Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Ten.. Nine.. Eight.."

The New Years 'celebrations' in Central London have always provided the Met with a logistical headache trying to accommodate those who are drawn like lemmings to the cliffs of Westminster Borough to 'see in' the next year.

In an article entitled 'Keeping the new year safe' The spokesperson for the event offers sensible, solid, 'Mumsy' advice for those who chose to attend. Such as 'keep an eye on your belongings' 'watch the weather and wrap up accordingly' and that there will be 'large crowds which can make some feel uncomfortable'.

He adds, very politely, that the event may attract 'some unscrupulous people who abuse the festive spirit'. Personally I would put it a lot plainer than that.. such as 'the event attracts scum from all over London, watch your back' But that is probably one (of the many) reasons I will not rise to any high rank.

Assistant Commissioner Mr Tarique Ghaffur adds that 'Big Ben striking midnight is a world recognised moment and a celebration for Londoners'

In my little section of the Metropolis.. celebrations in the problem local, the Losers Arms, will likely lead me to spend my time dealing with the aftermath of Big Len striking the bloke next to him with a bar stool for looking at his pint the wrong way.

2007 here we come.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Time of the year

As with other coppers at this time of year I find myself working sections of the 'Festive period'
I dare not use the C*******s word without the possibility of upsetting someone somewhere.

Like many others I find myself occasionally looking to the evening sky towards Queen Annes Gate and hope for the arrival of .. I will settle for just one... wise man bearing gifts that are 'bold, common sense and fair'

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sits Vac

Hiring Now

Inmates for Her Majesties Prison Service

Limited positions available across the UK.

This is a mostly 24 hour role with own Room ( may have to share) and 3 meals a day.
Other facilities may vary from site to site
This is a chance to mix with like-minded individuals with a wealth of interesting stories to tell.

Those without Drug and Alcohol dependency are a minority within HMP and applications are welcomed from these groups. However selection will be based solely on merit.

Basic wages are low over the term spent inside however there are good opportunities for a lump sum payout at the end of your term.
There are no guarantees as to success or amounts involved. However latest figures show this to be a fund of around 9 million pounds*** and is likely to increase over the years .

Apply now as places are becoming scarcer by the day.

*** Warning
Past figures are no indication of future payouts....
.....but this is the 'mother lode' Home Office

This ad was sponsored by AMB Lance -Chaser Solicitors.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Porridge or Suffrage?

Apparently, as a result of a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, the Government are discussing giving certain categories of prisoner the right to Vote. The ECHR had decided that a 'blanket ban' on all prisoners is illegal.
This has led to various sides of the political divide to huff and puff on the issue.

Realistically does it matter?

I suppose, not unreasonably, the argument would be that as convicted prisoners by breaking the accepted rules within a democratic society they have chosen to 'disenfranchise' themselves as 'Citizens' until their time is spent.

Frankly I doubt whether the majority of HMP guests have ever bothered to put themselves on or try to maintain their entries on an Electoral register. Or if they were able to vote that they bothered to make the effort to turn up at a polling station at election time.They may have visited the school or other Government building, but only after dark with a van waiting.

I cant see the lags sitting in Wandsworth or Brixton pacing the cells at the thought of missing the opportunity to put the X on a voting slip.
More likely they are working out whether the Home Office have ballsed up and kept them in too long and there may be a bit of 'compo' coming.

If/when it comes in I assume it will be some form of postal arrangement and not an away day trip to the local polling booth.....

Though in this day and age nothing would surprise me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sound common sense 1....Litigants 0

Going back to a subject I have touched on in a previous post it is good to see that the High Court judges have dismissed the challenge 'on all grounds' on the DPP decision not to prosecute those officers involved in the De Menezes shooting.

The QC acting for the CPS put it simply and eloquently when he said

'The fact that something went terribly wrong does not mean there is necessarily any individual criminal culpability'

I doubt however that this is the end of it.The 'representatives' of the family will likely make an appeal to the House of Lords. And if they don't give the answer they want it will be a trip across the Channel.

