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, May 23, 2006

See Through Blouses

First we had the case of the wrong trousers, now we have see through tops anger policewomen.

According to Ananova, Dutch police women are angry after being supplied with blouses that are a little on the 'revealing' side.

So for all you procurement officers out there, here's two potential uniform suppliers who should be crossed off any tender lists!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Voters Oppose Police Mergers

Voters 'Opposed To Police Mergers' ran in The Guardian this weekend.

Didn't appear anywhere else though, which was a little surprising.

A majority of voters in areas of England and Wales, where the Government is proposing to merge police forces, are opposed to the controversial plans, according to a poll.

Some 58% of people surveyed for the Policy Exchange thinktank said that mergers should not go ahead, against 36% who supported them.

And opposition was strongest among those who knew most about the plans, with those who said they were aware of the mergers rejecting them by a margin of more than two to one (43% of the total against 20%).

A financial forecast drawn up for the Association of Chief Constables and leaked on Friday predicted that 25,000 police officers' jobs may have to be axed to meet the cost of restructuring.

The poll by Populus follows a Policy Exchange report, entitled Size Isn't Everything: Restructuring Policing in England and Wales, which argued that the planned mergers would prove unpopular and unworkable and that there was no evidence that larger forces are more effective.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Police Reform - Police Mergers

Yesterday I posted Police Reform - What's The Real Cost?

I've done a little research on the internet today regarding the whole police reform - police merger issue. Specifically relating to police officer numbers in the UK.

Back in January 2005 ACPO published a press release in response to a report published by Civitas. (The Institute for the Study of Civil Society)

Civitas' report was jumped on by the press - UK police 'among the world's worst' being a prime example of what was being published following this 'independent' report.

ACPO's press release in response to the Civitas report stated :
"In fact comparison with other police operations are difficult in Europe and the USA, as the number of police officers per head of population is much larger."

You can read what you like into this, but I take it as meaning that the UK's police force / service cannot be measured against other country's police forces, due to the fact that other countries have more police officers per head of population than we do in the UK.

So back in 2005, ACPO are insinuating that the only way to improve / be able to compare the UK police on crime clear-ups, detections, prevention etc with other countries, is to bring us into line on number of police officers per head of population.

To actually find the figures showing how we compare with other countries on number of police officers per head of population is really difficult!

I've found a report on The House of Commons website which gives figures from the year 2000 comparing the UK to numerous other countries. This report was still being quoted in 2003, but I can't find anything more current. If you visit the above, you'll have to really dig into this report to get the numbers - It's not in the easiest format I've ever seen!

Here's the numbers of police officers per 100,000 head of population according to the House of Commons report.

Portugal 481
Greece 426
France 397
Austria 330
Spain 312
Ireland 302
Luxembourg 300
Netherlands 269
Germany 262
USA 238
England and Wales 235
Australia 228
Japan 208
Korea 204
Switzerland 201
Denmark 195
Norway 192
Turkey 190
New Zealand 185
Canada 184
Belgium 183
Sweden 181
Italy 169
Finland 154
India 134

According to this report the current 2006 number of police officers per 100,000 head of UK population now stands at 267. Which on 2000's figures would still only place the UK 9th in 2000's league table. This is also assuming that the other countries listed haven't increased their numbers since the year 2000!

To be perfectly frank this just seems to be a smoke and mirrors operation.

If ACPO are to believed, last year the only way to improve the UK's police performance was to increase the number of police officers. This year it would appear that a better way to do this would be to reduce police officer numbers, but increase the number of PCSO's.

Am I just being cynical, but do you think this may have more to do with the salary costs when comparing police officers with PCSOs?

At the end of the day it's the public that suffers and the public that'll have to eventually decide whether this country continues being Soft On Crime.

Radical Law And Order Reform
Police Recruitment

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Police Reform - What's The Real Cost?

Rank and file police officers have launched a pre-emptive strike against radical plans to reform their service by claiming that up to 25,000 full-time officers would be lost in the change.

The Police Federation chair, Jan Berry, said that police chiefs intended to slash almost one in five officer posts within five years through natural wastage.

