• 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.

Sheepdogs & Wolves

Have a look at MetCountyMounty’s new blog. Well worth at least a look.

Just click on the link.

Fingers on the pulse of the rainbow.

Telling you what to do seems to be the new way in managing the resources at your disposal. It is good to make a decision and stick by it. This is deemed good management.

For the minnions itis not good to challenge stuff. This, it appears, is food of the gods but not the rest.  The rest cannot be trusted and are expected to play by the rules set by those who claim to know better, presumably because they are the ones with fingers on the pulse of the big picture.

So you eventually get onto the chosen specialisation of your choice and you believe that you might be trusted to get on with things. After all, you have proven yourself to your previous supervisors, your district management, passed the relevant selection and finally nailed your post after a long time trying. Becoming a dog handler doesn’t happen very often because there are not many places that come along. Historically people have had to wait a long time. Almost like a tradition really.

You should be trusted to be able to make yourself available for what you are there to do. Support the response shift with general purpose dog support. For those with that little bit extra, they can offer additional scope with drugs or explo support.

You would have thought so, this is normally the case.

Not so in the realms of the CTC Constabulary, where the senior managers have a plan. Everything must be focused towards the plan. The big plan where only those at the top see the bigger picture and can make the correct decisions. They see through a whole spectrum of colours and everything appears pinpoint clear to them, whilst the minions are credited with a far lower range of colour recognition and need the constant guidance of the managerial excellence in place.

I find this a little bit insulting. I have coped pretty well for a score and a few years and been able to more than justify my existence through the myriad of statistical dross I have to submit. I have been told that I should be lucky I have done this as it has saved my ass on more than a few occasions. I have yet to find out from what.

I book on, I load up my beast, sort my kit, check I have enough fuel for the possible journeys ahead and hit the streets covered by the CTCC. Like almost every other dog handler, my trusty flask and grub bag accompany me as I have learned to my cost and my hunger the feelings that affect you when these valuable items are left back at base. You see, we often take our grub, if we get a chance to have any, on the hoof or at one of the stations out on the ground.

Like others, I always take out a spare battery for the radio. I always book on with the big controller who covers the ‘big’ air as well as the small controller who covers the ‘little’ air of the district waveband.  I also pop into the local station, speak to the local supervisors as well as some of the regulars on shift. I have built up a very good local knowledge and actually listen to the radio. I have even got update intimate with the intel and crime statistics analyst to give me the current and up to date knowledge I feel I need. I do not need to wait days or weeks for the other intel machinery to asses, evaluate and disseminate their own brand of belated and often out of date bedtime stories.  Contrary to any other stories that may perambulate around the halls of the mighty, I most definitely do not kip at night.

When I get word that shift changes are likely to be afoot, it pisses me off.

When I hear that things will change, because change is good, this also pisses me off.

When I am not trusted to work out where my (perceived) non-committed time is best needed and I am told when and where I will patrol it pisses me off is a very big way.

When I learn that the rainbow squad has decided to take me out of sync with the very people I am there to offer my particular kind of specialist support to, It causes me great annoyance and displeasure. This is not a recipe in either theirs or my interest.

I book on, I answer as well as monitor the radio and like most other dog handlers, I form one of the highest responding response groups to emergency or high grade calls within the CTCC.

I work with animals. That is some of the problem. There is a problem with the all seeing perception within the big picture.

These animals are not like a gun, a car or a radio. You cannot use them and then put them back in the box, locker or garage after use with minimum checks of fuel oil and water or after cleaning.

These animals require continual work, constant consideration and care. That is what ACPO recommend anyway. These animals have moods, some of them a bit odd I will admit, but they do. The dogs that is,  not ACPO. Although I feel sure that they too, ACPO this time, have moods as well.

The rainbow squad seem unaware of this when the plans are made for that really big push towards the creation and implementation of the next really big and important plan. It seems that we are all one big happy family. We have the same goals, the same mission and the same objectives.  

I can somehow feel a review or reorganisation in my water. This will surely be seen to move things forward and be damn good career developing evidence at the same time, no doubt.

