Without Humour We Are Lost

This beggars belief. Last weekend, an officer of the PSNI was engaged in what is unfortunately a more common occurrence in Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK. It seems that in an attempt to quell a riot, the officer played ice-cream van music over the tannoy of his vehicle. This technique worked.

Job done. A riot was quelled through imagination and humour. Perfect. No. Not in the modern police service, and definitely not in Northern Ireland. The officer has been condemned by a Sinn Fein councillor who says his actions "beggared belief." In what way exactly? What exactly does this idiot mean by this comment? Senior officers have also condemned his actions. What a surprise. Thankfully a Basil McCrea of the Northern Ireland Policing Board has said, "This officer showed initiative and should be commended."

At least there remain some voices of common sense in a part of the country that has suffered so much. At least the PC concerned acted in a wonderful manner, something of which he should be proud. This is one fellow officer who stands by him, for what it's worth.

Scum Rising to the Top

It seems that Ian Blair, the sacked Commissioner of the Met Police has been elevated to the House of Lords by the outgoing New Labour administration.
Ian Blair epitomises all that is wrong with contemporary policing. He introduced the role of PCSO, an act which in one stroke demonstrated the contempt senior officers feel for the role of constable. He presided over a Met which became obsessed with performance targets and competency related promotions.
He ruled over the biggest shambles since the Lawrence Enquiry, failing to act in an honourable and transparent way when an innocent man was killed by police officers who suspected he was a suicide bomber. The corporate image became king.
He surrounded himself with a number of other self-serving careerists, the majority of whom have resigned early following some scandal or other, or have spent time eating bugs on TV. His paranoia and fear of the truth also led to the closure of this blog in 2006.
Blair set himself up as the politically correct PC. He failed to properly deal with staff organisations who intentionally damaged the standing of the police in the eyes of the community, and allowed the corrupt cop Ali Dizaei to continue to use and abuse his position with impunity.
Blair fails to accept that his tenure in command of the UK's biggest police force was an utter disgrace. Good police officers became ashamed to be part of the once great organisation which had become nothing but a performance tool for the government. He is now a fully paid-up member of the ruling class, where he can rest in his self-satisfied simpering way with other leeches. Scum.



Donald grew up near Manchester. He did well at school, and soon held down a job after leaving university. He had a caring family, and a close friend, Peter, who would go on to marry his sister. Something happened inside Donald, and he began to drink more and more. He was always sociable, but his drinking started to overwhelm him. No-one knows what happened, but one day Donald decided he was ashamed, and simply disappeared. The year was 1985.

Tara was a promising young student from the Home Counties. She came from good middle-class stock. When she went away to university, she began to develop mental health problems. These seemed to have been linked to drug abuse. She dropped out of university, and spent several periods under section in the following years. Tara supported her drug habit by prostitution, and failed to engage with the mental health teams despite the efforts of her father.

In 2005, Donald was living in a hostel in North London. He was a chronic alcoholic, but caused no problems to anyone. He did not have a criminal record. Somehow he entered into a relationship with Tara. One night at around midnight, Donald heard Tara arguing with a man outside his flat. This man has never been traced, but in all likelihood was a punter. Tara went indoors, and  a row ensued with Donald. She was seen leaving the flat half an hour later. She had stabbed Donald to death.

Tara was arrested some hours later. She had attempted to dispose of a mobile phone, and made efforts to implicate an associate. She was charged with murder, and subsequently found unfit to plead. She was sentenced to be detained in a mental health institution without limit of time.

Donald's family were traced. His sister had stayed living in the same house near Manchester in case Donald decided to make contact. He never did. They travelled to London for the court hearings, and were at the Old Bailey for sentencing. Nobody could ever understand what had happened.

This is a story of tragedy and wasted lives.


Piss Poor Performance aka The Senior Management Team

This is a true tale.

As is no doubt the case in all police stations across the land, the Senior Management Teams seem to think that the workers want to see photos of them. Many police station walls are plastered with photos of gurning senior officers, with their role, location and telephone number prominently displayed.

In one particular location, one such senior officer was subjected to questioning by another force about a serious offence he was alleged to have committed. Following this, his photo was defaced by persons unknown.

Now, how should the SMT react to this? Enter a period of self-reflection, and question the underlying motives? Do the workers have such disdain for their leaders that they resort to crude graffiti? Hold a Gold Group?

