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

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sir Ian Blair

Sir Ian Blair celebrates a year in office this Wednesday.

"Even before the curveball of last summer's extraordinary events, though, Blair faced a series of challenges. Perhaps the toughest was how to fill the shoes of Sir John Stevens, his swashbuckling predecessor. Unusually for a Met commissioner, Stevens left the job an unequivocal success, credited with restoring the morale of the force after the dark days of the Lawrence crisis, and having presided over dramatic falls in crime. More to the point, he was loved by the rank and file. Ask about him and it isn't long before you hear the phrase "copper's copper". One senior officer summed up Blair's problem: "Stevens was an almost impossible act to follow."

Grab a coffee, settle down and read this.

Sir Ian Blair

I particulary like the ".....he tries to intellectually headfuck people...." line!

Who's Stolen Lucky?

For a nation of animal lovers, it is a peculiarly disturbing trend.

Britain's fastest-growing crime is not in fact the increase in iPod muggings or 'happy slapping' attacks, but a sharp growth in the number of family pets stolen for ransom. Figures reveal that more than 150 dogs and cats a day are taken by thieves.

Thieves' top targets


1. English springer spaniel;
2. Border terrier;
3. Boxer;
4. Yorkshire terrier;
5. Labrador.


1. Burmese;
2. Persian;
3. Siamese;
4. Maine coon;
5. British shorthair.

To read the full article click thieves target pets.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Police Blog

New Police blogs on the side bar.

World Weary Detective

Police Blog of Blogs

Cough The Lot

Just finshed reading Top 4 Investigation Excuses on Cough The Lot - It made me smile!

If you want your police related blog added, leave me a message in the comments area for this post and I'll happily exchange links with you.

Bring Back Brian!

It would seem Brian has become the latest police blogger to fall foul of faceless stazi-like censorship.

Message posted on his police blog yesterday titled Reflection stating he's taking gardening leave for the foreseeable future.

Brian, your police blog has in my opinion shown the 'human' side of police work in our beloved capital. Similar happened to PC Copperfield at The Policeman's Blog awhile back - He's come back stronger than ever after a huge show of support from his readers.

To read one of the best UK police blogs click Brian's Brief Encounters.

To show your support for Brian leave a comment by clicking here.

Police Hit Squads

Charles Clarke is now planning to send in management "hit squads" with powers to intervene directly in failing police divisions and poorly performing police authorities.

Sir Chris Fox, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that chief constables were concerned that Mr Clarke was expanding his powers without professional advice.

"These measures may lead to more centralised direction at a time when forces are trying to give a local response to local problems," he said. His criticism was echoed by Conservative and Liberal Democrat spokesmen, who criticised the "trend towards central control of the police" and the "carte blanche for the home secretary to meddle in the affairs of police authorities".

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Police Merger - Blair Pledge

Controversial plans to cut the number of police forces in England and Wales will not be forced through, the Prime Minister has pledged.

To read the full article click Police Merger - Blair Pledge

See also Police Merger Plans Axed.

Hard and soft on crime

Extract from the Hard and soft and crime comment published in the Times recently.

'Students of new Labour are familiar with these barrages of initiatives, most of which tend to go nowhere. The real problem, of course, is that the government’s belated attempts to get tough on anti-social behaviour sit uneasily alongside policies that have been demonstrably soft on the causes of it.'

To read the full article please click Hard and soft and crime.

Unfortunately the Soft on crime tag seems to have stuck.

Police Merger Plans

Police Merger News

Two articles today on UK police mergers worth reading.

Police leaders lobby MPs over merger plans.
Police leaders from across England and Wales will lobby MPs today in the row over government plans to merge police forces.


Police mergers 'could cost £1bn'.
The Government's police force mergers could cost the taxpayer £1 billion to implement, a police leader has warned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canteen Culture

Is canteen culture to blame?

There's been two interesting reports in The Times recently that I haven't yet had chance to include here.

Canteen culture leaves a bad taste for many which describes how dropout rates among ethnic minority and female police recruits reflect the endurance of an unwelcoming and macho “canteen culture”.


Forces fail the equality test as women and black recruits quit which describes how record numbers of women and ethnic minority officers in England and Wales are quitting the police within months of joining, prompting concerns that racism and sexism are undermining the Government’s order to increase diversity.

These follow recent high level positive discrimination within the police service reports and the Daily Telegraph report titled Not wanted: white male police.

My experience is that the police canteen is no longer the 'hub' of station life. I don't know which part of the country or which police stations these reporters visited when commenting on canteen culture, but officers working the 'coal face' avoid the canteen like the plague, unless it's before 9am or after 6pm of course!

Officers that I know are running scared of 'ineffective' colleagues using the 'inappropriate behaviour' card against them as an excuse when questioned about their poor performance.

Lets face it, police work generally involves dealing with sections of the community that the average citizen would prefer not to see or know about. Some people be they male, female or undecided, white, brown, black, or yellow, upon joining the police service decide they'd rather not see the seedy side of life and leave.

If you speak to any officer with over ten years service they will generally blame recruitment, selection and training for the high drop out rates and poor quality of officers joining the police service. We're possibly failing in recruitment, we're possibly failing in selection and we're possibly failing at training.

