Thursday, 30 April 2009

You did WHAT?

Picture this:

You are an Area Car driver. You are a highly trained police driver. You are trained to carry out pursuits. You are also a very experienced officer..

So now that you have the idea of who you are... you now get the scene setting phase.

You are pulling on to a dual carriageway down the slip road when you spot a car going through in your direction at high speed, you catch the index plate as your headlights hit back of the vehicle. You start trying to catch up and pass the index that you got.

The vehicle is stolen.

The vehicle is a V8 BMW. Something capable of very high speeds and well, lets just say that your average police car is a gutless diesel and it's overloaded with traffic cones and signs! You keep your distance trying not to spook the driver of the stolen BMW up ahead.

You have been following it for some minutes now across several divisions of Southernshire. 

You have not activated your blue lights because you are trying to get other units to come on to the road ahead of your location. You know that if you activate blues then it's all over.

Here goes...

A traffic unit comes steaming up the road behind you..

it goes past you..

the blues have been on all this time..

the BMW ahead of you (remember it's a V8), can see all the blue lights on the traffic car now...

so puts his foot down.......

You stand down because you know there is NO WAY that you can keep up or catch the BMW now all due to incompetence..

Less than a minute later all you hear on the radio is "TOTAL LOSS, TOTAL LOSS"

Great move. Specially considering that the units trying to get ahead of this pursuit were still a minute away from the area they needed to be at.

I talked with the area car driver on the next shift I worked with him. Let's just say that he was very pissed off.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Great Train Robbery

Well after a day out in Metro City I must say that fair play to those who can continue to work in that place every day, over crowded, over priced, big, confusing, noisy, dirty and smelly.. And to think I've been considering a transfer. :-)

It is no wonder that there was once a Great Train Robbery. I am convinced that it's the train companies that are the cause of the UK section of the Global Recession... *sigh*

£4 to go from Waterloo to Westminster - One Way!!! (that is 2 stops, and about 10 mins walk I have now learned) Bloody Criminal!!!

Mind you though, I now know which way to walk so the tube has just lost another customer.
I do find it incredibly funny because the GOVERNMENT wants us to be more Environmentally Friendly and use Public Transport..

So I ask this of you Gordon, if you want us to use Public Transport then why the hell is it so bloody expensive you numpty?

I could drive to London for £5 to £10.
It cost me damn near on £30 to use public transport..
If I am not planning on a few beers you can guess how I'll get to Metro City.. and I'll just be sure to add to the congestion by getting a big nasty, dirty, stinky, and muddy four wheel drive to go up there in.... Stick that in ya' pipe and smoke it Gordo'

Friday, 24 April 2009

Further entanglement within the policies...

This post is in direct response to comments on my last post. Thought that perhaps I could clarify things even further.

I really, really like the phrase "Unresponse car". It makes me laugh. I must remember to use it in polite conversation at work. So here goes..

I'll award 10 points for using it with colleagues.
I'll award 15 points for using it in conversation with a sergeant.
I'll award 25 points for using it in conversation with Inspectors or above...
And of course, 500 points if it can be used on the radio!

Go on, I dare ya!! I'll listen out on my radio channel for anyone resulting a job with the Unresponse Car bit added in.. ;-)

Pursuit policy is one of the funniest, or is that one of the saddest things we have???

Basically.. as an non Area Car driver, once you activate your blue lights, if the car that you are trying to stop fails to do so and actively attempts to make off from you then you are basically stuffed... If you are very lucky and the area car isn't 25 miles away getting a tyre changed, or at workshops having a piece of reflective striping and 3 panels replaced after a pheasant took out a wing mirror then you might be lucky and someone with the ability to pursue the vehicle may turn up before you have lost sight of it (yeah, right!)

