Saturday, 28 June 2008
Now I'm not a great lover of the commissioner, however I'm sure he's a nice well meaning bloke. He is also the boss so what he says goes, like it or not. There is obviously briefing to the press and political maneuvering going on. I don't know of any specific gripes these three have against the Metropolitan Police, but the commissioner should get to the bottom of it and if need be get rid of them. He is of course pretty much a "dead man walking" and everybody knows it.
Managers should be allowed to manage and Commissioner Blair is finding out the hard way, how things are for managers lower down the chain of command. Welcome to my world Sir Ian, the world you helped to create.
One of the officers has, it is alleged displayed poor judgement in his private life, and still got promoted. Minus points towards women in the diversity section there, me thinks. These are the same people who judge over others in discipline matters. Are they only interested in their own personal careers? You can see why the police service is in such a state with managers like these at the helm. I'm rather embarrassed by it all - Get a grip you morons before you make us even more of a laughing stock
The only inequality I see in the police service is towards white males. If you are a woman you can have a mentor to assist you upwards, the same being true if you are a "visible minority". What about merit? There are some outstanding black officers in the police service and no doubt they all have stories of racism to tell. If they are that good they will make it without the need for special treatment, and will have the respect of all for having done so.
Friday, 27 June 2008
Mrs Cohen is 86 years old. I don’t know what it is with old people – are they so glad to have reached that age that they need to tell everybody? Anyway she lives in a 60’s block and was one of the first tenants to move in. There are only four originals left now. She’s from another age, where there was respect and community spirit.
They didn’t have crack houses in her day. She now found herself living next door to one. I don’t think she knows what one is. Perhaps it’s good she doesn’t understand, she only hears the noise until the early hours and makes sure her door is locked. She’s scared of the murky figures hanging about but won’t call the police, not wanting to bother us.
I know it’s there and know how to deal with it. Day one in my new job, knock on the door and meet Mrs Cohen’s neighbour. She’s a drug addict who’s just had her kid taken away. She’s vulnerable but involved, so this one will take longer to sort out. I lay my cards out, play ball or you lose out in the long run darling. She says all the right things but I know nothing will change.
I start hanging about at the bottom of the block, that’s when I meet Mrs Cohen. We have a nice chat. She says how nice it is to see me. I ask what number she lives at and am surprised she hadn’t mentioned her neighbour to me. So I bring it up, she’s scared, and tells me she’s heard drugs are involved. “Wacky Baccy” is mentioned but that’s probably the only drug she’s heard of. I didn’t educate her in the ways of “licking the pipe”
It took a couple of months of hard paperwork graft and static patrols, but we got there in the end. One crack house closure order and an eviction later, the block was back to some normality. I caught up with Mrs Cohen by chance on a bus a couple of months later, and she was happy and smiling. She looked better and younger than before. She thanked me and this was a genuine thank you, a special one, because she really meant it.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Will prison change him? Well having just been released 3 days earlier from detention I think we know the answer already. There are people who are just downright evil. The murderer in this case has made a decision to go out with the knife. I doubt it was for picking the dirt from under his nails. I know he will be on life licence but the public really does need protection. He will be 32 when no doubt he will be a free man, back to his life of crime because that's all he knows.
There are lads in my area who don't care about anything or anyone. You just would not be surprised if they ended up murdering somebody. I don't have the answers, it's not about diversion or education for some of these lads. They are too far gone and know they are pretty much untouchable until one day they push their luck too far.
I had the pleasure of charging one such lad with murder several years ago. I'd known him since he was 14 and he was always fearless when facing the police on the street. In short he was a nasty bastard. Unfortunately he grew into a big nasty hard bastard. He was a good drug dealer and if I'm honest I was glad he stayed off my patch.
It's quite common for disgruntled villains to say "Wait until I see you alone on the street I'll get you". This particular lad actually carried that out his threat giving an officer a good beating.
He smirked when I charged him, and as I went through the representations for bail, made his own jokey plea for bail, promising to turn up. Bail obviously refused, to stop him shooting somebody else in the head. I think his tariff was 30 years, but he should never be allowed out.
This human rights thing confuses me. Capital punishment is outlawed here, yet Tony Blair didn't moan when Saddam Hussein was hanged. Why not a tariff of 50 years for murderers, it's my view Nasty Bastards should hang.
Sunday, 22 June 2008
Friday, 20 June 2008
Thursday, 19 June 2008
No worries I'm back I'll set up a community watch in the self same block. I'm aware of their problems. Leaflet drop to over 80 flats outlining my plans. Could call a meeting but I know my punters - The annual tenants association needs at least 10 non committee members to be present and it's an annual tradition to send out search parties to kidnap one or two to make up the numbers.
I therefore don't book a venue in the full knowledge only one or two will turn up. I'll go to them, have a street meet outside their block. I'm there half an hour early. My staff turn up on time and we wait, and wait. We give up after 45 minutes NOT ONE person can be bothered.
