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

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Noisy Barkers

According to the Telegraph, a police force has tested its dogs to see whether they are guilty of noise pollution under new health and safety guidelines.

Derbyshire police got its dogs barking to make sure that levels met with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations being introduced next April.
The force said it would make its findings available to forces across England and Wales so they do not fall foul of the regulations.

The new rules lower the acceptable levels of noise to which employees can be exposed. Derby University carried out the study at the behest of the police. While Derbyshire dogs passed the test, they came close to the level of acceptable noise, the study found.

So who said the world hasn't gone mad?

What would have happened if they'd failed?

TV Dramas Helping Crooks

According to a report published in the Telegraph, criminals are being given a helping hand by television drama programs such as The Bill and Silent Witness.

Steve Finnigan, the acting chief constable of Lancashire, said that too often the high-profile shows gave away "the tricks of the trade" by showing how crimes were solved. As a result, his officers had to work harder.

Perhaps Mr Finnigan was attempting to get his excuses in early, prior to the Government publishing it's report on the best and worst performing police forces in the UK?

Best Performing Police Forces Named

The best and worst performing police forces in England and Wales have been named in Government figures.

Humberside, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, the Metropolitan Police and Cambridgeshire forces were at the bottom of performance assessments published by the Home Office.

West Mercia, West Midlands, Hampshire and Surrey were the best performing forces.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales were assessed in seven categories - reducing crime, investigating crime, promoting safety, providing assistance, citizen focus (which includes community confidence in the police), resource use and local policing.

Overall, 9% of results were classed as poor, 40% as fair, 44% as good and 7% as excellent.

The figures also showed that in 56% of cases, forces were improving their performance. In 39% their performance was stable but in 5% performance had deteriorated.

Six forces had deteriorated in their performance investigating crime. They were Dyfed Powys, Gwent, Kent, Northamptonshire, Northumbria and West Midlands.

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said overall policing performance was "very encouraging".

She said: "Crime and the fear of crime are both down and the number of offences brought to justice has gone up."

"Over the last three years we have seen real and sustainable improvements in police performance. This publication provides a clear picture of police performance designed to enable forces to identify strengths and weaknesses and to help local communities understand the performance of their force."

Click here see your local police force performance figures

So there we have it then, who says cooking the books isn't time well spent!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Police Get 'Google' Bombed

Whilst researching the subject of Google Bombs for a police forum I'm particularly fond of, I discovered that the police themselves have become victims of so called 'Google Bombing'!

If you type
liar into Google UK, (click the radio button for a UK search under 'I'm feeling lucky'.) you'll see Tony Blair for the search term liar comes in at number one.

Interestingly coming in at a respectable number three under the search term liar is the Met Police online biography of Commissioner Sir Ian Blair!

To make matters worse, a spoof website True Vision has been launched by Christians in the UK in response to the Google Bomb 'ignorant bigots', which now returns the official page of Christian Voice, a Christian organisation.

The official 'True Vision', launched in May 2004, and is aimed at improving the service the police provide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and minority communities. 23 different police forces have joined together to provide a single self-reporting and information pack together with an on-line facility that allows the reporting of hate crime directly to the police.

Fortunately after having their little joke at the police's expense the unofficial version of True Vision does go on to direct any potential visitors back to the official True Vision Hate Crime website.

St George Is Definitely Cross

I don't know whether you've read the papers recently, but one report concerning the banning of prison officers from wearing Cross of St. George tie pins has caused a bit of a stir.

"We were concerned to see a number of staff wearing a flag of St George tiepin. While we were told that these had been bought in support of a cancer charity, there was clear scope for misinterpretation.''

However, the notion that the St George's Cross is a Right-wing or racist symbol has been challenged in recent months, not least by David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, now Work and Pensions Secretary. He said the English national flag should be reclaimed from the far Right and proudly worn as a "patriotic mantle".

Brian Caton, the general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association said: "If the only problem the chief inspector found was tiepins carrying the Cross of St George - which is, after all, the English national flag - then there can't be a lot wrong with Wakefield prison."

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
"There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England".

George Orwell (1903-1950) - English author
"In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman, and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true, that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during "God Save the King" than stealing from a poor box".

