Saturday, 31 December 2011

Wasting Police Time

I really drew the short straw this Christmas, working a late shift on Christmas Day. In my Force if you work Christmas Day you don't work New Years Eve. Sounds great but I am on an early New Years Day which means a very subdued celebration tonight.

Christmas Day wasn't too bad this year, a bit like a Sunday. We only had three domestics to attend. These were all at, dare I say, social housing. Very sad really but a product of the society we live in. In every case we have a woman who is quite inadequate in many respects. There are children and there are the current 'partners.' In all three cases the current partner is not the father of all or any of the children in the house. The 'partners' have their own issues and inadequacies. Only one of them was working, for example. In every case there has been excessive alcohol consumption and petty arguments. The sort of arguments that only these children in adults bodies can have. In two cases there are allegations of assault and so off to the cells two of the 'partners' go.

The next few hours the children's Christmas is taken up with the police completing a 12 page risk assessment and the mother making a statement to police. A statement they will withdraw in the morning when they realise the inadequate waste of space they have given a roof in their taxpayer provided house, will not be coming back if charges are pressed. And after all, they do love them really.

I paid a visit to the control room. Thank heavens it is not too busy. The number of police officers working on a Bank Holiday has been cut to worrying levels. The control room has also been pared to the bone in an effort to save money. Trying to run more than one incident in the County would be quite difficult.

Of note is the calls coming into the control room. Christmas Day is one of the few days in the year now when everything is shut. So the calls for help come into the emergency services. Can we find a plumber for someone whose heating has broken down? Are there any trains running today? What time does the Next Sale start tomorrow morning?

I shall be at work at 5.30 a.m. tomorrow morning. There will be a skeleton staff on again as it is a Bank Holiday. The biggest concern will be do we have enough staff to deal with all the drunken idiots that will be arrested tonight.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas 2

I thought I would share with you another festive video and my favourite joke of the year which also has a seasonal theme.

Some of us will be working over Christmas and sadly we know from experience that Christmas Day and Boxing Day will mean demands that are difficult for some to comprehend. Domestic violence calls will feature high on the list. Last year I had to take two kids into police protection on Christmas Day while their parents spent it in the cells. I hope all of you working over the Christmas festivities have a quiet and peaceful one.

My favourite joke of the year.

Police were called to a suspected massacre of snowmen in Lincolnshire. A pathologist attended the scene and there was relief all around after it turned out to be a field of carrots.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Scotrail, No Ticket, No Charge

Many people have been outraged at the news that the yob, by the name of Sam Main from Falkirk, wants the person that threw him off a train prosecuted.

You can view the video of the incident above, but in summary, Main had no ticket. He was asked by the guard to leave the train. He insisted he had paid and refused to get off the train. He was rude and abusive. Eventually a big man by the name of Allan Pollock had had enough and asked the guard if he wanted Main removed from the train. The guard said yes and Pollock took hold of Main and took him to the doors. Main resisted and fell to the floor. He is picked up and pushed off the train. He immediately tries to run back on and is taken hold of and thrown away from the train. He ends up on the ground with a grazed cheek.

Main goes home and tells his mummy that he got assaulted and thrown off the train. Main's mummy is outraged that her darling son has got a graze on his cheek and wants revenge. An allegation of assault is made to the police. I take the view of the majority of people. Main is a foul mouthed yob who had every opportunity to leave the train and any injuries he received were as a result of his own stupid actions.

The press are reporting that Pollock has been charged with assault. This is NOT correct. The police have carried out an investigation and passed the file to the Procurator Fiscals office for a decision on prosecution. This is much the same as the police sending a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales. The Procurator Fiscal will decide whether or not Pollock will be charged with assault and if Main will be charged with trespass or travelling without a ticket.

I sincerely hope that the Procurator Fiscal will take the view that Pollocks actions were perfectly lawful and he should be commended rather than prosecuted. I wouldn't have bothered charging Main had he accepted his just deserts, but as he and his mother have decided to make an issue of it, I hope they throw the book at him. If his mother had taught him how to behave in the first place he would not be in the position he is now.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

I bet we see this girl on the X Factor in a few years time!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Just Go Home!