It's not a problem I've got a plan B we'll knock on their door another day and ask them direct. They'll say yes of course and probably still won't ring us before they contact the local press.
On the upside - saw a couple of my local youths passing by. One of them informs me that his chum Michael was 18 the day before. Really? Michael get over here - over he trots probably expecting a congrats from me on reaching the golden age. Now give me your gear. He hands over his cannabis and duly signs his warning. I tell him that's for all the times I didn't do him, when he was a juvenile paperwork nightmare. Another easy detection and keeps the local lads on their toes. Amused his mates no end. So not a wasted day after all.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Sunday, 15 June 2008
Things haven't changed on the core shift, where they only paraded 5 for the streets the other night. Across the Borough they showed 19 which was 5 below minimum. I did ask the question why? A few were warned for court but it's that time in the year when overtime will not be authorised. The greater gods like to be tight and build up a buffer so they can throw it away February and March. I don't think I've seen an improvement in core shift numbers over the last 10 years. You do wonder where all the extra money has gone.
Had some excitement on the way back from a partners meeting. Myself and a fellow sergeant were in plain clothes walking through my estate on the way back to the nick. A drug deal happened right in front of us. What do you do? He looks at me and says "Shall we" I says "rude not to". He grabs the punter and I get the dealer in a quick throat hold before throwing him face down. All this in space of 20 seconds. So there we are, him sitting on one and me on the other. Then we realise no radio, no cuffs.
The matter is complicated by Mr Drug Dealer telling me his van is nearby and he's left his 11 month old baby in the front. My colleague has to call 999 on his mobile. Not good, now you'd think we'd get preferential treatment wouldn't you? He was speaking to the operator who didn't have a clue where we were despite very accurate locations from the community sergeant. (don't forget we've done away with local knowledge and this new way is great). I think he was getting a bit pissed off when she put him on hold.
We sat on our detainees for about ten minutes, couldn't hear any sirens. Concerned members of the public ask me if I'm aware there's a baby sat in a van around the corner all alone. They kindly agree to wait by it. He rings the station direct this time, the Integrated Borough Operations (IBO). They haven't heard the call go out and I think it pings to them at about the same time they're speaking to him. A couple of minutes later the lovely sound of sirens.
Already found a wrap of heroin under my man and can see two crack wraps on the pavement where he was standing. Once cuffed another wrap of heroin found on the floor. We'd hit them just as the handover was about to be made. So only 4 wraps and not the expected bundle of notes elsewhere on him or stash of gear.
Both get nicked. Other officers deal with the baby. Mr Dealer offers up the mother being relatively nearby so a quick phone call brings her to scene to take charge of the baby. Wish I'd done that new training re kids coming to notice but suspect this child might involve a report and lots of writing.
Eventually get them booked in and compile the evidential notes. Despite us seeing everything this one will require CPS advice and decision. The punter had his money in his hands to give over prior to us hitting them, but we'll see what CPS say. Mr dealer in interview offered up some cock and bull explanation. See how fair we are, drugs don't bounce nowadays.
This wiped me out for the rest of my shift. If case progression unit hadn't taken it I would have been on for an 18 hour day. My colleague only has 20 shifts left before he retires, he's not impressed by
1. His call to 999
2. Time to book in prisoners
This is not the job he joined, but he's a policeman alright, getting straight in there by instinct. I wonder if that's going to be his last arrest. I'm rather honoured to have been involved if it is.
Friday, 13 June 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
In years gone by you would have had a surveillance team up his arse as soon as possible. You didn't need an expensive analyst to tell you he was always at it. The human rights act changed all that - can't have fishing exercises you know. I noted on the briefing a couple of months back that Anthony was due release.
A death message was being dished out on parade. Anthony was found dead in the South of the City. This often happens with addicts who are released from jail and get back to their old ways. I suppose their bodies can't take it any more. I could have taken the message as I don't know his father, but some of the family I do know so it wouldn't be appropriate. It fell to a colleague who told me the father wasn't shocked to see the police at his door, thinking Anthony had been arrested again. I'm sure it wasn't the news he was expecting.
It didn't take long for news to spread. I came across "Jill" 4 O'clock in the morning pissed out of her head shouting through someones letter box. She drunkenly informs me that Anthony her good friend is dead. I know I told her, trying to sound sympathetic. She got a text apparently. They were good mates she wailed. I know I told her, you were arrested last week together were you not? I kept a straight professional face throughout. I think Anthony was a scumbag who didn't give a shit for his victims. I don't care that he is dead. I walked Jill home and opened the front door for her to fall through.
No doubt we'll get called to Anthony's last drink up. I'll be checking up to see if the car's stolen in my burglaries turn up in same part of the city where he was found dead. Case Solved?
Monday, 9 June 2008
Saturday, 7 June 2008
Well I have it on good authority that Headley Court have been offered use of the pool facility at the new Federation Headquarters, also in Leatherhead. I am proud that my Federation is doing the right thing in standing up our injured troops.
