• 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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Mr.C – Rank over knowledge.

Whilst visiting The Policeman’s Blog I found this little post from Mr C. called ‘What’s the course called?’

What is it in certain senior officers’ brains that stops them taking advice from a Constable?

Now a PC for over twelve years, I’ve been on many courses – gladly, most to do with frontline operational policing.

PSU, defensive search, numerous driving courses, drug dog, GP dog, explo dog, firearms support dog, firearms – to name but a few.

Add onto this experience with the military and a decent education, I tend to consider myself a pretty well-rounded, sensible-thinking kind of chap.

Despite all my knowledge and skills there seems to be a course that a number of Sergeants and nearly all Inspectors and above seem to have access to.

Once qualified, this course is designed to enable them to wait until a job is in full flow – and normally flowing quite nicely – before they throw their pennyworth in.

I’d say that more than nine times out of 10, their penny actually turns out to be a beautifully polished ha’penny – quite shiny but utterly worthless.

The effect normally ranges quite widely but will usually end up in the job not being sorted correctly, someone being hurt or a job taking several days to achieve the same result that was originally going to take 10 minutes.

Does anyone know the name of this course?

I would like to be promoted in the next few years, but I don’t want to make the mistake of signing up.

‘Mr C’

Amongst some of the comments, this seems to be the answer according to one reply…….

The course is called “Rank Equals Knowledge”

I have no idea who Mr C is and it could be that he drives a black van with a red stripe along the side, wears lots of gold necklaces and wants to give people who he deems to be crazy fools, lots of pain.


£8 for a full house.

Muriel Smith is in her 80’s. She has left her house on the Britannia Estate to go to the Pheonix Club because tonight is bingo night and the chance to meet other older people and the younger ones who volunteer to help them socialise and forget about some of their problems.

Tonight they have a chance to get £2 for a line or possibly £8 for a full house.

She has a family, but they live elsewhere in the country. Her husband died a number of years ago. Apart from some friendly neighbours and her two times weekly friends at the Pheonix Club, she is alone.

Somehow the telephone is not the same. She will have the opportunity to have a bit of a yarn about stuff and put a few things right, in a way that they do when they meet.

The Pheonix Club is a forbidding place. Within the graffiti splashed exterior one can lose oneself when inside as you look out through the mesh covered or barred windows and forget that anything horrible exists outside. There is nothing of value left inside. Even the cups and saucers are locked away in sturdy cupboards. They even bring in their own cakes and biscuits. Yet still the locals insist on burgling the place with a monotonous and persistence that could be what one might call a grounding in the fine art of entering as a trespasser with intent to steal. Yet there is nothing to steal, ever. The costs inflicted by the intruders cost the local authority a small fortune and there is always talk of closure. Presumably as someone else’s plan to turn in some income for the sale to boost the CV as well as the local authority coffers.

Muriel Smith enjoys the evening, doesn’t win a penny. But that’s not the point. She bids a hearty farewell to her friends and makes the short journey home. This is where her problems begin.

She opens the door, there is a sudden draught. This is odd. As she turns on the light she is confronted by most people worst nightmare. Perhaps she has come into the wrong house ? No, this is the door the key fitted, it must be hers ?

Absolutely nothing is in place. Absolutely nothing is where it was left. Then she can see nothing. She is simply unable to grasp what had happened. She begins to cry. As she moves about the house it is clear that she has had an unwelcome visitor. Room after room is the same. A bloody mess. Everything that should have been put away is now simply everywhere. Her life and all its worth contained in hundreds of black and white photgraphs strewn about with no concept of her achievements and her memories. Clothing, bedding, utensils and appliances dragged out from every cupboard, wardrobe and drawer and discarded with no thought for the consequences.

Then she sees that note. That note left by one of us.

Earlier a passer by had seen one of the Britannia’s finest lurking before disappearing around the back. We have had a bit of a run on dwelling breaks recently so as we were close, we got there quickly. I got there first.

