• 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.

Green to Red

Its busy and the calls come in on a regular basis. From one job to another, keeping busy but with the distance to go I will need some luck.

A small village has its peaceful night shattered by the smashing of a window and unwanted visitors trespass within someones home with intent to steal.

Response are left to deal with the domestics. To sort out the lives of those who cannot sort out the slightest of problems without involving half of the community as well. The likes of Kyle and Springer played out to the world on a daily and nightly basis.

By the time I get there, after they have grabbed some small items laying about they are gone. Over walls and fences, through gardens until they work out where they are and get to their car.

I get a track and the dog does well, even after 30 minutes.  We follow the same path, over the walls and fences, through the same gardens, up a lane until we reach the road where the burglars have left their car. The tell tale signs of fresh oil on the road mark the spot and some discarded miscellaneous paperwork discarded in the night.

We were close, but not close enough.

The next call comes in. A car has gone through a fence into a garden, the offenders have run off. Another 25 minutes till arrival. Another unfortunate wait till the Dog Support is on the scene and the offenders are long gone. Another track, along a road from the garden, into another road and another and another, then nothing. It is just like someone has been beamed up and vanished.

The next call comes in.  A large fight outside a house on the Britannia Estate after unwanted guests have been thrown out of a party. Both groups know each other and decide that it is all the fault of the Police when they turn up. Funny how this happens. It has quietened down by the time I get there.

Back up response who have stopped someone who is wanted and has warnings. I park up and move off after getting the thumbs up that they are OK.

Another call, out in the sticks, where I was patrolling earlier. An alarm call to accompany the phone calls of the newsagents shop window being put in. A couple of shady characters have been seen running away carrying bags. They are not doing the laundry and as likely the target will be fags and tobacco. A car is heard to speed away. No make model or colour and yet another track with no make model or colour at the end.

A couple arguing loudly outside a phone box,  a woman screaming, the sound of a car alarm going off, a prowler in a garden that turns out to be some playful badgers, someone has come home worse the wear and lost their keys. What are the Police doing about it ?

It will soon be time to go home. Mileage and refuel after the last walk around the trading estates before the journey home.

Another night has gone from green to red.

Prawo Jazdy – Wanted.

Details of how police in the Irish Republic finally caught up with the country’s most reckless driver have emerged, the Irish Times reports.

 

He had been wanted from counties Cork to Cavan after racking up scores of speeding tickets and parking fines.

However, each time the serial offender was stopped he managed to evade justice by giving a different address.

But then his cover was blown.

It was discovered that the man every member of the Irish police’s rank and file had been looking for – a Mr Prawo Jazdy – wasn’t exactly the sort of prized villain whose apprehension leads to an officer winning an award.

In fact he wasn’t even human.

Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence.

You couldn’t make it up……….not 50 times ?

Relentlessly Investing in Stitches.

The recently formed Senior Leadership Team has come up with a new and radical strategic step to add to its efforts to be seen to be in total support of the Policing Pledge.

Not only is there allegedly going to be greatly reduced bureaucracy and reduced form filling to allow for more officers to actually spend time on the streets and also, more importantly, only one target for the CTCC. There is also going to be a greater role for the HMIC to give them a greater role and be able to robustly and transparently scrutinise Police performance across the CTCC. I understand that we are ‘investing’ in something.

What the right hand giveth the left hand taketh away and the net result is likely to be even more of a bureaucratic jungle where statistical dross will be wiggled and jiggled to measure and promote what ever is the subject of measurement.

The winners, who play by the rules of engagement set by government and the host of leadership teams, roundly lauded as shining beacons of efficiency and modern, effective Policing.

The losers, who try hard but cannot be seen to deliver according to the rules, get their arses soundly kicked and are deemed to be under performing, lazy or incompetent.

On top of this we are to get our names embroidered onto our uniforms to help with our identity because the community do not know who we are. We will still have numbers but we will always go that extra mile to ensure that we can pursue criminals relentlessly to ensure that our community is safe from harm. With our names to accompany our Force numbers I can see the criminals worrying about how they are going to cope with this new and radical strategy. I don’t know who is paying for this as I understand that our Icelandic investment account has been closed. Yes, at the CTCC we ‘invest’ in all sorts of things. Invest is a positive word. You will hear a lot about this.

For the leadership team who are able to manage and control the resources at their disposal by way of the myriad of computer generated targets and statistics at their disposal, the modern Policing world seems to be able to function in the same way as the latest battle scenarios within a virtual reality games console.

