Thursday, February 22, 2007

Oh my Early Turn blues

I was wandering through the office clutching my first cup of tea of the day when I was summonsed by the boss to attend his office.

I was informed that Senior Management had received a letter from a member of the local 'community' and had requested that I look at this matter again. I was handed a docket.
My heart sank.I hadn't even logged on for the day and grief had landed on my lap.
As soon as the words 'Senior Management and 'member of the local community' are put in the same sentence I knew I was in for one of those shifts.

As I went to my desk and opened up the mind started to drift.
I began to get nostalgic. One of my all time favourite Cop shows had recently come to an end. NYPD Blue with the great Dennis Franz as Detective Sipowicz. I had followed the adventures of the 15th Precinct since they came to TV in the Nineties.

The life in the 15th appealed to me so much.
Everything that came through that door was quality Crime....serious stuff... the sort I joined the job to deal with.
Not once did I see the 15th team deal with a pony Threats to Kill or a moody Harassment job.
Witnesses and suspects were always traceable and available.

There was always a room available when victims/witnesses turned up.

If you had a suspect you could have a 'chat' and leave him in the company of the italian looking bloke or the bald black guy who were always there to keep an eye on your prisoner whilst you made enquiries.

Everything was done by phone.DNA,Prints and mobile phone enquiries all came back within a tour of duty.I never saw any member of the 15th use a fax or kick a printer in exasperation.
The Duty prosecutor was always available for advice and even turned up at the station to speak with you.

Yeah..... I know....its a made for TV fiction.But a man can dream.

I started to flick through the docket and began to remember the job. I thought I had put it to bed some months ago.

My victim a 'leading figure'(his words) within this community had complained to police about another person in the same circles. After I had chipped away at the surrounding background and petty grievances I reached my conclusions.
Very politely I explained to the informant that a belief that 'merely looking at someone in a 'bad way' when you cross paths' does not tick any boxes in terms of either Common or Statute Law. My informant did not seem to agree but I held my ground and thought that that was the end of the matter.

Clearly not and this eventual aggrieved letter to my SMT had naturally cascaded downwards.

I started to drift off again to the 15th Precinct

Sipowicz in the last couple of episodes had made Squad leader.
In the last ever episode he followed his instincts and stuck with a job and backed his men all the way. This is despite the Chief of Detectives,in no uncertain terms berating him.He held his ground and emerged the moral victor.

I have been a fan of Dennis Franz since Hill Street Blues.As I recall in the last ever episode of that, as the character Lt Norman Buntz, he chins the smug, self serving Chief on live TV.

That's what I really need.Some form of SMT who will look at a job and say, despite the aggrieved's protests... 'sorry this is nonsense don't bother us'.

But that would require a decision. So why not 'cascade' it back to the lap of the poor sod who signed for the job in the first place.

Apparently my informant has 'further information'. Perhaps my suspect has cleared his throat in an 'aggressive manner'.

I take a large slurp of my tea .. reach for the phone..'Ding Ding'.. Round 2.

In relation to actions by Lt Norman Buntz

1.This blog does NOT advocate junior ranks resorting to violence against members of ACPO
2. The use of the words 'smug and self serving' do not NECESSARILY reflect the Blogs authors opinions as to serving/retired members of that organisation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Common Sense R.I.P?

A lament brought to the fore again by PC Southwest.

Noddy was one of the earlier mourners,Totally Un Pc and Busybizzie have signed the book of condolence.

I may be in denial.. but I just can't accept he has gone.

He may have been slipped the piece of Kryptonite by the Lex Luthor of Political Correctness but I believe he is out there listening,watching,waiting....

In this day and age I can offer no scientific proof of his becomes a matter of faith.

I have to believe in his return.... Without that benchmark to work from?....well..

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sign here...and here..

The MET are currently floating the idea of 'Refer a friend'.

Its purpose is very target and recruit experienced PC's,PS's,DC's and DS's from other forces.
The sweetener is that those who do successfully get someone to sign up get themselves £200.
This does raise the ante a little when compared to the usual 'Parker pen, M and S vouchers or a moody electronic Personal Organiser'.

Will it succeed in its aim?

The MET have been looking to actively recruit from other Forces for some time.
All Forces look to supplement establishments by recruiting elsewhere as it is naturally cost effective to have trained,experienced officers pitch up rather than have to start from scratch with a recruit.

This £200 'bounty' seems like a little step up in activity however.

I believe the Met have had some success with previous campaigns but this suggests numbers are tailing off and they have probably already hoovered up the majority of restless souls in the Home Counties.

