• 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.

Who am I ?

Since I joined the Police, way, way back then, I have learned much and performed many, many roles. Some of them easy and some of them not so easy.

I have been:

a marriage guidance counselor

an  acting veterinary nurse,

a teacher,

a babysitter,

I’ve listened to advice from knowledgeable and experienced people,

I’ve also listened to advice from idiots and people who do not have a clue what they are talking about,

I’ve been an odd job man,

a translator,

a wrestler,

a boxer,

a fight referee,

a vehicle repair engineer,

a traffic controller,

a dog catcher,

a nightclub doorman,

a member of the sprint detention team,

a person who delivers unfortunate and unwanted bad news,

a person who sometimes delivers good news,

I have entered with a key, without a key through an open door and sometimes kicked or forced that door that prevents entry, 

a writer of fact,

a listener of fiction,

I have been a cook,

an arbitrary decision maker,

a companion,

I have not told lies to cover someone else’s arse,

I have been a friend,

a plan or map drawer,

a walking encyclopedia,

I have seen over-promotion for strategic credibility instead of policing credibility,

I have seen countless guidelines and recommendations ignored because it suits someone else’s agenda,

I have been a good Samaritan,

a walking street-map,

a local information centre,

a medic,

an emergency plumber,

I have been spat at, punched, kicked, head butted, verbally abused, had things thrown at me or been threatened with a bladed instrument ( formerly a knife), 

I have seen many fine officers frustrated by those who appear to have forgotten that they were once a 24/7 police officer.

I have been a taxi-driver,

an unwanted guest,

a welcome guest,

a listening ear,

a mind reader,

I have walked many a whole night shift in the freezing night air, in the pouring rain or in the humid, sweltering muggy heat dressed in a uniform that was not suited to allow me to do some of the things I expected to come across, I have still met my supervisor when and where I was expected despite having jobs on the go, I wore a cape regularly until I spent more time in cars,

I have been a surrogate and temporary parent,

I have been someone’s worst nightmare,

I have been someone’s saviour,

I have seen someone take their first breath as well as their last breath,

I have been a one man cordon,

I have experienced only a handful of very good senior officers,

I have been one of a small group against a far larger group,

I have been very, very, very patient, tolerant & understanding,

I have been considerate, restrained and hidden my true feelings,

I have been accused of being a liar,

I have failed to save a life,

I have seen and smelt death,

I have comforted and reassured,

I have always learnt from what I have done,

I have been an emergency fireman,

I have been the last person someone wanted to see as well as the first,

I have been told I am a Police officer first and a dog handler second  (yes being bitten hurts),

I have been loved, hated, admired and despised in varying amounts.

I have always tried my best,

I understand that those who police and those who manage/lead are fundamentally different because of the roles they do,

I have gone home at the end of my shift because my dog (s), have been there with me,

I have been scared for my own safety,

I have acted without fear for my own safety but to protect others who are in fear themselves,

I have always been judged by those who do not do the same job, take the same risks or work under the same accountability as I,

I have listened to countless politicians talk about how they want to improve my role, how they need to show how I am accountable and how they want to make my job easier,

I have protected life and property,

I have the respect of my peers,

I have listened to countless senior management talk about how they are improving my role only for them to move on and the next in line change things to support their own career aims and not to support or complement the work done by their predecessor,

I have wasted far too much of my time and effort completing statistical information for other people to justify their own position or to show how well they are managing what I do, yet none of these people know me,

I have listened to countless senior management talk about how they are improving my role only for them to move on and the next in line change things to support their own career aims and not to support or complement the work done by their predecessor,

I have wasted far too much of my time and effort completing statistical information for other people to justify their own position or to show how well they are managing what I do, yet none of these people know me,

I have repeated the last two things because they have  probably had the most negative effect on me during my service.

I have learned about tolerance, compassion, that there are a lot of nice people out there but still some people who have no social conscience and will burgle your house or even kill someone and not care one bit about doing so,

I have seen the victim not see justice all too often,

I have seen colleagues fail to get the recognition they deserve,

I have seen repeat offenders not get custodial sentences,

I have seen Policing become a brand to be promoted at every available opportunity, some of them totally inappropriate.

I have experienced poor vehicles because they are cheaper,

I have been subject to mileage restrictions because of targets,

I have been advised because I have not reported enough people or submitted enough admin for people to measure,

I have experienced death in many forms, from violent, unexpected and unpleasant to peaceful, calm and dignified,

I have led a varied and rewarding career.

I am a police officer.

But I am a dog handler first. I did not join to become a sergeant, Inspector or above. I joined because I wanted to become a dog handler.

It is not a game or a fair weather trend…………..It’s for keeps.

How many can say that ?

Goodbye.

30 Responses

  1. That’s a CV to be proud of and I doubt is capable of being matched.

  2. Well, as one who only ever has contact with the police when bad stuff has happened, I can say for sure, “I wouldn’t do your job”.

    But I thank you (and all your colleagues) for doing it.