If you are very, very lucky a Traffic car might be nearby. Be nice if it was Pat & Carl, they'd just ram it off the road right? Not in Southernshire. We might scratch a police car... So the Traffic car gets STINGER authorised (that's the spike strip thingy right). But strangely, he's the only person able to use STINGER and he's BEHIND the chase.. fat lot of good that is!
Long before he gets close the control room will stand the chase down because it went more than double the local speed limits and as such could endanger lives..

What if the offending vehicle is a motorcycle? Not even allowed to attempt to pursue it! Not even the Traffic car can do that!!!!!! WTF?

Criminal Scum use cars. It's a fact. We all know it.. that's why the roads are so heavily policed in this country. Because criminals use them! That's why we have things like ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) fitted on big posts around the countryside on major roads, also fitted in to random police cars etc, etc.. soo.... all the criminal scum have to do is drive fast, drive wild.. and the police won't be able to get them, we might know what they are driving, but we can't get them to stop...

Police are subjected to more and more restrictions with every year that passes by.

It is a terrible tragedy when a member of the public (MoP) is injured or heaven forbid killed by a police vehicle which is actively attempting to carry out it's lawful duty. It is definitely right that an investigation should be carried out to make sure that the officer was acting in the correct manner and carrying out his lawful duty, and hat he should have his lights/sirens active if appropriate etc so as to warn the public as best possible, but to restrict the police to not being able to bring criminals to justice is more criminal than the people we are trying to stop.

I swore an oath to uphold the law, yet by following policies I am then breaking that law because I am in direct dereliction of duty right?? after all a criminal is being allowed to get away.

NOW a Scenario.. we all LOVE Scenarios right?
What would you do if........?

........ you were driving down the road and you saw Mr Mugger Senior take a handbag from an old lady, hit her around the head with a baseball bat, push her to the ground, jump in to a sports car and race off................

A. Follow force policies - stop to help the old lady and call in the details of the offending vehicle as it's driving off in to the sunset.
B. Call for an ambulance to attend the scene of the old lady as you can see some MoPs are helping her out and sitting her up, try to follow the offending vehicle and adhering to force policies while it makes off in to the sunset.
C. As per "B" but with one difference. You see the offending vehicle. You are in a fully marked police vehicle and you have seen someone commit a serious arrestable offence, read indictable offence for post 2005. You hit the button for lights and sirens and live out Pat & Carls day time adventures as you chase down Mr Mugger Senior in his sports car, at the very least calling out for a pursuit type vehicle to take over, but at least you are getting his direction of travel and relaying it to those officers to catch up and intercept..
D. Stop, get out, sit in the gutter and cry because it's all too much to comprehend and it's far too complicated as you might have to consider force policies, and is the pension really worth all this hassle?
E. Get up from your desk and say "sorry, what was that on the radio?" Get ignored and go back to your computer account and forever more be known as the Station Cat because you never leave the station.. "well after all, I'm going off duty in 2 hours, I have to de-kit!"

So which do you do?
A, B, C, D, E?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Caught up in policies

Right, so policies are put together generally speaking for the good of the officers and staff working for Southernshire Constabulary.

So explain to me how does a policy of a police force override the LAWS of the country?

For instance:

S87 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Exemption of fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicles from speed limits
No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes, if the observance of that provision would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion.


So why does Southernshire Constabulary limit it's police vehicles?

I do understand the limiting of the drivers who have not completed a "high speed" driving course. However, once that is completed satisfactorily then the driver, who having a higher level of training should then be able to make an appropriate decision to drive "according to the conditions and limitations of the road and vehicle", and likewise to be able to exceed the speed limit but also keep within the confines of "being able to stop in the distance that can be seen to be clear".

So that said... when I'm on blues & twos in my "Response" vehicle I've got to watch the speeds that I am travelling at due to the class of vehicle I am travelling in is limited to only exceeding the speed limit by no more than 20 MPH. While the "Area Car" can travel through the very same road at any speed he likes/considers to be safe. Though I've seen some non-safe driving by Area Car drivers as well..

