• 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.

Ghost of Christmas past………

This is one from the archives……………………


Its a few days before Christmas.

Dave, as I’ll call him, an only son has come back on home leave. He’s in the Army.  He has been looking forward to coming home for months. A chance to relax, unwind and to have some quality time with his family and friends. He’s 18 years old and is looking forward to time with his family after a tour abroad and some beer with his mates.

He meets up with his best friend who I will call Steve. They go out for a couple of bevvies, meet up with some more friends and over the night and the talk of foreign places, catch up what they have been up to and keep no count of what they drink, why should they ?

Steve plans on leaving his motor bike in the pub car-park and walk home with Dave, who will be staying at his parents nearby. It gets late, too late and somehow the decision is made for the both of them to ride home on the bike.

Don’t know who made it, no one will ever know, but its too late to change it.

The tree at the roadside, on the bend, never even flinched.

The bike ?

Well, that was left in bits all across the road. Amongst the bits were two dials that gave up their secrets. They gave the road speed and the engine revs at the time the bike, Dave and Steve met the tree.

The people who can work these things out gave about 70 mph. Some of us tried to help them, to help the bendy-toy like bodies and the mess inside the helmets. They still groaned for help but nobody, anywhere, could have helped.

Some of us preserved the scene but we were unable to preserve their lives whilst the ambulance crew told us what we already knew. Others busied themselves with directing the passers by out of the way and towards the detours around the scene.

Then some of us had to go to visit the homes of these unfortunate lads, just young boys out for a great time.

The parents of Dave knew exactly. They knew that we brought bad news, even before their doorbell rang.

Parents can sense things, read your body language.

Just exactly how do you tell someone that their only son, who had come home for Christmas, was not coming home for Christmas ?

How on earth do you try to share their dread to try to make it easier for them, or perhaps easier for yourself ?

You can’t, no training can prepare you for this moment.

Are you the parents of Dave ? etc etc etc. You know and they know. You know that deep down inside they know what you know, not the exact details but that you hold a horrible secret.  But they still hope that you have somehow made a mistake, a terrible,terrible mistake.  Perhaps they have not heard you properly, in their personal moment of momentary denial that they have not heard you correctly, that this is some sort of a nasty dream.

But it is not.

Your mouth is dry, you got that funny thing fluttering in your stomach, you try not to stutter or mumble and get your message across clearly, concisely, as humbly and respectfully as possible. In their eyes are the questions that they simply do not know how to begin to ask you out loud. Someone has to go with them, luckily not me. No more awkward questions and no more awkward silences.

The parents of Steve wondered what trouble he had got himself into this time and couldn’t see the signs, too quick defending their son against all comers and thought there had been some form of conspiracy. Another case of mistaken identity or the wrong crowd he had got in with.

There had been no conspiracy. No wrong crowd. Not this time.

Only some terrible, terrible news. Then they were quiet.

We leave them to their grief. Here we are necessary trespassers but only for a short time.

Whilst we were left with protecting the scene for a closer examination the following day it dawned on me.

At 3 o’clock in early hours of a cold and frosty December night a new picture emerged that no-one had seen before.

A tyre mark, illuminated by the frost that ran for an awful distance around the bend, that bend, nearer and nearer towards that damned tree. Clear and vivid as though it had been painted onto the road.

No-one else had seen it, just me.

Closer and closer until it also met the same tree. Again the tree never even flinched. It all came back again, more vivid than before.

People moaned because the road was closed, how inconvenient for them. But they would probably enjoy their Christmas. They would be the lucky ones. I never slept for 3 days, never slept properly for weeks but I did have a Christmas, of sorts.

Like the birth of your child, the laugh of your loved one or the thoughts that make you smile, somethings you never, ever forget.  There are darker, helpless moments when you realise just how insignificant and useless you really are and how little you are able to change. no matter how hard you try

We never found out who was driving or who was pillion.

We only knew that two families would have a miserable Christmas. Lots of friends of the two families would be full of sadness. This would be a Christmas to remember, but for all the wrong reasons.

We just put it down to another life experience that helps us to deal with the next life experience in the hope we make a better job of it next time.

The bosses say to you, ‘be professional’.  But they never tell you about this.

Nobody tells you about this.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Having seen the new way forward of the election of PCC’s across the country, it was quickly apparent how low the turnout was and how lacking in interest many of the population were.

The CTCC Police area has got one newly ensconced and due to be sworn in to take up the reins of power.

There have been assurances that they will not be deciding Policing priorities but will be setting budgets.

How clever of the Government.