Generally from my experience, the wheat should be seperated from the chaff at this early stage. Perhaps then the wastage of officers leaving after being 'expensively' trained and posted to station will be reduced.

Police Service Reform

Is the police service in need of reform?

Interesting discussion going on at The Times regarding the recent David Cameron speach on police reform.

The Conservative leader, who has called the police the “last great unreformed public service”, wants to end the restrictive practices that make it difficult to dispense with the services of bad officers.

The majority of what he talks about has already been covered in the Police Reform Act 2002. This has also been pointed out by the Police Federation and has been covered in the Politically Independent Police posted a few days ago.

Of more interest to me and a move away from the current climate in the police service, is the fact that Mr Cameron wants to give 'policemen the right to retire with dignity before their 30 years’ service is up if, because of ill health, they are no longer capable of working to the required standard. They should be given the right to carry their pensions on to other employment.'

Now from my point of view this makes perfect sense.

Current policy is to 'retain' officers who've received injuries which only a few years ago would have seen them retired on ill-health grounds. The reasons given vary from, 'not wanting to lose valuable skilled officers' and 'we're now an equal opportunities employer and therefore inclusive of people with disabilities.'

The harsh fact of life is that these once 'active' officers are generally retained against their wishes in office roles they would never have considered had they been fully fit.

These officers often suffer from high stress levels, poor moral and low feelings of self-worth. Generally they feel 'un-wanted' - They're expensive to employ when compared to civilian support staff, have poor promotional opportunities and suffer unduly with a 'shiny arse' tag.

Of even more interest to me and a distinct possibility if our Tony has is way, is the prospect of having seventy year old police officers on the beat. Now if Mr Cameron wants to do something about that then he'll definitely get my vote!

To take part in the discussion click Is the police service in need of reform?

Eleven Pound Notes Issued To Police

Just read this funny story on the UK police news site.

You've heard the phrase 'as bent as a nine bob note', here's the modern day version!

Eleven-pound notes have been given to every constable in West Midlands Police to remind them to look out for false reports.

False reporting of any crime is an offence in itself and wastes hours of officers' time investigating alleged offences that don’t exist.

People make false reports for a variety of reasons. Some falsely report their mobile phone stolen in the hope of an upgrade or replacement. Others falsely report the theft of insured goods in the hope of falsely claiming off their insurance policy.

Some people are embarrassed about the fact they have lost something and report it stolen to cover up their own carelessness.

In an attempt to raise officers' awareness to the trigger points for recognising a false report, special 'aide memoires’ in the design of an £11 note have been produced and issued to frontline staff.

The £11 notes are part of a force wide internal ‘Spot the Fake' campaign, which also includes doctored posters of the Mona Lisa.

The penalties for making a false report range from a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time to attempted deception and, in more serious cases, such as when the false report leads to someone being wrongly arrested, a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

A wide variety of methods are used to detect offences including cctv, witness accounts and media appeals. These methods can also prove that a crime report has been a knowingly made false report.

Superintendent Neil Evans said: “While we treat all crime reported to us seriously, we do look out for false reporting and anyone found to be making such a report will be charged accordingly. False reports not only waste time and money, they stop us time on solving real crime.”

For further info check out the West Mids Police website.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Police Officers May Face Charges

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - George Orwell

Police Officers May Face Charges

UK Police Merger Update

Charles Clarke was accused yesterday of "appalling" handling of proposals to cut the number of police forces in England and Wales from 43 to between 12 and 19.

In an article in The Telegraph, Delay police mergers, the Conservative spokesman on police reform, Nick Herbert, said: "The Home Secretary has lost the support of police authorities and must now put the re-organisation on hold until the implications for cost, governance, accountability and local policing are properly thought through.
"Charles Clarke's handling of the issue has been appalling, driven to an unnecessarily tight timetable and culminating in a clumsy attempt to bully and bribe police authorities into submission."

Association of Police Authorities

Probation Service Privatisation U-Turn

Back in October I posted regarding the government's plans to privatise the probation service.

Thankfully there's been a u-turn after criticism from judges, magistrates and more than 80 backbench Labour MPs.

The Home Office confirmed that plans to introduce a "mixed market" in the community supervision of 200,000 offenders will not be included in a police and justice bill to be published next week.

To read the full report please click Home Office holds up probation privatisation.

Perhaps this is an attempt to break free from the Soft on crime tag!

Drug Classifications Overhaul

Further to yesterdays No Cannabis Law Change post.

In The Guardian today there's a report stating that Charles Clarke has ordered a complete overhaul of the 30-year-old system for classifying illegal drugs.

The debate over cannabis classification continues to rage with Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, warning that the lives of thousands of young people will be damaged by the Government's failure to reclassify cannabis to a "B" class drug.

In a Commons statement, Mr Clarke confirmed that cannabis would continue with the "B" classification, but promised a new public information campaign, plus a new review of the whole drug classification system.

But speaking from the Opposition benches, Mr Davis said the Government's refusal to reclassify cannabis was a "tragic missed opportunity", especially as many experts and all the evidence indicated that the downgrading of cannabis to class "C" had been a mistake.

