Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Fresh from the department of shit ideas:

A real pearler this time: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/drunk-tanks-and-minimum-prices-to-help-britain-sober-up-6917683.html

Well – it’s a few days old, but it gives an insight into how a senior, experienced (?), powerful (undoubtedly) and influential politician’s mind works. In essence it goes like this:

Complex social problem ->

Simple solution dreamt up by blue-sky thinkers ->

Improved popularity ratings ->

Job done !!! Gin and tonics all round.

Basically get the Police (after all it will be us who do it...) to drive round the rowdy town centres of England and Wales by night and scoop up the drunks and place them in a mobile booze bus so they can think about what they’ve done...

In reality, it ignores the practical and very real problems of dealing with inebriated people, drinking to oblivion for a wide range of reasons, from boredom, addiction, lack of self control, low price, easy availability, inexperience, peer pressure, shifting expectations of society – I could go on... you get the picture.

It’s fair to say that David Cameron has no experience of looking after a drunk angry man. Or woman. Or child. And certainly not in a moving vehicle. And not with mental health problems. And physical health problems. And recent injuries. And recent drug consumption. I dare say he wouldn’t know where to start, and it’s one of those things where a wrong decision potentially leads to a rather tragic end for our erstwhile comedy drunk. Because, after all drunks are just loud, noisy, silly and a nuisance. Not violent, unpredictable and very labour intensive to look after safely, checking for head injuries, medical conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy masked by copious quantities of alcohol.

Happily enough, the Police Federation poured plenty of cold water on this particularly ill thought out wheeze:


Oh well, as long as it’s not me who has to staff the vomit bus. That would make for a very long, trying night.

Sgt C.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Apologies for the delay

Hmmmm - nearly three years to update. Perhaps not a record - but I've been busy / distracted / otherwise engaged.

The good news is I'm still living the dream and working hard for our latest set of masters .

And bless 'em - ten times worst than the last bunch. . .

So - pay and conditions under attack, pensions to be hiked up and reformed, and staffing and budgets being cut, but the ever reliable Inspector Gadget does tend to prove that we're doing really rather well . Perhaps a little too well...

But, that said - between Ian Tomlinson, the disastorous coaverage of the hacking / leaks / bungs from News International and the usual hyperbolic reporting from my favourite comic and newspaper you can forgive my occasional cynicism.

Catch you soon....

Sgt C.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Meet the boss - A.K.A the office meeting.

New boss - appointed a few weeks ago. Time therefore for an office meeting. One which was long overdue anyway.

The date and time was set. Schedules and diaries cleared.

The meeting took place.

A short agenda - I had two items to raise - we came up with a third thing to discuss, while waiting for the Inspector to arrive. I was to be chair.

So it started. Some had even come in on their days off, for an inducement of some more time off in lieu.

Forty minutes in, all was well. All the items on the agenda were discussed, agreements were made on all of the points - a nice mix of compromises and unanimous decisions.

Then, the Inspector spoke.

It was a bad sign when the temperature in the room fell ten degrees. The windows began to frost over. Black clouds gathered in the sky. Dogs howled in the street. The milk carton in the fridge turned solid (but it probably would have done that anyway). Faces fell. People started at the carpet tiles, apart from when I caught the eyes of others looking round the room. Those same eyes rolled skywards.

Ripples of discontent swept through the room. The previous harmony vanished, like a teenage thief with a good headstart and the latest Nike trainers on his feet and a SatNav in his hand. It all went pear shaped. Some people just aren't good communicators. They don't read the signs. They are often frighteningly un-self-aware. And prone to just carrying on regardless. It was a WTF moment.

So twenty-five minutes later, over a quarter of the PC's had to ask to take me to one side for a quiet word. Others were huddled in the corner, discussing things in hushed whispers. Another is taking advice from the Federation. One has a job application already submitted and is thinking about a fall back position, in case that one comes to nothing.

In short, the new Inspector made an impression.

Just not a good one.

Never mind 'eh, soon be Christmas.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Why I can't blog about my job...

Much as I'd love to - I can't.

Let me explain... I work in a small office. Full of 'characters'. And due to the nature of the Trivial Crime Squad, and our lack of (night)shifts, and lack of confrontation, then our HR department (human resources, or possibly hissing reptiles - they'd be as well regarded and as much use) and the SLT (senior management team with dyslexia... should be SMT, but they are under the impression that they are leaders rather than managers) then I have more characters than you would expect on a department of a similar size.

I have the sick, lame and lazy - or the mad, sad and not very well. All very unfair of course, but the fact is some of my team are variously:

'...a supervisor's nightmare...'
recovering from a critical illness
recovering from a nervous breakdown
have horrendous childcare problems
'...action planned...'
'...moved under a cloud...'

and so on.

It's like the foreign legion. Everyone has a story, everyone has a reason for being in the squad. But nonetheless, they are a good bunch, work hard, care about what they do, mostly get on, and I would back them 100% when the make an honest mistake, and ensure that if things go well and truly pear-shaped, then the wheel would be bolted back on.