That’s the trouble when dogs don’t fit into the really big plan anymore.  Districts ?  Who are they anyway ?

I thought they were our biggest customers, but it appears that I have been looking through the wrong glasses and need to get my eyes tested.

I will wake up and this will have been some form of weird and wonderful dream that I will never be able to explain.

Can you figure it out ?

Can you figure out what these words have in common ?

Banana
Dresser
Grammar
Potato
Revive
Uneven
Assess
Have you already given up? Give  it another try…
 
You will kick yourself when you discover the answer.
Go back and look at them ag

ain; think hard.

Humour ?

1 . Two blondes walk into a building………..you’d think at least one
of them would have seen it.

2. Phone answering machine message – ‘….If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key…’

3. A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts.
The shrink says, ‘Well, I can clearly see you’re nuts.’

4. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

5. I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said,
‘No, the steaks are too high.’

6. My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.

7 . A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, ‘Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!’
The doctor replied, ‘I know you can’t, I’ve cut your arms off’.

8. I went to a seafood disco last week…and pulled a muscle.

9.. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

10. Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with
hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.

11. Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head.
Doc says ‘I’ll give you some cream to put on it.’

12. ‘Doc I can’t stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home’ ‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome.
‘Is it common?’ ‘It’s not unusual.’

13. A man takes his Rotteweiller to the vet. ‘My dog is cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?”Well,’ said the vet, ‘let’s have a look at him’ So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then he checks his teeth. Finally, he says, ‘I’m going to have to put him down.’ ‘What? Because he’s cross-eyed?’ ‘No, because he’s really heavy’

14. Guy goes into the doctor’s. ‘Doc, I’ve got a cricket ball stuck up my backside.”How’s that?’ ‘Don’t you start.’

15. Two elephants walk off a cliff…boom, boom!

16. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

17. So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me ‘Can you give me a lift?’
I said ‘Sure, you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it.’

18. Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. There are 5 people
in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my Dad,
Or my older Brother Colin, or my younger Brother Ho-Cha-Chu? But I think its Colin.

19. Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other ‘Your round.’ The other
one says ‘So are you, you fat bast**d!’

20. Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and
the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

21. ‘You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They
left a little note on the windscreen. It said, ‘Parking Fine.’ So that was nice.’

22. A man walked into the doctors, he said, ‘I’ve hurt my arm in several places’
The doctor said, ‘Well don’t go there anymore’

23. Ireland ‘s worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small
two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. Irish search and rescue
workers have recovered 1826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb
as digging continues into the night

Free money, apply here, no proof needed.

It is nice and particularly satisfying to know that for anyone who works for a living, your hard earned taxes are used to support those who are in need of a bit of financial support. Generally it is for essentials, presumably a plasma screen TV, fag supply, regular alcohol intake needs, microwave dinners, alleged gambling addiction etc etc.

It appears that all tax payers owe a huge debt of gratitude to Danny Wilshaw after he exposed the ease with which tax fiddlers and general lazy bastards can cheat the tax payer out of thousands of pounds by submitting fraudulent claims for child benefit. Wilshaw was surprised at how easy it was for people to con the system to claim child tax credits. In fact it was that easy that he and Nancy Stevenson did it for their 16, yes sixteen, non existent children. The imaginary costs of nappies, clothes, car seats and lego sets must have almost financially crippled them.

No checks, no visits from welfare, health visitors and the like , just a confetti of handouts for 16 invisible and non existant children.

Danny Wilshaw, 58, claimed more than £75,000 over four years and must serve half of a 20-month jail sentence. Half……… ?  That will really be a deterrent.

Nancy Stevenson, 59, of Weston-super-Mare, was accused of claiming up to £11,000 in child tax credits over four years.

She was given a 12-month non-custodial order and must observe a curfew between 1900 and 0700 BST. I bet she is absolutely cacking herself in fear of that hefty sentence. 

The pair, both from Weston-super-Mare, exploited a loophole after realising they did not have to send children’s birth certificates to tax officials to prove they existed.

The local council are trying to find places as they plan on taking all of the imaginary children into care for their own safety.

After his arrest, Wilshaw, a gambling addict with 85 previous convictions for fraud, claimed he had done a public service by exposing the loophole.