The one problem, a really big one, is that most of the good work takes place in the public arena. The battle of the Forces of good against the forces of darkness who count amongst their ranks, the burglars, druggies, rapists, child molesters and any other number of criminal minded person. The rules of engagement are stacked in their favour and the ever increasing, not decreasing, tide of form filling for form filling sake only add to the burdens frontline officers already face. Despite the transparency, accountability and fit for purpose claims, a lot of this appears to be for the sake of measuring performance by those who are paid to manage and not provide the core functions.

The scourge of targets and statistical measuring information allows for a lazy management to conveniently (for them) manage resources at their command from behind a desk with as much or as little statistical information at the touch of their keyboard that they think they need. The endless round of meetings to discuss the achievers or under-achievers is a travesty. The endless list of office dwellers or non-operational officers who are keen to promote their own purpose and justify their existence to those further up the food chain only adds to the travesty. 

It might be convenient for them, but it is highly inconvenient the large numbers of bottom dwellers who have to submit the figures and get roundly thrashed if submission misses the next critical date for the tactical or strategic meeting.

There is only so many hours in the day. There are only so many things that can be done in those hours of the day. Some things will have to wait. Prioritising makes sense if the priorities are important and not simply a fashionable or trendy subject that can score points.

Someone has to finish last.  That someone may be doing their best with the time and resources they have at their disposal and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing a bad job. Of course, from a different perspective, someone might think they are.

Diversity in a diverse world.

It appears that I am amongst good company. Both  Prince Harry and myself have to undergo some form of Diversity Awareness training to ensure that we are fit for purpose. Someone clearly has career enhancing and developing riding on this following the decision that we can be all be that little bit better if we are diversity aware.

I am sure that this will make the country and my community a safer place.

Whereas he has used the ‘P’ word I have not found anything that I have said to be offensive those who are unfortunate enough to be disabled or those with a disability or impairment, to anyone of an alternative gender, to anyone who is a member of the gay, lesbian or transsexual fraternity, to anyone who may be of a different race or ethnic background than me, or to anyone who holds what could be different religious beliefs than me or to anyone who has a physical disfigurement or speaks another language then me.

I have offended no one. At least not that I am aware of. I think I put sugar into someones tea the other day by accident, but I had absolutely no intent to offend them. I even stirred it both ways.

Yet I have to begin, very soon, several hours of diversity awareness training, supplied free of charge by the CTCC, to make my sorry arse fit for purpose and to rid the Chiefs of any vicarious liability they might think they have on my behalf in case I might do or say anything that might be deemed to offend anyone. They don’t even have to be present when this takes place, apparently. 

I know that people are different. I know that people should be treated as equals with fairness and courtesy despite their differences. I also know that these differences sometimes lead to mis-understandings or occasions where these differences make things far more difficult and complicated than they should be. I do not need several hours of patronising voices telling me this.

I have done and will continue to try my best to treat people with courtesy, respect and patience in the course of my duty.

Sometimes, when people are rude, abusive, impatient, think they are more important or have more social class or have committed offences, behave in anti-social or violent ways, they enter a world where the ideology of diversity awareness have to take a back seat for a short while until such time that  the balance is restored and the need to be treated with these fine qualities in worthy of consideration at a later time.

In this diverse multiverse that is the real world, it would be a far simpler and nicer place to exist if everyone were tolerant, polite and courteous.  All too often this is not going to happen. Only in the comfy seats of the ‘should of’  lounge through the blinkers of the hindsight spectacles can we see how we should behave after the negative sides of some of our customers is taken away. Sadly, the customer is not always right in some of these cases. Those who judge are also looking at things through their ideal perspective.

I hope this helps some of the way at least.

dsc04476

4 X 4 X 4 X 4

With the recent changes in the weather for the worse, the CTCC has implemented the 4 X 4 strategy to allow for our continued efforts to keep the streets safe and make the populace feel safe as well as try to ensure that we hit our targets for attending incidents that are deemed to require Policing intervention.

The Force’s fleet of 4×4 vehicles quickly ran out so the local hire establishments were visited with a view to getting more of the Constabulary mobile in response to whatever the world could throw at us.

Not exactly Noah, the Ark and 2 X 2 but I’m sure you understand. As the blizzards did their blizzarding the roads became more impassable by the hour and countless Police vehicle became stuck, lost or otherwise undriveable and the trusty plan swung into action to rescue countless officers and their marooned vehicles.

The advice for people to stay at home clearly does not apply to ordinary Policing safety logic and the neighbourhoods still need our intervention.

It quickly dawned that all was not going according to the big plan as none of the 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 fleet had been equipped with suitable towing equipment so vehicles had to be abandoned to the elements as everything turned base bound unless there was a real emergency.

