Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Another good man is punished for having the metal to stand up and tell the truth.
I've spoken via email to Johnno and he's told me that he's resigned and effective midnight this coming Saturday he's a civvie again. He said he's jumped before he was pushed.
Personally, I think he should have stayed.
I mean, whats he done wrong.
I know he's stepped out from cover and into the open. I wouldn't , but he has and bravo to him.
But, aside from that, on what grounds has he been suspended from duty?
I've read his article in the Express. As far as I can see he is in the clear. He has merely spoken out about our working practices. He has not confessed to any criminal acts.
Is it supposed to be a big secret that must be kept from the public?
All he has done is legitimately exercised his right of freedom of speech. I think his employers would be on a hiding to nothing if they tried to say he had brought the police service into disrepute.
This message should get out. Christ, we take the flak everyday from frustrated members of the public who want to know why we aren't there when they need us.
For GODS sake, I hope someone from our mighty protective shield that is the Federation reads this turns their attention away from planning the yearly drinking session that is the conference and gets this man the support that he needs.
His employers need taking on. You've come out into the open Johnno. You've got nothing left to lose. Stand your ground and fight them. I honestly believe that you would win. It could be a landmark case mate. We don't have to accept their findings of an internal discipline panel. Like I said in my email to you, you can take it outside to a panel of people outside the job. I believe that any reasonable person not connected with the job would agree that you have done nothing wrong.
I hope you do mate. If you walk away then they win and you will have done it all for nothing.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
It reminded me of the days out on patrol when occasionally, if it was quiet, and no one was about, the big kid that lurks inside of me would come out.
One foggy night me and my mate were at an alarm on an industrial estate awaiting the arrival of the keyholder. Premises looked to be secure. We checked around it with our maglites and I noticed the beam and how it looked in the fog.
Its not a torch! ITS A LIGHT SABRE!!
"What are you doing?" asks John (not his real name).
"I sense a great disturbance in the force." says I.
"You're disturbed." He says.
Then he draws his lite sabre and off we duel, sound effects and all, until we see the deathstar approaching and the keyholder arrives.
Different night, different industrial estate, same duo. John's driving slowly, I'm trying hard not to nod off when there they are in the headlights.
(WARNING! Those pink and fluffy in nature may wish to change blogs at this point.)
Drawing my trusty staff and winding down the passenger window I lean out.
"What are you up to?" asks John.
"Try and get one of those wabbits alongside will you. Its time to play Bunny Hockey".
Several runs and endless swings but those furry rodents refused to play along. I thought afterwards maybe it should have been more accurate to call it Bunny Polo, but its my game so Bunny Hockey stuck. Not that it mattered coz I never got one anyway.
(Please note. No Wabbits were harmed during the events on which this blog is based. Not for the want of trying though.)
I remember working one night as passenger in the van about 11 years ago. We pulled up alongside a panda. The bloke driving it really fancied himself. I loved to wind him up on account of him being a geezer from dahn sahf. He opened his door and sat there as we chatted. I then produced a can of silly string and covered him from head to foot as he tried to get at me, forgetting that he was wearing a seat belt so he just rocked back and forth. Oh the joy.
I heard tell in days gone by of a game that used to entail seeing who could get a stamp in their book from the furthest away station from your own but I've never done it myself.
Anybody got any interesting examples? Not that it goes on nowadays of course?
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
My online mate TUPC has been writing some powerful stuff recently on the things we deal with in the line of duty, as has Big Fella. They got me thinking way back to my first ever shift as an operational police constable back in 1990.
I’d done 20 weeks training at Hendon followed by 10 weeks street duties in an
My first shift was nights. I turned up early for my 2200hrs start because as I was the new proby I had to make the tea for the relief until someone newer came along. Rightly so in my opinion.
After parading on I was doubled up with an experienced officer who I shall call PC Mick
Off we went into the night in our high powered 1 litre metro. He showed me the real important stuff like tea spots and good kebab shops as nothing much was happening.
Just after we were driving around when I spotted a car coming towards us turn off sharpish without signalling. I told Mick and we went after it. Our car didn’t have a siren and the blue light would only work if the handbrake was on so Mick was sounding the horn and flashing the headlights at the car in front.
It took off like a bat out of hell. I could see 2 girls in the rear that did not look happy that the driver was failing to stop. Mick told me to put the shout on the radio which I did. The bandit car was leaving us behind going over the brow of a hill. We were both cursing our cars lack of power when just before getting to the top of the hill there was an almighty crash.
The sight that met us when we came over the top was awful. The bandit car had gone through a red light and hit a car that was crossing its path. The car struck had been slammed sideways into a lamp post and almost bent around it. The driver was trapped in the mangled wreckage and was screaming for help. The bandit car had spun around and the girl passengers had been flung from the rear door and were laid in the road in a bad way. The driver of the bandit car had gone straight through the windscreen and into some railings. We couldn’t do anything at that point for the trapped driver other than call for help which we’d done. Mick went to check on the girls and I went to the driver of the bandit car. His mouth had pink frothy saliva coming out. He died in front of me. There was nothing I could do for him. He had too many injuries.
The Inspector turned up as I was still kneeling by his body and told me to go and direct traffic. He told me I shouldn’t have to deal with this on my first day. The girls died too. The other driver was cut free. I don’t know what happened to him.
I can’t remember the rest of the shift.
It was one hell of a first day.
I’ve never had nightmares about it thankfully. I have over other stuff. Another time.
Way back in 1994 when I was a village bobby in a beautiful part of the country where god lives I was on patrol one summers eve, alone, 27.3 miles from my divisional HQ and 12 miles from nearest back up when I received a call of youths drinking in the village square causing a bit of a nuisance.