It is a shame that it is not made just as easy for pensioners to claim for heating support payments.

I suppose that if they had a large house with 16 bedrooms it would be somehow easier.

How did we ever manage ?

Comms are busy with the allocation of the outstanding jobs, also trying to update the open logs with closures that have not yet been given. They have their targets to hit. The time from a call being received to answer, the time between receiving the call to the allocation of a unit to attend, also the time taken for the log to be effectively closed after finalisation. Itis vitally important stuff.

The response units are carrying 3 or 4 jobs on their to do list and trying to deal effectively with one job at a time. They are grading the calls and some just have to wait.

Comms consider other things, other possible resources, Traffic, Dog handlers, but not firearms as they usually have other things to do. They are special and cannot be committed with the 24/7 dross that is always in the pipeline. But no-one is available to be deployed.

Comms know who is on duty and what their committment is. They call several units, most of who have already been allocated jobs to their existing backlog or are currently dealing with the third from last of the umpteen jobs given.

Comms continue to call even though they know full well that every unit is committed with something and there are no spare units. The tape will record them trying to allocate to non-existent resources who are playing the game by their own set of rules. The three D’s of the big plan come to mind.

No one, and I mean no one, will break off what what they are doing because they are busy. If it is a life or death thing or an urgent, and I mean really urgent job that needs immediate response, then someone will make themselves free and pick up the pieces later on, but until that time all available units will be no available units until they are finished with the current job and try to move onto the next one.

Yet comms still call in the vain hope that someone will be kind to them and offer them a glimmer of hope that someone, somewhere will call and allow themselves to be put down for a log so that coms have one less log to worry about and the ever increasing battle to hit whatever targets are set by the crunchers can show that one particulary department is hitting its targets and is therefor performing well. I hear the experienced and wise tones of ‘the sarge’ call up and remind comms that all units are busy. The PCSO’s are out and about in one of their shiny new cars, out of town taking in the countryside scenery as they patrol in the county. The sarge is due for retirement soon and heaven knows who will keep a lid on things when he does. All that experience, all those informed decisions, all that effort to keep the ‘system’ working and the wolves from the door. I suspect the replacement will be a spingly spangly shiny example from the tick box end of the grading procedure.

There is a call about youths on a motor cycle, two up, no helmets, no index plate, on the Britannia Estate. Still no takers, silly me, I forgot, no one is free. No one is free to go to this, but even before anyone even thinks about not bothering to try to follow because of the abort or break off messages, the comms supervisor licks the arse of policy discretion to remind everyone who is not attending because they are busy, if you see it then simply observe from a safe distance and do not follow. Itis a wonder we ever catch anyone nowadays. At least comms supervisor has said all the right things for the purposes of the tape recording and arses are suitably covered. Someone calls up for a PNC check but comms only have one person manning the control tower. This is another piece of the well oiled machine falling into place. At least it shows that resourcing problems are not limited to those at the mercy of the outside world.

Comms, Traffic, Dog Handlers, just about everyone else in fact, has a list of targets to hit to show just how well they are performing towards the master plan, the really big plan that is talked about in statistical terms at all the big meetings. Who has ownership of what and general disbursement of responsibility towards some other poor sod. Hopefully your own ownership credentials might grab you something you can do something about and be fortunate enough to tick some of the right boxes, not pissing off too many people in the process.

One department fails and another succeeds. The see-saw of statistical determination of success or failure rocks consistently and inevitably to and fro. Careers are built on stuff like this, on the ever increasing ways of finding something to manage, of something to account for, all under the shroud of the big plan.

This plan causes bad feeling to add to the lack of awareness or understanding of someone else’s particular small role within this big plan, or a smart name for a problem. A problem is not really a problem if you have ownership of it.  Not everyone can be a winner and somebody has to be a loser. That is surely common sense. The big plan has no place for losers so itis up to you to find ways of being a winner. Find something as a target to measure or an objective that allows you membership of the winners club, simple, sorted.  Just like fame-factor or one of those other drive by eliminator contests. With the mention of contest it is sure that there will still be winners and losers and so the circle continues.

