7 Apr 2012
10 Mar 2012
I know you may be thinking this is a big leap but hear me out. Back in the late 90's a craze hit the UK from The States which was the culture of suing. If you have been sold an item a day past the use by date then sue the supermarket. Someone crash into you and it's their fault, Sue them! You have a right!!
People may have a right to seek financial renumeration when they are severely at loss but the Suing Culture became ridiculous. Councils being sued for wonky paving slabs that people fall over, Companies being sued when someone slips on a wet floor which didn't have a sign! People were suing innocent people when they did nothing or very little wrong. Apologies seemed to no longer be accepted as enough. Unfortunately this culture brought about changes to prevent these companies ever having to payout at court cases or settle for large amounts prior to cases. These changes are what we know now to be Health and Safety.
Health and safety came about due to No Win No Fee solicitors taking up any case of mishap which occurred where someone might be to blame. Which is where the disrespect started to appear. Blame. Police officers started to get the blame for arresting "the wrong person" and always get called "useless" and this disrespect for the police has filtered down thought the generations. This coupled with the rise in drink and drug consumption has brought us to where we are today. So the only further thing I wish to say is thank you United States, respect everyone as you wish to be respected and lay off the drink!
5 Mar 2012
RIP PC David Rathband
PC Rathband was the survivor of two gunshots to the head by the mad gunman Raoul Moat. From the word go PC Rathband showed his bravery by telling his family to release a picture of him with his injuries to the press to help in the capture of the fleeing criminal.
PC Rathband was the worse victim of Raoul Moat's rampage as he was the only one still alive and having to live with the mental torment. A lot of things were publicised as a result of what his brother thought was PTSD including PC Rathband splitting his marriage to his wife.
It is thought that PC Rathband took his own life and we can only speculate but I for one would not be able to say that I could have faired better than that man in the circumstances and pressure he had been under.
My thoughts are with the family of PC Rathband and I implore you to look at his charity PC David Rathbands Blue Lamp Foundation which help injured officers and their family's...
Rest in peace fallen hero...
25 Feb 2012
This incident in particular was all to do with a male who attended a well known pawn brokers in our local town, this well known pawn brokers has branches all across the country. The incident occurred when the male in question attended the pawn brokers in an attempt to trade in a PS3 for cash. This was all ok, the guy got his cash and left the store. It was only after it quietened down alf hour later that the staff checked the box the PS3 was in to find that inside the box was merely a brick wrapped up in newspaper. The staff thought they had been done over by the perfect crime, that was until they checked the CCTV. They got good footage of the male at the counter handing over the box and the male looked straight at the camera but they also caught the male take a laptop of the counter top and put it under his top. It seemed like the CCTV was going to be the only way to trace the male. We circulated the CCTV footage and thought that we may find him somehow as the details he gave at the counter turned out to be false like the ID he presented.
A stroke of luck happened 2 days after the original offence when the male returned to the scene of the crime by taking the laptop he had stolen of the counter top at the pawn brokers to the other branch they have at the other end of our local town. The reason this greedy criminal was stupid was that the laptop he had stolen from the pawn brokers had a sticker of the company's logo on the inside below the keyboard. The idiot obviously didn't open the laptop or try and use it at all, he simply just brought it in to the other branch 2 days later and attempted to trade it in for cash. The staff, clued up to what had happened at the branch up the road decided to continue with the transaction as normal whilst the manager called 999. A 2 minute response run later the male was in handcuffs and arrested for Theft.
In interview the male went no comment in relation to all the questions asked by the interviewing officers and it was decided to charge him with Theft of the laptop, 2 counts of Fraud by selling the brick in a box as a PS3 and by trying to sell the laptop, and possession of a fraudulent passport found at his home address after a search. The male pleaded guilty at court after his solicitor stated that the CCTV was damning enough evidence and he received 6 months imprisonment and ordered to pay the £150.00 he got from the pawn brokers back. The real sting in the tail for the male was that he was actually wanted on a recall to prison as well so had 12 months added to his sentancce for breaching the terms of his early release!!
18 Feb 2012
Police forces in the UK are funded mostly by government grants. I say mostly as the remainder is made up from Council Taxes. Essex is one of the forces that relied the most on its government grants so when they were cut by 20% the force needed to find it elsewhere. There are forces on the other end of the spectrum, for example Surrey Police who rely heavily on council tax but take little from the grants. These forces will fair better during the turbulent climates as the cuts will have less of an impact on them.