I'm always aware that the quirks and traits of my staff make for an incongruous bunch, and it is more the Office , than the Bill and I do have to resist the lure of becoming David Brent with chevrons. And as a result I certainly wasn't explaining to the divisonal commander why I had nominated a Sooty glove puppet as my deputy, given the SLT's failure to give me any assistance while one of my 'oppo's' is off long term sick and the other retired months ago and was never replaced.

Not me.

That DID NOT happen.

So I prefer to keep quiet about the daily ins and outs... unlike a lot of police bloggers. We do an odd job, in a smallish town, of some notoriety. You could guess who we are, we where, what we do, who I am... If I was to reveal too much, I would most likely blow my cover, embarass and upset my colleagues - and at the end of the day, they are too important to me to do that to them. Despite the very real temptation to blog the rich seam of stuff that happens. It's not an easy choice.

It'll have to wait until the memoirs.


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Trainspotting- 15 years on….

Drugs are baad...

Everyone knows this. But they don't make the headlines anymore. Not like they used to. No overdoses. No more Leah Betts's - some adverse publicity for Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty, Kerry Katona, Kate Moss - but nothing fatal to their supply of publicity and spreads in the 'sleb magazines.

So class A to C drugs are now just a footnote in society. Which is odd. Because they are very much still there - the tangled threesome of drink, drugs and mental health problems that are the ever-present companions of our regular customers.

But nowhere near as sexy as 'Citizen focus' or neighbourhood priorities. And I work somewhere so diverse that one neighbourhood's priority for the police is dog shit. Read it again. Dog turds. And not so many miles away it is drug related gun crime.

Just think about the issues here. Where would you rather live? Where would you rather bring up a family? Somewhere where the biggest risk is a dog egg lurking in the autumn leaves in the park? Or somewhere where gangs of well connected criminals are fighting over the profits of the heroin trade?

It's not a trick question... you decide...

Now imagine you have to allocate staff, budgets, resources, and meet the reported priorities of different communities. Where do you spend the most? And are shootings just a symptom of how utterly ingrained into society and culture drugs are? Just as buying knocked off coffee and bacon from hollow eyed junkies passes without comment. And agencies for every kind of addiction and problem fill town centre offices.

Sometimes we get very close to tuning out the fact that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are locked into a pattern of crime, addiction and more crime. It underpins most of the theft offences, most burglaries, most thefts from cars - it is why most things get stolen. After years of mandatory drug testing, the need to feed a crack or heroin addiction is the reality for a good number of the inmates in the UK revolving-door prison system.

Do the maths... number of crack addicts in London in 2005 - 50,000 or the number of heroin addicts in UK about 200,ooo - or the number of problem drug users reported in 2006 in the UK estimated at 280,000 - and that's just the 'problem' users...

And these are the people living in unheated houses, with filthy children, keeping social services at bay, with needles scattered all over the floors, in homes without lighting... the far end of a supply chain from either the Andes or Afghanistan - depending on their drugs of choice. Waiting for the next fix.

So the drugs haven't gone away.

Even if it's not as interesting as G20 / G8 / BNP / MP's expenses / anti-social behaviour / hoodies / domestic violence /and so on... they're still out there - eyeing your possessions, looking to convert your stuff to small snap bags of temporary oblivion.

So the police aren't looking,[because the war on drugs isn't sexy] the media aren't looking [because it just isn't newsworthy], the politicians aren't looking [because the New-Labour initiatives came to nothing and the Tories are similarly bankrupt of ideas.] So who is looking to stem the tide of drug imports, reduce the number of addicts, deal with the chaos left bydrug addled lifestyles?

Sleep easy.


I know, I know... 13 years since the film - 16 since the book...

Monday, 5 October 2009

Money, money, money ... cuts, cuts, cuts.

Party conference season lurches to an end. The big three have set out their stalls. All involve cuts in public spending, and less in the pot for public spending.

Strangely enough, a downturn in the economic cycle tends to coincide with a rise in acquisitive crime. Hmmmm. Can anyone see a problem looming on the horizon? Or do we bury our heads in the sand. I was growing up in the eighties, and it was fairly shite. Unemployment and crime do seem to skip along happily, hand in hand and get along just fine.

It must be true - I found this on the internet today - and the internet never lies.

We can expect increasing crime, and either the same or less resources to fight it with. Sounds like perfect time for a massive reorganisation then?

So... at Grim-on-th't-Moor we are throwing ourselves into Neighbourhood policing with gusto. Departments are being renamed, new signs appearing on doors, and the new probationers - sorry, newbies - sorry, Student Officers are soon to be looked after by the Neighbourhood teams, and not response any more. This probably won't save any money. But it will put more staff in the golden calf of 'neighbourhood policing' - so the Home Office will be happier.

But will it make them better neighbours? and less likely to steal stuff, break things, and punch each other?

I'm not holding my breath.


Where did September go?

Oh yes.

I was busy.

I remember now.

But thanks for the comments while I was away. All will remain. I've only ever deleted one - and that was from one of life's 'Anon's - who told me - not even asking nicely - to 'Fuck off moaning pig'. Or words to that effect at least.

When said to my face that usually leads to some unpleasantness that will end with fingerprints and DNA. That's you lot warned.