• 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.
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A Different Perspective.

I have driven from location to location trying to follow and anticipate at the same time. I have got the wrong final choice of location so I have a short journey to get to the correct spot. I have been monitoring and the pursuit vehicles have seen me plotted up or moving around to try to get in a position to be of help. Comms call me to see if I can make my way to location X.  I have already arrived, the evil that is self deployment. Tut tut.

The pursuit was followed by a short footchase after the decamp on the edge of the Britannia Estate. Across the sports field and along the cycle track. As twocker 1 turned off the cycle track he must have seen the plotted up unit and dived for cover in the first garden.

I speak to the twocker footchase unit and he thinks where twocker has gone but does not know. He is guessing. He tells me what he thinks I want to hear but this is no good.

Where was he last seen ?

How long ago ?

Have you or any other officer been anywhere for a look ?

How much containment have we got on ?

Don’t get in the way of the dog.

Unless it is spot on I prefer to rely on my canine companion to work it out. I have got a last area for the sighting as twocker 1 disappeared from view off the cycle track into the Estate. Twocker 1 has not gone far and is in one of the gardens in about a hundred and fifty yards of the Britannia’s finest domiciles.

Matey is out, harnessed up and led to the end of the cycle track.

The track is located quickly, but it weaves about a bit as we go into the road, into the first garden and back onto the road. This is likely to be twocker chasers rather than twocker himself.

My mate has worked it out. Past the first garden and then there is a definite determination that tells me that my mate is onto the right stuff. I follow him, following the smell of twocker, along the road, going into every open gate. To check out the garden ?  Who knows ?  If only he could speak, he could tell me. I watch him and he tells me anyway, in his own silent way.

He continues, knocking off each open garden gate and then lurches into the undergrowth at the front of one of the houses. Already the curtains are twitching. Likely to see if they can rescue one of their own before the net closes.

Too late. The net is here, in their front garden and slammed shut, tightly shut.

The growl and deep bark tells me all I need to know. A quick flick of my torch confirms the tread on the bottoms of the Nike trainers. The barking signals to the troops that the team effort has been successful and I hear the distant beat of the approaching apprehension squad.

I signal the twocker to crawl out slowly and remain in his prone position on the floor. I give him a seconds worth of mag-lite to take away his night vision in case he decides to try for another lap but with the close proximity of canine dentistry he decides that the welcome security of some of my operational colleagues is a safer bet. He is led away.

I send my mate into the undergrowth and he lies down. My mag-lite confirms gloves, a small torch and some tools, hastily deposited in an effort to discard them.

Already there is another call. We have to go. I make some notes and we hit the road to the next job. 


The big 50

My stat counter tells me that I have had 50,000 hits. Yes fifty thousand. I am easily impressed by this size of number.

I might not be in the same league as the big three of Gadget, Bloggs and Copperfield but I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit or who stumbles across by some form of weird accident or mistaken click of their mouse.

Thanks to those who have my link on their site and to everyone who takes the time to put up a comment.

Why is it ?

Why is it that during an effort to flee from an offence or evade arrest, the suspect will crash through a series of gardens, laying waste to fences, plants, greenhouses and any number of other garden implements or ornaments which make the sound of this evasion or escape a deafening and totally noisy affair.

Add to this the extra disturbance of one or possibly several officers as part of the pursuit team and the noise levels rise to sometimes staggering proportions.

Add to this the noise of just about every dog in the vicinity beginning to bark as though their lives depended on it and you get some idea of the intensity of the aural severity that would have environmental officers drooling at the lips.

Add to this the high level din and organised daylight supplied from our brave officers of the Police Flying Core for those Forces lucky enough to have one of them helicopter things.

Add to this the noise of police radios of the officers on containment or who have begun searching the gardens or other area where the fugitive is suspected to be and it is surely a wonder that no one seems to be woken by all this commotion.

Enter stage left the dog handler and his trusty canine companion.

Suddenly everything is silent.

