• What You Measure is What You Get.

    Einstein : Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.
  • About me.

    I know enough to know that at 04.00am it gets dark out on the streets. It has done this for the last twenty odd years, to my knowledge and will probably continue for the forseeable future. At some stage in this ‘future’ I shall retire and probably won’t give a damn if it still gets dark at 04.00am. Until then I shall be out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows because someone, somewhere will be doing stuff they shouldn’t and then, well then I will introduce myself. In the meanwhile I shall try to remain sane and remember why I joined in the first place and try to ignore all the people who piss me off by making the job more complicated than it should be.
  • Opinions

    Any opinions contained in posts are mine and mine alone. Many of them will not be those of any Police Force, Police Organisation or Police Service around this country. The opinions are based on many years of working within the field of practical operational Police work and reflect the desire to do things with the minimum of interference by way of duplication for the benefit of others who themselves do not do the same job. I recognise that we all perform a wide range of roles and this is essential to make the system work. If you don’t like what you see remember you are only one click on the mouse away from leaving. I accept no responsibility for the comments left by others.
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  • C.T.C. Constabulary.

    A Strategic Community Diversity Partnership. We are cutting bureaucracy and reducing the recording of target and monitoring related statistics. Our senior leaders will drive small, economical cars from our fleet surplus to save money to invest in better equipment for our frontline response officers. We are investing money to reinstate station canteens for the benefits of those 24/7 response officers. We have a pursuit policy. The message is that if you commit an offence and use a vehicle, we will follow you and stop you if necessary. It is your duty to stop when the lights and sirens are on. We take account of the findings of the Force questionnaire and are reducing the administration and management levels and returning these officers to frontline response duties. We insist on a work-life balance. We have no political masters. We are implimenting selection processes that take account of an individuals skills and proven abilities for the job. Our senior leaders will have one foot in reality and still possess the operational Policing skills they have long forgotton about and seldom used. All ranks are Police Officers first and specialists second. We will impliment career development and performance evaluation monitoring of our leaders by those officers who operate under that leadership. The most important role is that of Constable. All other roles are there to positively support the role and the responsibility of Constable and the duties performed.
  • Whichendbites

    “We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising. It can be a wonderful method of creating the illusion of progress while creating confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.”......Petronius
  • Just so.

    Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.
  • Reality.

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.
  • Rank V’s Responsibility

    Don't confuse your idea of how important you are with the responsibility of your role.
  • Meetings.

    If you had to identify, in one word, why we will never achieve our full potential, Meetings would be that word.
  • There is always a bigger picture.

    When there is no answer to your problem, there is always deflection from the need to justify giving an answer.

Happy New Year.

My best wishes go to everyone who will be out there, working this evening. I hope that we all have a quiet and trouble free night and that the early evening good spirits carry on through the night into the new year.

In the words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus,  “Lets be careful out there.” 

Chris Roberts.

Metropolitan Police Officer Chris Roberts is the latest of a line of Officers to lose his life whilst on duty.

My thoughts go out to his family, his friends and colleagues.

MPs pay demands.

It seems that reports in the media indicate that our MPs are asking, nay demanding, a pay increase of up to £6000 despite the Governments clear wish for pay restraint. This is despite all of the extra financial allowances that they are able to claim.

Sources report that the Senior Salaries Review Board say that salaries for MPs should go up by almost 10% over 3 years, a rise of over 3% per year.

Perhaps we should get the Senior Salaries Review Board to negotiate our salary increases in future.

You couldn’t make it up.

Dear Santa……………

dear-santa.jpg

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2008.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit.

Be careful out there.

The Last Post.

And not a bugle in sight. This was the final offering on 25th October from Belfast Peeler. No replies, no comments posted, a sad way to finish off what was a pretty good effort at free speech.

I don’t know where you have gone or who you were but I hope you are well. You might have retired or otherwise gone out of circulation but please accept my best wishes and good luck. As long as you read this of course.

For the rest who read these sort of things, then below is the final word from BP. 

I’ve a hole in my sock. I can feel my toe poking through it as I shift about nervously. I’ve sat in a witness box, in court, under oath, and answered some pretty tough questions. But my mouth was never as dry as it is now, my hands never as sweaty. Maybe it’s beacause these questions are about me.

It was only a matter of time you realise. Nothing, as they say, lasts forever. And really, who among you reading this can say you’re the least bit surprised.

So let me say a few things while the people on the other side of the desk look back over their paperwork and decide what to do.

I don’t know what you think about the police. What it is, what it was in the past. I can tell you this. I’ve never met anyone in this job who doesn’t want to help people and do it as best they can. It has been my priviledge and honour to serve with people of the highest quality and skill. The job we expect response police to do, dealing with eveything from lost children to murder, is so challenging it beggars belief. Yes, they’re trained to do it. The milestones along the way seek to make sure they’re fit to do it, and keep doing it. But all of that investment is as nothing without the single most important resource without which it wouldn’t be possible to get the job done.

