Tuesday, 26 May 2009

And now for something completely different...

So we've had 2 unseasonably warm days at work.

That's completely out of the ordinary it would appear for this country. I must say that I've never quite gotten used to the bizarre weather that Britain is renowned for. In general, I reckon it's pretty crap.

So anyway, back to the weather of the last two days.

It's somewhere around 25+ degrees Celsius and we still have to wear our stab vests. If we are found not wearing them by the bosses we can be disciplined for not following policies. Anyway, at 25+ degrees when wearing a stab vest the heat under the vest becomes somewhere around 40 degrees at a guess. (I really must measure the temp on the next nice, hot day). And still, we must wear it.

Ok, so here's my thought. Our policies for wearing the uniform issue standard stab proof vest (which is apparently also ballistics proof, but I don't want to test it), are out of date and put in place by a shiny ass. Basically, put there by someone who is so far removed from the modern day practicalities of policing that it's not funny. Someone who hasn't been out to a common, garden variety, domestic dispute in the best part of half a decade or more and who basically sits on their behind and makes decisions which affect those of us on the pointy end of policing. Response. To a lesser degree also the NBT's, Neighbourhood Beat Teams.

I was employed by the police because I am able to make quick, spur of the moment, sensible and informed decisions based on the information that I have at hand. So why must I be told to wear my vest, or be forced to wear it?

Surely, if I am attending old Missus Miggens address to have a cup of tea, and a biscuit and talk about her nuisance youth problem with the boys from down at number 17 who kick the football against her side wall... then there is very little danger to me.

Then on the next level, if I'm attending Joe Smiths house because there is some thought that he and his buddies are having a party and it's getting out of hand.. well, common sense would dictate that I should wear my vest right, after all, I might actually be going in to harms way.

Next step up and I'm going to Mr & Mrs Franks address because they are having a very loud verbal domestic where the neighbour has also heard at least one piece of furniture breaking. Well if I didn't wear my vest to this I'd be a bloody idiot!!

Well I'm sure you'll agree that I am more likely to die from heat stroke than anything else. After all with my body pumping out pints of sweat every hour because of the 40+ degree temperature under the vest.. and the fact that it just isn't able to be ventilated.. uggh, disgusting isn't it?
Let me be an adult and make up my own mind as to where and when I should be wearing this stupid thing. Yes, it's a great bit of kit. A few years ago we didn't have them and I'm happy to have a vest. But by and large we don't need them and they just make us look more militaristic!

On top of all of that.. what do you think that wearing this lump of kevlar on my shoulders for the next 20 years is going to do to my spine?


  1. I will concur with you on most of your posts but I don't agree on this one, sorry.

    Working in Shitsvile (spelt wrong deliberately) body armour though a chore, is a necessity. I drive along and see a large scale fight (regular occurance) and jump out. In this neck of the woods someone will have a blade, glass etc and as soon as we turn up all hatred is instantly focussed on us and the original reason is forgotten. I don't want to spend time putting my BA on. There is also the matter of S.60 which is usually in force which makes the wearing of BA compulsory so that the stop+search rules can be properly exercised.

    Don't want to P you off but wouldn't ever go out without mine.

    Incidentally yes it stinks and I do have back problems from time to time (nearly 40) and it does get bloody hot!

    Sorry if I have peeved you.


  2. I have to say that I've got used to mine. Not needed it yet (thankfully) but you can bet if I wasn't wearing it something woulf happen....
    As a little bit of a parallel, I remember when I had to get used to wearing a seat belt! After a while it just becomes natural and I couldn't drive without one now.
    A friend of mine is in 45 and they don't have to wear theirs between 7 and 16 (E/T, basically) but most of them do because they get used to carrying all their stuff in the pockets!

  3. dont forget the job's body armour is cheap and nasty. If your willing to spend out on 450 notes you can get a much lighter and more comfortable vest with the same level of protection. You can even wear it undershirt without looking like the michelin man.

  4. Sorry but I dont feel too bad for you about wearing your body armour in the height of a british summer, I am sure my opinions might change a slight bit when I get in but I have spent time wearing full body armour during summer in Afghanistan (and I was not in the hot area downsouth).
    All the are doing is covering their backs having you wear body armour,I am sure if you did get stabbed while not wearing your vest you would probebly have a bit of a complaint about it (I am not trying to antagonose anyone cause I would do the same)

    Just remember that you dont have the shitty end of the stick, there are always others in a worse position than you.

    posted by: Welcome

  5. PC Englishman in Scotland26 May 2009 at 14:48

    Don't think I can agree with you here either. Although the body armour is a pain in the arse, and is also often ill-fitting, it's there for a reason. One of my colleagues failed to wear his one day, and at a routine call he was stabbed. Fortunately he survived, but I can imagine if he was writing this now he'd be addressing this blog with a little more fervour than I am.