Every unit and department are components that form part of a organisational machine and is supposed to be working towards one plan but the objectives of each part of the machine seems to cause confusion, bad feeling and resentment because so many of them conflict. Each department is striving to hit its targets so it can be deemed to be worthy. As a result the big plan causes division and loses working together.

We need to form a working party to look for new ways of measuring things, to show how brilliant we are and to show our determination for one last big push as part of the big plan. The big plan of ownership to make your own problems bigger than anyone else’s, so that no one seems to understand that there are other people out there in the Policing world that also have problems.

Determination to work together for the big plan, for the big plan equals the three D’s of  divide, disillusion, disrupt.

Its OK for the managers to challenge, it can be a positive performance indicator, but when the masses down the foodchain challenge itis tantamount to treason.

CTC Constabulary.

I have been getting an increasing number of hits for CTC Constabulary. After all, like all organisations it has a mission statement, it also has aims.

I should, perhaps, point out that this non-entity is a completely and utterly made up world that exists no-where but according to the sage offerings of +++++  +++++++  (I have disguised the name to protect the anon ID,) represents a mish-mash concoction of organisations.

You  may even have delusions of fantasy that an organisation you know bears some striking similarity.

You might think these things based on your own wide experiences but as for me, not having the same experiences as you, well I could not possibly comment.

I mean, who in their right mind would………….??? 

Once upon a time…………..

Once upon a time……………..

Upon entering one of the inner sanctum chambers of what is fast becoming referred to as terminal 5, trap 1 to be exact, I glanced around for suitable visual indoctrination and was not to be disappointed. At the CTC Constabulary we have a new and radical publication called the ‘In the doghouse’. This publication is an internal thing and sponsored by those in the industry associated with all things canine. I picked it up and began to peruse the pages.

As I trolled through the news and many interesting letters I came across a rather interesting oracle penned by one with the rather unual name of ‘The Inquisitor’.  I quickly surmised that this is not, in fact his or her real name, but a name to protect their identity. He or she operates within a fictitious world that exists between what is perceived to be real by the troops and the politically correct shores of that management paradise Isle somewhere in the temperate sea of the ideology continent. In this place you need the theoretical magnitude of someone who sees the bigger picture to appreciate how to shaft people and make it sound somehow beneficial for the organisation.

The Inquisitor strips away the jargon of the political mastery and views decisions in the cold hard light of reality and the effect on the victims of the decision making processes. Yes there are victims to this process. The Inquisitor is slightly miffed at the treatment dished out to someone who has been forced to accept what are considered as unfair sacrifices, all for the benefits of the organisation you understand, as well as for the obvious benefits to another. Lambs, slaughter, fish in a barrel, gun in hand, it is all apparently that easy.

An officer has returned from, an enforced period of awayness of some many months and been allowed to alter shifts, place of duty and shift pattern to accommodate things within their personal life. This has resulted in several others also, shall we say, inconvenienced, for the benefits of the organisation.

These ‘others’ are not pleased with the fact that these changes have been made, without their consultation I might add. Some might claim that this is in itself unfair but apparently not, at least according to some areas of management within the CTC Constabulary.

The accommodators, in this instance,  have serious doubts of any benefits to the organisation but also serious beliefs that the changes been made to ensure that the organisation is being seen to be supportive on one officer’s needs because their circumstances have changed. The accommodators feel that they, on the other hand, are not supported at all, also their circumstances have been changed for no obvious reason or benefit to them.

The Inquisitor raises clear and obvious points which are easily dismissed by readers who are not those subject to the disruption of the many to accommodate the one.

The organisation is clearly the winner here because it will take notice of one officers needs to the detriment and against the views of others. This goes to support the fact that the CTC Constabulary totally supports certain things which happen to be in line with certain policy guidelines sent down from on high somewhere in a world where thoughts of things are somewhat different.  One happy camper in a field full of tents has a small benefit somewhere, I feel sure, or so I am led to understand.

Also the possibilities of someone taking out a grievance for not being accommodated are totally removed. So there is a real plus, for the organisation of course.