Each other.

I don’t know how I would have coped with things had it not been the cool and confidence of the man or woman next to me. Because be in no doubt, we face real risk and fear. No ammount of preparation removes your gut reaction to glimpsing an unmoving shape at the foot of the stairs or the realisation that you really are about to get physically hurt. In that moment of doubt, when you’ve come upon something you never expected the only support you have is your partner. And no matter what we face we always find a way to sort it out. And if we sometimes make mistakes or everything isn’t done as perfectly as we’d like we’re sorry. We take the repercussions, deal with the consequences and keep pushing forward, better prepared for future. Some of these lessons are bitter ones, they mean real people with real problems aren’t served as well as they should be. And that too is something you have to find a way to live with. Yet without pause, without exception, without doubt these men and women turn out to do what needs done again and again and again.

There’s many things I don’t love. Forgive me if I consider the necessary evils of life in a computerised world a hinderance. Is the way we record things the best possible way of doing it? I don’t honestly know, that’s not the view from the front. All I see is having to duplicate work. Typing information into one system, printing it out to scan it and attach to another? There are so many “why don’t” and “what if” questions I doubt would ever be answered, if you could find anyone to ask.

The head of the panel has just sighed and put down their pen. I guess this is it then, the end of the last interview. Wish me luck.

Fiscal prudence.

If I believe what I hear on the news this evening,  now we have the added insult that support staff will be given the 2.5% backdated to september. Nothing to do with them having a union to call for strike action ? I am not quibbling over the news that support staff will get 2.5%, itis a normal procedure,that what goes around then comes around to them.

In effect PCSO’s and other support staff, a lot of them in non-frontline or confrontational posts will get a bigger pay rise than us.

You couldn’t make it up.

But then again you don’t have to. It is a reality.

I tip my hat to Craig Mackey, the Chief Constable of the Cumbria Force, he had something to say about the forthcoming Home Secretary’s message to all Police Officers.

Ghost of Christmas past.

Its a few days before Christmas.

Dave, as I’ll call him, an only son has come back on home leave. He’s in the Army. Its dangerous and stressful. He has been looking forward to coming home for months. He’s 18 years old and is looking forward to time with his family after a tour abroad and some beer with his mates.

He meets up with his best friend who I will call Steve. They go out for a couple of bevvies, meet up with some more friends and over the night and the talk of foreign places, catch up what they have been up to and keep no count of what they drink, why should they ?

Steve plans on leaving his motor bike in the pub car-park and walk home with Dave, who will be at his parents nearby. It gets late, too late and somehow the decision is made for the both of them to ride home on the bike.

Don’t know who made it but its too late to change it.

The tree at the roadside, on the bend, never even flinched.

The bike ?

Well that was left in bits all across the road. Amongst the bits were two dials that held some secrets. They gave the road speed and the engine revs at the time the bike, Dave and Steve met the tree.

The people who can work these things out gave about 70 mph. Some of us tried to help them, to help the bendy-toy like bodies and the mess inside the helmets. They still groaned for help but nobody could have helped.

Some of us preserved the scene but we were unable to preserve their lives whilst the ambulance crew told us what we already knew. Others busied themselves with directing the passers by out of the way and towards the detours around the scene.

Then some of us had to go to visit the homes of these unfortunate lads, just young boys out for a great time.

The parents of Dave knew exactly. They knew that we brought bad news, even before their doorbell rang.

Parents can sense things, read your body language.

Just exactly how do you tell someone that their only son was not coming home for Christmas ?

How on earth do you try to share their dread to try to make it easier for them, or perhaps easier for yourself ?

You can’t, no training can prepare you for this moment.

Are you the parents of Dave ? etc etc etc. You know and they know. You know that deep down inside they know what you know, not the exact details but that you hold a horrible secret.  But they still hope that you have somehow made a mistake, a terrible,terrible mistake.  Perhaps they have not heard you properly, in their personal moment of momentary denial that they have not heard you correctly, that this is some sort of a nasty dream.

But it is not.

Your mouth is dry, you got that funny thing fluttering in your stomach, you try not to stutter or mumble and get your message across clearly, concisely, as humbly and respectfully as possible. Their eyes ask you the questions that they simply do not know how to begin to ask you out loud. Someone has to go with them, luckily not me. No awkward questions or even more awkward silences.

The parents of Steve wondered what trouble he had got himself into this time and couldn’t see the signs, too quick defending their son against all comers and thought there had been some form of conspiracy. Another case of mistaken identity or the wrong crowd he had got in with.

There had been no conspiracy. No wrong crowd. Not this time.

Only some terrible, terrible news. Then they were quiet.

We leave them to their grief. Here we are necessary trespassers but only for a short time.