This was the reaction: The SMT alleged that the defacement was actually racially motivated, and used public funds to purchase glass cabinets for each site to protect the SMT photos from further scribbles.

You could not, indeed, make this up....


Suicide is Painless

Last night I had a dream my friend, and that dream was of death. That dream was of my death, and your death and the death of everyone you hold dear. My dream was of suicide my friend. That was my dream.

Suicide is the great leveller, the taboo, the final instalment in a life ruined. It ruins other lives, and causes heartache and pain, but what heartache and pain there is for those who chose to take that path, to walk not towards the light but into the darkness, the perpetual horror of death by your own hand.

I have known three police officers who have taken their own lives. Three police officers who had nowhere else to turn, who believed their own lives so worthless, so wretched, so bleak that they found the only solution to be suicide. Their names will never be found on rolls of honour, they will never be subject to remembrance ceremonies or anniversary re-unions. Their passing is a thing of horror. Those near to them will bear the cross, their families the shame of a cursed relation.

Henrietta was a quiet and reliable officer. She would never set the world alight, but equally she would never cause harm. She had one close friend, another police officer, who she would share her deepest thoughts. It seemed that when this friend chose to marry, Henrietta found difficulty coping. When she didn't arrive at work, colleagues were sent to her house where she was found hanged.

Steven was an intellectual, especially by police standards. He had had a book published, and all seemed well in his world. His ex-wife chose to emigrate with their children, something which Steven could not cope with. He died by overdose.

Amber had had issues throughout her life. She had treated joining the police as a new beginning, and had followed a successful career into a firearms role. The demons continued to haunt her though, and she took her life by shooting herself dead.

These were good people. They all had great potential in life, a potential which will never be fulfilled. May they rest in peace.

Should you ever find yourself in dark place, somewhere maybe you think there is no way out of, remember Henrietta, Steven and Amber and think of what they have left behind and what they could have been. Remember them.


One More Tale from the Scrapbook

Many many years ago, when I was a true blooded constable and believed what they told me, I loved my job. This is one of the reasons why.

A restaurant owner from a neighbouring borough had closed his business and driven home. His name was Mike. He lived in a house overlooking a park area. As he locked his car, he heard what sounded like muffled screams coming from the park area. He paused, looked at his house, then thought he should investigate.

This decision would save a life.

He went into the park, and saw what appeared to be a couple with the male lying on top of the female. He called out, asking if everything was okay. The man yelled that she was his girlfriend and told Mike to piss off. Mike still felt that something was not right. He noticed that the woman appeared to be struggling - it looked unusual. He asked again if everything was okay. The woman said, "Help me".

Mike moved forward as the attacker got off his victim. He saw that the man was muscular, tall and clearly his physical superior. He was also armed with a lump of wood. Mike stood his ground as the man again told him to fuck off and threatened to kill him. Mike stood his ground as the lump of wood was swung in his direction. The man then turned and ran through the park, away from Mike's house. Mike gave chase. He knew he could hardly recognise the man again, and wanted to get some indication of where he went. He lost sight of him shortly afterwards, and ran back to where the woman was. She had gone.

Mike went back to his house and called to police. We attended minutes later, and took a brief account. We drove straight to a hostel which overlooked the other side of the park. Staff there told us that a man fitting the vague description given my Mike had just run in. They told us his room number. With no time for niceties, we ran up and kicked his door in. He was there trying to climb out of the window. He resisted arrest, but we managed to handcuff and arrest him for rape. He was taken off to the police station by other officers, and we searched his room. I found a bus pass belonging to a white female behind his chest of drawers. This was very likely his victim, but at that time we did not know who or where she was.

As we got back to the station, we were informed that a woman had turned up at another police station with her father stating she had been raped. Her name matched that on the bus pass we had found in his room. We had the bastard. The feeling cannot be described.

It turned out that the victim was a middle class girl from a nice area nearby. She had been for a night out with friends, and ended up in a pub near to the park. There she had been charmed and chatted up by our rapist. He seemed cool, and she took more drinks from him than she probably should have done. He seemed nice, so she was happy to stay with him when her friends left. At closing time, she thanked him for his company, and gave him her phone number. She then left the pub to catch a bus home.

