Sometimes I come home from work and feel quite pleased with what has been achieved with the last nine or ten hours. More often than not, I have managed to make some progress with something on my never-ending ‘To Do’ list. Even on days when I haven’t slapped some cuffs on a baddie there is still some degree of satisfaction to be gleaned from getting hold of that illusive victim statement or finishing that griefy Crown Court file ahead of the due date for once.
Some days, however, are so frustrating that you just feel like going outside, banging your head repeatedly against a brick wall and screaming to the skies.
Today was one of those days.
The sequence of events that led up to this outburst started a couple of months ago:
A garbled call was made to the 999 operator in barely intelligible, broken English. Myself and one other unit from the response team were deployed to what the call-taker believed was a violent domestic. Ten minutes passed as we were both on the other side of the district having just dealt with a group of drunk teens having a party without appropriate supervision (the parents were there, but even more drunk than their children and their children’s friends). Everyone else was already in custody or fighting elsewhere at the time. Continue reading
The race row has been raging for years now. The Police were labelled as being institutionally racist back in 1993 after the murder of Stephen Lawrence and there followed a massive change in public perception and policing policy. Every form we use that holds details of a member of the public or relates to a human being (even the unborn babies of our perpetual mothers) has two boxes for ethnicity to be recorded. At first it was just the officers perception that was important, but very soon after this version two arrived and the “self-defined ethnicity” of the person was also documented for posterity.
The argument still continues in our inner-cities and other areas of significant diversity. Stop and search ratios are criticised despite the fact that there is solid evidence to support the fact that in some areas a larger proportion of the crime and disorder committed are a result of actions from those of a non-white ethnic background. This is not to say that I consider all members of minority ethnic groups to be criminals or to have any such propensity, it is simply a matter of fact and only such in a certain number of specific locations.
I have been accused of arresting someone because of the colour of their skin on a number of occasions this year. After a painstaking search of Pocket Note Books (where I always record such things (just in case the Police Police come to have a “chat”) I have found four arrests with some allegation of a racial motive on the behalf of the Police. All of those arrests resulted in a court conviction (court being the forum for the case due to previous offending….believe it or not) and three of those convictions followed a guilty plea. It would appear that the arrests were correctly motivated by the fact that there was a belief that the suspect had committed the offence rather than some non-existent racial hatred. Continue reading
Anyone who has worked in a patrol capacity in the last few years will be very aware of the Policing nightmare that is Facebook. While I appreciate that social networking on sites such as Facebook and Twitter have their uses (I have both linked to this blog as well as my own personal accounts) they rely on the user having a modicum of intelligence and common sense. Unfortunately there is no test of this capacity as part of the sign up process.
As a result there are over 800,000,000 Facebook accounts and somewhere around 200,000,000 Twitter accounts running worldwide. Many of these will have been created and are maintained by people who would fail any test that required the user to write using a pen instead of both their thumbs (a la text message) or to write a sentence which contained words written in full rather than a vowel-less bastardised version of English or containing a bizarre mix of numbers and letters.
The implications of this unmonitored access and the anonymity or impersonal contact available to users can be dramatic. I believe that we could easily employ an entire relief in resolving Facebook slanging matches and spurious Threats To Kill complaints that flood in through our contact centre or are reported at our tiny number of surviving front counter facilities. Continue reading
There are the incidents we all dread being caught up in and today we saw yet another example of the worst kind.
The frightening events that occurred today in Kingsbury, North London illustrate two things in such a way that not even the most hard-line anti-police elements of our society can dispute. Continue reading
I am going to be offline for a few days to get in some much-needed family time. If the urge takes me there may be a few bits and pieces published on twitter (@minimumcover) but I will not be writing any new posts until the weekend.
Speak to you all very soon…