"We know that the use of cannabis is a gateway to hard drugs…that it can cause psychosis, and that it does huge psychiatric damage. Modern cannabis does more harm than older varieties," he added.

To read the full article, please click Clarke fails to grasp the cannabis nettle.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

No Cannabis Law Change

Back in December I posted articles titled Cannabis Laws Too Lenient and You're not a drug dealer if.....

Charles Clarke has today ruled out a cannabis law change in favour of launching a complete overhaul of the way drugs are classified and prohibited. He said he had been concerned that the existing system - of Class A, B and C substances - had caused some people to misinterpret the downgrading of cannabis.

"In the next few weeks I will publish a consultation paper with proposals for a review of the drug classification system, on the basis of which I will in due course make proposals," he said.

Mr Clarke said he will launch a major public information campaign to stress that cannabis was "anything but harmless".

He also revealed that draft guidelines published in November which would have allowed people to carry up to half a kilogram of leaf cannabis for "personal use" will be watered down.

He said: "The Home Office recently published a consultation exercise to look at threshold levels of cannabis in a person's possession which would deem them to be a supplier. I would like to inform the House that my final decision will be at a considerably lower threshold than the 500g suggested in the current consultation."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jobs for retired police officers

A friend of mine who recently retired from the police service pointed me in the direction of this police jobs site.

Until recently there wasn’t a central place for ex police officers in the UK to use and look for work after medical or long service retirement.

This ex police recruitment site has employers fighting over the various valued skills ex police officers have, but don’t perhaps realise how highly valued and in demand these skills are in the ‘real world’!

Retired police jobs currently listed on site include vacancies posted by ‘blue chip’ companies, local government, managerial security roles, as well as a whole host of police forces attempting to entice you back into the job in a ‘civilian’ role.

One job that really stands out for me and I'm sure for all you James Bond types out there is vetting officers for MI5!

The ex police job site is powered by the people at Police Oracle.
Apparently anyone with a police related website can apply to have a ‘powered by’ police job engine on their site for free – They’ll even share 50% of the revenue generated by companies posting job adverts with you. Can’t be bad eh?

Politically Independent Police

Recent press release from the Police Federation

Whilst accepting it is right that the police service cannot, and should not, stand still Police Federation chairman, Jan Berry, warns against any change which removes the operational and political independence of the police.

Mrs Berry says: “It is right that there should be local accountability of policing but we would not wish to see the erosion of an independent operational police service with local politicians’ micro managing and attempting to influence operational decisions. It is also essential that the current reforms being proposed by the government are properly thought through and implemented before we embark on the next reform of the reforms.

“Whilst accepting changes may be needed to the police pay and conditions I have genuine fears that performance related pay is not the best way forward to deliver an effective and locally accountable service. Pay that is based on performance places the emphasis on quantity, at the expense of the quality of policing provided, which may mean officers will start to focus purely on those aspects they are judged upon, such as their number of monthly arrests. This may also have a detrimental effect on the resilience and flexibility the service currently provides.

“When Mr Cameron says it is absurd that chief officers tell him an underperforming police officer is almost unsackable, I agree. Absurd that chief officers are saying that when they have the regulations and powers available to them to dismiss officers who are grossly incompetent, but they choose not to use them. We look forward to working with Mr Cameron and his team to ensure the views of 140,000 police officers in England and Wales are heard, not just several modernising chief officers. Only through open consultation with all rank and staff associations’, together with involvement from the public, can we ensure we get the police service we all want.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

PC Sharon Beshenivsky

For full BBC report please click City remembers murdered officer.

Please also see Chief's Eulogy For Murdered Officer.

To keep up to date with the progress of West Yorkshire's investigation into the murder of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky click here

To sign an online book of condolence click here

To make a donation for PC Sharon Beshenivsky's trust fund, help provide for her five children's future please click here

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Police work as magicians

Just read this funny story on Ananova - Police work as magicians

No, it has nothing to do with police officers using magic to help the government 'massage' crime figures.

Essex Police have admitted that more than 200 of their 3,300 officers need extra money so they can afford their own home.

PC Sue Kelly, of the Essex Police Federation, said: "I can see an increase in the number of second jobs as a very significant possibility. They often take these jobs to make ends meet or to go on holiday or buy things like a house - especially where prices are so high."

Only a few weeks ago an article was published highlighting how a police dog earns more than it's Chief Constable.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Black Museum - Met Crime Museum

Read an article in The Times regarding the Black Museum - The Met's famous crime museum, which highlights the current climate of pc gone mad. In this case place take pc as meaning political correctness as well as police officer!

A black day for our language it's the second article down the list.

According to the report, a Nottinghamshire police officer, has complained trenchantly that the popular name of the museum is racist.

There's numerous articles on the subject, one of which appears in The Telegraph - Pc claims that Black Museum is racist.

The Met's collection at Scotland Yard, which is not open to the public, has been nicknamed the Black Museum since 1877 and features gory exhibits from famous cases.

There's a heated debate going on over at the Police Forum on the same subject.