Thursday, 9 August 2012

Time I Retired

I can, and will, leave the police before very long. I can still remember the old sweats from 25 plus years ago talking about how the job was finished. Changes in the law, such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, were predicted to be the end of policing as we know it. Young officers like me just got on with it and didn't really know what these older retiring officers meant.

When I joined the police you knew that you would spend the first two years of your probationary career walking the beat and learning the craft of policing. How to communicate with people; to identify offenders and how to deal with them; to get information. Etc. Once you had proved you could do that, you could think about working on the crime car and perhaps moving to CID.

Teamwork - Still there?

Most of all, I remember a team of officers who worked together, supported one another and whose role was simple and basic. Catch bad people. The job then was a vocation. There was never any problem finding officers to work late or come in on a day off to get something done if it meant catching a bad guy, or girl.

For years now I have seen the job change. Legislation has, of course, made things more complex but this is used as an excuse to set up more and more specialist teams whose purpose, in some cases, seems to be no more than covering the backsides of senior management. This has meant fewer and fewer officers on the front line and more pressures on those officers left.

Constant changes and tinkering with the set up of policing has been more about senior officers CV's than real, long term improvements. Winsor is bringing about detrimental changes to both pay and conditions but, more importantly, will lead to more privatisation in the service. This will destroy even further the team work and dedication of officers.

I have had several experiences of the health service recently and I don't like what I see. Years ago I saw a team. I saw vocation. With some exceptions, what I now see are demotivated, demoralised doctors and nurses fed up with targets and constant interference in what should generally be a straightforward and basic role. Private enterprise within the service has ruined it.

This is now what has happened to the police. Vocation has almost disappeared. I see officers joining the police who just want to catch bad people and make the country a better place for the decent law abiding majority. Before they have completed their first 2 years probationary period, I see frustrated, disillusioned officers who believe they cannot beat the system that thwarts them at every turn. Trying to get officers to work late or on rest days now is almost impossible. There used to be rewards for this i.e. results. Now it is just means more frustration. They don't want it. Time to get back to basics.

Rowing is more exciting

A couple of recent cases caught my eye regarding officers being disciplined. The first was a sergeant who tried to destroy a mobile phone belonging to a colleague who was killed in a road traffic accident. He knew his colleague was having an affair and there would be evidence of it on the phone. He wanted to get rid of it so as not to cause the colleagues wife/partner unnecessary additional trauma. The sergeant was sacked.

I have done similar things many times. For example, I dealt with a 14 year old girl run down and killed by a drunk driver. In her bag she had condoms. When it came to handing her family her property I made sure the condoms disappeared. I don't know if the girl was sexually active. I don't know if the family had any idea. It was irrelevant to the death and why cause further unnecessary upset to the family? Should I be sacked for that?

Another case that caught my eye was of the Met officer who was investigated for putting 'I've met the Met' stickers' on vehicles from another Force. I was pleased to note that after investigation it was dealt with by words of advice. This practice has been going on to my knowledge, since we went on the miners' strike in 1984. Yes it's juvenile and yes it can be a bloody nuisance getting the stickers off but is this what we have come to? The job used to be fun. Not anymore.

So, I am now definitely the grumpy old git who needs to retire. Last post coming soon.


  1. Muck fee, I was going to say Don't give up the day job". Still with your poor standard of blogging you could always be editor of "The Independent". Now then to the substantive charges. Policing 25 years ago? Like when you spat at me and called me a "Dirty Fucking N**ger Lover"? Or the Miners Strike? My how we laughed at your antics at Orgreave! Still not much longer to wait til we get our revenge. Nothing has changed in a quarter of a century, Cardiff 3, Barry George, Harwood. You cannot polish a turd!

  2. Most of us started off the same and I guess that we are likely to end up thinking the same!!!!

  3. I have enjoyed reading your blog and commend your common sense and correct priorities.

    If you do retire it will a damn shame - one less officer protecting the public in my book.

    I am quite sure you speak for the vast majority of intelligent people- so on that note I would urge you to carry on blogging.

    Anon (currently a teacher)

  4. Sounds like common sense and doing the "right" thing has gone away.
    We have the same problem over here... After I retired, they hired a new police chief...who asked me to come back had help with stuff nobody can figure out.
    I look at what the new coppers are doing...mostly writing paper for no reason...then crime has gone up because the cops are not actually out looking for bad guys.

