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, October 30, 2006

Police Want Ban On Flag Burning

Police Want Ban On Flag Burning is a news story published on the police news site.

In a move likely to 'spark' further protests and 'ignite' community tension, Met Police chiefs have suggested making the burning of flags during protests illegal.

'Fanning the flames' around this issue is the Metropolitan police authority, who have resolved to take a firmer hand in determining how demonstrations are conducted and where they can be held.

Turning the 'heat' on protestors has been something discussed in the past, with one source stating that officers were "reluctant to intervene because they did not want to be accused of interfering with a Muslim protest during a time of great sensitivity".

Whilst 'fuelling' the debate, another source said, "We would not dream of letting the BNP that close to a mosque, so why were these people allowed to menace the cathedral in this way? We are not going to let people go around talking about killing Muslims, but neither are we going to have Muslims going around talking about killing anyone else."

The 'burning issue' here is that the setting alight of flags is considered a national sport in some middle eastern countries, with participator levels close to that of fishing or Sunday league football in the UK. There is a real threat that human rights lawyers may have a 'flicker' of hope in getting round any legislation passed by the government.

Sheik Pyro Burnhim of the Finsbury Park Flag Burning Club is said to be very distressed at the proposal. Sources close to the team [sponsored by Bryant and May] are telling Blues and Twos that several team members had hoped to compete in the Jehadist games next year, and likened the move to the banning of hand guns, which destroyed the UK's chance of winning Olympic small arms glory in the 90's. The source went on to add that several Finsbury Park FBC members are seriously considering a move to countries which allow and fully embrace the sport of burning national flags.

The problem has been 'smouldering' away for several months now, with Len Duvall, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, saying that the force was determined to send a message. "People have the right to [demonstrate] but they must do so peacefully and without causing undue offence." The change in police tactics coincides with discussions about the adequacy of police powers to deal with a growing number of high profile, emotionally charged events.

Labour MP Shahid Malik has backed the suggestion. "The burning of flags at demonstrations or pickets is quite clearly an act which has the power to incite violence," he said. "These appear to be sensible proposals which I believe all sensible people, irrespective of religion or race, will support." But Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty's director, said: "It looks like some people have been watching too many American movies. The police already have wide powers, especially for dealing with people wearing masks."

British flag manufacturers are said to be dismayed, with some suggesting the banning of flag burning is a direct attack on their industry; which has seen a massive increase in flag production over the last five years, due mainly to the rising popularity of flag burning as a sport in some sections of the UK's community.

Jenny Jones, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said: "Let them burn flags. It is better than burning buildings. It is not desirable, but people have to let off steam somehow."

Hmmm, I wonder as we're approaching Remembrance Day, what our nation's glorious war dead would think of Jenny Jones' comment - regarding the flag they've paid the ultimate sacrifice serving under.

Click here for further flag burning discussion.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Pumpkin Of Love

Just played the Love Pumpkin after being sent it by a mate.

According to my results :

Wow, do you actually have any friends? You little meanie!
Well yes, actually I do have friends you little yellow monster, how dare you abuse me at 9 o'clock in the morning....

How Much I Want I A Date
Me thinks you are a little desperate for some action... Been a while, huh?
I'm not desperate for some action, I answered the questions honestly, I'm a happily married man whose wife just happens to be pregnant.....

So Overall
As far as a date goes I'm pretty good.....
I knew this already......

I'm not used to being abused by a pumpkin, how very strange, if it's your bag, click the pumpkin of love to check it out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Police Performance

Police Performance Must Be Recognised

The Police Federation of England and Wales is calling on the Government to demonstrate their support for the Police Service.

The appeal follows the release of annual Home Office figures focussing on police performance across England and Wales which demonstrate a 2% drop in recorded crime.

The Federation claims that the dedication demonstrated by police officers appears to be paying off for the government today (24th October) but raises the question: Will these results ‘pay off’ for the hard working police officers across England and Wales?

These, the second annual police performance assessments, demonstrate significant improvements in investigative crime and an improvement in ‘victim satisfaction’.

But the police officers responsible for these excellent results are still waiting for the government to recognise their efforts by honouring longstanding pay arrangements.

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

“The police performance assessment figures clearly demonstrate the effectiveness and dedication displayed by fully trained police officers throughout England and Wales in the face of increasing workloads, pressures and disappointment over the pay dispute.