The rapist had other ideas. He obviously felt that he was entitled to more than a phone number. He followed her from the pub, and dragged her into the park where he brutally raped her. During the ordeal she was strangled. Medical evidence presented at the trial showed that she was close to death at the time Mike intervened.

The rapist pleaded 'not guilty' all the way through. The case went to the Old Bailey where he was found guilty and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

Mike got a Borough Commander's Commendation for bravery. His restaurant was burgled the following week. The police have yet to bring anyone to justice for that.




This is another short story. It's actually an extract from a book I'm trying to get published....

The keys rattled outside the door. Maria flinched. He came in, and she heard the rattle of the dish as he dropped the keys. A pause, then the sound of the door banging shut. Not locking it tonight? No. Not tonight. The sound of uneven footsteps from the hallway, loose floor boards creaking through the carpet. No other sound, no talking. just slow, heavy, unsteady movement.

The footsteps moved down the hallway. She sat on the sofa, her legs curled up underneath her, her arms wrapped around her, stiffening, twitching and flinching. She heard him move towards the kitchen. Good or bad? Had she missed something? Is he going to be wanting something?

She heard the hiss of a beer opening, the fridge door creaking then clicking shut. Glancing at the television set crackling in the corner, she lowered the volume with the remote control. Listening. The single bulb hanging from the ceiling flickered briefly then glowed. She felt weak, light-headed.

She gazed down, examining her skirt, saw how worn and unfashionable it was. She doesn't make the effort. She opened a can, one of her own lifted from the floor, and rested it in her lap, cradled in her hands. The cold tingled through her fingers. She looked at her legs, stretching them in front of her, noticed the tiny hairs scattered across her calves. She saw her bare feet, toenails uncared for, some blackening with the bruises.

She drew her thighs together, supporting the can, stopping it spilling, lit a cigarette. She shook the match away as the cigarette glowed, watching the thin trail of black smoke rise towards the ceiling. She pushed her hair back over her ears and pulled her legs back into the sofa as the door opened.

He came in. Him. Lifting the remote control from the seat next to her. he fell into a chair on the opposite side of the room. He was drinking from a can, three others dropped to the floor next to him. Toying with the remote, he flicked through the channels. Maria watched, waiting for the moment when he'd look over, waiting for the movement in his neck so she'll know to look away, look down, anything but look him in the eye. Look in his bloodshot drunken eyes. She flinched as he raised the gold can and drained the remains. He looked across. No words. She sipped from her own can, carefully, quietly, eyes fixed on the television.

He dropped the empty can on the floor. "Pick that up" He kicked at it, his foot glancing the side, setting the can spinning on the carpet. His eyes drew back to the TV. She watched, without moving, as the can moved a few feet from his chair, into the middle of the room. She carefully placed her drink onto the floor and stood, moving towards the spinning metal. As her hand reached down, she felt him kick at her arm. "Got any smokes?" His voice had an edge of sarcasm, curling the side of his mouth.

She moved back towards the sofa and passed him the packet. Pulling a lighter from his breast pocket, he lit one without speaking, dropping the packet onto the floor next to him. Maria moved the ashtray onto the small table next to his chair then moved back to the sofa. She gently sipped, one after the other, the can moving from her lap to her mouth, emptiness.

"Have you eaten?"

She saw his hand reach down, and move the lever, the chair reclining as he stretched his feet out, crossed at the ankles. He opened another can. "Why would I have eaten?"

"Do you want something? I could..."

He looked across at her, eyes hooded, the glaze of alcohol playing across his face. "Do whatever the fuck you want. Usually do, don't you? My darling."

She sat, huddled at the edge of the sofa, her hands gripped to the metal of her beer can. She didn't speak, staring at the carpet, watching the small dark stain where the dregs of his first beer can had leaked before she could get to it. She felt he was following her eyes, she knew he would see the stain, and she knew it would be her fault. It was her fault. She should have been quicker. It was her job to keep the house nice. It was her fault.

"Where you been?" She looked up, saw him staring, sat up in his chair, his hands gripping his knees, feet pulled back, ready to stand. She looked down, somewhere different this time, drawing attention from the stain. "I haven't been out. I went to the shop this morning to get some food something to drink, but I haven't been out apart from that."