Whilst we were left with protecting the scene for a closer examination the following day it dawned on me.

At 3 o’clock in early hours of a cold and frosty December night a new picture emerged that no-one had seen before.

A tyre mark, illuminated by the frost that ran for an awful distance around the bend, that bend, nearer and nearer towards that damned tree. Clear and vivid as though it had been painted onto the road.

No-one else had seen it, just me.

Closer and closer until it also met the same tree. Again the tree never even flinched. It all came back again, more vivid than before.

People moaned because the road was closed, how inconvenient for them. But they would probably enjoy their Christmas. They would be the lucky ones. I never slept for 3 days, never slept properly for weeks but I did have a Christmas, of sorts.

Like the birth of your child, the laugh of your loved one or the thoughts that make you smile, somethings you never, ever forget.  There are darker, helpless moments when you realise just how insignificant and useless you really are and how little you are able to change.

We never found out who was driving or who was pillion.

We only knew that two families would have a miserable Christmas. Lots of friends of the two families would be full of sadness. This would be a Christmas to remember, but for all the wrong reasons.

We just put it down to another life experience that helps us to deal with the next life experience in the hope we make a better job of it next time.

The bosses say to you, ‘be professional’.  But they never tell you about this. Nobody tells you about this.

Stats are the new black

It seems that stats are the new trendy way to assess performance in our target driven world of targets and statistics.  Who am I kidding here, they are the lazy way to assess performance.  Very convenient for those who have just too many meetings to attend and very inconvenient for those who have no meetings but lots that needs doing, most of it on the streets. No need to speak to the immediate supervisors anymore. They clearly are not trusted to know who is moving and who is shaking. Just get everyone one to submit vital and essential forms detailing essential and vital information.

 The list of seemingly useless and time wasting ways for the management to get a finger on the pulse are by insisting on the completing of statistical forms on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This is non-negotiable. Especially when the boot on the other foot is claiming to be rooting out meaningless bureaucracy.

Then, and only then, from the safety and comfort of their office can they have one of their staff brief them on what those down the food-chain have been doing with their valuable time. I am sure that some rather fetching and colourful pie charts, bar graphs or other exciting picture will raise the bar on who does what.

From this statistical detritus the winners and losers can be identified and roundly thrashed where necessary.

The exact reason for all this measuring is not known to anyone other than those with the details of the big plan. Those lower down the food chain are not aware of how all this measuring has saved their arses sssoooo many times before. After all someone has to finish first and someone has to finish last in this world of death by measurementation. That is the affliction that are league tables.

One can only assume that the hoards of statititians and message senders justify their positions in many of the offices that grace the land by assessing, interpreting and devolving this important information up the chain to the management to get an idea for the next batch of instructional and educational statistically vital request to be sent.

If the boss says it-is essential then you trust this better judgement to believe it must be. If the boss tells you that need to do it and there really is no other alternative then it must be important, I mean really important. 

In the bigger plan I accept that I will not be last in some areas and will not be top in other areas. This means that someone will be top somewhere and someone will be bottom somewhere else.  In these important areas of performance exactly what will happen to the bottom dwellers ?

I expect that the people who really see the bigger picture will have a meeting to discuss what they will do about it.

Treaty or Constitution, vote or no vote ?

It appears that my voting paper to allow me to participate in the National Referendum over the European Treaty or Constitution, or whatever it is called nowadays, may have become lost in the post or lost along with the rest of the things that have been lost or mislaid recently.

I saw on the news that Wee Gordy never turned up in time to sign, perhaps he had lost something as well, perhaps his pen or something.

I am a little concerned as he ‘promised me’ as did his previous mate that I would be able to have a say in the matter.

Could it possibly be that they were not being totally honest with me ?

Early release scheme – success ?

As part of the Governments early release scheme to make space in our prisons to allow even more convicted criminals to be incarcerated, therefore protecting the public, the decision was made to release non-violent prisoners before their sentences were complete. Complete in so much that they qualify for release as opposed to completing the length of the sentence, we all know this never happens.

Andrew Mournian was convicted for a violent assault offence and duly received a period of imprisonment. He was released early under the early release scheme.

He then went on to murder the same victim. Yes that’s right. He had a custodial sentence for assault, was released early as part of the scheme and then went  on to murder the same victim.

He was released early for assault on Amanda Murphy and had a history of domestic violence and whilst on early release he murdered her.

Exactly what does the term non-violent prisoner mean ?

Exactly what type of non-violent offence does the early release scheme cover ?

This man, a man with previous for violence, violence towards the victim, was released for an offence of violence against the victim and whilst on early release murders the same victim.

The Judge stated that this may have happened anyway but, and it is a really big but, his early release helped this to happen. He was given a life (14 years) sentence at Leeds Crown Court, to protect the public no doubt.

The Judge denies a link and the politicians fail to accept their responsibilities for providing the opportunity for this to happen.

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