Whilst I welcome Tony McNulty’s comments referring to real and sustainable improvements in police performance over the last four years, I would dispute the suggestion that the figures provide a clear picture of police performance.

Whilst I recognise the service must demonstrate performance, we must not discount aspects of policing that cannot easily be counted. The officers I represent are becoming increasingly frustrated by target chasing, form filling and number crunching at the expense of the professional police service.

We are calling on the Home Secretary to demonstrate his commitment to policing and recognise the commitment of police officers by honouring the longstanding pay agreement”

The above from a press release from the Police Federation.

Participate in the police pay discussion thread here - 3%? We'll be lucky.....

Lobby your MP and tell your colleagues to do the same here - Fair Pay For Police.

Police Pay Crisis End In Sight

Police Performance

Monday, October 23, 2006

Police Blog Updates

Police Blogs seem to be on the increase again.

A few old favourites have fallen by the wayside, I've kept a couple of these for posperity as 'mates' who’re scared of being 'oppressed' run them.

A few seemed to have been taken over by weird porn / gaming type sites, so they've gone.

What's left should be a pretty decent list of good police blogs in the UK.

If you've got a police related blog and I haven't linked you, please leave a comment on this post. I do my best to update my task bar with relevant police related stuff on a regular basis.

Added today :
Traffic Cop
Inspector Gadget
Intelligence Detective
Mr Plod
Political Police
Midlands PC
200 Weeks

Blues And Twos

Ban On Arrests During Ramadan

Ban On Arrests During Ramadan

A local councillor said the instruction could not apply if it stopped the police doing their job. 'This sounds odd but we would need to find out what impact rescheduling arrests had on police operations,' said Liberal Democrat Councillor Simon Ashley, who represents the city's Gorton South ward.

'The police's first job is to police. I understand they have a difficult task to do and need to do it sensitively, especially within minority communities, but that can't stop them policing serious crimes.'

Letter in the Sunday Times speaks volumes.

An old saying enjoins us, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Today, the maxim appears to be when in Rome, Romans must bend the knee to ensure the Carthaginians are made comfortable at the expense, and to the detriment, of Romans. How sad to see what chasing votes can lead to.

Does this mean that Saturdays are a 'no-no' for Jews, Sundays are definately 'out' for Christians.........

Police Pay Negotiations

Police Pay Negotiations

On 18th October the independent Police Arbitration Panel met to consider submissions from both the Staff Side and Official Side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB). The decision of the panel is binding on both sides of PNB and then goes to the Home Secretary for ratification.

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

"It is beyond belief that with growing numbers of police officers being assaulted and fearing for their lives against the blade, the gun and terrorist attacks, we find ourselves for the first time in 27 years with our annual pay arrangement not being honoured. We’re not being greedy, as we are not asking for any more than other groups of workers got a year ago. Also, our pay arrangement reflects the unique status of police officers; we are accountable for our actions both on and off duty and we cannot take industrial action."

Calling on the Home Secretary Mrs Berry added:

"Together with our colleagues of all ranks throughout the UK, we took this to an independent police arbitration panel who will give their verdict in the coming weeks. We accept their ruling is binding on us. Today you have the opportunity to give us an assurance that you will honour their independent judgment. So, come on Mr Reid, don’t just tell us you respect us, show us you do and assure us you will honour the decision."

For further on this Police Federation press release click Police Pay.

The police pay dispute forum thread - 3%? We'll Be Lucky..... has some interesting comments.

Morek54 : Fighting talk from the federation - but they've allowed the erosion of Police Officers pay and conditions for some considerable time now, so such a declaration is perhaps a mute point. It certainly is debatable whether current pay does in fact remotely reflects the dangers, responsibility, accountability and restrictions to the personal lives of Police Officers in the first place - but above and beyond all else, I think this demonstrates just how undervalued we have now become.

Duffers Drift : Come on over to the Colonies. Some Toronto police constables, including no doubt a spot of the old overtime, made over $100K last year (50K in Sterling.) A policeman's lot over here is quite a lot.