I got pongo inside, bang to rights. He never saw me coming. He never saw my mate coming. He was in for a shock. We got him, his bag of booty from at least another four places. He was on bail for more of the same and never, and I mean never, have I smelt such a disgusting smell as when pongo has no trainers on. I am surprised that they don’t do some form of protest disintegration.

For both Muriel Smith and for pongo, this is where it begins.

This is where the great legal processes swing into action and the claims of the Government fade off into the ether. Pongo is innocent until proven and the wheels of justice, along with the collective protective efforts of the law come into place to protect the suspect. Mrs Smith………..well she just gets in the way and makes things a lot more complicated.

 Muriel Smith has her pension. She is worried about buying her food, paying for her heating and how she is going to afford to get a new window at the back. She is worried because she wants to tidy the place up and we have asked her not to. We have to give our SOCO a chance to get some further incriminating evidence whilst we get the chance. She is upset because she has been burgled. She is upset because she has visitors in her house and the place is a mess and somehow feels this shows us that she is an untidy person. There was nothing of any value to steal. The irreplaceable gold chain from her husband, the rings of an unimaginable sentimental value are still around her neck and on her fingers. Her money in the pot for shopping and in case she needs a few pounds for something unexpected is gone and the pot smashed on the floor.

 Pongo is incarcerated. Of course he has the full support of everyone in his bid for denial. He is the one with all the rights and protection. Pongo simply does not give a toss about anyone else. He cares little for himself. All that matters is his next fix and he cares not what he does to do this, the grief it causes and even sees himself as some form of victim, keenly supported by those who justify their positions in doing so.

Muriel Smith has nothing. She is worried because she has to deal with most of this alone. She will have friends and her family will visit. But she faces evenings and nights in a house, her house, where someone else has been. An unwelcome intruder. Her castle has been violated and her mind will play tricks and cause her untold misery and worry. Muriel Smith has to deal with her existence being in a house where she now feels vulnerable and alone.

Pongo has to deal with the wheels of the system trying to get him released on bail, again, because his freedom is paramount and although he is innocent until proven guilty, he has no burden of responsibility to carry for what he has done to Muriel Smith and all the others like her. There is something badly wrong with the system when the system gives more consideration to the offender than the victim. 

For one brief moment, when I was in the hallway of Muriel Smith’s house, I knew that suddenly the rules had changed and that pongo was suddenly in the position where responsibility for his actions had caught up with him. He could lie, cheat, steal and rob as much as he wanted to but then and there he was trying to deal with something he had not expected. 

He has only one regret, not that he was in someone’s house burglarising the place, but that he was caught.  I was there as a result of his actions and suddenly he was responsible in such a way that he never thought existed.

He still had the aftermath and the total protection of the legal processes but for the look of absolute horror on his face, in my torchlight as I took away his night vision in the darkness of Muriel Smith’s house………money can’t buy that feeling.

Pongo, me and my dog……………priceless.

Budget deficit

The CTCC have announced a budget deficit as part of their spending revue into the various budgets that circulate within the organisation. The fuel spending has increased by well over 18% of the forecast based on the budget forecast of the preceding financial period.

People who live in the real world know that inflation is definitely not currently running at 3%.

The huge increase in fuel costs mean that the Constabulary has decided to switch to cycles as the new mode of transport. The vast fuel budgetary saving mean that a fleet of response tandems will be rolled out across the Constabulary to maintain a double crewed response facility. These will be fitted with bells so the public will be aware in case of emergency high response journeys are undertaken.

An anonymous Police source stated that a number of converted rickshaws were on order from an Eastern base supplier and these were adapted to deal with violent or uncooperative prisoners as well give a high profile presence in the efforts to make the public feel safe and raise confidence. Some of these will have cages fitted to allow for a highly mobile and effective Police Dog presence as a valuable support response to front line officers. 