My problem with his though is that in order to properly concentrate on response driving if I am looking at the speedometer all the time then I am not concentrating on the road conditions, the other drivers, the hazards, etc. I am looking constantly to make sure I do not exceed my speeds. Safety first, or policy first?

Go figure.

Next one....... (back before I was a Response driver)

One of our vans had a flat tyre. This got changed somehow (not really sure how) and the spare was left in the back seat area of the transit van between the cage and the rearward facing seat. It rolled around in there for weeks, then it spend a week or two inside the back door of the station in a small town just outside of Anly-Town.
After another short while it ends up back in the van!

I eventually got completely sick of the fact that NO ONE would take the initiative to put the damned wheel back in it's carrier under the back of the van. So I asked about it. I was told that we weren't ALLOWED to put the spare wheel back!

Instead of driving 25 miles to our APPROVED TYRE FITTER I simply took the van to a local tyre shop and asked one of the guys to put the spare back under the van. (Oh the flat had been repaired). After doing this I asked the guy what the damage was. He told me not to worry about it so I reached in to my pocket and took out about £3 and told him to buy a pint on me and thanked him very much before leaving!

Now recently we had an Area Car off the road for a flat tyre. Ok, it's got run-flats on it.. and apparently some sort of problem with having to get some sensor reset when tyres are changed. So I've asked why the Area Car was abandoned 20 miles away from Anly-Town at yet another of our outlying stations.

I was told that it had a flat.
My comment went something along the lines of: "Why don't we have two or three spare wheels at Anly-Town and if we get a flat tyre we can change it?"
Instead I get the reply that again we aren't allowed to change it.
So there you go, a BMW Area Car off the road for 2 day until someone could be arsed to take it again 25 miles away to get the tyre changed at our APPROVED tyre shop.

So why do we have an APPROVED TYRE SHOP which is 25 miles away when there are about 6 tyre shops in Anly-Town, 3 in each of the other 2 large towns on patch and a couple more on the roads in between?

Once again, Go figure........

I'm confused, that's for sure.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Shooting at the moon.

Ok, some time back I had a couple of weeks off. I spent that time out on a friends boat on a "fairly" large river which runs right through the middle of another county force area which is somewhere near to Southernshire.

After several lovely days of sun and enjoyment, quite a lot of golden nectar consumed between randomly purchased meals from the banks or oddly cooked things turning up out of the galley we eventually gave up as time had run out and returned to my friends house after spending 5 hours sitting at a broken Lock. Yay!

Now as I've noticed a few others have said.. I am the only Police Constable that most of my friends know as well. So likewise, I get the grillings about whatever the Daily Monologue has been using to slate the police about on any given week. So there we are, standing out the front of my friends house on the side of a fairly big road right in the middle of this their biggest city on patch, you would expect to be fairly well policed and safe......

I'm getting a grilling for about 2 hours of slightly heated debate (which I am enjoying immensely when I get the chance to actually rebut something). My friends dad is a nice guy so I'm putting up with this simply because it's polite to do so and it's fairly good fun for the most of it.

The discussion carries on and all of a sudden I hear 3 or 4 shots fired.

Of course having spent a lot of time around guns as a kid I know that sound of something whizzing past my ear and I hit the deck!

After a few moments I realise the danger has passed, I look up to see everyone else standing up again after having followed my lead...

So I run out to the footpath from the garden hoping to catch the VRM (vehicle registration mark) of the vehicle in question. All I get is that it's a small black hatchback with 3 people and it starts with "R" or something along those lines, it was most certainly doing a lot more than 30 MPH at this point.

Dutifully as a good citizen I start dialing 999. My friend wants to jump in to his car and give chase but I manage to stop him. After all, it's not a police vehicle and I don't want him doing silly things to catch these idiots...

While I'm waiting what seems forever for the 999 call to be answered I walk back in to the garden and see that the "bullets" have hit one of the cars there, and the front of the house.. it is at this point that I see that it was paintball pellets.. so there is paint all over the place.