Penbwlch : I have no knowledge of any actual work to rule. I have heard the idea suggested on many occasions, though. The only thing I remember working was a threat (by the Welsh forces, IIRC) to strike in the late 1970s. This was prior to an election and the Labour govenment held a review and offered a large pay increase, to be implemented at a future time. The Labour party lost the election and Margaret Thatcher came to power. One of her first acts was make the pay award immediately effective.I believe that the unrest and threat of strike action from police did not help the Labour party at the polls. I wonder if they learn from history?

tony_w : A Leopard never changes/loses it spots - just look back on the history of police pay and conditions! Now they are weakening your position by having PCSO's, Civilian Investigators, Traffic Enforcement (?) Officers, and so on - You are now in a catch 22 situation with nowhere to go! (They will play one off against the other - the Federation needs some radical thinking to be done like tieing up with NARPO who can shout and do a few things the Fed. can't and so on!)

Truncheon : The last time I remember any 'work to rule' being enforced was by the 'brass' themselves when EPIC was introduced in the early 90's. How many Met bods can remember with fondness EPIC's catch phrase of, 'Good Evidence Takes Time'? Time stamped IRB's, MG's and all that marlarkey. Must use single sheets when writing out statements because of Esda testing etc. Hordes of coppers off the streets doing IRB's and MG11's because they'd driven past the scene and glimpsed an arrest being made. 'Must do a statement because I saw it too sarge, that's the rules, I'll break them if you want, but could you just sign my pocket book to that effect.....?!' It ground to a halt then, not because of vindictiveness, but because most of us got scared about being involved in another (at the time) high level case based on the quality of police evidence. What it actually prooved though, is that if we all do everything we're supposed to do paperwork wise, the system will ground to a halt. It's the only weapon coppers have at their disposal when dealing with a government hell bent on breaking the Edmund-Davies agreement for the first time in over 28 years. The Home Office wants a deal linked to a commitment by forces to modernise, a demand that has infuriated the Police Federation. 'I can see 160,000 police officers becoming very angry over this situation,' said Jan Berry, the federation's chair.

M-square : We in the police service are no longer seen as a special case and that we are no different to any other labour market....... Yeah Right -my wife does not get kept on duty at short notice or have her working patterns changed for oprational purposes.She does not have the possibility of being assaulted or threatened with a knife/gun when going about her work.She does not have mounds of paperwork and CPS requests that border on the ridiculous. Her Union actively strives for aliving wage.Our wages are not keeping pace with living standards. Fuel is nearly a pound a litre, heating in the form of gas and electricity has gone up or is about to rise depending on your service provider by 20%Council tax has risen beyound the rate of inflation and is set to go up by 6% and to cap it all the interest rate has now gone up and possibly will need to rise again as a control measure or infaltion. I use my wife as an example for she works or a local authority who realsie that that the care of the employee is not just talk. Our federation needs to actively argue for an increase of 10% on our pay as all good negotiators know this will come down. 3% is not a reasonable rise and to be informd we may not even get this is an insult. We all need to send e-mails to our federation reps and ask exactly what they are doing about this insult.... I for one have had enough of being in a service that is knocked down when it comes to pay and condiions yet when the politicians need to boost their standing we are portrayed as the thin blue line that keeps the public safe.It is not unreasonable to be able to pay your bills and have enough to live on is it?

It goes on and on..... Check out the forum thread - 3%? We'll Be Lucky..... for more!

PC Copperfield posted a great video clip of why the police are worth every penny of the 3% pay rise requested - 3% Anyone.....?

I'm looking out for John Reid's statement of support.

Police Pay Crisis End In Sight
Pay row 'could disrupt policing'
Police 'Work To Rule' Threat
Operation Safeguard Update
Police Pay Dispute Press Release
Police Pay - MP Gives Support
Police Pay Dispute
Public Sector Pay
Police Wages
Crime Does Pay
Police Officers Can't Afford Mortgages
Honesty And Integrity
Met Inspector Has His Say

Half Racial Murder Victims Are White

Racial Murders Half Victims White is a report published yesterday on the Police News site.

Nearly half of all victims of racially motivated murders in the last decade have been white, according to official figures released by the Home Office.

Senior police officers have admitted that 'political correctness' and the fear of discussing the issue have meant that race crime against white people goes under-reported. One chief constable has claimed that white, working-class men are more alienated than the Muslim community.

Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Cheshire and a spokesman on race issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was a fact that it was harder to get the media interested where murder victims were young white men.

'The political correctness and reluctance to discuss these things absolutely does play a factor', he said. 'A lot of police officers and other professions feel almost the best thing to do is try and avoid it for fear of being criticised. We probably have all got ourselves into a bit of state about this. The difficulty in the police service is that the whole thing is being closed down because we are all afraid of discussing any of it in case we say the wrong thing - and that is not healthy.'