  6. The vest is going to be one of those bug bears. But I disagree with you. I speak on my own account here, but, as a proactive person who looks for my own work, it is nigh on impossible to predict how i stiuation will turn out. If i was one of my lazy arse collegues that just goes where they're told then yes you could theoretically risk assess each call and wear it appropriately.

    End of the day, your body, your choice, BUT, disciplined organisation, they pay your wages lawful orders blah blah.

    I wear it, i'd urge you to do the same. Drink more water.

  7. You have a choice, as with all things. 1) You agree your employer may have access to more information than you, you trust your employer, and you follow your employers instructions, or...
    2) You do not trust your employer and you are in the process of leaving.

    Your choice, any problems?

  8. Oh I love it... yet I guarantee that if I was to walk in to your stations when it's 30 degrees outside you'd be whining about wearing your body armour.

    No one has peeved me off with their comments, I love reading the comments because it shows me several things and I tend to learn more about how people think by reading the comments as well, after all, if we cannot comment and have free speech on here then society really has gone to shit hey... Hmmm, I believe that we might still have some free speech left in the world, possibly not for long at the rate we seem to lose civil liberties in this country though.

    As for wearing body armour. I wear mine. All the time.
    I believe in wearing it.. not because I am TOLD to wear it but because while I love my job I don't want to DIE for my job..
    However, that said, I've raised valid points and I still think that we should be able to make our own decisions.. I could explain this a lot further but I won't..

    Yes, I know colleagues who've been stabbed. But a lot of it depends again on whether or not you work in a place like Metro City, Manchunia, or perhaps Liverpuddle.. but I work in Southernshire which is more rural than Ruralshire.. So surely that must count for something.

    But again, as I stated, I wear my vest. Even when I see others not wearing them. This post on my blog was more as a venting and trying to gauge some opinions. It's a great medium blogging.. You really do get some interesting points of view.

    Mr Anonymous (Welcome) talking about military vests. Ummm, somewhat different buddy. They are about twice the weight and then they add the ballistic plates in to it.. Nasty things those. BUT HEY.. with people shooting at you it's an entirely different thing..
    *** I've never yet met a Cow with a Gun, however there was that good song a few years back about Cows with Guns. ***

    MP9000, as one of the most proactive officers in Z division I tend to agree with you. I never quite know what I'm going to come up against. Again, I wear my vest all the time, but again it's more opinion gauging, and also thinking about the few officers that are around who NEVER wear their vests.. (and every farce/division seems to have one)

  9. Oh, i never said i wouldn't bitch like hell about wearing it. I'm ol' bill, i'm a professional moaner.
    In certain times of the year i might risk not wearing it, but i do that while thinking at the back of my mind, "what if.....?" Ultimately, if you have ANY kind of accident at work - even if it goes nowhere near your torso - the first question on the report will be, "was the officer in posession of all PPE?" If the answer is "NO", any compensation claim will reduce/disappear - even if you got shot in the foot by Ruralshire's lone yardie. The officer wasn't wearing his PPE vest. Oh well its his fault then.
    Like i said, up to you. If i wear it, i moan. If i'm not wearing it i'll find something else to moan about.

  10. Hungerford was rural too.

    Rural shire = lots of legally held shotguns.

    Never say never, dont take the risk. if it really is uncomfortable for you, buy your own decent set. I know the argument that if the job dont give it to me i shouldnt have to pay for it, but the fact is its not the stores guy risking it. Just come home.

  11. PC Englishman in Scotland30 May 2009 at 03:43

    As it happens, both my colleague who was stabbed and I work in a very rural force (largest habitation has a pop. of 80,000). He was the first officer to be stabbed/shot in over 20 years. Hopefully it'll be another 20 years before the next one, but I can imagine it'll be a lot sooner.

  12. Just got in after an unusual day....I was rolling on the floor with someone who didn't like the idea of having his liberty deprived from him following a revocation of license.

    My prisoner then told me to stop once he had been cuffed and caught sight of my back/shoulder. He then pointed out that I had a dirty syringe stuck in my BA, who knows what would have happened if I hadn't had it on? I almost felt guilty about locking him up then after he had lost and was going straight to jail without £200. Strange web that we get embroiled in. Bloody councils should clear the alleyways more often!


  13. CC.com bloody heck mate! that's shocking!!

    Lots of great comments here. As I predicted a controversial topic that would get people going and discussing things.

    Strangely I actually had a go at one of my colleagues the other day because he wasn't wearing his vest.