Having used the Police Rehabilitation centre in Goring, I for one would be happy for some troops to receive treatment there too. Our people would make them more than welcome. I'll mention it to my Federation Rep.
Friday, 6 June 2008
Well some interesting points made in that the wardens generate revenue, so in a way finance themselves. They have targets and have incentives to dish out more tickets. Compare the wages of both to Police Community Support Officers. They are on 25K if they have the full shift allowance in the metropolis.
I'm not going to go on a rant about PCSO's, just post a few views. I remember when they first came in. They did security patrols in Central London around Whitehall replacing foot patrolling officers. This nobody would disagree was anything but sensible. It freed up police officers to get back on the beat. If you think of the 9/11 events and how New York coped, then again there is a need for a contingency in having uniformed officials to cordon off what could be a large area for quite some time.
I must also give some praise to the greater gods. They delivered a project in fast time, despite the poor training given to the first recruits. They also increased diversity of recruits and have a pool of "policey" type people to dip into when they need to swell the Real Police ranks. The money was made available just for this project by government, so of course you would grab it to increase visibility.
So all of the above is sensible. The politicians can claim credit for increasing "police" presence on the street, and benefit from public satisfaction. Don't forget there was NO or very limited community policing at the turn of the last century. They ran a few pilot projects and saw it was a vote winner and that's why this Safer Neighbourhoods thing started. Let's face it if there was nothing there before - and then you get a small team of officers to listen to your problems, you can't really complain.
Now from a project point of view I've always had issues with the pay for PCSO's. They don't produce much and generate very little. They can issue tickets for small offences, riding on the footway etc. The amount of administration in processing the ticket negates the fine collected, if the person actually bothers to pay it.
In my experience I've come across some fantastic PCSO's who interact with the community, run community projects and are all round good eggs. These are in the minority. Where else could you get paid £25 for doing very little.
I actually had an ex local authority parking warden under my supervision as a new PCSO. She told me she was doing me a favour in patrolling without body armour. It hadn't arrived by the time she started at my station. I asked if she'd had body armour as a parking warden. Of course I had to run around to find her some. Now parking warden must be a shitty job full of confrontation but she increased her pay by thousands to do what, walk about doing nothing. I'm glad to say she left of her own accord, there are loads like her still creaming it.
So army pay is a disgrace. I believe they are still paid on a daily rate depending on skills. Pay them a tax free bonus on top of their normal pay for each tour of duty. It's only fair. Don't even get me started on care for those injured on operations. If PCSO pay is going to stay so high then perhaps we can have some direct entrants from HM forces - with a free rein to deal with gobby kids as they see fit.
The future? I think that after the Olympics in 2012 we will see PCSO's scaled back as they don't provide Best Value in their present format.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
No it's not the latest brainwave from those greater gods about making PCSO's more visible. These mobility scooters do however stress me out. I was in Tesco's the other day loitering between the coco pops and hobnobs when I was almost wiped out by one of these. It must have been doing about 4mph down the central aisle. I've had similar experiences out on foot patrol where the elderly or very obese punters hurtle down the pavements at excessive speeds. Woman and young kids have to hurl themselves out of the way. I don't suppose it will be long before these get even faster and we have PCSO's or worse PC's being told to dish out tickets.
Lucky job Health and Safety didn't see this. I bet she hasn't had a mobility scooter course or filled out the forms for liability insurance. If this had been down my way the punters would have been throwing themselves under the wheels to make a claim.
We've just received a memo reminding us that when we use non police premises for meetings or events to comply with policy. It appears that we have to fill out a risk assessment form plus then one of two other forms which we have to send off to admin land. This could be for just a 30 minute meeting. Still imagine the reports to write if it all went wrong and somebody fell off their chair. Something else to keep me busy.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Monday, 2 June 2008
Very sad to hear about Gazza getting sectioned again. I met him at Kings Cross a couple of years ago with my daughter. He was getting loads of people approaching him for photos. We got an autograph and he was a lovely humble nice man saying it was no trouble at all. This bloke is truly loved by everyone, despite his problems, yet seems so alone.
I hope this true icon finds the help he needs. He is a genius, play the video if you don't believe me.
Sunday, 1 June 2008
This is rare indeed and she should be applauded for her actions. She has done them the biggest favour, and I bet they learn their lesson. Of course they don't feel that at present.
In reality, most of the parents to be seen in custody (if they can be bothered to turn up) are more upset that their kids have been stupid enough to get caught. If they imposed a little more "hard love" I believe it would make a difference. Kids need boundaries and I believe actually respond quite well to a little firm but fair behaviour towards them. The best youth projects have the workers imposing discipline and telling the kids to get lost if they don't want to play by the rules. They tend to moderate their behaviour accordingly.
I wonder if this type of assault is what the government envisaged for it's cafe culture 24/7 drinking extravaganza. Of course most of us idiots on the front line could see it coming, just like the cannabis balls up, but who listens to us? Will the next government reverse or moderate the drinking culture? I do hope so.