    Some of us out here are still grateful, and still teach their kids to respect (and yes, to fear if need be) the police force. Yes, I said force. I meant force. Not Service. I don’t like that kind of pointless rebranding, so I’ll just ignore it.

  3. Fee wrote:
    “Some of us out here are still grateful, and still teach their kids to respect the police force.”

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. Thanks for standing on the wall – you and the lad with the dentistry.

  4. I started reading your list and realised that I was also able to tick off most of that. That made me experience a strange feeling and that was of pride, something I haven’t felt for ages. We all do all of those things, blindly, willingly and without fear or favour despite whatever obstacles are placed in front of us. I also didn’t join for promotion, I am a ‘rat’. and still wear thge white cap cover with pride. I dealt with all of that and having just become operational again, realise that I may have missed that and therefore the reason why I wear the cloth. The Office of Constable is still an honourable Office and even though people in more exalted positions abuse their positions, I can, along with most of my colleagues, look at myself square in the face and not flinch. Thank you for reminding me.

  5. A wonderful posting. I take my hat off to you and your friend

  6. I feel the need to comment on this but after reading it cannot find the words to communicate my feelings.

    An amazing and powerfull post.

  7. If you can be happy in your job, despite its many tribulations and setbacks, you know you are doing something right.

  8. Great post.

    Goodbye?

  9. Fantastic !!!!!

  10. As a fellow dog handler that ticked a lot of boxes and kinda reminded me why we do it and why we sometimes bang our heads against walls….

    I would just add ‘Ive seen way too many good dog jobs screwed up by people who should no better but can’t wait for me to arrive before they try to catch them all by themselves’

  11. Dogskip, i will second that one, however i will never have anything bad said about anyone of us that works 24hr shifts. Plenty dont. It is very annoying when a job is messed up though, especially when you pretty much know your friend would have got them.

  12. A good policeman is honed from a combination of aptitude, pride in appearance and manner, fastidious attention to detail and an innate sense of fair play. In my opinion, it has far less to do with length and breadth of experience, WEB.

    More recent years have witnessed lax recruitment, corruption, idleness and poor management adulterate the value of a uniform to the point of attracting public scorn on sight.

    Rare are the moments taken to admire individual qualities of the highest standard – a colossal and unaffordable fault on both sides. How much better it would be if communities had the power to directly award limited bonuses and honours to good officers, independent of CC’s neither side is willing to trust.

  13. A good police officer is honed from wanting to help the public, wanting to catch offenders and wanting to make that little bit of a difference. A good police officer is polite and courteous yet can be firm and can sometimes have absolutely no sense of fair play when an offence has been committed. In my opinion, length and breadth of experience is everything in helping one deal with the myriad of different circumstances you face on a daily basis.

    I can and will admire my personal qualities and career achievements, this is no fault on my part. I have earnt this.

    If you don’t like it, or don’t agree with it, then tough on you.

    Get you own blog, post about what gets you going or join the Police for perhaps 20 or more years and see how far your ideology gets you. If you have a combination of aptitude, pride in appearance and manner, fastidious attention to detail and an innate sense of fair play you could go far or you could spend your career helping the public who deserve being helped and being abused by those who do not give a toss about fair play, community spirit or anyone else apart from themselves. Bask in the glory that you have not yet been destined to the trash container, like most other Police related blogs.

    In my opinion, of course.

  14. Hear hear WEB, I am proud to say, that I have done some of the things you have done. And I have done others that you have not. It’s funny though, I think it comes under the word ‘Duty’, doing what is right.

    Thank you.

  15. Wow great post you couldnt have said it better. So how many roles do police dogs have? I am studying this subject at the present moment to learn more. I was wondering what are the main fields that dogs are utilized in the police service? I am hoping to be a investigator for animal cruelty and neglect and am trying to get a better understanding of dogs like this, thanks
    Lisa

  16. I think you’re brilliant.

    What’s the goodbye bit though? bit worrying………

  17. WEB, great post. Theres never enough of you guys/gals on duty and you seem to be at the other end of the force when needed. All due to money, but you’re specialist that we need more of. Im always in need of a drugs dog,our area is rife and its always nice to hear the dog handler call sign on his or her way to us.
    I especially like the dogs at Football matches, it puts off idiots wanting to fight when theres a ‘Land Shark’ and his buddies walking around.

    One of the funniest moments was a pre-match briefing by bronze commander about working with dogs and not to get in their way. two hours into the duty an alert was put over the radio – that Bronze had been bitten. I laughed my socks off. It was only a nip.

    Another was PSU training with dogs and the dogs came through our lines which parted, we reformed in front and one of the dogs – looked a bit like a rottie – he went for my skippers backside and Im not joking there must have been about 5mm between the dogs nose and his backside. My skippers eyed glared the six of us PCs had a giggle.

    I did a day with the section at HQ and helped with the training.I had to go and hide in a building and found a nice airing cupboard with slats so I could look out and none could see in. I heard “DOG IN” and then the noise of claws pattering along on concrete along with panting as it came closer. Then there was silence, I thought it had ended but stayed where I was then suddenly the Land Shark was stood on his back paws looking straight at me through the slats barking. I jumped it was a scary sight and my heart was racing. They are cracking animals and great police officers.