Specially adapted tandems equipped with saddle bags and panniers will allow for a continued armed response capability. We understand that unlike the normal single crewed response cycle having only 3 gears, the Traffic and Firearms response will be fitted with 21 gears and proper shock suspension units. Electric powered cycles are rumoured to be secretly patrolling the high risk areas with tasers constantly charging.

Supervisory cycles are to be fitted with hooters and carry a drinks bottle on the frame. Some will be fitted with an adapted front frame carrier where first aid kits could be carried.

The Constabulary has released a statement in which it confirms its commitment to green patrols and has assured transparency in reallocating the budget savings. We understand that all cycles will be fitted with pumps and a puncture repair kit. Lighting kits will be available with a flashing blue attachment.

Following on from the Smoking ban imposed last year, the redundant smoking shelters are to be converted into bike sheds accommodate all the extra cycles.

There will be a series of weekly strategic response cycling policy monitoring working group meetings to evaluate the new response system and to fight over where the budget savings are best used.

Nicola Jayne Lyons MBE

Congratulations to Nicki Lyons who has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her voluntary service to the Search and Rescue Dog Association of England and to Mountain Rescue.

Anti-crime incentives

At the CTCC, in partnership with other agencies and organisations, there is a new initiative to help cut crime and reduce the fear of crime in the community.

Modelled on the efforts to reduce smoking related illnesses from north of the border, here on the Britannia Estate efforts are under way to try to reduce crime by targeting the known criminals and offer them £50 of macdonalds vouchers a month is they promise not to commit any more offences of anti-social behaviour.

Local Insurance companies have formed a insurance clients cooperative and are actively recruiting the convicted burglars and asking them to sign an agreement not to commit dwelling burglaries for a period of one month as part of the pilot scheme that will pay them £100 per month to be followed by a further monitoring period of 3 months. If successful this can be extended for a full 6 months for a full evaluation.

Local shops and supermarkets have targeted the shoplifting fraternity to offer free, all out of date produce in exchange for not stealing from their establishment.

After the first two weeks of these innovative and radical strategies, the chair-person of the local ‘Look at me I am inventing stupid ideas to try to reduce crime and make our communities appear safe scheme’ policy group stated,  “these hair brained schemes are having absolutely no reduction in crime and the thieves are getting free stuff and free money.” 

One local resident of the Britannia Estate stated that they thought it was silly just giving money away to the criminals and thought they should get proper jobs like most other people. 

A source who wished to remain anonymous told us “This is like taking money from babies, I’d like to shake the twat by the hand who dreamed this one up. F+*:”*g great.”

Criminals, resident on the Britannia Estate, after being provided with the appropriate legal advice, have refused to comment.

Foundation Status.

With the CTCC applying for Foundation Status, the Dog Section is to be used as a bit of a pilot scheme to show how this new wonderthingy can be rolled out across the Force area.

Ken Jones, the president of ACPO is strongly in favour, apparently. He said it was time to consider “taking a few more risks” with the organisation of policing.

There might be a name change to the Dog Foundation Trust and the Dog Section assets will be sold off to allow for the resulting 2m cash surplus to fund new management facilities, meaning the the Force will not have to borrow money or try to use any private finance initiatives. Sponsored dog jackets could be the way forward. Where we will keep the dogs could be a bit of a problem. We might have to take all of them home now. Where will the boss go when he wants to squeeze his head in a bit of a hurry?

Last year the Greater Metropolitan Constabulary sold off the most of its Dog Section resources, including some of its buildings and land for £17.5m, helping it to make the largest financial budget surplus within its family of Forces. Someone will be pleased about this. I understand this will be modelled on the M’o’D leaseback that proved so successful for the company who bought the accommodation units and leased them back to the M’o’D.

“The very substantial gains from the capital sale of this prime central Metropolitan land will be used to develop a research and development centre,” said a GMC Trust spokesman.

Since obtaining a Trust status and selling off some of its assets, the trust had struggled to afford the rental of suitable buildings to house many of its staff, but said foundation status allowed it to explore “more innovative” options for future projects and the ability to realise financial procurement on an individual basis where prudent and necessary.