"So you haven't been out, but you managed to go to the shop." She knew the tone, mocking, laughing at her. It was understandable, It was a simple question that she couldn't even answer. She sipped at the can, then gulped a mouthful. He wasn't trying to trick her, but she still managed to say stupid things. No wonder he got angry.
"I asked you if you've been out. You have been out, haven't you. Don't lie to me" She heard the creak of the back of his chair coming back up.

"Just the shop. For the food. I'm sorry, I got it wrong, but I've, just the shop, nowhere else."

"Who is he?" He was standing, his feet inches from the stained carpet. "Is it that fucking Paki's son?"

It was that time. Maria knew this mood. He'd obviously had a bad time at work, and, understandably, needed a few drinks before he got home. She could see why, what with all those idiots he has to work with. Bastards he calls them. She didn't help matters, what with her attitude, but she did try, every time she tried to learn and try harder to be a good wife to him, but every time she let him down. She could see why he would be suspicious.

"I don't know what..." Careful. She stopped and thought quickly. She could feel the beer taking effect, topping up her levels, speech beginning to slur. She knew better than to talk to him with slurred speech. She knew that she was a disgrace to him, why he was ashamed of being seen with her. He was talking about other men, accusing her of seeing someone else, He thought he knew what happened, that she went off with men while he was away at work. He'd seen her that time, looking at that man when they went shopping for his mother. She wasn't looking at him, but thinking back, she could see why it made him so angry, and she was ashamed. So ashamed to have made him act the way he did.

Nothing happened. She could tell he had had a good few drinks before he got home, and he was topping them up with the cans she had got him from the shop earlier. She needed to play the part of the good wife. It was for her to make amends as best she could, to make up for all the times she had let him down in the past, if that was possible. She remembered what her mum used to tell her about keeping home, how she had taught her to cook and iron, and keep her man happy, because he went out and earned the money, worked hard to keep a roof over their heads. "Keep the wolves from the door" as mum used to say.

He'd turned back to the TV, another fag lit, drinking. She had to do her duty, to look after him. "I'll make some dinner." He didn't reply. She moved from the sofa, carrying her can carefully, and moved through into the kitchen.


Jade's Story

As part of what could be called an alternate reality, I work with young people, most from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is separate to my police work, and offers me the opportunity to meet teenagers in a different environment.

The police often treat young people as the enemy. The young are the petty criminals, the burglars, drug users and robbers. They are not worthy of our attention. Police officers, and I include myself here, often believe themselves to be the experts. We stand in judgement of those less fortunate, and warn you away from them with a wink and a knowing smile.

When I first met Jade, she dripped with attitude. She would not make eye contact, and everything was worthless, including her own life. Jade is sixteen. Jade is no innocent. At the time I met her, she had recently just avoided jail for street robbery. This was her first conviction. She recognised deep down that her life was on a downward spiral, but seemed unable to stop it. She had attempted suicide three times in the last year.

I later discovered that Jade had been receiving input from mental health services from the age of three. I didn't know this was possible. Jade had spent her youth in the care of her grandparents. Her grandfather had been imprisoned for raping an eight year old girl. He is currently a Registered Sex Offender. Jade's extended family, including her mother, refuse to believe the allegations against the grandfather. They overtly state that the eight year old had conspired with the police to fit up the grandfather. This is Jade's world. It is strongly believed that Jade has been sexually abused throughout her short life, however she cannot and will not disclose this due to the attitude of her family.

People like Jade are the people the police come across on a regular basis. Her robbery is not excusable, and there was a victim. There is no answer to this, just some painful acceptance that there are people in this world who exist in a way beyond our comprehension, and that there are those who believe in and support them to the detriment of their own children.

After some time I managed to get a smile from Jade, and thought we were making progress. We soon lost touch however, and I have no idea where she is. I hope for the best, but fear the worst.

Now we are covert racists

The latest allegation of racial bias has been settled out of court. As is often the case, the allegations were settled out of court, however Supt Wilson's case still manages to be fully laid out in the press. This method prevents his account being properly challenged in a court of law.

I have worked on Lambeth Borough. There are at least 1500 police officers posted there, and several hundred members of police staff, including PCSOs. A large number of these come from visible ethnic minorities. The sample used by Supt Wilson is 36. That is thirty-six people from around 2000.

These 36, who I have no doubt 'wished to remain anonymous' allege that the general experiences of all black and ethnic minority staff in Lambeth was similar to that exposed in The Secret Policeman.