  5. It's because of w*****s like the first poster that I have fallen out of love with the job to a great extent.I'm sure his bum-chum will be along soon as well.

  6. I did 30 years in the fire service and retired 3 years ago and could not wait. Had people who were fed up after a few years and leaving. I enjoyed 20 years but the last ten were not so good. Sad when you have to stay for the pension....enjoy your retirement, I am.

  7. Have followed this blog for some time, a great read.

    Best of luck with your future ventures.


  8. Ooh Matron, I saw on one of the (even worse) blogges that plod cannot understand why a copper who saved a Somali kid at the beach is not feted. Reason? One god act does not negate a million bad ones. Oh Jade "bum chum" you hate queers huh? I see a great future for you in the EDL, er police.

  9. Lex, your blog has been important, to me and probably to others.

    Not just the blogs themselves, but watching how you handle people like Broxted really caught my attention and made me dig deeper into the land of police blogging (and tweeting).

    What I found out there, as well as here, are a multitude of officers with more wit, compassion, patience and integrity than I had given them credit for - which I'm a bit ashamed about now. I also found out a lot about the changes coming in and the danger those changes pose to the police and the public.

    Broxted and his ilk will likely never step back from their mouth-frothing hatred to see the bigger picture - at least until they feel a G4S boot up their arse, perhaps - but they do serve a purpose. The sharp contrast between their demeanour and yours serves you very well.

    I want to tell you to keep going and not to give up, but I don't have that right. I'm not the one who would have to keep slogging. Just know that you and people like you will be missed by more than your colleagues.

    Whatever you ultimately decide, you've had a hand in turning me from a MoP/protester who was fairly leery of the police, into someone prepared to fight government over their plans for the force.

    Thank you.

  10. But Metal Dog I am not a person, I am a "leftie extremist". G4S? When I was in the sweatbox being escorted from North Wales to Sussex on a political charge they were great. On the few occasions I had to deal with plod I saw corruption, cowardice, mendacity racism and ineptitude. But eough of their good points, you are a failed troll, sad, very sad.

  11. Jaded - you should not allow a few would be Wolfie Smiths to affect you one jot. Ironically, it is these people with their 'come the revolution' attitude that are actually preventing change. Their attitude brings about a malaise in ordinary people.

    It won't be the lunatic minority bringing about change. It will be the decent law abiding majority who need to understand they can bring about changes through the ballot box by rejecting expense fiddling and ineffective politicians. They also need to start flexing their muscle as shareholders and pension fund holders to bring about change in corporate behaviour.

    @ Metaldog and others - if I have given you a better understanding of policing and the difficulties we are up against that is great. I wish more people would take on board the real ineffectiveness of the judicial system and understand that they can do something about it.

    It really is time people stopped voting for a party colour and started voting for representatives who really want to bring about changes that the majority want to see.

    Europe has simply brought about three party's in this country who are slightly different shades of orange. It's time for real change.

  12. Lex you gonna vote "Norsefire"? Come and see Jade get anally invaded on mah blogge, truly wonderful sight to behold. If you can't keep up with the conversation sit at the kiddy table (Dr Hannibal Lecter to Paul Krendler).

  13. Lex, as a fitting end the New Addington case has just turned up as we all expected - Unleash hell, some new arseholes need to be torn......


  14. 20 The Lindens searches twice and that genius at CID said the body was moved. Muck fee but even plod can spot a person walking through the Addo with a dead body under one arm.

  15. Searched three times according to Commander Basu....


  16. Please just do it.......


  17. Lex,
    It would be a pity if you stopped blogging. I enjoy reading your posts, even if I don't always agree with them, and you appear to be the only forum where we get semi-literate anti-police comments (Broxted obviously excepted).
    Judging by the eagerness with which he manages to get the first post on so many blogs I imagine Broxted would miss you too ;-)


  18. thanks for sharing.

  19. As a soon to retire copper I can just say ' thank god' it's all over for me. More garbage comes our way every day that makes the job all the harder, the street morons are allowed to get away with more because of the way the 'Law' has been bastardised by politicians, Judges, barristers etc. etc. to suit their own ends. It's all spiralling out of control with no one in power having either the 'balls or guts' to sort it out. And who's caught in the middle 'The Police' with all those on the other side wanting to kick us as well I would'nt even consider doing the job as a newby now.

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