Needless to say the supply of  suitable vehicles was maintained at HQ for those deemed vitally essential to implementation of the plan and those fortunate enough to own one of the substantial 4 X 4 X 4 vehicles quickly become part of the Constabulary Taxi Team.

We are planning for next contingency or emergency well in advance and making purchases of inflatable boats for when the next floods come.

Promoting the brand.

ctctracksearchbite

Promoting the brand.

Thanks NJ.  Promote your own here.

ctcstrategicpartnership

Death of a legend

Everyone has them. When one dies, the memories, the stories and the experiences return. The personal moments, the things you have learned from your experiences that help you along your path.

All Police Officers have perhaps one colleague that has an impact on what they do. It may be a tutor, a first sergeant, a first oppo if you are fortunate enough to spend a lot of your time in a car. A really big influence on how you deal with the jobs you get. These people have such an effect that the lessons remain with you for your entire career.

When you see victims, vulnerable people, death and a whole range of grief you see the world as few others see it. You experience things that you find upsetting, things that make you angry and things that leave memories that never leave you. You know who will back you up in a fight, you know who is the best person when you need help with complicated statements, you know who has that little extra bit of knowledge to make your own job easier.

When I joined, all those years ago, there was that bloke who was big, opinionated and cantankerous. He always got the job done and everyone, I mean everyone, respected him. Apart from the bosses, that is. To them he was awkward, even sometimes obstructive and definitely did not play by their rules. He did not care for people who wore brown gloves and had their own parking space. He could reluctantly respect their rank but most of them had simply not spent anywhere enough time on the streets being Police Officers.

This person was greatly liked and respected by the victims whilst, at the same time, treated with a healthy respect by the criminals and those who had their career outside of the law. They new him, they called him Mister out of respect because they new what respect meant and who they could take liberties with. Importantly for them, they also knew who they could not.

This cantankerous and bad tempered man seemed to dislike anyone between 8 and 80 for the simple reasons that before 8 years old they had not yet learnt bad habits. Anyone over 80 years old simply had earned his respect because they had lived through 2 wars and that counted for something in his eyes.

I learnt about real respect, about patience, compassion, tolerance and about caring for victims. I learnt that statistics were for people who sat behind desks and not for real Police Officers. I learnt that sometimes you had to put yourself in harms way to protect vulnerable people and that you had to deal with people who tried their hardest to inflict injury on you and enjoy doing so. I learnt that there were people in unfortunate circumstances and there were those who simply took the piss, were lazy and had no respect for others.

I learnt about common sense and discretion. I learnt that the victims had more rights than the offender. I learnt that you had to earn respect and that it did not come without its lessons and that you sometimes got respect from places that you least expected it to come from.

I listened to the stories of how it was when it was just the City Constabulary, in the days before they joined the County Constabulary. I listened when they said how they did things. There were no computers, not many cars and a lot more Police Stations, really out there in the community. All of your patch was within an hours walk and walk was what you did. You spent your time walking around your patch, meeting people, learning the streets, lanes, secret short cuts, how to get to the RV point at the appointed time to see the sergeant, the local gossips, the ones who gave useful information, the local scroats and who was causing problems in the neighbourhood.  Not just kids sat about chatting but those who had a negative effect on the lives of those who lived within the law.  It seemed that we were able to sort out the good from the bad and concentrate our efforts on the bad.  I learnt how you lurked in dark places because you could see without being seen and hear without being heard and sometimes that is important because the darkness can be your friend.  I learnt how you could keep a bag of chips warm under your cape and how a sheet of itchy material could become useful in many ways, from a cold night to a pub fight. This was how we made the streets feel safe and reduced the fear of crime. Of course it still happened but we weren’t dreaming up the next trendy catchphrase or slogan to promote the brand. 

This was when we gave real time to people. Not just for serious crime but for every victim, of every crime.  No crime details given to a faceless, nameless voice in a call centre.

I got to the chapel early. I was surprised to see how many people were there. I saw many faces I recognised, some of whom I thought had died already. All the seats were full, the crowds gathered at the back and down both sides. Even some of the skippers  made the effort to honour this disagreeable sod who everyone knew did such a good job for his years of service. I also saw people I knew with criminal records who still respected the memory of this man.

A lot of my old group turned up, such was the testament to the passing of this man who held such a special place in our memories. We talked about things we had seen and done together. We could say it seemed like old times and for one short moment it was, but without him with us.

There were always only ever two ways, two methods, two opinions and two attitudes.

His way and the wrong way.

The problem was that he was always right.

R.I.P.

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