Three years ago Phil Woolas, MP for the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency, who is now Minister for Community Cohesion, said 'political correctness' was stopping racism against white people from being condemned. As a result, he said, attacks on whites by black and Asian people are not criticised by politicians and could harm race relations in Britain.

In 1999 the Commission for Racial Equality published a report that concluded that most racial crimes were committed against white people, although it pointed out that at the time white people made up 94 per cent of the population and that, proportionally, black and Asian people were still far more likely to be victims of race attacks.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Baby Blues

Baby Blues

Been keeping this a secret, but Mrs Blues is pregnant and we've had our 22 week scan today.

Here's Baby Blues........

Mini Blues has been asking for a 'brodder' - he's not going to be disappointed!

Anyone that knows Mrs Blues and I will be aware of the trials and tribulations we've undergone trying for a baby before being 'blessed' with Mini Blues.

After five courses of IVF ICSI Mini Blues arrived in 2004.

Mrs Blues and I decided to try for a baby again this year so Mini Blues could at least have the chance of having a brother or sister close to him in age. After being checked and tested at the clinic, the IVF nurse told us that our stats appeared 'normal' (must be all that clean living!) this time round.

What-do-you-know, three weeks later Mrs Blues was preggers. So we now have one 'miracle of science' blues and one 'plain miracle' blues!

Baby 'Cough The Lots'


Politically Correct Schools

Politically correct school arrest fiasco.

School girl arrested for having the 'common sense' to speak out.

The below report from the Daily Mail has left me gob-smacked. Goodness knows what would have happened to a 'real' crime suspect. Surely common sense should have prevailed. Even the greenest of the green probationer...... Oh sorry...... I forgot, it's the year 2006 and we live in The People's Republic of New Labour.

Codie Scott, a teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students in a science 'discussion' group because most of them did not speak English.

Codie Said: "Only one could speak English, so she (the teacher) had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said 'Discuss'."

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn't understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."

Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day.

A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school, and more than a week after the incident on September 26 she was taken to Swinton police station and placed under arrest.

"They told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my jewellery, and I had my fingerprints and photograph taken," said Codie. "It was awful."

After questioning on suspicion of committing a section five racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours then released without charge.

Codie's mother said: "Codie was not being racist." "The reaction from the school and police is totally over the top and I am furious my daughter had to go through this trauma when all she was saying was common sense. She'd have been better off not saying anything and getting into trouble for not being able to do the work."

School insiders acknowledge that at least three of the students Codie refused to sit with had recently arrived in this country and spoke little English.

Headteacher Dr Antony Edkins said: "An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark by one student towards a group of Asian students new to the school and new to the country. We aim to ensure a caring and tolerant attitude towards people and pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism in any form."

Robert Whelan, deputy director of the Civitas think-tank, said: "It's obviously common sense that pupils who don't speak English cause problems for other pupils and for teachers."

Greater Manchester Police denied Codie had been kept in a cell but would not comment further.

My favourite reader's comment posted on this subject :

"1960's communist USSR alive and kicking in Britian 2006 and a minimum of 3 1/2 years until the next election. I'm not sure the British public can wait that long."

For further on this report and to read over 37 reader comments on the subject go to politically correct schools.

OTT Or What
Teaching Right From Wrong Scrapped
Archbishop of York - Dr John Sentamu
Nitty Gritty - Let's get down to it!
To Yob Or Not To Yob
More Politically Correct Police Capers

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Congrats To Mr & Mrs Cough The Lot

Many congratulations to Mr & Mrs Cough The Lot.

Twin baby cough the lots are due next year.

Click the above to see scans of cough's little miracles.

Gay Police Association Ad Broke Rules

The Gay Police Association (GPA) ad which showed a bible next to a pool of blood has been judged to have breached advertising rules.

See Gay Police Association's Ad Blunder for previous comment on the advert.

The advert led to 553 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The watchdog said there was an implication, without evidence, that Christians were the main cause of homophobic incidents.

A Victory For Commonsense!

Gay Police Ad Angers Christians
Gay Police Advert Breached Rules
GPA Breaks The Rules
Gay Police Association’s Ad Outrage

Friday, October 13, 2006

Honesty And Integrity

I have just read the press release by the Met Fed IBB General Secretary Mark Crake regarding the governement's failure to honour the Edmund-Davies agreement on police pay rises. I have posted it below in full.

Who said Honesty & integrity were not negotiable?