The first foot of the handler in a garden, the first paw over a fence or the first crack of a snapping twig and windows fly open. Some arsehole always seems to shout ” who the bloody hell are you” or ” What the f#+* are you doing in my garden”.

You couldn’t make it up.

Inspector’s night out.

The night response Inspector is out and about with the patrol Sgt in tow. They have ticked their boxes and want to hit the streets for a few hours, just to remind themselves what life is like, out there, when it is dark and the forces of darkness abound. Some of them still do, despite the management view that managers should manage and let others of less standing but more worthy of the task do the business.

Yes some do still remember what is it like and take the chances when they occur to get their hands dirty in this thing we call policing. Some still remember what it is like to do it, says me to reinforce the point again.

They are cruising as quietly as a diesel police car will allow, so rest assured that everyone who is not deaf within a 2 mile radius knows there is a car out there, somewhere, in the darkness.

They turn a corner and see two males, walking with some purpose and decide to stop them. After all, it is after three in the A.M. and most sane people are tucked up in bed next to a lap full of something warm and cuddly.

They stop to speak and immediately are aware of a strong smell of petrol so decide to check out the nearby parked vehicles. On the floor at the side of one car nearby they find some petrol cans and a length of hose, the hose still with one end sticking into a petrol filler on one of the cars. They decide on some further investigation so begin to question the two males who immediately become evasive, very vague about their presence in the area and decidedly stroppy and uncooperative. A decision is made to arrest the two and a fight ensues accompanied by call for immediate back-up. One is catched but the other manages to escape the clutches of the forces of good and is lost into the ether of the night.

As response arrive they plot up around the area covering the relevant junctions. I get to the last known sighting and harness up my mate. Immediately we are off, he is on the track of our foe.

Along a road, through some gardens into the next road, along this road and into some more gardens. This chap wants to keep off the streets and may be nearby trying to avoid the eyes and ears of response plotted up.  I continue to follow the dog through a series of gardens, crossing more roads until I notice we are tracking straight towards one response officer covering a junction crossroads from the cover of some useful garden fauna and flora.

My mate continues past her to a passage between two houses and not more than 5 yards behind her……………..bingo, he is now ours.

After the ritual growling and barking, our man is extricated from within some bushes, to the utter amazement of the officer. The one who must be obeyed is obeyed, strangely enough, and the gent is handcuffed and commences the usual spirited bravado of someone with the protective force of arrest and the offer of all that he was going to do to us but was not stupid to try when it was just him and my mate. He is led away and after a search of his hidyhole, I retrace my steps to check what I might find on the way back to see the night Inspector walking frantically along the road, he is sweating profusely. He must have had one hell of a scrap. 

He is distraught and very concerned. I notice this and it seems a little odd as this is not normally what he is like, even after a bit of a fight.

He has lost his watch and his pen during the disturbance and subsequent battle. His satisfaction of the chance to do some proper police work is distinctly tempered what appears to be a great loss.

This is not just any watch. This is not just any pen. The engraving on both tell their own story. It is one that exists in a place where money has no value what-so-ever. These items are simply irreplaceable, to him anyway. He will not be able to sleep when he gets home, if he gets home. He will not rest with this much trouble on his mind. He has scanned the area at least three times but I suspect he is looking but not seeing. This sounds familiar.

I commence a search with my mate and start off where the stop began. I watch my mate. On the road, in the gutter, suddenly my dog lies down. I look but can see nothing. I check again, nothing. I move the dog and underneath I see it, a pen, that pen. I continue along the road and within yards my dog begins to stick his head underneath the front of a car before lying down. In my torchlight is all the confirmation I need. There is the watch, strap hanging off on one side and strap pin missing.

I can still remember the look on his face, the night Inspector that is. That look that tells me everything he is thinking but is unable to say.

This night my presence has been appreciated.

This night my presence has really been appreciated.

Did I say this twice ?

Seeing, perceiving, understanding.