The Inquisitor concludes that no one is bigger than the organisation, but it seems that some are more equal to consideration than others.

There is a happy ending. The officer accommodated and the organisation lived happily ever after……………..

Help with the shopping.

Need some help with your groceries ?

Need that extra bit of cash to help with your shopping ?

Then you might be in the wrong job.

Look here for exciting and generously financed job opportunities.

Want to do a job where one law applies to you and another to everyone else ?

Don’t join the Police, become an MP. Great perks, great expenses, great pension and you don’t appear to have to answer to anyone.

We’re out there, somewhere.

After some of the comments from the last post it-is clear that out there, in the place known as the real world, where response teams respond and the rest of the world watches whist it catches its breath, there is a wide difference in the availability of GP dog support. There are many reasons for this, or some of these below at least. 

The biggest problem for dog handlers is that most of them want to do the job of support districts as their number one aim and the demand for their particular brand of expertise has become fractured and seems to be constantly changing.  

Most want to support district response with a GP capacity of support. That is the reason why they joined the section in the first place.

There are numerous reasons that have caused problems with GP availability, some of them as follows.

1. Response are so short that often dog handlers are treated by some comms as just another resource to show attending a job, sometimes where a double crewed unit should really be sent.  Any specialist support role is not considered. Comms have targets too.
2. Because response are so short the chance of specialist help is too often delayed and we get the all to often no real scope. This is because time exposure is our enemy. Not because it is too wet, too windy, too long after the event, too dark, too far to travel………the list is endless.

3. Most of the senior management who manage the dog handlers see their importance in other areas where they have ‘targetted’ as many resources as possible. IE you will get dog handlers sitting around allocated to an ANPR operation in stead of covering their allocated district and responding when necessary.  The trust in handlers to self deploy to areas of known activity or crime hot-spots does not exist within the climate of micro-management and the perceived accountability of the NIM and decision making processes. Some Force’s handlers feel they are under pressure to generate all sorts of stuff by way of targets, gathering evidence for PDR’s and remove themselves from what they want to do.

4. The slow but continual erosion of the understanding of our core role, namely supporting the districts with dedicated GP capability. There are extras in the form of drugs, explo and the like but the main role is GP support response.

5. Shift changes that take the regular dog handler further away from his district group (yes they are a group) removes probably the closest and most beneficial tie we handlers can have with our usual allocated district.

6. We are seen as a Force resource, which I do not fall out with in general, but we need to have a close working relationship with our base district or else is just doesn’t work as well. I have had a warm welcome, calls on my mobile or P to P with a job that has not come over the radio, morning tea & cakes, lively banter as well as some excellent results because the district response know who I am.

7. Shift pattern changes that take us away from working with any one team/group and the resultant loss of that knowledge and relationship.

8. Lose a handler for a drugs or explo search and you lose the GP capability as well.

I dare say that every response has those handlers that they prefer for their own reasons but generally the working relationship is excellent and this is something that senior management cannot comprehend because they don’t see the benefits for each side. It ticks no boxes and cannot be measured so in their eyes it is simply not important. We have moved on from answering call, training our dogs and being free for lates and nights when most of the demand occurs for our GP stuff.

Sadly my Police dog experience has developed within a framework where your support for district was paramount. If my sergeant (yes we have those too on the section) spoke to district skippers and they could not tell them who their dog handlers were I would be in deep cack. This relationship with district formed the backbone of our working relationship and was the one thing we depended on. Without this we, as handlers, could not advise the troops on matters of scent, time exposure, contamination and factors that effected the service we offered. We also benefited from the use of those who wanted to get onto the dogs at some stage in their careers. As part of their experience of finding out about what we did so they could get a better picture of our role they offered themselves (some might say stupidly) as willing volunteers into the fray. Some even did this on more one occasion. This is not brown nosing or earning some extra points but an effort to see if they could do the job and find out exactly what is involved with the role. This is common sense. Enough about selection as I have already done that. 

I suspect that all to soon if a district wants to get a dog handler for a job they will have to get an Inspector’s authority as the cost will be reclaimed from the budget of the district concerned. For the sake of the god’o’dogs I hope this never happens and gadget finds out.

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