The fact that the official side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) didn’t agree our pay rise this year and in so doing failed to honour the indexing arrangements that were negotiated and have been applied for the past 27 years, wasn’t a massive surprise for me or indeed I suspect to those who negotiate upon our behalf on the staff side. You see in a normal year, the respective sides ‘talk’ informally in advance of the formal PNB meetings but this year was different.

The Official side kept their cards very close to their chest but their silence spoke volumes. So we knew something was afoot. Now that their dastardly plans have been revealed it’s obvious why they were so reluctant to talk.

But did or do they expect us to roll over and accept their proposals meekly. I suspect not. They must have anticipated that we would eventually arrive at the current impasse and with it the need for independent arbitration. What really troubles me is their underhanded approach to a negotiating mechanism that has always achieved the desired result until now. I accept that any negotiating process is in effect a game of poker and revealing the contents of one’s hand too soon invariably results in a less favourable outcome than might have been achieved. But any game relies on the integrity of those playing and the unspoken acceptance they are doing so within the agreed rules of the game.

But this seems unlike any negotiation I have ever experienced, in that it is now revealed that one side has come to the table intent not on playing the game but on rewriting the rules of the game. Or at least the parts of the rules that don’t suit them.

Let’s be clear. Our claim, for a 3% rise this year, is by any reckoning ‘reasonable’. Indeed some would argue that it undersells us. But we were playing by the “Edmund Davies” rules and 3% was what the agreed formula told us was appropriate. So we thought we had a pretty strong hand- including a few aces! What we had failed to appreciate was that the Official side aren’t playing by the “Edmund-Davies” rules anymore where aces are high, they’re playing by a new set of rules drawn up by Mr Brown in which our aces are worthless.

But if this is to be the game in the future, wouldn’t it have been nice- some might say honest for them to have told us before we sat down. Because there are rules within the Edmund- Davies version of the game that we didn’t like and that we only tolerated because of the overall package. Rules like: Not being able by law to take part in any industrial action or being required to present ourselves for duty when ordered to do so or not having full employment rights or being accountable for our actions and inactions both on and off duty or having restrictions placed upon our private lives.

I could go on but I think the point is made. We within the police service are a special case. We accepted all the restrictions Edmund-Davies applied on the understanding that we would be compensated each September in line with the agreed formula. If that formula is to be scrapped then with it goes the whole package. The Official side cannot cherry pick.

Over the last few days I have had numerous e-mails from members who are not renowned for their militancy. Let me quote a few:

“One of our options is work to rule i.e. No more than 8 hours a day- five days a week.One job at a time. Don’t make the job work like we all do so often”

“We should all arrange to go sick on the same day”

“Please tell me what I can do immediately. I want to take action now as this is a pi** take”

“This is a disgrace the Fed must not bend on this one”

“All Inspectors must refuse to work more than 40 hours per week i.e. work to rule. This would impact seriously on the effectiveness of my borough”.

“It seems to me that the government have changed the rules of engagement. Therefore the Federation should go for the right to strike. If the gloves are off and they want a scrap lets give them one!”

“Can we march on Parliament please?”

“With the potential reduction in our rights and entitlements we should have a commensurate increase in our rights to withdraw our labour.”

“I’m polishing my sword. Point me in the direction of the enemy.”

“This is absolutely disgraceful and exploits the legal position we are in. I rely on the September increase. Power, mortgage, petrol have all gone up. The increases don’t even help us keep up with inflation.”

“The government is piling on the tax and reneging on the public sector pay deals.”

“It’s a disgrace. The MPS survives on the goodwill of its officers and that goodwill is pushed to the limit by this government, especially when you consider the events of 7/7 and 21/7 and the fantastic work of all involved and the hugely increased workload inflicted by this government. If they are not going to abide by the agreement then perhaps we shouldn’t and have the right to strike. They can’t have it both ways.”

“If it’s because we have thousands of PCSO’s on the streets that the government feels it can stall on this pay deal.”

“I’m no extremist but this U turn is treating us like dirt and particularly odious at a time when we have produced the goods in respect of community safety and counter terrorism. Is it not time that we looked at the no strike clause again?”

The MPS and I suspect the majority of other forces across the length and breadth of England and Wales are only as efficient as they are because of the goodwill of the inspecting ranks. In the past that goodwill, admittedly set against a desire for progression, has been shamelessly used and abused by chief officers.But now the game is changing. Promotion is largely a thing of the past and with it has gone the hold those chief officers had over most Inspectors and Chief inspectors. The Working Time Regulations as well as the protocols for “On-Call” working have provided our members with the teeth to bite back against the excessive demands upon their time.