According to Jan Berry, forces will take on cheaper police community support officers, under plans being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

ACPO sources said most police leaders wanted to "modernise" their workforces, and believed that by using more police community support officers and civilian staff for administration and less demanding tasks, the fully trained police officers could spend more time fighting crime. The figure of 25,000 fewer police officers than the current level of 141,000 in England and Wales is seen as the highest figure, with the lowest estimate being 8,000 if ministers and Tony Blair back ACPO's plans.

Police chiefs say the yearly cost of a fully trained officer is £35,000, but that of a community support officer is £25,000.

For the full article please click
Reforms 'Will Cost 25,000 Full-Time Posts'

Early reports in the press include
Police Merger Costs 'Threaten Jobs'
Force To Axe 150 Beat Police Officers

Check the police forum topic on the same
Police Reform - The Real Cost
See also BBC Report Row Over PCSO Role

Is it just me or do you get the feeling that the Government is clouding the issue regarding the public's request for more police officers on the beat, by including in their figures the number of projected police community support officers?

Which do you think the public would prefer, more police officers or more police community support officers?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Two Minute Police Management Course

This Two Minute Police Management Course was sent to me via email by a friend.

Lesson One

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?" The eagle answered: "Sure, why not."
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested.
All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

*Management Lesson - To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson Two

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy." "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth day, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

*Management Lesson - Bull sh** might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Lesson Three

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.
While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.
Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

*Management Lesson - (1) Not everyone who sh**s on you is your enemy. (2) Not everyone who gets you out of sh** is your friend. (3) And when you're in deep sh**, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

This ends your two minute police management course!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Independent Police Complaints Commission

Constables' spokesman attacks police watchdog

In a speech today at the Police Federation's annual conference in Bournemouth, Mr Elder questioned the IPCC's independence, and suggested it was too preoccupied with political point scoring and playing to the media.

He suggested renaming the IPCC the "Institutionally Perverse Complaints Commission" because its mantra of searching for the truth had turned out to be "a load of tosh".

Mr Elder said: "How dare you treat our officers like second-class citizens, accusing them of things like having made 'fatal mistakes' and being guilty of 'unwitting racism' without proper evidence?

"You are supposed to be independent; then be it and stop trying to score political points. "The time you are taking to come to decisions is nothing short of scandalous. You've made a mess of so many reviews. The new home secretary [John Reid] must take a long, hard look at you and see if you are 'fit for purpose'. I am exposing your lack of ability to do your job properly."

The IPCC's chair, Nick Hardwick, is attending the conference and will appear as part of a panel session later. The IPCC took over from the old Police Complaints Authority two years ago, with radical new powers to launch its own investigations into complaints.

The federation has recently criticised comments by Mr Hardwick about the reluctance of black and Asian people to complain to police.

A search on the police forum reveals around 30 seperate threads concerning the police and the IPCC.

Recent IPCC blog posts include :
Congratulations To The CPS
Saving Lives - Why Bother?

Police Positive Discrimination

The police federation have thrown their positive discrimination hat into the ring.

Equal Opportunities Meeting Statement

Jan Berry, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales:

“The service has been working hard to recruit more minority ethnic officers in a bid to ensure the racial make-up of communities is reflected by those policing them.

“Steady progress is being made but there needs to be a serious debate about the ethics of positive discrimination which, in our view, could be counter-productive. All officers, including talented black officers, may feel isolated and consider their efforts and promotion undermined should newer colleagues be leap-frogged into the service through preferential treatment and recruitment.

The Police Federation is organising an equal opportunity meeting on 30th May with all interested parties with the aim of defining where the dividing line lies between positive discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunity for minority groups”

For further reports see Positive Discrimination and Police Recruitment.

Police Federation - Arm The Police Poll

Federation survey shows police struggle in the face of increasing dangers

Police officers are struggling to effectively and safely deliver a 24/7 emergency response to the public in the face of the growing menace of gun and knife attacks and increased assaults.

The results of a Police Federation survey released today at their annual conference show that of 141,000 police officers throughout England and Wales nearly half of those who responded believe their lives have been placed in serious jeopardy on at least one occasion over the last two years.

Over 40% of officers who responded have been assaulted whilst arresting suspects in the last two years; nationally this equates to 56,000 police officers.