The 36 also allege bullying remains rife. And so it goes on.

The Met have capitulated to the agenda of Supt Wilson. I would stake my house on him being promoted in the next round.

Why were the following questions not asked and dealt with in public?

1) Which officers and staff were involved in racist activities and bullying?
2) Why were formal complaints not made? If they were, what were the results?
3) What do the other VEM members of staff on Lambeth Borough believe? What are their experiences? Were they approached at all?

36 people led by a Supt have once again exposed the Met's willingness to capitulate at any mention of racism, and to accept findings which I believe are totally based on anonymous rumour. This betrays all the good, decent people who work for Lambeth Police, and more importantly undermines all efforts to engage properly with the community.

I wish Supt Wilson all the best with his promotion.


Different Methods of Abusing the Police: Part 1


The Estate

Every now and then I'd like to bore you with one of my short stories. This is one.

His name is Nathan.

I saw it from when he got to being a teenager, but it was coming from before that. He was at school most times, didn’t miss a day unless it was for something important. Not like some of them other boys. Their mothers not concerned, just thought their own child was a burden. Don’t know what day it is unless benefits coming. God knows what happens to the fathers of them children. Nathan was only four years old when his father passed.

It wasn’t the big men who start it properly on him, it was the ones who want be big men. They see the big men come from the same place, out the estate, getting big cars, nice clothes, different women every day, never paying for nothing, getting respect. I think that it’s something I can understand, with the upbringing they get, just left to fend for themselves like dogs. My Nathan had upbringing, I told him, just like his father would have told him if he was still alive, and he would have been around, not like those feckless one who have nights fun with the women, give them baby then act like it nobody’s problem but the woman. I see them in the street, hear how they call the women dirty names, slapping them like they some kind of animal. Ain’t nobody better that nobody else what I tell Nathan when he see that.

I tell Nathan that it not like where I came from. I tell Nathan that what he sees on the TV or reads about on that computer he always on can be got, and that’s what I was always told when I his age, that in this country it don’t matter where you come from or what your skin colour, it’s all available if you willing to work for it. I had it tough telling him that it could work for him if he keep going school and get his qualifications, even though he say what happened you and dad when you told the same thing by your parents but you still here on the estate, and I tells him back that if we can’t aspire to better things then we lost like them crack whores out on the street selling them body for drugs. He seen that, I know that he seen that, because he get older and still kept going to his school, and kept using that computer to read and read about stuff, and he read about where his family came from and why they was there in the first place, and he took a pride in who he was, and knew that it something special to be, and I swear, as God is my witness, that he became a man, even though him still a teenager, and worked and worked to get from this place.

It start when him old enough to want a bit independence of his own, like all boys do when they get to a certain age, when they want to go outside and set their foot down and be men. I used to look over the balcony and see the other boys hanging round, drinking, smoking, getting together with each other. I see them girls going off with men, making money down the alleyways.

I saw this day in day out, except when the rains came and they ducked inside they shops or under the canopies, knocking the fruit and thing into the gutter and showing what waste they thought of their life. And I tell you they used to run and hide when the police came driving on the estate, they used run even when them not done nothing wrong that I see, they had the fear that time which they learnt to lose later when they see how them older bad boys faced up the police, and it broke my heart to watch them young black men having such little respect for the police who were only there making everyone safe. I even wanted them police to take away and beat a bit of respect into those boys like would have happened back home before it too late.

Soon came when it really started to happen though, when I think about it it makes me mad, because them older ones not brought up right, or stopped by the teachers or police them turn into some kind gangster talking about the Yard and taking liberties with the people on the estate who only want to live good lives, then they just want more and more, and there other boys who want more and more, and they realise for them there only so much to go around, so them boys start fighting and the fighting don’t get them what they want so they start killing and once you bad boy who done some killing the next bad boy wanna be king comes along and he goes kill the top man and soon they all be dead and nobody get nothing. And the young ones see this and think that the way it is, and they want some too because they not got no mother or father telling them no different.

