Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I have now been acting skipper on a reactive shift for about a month ish prior to that i was acting neighbourhood skipper.

There are a hell of alot of differences in the responsibilities. I mean struggling to resource jobs with minimum staffing. Trying to bottom out the sometimes poor handovers from the previous shifts (who to be fair dont have a skipper most of the time). And trying to get the team to perform.

Its quite a balance especially where i dont have the numbers on shift to be able to resource Urgent jobs as well as allowing them time to progress their own jobs. At the same time trying to get the detection rate up and getting their workloads down.

I have had to be quite ruthless with their jobs and file them at the first chance i get to save endless enquiries which will lead nowhere in an effort to bring down the number of jobs they are carrying.

In theory if i reduce their current workload then they will be able to be more proactive and get the drugs searches and public order jobs rather that constantly taking statements to progress their own jobs. Also the less work they carry in theory the happier they will be at work. I mean when i used to carry a heavy workload i used to dread coming in to have to do more paperwork, and when the level dropped then i was happier in my role and was getting the proactive stops, the drugs searches, disrupting the drunks causing problems.

Its just so hard to do these days balancing the needs of victims, and the needs of the community as well as the welfare of my officers. Along with resourcing the new jobs coming in which need attendance.

I dont like to keep callers waiting for attendance, but need to prioritise their call because our grading system isnt the best and we really need several kinds of urgent rather than one.

I am going onto nights this week so will be trying to get my officers out there rather than sitting in the nick doing paperwork. I will be out there too trying in an effort to lead by example.

They are not a bad team, they can work hard when pushed, i just want them to work hard, enjoy the job without being pushed.

Having said that, we had 3 officers on duty recently and still managed to arrest 2 for burglary which resulted in them being late off. Sadly they wouldnt allow me overtime to supervise the final stages and i really hope they did a good job after the arrests otherwise it will marr the good efforts at the scene. I guess i little faith and hope they dont let me and themselves down!

First night shifts for over 3 months, could be interesting.


Well the results are in and i have the feedback from the Roads Policing board and my application for Sgts Boards.

I got a letter from HQ informing me that i was unsuccessful in my application to boards for the role of Sgt (this is like a paper application before having a job interview).

The same day i got a call from one of the people who did my interview for roads policing. With a "welcome to the department you have passed the board" which is a result for the first time i have ever sat a board. I am quite chuffed and have done my assessment drive which i also passed. So i am just waiting a date to join the department!

Not bad at all, and to be honest if i passed both i was going to withdraw from the Sgts. So hopefully in a few months i will be posing in the guise of a traffic bobby.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

100% Attendance

Not what you are thinking where we get a bonus for not going sick......

It's our policy soon that we could be attending 100% of calls into the police.

We currently attend around 30% and are run ragged!

Now they want attendance if the caller asks for it rather than if it was justified.

With no increase in staffing numbers.

I see trouble ahead.

I think the police is coming full curcle again on its 5 year turn around. You never know they may disband departments to staff shift (like they did 3 years ago).

John the cynical

All Change

My last post on here was a tad negative.

Partly because i was having a bit of a mare having moved off a reactive shift onto a neighbourhood department and leaving the "security" of my shift who i had worked with for a number of years.

Quite a daunting thing really as it was the first time in my career i had left a bloody good team of people both personally and professionally with probably one of the best skippers i have worked with.

The complaint was resolved and i was basically cleared of any wrong doing. This was good for me as i suddenly realised how many people i have worked with over the years came out and supported me. I kept my head down and got on with the job and let the system do it's job as i knew regardless of the rumours i had done nothing wrong.

Not too long after the incident, i received a phone call, offering me a skippers role on the department which i obviously took and soon took on an acting rank.

This was quite weird for me as for some reason alot of people who i would not normally have access to became available to me. The amount of support was also quite a change and the higher ranks talked to me on a level rather than as a PC.

Needless to say i had a job to do and set about doing that job.

I have never been one for hiding in corners and knew although i will eventually go back to being a PC i was in rank and needed to be a sergeant. This meant some unpopular decisions which i hope wont be held against me when i am back to PC.

