Blues And Twos - Police Officer's Blog

Blues and Twos - Police & Law Blog is a an amalgamation of thoughts, feelings and observations on news, current affairs and UK policing in general. Our police blog has contributions from officers of the rank of Inspector (Organ Grinder) down to Constable (Monkey). Blues and Twos - The Police Officer's Blog

Police Equipment

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Police are finally recruiting but is it cause to celebrate?

For many aspiring Police Officers out there, there has recently been a rare flare of recruitment activity that has given hope to being finally able to start a career in the Police. After almost three years of recruitment freezes, many Police forces are finally starting to open their doors to new applicants.

Forces who have taken part in recruitment drives in 2013 include Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Manchester and Nottingham and a few others. So does this mean that Police budget austerity and recruitment freezes are finally over? Hardly. Police budgets are set to tighten further as the Chancellor George Osborne seeks to further tighten the budgetary purse strings.

If we were to look closer at these recent recruitment figures, it can be seen that there's hardly a cause for celebration. Staffordshire Police's recent recruitment drive attracted 1400 applicants for just fourteen positions, that translates to around 100 people per position, an extraordinary ratio for any job seeker. This isn't just an isolated case either, North Yorkshire Police recently reported 500,000 phone calls for just 70 jobs, a staggering amount.

With such figures in mind it is easy to imagine just how stiff competition is. This is particularly true for external applicants (those who are not PCSOs or Special Constables), they are having to compete with a wealth of candidates who have hands on experience of the role that they are applying for and are known to those currently serving within their chosen force. While this can be argued to be a good thing for the force, it does not improve the ply of the average applicant who possesses the determination and skills needed to be a Police Officer but finds himself without the experience of internal applicants.

Not only are these short recruitment bursts proving difficult for candidates but Police numbers are still falling despite these recruitment drives. The number of officers within Staffordshire's Police force are set to fall to 1750 by 2015 from their peak of 2,347 in 2006, this is a nationwide trend and due to further cutbacks within forces, this is certainly not a trend that will be reversed any time soon.

In the current recruitment climate it is easy to see just how difficult becoming a Police Officer is. The most determined of candidates will have to steel themselves against the odds, apply for internal positions as Police Special Constables and PCSOs and keep applying. As Britain recovers from it's economic crisis, it can be hoped that Police Forces will receive a much needed fresh injection of cash that will see larger and more frequent recruitment drives.

Written by

Matthew Hayes

Creator of and author of The Police Application Guide, a guide that offers Police application help to aspiring Police Officers.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Turtle Skin

Turtle Skin are one of the worlds leading manufacturers of safety gloves, designed to protect against needle stick, cut, puncture and other sharps related injuries including snake bites (perhaps more applicable to the American market than the relatively snake free British Isles).  More rencently Turtleskin have also introduced a range of undergarments designed to protect the user from knife slashes known as Blade Tect which includes a long sleeve T shirt and a sleeveless T as well as plans for a leggins and a boxer short.  The Blade Tect range though does come in at the top end of the price market though compared to a cheaper alternative like BladeRunner, though TurtleSkin claim that their range is lighter weight, cooler and generally more comfortable making it a much more effective base layer to be worn under a uniform shirt for example.

The most popular products from TurtleSkin for police and security officers is their range of gloves, consisting of the Bravo, Alpha, Duty and Search glove (listed in price ascending order).  All the Turtle skin tactical range provide a neat and professional looking glove that is suitable for uniform wear whist offering anything from 4 to 11 times the needle puncture resistance of a normal kevlar cut resistant police glove.  All four styles of Turtle Skin gloves offer protection over the palm area over the back of the tips of the fingers and thumb.

As well as the tactical Turtleskin gloves there is a new range of "liner" gloves which are at a price point so low they are might almost be considered disposable!  Ideally worn under a surgical glove these liner gloves offer the highest levels of tactile feedback whilst offering a reasonable degree of protection from 28 guage needles (the kind most often used by IV drug users).  These gloves from TurtleSkin are ideal for delicate searches in relatively low violence environments as the level of protection offered is not enough to protect against any form of attack, but will reduce the risk of an accidental spike during a search procedure.