To deflect from the cuts in Policing budgets, why not spend a shed load of money to bring in a new regime of Police Commissioners to deal with setting the Policing budgets for all areas.

Then, unlike before, when there are complaints about lack of budget finances, the Government that brought in the system can claim it is somehow not their fault. It is the fault of the Commissioners, an elected person, as they have set the budgets, not the Government.

Yet again we see the Government deflect from the dwindling Policing budgets by being able to put the blame on someone else.

Delegate or sell off the problem and then blame everyone else when it all goes wrong.

At the same time expect all sorts of positive brand promotion to come out at every possible opportunity to show that the whole show has been an outstanding success. We will be assured that we will be getting the same or better service for a fraction of the cost. With this new, better, more efficient and effective Police service in far better value for money.

But out there in the real world…………………………away from the think-tank state of mind, or the offices where they dream up ways of cutting budgets to ‘save money’ because the current system is not sustainable, who do they think they are trying to get to believe them?

Guidance or Rules. Is there a difference?

In all the years I have been involved with Police Dogs, the one thing we tried our best to adhere to was the Home Office manual on the training and care of Police Dogs.

This manual of guidance was the bible. Over many years it was amended and modified and known under different names but the fact that it set out its parameters never changed.

Anyone who disregarded the rules deserved to be dealt with appropriately, be it in training, deployment or on matters of care and welfare.

More importantly, if you were not very good as a handler, or lacked the ability to train your dog(s) this could be evidenced and you could face the appropriate, ultimately removal from the world of working a Police Dog.

It appears that in some areas the ‘guidance’ now offered by the current document, despite being a Nationally accredited and accepted document, holds no sway with some members of the management in the CTCC and some parts of it can be disregarded. The inconvenient parts that is.

On the scales of the bigger picture, the one side of following the guidelines to show best practice and to protect handlers, instructors and the organisation is heavily offset by the other side where the state of mind in some areas is that the guidelines are exactly that. Only guidelines which we do not need to follow. Add to that a great deal of risk managing things and all handlers are safe in the knowledge that when their arses are on the line the organisation will be firmly behind them with relevant answers to the questions of why certain ‘guidelines’ may have been selectively ignored.

I hope this never happens as the management responsible for zephyrs of selective ignorance will have moved on and poor handler X may find themselves in the spotlight trying to justify things that have occurred as a result of management ignoring the rules, sorry guidelines.

There have been instances where training has become a dirty word, an activity that produces nothing measurable so can be reduced to provide more time for handlers to become more involved in doing things that can be measured and therefore better managed. Or the management already has a pre-determined agenda, their agenda.

Training is essential and vital.

This is because of a number or reasons.

The fact that the guidelines state so is one reason.

Producing better Police dogs is another.

Ignoring the guidelines for convenience is like juggling eggs.

Eventually someone will drop one.

We need a bigger car.

Whilst these two are having a friendly chat, Can you imagine giving the guy a lift home?

‘Mind your head when you get in’

Night of the long knives……..

Within the CTCC, they have recently undergone some ‘training’ in an effort to enlighten them and bring them up to date with the currently political correct hot subjects that appear to be put in place as some form of arse covering excercise. One of these diversity type issues included innappropriate language in the workplace, known locally round our way as swearing. I have some of my own views on this but have included some advice and some alternatives that could well be deemed to be appropriate.

Having a very mix of strategic geographical areas to cover with the CTCC (City, Town & County Constabulary) the various bases have collective terms by which they ralate to each other. None of the comments are intended to be offensive or offer personal insult but are the friendly banter that has been taken and given as a small offer of humour to offset the darker things that exist. Not only is it now forbidden to engage in these so called inappropriate greetings or friendly banter but also a professional attitude at all times is the order of the day. Spontaneous outbreaks of morale by general piss-taking must stop forthwith. The ping pong of social friendly abuse between City ****ers, Town ****ers and County ****ers simply has to stop. We do not want people to be offended and get upset now do we.

And so it goes………………….

It  has been brought to management’s attention that some individuals throughout the  organisation have been using inappropriate language during the course of normal  conversation with their colleagues.

Due  to complaints received from some employees who have been offended, or some employees who might have been offended if they had been present when this type of inappropriate language may have been used, this type of  language will no longer be tolerated.

We  do, however, realise the critical importance of being able to accurately express  your feelings when communicating with colleagues.

Therefore,  a list of 13 New, strategic and Innovative “TRY SAYING” phrases have been provided so that  proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective  manner.