I duly attended and saw 2 lads, 1 known to me, the other not, with a few bottles of their favorite tipple.
I went over and engaged them in chat about taking it somewhere private when a third youth introduces himself to me by drop kicking the side of my head.
My trusty kwik kuffs exploded from their holster into a nearby garden which was nice.
I wrestled with my new friend and got to my feet.
The unknown of the 2 now decides he wants to play as well, so he picks up a bottle and smashes it, brandishing the broken bottle as he approaches explaining his new found interest in facial surgery.
I decide that my wrestling partner who is now trying to bite me would be better off on the floor with my knee on his back which is where he is placed.
I am then able to draw my trusty wooden peg which I point towards the approaching amateur surgeon and I shout to him that he should back the f... off or I will first render his friend incapable of harming me and then turn my attentions to him.
He is somewhat upset by my manner of restraining his tag team partner and my aggression towards him so he stops his advance but continues explaining his hobby and the need to demonstrate it on me.
I try an assistance shout but the wonderful rolling hills and peaks will not allow my request.
Unknown starts edging closer and I'm seriously considering having to knock my wrestling partner on the head when 2 large chaps from a nearby watering hole come out to investigate the noise.
Fortunately for me they are locals and ask would I like some help.
It’s now a triple tag team against a double even though they are cheating by using weapons.
This becomes a stand off.
A passing youth is ordered by me to dial 999 which he does despite threats from unknown.
20 minutes pass by before a bobby arrives from ANOTHER force area. Along with my 2 assistants he takes on the bottle holder and overpowers him but gets kicked in the nuts and face in doing so.
A short while later a lock up van arrives from my force and the duo are taken away.
It’s at this point that the adrenaline wears off and I am introduced to the pain from the drop kick and subsequent collision with the wall. After doing a statement I'm off home to lick my wounds.
Time passes and I'm awaiting the court appearance which never comes.
The drop kicker mind you has taken to walking by my house everyday, staring in.
Eventually I ring the CPS to find out what’s happening.
The bottle chap jumped bail and is wanted for failing to appear.
Oh, he'd done a GBH on another guy in another village a few days before assaulting me so the CPS did a deal with his defense.
He pleads guilty to the GBH and they drop my charge!
I was furious. What kind of message was this to my assailant? It’s fine. Go ahead and attack the police.
I let the CPS know in a heated conversation that I, the victim, was not even informed.
They duly complained and my Chief Super had a right go at ME!
I was really disillusioned with the job at this point.
At the same time Eric Cantona was in the news for having a pop at a footy fan and he had been referred to the CPS for common assault!
Charles Pollard and Paul Condon had both made comments recently about loss of faith in the criminal justice system so I wrote and signed a letter to Police Review explaining what had happened to me and how I too had lost faith.
That was published as the lead letter.
A few days later I received a phone call from a woman’s magazine (shut up!) expressing their interest in speaking to me about the incident.
I tried to call my Chief Super but he was hobnobbing it at Bramshill so I sought advice from the press liaison office who couldn't see a problem.
So next day a reporter turns up, takes a few pics of where the assault happened and they do a story.
No fee I might add. I was just interested in letting people know what had happened. Stupid boy.
They left and the phone rings.
It’s the Daily Mail this time. I've already spoken to this mag I said. Did you sign anything they asked? No says I.
Next day they turn up. More pics. Another story.
A few weeks pass by and I'm in the station when in bursts my Chief Super. He's well pissed. He's waving a copy of the Mail and ranting about how the Chief Constable has been on the phone not at all happy.
He then explains to me that the first mistake I make he's going to bounce me around the 4 corners of the force area (it’s big) meaning I'd get moved.
So I left of my own accord and transferred to another force.
Now you tell me. Did my attacker fight the law and win?
I think he did.
I know I lost out all round.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Sec 24 and 25 P.A.C.E 1984 arrest powers have been repealed apparently. Nice to be kept up to date.
I usually fall into a trance like state at these things but I was absolutely amazed at the amendments to the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Sec 165A & B of R.T.A. 1988. gives a constable in uniform the power to seize a vehicle been driven by Chavboy if he has no license or insurance!
Grinned like a cheshire cat I did.
Oh what joyous fun shall be had on the streets of Scumshire.
HALLELULLAH. A ray of hope has shone through the clouds of despair.
Cart off said crying chavs car to storage and if he don't claim it in 14 days by producing a person with a full license and insurance certificate to drive THAT car, no 3rd party basis, then off it goes to the scrapyard or to be sold.
HA Ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahah.
Apparently after the recovery agent has recouped his costs from the scrap or sale then any cash left over is back to the force budget.
Dah da da da dah. A'hm loving it.
AND! if a car makes off from you, failing to stop, you can seize it if its found within 24hrs.
Our law trainer is on a roll by now and narrates a Road Wars type thing where Kent police lost a Mitsubishi Evo after it failed to stop but came upon it a short while later on the driveway of house.
Chav exits car and goes inside house.
Cops get on the radio and ask for a removals unit.
Chav comes out 5 mins later. "Wot you doin?"
Cop says "Seizing that car."
Chav says "You can't do that!" and goes back inside.
Few mins later and chav 2 comes out of nearby address. "Thats my car innit. I just bought it off him like."
Cop says "License and insurance for it have we?"
Silence. Chav 2 retreats.
Chav 1 then comes out with a kitchen knife and starts slashing at the Evo's tyres. Obviously thinking the cops won't be able to drive it away.
Removals unit the arrives and drags Evo onto rear of flatbed and dumbstruck Chav is nicked for possession of an offensive weapon by smirking cops.
Oh the joy.