I wonder how many other nations ban their citizens from displaying their national flag?

It seems like the powers that be in the UK allow the displaying of any flag except that of England. How can that be right?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Build More Prisons

Been reading in the paper this last few days that Prisons are Overcrowding and that there are plans to start releasing prisoners early, also according to recent reports there's More Suicides at Crowded Prisons'

I would think the answer to this is plain as the nose on your face.

Build more prisons!

Are Labour going Soft On Crime or what?

Congratulations To The CPS

Henry Stanley: CPS decision

The Crown Prosecution Service today informed two MPS officers of the outcome of a review by Surrey Police of their investigation into the death of Henry Stanley in September 1999.

We understand that the Crown Prosecution Service has advised Surrey Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the two officers for any offence. They have therefore been released from bail by Surrey Police who will take no further action against them.

Assistant Commissioner Steve House, head of the Met's Central Operations, said:
"We welcome today's announcement by the CPS that there will be no charges laid against these two officers. We would now urge the Independent Police Complaints Commission to swiftly come to a decision regarding any possible outstanding police disciplinary issues so that this matter can finally be resolved.

"This has been a very stressful time for the two officers involved, their families and their colleagues. Both men will continue to be offered appropriate welfare support by the Metropolitan Police. It is also a very difficult time for the family of Mr Stanley and we again express our sympathy to them.

"The legal processes examining this tragic incident has been unnecessarily protracted and the time this has taken can only have increased the strain for all involved. The current system has not served the best interests of anyone.

"These officers were asked to make an instant life and death decision whilst carrying out the armed policing duties for which they had volunteered. We all readily accept the need for there to be full and proper legal scrutiny of these incidents when they happen. However justice is best served by a timely investigation and outcome.

"Our armed officers supply an essential service in helping to keep Londoners and their unarmed colleagues safe. We will continue to provide them with support and reassurance in order that they have the confidence to fulfil what is an integral role in helping to make London one of the safest cities in the world."

"The various investigations and enquiries into this tragic incident have now been running for more than six years. The MPS fully supports the need for changes in the way that complicated inquests such as this are dealt with and echo the comments made by Mr Justice Leveson when he quashed the verdict of the second inquest into Mr Stanley's death at the High Court in May 2005."

In delivering his judgement Mr Justice Leveson said, "All deserved better from the system and it is sufficient if I add my weight to the call to implement the change recommended by the Fundamental Review. Without any disrespect to the coroner, this extremely difficult case would have benefited from judicial oversight at a higher level." The Fundamental Review referred to recommended that in the most legally complex inquests a High Court judge should be appointed to act as Coroner.

Mr Stanley died in September 1999 after police responded to an emergency call from a member of the public reporting a man carrying a sawn-off shotgun. The incident has now been subject to two inquests, judicial reviews and two investigations by Surrey Police, with the CPS now having concluded for a third time that the officers should not face criminal charges.

An unlawful killing verdict recorded at the inquest of Henry Stanley at St Pancras Coroner's Court in October 2004 was quashed by the High Court in May 2005. An application to appeal against the High Court judgement has also been refused.

It's only been six years.

Hopefully the IPCC won't take that long to decide on any possible disciplinary action against these two officers.

Surely under any normal circumstance the time taken to investigate this incident would be in breach of the human rights act under Article 5.3 Right To Liberty And Security?

Perhaps it doesn't apply to police officers under investigation?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Last Friday in the The Guardian there was an interesting article regarding a new breed (or perhaps rank) of police officer - The SuperCop.

This is part of a radical blueprint proposed by the Surrey Chief Constable, Bob Quick.

The proposal would also allow private-sector professionals with valuable transferable skills, such as financial institution fraud investigators, direct entry up to Superintendent level, skipping the present two-year probation and progression through the ranks.

Short-term contracts, which favour modern "portfolio careers", would also enable the police to make best use of outside talent.

Apparently pilot schemes in several forces, including his own, indicate the plan could increase efficiency by a fifth.

Chief Constable Bob Quick also says it would enable detectives to solve 20% more crimes at no extra cost. Members of the public will no doubt be asking why 20% more crimes aren't being solved anyway - Do officers need extra cash incentives before commencing crime investigations?