Announcing the results Jan Berry, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ”With over a third of all police officers in England and Wales responding, this survey highlights the dangers police officers face every day and send a clear message to the Association of Chief Police Officers. Namely, that despite fearing for their lives on more occasions, most police officers throughout the country still do not want to be routinely armed. But chief officers must not continue to fail the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect the communities they serve. They must ensure that there are sufficient numbers of authorised firearms officers to call upon, to deal with the increasing number of gun crimes reported each year and I urge the new Home Secretary to hold chief officers to account on this.”

Arming the Police

The increased terrorist threat, violence and attacks over the last two years have not changed officer’s views on routine arming. 77% reject routine arming of front line officers with 13.8% clearly stating that they would never carry a firearm on duty. Over half of those who stated they would not wish to carry a firearm on duty said they would resign if they were forced to carry a gun.

This emphasises the importance of having high numbers of fully trained and available authorised firearms officers. Chief officers and the Independent Police Complaints Commission must ensure that any post incident investigations are conducted quickly and efficiently to minimise the amount of time these valuable officers are suspended from full duties. With the dangers they face and the lack of support they often receive at the moment is it any wonder that few officers perceive an AFO career to be an attractive option.

The survey also reveals an overwhelming support from frontline officers to see a greater rollout of Taser, with 89% wishing to see its use extended beyond authorised firearms officers only.

Since the 2003 survey was conducted there has been an increase in the numbers of authorised firearms officers from 5763 in 2002/03 to 6243 in 2004/05, but this is still not sufficient. The Police Federation want to see proper, thorough and ongoing risk assessments of the threats to ensure that frontline officers concerns are met. To this end the Federation calls upon Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to include this in their inspections of forces; this may then mean chief officers sit up, take notice and ensure we have sufficient numbers of AFOs.

Greater protection for operational policing

Over half the officers polled support the mandatory wearing of body armour, with 58.4% stating it should be. The Police Federation supports this but the body armour must be fit for purpose, and greater moves must be made to find suitable protection against both the gun and the knife.

Following a Federation name and shame in 2003 of forces that were failing to provide overt body armour, every force now provides this essential protective equipment.

Jan Berry adds: “We have seen an increase in reported violent crime year on year and police officers on the streets are telling us that our resilience and numbers are not enough to properly tackle the increasing number of emergency response calls. This was supported by our research and focus groups of frontline officers conducted earlier in the year.

“With the government focus on delivering neighbourhood policing teams nationally by 2008 I am extremely fearful that our emergency response resilience will be weakened further still.

“Officers should be safe in the knowledge that all has been done to protect their safety – this means appropriate, reliable equipment and sufficient back-up officers should they be required. An assault on a police officer is an assault on society, and sentences for those convicted must reflect the severity of their crime. I trust that every one of the 43 chief officers in England and Wales will sit up and act upon the valuable information in this survey and we look towards the new Home Secretary, the National Police Improvement Agency and the Criminal Justice Inspectorate to hold them to account.”

For the full report please visit the police federation website.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Hate

The below was posted on the police forums today.
I'd love to pretend that it was written by me, but it wasn't!

I Hate
I hate the politicians that call themselves police officers.

I hate being called a racist.

I hate the fact that the public want us to turn up in seconds and then moan when they see us breaking the speed limit.

I hate the paperwork and the endless duplication of information.

I hate the “just out of probation” trainee detective constable teaching me to suck eggs.

I hate the PC’s that are too scared to do the job who hide in offices like the Management Information Unit or the Borough Intelligence Units.

I hate the fact the recruitment standards have been lowered to let any old 4' 9" 19 year old in the job.

I hate being told by the courts and defence briefs that being abused and assaulted are all part of the job.

I hate not being able to defend myself and my colleagues when the press accuse us of doing something wrong.

I hate journalists who don’t get their facts right and the senior officers that let it happen.

I hate the yobs on the corner as much as you do.

I hate the fact that Tony Blair keeps passing laws that don’t work.

I hate the fact that he brought in Penalty Notices for Disorder to tackle teenage yobs in the street without having to arrest them, when we can’t even issue them to under 18’s!

I hate the National Crime Reporting Standards.

I hate the CID who can’t be bothered.

I hate drug dealers and rapists.

I hate the targets set by people who have never seen the things that I have seen.

I hate the fact that it can take two hours to book in a prisoner.

I hate people who call the police for no reason other than they can’t resolve their own arguments like adults.

I hate it when the Scenes of Crime officers don’t find any fingerprints.

I hate the fact that our uniform is unfit for the purpose and scruffy…and I hate the helmet…!