Essex Police Authority announced that they were given an ultimatum, freeze council tax increases for the next 3 years and you can have a 3% instant bonus!! Great for the people of Essex who wouldn't see their council tax go up but bad for Essex Police as they wouldn't be able to increase it by a further 1-3% the following year. So, Essex Police Authority chose to rise the rate. As will most forces who rely upon government grants in this way. The only issue being that the council tax will rise and rise to the point where it is taking the same cut amount, or nearer to, out of the peoples pockets. Great for the governments pockets but not for their electorates...
11 Feb 2012
4 Feb 2012
On my way there our town centre CCTV operators had seen the male get up and kick a window of a well known supermarket. Evidently the window smashed and I was informed. It was at this point I knew that this male was going to be spending a night in one of our ensuites.
I arrived and the male was slumped on the floor again outside the supermarket right next to the small window that he had smashed. I arrested him on suspicion of smashing the window and soon realised he had been asleep through it all. We picked him up, and walked him to the car. He began to wake up over the journey back to the nick and we managed to get a name out of him and found out he had never been arrested before and that this was his 18th birthday.
When we got to the station we opened the door and tried to help him out to which he replied "Dont touch me, I aint no invalid" to which replied "So you are some invalid then?" Which is funny trying to see a drunk person trying to work out that you were commending them on their poor use of the double negative.I then pointed to the custody entrance and asked the male to make his own way to the door but as he casually strolled over to door he lost his footing or balance or both and fell straight forward and smashed his forehead on the doorhandle. If it wasnt enough that he now had an injury and would need to go to hospital. I noticed, whilst applying a bandage to the cut on his head a distict smell of faeces. It was what you would expect, to put it politely, he had soiled himself. The descision was made quite quickly that as the male had no previous convictios we would bail him to the next day and drop him off at A&E to prevent the smell coming anywhere near our custody block. The male returned the following day and admitted smashing the window and received a police caution.
28 Jan 2012
Firstly we will speak about the Fire Brigade, regular heroes, or as I like to think of them, boys with a love for their toys and that is all. One day I was driving on a response run to a domestic at a regular location of ours when a female jumped out infront of my car and started pointing at a bush. As it was just around the corner I thought it must be something to do with the domestic. I spoke with the woman whose first words to me we're "Ther is an old guy here who has fallen into a bush" I though to myself "You stood infront of a police car going on blues for a man in a bush?" It was after speaking to the man it seemed he was deep in the undergrowth as he had fallen down about a metre from the pavement also. We tried to cut the bush apart as the paramedics arrived but the male was complaining of pain in his neck. It was decided we call out Fire as they may have cutting tools. 5 minutes later two Fire engines arrived and one man got off the engine with a chain saw, cut most of the bush apart and then went "OK, we're done, well leave YOU to clean up" At me, knowing full well that if anyone would get a complaint it would be the police. The man was alright in the end and the bush hasn't recovered still.
Next Fire story is a simple one, One of a report of a fire in a tower block at which Fire called us as they thought they would need assistance with evacuations. Fair enough, on arrival we were met by 3 firefighters who were on the way up with what is widely known as "The Big Red Key" which is, in simple terms, a battering ram. We got there and couldn't see any signs of Fire bar a Fire alarm going off and Fire smashed the door in. We searched the premises as they couldn't be arsed and when we returned to the doorway they said "We will leve it in your hands then" and strolled off knowing full well we would get a call not them if anyone found a premises insecure.
Enough about Fire, how about Ambulance? Well when the Ambulance crew have to deal with a violent person or someone having a psychotic episode they always call us to assist another agency and usually hide around the corner. I recall one time when we got a similar call from them for an assault incident where a 5year old girl had been hit with a stone at school and they asked us to attend... Why? Are they afraid that they would come under stone fire?? When we attended, we were the first there as Ambulance were waiting around the corner for us to call them back and say we were there!! Seriously getting paranoid of children now!
Final story about Ambulance comes on the same basis as above, Ambulance called us to attend with them as a male had stated he had been assaulted and asked for us to attend with them as they had a marker on the address for violence. We called and said we were on our way and would meet the crew there. We turned up, Spoke to the male and waited 30 minutes for the Ambulance before I got our control to call them and the reply was "I would just take them to hospital yourself as we had another incident where a male had a bleed on the brain and ambulance said they were ging to be 2 hours" It was then decided to take the guy to hospital in our car. I have since found out that our local Ambulance station has a shortage of paramedics not Ambulances due to budget cuts and there are currently 16 vacancies in that one station alone!!