I send him to the shop the first time, I gave him the money in his hand and watched as he shoved it deep down in his jean pocket and nodded without looking up like I telling him how to suck eggs when I say not to get it out until him at the till waiting to pay, and even then not when anyone too near, cos some people in this world ain’t got right thinking, they thinking that anything anyone else has is theirs to take to do their evil with, and he had be careful even though him all grown up. He went off like he didn’t have no care in the world, and I rushed through to the balcony so I could see him come out the bottom of the block and cross over to the shop. I felt a flutter when I see him pass a group of them around the phone-box but they only look at him pass and I no hear anything said from so far away, but his head didn’t turn or nothing when he pass so I think it safe to say that nothing was said. They didn’t have the dogs then, nothing bout dogs that time, they come later when the black man decide that a dog snarling at his knee make him a bad man.

He come back from the shop and give back the change even before he put the milk in the fridge or sit down read the magazine he bought about games he play on the computer. I think him proud that day, and he like his father in his pride not outward, he didn’t sit there grinning ear to ear or boasting what a man he was, he just sit down treat it like any other thing, though I know he swelling up inside that his old mother who always so protective since his father went let him out.

It’s thinking back, and what happened after that I see they didn’t speak to him, and of that I certain, no words exchanged or anything else, but they saw him, saw another face they not seen before because when he out with his mother him just a baby, not worth noting or commenting on, but that day when I let him out on his own, he became something else. He became a man to me, but him become a man to them as well. They sees another man like them coming across the yard, walking like him own the place, think him bad, even though Nathan only going to get milk from the shop, I think they see that that a direct challenge because they think them own the street and if they let something go they seen as weak, and if they seen as weak they lost. They see Nathan that day and his card marked. He wasn’t going to be allowed to walk around the streets on that estate without paying his respect.

It because he went off to the shop then came back and did his study, and when I looked at the photograph of his father on the mantelpiece and asked his opinion like I always do when it comes to matters of our son together, he say to me that Nathan a good boy and he made us proud by the efforts he was making to help his mother and better himself through education. I didn’t ask about the boys outside.

Nathan went times after that, and kept going to the bus stop to get to school every day at the same time, then he started to get home a bit later, and I saw that his uniform came back marked with dirt in places it never was before, and I found tears along the linings, but when I say anything he just shrugged it off, and went into his computer just like he always did. I see a scratch on his face one time, and put my hand on his cheek to ask so he says it nothing and moved away without looking me in the eye. I put that in my mind as the first time I started worry about him.

About a month after that he came home without his bag, but don’t say nothing, and say he want nothing to eat just something about homework and coursework or some such. I asked him what he going to do about taking his things to school and he not bothered, told me nobody else was so why should I?

Then it was that I got the brick through the window, heard the running down the stairs, and saw some figures going across outside. They was howling, one punched the air. I call the police, and a young white officer come without a hat, and took a statement in his notebook, but says that there not much they can do without witnesses. Nathan came back as the policeman leaving, and he just stared so much I say what wrong, and said it a few times before he react. He shouted something at the policeman, so I slap him across the face and tell him show some respect then pulled him into the flat to let the officer do his work. Nathan yelled and shouted so much I see tears in his eyes, but he kept wiping so nothing come down his cheeks. I ask him why he so angry, but he kept shouting about bringing the police to the door, so I ask him if he in trouble, and he just ignore me and go away.

That night I look out the door and see the boys gathered around the shops across the way, and they were legion, with dogs, and one set fire to the litter bin and they all circling round and shouting, and I see they keep looking up at our flat, and I hear them call his name, saying ‘Come! Come!’ So I turn off the lights and sit in the dark When Nathan come I turn on the light and see he holding his ribs and staggering, blood from his mouth and his eyes all swollen, so I nearly scream but take him in my arms and keep saying what happen, but he only shout no when I talk about getting the police or taking him hospital, so I wipe him up as best I can and put him to bed where he turns over and shows me his back without speaking.

The next day I tell him stay home from school, and he not move.

He stay in for the next week, just lying in his bed, so I go out and get the groceries. I get back and it not till I put the key in the lock that I feel something soft on my hand, and smell it, and I see they smeared their dog muck around my lock so I feel sick and go and scrub and scrub at my hands but I not lose the smell to this day. I tell him what happen, and ask him what going on, and why all this happening, but he just stare at me without speaking, and I tell him I can help and ask again what the problem is, but he just stare and stare so much I get scared.