If this Government honestly believes that it can impose its tawdry new pay rules upon police officers without fear of reprisals then they have gravely misjudged the mood. All the indications are that my members will no longer be giving the service any “goodwill “ hours and I would fully understand if they legitimately refuse to carry out other voluntary duties for which they receive no extra payment.

They say they were grateful for all the work done by police officers in support of the war against terror. They’ve got a funny way of showing it.

On a lighter note my Deputy Secretary for the past two years Mr Brian Rowles has announced his retirement after more than 30 years in the police service. Brian has been a stalwart of the Met Police Federation for many years and his active representation on a wide variety of issues has benefited officers of all ranks. I would like to personally & publicly thank Brian for his contribution and on behalf of the Met Inspector’s Branch Board wish him well in all his future endeavours.

Mark Crake
General Secretary

Police Pay Crisis End In Sight
Inspectors Branch Board
Met Inspector Has His Say
Pay row 'could disrupt policing'
Police 'Work To Rule' Threat
Operation Safeguard Update
Police Pay Dispute Press Release
Police Pay - MP Gives Support
Police Pay Dispute
Public Sector Pay
Police Wages
Crime Does Pay
Police Officers Can't Afford Mortgages

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Police 'Work To Rule' Threat

Police Work To Rule Threat

The Police Federation have said that Operation Safeguard may be in serious jeopardy if the previously agreed police pay deal is not honoured.

“If the police pay deal is not honoured there’s every chance that hundreds of prisoners may not be properly guarded or the public may be at risk of increased levels of crime”. This is a harsh warning to the government by Alan Gordon, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales on the day Operation Safeguard starts and police cells throughout the country begin to be used to house prisoners.

Mr Gordon adds:

“The Association of Chief Police Officers plan to implement Operation Safeguard is to use officers not working a shift that day and pay them overtime, so as to avoid a detrimental effect to the policing delivered locally.

“Well, plenty of officers are telling us that they are disillusioned with the failure to honour our 27 year pay deal, which has meant that 170,000 officers throughout the UK are still waiting for a pay rise they should have received in September. Many would rather have their time off than help when they feel so badly let down by the government.

“If that happens then Operation Safeguard will fail, unless police officers working normal shifts are brought into stations to act as full time jailers. The knock on effect of that will mean a reduction in number of police officers on our streets.

“Due to government intervention, we have now been forced to go to an independent industrial panel who will decide next week if our long standing pay arrangements should be honoured. If the decision goes our way, we will be calling on the Home Secretary John Reid to ensure this is carried out.”

Police Pay Crisis End In Sight
Operation Safeguard Update
Police Pay Dispute Press Release
Police Pay - MP Gives Support
Police Pay Dispute
Public Sector Pay
Police Wages
Crime Does Pay
Police News Feed

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Crime Does Pay

So crime does pay after all.

For a while I've had a sneaky feeling that wrong doers knew something I didn't. Maybe it was their gleaming beamers, the oodles of gold chains around their necks, and the latest in hi-tech electric gadgetry in their council flats that started me worrying. I've just heard about the latest new labour (soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime) criminal benefit initiative and I'm now convinced that crime does pay after all.

Apparently our own stock of indigenous criminals aren't generating enough crime in the UK and new labour have decided that enough is enough. If we want to top the European crime tables, (with ambitions of taking on the rest of the world in 2007.) we really need to start importing a decent criminal under-class from other countries. Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done fast before the rot sets in.

Hence the launch by the government with much trumpeting of the criminal benefit system. Not only are foreign criminals being invited to flout our immigration laws, but if their unlucky enough to get caught by our under paid police officers, processed by our beleaguered criminal justice system, and banged up in our over crowded prisons, they'll be rewarded with up to £2500 to go back to their own country to serve out whatever 'punishment' is deemed fit.

On repatriation they'll then be invited to repeat the process at will.

Apparently there's already a lucrative criminal transfer market in operation throughout Europe. The EU are currently investigating several instances of illegal bunging and tapping up by The Home Office of criminals still under contract with other EU countries. With new EU countries such as Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia being the main complainants. According to my sources, Lord Stevens has been approached to investigate this matter on the behalf of the EU as soon as he's finished at the FA.