Oh well, they still shouldn't be doing random drive by shootings!

I expect some sort of a response from the local police force of this county.. I've given them my details. My force details and collar number. The details of the vehicle. The details of my friends who's house and car were damaged. The details of everyone present.......... and yes, I still expect at the very least some sort of a response.
Low and behold we remain chatting out the front of my friends house for another hour.
No police cars drive past. No police cars pull up and say "Hi, are you alright?" No PCSO's stop to check on our welfare. No return phone calls from the police.

I know that in Southernshire as it would've been graded as a Firearms incident at the very least someone would've been despatched to check on our welfare. Strangely my friends told me that no one would turn up, but I didn't believe them.


Right, so here's the thing. Being relatively new (or should I say blisteringly new) to this whole blogging thing I'm trying to work out why someone was unable to make an anonymous post on the comments the other day......

But I think I've got it now.

Hopefully now if you want to leave an anonymous comment you can, so please feel free to do so. Though, it'd be nice if your anonymous post had an identifier so that if you leave a lot of anonymous posts I can answer you, even if it's something like "Sierra Oscar Bravo" or something like that.. :-)

I'm flattered by the lovely welcoming comments. Now I really will have to make sure there is something of worth in here, after all, you're watching me!!!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

What the hell is it? Surely it's not ANOTHER POLICE BLOG!?!?

ok so there is a plethora of unhappy Police officers in this country.

It begs the thought (or does it) of WHY these police officers are unhappy...........

So the next thought that follows this is usually... "who gives a toss?" shortly followed by.. "should we have a kebab?"

But in reality the police who are unhappy are generally unhappy for a very good reason. Basically because we are the good guys who go out day in, day out, we try to do our very best to protect and serve YOU the public and to uphold the LAWS as we SWORE to do.. To protect the Queens Peace, as we SWORE to do, and to uphold FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS as we SWORE to do..
Damn, you'd think we swore our lives away.

So. Why are we unhappy?

Because YOU the public are told very little about what is really going on.
We do a good job.. You aren't told about it. We make the tiniest mistake.. the Daily Mail tears us a new rectum. But the Home Orifice stays silent and lets us become cannon fodder as long as it fits THEIR agenda........

Food for thought?

Join this blog as one Southernshire Constable starts to share his journey through his long and sordid career in the likes of "Area Trace No Search" of the illustrious METropolis City Police and of course "Inspector Gadget" of Ruralshire Constabulary.. I know one of these two bloggers personally and I am pretty sure I've met the other once or twice.. after all, like minds tend to gather at the oddest places around water coolers.

So I start this thought with the question...

What would Ray Mears do?

I often ask this question of myself when I'm pondering just how to bring about the destruction of my farce, ooops, sorry, my force, or at least to be able to tell the public the often misled truth of how under staffed, over worked, short changed, and shoddy your police actually are in this once "Great" Britain.

Oh, and no.. I'm yet another foreign person who's joined the police in this country and wants to go home.. but hey, in the meantime I'll entertain myself, and hopefully tell YOU some of the home truths that our masters leave OUT of the press releases.

Oh yeah...

Ray would've managed to build a raft out of a Liana vine which was magically hanging from the treetops where the strange space item had crashed through. He would've attached it to the back of the Landrover Defender which had shoddy road tyres on it. He would've managed to get the entire thing off the ground, suspended with a half-hitch type knot.. and he would've used it as a trap for wayward bears which had come to visit from Alaska and which were masquerading as Eskimos. On top of that he of course would've built a fire to cook said bear meat and he would've done that by using an ASP to rub against the rough edge of a pair of Magnums and create enough friction to cause the Landrover Defender to catch fire and as such cause a little chain reaction and well... you know what comes next.. a smug grin, a sly sideways wink at the camera.. and we can all lay back in our hammocks and enjoy the warmth with a glass of cold gooey bear blood.