I think for some this cause still has some petrol left in the tank

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Glamour... Ha Ha...

Having spent my entire day trying to get somewhere on just two of the assorted Crimes on my joblist.. I have to reiterate....Sexy ..this job aint!

Those who regularly dip into police blogs will be aware of this frequent refrain by posters.

There are jobs that have been sitting there for so long, looking at me, when I log on at the start of my shift that I feel I should bring them home and introduce them to the wife.
I spend my days sifting through genuine victims, those who are victims by basic stupidity and those who basically can't cope and have to ask police to sort their life out for them.

I then find myself trying to get to the suspects amongst the 'bad and the mad' ( sorry.... those who are products of an uncaring society and those with mental health issues)
I have never dealt with a job which could, in any real sense, be deemed 'glamourous'

I read with some envy of the team tasked to investigating the tragic circumstances behind the Litvinenko case. Trips to Moscow...steely eyed politics with the authorities...shadowy intrigue... warnings of 'Honey pot' traps arranged by female agents in clandestine bars and restaurants....

I spent my day cursing the office printer and hovering by the Fax machine.The only time I managed to get out of the office was for a morning snack in the local cafe.

To paraphrase the Ian Dury song......

My Daily life is just ...'Tecs and Thugs and Fried egg roll'

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lets bin it.

Well that's it... the Runes are cast... the crystal ball read.. the tea leaves examined....

The High Altar worshipped by Senior ranks and the Home office...STATS figures...has decreed that basically Amnesties don't work. They basically have NO effect on the levels of crime.
The figures relate to Knife crime but could be easily applied to the Gun Amnesties that occur during the year.
These Amnesties are typical of the High profile/Low impact initiatives that rollout from above now and again.
Those who carry guns and knives with intent to commit crime and injure do not attend police stations and put them in the green wheely bin outside or wait patiently for the Station officer to book them in and do the paperwork

The very fact that someone even bothers to do that just sets them apart from the underclass who carry these articles as a badge of pride.

So Uncle Teds old service revolver found in the attic or that moody touristy type dagger given as a present by Auntie Joan after her trip to India.. now safely in the hands of the Met..means nothing to what actually matters.Keeping members of the public safe on the streets.
Basically all I can see us achieving during the weeks that these operations run is that we are nothing more than a depository for scrap metal.

We might as well go the whole hog and place a few extra bins outside for cardboard, plastic bottles and used household batteries.

In fact this may attract the interest of those in Government as it would appear to be going ever so Green..
The Met is making a big play at the moment with a number of articles on our internal Net system regarding being more Eco friendly and various initiatives have been discussed.

This does amuse me when I consider the sheer volume of paper, for instance, we either waste or use during an enquiry.
I can only wonder if there are members of some indigenous tribe somewhere sitting in a newly deforested glade thinking to themselves 'well at least the Met are organising a car share data base.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here we go again.

The High Court has just had several days submissions regarding challenges to decisions by the DPP to
1. Take a decision not to prosecute any police officers for murder, manslaughter or any other offences and
2. The recommendation that the IPCC should not disclose the contents and conclusions of the Stockwell enquiry until the Health and Safety prosecution is concluded.

Personally I think it unbelievable that you can even consider the actions of the officers on that day to be Murder/Manslaughter. To me that is equating the actions of those officers as those of the individuals who took the life of Pc Beshenivsky in Bradford last year.

The deliberations of the DPP are,I believe, correct..ultimately it was a tragic accident driven by a totally unknown, unforeseen background of events.

'Representatives' for the De Menezes family disagree.. and as ever there are suggestions of a police 'cover up'

The challenge is led by Mike Mansfield QC, eminent barrister and Champion of the carefully chosen cause. He has nailed his flag to the mast of this particular issue.