There are alternative needle resistant gloves on the market, HexArmour is probably the other most well known brand internationally using layers of their "Superfabric" to provide protection and maintain dexterity in their needle gloves, and Op. Zulu also offer a Needle Glove at an incredibly affordable price point.

Friday, May 24, 2013


If you are looking to buy police handcuffs in the UK then there only very few, limited options available to most police officers, the major manufactures being Asp, TCH, to a limited extend Peerless and formerly Hiatt.

Asp handcuffs are probably the most prevalent  offering a range of chain link and semi rigid cuffs, in steel and aluminium in a variety of colours.  Standard black handcuffs are normally the most popular, but brightly coloured "Identifier Cuffs" in pink or yellow are used in specialist circumstances (or for novelty purposes).  Steel handcuffs are stronger than aluminum but aluminium are lighter and less prone to corrosion (even though it is stainless steel they will suffer in salt water environments over a long enough period).  The choice between chain link or semi rigid normally boils down to training and qualifications.  Whilst semi rigid handcuffs offer the cuffer more control over the cuffee for health and safety reasons semi rigid or rigid cuffing requires and additional level of training over chain link cuffs and if an untrained cuffer, handcuffs a detainee and injures them with rigid cuffs they leave them selves open for potential suing.

Asp also do a range of plasticuffs and training cuffs.

TCH make some of the most popular handcuffs which are the fully rigid cuffs. Unlike the chain of chain link, or the folding hinge of semi rigid cuffs rigid cuffs have a solid, ergonomically shaped plastic or polymer center bar between the two bracelets. This solid center bar can be easily and securely gripped by the cuffer with just one hand and provides maximum control over the detainee.

The original design for the rigid cuffs was developed by Hiatts who retained the intellectual property rights, even when the company ceased producing handcuffs and the IP was taken over by BAE systems who no longer produced the products.

Peerless are less popular handcuffs in the UK, however they are well established in the US where they have been manufacturing cuffs since 1914 and produce a lot of handcuffs for the American Prison system as well as leg irons, waist chains and multi-person transport chains.  Like ASP peerless also do a range of brightly coloured cuffs and restraints.

Friday, May 17, 2013

5.11 Tactical

One of the top brands for tactical kit and equipment is 5.11; they are a very popular brand for security, police, army as well as fishing fanatics and hunters. They offer a wide range of products such as boots, different types of trousers, shirts, jumpers, coats, belts, bags, headgear and many other accessories. Not only is the variety of products huge the quality of all the items are designed to be high and long lasting even in tough environments.

The different types of trousers range between; light weights, the usual tactical and the heavy duty pants. The tdu taclites are designed to be a cool and lightweight material which does not affect the quality; they are still heavy duty rip stop materials which won’t lose their colour either. The stryke pants with the flex tac have the highest durability of their range of trousers and they are extremely breathable due to the design of the material used. 5.11 have also incorporated their poly/cotton ripstop material into these trousers with a flexible non spandex fabric to allow the trousers to be hard wearing, soil and stain as well as fade resistant. These trousers are the ultimate quality for people who need kit that lasts under hard-hitting environments which could tear and stain other brands of pants.

The 5.11 Equipment range is also extensive and they have a large market base in selling tactical and police bags that are used in many different roles. Most famously they have created bags of different shapes and sizes made out of resilient fabric for multiple uses. They have the rush bags which are backpacks covered in molle so that many items and pouches can be attached. 5.11 also do kit bags which include many compartments and heavy duty straps.

Coats and jackets are also a top product for the company as they have developed superiority materials which are weatherproof and waterproof. Their sabre jacket is one of the most stylish and durable jackets they do and rises above most of the other brands in this market.

People trust 5.11 quality because of the reputation they have built over the years of developing tactical kit, it is hard to beat and if you want clothing, bags or even tactical torches that are durable, long lasting and dependable; then 5.11 is the one to buy. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fixed Penalty Notice Holders.

Let’s face it; we all have little responsibilities with in our jobs that we rather not, be it from paper work to handing out a fixed penalty notice due to some one making the small mistake of parking in the wrong place. At Patrolstore they have a varied rang of Fixed Penalty Notices Holders helping you do the jobs you hate.