If this fails what next?

To try and maintain numbers are we to see undercover teams,like modern day Press Gangs infiltrating Job 'drink ups' throughout the South,plying the unsuspecting with Rum and whispering in their ear about the merits of life within the Met?

Imagine the scene..the unsuspecting targets waking up the next day with a sore head and thinking 'that was a session and a half'... and then wondering why a Welcome pack arrives on the doormat shortly afterwards with an invitation to parade at Peckham, a fortnight Monday at 10 am.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Full fluorescent Jacket

Before I ramble on have a read of.......
this item
I know that we don't get a full background to events but this officer seems to have been nailed to the wall by the system.
The officer had attended an incident and made an arrest.On leading him to the van the prisoner made off and on being found hiding in a doorway the officer aimed a kick at the male as he feared he may be reaching for something in his sock.

The male had no injury from the kick and yet the officer finds himself 'gripping the rail'

The judges decision is strange in that even whilst commenting in his summing up that....'he was dealing with a man of violence with blood on his clothes and Pc Turner genuinely feared that in the circumstances he might have some form of weapon on his person' and yet finds him guilty of excessive force.
This officer remains suspended with his life/career in the balance.

This item to me sums up how hamstrung we are as Police officers.Or more to the point how hamstrung we have been allowed to become by the Political elite.

We are expected to pitch up at incidents and deal with violent individuals more often fuelled by drink/drugs who have little or no respect for authority who do not live or act by any reasonable rules.Yet our actions are apparently prescribed by 'protocols' whilst we strive to restore order and stay in one piece.

Other bloggers have made a point regarding arming the police.
Pc Southwest brings up in a recent post the incident on the recent Crimewatch in which a chasing van crew had to endure being approached by two males with sawn offs. He is very true in saying that they would have not have been so cocky if they knew that the crew had a couple of Glocks to hand.

Personally I am not comfortable with the notion of carrying a handgun on my hip on a full time basis.In my particular case, having had some small arms training,I am more likely to hit someone by running up and clubbing them over the head with it.

The issue with Tazers have also been mooted in Blogs recently.
I believe they are a way forward in certain circumstances.
The effectiveness of a Tazer can be seen in a Big Fella blog dated 25th Jan.
Again however,I doubt we have the political will (be it Government or Senior ranks) to bring in widespread issue.

Another sore point is that whatever the Home office issue us with there will always be some 'pressure group' bleating about it.

Some huffed and puffed over the issue of CS/Pepper spray.

If they issued us with two foot Ken Dodd tickling sticks,there would be some group somewhere quoting stats that there would be a 1:100000 chance of someone suffering anaphylactic shock from the feathers.

To regain control of the streets we need a major overhaul of our approach to the way we deal with incidents,rules of engagement etc.
A need to be more robust and less apologetic for instance.I am not advocating throwing away checks and balances on Police actions.

However the article at the top of this post tells me that we have completely lost our way.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Technophobe moan.

I find myself 'bounced' into New Blogger.

For some time now I have ignored Googles attempts to seduce me into the all new 'bells and whistles' New Blogger. Having taken some time to get my head around the Old Blogger I felt this needed a graded approach.
Google have obviously become bored with the likes of me and any attempts over the last day or two to log on just feed me to the new version and I have now switched.

They assured me that things will look the same and so far they have.

I am not one for sudden change. I recall when they changed the paper Crime Reports over to the early versions of the Cris system back in the 90's. I was dragged from the writing room flailing Holy water about and screaming 'Its the work of the Devil' .

In my defence I had just come off a particularly weary set of nights

I will look upon this as a time to sort my Blog out particularly the comments section, E mail and Links.

So for instance if you do click on something later and you end up at the home page of the Kyrgyztan Energy Ministry then I will apologise now and go back to HTML Tutorial 4.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Self defence industry in disarray.

Martial arts schools from around the World are buzzing with the latest advice emanating from a Dojo in the Westminster area.

A Sensei from this School, which is rumoured to have developed secretive open hand techniques, has revealed that the best way to deal with an ongoing violent or confrontational incident in the street is to stand by and 'jump up and down'. This will deter the offender who will make off.

A Black Belt, who declined to be named, said 'This could ruin us. We teach our students a variety of techniques which can take years to master. To be able to deal with a violent situation by simply 'jumping on the spot' could close us'.

However an Okinawan master has urged caution. He said that ' I doubt its effectiveness as a street technique. However jumping up and down until the police manage to turn up could be a beneficial aerobic exercise, but give yourself a break every five to ten minutes.'