I returned from a few days off and found out that I had been ‘allocated’ the job of embedding myself within the community at a school. Not just any school, but one of those special schools. One of those schools where children and young adults with severe learning difficulties, mental and physical mountains to climb go. These places are quietly in the background and for the most part lost to their general existence. I checked the rosters and sure enough. I saw that I was the chosen one. There was no no way out. This duty was mine and everyone else had, by some strange and wonderful miracle of fate, got themselves other things to do keep themselves occupied.

A quick phone call was made and the visit confirmed, subject to the usual operation commitments taking precedence. At the time anything would have done.

I arrived at the place and could see the staff and helpers arranging the assorted wheelchairs, trolleys and rows of chairs for the kids who could walk with little or no help. The audience was to be in the shade under some trees. Everyone from the school was there. All the staff were there. All the volunteer helpers had volunteered for the day and were there. All the children were there, they normally are. Lots of parents, family members and carers were there. I was there. At that time I would rather of been somewhere else. Anywhere else, but not here.

I was seeing, all these people. My perception was one of not really giving a toss and my understanding was just about nil.

I was introduced and then I began to talk. Some of the children were clearly not at the level of my normal school visits so I tried to appear gentle, deliberate and calm as I talked and moved about. I spoke for a few minutes and had absolutely no recollection of what I was saying over the groans, shouts and grunts from my audience.

As planned, I left the shade of the trees and my audience. I walked to my van to get out my companion and return to the centre of the stage. I was worried that someone or something would cause the dog to take chunks out of these unfortunate children.

The shouts and groans stopped as though they were somehow interested. Suddenly they were not just children with all manner of unfortunate mental and physical problems. They became small people. How could the addition of one dog have such an amazing effect. I began to see and my perception changed but I still could not understand.

I put the dog down in various places close to the rows of people. The dog remained surprisingly calm and did not seem worried at all. This was the animal that has taken lumps out of people and the restraint and calm belied the seething turmoil that is sometimes unleashed when the signals are right.

Without any prompting I looked, to my surprise and concern, at my canine companion who had got up and walked slowly towards a girl who was a mass of belts and straps that held her in place in a specially designed wheelchair. He moved ever so gently to her face, sniffed her and began to deliberately and carefully lick her cheek.

She immediately began to convulse and appeared to be having some form of seizure. The staff and volunteer helpers nearby burst into spontaneous applause and my initial horror at what I thought was taking place subsided to enormous relief. She was going to keep her head and I needn’t have been worried. I even noticed that some of the people were crying.

I continued for several more minutes before placing my boy back into the security of my van and returned, relieved, to the building for the regulation discussion over a cup of tea with the head before I left.

I was greeted by excited gibbering that left me wondering who were the staff and who were the people they were helping. It turned out that this was the greatest display of just about anything by way of emotion and movement that they had seen from this girl and they were overwhelmed with genuine tears of joy, disbelief and thanks.  I had done nothing. 

I began to see. I saw that there were people here. Small people with all manner of hurdles and barriers to what I had considered a normal life, that they and the dedicated staff and helpers who supported them, supported the families and carers to help give them a level of fulfillment and achievement that only they comprehend.  This may not have been normal to me but for them, normal was exactly what it was. These people were special. The staff, volunteer help, families and carers are truly dedicated and deal with a level of frustration that needs a sense of determination and patience that leaves me in a very humbling position. 

My perception changed based on what I seen.

My understanding changed because of my perception of what I had seen. It is not just about looking, but seeing what is there. I mean really seeing, perceiving differences and getting a greater understanding.

All because of my dog, who had no barriers or pre-conceived ideas, just reacted to something he saw, perceived or understood in his doggy mind.

I was not sufficiently blind to have missed this and I am richer for it.

I wonder if this school will still be open next year ?

Selectively legal.

After many, many years of Policing I can state that I believe that two of the major causes of most of the problems I have faced are related to two things. I have not included management in this.

Firstly Alcohol.

The major factor in incidents of public disorder, anti-social behaviour and most spontaneous outbreaks of violence involves the actions directly related to alcohol consumption. Some of the events of the last week support this.