Try  Saying:
I think you could do with more training
Instead  Of:
You don’t have  a f***ing clue, do you?
Try  Saying:
She’s an aggressive go-getter.
Instead  Of:
She’s a  f***ing power-crazy b*tch
Try  Saying:
Perhaps I can work late
Instead  Of:
And when the  f*** do you expect me to do this?
Try  Saying:
I’m certain that isn’t feasible
Instead  Of:
F*** off , you got no chance…..
Try  Saying:
Instead  Of:
Well f*** me.
Try  Saying:
Perhaps you should check with…
Instead  Of:
Tell someone  who gives a f***.
Try  Saying:
I wasn’t involved in the project.
Instead  Of:
Not my f***ing  problem, mate.
Try  Saying:
That’s interesting.
Instead  Of:
What the  f***?
Try  Saying:
I’m not sure  this can be implemented within the given timescale.
Instead  Of:
No f***ing  chance mate.
Try  Saying:
It will be tight, but I’ll try to schedule it in
Instead  Of:
Why the f***  didn’t you tell me that yesterday?
Try  Saying:
He’s not  familiar with the issues
Instead  Of:
He’s got his  head up his f***ing a*se.
Try  Saying:
Excuse me,  sir?
Instead  Of:
Oi, s*** for brains.
Try  Saying:
Of course, I  was only going to be at home anyway
Instead  Of:
Yeah, who  needs f***ing holidays  anyway. Do you want blood as well.

Roof needed urgently.

I think I have found out why the jockeys at the Stableshire

Constabulary need a roof over their training and exercise area.

If the resultant roof prevents this type of incident it is well worth it.

Dread to think of the payout for injury on duty.

Well Sir, it was like this………..

Refer to PNB entry.

Friends in high places.

After years of continually being told that the Police have no money, every district or department budget just has to be cut, officers being given notices to leave, no replacements or recruitment and the inevitable purse strings seen to be drawn ever tighter and tighter, it is a small wonder that there are so many occasions when money (investment) appears to be no object to the chosen problem in some areas.

The choice of what cars the senior leadership should be allowed to drive around in,  the time and money spent on moving units, accommodating squads together, shared resources to make things more efficient for the leadership ideology yet more inconvenient and difficult for those who follow the latest line in decision-making from the upper ranks of the policy makers.

Everything has to be justified to fit in with the really big money-saving plan. The fiscal targets replacing other targets in an effort to reassure the public that the Police are doing their bit to save money, reduce resources, give better measurable value at the same time as doing all that they had tried to do over successive years to the tune of successive Government pressure and public expectation. Getting more, much more, for less is topical and highly driven within the plans of the budget setters planning and strategies.

And why not?

How ever, if you have a sponsor, the correct sponsor, it seems that almost anything is possible.

Every Force has had lost experienced officers to the decision-making processes of the senior leadership. Every district, department or unit has had to adapt to less money, fewer resources but ever-increasing expectation. Even when sound business cases are put forward departments, units and individuals are disappointed and feel roundly shafted as examples are discussed of what seem to them to be less than worthy cases grabbing the headlines as well as important chunks of decreasing budgets, be it for cars for select few, new and expensive offices, parking spaces, delayed fleet replacements or whatever.  To win the votes and foresight of that important sponsor to promote the chosen creation to ‘invest in’ at the total amazement of most other sensible people appears to be the trend that is beginning to come to the surface.

So when I heard about a plan from a neighbour of the CTCC to ‘invest in’ a roof to give a covered area for the jockeys of the Stableshire Constabulary, to allow them to canter around their training and exercise area without getting raindrops on their shirts in inclement weather, I was very interested. I’m sure that animal welfare must be in there somewhere.

Immediately I tried to link this budgetary ‘investment’ to somehow making our communities safer………………….No.

Perhaps it would increase their efforts to bring offenders to justice………………………………..Still No.

Perhaps a multi-agency approach to target persistent offenders…………………………………..Still No.

Perhaps an important efficiency saving to help with the budget reduction target of their own unit…………….No again.

Then I thought of how much this ‘investment was likely to cost, if it went ahead.

£80,000 or perhaps £100,000 or perhaps even more?

This is without the officer time to research, build and present a business case as well as review time from the management. Nothing these days comes cheap and everything has its price.

I wonder how they managed to project the necessary finance to allow this ‘investment’ to even get this off the ground without falling at the first hurdle?

Whilst a lot of other people are regularly turned down one has to admire the negotiating skills of whoever achieved this little bit of the budget, for a roof……………..congratulations must be in order.

The negotiating talents of the head jockey could be better utilised elsewhere if this is an indication of what can be achieved in such harsh and tight financial times.


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