But it seems to be working, things changed and the department is now working as a team rather than a fragmented single existence for most of the officers.

Coming off a shift where teamwork is important to a department where it appeared that it was a individual effort rather than team was strange. And i wanted to build a team of reliable officers who i could trust.

And after about a month or so, is starting to take shape.

Only for me to leave sometime in the very near future.

It seems that my work has not gone unnoticed. Although i feel that i am just doing my job, others feel im doing more than that.

I will soon be off to shift again.

Not as a PC but as a shift skipper where i will hopefully have a team of officers to work with. Well depending on how many they want to abstract for other departments, annual leave etc!.

This will be interesting for me, i think i will try and get them working the same as my old shift, whether that works is another story!

Also if you remember i applied for roads policing for the second time.

Well i passed paper sift and have recently sat a board for the role where i hope i will get in.

Boards are strange things, in roads policing there are alot of things you need to read up on which took a great number of hours, only to briefly cover topics in a 30 minute interview.

Hopefully i did well and will be offered a role, it's hard to work out how i did really!

So potentially over a period of 3 months i will have been.

A shift PC
A Area Beat Officer.
A Neighbourhood Sgt.
A Shift Sgt
And fingers crossed, a Roads Policing PC.

Well i will know in the next 2 weeks if i did enough to get one of the jobs.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


From the nightmare of a last few months working on neighbourhoods, things went downhill very quickly, which lead me to wanting to leave sector and go back to reactive on the hurry up.

But things did take a change, i had a new person to mentor who was a breath of fresh air and made me start to enjoy it again. We have been to a fair few jobs, made a good number of arrests, got some good detections and used alot of common sense when dealing with incidents.

Last months problem was moved and is being dealt with and i have been supported and cleared of any wrong doing.

So last month has been quite a positive one after 2 months of crap and left me feeling better about the job as a whole.

So, i decided to submit papers to board to be a sgt which has all been supported. Only to find out that Roads Policing are again advertising, for the area i want to work. This then leaves me with a problem..... Do i carry on to become a sgt or withdraw to apply for RPD???

I am still waiting to see if i can do both at the moment but deep down i want to do RPD and would be a fool to miss the chance of getting in after all i can board every 3 months to be a sgt and RPD doesn't come around that often and i stand quite a good chance of getting a board.

Also i had a call the other day offering me some acting for 3 months which i accepted.

So in a way things seemed to start going my way, hopefully it will continue and ill eventually get onto driving RPD cars which is ultimately what i want to do.

When things look bad, sometimes things will start to go your way, long may it continue and hopefully i wont drop the ball!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Neighbourhood Policing

Well after being hastled for a number of months by people of varying ranks i took an attachment to a neighbourhood team.

Somehow they deem me to be an "experienced officer" and asked that i come off core response to work in a neighbourhood team with a few other officers.

With the promise of some good training which i wouldn't get on response and potentially some good evidence for my PDR i accepted and went onto NHP as a Mentor to some of the new kids coming in from the new training scheme.

I like the use of the word mentor because it means they don't have to pay me to be a tutor even though i am actually tutoring.

So this post is really 2 things. Its about NHP and the new training scheme which has been adopted by most forces.

Firstly NHP, I have never seen so many petty harassment's and complaints in my career. Dealing with people who cant resolve problems themselves. You know the type of thing where the normal amongst us would have a word and try to actually speak with the problem neighbour to sort it out.

Well it seems that alot of people claim harassment from a neighbour sitting and laughing at them in the garden or the kid kicking a football against a fence (thanks to NCRS its now crimed as criminal damage or attempt CD) meaning statements need to be taken and the "offender" spoken to or dealt with.

I used to be able to attend the job, give "words of advice" to both parties and never have to go back. Now im dealing with idiots who wont listen who hate the neighbour and when i ask "have you spoken with them about the problem?" i get the response "they wont listen to us but they may listen to you so i didn't bother trying"

Ahhh its annoying to say the least that people think we can sort every little thing out and i don't have better things to do than say "if you continue to laff at your neighbour you may be liable to arrest"

I blame Jeremy Kyle.