21 Jan 2012
Sometimes though these Suspects in gardens or garden hopping jobs aren't all they are cracked up to be. I recall one in particular which was in one of our local streets that has two terraces of houses that back onto one another so their gardens are parallel. We had a call from one of the neighbours saying that they witnessed a male in a dark hoody walking along the wall that ran down the middle of the gardens of both terraces, looking in gardens with a torch. The male eventually stopped at one house and jumped into the garden and the neighbour could hear him trying to break into the shed.
Well to say we had lots of shed burglaries over the recent weeks was an understatement and we thought this was it! We would catch the man responsible!! We scrambled the helicopter, firearms officers, dog units and us. Obviously we were there first as we were local anyway. We put on a containment and gradually worked towards the target address one by one. We got to at least one garden away in every direction when a colleague decided to knock on the target address and see if the residents could let us into their garden. When my colleague knocked we were met with a spotty faced teen with parents looking over his shoulder asking "What's the matter officers"
We asked to be let into the garden over fears their shed may have a suspect inside when the young boy piped up saying "hang on I was in the garden about 20 minutes ago" to which the worlds biggest light bulb then sparked the answer to the whole situation. The result? The young man was out in the garden looking for his lost rabbit with a torch. It apparently liked to garden hop between neighbours and so when the neighbour saw him he was getting back into his own garden and found the bunny in the shed. Case closed and a good use of all the resources. Safe to say the helicopter never arrived, too much weather!
14 Jan 2012
The helicopter itself costs a fortune to buy and maintain including fuel bills. A cheap helicopter costs £260,000 at its lowest, then there is costs in modification, costs in repairs. Then there is the task of actually flying it. This falls to ex military, Yes two ex military helicopter pilots are employed to fly and co pilot the helicopter, Per SHIFT. So you are looking at about 6 ex military pilots due to flying times. This itself is a lot of money and then finally you have the cost of an observer from Essex Police with all his technology and kit! I personally would estimate it must cost my force, without seeing any figures I hasten to add, about £150,000 a month to run the helicopter!
That is all fine but the one bug beat I have is the fact that when as officers on the ground we ask for eyes in the sky we regularly get told "they are offline" which means one of the two helicopters is in for repairs and they won't lift off incase it breaks the only helicopter they have. Otherwise we get told that they won't lift as there is "too much weather" which happens every time other than in the summer sun. Frost, can't lift, fog, can't lift, snow, can't lift, rain, can't lift, low cloud cover, can't lift, little windy, can't lift. The fact that we are in Britain makes having a helicopter that cannot take off because of the aforementioned weather conditions utterly useless! The worst of it all is the fact that if the weather is looking like it may be anything less than blissful sunshine then we as a force still pay the ex military pilots to sit in the hanger! Figure that one out! Get the helicopters gone and save to police a lot of money!
7 Jan 2012
I can think of one such case where I stopped a middle aged man at this stage we will call him Mr Hated, all will become clear soon as to why. He was driving his nice Aston Martin in town and passed me at a T junction not wearing his seat belt. I drove after him and stopped him, which he didn't like, he was adamant he was wearing his belt. It was at his point whilst writing out a ticket I wrote down his registration wrong. I wrote it as "H4TED" with all the letters bunched up I started to get a 7 day rectification slip out when I realised the last letter was actually an O but. He had asked for it to be doctored to look like a D. I then told him I was going to issue a ticket for that too. Two tickets, both not incurring points, one £60 one £30. £90 in total for his errors but he refused to take it. "I'm not accepting that!" his reply was "I'll see you in court" to which I reported him for the offence and seized his licence plates as evidence. Now he would have to get new ones.
It came to court, I his infinite wisdom Mr Hated had entered a plea via post of 'Not Guilty' which meant we would hear a trial at traffic court. 3 police officers turned up to offer witness evidence but Mr Hated did not so it was heard in his absence. 3 magistrates heard the evidence and agreed that he was guilty of the offence and as such he had to pay £185 for his dodgy plate, £110 for the seatbelt and £20 court fees totaling £315. All because he was being difficult!