One of my sources from Estonia who didn't want to be named said : "What chance has a conference level country such as Estonia got when attempting to compete with a premiership level country like the UK? We've nutured and seen our young criminals progress through our youth academies, they've just started making an impact at senior level and then something like this happens. They've been offered housing, education and benefits for their families. We'd like to see our criminals stay in this country, but we can't compete on the level of financial incentives offered by the UK. Sadly we'll have to accept that our young criminal stars will move on......"

A source at the EU who also didn't want to be named said : "We're currently investigating claims that the UK are offering outrageous bungs in order to sign up the European region's best criminals. This simply isn't on, we want all EU countries to be able to operate on a level playing field and enjoy the much sort after skills of these criminals."

The criminal benefit initiative is being championed because it apparently costs £37000 per year to house a foreign criminal in our prisons. Hence a £2500 criminal benefit system payment is seen as good value for money. Other options such as bolstering our immigration service, increasing our police officer numbers and increasing the number of prisons have been discounted as being too 'common sense' and 'knee-jerk'.

Other 'hard hitting' proposals for criminals unlucky enough not to qualify for a criminal benefit payment include :

  1. Encouragement of courts to use electronic tagging rather than prisons.
  2. Greater use of community punishments.
  3. Two women's jails to take men. (Ohhh.... The 'hardness' of the prison system! We have attempted to find out 'bunking' arrangements or whether prisoners will be able to co-habit whilst inside, unfortunately to no avail.)
  4. More inmates to go to open prisons.

What message are we sending out to criminals?

Crime doesn't pay.


Come to the UK, commit a crime and get £2500.....

Foreign Prisoners 'Offered Cash To Go Home'
Soft On Crime

Monday, October 09, 2006

Operation Safeguard Update

Fed Slams Government's Operation Safeguard Proposals

Responding to the announcement today by the Home Secretary that Operation Safeguard will be instigated from Thursday 12th October, Alan Gordon, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says:

“We have grave fears about the practical implications for policing following the Home Secretary’s announcement to house prisoners in police cells. Not least because the resilience of the service is already stretched to breaking point but being a full time jailer requires a completely different set of skills and training to that of being a police officer.

It’s ironic that the government look to police officers to bail them out of the mess they have created, yet fail to show their appreciation by honouring our pay deal this year. However, the bottom line is that we’ll pull out all the stops to make this work; that’s the nature of police officers – we get things done. The real problem is that police cells are not intended to house prisoners’ long term and are not fit for purpose. Over the last few years modernisation plans have seen many custody suites merge or close down, so cells that may now be needed are being used for other functions. This is not a solution to the real problem and is just a quick fix.

“It’s nothing new that prisons are getting full; this is a constant problem. The government need to tackle this – if we need more prisons then let’s build them. We should never find ourselves in the situation where capacity dictates sentences.”

Police Prepare For Prisoner Overflow
Police Cell Plan To Ease Prison Crisis
Police Pay Dispute
Police Pay Rise - Prisoners In Police Cells

Friday, October 06, 2006

Police Pay - MP Gives Support

Police Pay - MP Supports Police Officer Pay Dispute

Police Pay

MP David Maclean is backing the union representing the county’s police in a national pay dispute.

Mr Maclean has offered his support to the Police Federation following the government’s refusal to award a pay rise to officers according to tried and tested methods.

For more than 25 years police annual salary increases have been set according to the average rise given out to other public sector workers.

But this year the Home Office declined to approve this rise, which was expected to be three per cent. An offer of 2.2 per cent was tabled instead.

Now Mr Maclean, a former Tory policing minister, has written to the Police Federation.

In his letter, the Penrith and the Border MP said: “The first act of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 was to set up the Lord Edmond Davies Committee so that police pay was linked to public sector earnings.”

“This is the first time since 1979 that officers have not been offered a pay rise in accordance with the principles set out by the Lord Davies Committee. So long as the board exists, I believe we should implement its recommendations.”

For further on this report check MP Backs Police In Pay Clash.

3%? We’ll be lucky...
Police Pay Crisis End In Sight
2006 Police Pay Award Arbitration
Fair Pay For Policing
Police Pay Dispute
Police Threaten Work To Rule

Essex Police News

Police News - Officers Insult Colleagues On Police Website.

Essex Police have been in the news again this week. Officers Insult Colleagues On Police Website is an article published in the Essex Chronicle on the 5th October 2006.