Mr Quick apparently uses the analogy of a football club which wants to make best use of a combination of promising players from its own youth teams, ie police recruits, and big name transfers, who may come in at a higher level, or leapfrog several ranks. "It's about attracting and rewarding the brightest and the best," he says.

Perhaps Chelsea football club's training ground relocating to leafy Surrey has caused a few problems for Mr Quick? Chelski, Surreyski, Arrestski, Policeski, La-Laski.......!

More of a concern to rank and file, is the paragraph regarding direct entry of Super Cops, (with no previous policing experience.) up to the rank of Superintendent level.

The current accelerated promotion structure, which can see officers with a pointless degree in some 'ology or other promoted to the level of Inspector within four years of joining is bad enough, but this just takes the biscuit!

Are we destined to have a senior managers who've spent no, or very little time working at the 'coalface'?

Do the public want a police service run by people who've never made an arrest, never had to deal with a drunk, delivered a death message, rescued a lost child, helped an old lady across the road, investigated a crime? You know, the kind of skills that can only be gained by putting on your 'top hat', mixing with members of the community, communicating with 'real' people, getting your hands dirty. The kind of interpersonal skills that can't be taught in a classroom?

Before long we'll have senior executives running police stations, just like our colleagues in the NHS. According to my sources, the average NHS nurse is well pleased with the current hospital management structure!

Buster Gets The Sack

It's the kind of behaviour that could get any member of staff into a spot of bother in today's modern police service.

Falling asleep on duty.

Letting drunken yobs caress you.

Urinating on prisoners.

Failing to catch criminals.

South Yorkshire Police described Buster as lovely and loyal but not cut out for police work.

His new owners, Norton and Jane Arnould, of Sheffield, said his training had made him the perfect pet. He never barks.

Now that's the kind of land shark Brian would love to meet!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Soft On Crime

Bit of silliness going on at the police forum here.

Thought I'd join in so here goes.

Soft on crime
Soft on the causes of crime

Let's see if this takes off then!

More Support For Victims of Crime

I bet you didn't realise that the 25th of October is the European day of civil justice?

'In establishing a Civil Justice Day, the aim of the European Commission and the Council of Europe was to create a symbolic event, a date for recalling that justice is first and foremost a service to citizens which enables them to settle their private disputes and assert their rights.'

This also coincides with the Inside Justice Week, which is running across England and Wales between 17-23 October 2005.

This is all a little strange when you read in the paper over the last few days that Prisons are Overcrowding - Early Release Plans and that Clarke Plans to Privatise Probation Services

Now tell me how all this is delivering 'justice' to victims of crime?

Is St George Cross?

After my post the other day about finding the Campaign for an English Parliament site.

Take a look at the following which is bound to upset the Scottish Raj!

Witanagemot Club is a group of bloggers who believe that the current constitutional settlement is disadvantageous to England.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Campaign for an English Parliament

Came across this site the other day.

Campaign for an English Parliament

'Outside the British Isles, England is often erroneously considered synonymous with the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and even with the entire United Kingdom. Despite the political, economic, and cultural legacy that has secured the perpetuation of its name, England no longer officially exists as a governmental or political unit unlike Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which all have varying degrees of self-government in domestic affairs. It is rare for institutions to operate for England alone. Notable exceptions are the Church of England (Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, including Northern Ireland, have separate branches of the Anglican Communion) and sports associations for cricket, rugby, and football (soccer). In many ways England has seemingly been absorbed within the larger mass of Great Britain since the Act of Union of 1707.' Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004.

If the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish are allowed their own parliament then why not eh?

The Policeman's Blog

The Policeman's Blog was featured in the Mail on Sunday on 9th October 2005.

Since then it appears that Pc Copperfield may have gotten into a spot of bother with senior shiny arses due to his fondness of telling it like it is!

Pc Copperfield the thoughts of all your readers in blue are with you.

Click here to Support The Policeman's Blog

Keep up the good work!

I'm Back......

I've been away for a while, holiday and work have been keeping me busy.
Got a few bits and pieces to post so hopefully I'll add a bit of useful content today!