Firstly you have the PWL Fixed Penalty Notice Holder made from high quality leather you get not only a smart/professional looking piece of kit but also a piece of kit which will last. It’s the most popular holder and also comes with a 12 month guarantee. Its double sided so you can keep two types of fixed penalty notice or other piece of paperwork inside. On one side there is a leather strap across the centre with a key ring and leather loop and a pouch with popper closers on the other side if the holder you have four sets of tight leather straps and another leather loop. Both sides have metal clips which are sprung and have clear plastic dividers placed between documents to stop bleed from one page to anther.

You then have the Fixed Penalty Notice Holder – PU. Made from Polyutherane (PU) materials, the combination of Carbamates (utherane) used to make the Polymer give the Protec branded Fixed Penalty Notice Holder – PU plenty of flexibility and durability. Basically it offers the elasticity of rubber combined with the toughness and durability of metal. Urethanes have better abrasion and tear resistance than rubbers, while offering higher load bearing capacity making the Fixed Penalty Notice Holder – PU a tough cookie indeed!

At the end of the day it’s your decision which holder you go for, it’s just nice to know there is one for every body.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peli Versabrite 3 LED – Black/Yellow

Need a light that’s going to last, compact, provide hours of illumination and that you can put pretty much anywhere The Peli Versabrite 3 LED provides all this as it’s a hands-free torch/light. It has a pivoting head which allows you to direct the light where you need it.

The clip on the back of the light is spring loaded providing great grip allowing you to attach it you your shirt, cap, pocket or bag. For those using it within the police force you can also by the Peter Jones KilckFast Peli Light Dock enabling you to attach to your police tactical duty vest. Being only 7.6cm in length storage of the light becomes very easy and when in use it won’t weigh you down

The Versabrite 3 LED is activated simply by flipping the pivoting head upwards. Using two CR2032 coin-cell batteries, it gives around 100 hours of light per battery set. The LEDs will not need replacing.

The torch comes in either black or yellows and its specifications are:

· Xenoy Body
Flip activated
76 x 30 x 28 mm
30 grams (with batteries)
6,000 Candle Power
6 Volts, 0.6 Watts

· Weight in Kg : 0.0800

· Brand : Peli

· Batteries : Included

· Battery Type : CR2032

· Bulb/LED : LED

· Charger Type : No

· Lumens : 5

· Max Run Time Mins : 1000

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Danner Boots.

Danner Boots.

Danner boots are considered the best of the best because their used by the best of the best. They provided not only immense comfort but their construction is designed to last and take a beating. Many of my friends and family members within our armed forces swear by them and our police force is slowly starting to fall in line as well.

The brand is known for its performance quality because the boot is so light its responds to your actions like lighting. The boots are good simply because Danner do what so many don’t. They put their heart and sole plus a little bit of elbow Greece into their work summed up in one word they overbuild. For to overbuild is to over serve.

Danner use Top Quality materials such as, High Grain Leathers and Comfort and Fatigue Reducing Footbeds and to ensure that your boots look as good as they perform Danner have provided their own brand of boot polish.

The Most Popular Boot in the range is the Danner Kinetic GTX Boots 8" Men’s Black PT. This plain toe Gore-Tex® lined boot offers exceptional comfort and waterproofing. Featuring a list of top shelf features this boot is ready for duty.

  • 100% waterproof and breathaLinkble GORE-TEX® liner is engineered to keep your feet dry and comfortable - even in extreme conditions
  • Durable full-grain leather can be easily polished and is preferred by those in uniform and on special tactical teams due to its durability and ability to be cleaned quickly.
  • Rip stop ballistic nylon adds lightweight breathability and abrasion resistance.
  • PU midsole provides long lasting cushion and support
  • Reinforced heel and metatarsal protection for increased durability
  • Ultralon footbed for ultimate step-in and all-day support and comfort
  • Extended sizes available for women or those with smaller feet
  • Kinetic™ outsole is a multidirectional low lug outsole that provides superior surface contact and traction. The perfect sole for when sudden acceleration from a resting position is needed
  • 8" height
  • Nylon shank

Other Danner Police Boots include; Danner Boots Kinetic GTX 6" Men’s Black PT , Danner Kinetic 6" Men’s Black PT, Danner Boots Kinetic GTX 8" Men’s Black PT, Danner Acadia 8" Black Boot.