Alcohol is easily and legally obtainable with little or no responsibility resting on those who sell and even fewer of the consequences stay with those who consume and behave in bad ways. The consequences stay with the victims and not those who fail to take the responsibility to control their actions after alcohol consumption.

Secondly controlled substances, drugs, heroin, crack, cocaine etc etc etc.

These are illegal to possess and have an alarmingly high effect on acquisitive crime in order to realise profit from the sale of stolen property and the purchase of these drugs. There is untold misery caused by the thieves and burglars to the victims of this related type of crime with little or no recourse by the victim. All to often the addiction ravaged drug taker and thief is somehow portrayed as a victim. A victim of an evil addiction but at the same time someone who constantly appears unanswerable to the consequences of their offending. There are also numerous people who sell their souls, their bodies and their close family ties in the name of drugs and the misery they cause. 

So there you have it, two of the evils of our society that are responsible for so much misery and negative effect. One is glamorised and popularised by trendy and attractive advertising campaigns, has sponsored major events and sporting teams, is easily available and a huge source of revenue for the Government.

The other is illegal, a dark and shady under the counter type of business, still readily available to people who want to buy it and allows a good living for those in the top levels of the supply and demand chain. The Government have not yet found a way of taxing this.

The cost to the country, and therefore the taxpayers, is not known, but I would hazard a guess that the costs for treatment for addicts, of either alcohol or controlled drugs, is huge. The time spent by charitable trusts, hospitals, other volunteer organisations and clinics in treating the addicts would be absolutely astonishingly high. The disruption to Hospital A &E Departments across the country as a direct result of alcohol or drugs related incidents, as well as the first hand shit the hospital staff are forced to endure in the name of helping people who are the abusers, offenders as well as the victims of the first group is another astonishingly high figure.

Drugs, alcohol, I haven’t even touched on the dreaded tobacco. I shall remain with the first two.

Why are both either made illegal and banned or both made legal and taxed to cover just some of the cost of putting in place sufficient resources to deal with the aftermath that results in their abuse and numerous offences committed in their names? 

The dedication of staff in many public service establishments in towns and cities across the country keep a lid on things for most of the time. This should allow the people who can make the decisions, to change things, the time to evaluate their choices and decision making processes. Government after Government, in succession, fail to do anything about it because they claim that the evidence of this deterioration is allegedly never there to make them understand that a real and worsening problem exists. There is always some expert or statistic to show the opposite of what everyone else knows is going on.  They claim to be listening but they appear to be selectively hearing. Still nothing appears to get done.

Some things matter.

Over the radio one of response units has stopped one of a group. They think he might be wanted. As they are checking him out, it seems a pretty good wager that the details he has given are false. With his mates nearby, response are quickly making as many enquiries as they can to sort out the wheat from the chav.

PNC, voters, etc etc etc. The negative checks allow for me to arrive, just in case. I drive slowly past and a glance through the window gets me the thumbs up to say they are OK at the moment. With a name change and a match on some tattoo ID they finally get the name they want and confirmation over the radio. This is their man. I have now opened the back of the van and taken a comfortable seat underneath the hatch. My mate is watching the proceedings in such a way that only a dog can really understand.

There is clearly something in this guy’s tone of voice, how he constantly moves his arms about when he talks to add to the mutterings from his harem about 50 yards away.

I can hear the low guttural growl that tells me that I am not alone in thinking that something might kick off.  Two response, one dog handler and one dog against maybe 9 or 10.

The dog continues to growl, reassuringly, and is fix focused on the flapping one some 10 yards away.

He is arrested, cuffed and placed calmly into the back of the response car. No need for anything else so I close down the back and drive slowly off into the night. Job done.

This is a thing that everyone, who matters, knows goes on. This is a thing that cannot be measured and put into a nicely coloured pie chart, bar graph or spread sheet therefore it is not important to those who do not understand and really should know better.

It is important to those who do understand and that is what really matters.