The article refers to a long running police forum post on Police Oracle (Essex Police - What A Mess!) which to date has had 1833 posts and has been viewed 99462 times.

Essex police have released a statement part of which reads :

"Although Police Oracle has been anonymous, inaccurate and misleading, we have carefully considered every claim and we have asked all senior managers to seek feedback from their staff to ensure if there are issues of substance they will be addressed."

As a member of the police oracle forum, I cannot understand how Essex Police can claim posts on the police forum are are inaccurate or misleading. The majority of these posts (if you're 'in the know') are obviously being made by people working within the policing environment. Yes they're anonymous posts, but how else can those expected to live and work by draconian discipline codes speak out when something is obviously so 'wrong' with the service they love? They've even set up an alternative forum topic of Essex Police - How to put it right?

Perhaps Essex Police and Mr Baker should consider the phrase "Don't shoot the messenger" when dealing with criticism of their management style!?

Essex Police Blog

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Isn't Poaching Illegal?

Isn't Poaching Illegal....?!

Just seen an advert for the Met's latest police transfer campaign.

The Met are at it again. Apparently they're so ‘important’ that officers from other forces should up sticks and move to the Smoke. They are even trying to entice previous Met defectors back.

They are being a little picky, though - they refer to PSNI and Scottish forces as ‘Non-Approved’ and would require transferees from these forces to undergo full initial training again!

Seems pretty ridiculous if you’ve been a PC in Glasgow for a few years or a detective in Northern Ireland to assume that you need such basic training all over again.

Apart from certain legal differences, is policing the Scots in Glasgow any different from policing the Scots (or Turks, or Chinese or Asians etc etc) in the Met’s ‘most exciting city’?

They're even promoting and taking advantage of the fact that coppers in London earn considerably more than colleagues working in surrounding forces - Even though the house prices in the surrounding counties are at least as expensive as house prices in London.

For further check out Met Police Transfers

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

To Yob Or Not To Yob

Yob, Yob, Yob, Yob......

According to this report in The Sun - Don't Call Them Yobs, police chiefs have sparked fury by banning officers from using the slang word Yob - in case it “alienates” teenagers.

In the hard copy version of The Sun, there was even a handy cut and keep wallet sized reference guide reminding officers of politically correct alternatives for the word Yob, therefore preventing officers from potentially falling foul of the p.c. 'thought police'.

Alternative Words For Yob
Norman Brennan, of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: “If you don’t like being called a yob, stop acting like one. What other words are there for those who act anti-socially and frighten the elderly and vulnerable?”

Cindy Butts, deputy chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, challenged the term. She whinged: “I have a problem with the language of ‘yobs’. It sets up and defines too much a ‘self’ and ‘other’.” Too much time spent reading The Guardian me-thinks.

According to Wikipedia, yobbo or yob is a slang term for an uncouth blue collar individual or thug. The word derives from a back-slang reading of the word "boy" (boy or boyo reversed becomes yob or — slightly modified — yobbo).

However according to this report, Using the Term 'Yobs' is OK the Met's alledged ban was poo-poo'd by Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin, who said: "Any suggestion that the Commissioner has backed a blanket ban on the use of the word 'yobs' is totally ludicrous. He has never made any comment at all regarding its use. It is commonly used and can be an appropriate description for those responsible for antisocial behaviour."

So the score now stands at.........
Common Sense 1 - Thought Police 5,999,999

Police Recruitment

Police Recruitment boost hopes for ITV series.

ITV have come under fire after it has emerged that a new series named 'Beat: Life on the Street' is at least partially funded by the government's Central Office of Information.

The series will follow police officers from Oxfordshire and Liverpool on patrol and off duty.

According to this police news story, the new series will somehow tie in with the official police recruitment website, Police Could You.

I'm pleased that the government now seems to be doing something about police officer recruitment, instead of wasting money, time and effort on Blunkett's Bobbies. Anyone currently visiting Police Could You might be forgiven for thinking it was a PCSO recruitment site.

Demand Proper Police Recruitment - You know it makes sense!

Police Positive Action
Police Recruitment - "Positive Action"
More 'Black' Police Officers Needed
Police Positive Discrimination
Diversity Targets 'Unrealistic' Say Police Chiefs
Police Officers Wanted Not CSOs!
Are PCSOs Worth It?
PCSO Recruitment Drive
How To Become A PCSO
Force Admits Rejecting White Men