Incidentally the number of jobs i get sent to decreases when JK or loose women is on telly.

The new training scheme has been in effect for a while in my force and after a few days i was forced to speak with the department responsible to find out what the hell is going on as the people i am being sent don't know what to do or how to deal with a job. I know we all have to start somewhere but these are officers who are sent out as fit for purpose and sposed to be able to do stuff on there own.

What crap.

In the first 2 weeks i got abandoned by my crew mate in a fight because he didnt agree with the level i went in at and i didnt start from the low level and escalate up.

Ive been doing this job for a while and know what level to go in at but he was having none of it.

He is now seen as a soft touch and was abused by other MOP's in full view of the people he was sposed to be helping. This is something quite scary as its not him thats gonna get hurt its gonna be his crew mate.

So i need to re train him from the school view of policing to the reality of policing. Easier said than done im afraid as he knows it all.

So i am left with a dilemma.

I need to shock him into action and make him realise what the score really is or do i just hope for the best. First option means i may get hurt or his crew mate. Second option means sometime in the future it will go wrong.

It wouldn't be so bad but he cant even deal at a burglary without me guiding him through the job!.

I have to be quite vague here as im not sure what to do for the best. I know hes only new and needs time to adjust and settle in but hes sposed to be able to deal with jobs at the least. And the public order bread and butter stuff will come in theory, but for him i don't think it will.

So this week could get interesting ass im hunting for disorder and attending any violent or disorder type job to at least instill the fact which is you never leave another officer to deal with a violent job on there own, you go hands on regardless.

We are sposed to look after each other and work as a team... a skill which is dearly lacking it seems in this individual.

So he is now my pet project and will update you on his progress as to whether he succeeds and is right for the job or not.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Death

Tributes to Pc killed in stabbing

Jon Henry leaves a wife and daughter.

Colleagues of a policeman fatally wounded in a triple stabbing have paid tribute to him. Pc Jon Henry was responding to reports of an assault on a window cleaner in Luton when he was attacked on Monday.

Two other men were also stabbed, with one of the victims said to be in a serious but stable condition. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Chief Constable Gillian Parker said of 36-year-old Pc Henry: "His dedication to his duty cost him his life."

She said: "Jon was one of a large family, a very close family. Jon was a much loved son, brother and husband."

He leaves a wife Mary and a baby Maggie, who is weeks away from her first birthday.
Nicky Dahl, divisional commander for Luton, said Pc Henry had been in good spirits just minutes before he was sent out on Monday morning.

He said: "Jon had been in the police service for three years, and was described by his colleagues as a great guy, always cracking jokes. "At the briefing this morning, he was doing the same. They always laughed, because the jokes were so bad.

"His family described him as someone who was just doing the job he loved, and as someone who loved life."

Pc Henry died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital where the two injured men are being treated.
One of them, a 55-year-old from Luton, was stabbed in the back. Police have not given details of the second man.

Stun gun
Pc Henry was attending 999 calls from two members of the public after a man, said by witnesses to be a window cleaner, was attacked with a knife in Luton town centre. The constable attended in a marked police car and was with a number of other officers when he was wounded.

Police used a baton round and Taser electric stun gun to restrain the knifeman. On Monday Det Supt Keith Garwood, who is heading the murder inquiry, said: "The family are very traumatised by this and are understandably upset and angry.

"This man came to work and they were expecting him home this afternoon and he is not going to be there."

To the scum posting crap in the comments - cowards hide where brave men / women stand.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Another Tragic Event

A 43-year-old policeman shot dead at the scene of a domestic argument had been commended five times for bravery.

Married father-of-two Pc Richard Gray, a trained firearms officer, was killed while attending a domestic dispute in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on Sunday.

West Mercia chief constable Paul West said the Dundee-born officer had previously won recognition for his part in the arrests of two armed men.

