Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Drawbridge slowly rises...

Interesting article


Our Leaders are clearly worried that there might be those out there in the populace who have the potential to cause them harm.

I often find it amusing when there are reports in the Media that a 'team' of officers are investigating an offence.
Usually it is lone officer, armed with a computer (shared ),a phone and (if they are on a good day) the use of the pool car for a few hours.
There is also,usually,about 10 + files looking at them saying 'what about me'?

'Stalking' jobs are usually dealt with at Borough level.
I am talking proper stalking jobs (not the he did/she did stuff that demeans the intention of the legislation)

Of those that I have dealt with one in particular had me worried. Their behaviour was becoming more bizarre and irrational. It took some time to track them down. There was no resources thrown at it,no squad formed.It was just me and occasional assistance from colleagues who spared some time from their own jobs.

There have been some 'Stalker' jobs which have ended tragically.The aftermath is picked apart,various agencies pushed to the front for castigation and usually (as we are at the bottom of the pile) blame often ends with us, the police.

I doubt,strongly,that in those circumstances that led to tragedy there was any indifference or negligence involved. Just a DS, DC or PC trying their best, amongst other demands on their time, with what they had.

Now a whiff of potential threat to those in power and resources are thrown at it.

Like when the transparency of the Freedom of Information Act became a little too open they quickly rushed through an opt out for themselves.

They are so far out of touch with those that voted them in, that they may as well be behind the walls of that Castle on the Hill.

If the Team of Psychiatrists staffing this unit are looking for signs in people of a desire to scream, shout and run after an MP they might find themselves a tad busy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The thin Blue picket line?

Strong words at the POLICE FED conference.Jan Berry the Chairperson talking about the 'Right to Strike'
It doesn't sit well with me.
I know we are in a unique situation which, it is becoming clear, the Government want to exploit in their drive to 'curtail' Public expenditure.
But 'one out all out'?

My contempt for Politicians and politics has probably exacerbated the hardening of my arteries by several years but I cannot accept the fact that we, as Police, can at some point say..'I am withdrawing my Labour and not turning up to cover my shift'

With Health and Safety and Risk Assessments being the official 'by-laws' for our day to day activities, we could, if we want, bring this system to a complete halt by just following to the letter the legislation and 'a**e' covering Regs that officers face now.
The thing is that Officers who deal with the day to day stuff out there (or deal with it when it gets brought in) make things work.

They make the system work.

This is despite all the potential pitfalls and detritus that comes with trying to do the Job.

The media pays great attention to the 'mistakes' made by police if something goes wrong.
The 6-12 month Hindsight goggles get put on at Court and the officers find their every actions picked apart.
Yet despite all this, officers throughout the country pitch up for their shift and deal as normal.Are we dedicated professionals or simply 'suckers for punishment'?

I can understand Jan Berry's concerns.These are very uncertain times for Police pay and conditions...or just Police work generally...

There are No easy answers on this issue.

If it ever came to it, would I refuse to do my shift if the 'One out all out' was announced?

Personally No.
Things are bad enough out there without that.

I think the majority of my colleagues would be the same.

The Government would probably play on this but as I have said there are other ways to make a point using their own trumpeted legislation.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Green... its the new Blue (Recycled)

I have 'huffed and puffed' on this subject before but as an organisation have we just completely lost our way?

The Metropolitan Police Service now have an Environment Team.
A group of people employed to check on our excesses.. to advise...to educate.
I am sure they are decent,earnest,people but in essence what does their job really
do to assist our 'CORE ROLE'..ie what,as an organisation,the public expect us to do.

Like any creation within our Modern day service, once it is given life it looks to create its own Empire.

As an example...For some considerable time there has been a yearly competition amongst police stations for the best presented garden/frontage.In the old days it tended to be fought out amongst the old timers at those particular 'Nicks' with a passion for gardening....healthy competition and uplifting.

Now the MPS Environment Team get involved and its about 'working in partnership' and to encourage 'sponsorship'.

They now have 'Open' Days talking about 'car share and cycling to work'
A concern with the 'carbon footprint' left by the MPS rather than the forensic footprints left by the 'customers' we chase.

The Met have toyed with the ideas of Recycling off and on for some years now.
It has previously taken the form of Scrap metal collections in the form of 'Gun and Knife Amnesties'.They serve no other purpose.

I suppose the Environment Team is the next Bureaucracy level up..

I would like a member of the Environment Team to sit in with a meeting with the CPS and evaluate their demands for a virtually 'full file (and all CCTV in viewable format)' for jobs that can only be a full hands up 'guilty' at the first appearance.

Have we so run out of ideas to deal with our Core Roles.. which are not difficult to grasp.. Keeping the Queens Peace.. Detection and Apprehension of offenders.. that we have to be seen to be 'busying' ourselves with the Governments latest thing.....!

To quote the philosopher and commentator on the Human condition M.E Atloaf

..in this organisation... 'Nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothing's ever worth the cost'

Monday, May 07, 2007


Following the recent loss of a colleague in West Mercia this weekend I find it difficult to post on stuff going through my head.

I cant raise any enthusiasm at the moment to sit, scratch, bark and 'holler' at my own particular Cyberspace moon.

In my current role I tend to spend far more time at a desk than out and about.

Events like this remind me of where I came from and the risks that fellow officers face responding to day to day calls like this.

Heartfelt respect and condolences to Pc Gray, his family, friends and colleagues.