Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Mad World - with thanks to Bluewheel

I found this video on YouTube which questions why police officers don't smile much today. As a well known miserable git I possibly fall into this category. My sense of humour failings seem to be kept for drunken idiots who are just not very funny, and feel the need to approach and often abuse me. I'm sorry but I find it hard to even raise a sarcastic smile. I've taken to just turning my back on them and looking the other way in silence.

Let me recite a sorry tale of when I tutored a young constable a few years back. We were walking along the road when coming towards us was a black fella and his girlfriend. It was Spring and even Stressedoutcop was full of goodwill, so as we passed I smiled and said Good Morning. I carried on walking only to hear "Who the f@%king hell are you talking to?". We turned and the bloke was in my face offering to fight me. Didn't know him and never seen him before, but my friendly smile and greeting had somehow offended him. He didn't calm down and eventually got himself nicked.

This went to court and you would think was a no brainer. Wrong - the magistrate kicks it out at half-time and lectures me about greeting others who might not appreciate it from police officers due to years of oppression. At least she mentioned my friendly greeting was well intentioned.

Of course having a laugh at work is almost outlawed as there is always somebody who might be offended in some way. Oh how we laughed at training school when we moved Spike's entire room into the boy's toilet and hours were spent arranging everything until it was perfect, bed made, books lined up and slippers neatly by the urinal. He dished it out and it was only fair he took some back. It bonded us into a team and yes it was inappropriate by today's standards.

The after work drink is a thing of the past, especially for supervisors who are in the firing line should any staff say or do anything naughty. It's a discipline offence not to challenge improper conduct, obviously drawn up as a catch all. Be careful what you say or you go the same way as Carol Thatcher. Is it just me or did the Thatcher name seem too much of a temptation for those at the BBC?, and we don't even know what was said.

No such recriminations or career harm though to Supt Rickett at Limehouse in the Met for displaying the Rainbow flag in place of the Union standard. It is indeed a Mad World.


Dandelion said...

Again, thank heavens for the sensible magistrate!

It is this type of arrogant failure on the part of the police to acknowledge their effect on society and the harm their organisation has done to people that really damages public perceptions and undermines proper policing.

That chap didn't "get himself nicked", it was the jumped-up little megalomaniac that sought to make a drama out of a crisis, by abusing his "discretion". Why not just keep walking? Police officers like that really give the rest a bad name.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Thank heavens the magistrate got retired early for undermining proper policing and common sense in respect of the law.

Threatening violence was an offence last time I looked.

MarkUK said...

Very moving vid, Stressed.

Must admit, I'd have expected (as a MOP) that the Mag would have slapped the guy's legs a bit.

Dandelion said...

But "who the eff are you talking to?" isn't actually an offence. Why did you have to escalate it? Why not carry on walking? Seriously. Why?

Also, it may amaze you, but lots of things are technically offences, and police officers can choose to overlook them. That is called discretion, common sense, and public interest. It's just such a shame that so many police officers seem not to grasp these simple concepts, and seem to get off on bullying people, and making vulnerable people's life hell. And you wonder why people call them "the filth"???

Stressed Out Cop said...


Threatening to punch somebodies lights out is an offence and NOT the actions of a vulnerable person.

I have lit a Ylang Ylang stick which smells lovely and relaxing.

Try it

Peace and love - SOC

Anonymous said...

Dandelion, whilst we're all entitled to express our own opinions, yours here seems to be based on preconceived assumptions about what actually happened, which you can't possibly know. I think that tells us more about you than it does about this blogger.

Area Trace No Search said...

Now then.

I don't want to start a pissing competition here - but I'm sure I'm more of a grumpy bugger than you are...

Bob said...

Actually, I think Dandelion is right. By your own admission SoC, all the chap said was "who the f*%!ing hell are you talking talkiing to". Now, call me stupid, but that does not constitute a threat of violence, as you claim. Aside from that though, people who threaten violence very often are vulnerable people. Ask anyone that works in mental health, or with offenders.

Also, Anon's comment is a weird one. As I read it, Dandelion was only commenting on the facts of an incident as described in some detail in the above post. The only way Anon's comment makes sense is if it is implying that SoC is a liar...

Stressed Out Cop said...


Read it properly buddy - it goes onto say he offered to fight me - I recall by saying he'd fill my face in.

You've obviously had a bad experience Bob with the police. Did the rats stick you on for a 15 yard red when you thought it was only 5?

Go on Enlighten us !!

Hare Krishna


My ambition is to change the title to chilled out cop - You can have the grumpy mantle.


Constable said...

To place facts into this equation,

SOC and ATNS I am actually grumpier than both of you put together (well according to my wife) and for the pseudo intelligentsia (probably spelt wrong) reading this post, swearing in public can constitute an offence. It all depends on the circumstances.