The second man to die has been named as Peter Medlicott, 33, from Shrewsbury.

The pest control business owner is understood to have killed himself after shooting Pc Gray.

A .222 calibre rifle, commonly used in pest control, was recovered from the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed both men died from single gunshot wounds to the head.

The force said a police armed response unit was called to attend a domestic incident at 0610 BST on Sunday in New Park Road.

Det Ch Insp Sheila Thornes said two unarmed officers attended the address as there was no early indication of an armed threat.

"However, when the officers arrived they were challenged by a man who held them at gunpoint," she said.

The officers radioed for help and an armed response vehicle was sent to the scene.

"Both authorised firearms officers were armed and as they went forward they were confronted by a man who shot Pc Ricky Gray.

"Approximately an hour later, the body of a man, now identified as Medlicott, was located by officers close to the scene," she said.

Det Ch Insp Sheila Thornes, who is heading the investigation, said the constable's weapon had not been fired.

She said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Pc Gray, known as Ricky, married his long-term partner last year.

Mr West told a press conference on Monday that the police officer's family was "understandably devastated".

"Pc Gray was an excellent officer. He was very popular with his colleagues, extremely well-liked and held in the highest regard," Mr West said.

"The fact he had been recommended for five commendations spoke volumes about his character."

Pc Gray received a divisional commendation for rescuing a man trying to jump from Shrewsbury's English Bridge into the River Severn, the conference was told.

He also received a chief constable's commendation for his part in the arrest of an "unstable" man with a firearm.

Pc Gray was additionally recognised for his part in arresting a violent man with a semi-automatic pistol who tried to escape police in a stop-check in April, 2006, in Shrewsbury.

The officer had previously worked for Cheshire Constabulary, serving in the Warrington area from 1997. He later joined the armed response unit before transferring to West Mercia Police in 2003.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Forms and Time

Well by some miracle i managed to pass my sgts exam which i sat in March this year. Quite a surprise as to be honest i didn't put as much time into it as i should have and was expecting to fail the exam.

Part of the reason being that i simply did not have the time to put into it. No time on shift to do revision, and not alot of time on my rest days or in the time off after shift. I always try and leave work at work and found it really hard to do work on my rest days. Kind of a work / life balance thing i guess.

So, great i thought, 5 years to become substantive but the flood of letters and emails from personnel etc wanting me to try and become substantive now but i don't think i have the experience to become a full skipper just yet. I did some cover while our skipper was on leave which i kind of enjoyed but was manic due to trying to do the supervisor role as well as crewing a response car and doing jobs.

I am glad of the break now to be honest, 5 days off with the bank holiday.

We had dramas in the last week with restructuring of the shift and being told we need to loose 2 officers off our shift to resource other shifts. Stressful is not the word id use to describe it! And now they turn around and change there minds........... Ahh consistency in the police, don't ya just love it.

We got some new forms the other day, for stop and account! And we had a training day on how to fill in the new form.

Apart from the fact our old forms were stop and account as well as a producer, we now have lost the producer aspect and need to go back to using the old HORT/1 books. All well and good but we will need to do both forms if we ask a driver to account as well as produce! Estimates put it at about 20 mins to fill in the new form.

I have restarted going to the gym again which is painful! And will be making another attempt at stopping smoking (attempt 6 in 3 years).

Another round of traffic jobs came up last month but not for the base i wanted to passed up on doing that one only to find out recently that anyone who passed the board will go into a pool to fill spaces at the base i wanted. Pissed off a tad i was, so looks like ill have another long wait to apply. I thought i was doing the sensible thing rather than getting posted somewhere miles away! But looks like i have shot myself in the foot here! Doh!

Back onto nights soon so looking forward to that and hope its a good set of shifts rather than the dross we have been dealing with recently.

Everyone and there dog has been calling recently wanting us to sort out their "issues". Although it bit someone who called us to tell of their 13 year old son but in the process both admitted assaulting each other which resulted in both getting nicked! Wont be making that call to us again to tell off kiddy for being stroppy. Although im sure that nothing will come out of the job.