Lets hope the High Court kick this one into touch. This hopefully will deter those who want to seize this tragic event and whittle a large stick to beat the officers who, again, find themselves out there... real time ..... having to make on the spot decisions.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sign of the times.

I was sitting in the local A and E recently waiting for a Saturday night warrior to decide if he wanted to make a formal complaint about the person who was requiring him to have a number of stitches placed in his forehead.
Whilst waiting for the doctor to finish I was chatting to one of the Security lads. I had pointed out that that there where a lot more of the 'There's a Thief about' type notices dotted about the place.
He said, without a trace of irony, that there were a lot more thieves operating in the hospital area. Feltham and the Scrubs were obviously offering Surgery along with the usual Painting and Decorating to enhance the life skills of the inmates.
I must admit there are a lot more of these notices about, not only in buildings but also on the Street attached to street furniture.

I am all for Crime prevention but where do you stop?
Realistically there are few if any areas where your average thief would consider sacrosanct.

Hospitals certainly aren't one of them. They are an ideal feeding ground for your thief.
The very nature of the place being that those who are wandering its corridors or sitting in crowded waiting areas are naturally preoccupied from the start, either for themselves or others.

Basic crime prevention is really about about making people more aware, hence the signs.
However we can all switch off and get distracted, that's human nature and your reasonably successful thief is usually good at picking their moments.

By rolling out this program of warning signs are we assisting people in avoiding being victims...?Or by becoming more commonplace will it desensitise people to the message.
Conversely could it lead to people being complacent. If there are no signs about will they assume they and their property are safe?

To take it one step further in this ever litigatious society will we reach a point where a victim sues those responsible for that public place?
'I didn't see any warning signs so I thought it was safe to leave my laptop covered by my leather jacket'

Time will tell..anyway chewing it over passed the time as I waited.

'Officer he's ready to be spoken to'.
I walk through. 'Whats the decision boss..Don't want to know?.. sign here...'

Friday, December 01, 2006

The bells..the bells...

Yep.. we have ticked over into December and its the start of the Christmas run in.
Its a busy time of year particularly to those who are deft of hand.
The run in to Christmas brings a large rise in crimes such as .. 'Pickpocket' (Dip) ..or.. 'Other Theft' type of offences.
As the shops bars and restaurants fill it becomes less of a 'Ho Ho Ho' and more of a 'Who Who Who' as bags/ purses/wallets disappear whilst the owners attentions are distracted elsewhere.

In response to this I understand that this year the Met are handing out 'Anti theft bells'
The bells are basically a clip attached to two small silver bells . The idea being that if a 'dipper' sidles up and tries to filch your bag and contents then the sound of the bells will immediately..
1.Cause the said Felon to drop the property and make off and or
2.Attract the attention of the victim who will challenge the said Felon who will resort to action 1.

I have seen the said 'Anti theft items' and they are best described as 'discreet'

The problem with this is (despite its best intention) is that it resembles the usual stuff that people attach to their person/clothing/accessories at this time of year .. be it tinsel.. red noses ..snow paint..

I have yet to see my first drunk punter with the pointy red hat ( fake white fur bottom, bell on top).... but I'll give it till Sunday.

Shops, bars and restaurants are crowded this time of year ..alcohol imbibed at larger quantities than usual.. I doubt that the tinkling of two little bells as the bag is slid to one side is enough to cause the victim to turn around.. in fact in some bars I doubt whether a herd of Reindeer rampaging through would cause most to look up...

Officer Dibble offers his own Crime prevention 'clip on' alternative... for next year of course .. These things take time to develop and market..... I suggest the clip is attached to a chain which is itself attached to half pound of concrete wrapped as an Easter Egg.
It serves two purposes
It is sufficiently 'not seasonal' enough to attract attention .. and its 'not discrete' enough to deter a dipper trying to 'cuff it' under their coat before they try and walk off..

Patent applications are in the post and Crime prevention can contact me at this Blog when I have eventually worked out how the HTML stuff on the Blogger Help notes works...