                                  Another Arrest Caused by the Police

I was out on foot patrol in the town recently in company with a young PC. It was about 2.30 a.m. and we were standing minding our own business near one of the towns nightclubs. Club patrons often congregate here and it is not uncommon for arguments and fights to break out between those who have had too much to drink. A police presence usually provides a deterrent to this sort of behaviour.

As people walk past us I give some cheery 'Good Nights' and hope they all find a taxi and go home quietly. Two lads walk by and I bid them a good night. One says "It's the filth. I don't like you lot." The PC with me suggests he has a word with him. No, I say, just ignore him and hopefully he will go home. The two lads stop about 20 yards down the road. A minute later the one who spoke earlier comes back. He says. "Why are you hanging around here? Instead of picking on innocent people you should be catching murderers and rapists." Most police officers have heard this a dozen times. I politely tell him why we are there and wish him good night." He doesn't go. "I don't like you lot. In fact I hate pigs. You're all a bunch of arseholes." No one else has heard this comment and, of course, I am not at all offended by it as Justice Bean has decided such language should not offend me.

The lad has had a good drink and I could arrest him for being drunk and disorderly but I really just want him to go home, so I say. "Fair enough, we're all entitled to our opinion. Good night." We walk away towards the club hoping he will just go home. The lad follows us. "Yeah, go on. Fuck off! Fuck off and do something useful. Bunch of fucking arseholes." Now, I don't care what Justice Bean says, if you tell me to fuck off you are going to be arrested. I turn around and walk back to the lad. I arrest him for being drunk and disorderly. As soon as I take hold of him he resists. He tries to pull away, thrashes his arms around, then says he is going to knock me out. There is a torrent of abuse and threats while I subdue him. His friend decides he is going to intervene and the PC with me has to keep him away while I end up with the drunk lad on the floor.

He is eventually handcuffed and I await a vehicle to take him to the police station. He is continually being abusive and threatening. His friend is still hanging around nearby. A police car arrives and the arrested lad doesn't want to get in it so we have another scuffle and a little pain compliance until he gets in. I can then hear air escaping. His idiot friend is round the back of the police car letting one of the tyres down. He gets arrested too.

I wrote an article several months ago about working with probation officers and how they generally accepted that many public order incidents are caused by the police. This has become so commonplace that I believe magistrates almost accept there must be some truth in this. The penalties certainly reflect this.

The idiot who let the tyre down sobered up and was given a Fixed Penalty to pay. The idiot who got arrested in the first place has a history of violence and public order offences. He has eleven previous convictions. He was charged with being Drunk and Disorderly and Resisting Arrest. He pleaded guilty at Magistrates Court. In mitigation his solicitor stated on his behalf that the arresting officer had been rude to him and the cause of his poor behaviour. He was fined £50 with £30 costs.

I have little confidence that this penalty will deter this man from any similar behaviour in the future. So this man will become another crime statistic and it is the police, not the rest of the failing justice system, that will take the blame for not reducing crime.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Another Wasted Life


This is Danny O'Shea who died last Friday evening near his house in Canning Town. The story was reported but did not gain any significant publicity and you may well have missed it. Danny was chased by a group of black youths and stabbed in the neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A tragic waste of another life in some apparent gang related testosterone battle.

Reading the story it struck me that there is something missing here. The police officer investigating the case makes a plea for witnesses but there is no mention of the police dealing with this as a racial attack. There is no reassurance to the community that no stone will be left unturned to bring these offenders to justice; no press conference; no mention of a community reference group being set up to advise the police, monitor the investigation and feed back reassuring messages to the community.

I haven't read any reports of the community marching on the local police station demanding to know what they are doing about this murder. I haven't seen the family in the media suggesting that the police won't take the murder seriously, despite their apparent blase attitude to it all.

I haven't heard a peep from the MP for West Ham, Lyn Brown condemning this murder or offering her reassurance that she will do everything she can to ensure the police investigation is effective. I haven't seen her visit the scene or the family. The latest entry on her website is about her husbands birthday and scoring points regarding the Tory's pension changes.

It appears we have learnt nothing about dealing with race crimes or am I still missing something?