None the less, becoming a Foundation Trust has many benefits, including:

  • Helping us to provide a better service for our customers;
  • Developing and enhancing our services;
  • Greatly reducing the need to hit Government targets;
  • Reducing the need to submit duplicated statistical information for coloured charts;
  • Involving customers, public and staff in shaping the future of the Force through the Foundation Trust membership and governor scheme;
  • Providing the opportunities for even more meetings;
  • Raising capital money without going through current Government approvals processes;
  • Retaining financial surpluses made during a financial year.
  • Freedom to decide locally how to meet their obligations;
  • Accountable to local people who can become members or governors;
  • Authorised and monitored by Monitor who has a special badge.
  • Becoming a Foundation Trust will benefit our stakeholders and partner organisations.

The pixie dust is settling at the first of the public consultation meetings. I understand they have nice biscuits on the table.


Lacking ambition………..

When I joined the lofty heights of the CTCC I had this strange and weird ambition. I was faced with the prospect of having to join the Police in my ambition to be a dog handler.

Apart from my first two years of mostly foot patrol on a variety of beats which allowed me to get to build up my local knowledge within the community and build my experience base within my new chosen profession, or vocation. I later got the opportunities to get around in cars and because cars were the thing, continue to respond to incidents within the community and get on with building my skills and experience base. I was able to voice my interest in my chosen career development path and every year when the annual staff appraisal season got under way, I could reaffirm my interest and come up with all the new and stunning reasons why I should be given the chance to get onto the dogs.

Every year I can recall a Chief Inspector or Superintendent showing their apparent surprise at my lack of ambition in not wanting to follow the flock and get onto the rungs, just like themselves. I was told the same old tale, just like the needle stuck in the same groove of the record. I would and could go far. Rank progression is the way forward. There is more to Policing than working on the streets.

I was fortunate and eventually did get the position I wanted. It took time, determination and a will to perservere to step into the once hallowed halls where the dead man’s shoes appeared to get stored.  Dog handlers seem to want to be dog handlers for the most part. After all that is why we put ourselves into the frame in the first place. It also keeps us on the streets, in touch with what is going on.  We may have a problem building the charges for a full file but this is not what we are wanted for by our most valuable customers, the response teams.

I, like some others, did not decide to be a dog handler just this month, because the winds of career change blew from a different direction or even as part of a means of acquiring some non-response status. I decided at an early stage that this was the role job what I wanted to do. This was my ambition. I had to join the Police to do it and had to prove myself at a load of other things first. These I did. I got the chance to support 24/7 operational officers with my own kind of specialist support and cared about this support I gave.

Prior to, my annual staff appraisals continued. I was always asked the same questions about the rungs. When I got told that I lacked ambition because I did not want to do something else that someone else thinks I should do, I have a message that I cannot repeat. The ladder is for those who want to climb. I did not.

This confirmed that we had some managers, who have ceased any practical grip on Police work in the operational environment a long time past, who simply refused to listen to what an individual has to say and always think they know better, because the benefit of rank gives them all sorts of inner understanding of so many extra things.

They listen, but fail to hear. They see, but only a selective part of the picture. They make decisions, claiming to be aware of the bigger picture but only the bit representative of their remit or area of responsibility. Part of this responsibility included  some form of delusional ramblings about the way forward and up the ladder.

Not everyone wants to get promoted. Most of the officers I know do not, are not capable or see the signs of a greater removal from the public arena. There is a big change on the way. The educated masses that appear to be coming through the ranks of the CTCC are changing all of that. The only thing I feel sorry for is the fact that so, so many of them are going to be disappointed and simply not get there.

Why ?       There are only so many management posts for the educated masses to fill.

Promotion………………..leave it to those who want to get promoted and can tick all the right boxes, presumably in the right order as well.

You can fit only so much ambition into a very small pot. Someone is bound to be disappointed.