  18. Never having been a ‘dog handler’ or for that matter had any great desire to be one, I can truthfully say, I was always glad to see a dog handler and friend when the streets were crowded at pub or club kicking out time. I served my full 30years and feel I can tick most of the boxes that WEB lists above. There is a job to do and you just do it and think afterwards ‘Why did I do that?’ then you think, ‘It had to be done, that is my job so I did what I am trained and paid to do’. It is still gratifying when a person you don’t remember approaches and thanks you for the way you dealt with something several years previously. Incidents like that help to convince you that an ordinary PC can have a positive effect on peoples lives, to the extent where they recognise you even when you have long forgotten them.

  19. Good posting WEB. People like the troll will never walk in your shoes because they are too afraid to step out from behind the keyboard. I hope that you’ve also had some laughs along the way, although I’ve heard that this doesn’t happen as often as it used to. You’ve made some lifelong friends, other than your dog, and that you have some solid plans for your retirement?

    Giving you my thanks and wishing you the best.

  20. Does “goodbye” mean that you’re saying farewell to your blog audience? I hope not. If it means you are retiring, I hope you enjoy the free time and that your dog will now have more time to post on “This End Bites”. I love his stories as much as yours. :)

  21. Very nice post WEB. I hope the goodbye element means this won’t be your last, but if it is enjoy the retirement either from blogging or the force when it comes!

  22. Great post, If you don’t mind I’ll include it on my blog………..never read by anyone which I guess qualifies it as a diary rather than a blog :)

  23. Yes, I agree with others, this is a powerful post.

    But you haven’t explained the “Goodbye” comment, leaving us all to wonder if you are retiring as a Police Officer, or simply quitting blogging.

  24. Goodbye….and thank you for all the posts over the years. Presumably this is your retirement? If so, welcome to the club!

    Despite all the trials and tribulations… presumably, the great thing for a dog handler, is that your mate retires on the same day as you and you get to enjoy his company afterwards, ‘for keeps’?

    Good luck!

  25. WEB, you used to know me by another name, not sure if you were one of the ones who got my new blog address, just catching up on my blog rolls, I hope you’re not leaving, if you are I hope you keep in touch.

    The stories are just reminding me of my dad tripping over a police dog showing the handler where the scroat that set fire to our shed/chickens might be. He ended up with a lovely set of scratches on his back. I also made the rather sexy policemanofficer in the house smile when I refereed to them as land-sharks, insider lingo FTW! :-)

    All the best to you WEB if this is the end of the blog it’s been a pleasure reading and you are a top man.

  26. Are you ok?

  27. Reference ‘who I am’
    Multi-tasking then!
    So, what do you do the rest of the time? You know, just to keep busy and not get bored. Play with the crazy critter I suppose. Ah well, happy days.

  28. reading that has made me cry. thank you, for what you have done in my (our ,the publics’) name.

  29. I’ll bet it made him cry sometimes too.

  30. I recently learned a considerable amount about justice via my daughters experiences at school, considerably more than I ever learned when I was employed by Strathclyde Police.

    She was subject to false accusations by another pupil (investigated by the local authority and found to be malicious) and after a short period of going through the ‘right channels’ went directly to the Head Teacher, a particularly nasty tyrant. Very long story I can’t go into here as it’s still subject to internal discipline.

    I learned that justice sits with the individual charged with the responsibility for defending anyone who is deemed to be innocent before proven guilty (read teacher, copper, nurse, doctor, fireman etc.) not courts, tribunals or hearings who pass sentence.

    For justice to work we all, as individuals, need to work hard at standing our ground in defence of those less able to defend themselves. Jobsworths are the scourge of our society; standing between your boss (or anyone else for that matter) and defending the rights of the innocent (as we all are until proven otherwise) is what makes a just society.

    Looking back, I can’t say I conformed to that principle often enough, but then no one pointed it out to me so I thought I was doing something wrong when I defended the rights of a scrote.

    According to the Head Teacher my daughter was the scrote and she needed the help of her teachers to defend her from considerable persecution, she didn’t get any, they were all scared of the tyrant. I thanked God many times for my belligerent (on occasions), determined and robust approach to an institution and an individual thought to be infallible. It was found to be rotten to the core by the local authority; the head teacher is (ahem) leaving.

    Far from my daughter having me to help her through this, I couldn’t have done this without the courage and honesty of my daughter; I watched her going into school every day knowing their would be another battle indirectly commissioned by the head teacher and not one of her teachers had the courage to stand up for her.

    Schools are part of societies problem despite what various governments say; in the absence or their parents a teacher is a child’s guardian and ought to defend them as vigorously as I did my own daughter. If a child sees an adult standing up for them they are much more likely to respect them and cooperate. Similarly, if a scrote feels safe when nicked by a copper he’s far more likely to walk away from the whole experience with a different perspective on the Police Force and the Justice system.

    What I get from WEB’s post is his desire for justice, he appears to have achieved it, I’m not sure I even understood it whilst in the job, I just did what I thought was right.

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