you've all seen that on TV and probably are bored to death of seeing and hearing about public order contingents charging and being charged, so I'll leave that out.

The best moments by far for me were on the second day, at the Excel centre. More specifically, at the Operation Feeding and Deployment section.

A particular thank you to the level II serial headed by a female Sergeant that had most of my carrier lusting after her, and what appeared to be an all female crew in the carrier.
I of course kept it professional, but there was a lot of excitement from some of the more boisterous members of my team, and mutterings of transfers to the South London Borough where the carrier had come from.

Watching the TSG serials sleeping in the grass, after being on duty for 36 hours and still being kept on. One fella was talking in his sleep as the sun came out from the mist, and it was a genuinely bizarre sight seeing him muttering, surrounding by snoring public order officers lying next to a runway lined with coppers in beat duty helmets.

The view from the 'front line.' I wish I could also describe the smells.

Anyway - down to the important things (after the attractive level II skipper and her carrier obviously). Time to give thanks.

First - to the level three public order officers who helped us out. I'm very aware that you lot did the shitty posts without the praise, and we just got sent round to finish the fights you were in.

Second - To the catering crew at the op feeding centre. Lest anyone forgets, they were doing the same (if not more) hours as us, and getting paid a hell of a lot less than us.
They were also doing a bloody good job of cooking something resembling food, whilst at the same time giving a smile to each copper, albeit sometimes weary. At one point, I accepted a burger from a catering woman and made some joke about the hours, and she replied "fourteen hours and we're staying on till everyone is gone."

Third - to all the non-Met officers that turned up. Sorry for the stickers. And also for the incident with the food fight (that never happened).

Fourth - to the London Fire Brigade. Specifically the Silvertown LFB Station. If anyone knows the lads there, say thanks again for me. The station was pointed out by a couple of level three officers on foot patrol to our carrier, and we (like many that had gone before) made liberal use of their toilets, TV room, warmth and company. They went beyond their obligations and frankly showed us how it should be done.

All this amongst our struggles with the militants. It's not my place as a street monkey to say this, but I will anyway. I think that actually our tactics were sound, and most if not all of us did a bloody good job. I also think that the majority of genuine protestors were at the very most only an annoyance, and frequently friendly, intelligent and often entertaining.
Equally, the small minority that were determined to use force and attack everyone that stood in their way were shameful. They were the reason that the genuine protestors were held back and shepherded about, they were the reason that negative press was given, they were the reason for injuries on both sides, and they were yet another nail in the coffin for legitimate, lawful, peaceful protest.

As a very small example, I spent some time in the impromptu climate camp in the city of london. Despite my appearance in body armour, public order flame proof overalls and assorted kit, I had a good time. I chatted to lots of the people there, and agreed with many points of view. I didn't see criminality there to the extent that I had to take action, and was treated with respect. I was even told a few times that the protestors there were impressed with the Police action.
Some were surprised to learn that actually, coppers were also human and also that some of us weren't too impressed with the idea of our pensions, tax, savings and future earnings being pissed away by the people that were supposed to know how the economy worked.
When the decision was taken to close the climate camp - after over twelve hours - the vast majority left willingly and peacefully. It was (yet again) a small minority that prompted ugly scenes, and left a bad taste.

I was at the front line and saw officers injured, and despicable acts of violence.
But the violent lot were not the 'real' protestors, they were just rent-a-thug mobs. In my opinion, they did almost as much damage to the movements they professed to support as they did to the lines of Police that they attacked.