I hate the amount of resources put into policing football matches…and the people who can’t behave themselves.

I hate the senior officers that are more interested in cannabis detections and Sec 5 tickets than fighting proper crime.

I hate the fact that drug addicts are seen as victims.

I hate the idea of PCSO’s.

I hate the fact that we are called a service and not a force.

I hate having my duties changed 4 times in a week.

I hate the fact that me and my mates are fighting a losing battle...... But I will still do this job because I love it and it’s people like me and my mates who keep the streets from erupting in flames.

A Met PC in 2006

Archbishop of York - Dr John Sentamu

There comes a time when honest and decent people must speak out - Fortunately this decision seems to have been taken by The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

The new Archbishop of York, who fled Uganda where he had been a judge in the mid-1970s under persecution from the regime of Idi Amin, has now in my opinion become the voice of common sense in the UK.

Dr Sentamu, who was also a member of the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder, (which accused the Metropolitan police of institutional racism.) has taken no time at all in tackling emotive subjects which carry a certain 'social taboo' in today's politically correct Britain.

His response when questioned about the Church of England's role in modern society suggests a back to basics approach.

"The Church of England has to reconnect with England. There is such a wealth of tradition, the relationship between Christianity and social order, we are all part of the same society. I hope to spend more time befriending those who are sick, poor, lonely. The whole question of social integration, social justice, must go hand in hand with creating a fraternal society. If we are friends, the chances are that we will help and support one another. That is at the heart of the Christian faith."

In recent interviews and press reports, Archbishop Dr John Sentamu hasn't pulled any punches.

Multiculturalism stifles English culture, says black archbishop

Councils 'fail indigenous Brits'

Archbishop dons a hoodie

It is my job now to remind the English of what you taught me

Thank 'God' that we've finally got an Archbishop who appears to be suitably qualified and isn't afraid to speak out on social and justice issues!

Street crime is down - compared with Neolithic Britain

Just read that street crime is down - compared with Neolithic Britain in the The Daily Mail.

It's a bit of a spoof article playing on the supposed police / home office massaging of crime figures..... But it made me smile!

Woman Special Constable Murdered

Just seen this on the Police News site.

Woman Special Constable Murdered

It would appear from the report that SPC Nisha Patel-Nasri was off-duty and home at the time of the incident, but had gone outside, apparently to investigate a "disturbance".

My condolences go out to family, friends and colleagues.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jobs Suitable For Ex-Police Officers

Over 50 ex-police jobs listed on this week's ex-police newsletter.

These include the following jobs taken at random, posted by companies looking to recruit people with police related skills :-

Area Fraud Manager
Briefing Officer
Security Manager
Security Co-Worker
Regional Security Manager
HM Coast Guard Watch Officer

There's also a few 'tasty' overseas jobs for those who're prepared to travel - Nope, before you ask, they're not all in Iraq!

Click Ex-Police Recruitment to register for your own newsletter.

Police Merger Plans Push On

Afghan Hijackers Win Asylum Case

The news that the Afghan hijackers (who took over a Boeing 727 on an internal flight from Kabul and forced the crew to fly to Stansted Airport in Essex in February 2000.) have won their High Court challenge against the failure of the Government to grant them formal permission to enter the UK as refugees, doesn't come as any surprise.

Obviously the 'human rights' of hijackers should always come before those of their victims. I mean, what are we thinking about? Sending these poor people back, it's absolutely dreadful.....!

Even more surpirsing is that according to The Guardian, The prime minister took the rare step of criticising a high court ruling. "We can't have a situation in which people who hijack a plane are not able to be deported back to their country," said Tony Blair. "It is not an abuse of justice for us to order their deportation. It is an abuse of common sense, frankly, to be in a position where we can't do this."

According to another report, The Government's unprecedented clash with the courts arose after successive home secretaries determined that the nine should not be seen to benefit from their actions and create a "hijackers' charter".

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said: "We are disappointed with the court's judgment and are considering whether it is appropriate to appeal. It is common sense that to deter hijacking and international terrorism, individuals should not be rewarded with leave to remain in the UK.
That is why the Home Office introduced a policy that, depending on the circumstances of the case, enabled the Secretary of State not to grant leave of any sort to people who are excluded from international protection and instead keep them on temporary admission."

Soft On Crime or what!