SOC, it would have ended the same way with me, once sworn at the clock starts ticking. When the bell rings I will act. I am not a power crazed individual but hold a position in society where sometimes action is required.

Dandelion, imagine your children heard someone swear at a police officer and he did nothing.....oh dear that happens doesn't it. Why is society in the state it is in now? That's because of "sensible magistrates" and people like you.

Regards, SOC what flavour incense was it again?

Dandelion said...

I think you should read it properly. He said "who the eff are you talking to", so you turned round to make something of it. And you're surprised it kicked off, and you take no responsibility for it whatsoever.

Has anyone been prosecuted for swearing on tv? Or in the press? No, they have not. I'd like to see you try and explain how the swearing in this context could possibly constitute an offence. The f-word in question was merely for emphatic purposes, and clearly not an ad hominem attack. And I don't see any references to nearby children in the post - even if I did, that argument is pathetic - it would mean people weren't allowed to talk in public about sex, sexuality, smoking, drugs, birth control and heaven knows what else. Which is plainly ridiculous.

What I think is the greatest shame is how many police fail to realise that when they wear the uniform, they are going to attract public responses to the public body they represent. A lot of people don't like the police because they have experienced insensitivity, sadism and abuse from them. Throwing your weight around only makes that worse, don't you see?

Stressed Out Cop said...

Dandelion - Not wanting to go on forever with this thread - The bottom line was the bloke was well out of order - yeah there were others present including kids - He got shift but got a walk out - END RESULT a SCORE DRAW.


Dandelion said...

Objecting to an unsolicited, unwelcome greeting from a representative of a corrupt, abusive and incompetent organisation is not out of order at all.

So...another case of insensitive policing then, and some poor chap bears the brunt of police abuse of process. Lovely.

Constable said...


the difference is we don't select our readers. You do. We don't choose who can read our personal experiences and pass judgement. Once again, you do.

I don't know you but you are obviously a very guarded and private person. Before you dish out vitriole to everyone else why not allow us to read about you so we can form our own opinions just as you so easily have done about us.

I really hope you have a think about this. To the best of my knowledge I have never bullied anyone, hell I'm 39 years old with a family and mortgage. I'm not going to throw that away on a power trip just to prove who I am. I am comfortable with my identity and place in life.

I hope that you can be as subjective as you are if I ever get the chance to read your blog. I am just about to click on the link to be allowed access, no doubt it will be fruitless.

You talk about the police as a sort of collective of incompetent/sadistic/megalomaniac/corrupt and finally abusive organisation (got bored of the negative after that) but they openly publish their experiences for people to read and comment about on blogs. Only to be met by people such as you who are quite biased in their opinions. How should I greet someone who says good morning to me whilst in work? Should I now question their motive and be abusive or shall I just pass it off as a pleasantry and reply with civility?

Your argument isn't that great.


Dandelion said...

CC: if you read my profile, you'll see you only have to email me with where to send the invite. You will also see that I had to make my blog private for personal reasons (detailed on the blog). This was not a free choice. My readership went from hundreds to about three, but in the circs I had no choice. It's funny how people make assumptions, isn't it? As to how private I am, I didn't have to post a link to my blog or profile, did I?

In any case, whether my blog or this one is private or not, really does not speak to the issue being discussed here, namely whether the police are sufficiently sensitive to the fact a) they have the power to abuse if they wish, to ruin people's lives, and b) many people have been seriously traumatised and offended by insensitive and sadistic policing. Google "met police" on Youtube for a sample.

Also, I am not dishing out "vitriole" (sic), merely expressing a view, and stating a few facts. A view shared by many, I might add. And yet I seem to be the subject of others 'vitriol here, just for daring to state an ugly truth. As have others on here who are capable of dispassionate critical analysis.

If the person who greets you in the morning is a representative of a powerful and sometimes corrupt public body that has abused you in the past, you probably won't welcome it. You may find it upsetting. And you may be forgiven by any reasonable person for being defensive, or even, yes, for swearing. That's all I'm saying.

In terms of the police being able to do a good job of dealing with the real crims, a little sensitivity and common sense would go a long long way. That is what I would like to see. And the first step to that is admitting that there is a problem. :-) It is disturbing to see from the cops who comment here how defensive and in denial many of them are about this issue. Which is quite understandable, but tantamount to condoning it. That's all I'm saying.

(Hope to welcome you to my blog soon.)

Constable said...


spelt it wrong! I am trying to do the thing with your email address but outlook express is seriously messing me around. Might just have to throw laptop to floor and sulk. No probably won't and just keep trying.