Then they come, they come. The pounding of feet along the way with the barking of dogs, and they hammering at the door, and kicking, and I hear all the windows smash, and they screaming his name, telling him come they going kill him, then the door goes in and I smell the burning from where I sit, and I screamed when I saw the flames on the carpet as Nathan ran past me and outside to where they are and I see him hit one so hard the boy falls back and I hear the crack as his head hit the concrete and he not move then Nathan gone as they all run as a pack of wolves and the sirens came.

I stand there as the ambulance men treating the boy on the floor and putting neck brace on and I hear the sounds from outside, so I look over the balcony and see the police everywhere with the youth running with hoods up and I see a policewoman getting kicked to the floor and a dog attacking her, so more police come, and I hear the helicopter in the sky and then I see him, walking along the edge of the roof opposite, with the searchlight from the helicopter illuminating him as they scream from the ground, calling for his blood to avenge their brethren.

So they police come to the house, and search his room and tell me that the boy still in hospital, and that he only just alive, and it depends on what he say, whether he press charges, and they say my boy a gang member because he wearing blue and they all wearing red, and they say it gang related and I say no, no, and I tell them that he study to better himself, and he no gang member.

The estate all quiet when they come the next day, and they tell me sit down, and inform me the boy died in hospital and that my boy was charged with murder. So they say again, because I don’t believe them, and I look at the photo and he asks me why? And I say, I don’t know, and it not true, but the police say so.

Then he in prison where I sees him as much as I can, but they won’t let me be with him everyday. One day he decides to go be with his father, go to a better place, and he was gone from me, and I cry every night waiting for the time when I can go be with him again.

His name is Nathan.

The Police are Racist

In 1999, following the publication of the MacPhearson Report all police officers in the Met were called to account for their institutional racism. The MacPhearson Report came from the Lawrence Enquiry which was the investigation into the police response to the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. It made a number of recommendations.

I was called to one of these meetings, which took place in a large hall near the police station. There were about 200 officers and staff present, with the Borough Commander positioned behind a podium at the front. He had a face of thunder as be berrated those prone before him. We were, collectively, a disgrace, a racist group who betrayed the community we were sworn to serve. This tirade continued until one of the officers present stepped from the crowd into the centre of the room. This officer shouted out that she had worked with most of the people present for at least two years and that not one of them was racist. There were tears running down her cheeks. This officer was black.

The Borough Commander did not know what to do. Had this been a white officer, he could easily have dealt with this as a further example of racism. He could not deal with a counter argument from a black female.

What has changed in the last 11 years? The police still cannot deal with race. Positive discrimination and projects to promote people based on their skin colour abound. Do people of colour get a better service from the police. Probably, but with certain caveats.


Obvious one to start with then!

The new government have announced they are scrapping the ID card project. An easy one to start with. It was never a workable plan. I blogged about this back in 2006, here , here and here.


Equality for All

You all thought this was a democracy. You all believed that your opportunity to make a little cross next to a name on a ballot paper was really relevant. Maybe you even got crazy and thought that this country had really moved to three party politics. Maybe you even believed that you could make a difference! Were you distracted by the good fight against the BNP? Did you spend time trying to involve the young and disenfranchised? Did you really start to believe in an equal society?

And then you woke....

The Tory Eton candidate is being smoozed by the Queen on behalf of the Lib Dem leader (Westminster School) and we are awaiting him being anointed PM. The BBC public schoolboys are commentating.

(Swearing removed)

Late entry: Please read this


Thought Provoking

The below is a comment added to my post 'Are the Police Thick?' recently. Obviously I don't know the full circumstances, but on face value this seems to be an example of police diversity not being as genuine as is often claimed. Thanks to Michelle.

'I would like to put my own personal account that recruitment standards within Sussex Police continue to be of the very highest standard ... they still refuse to let me get past the interview stage because I am transsexual. Put it this way, with an IQ above the 99% scale, good observation and mental agility ... I never did get as far as the physical tests.

You should have seen the letter stating the reasons for rejection; and when I formally complained, the person that was responsible for the interview, miraculously, didn't work for Sussex Police any more so they were dropping my complaint. Yes, I could have still pressd on, but what is the point?

Then again, perhaps this could be exactly what Politeia is talking about?'


All Praise!

Thanks to Twinning for the link to the footage above.

I am a massive fan of Chris Morris who produced this film. It was always going to be controversial, so I clicked on the link with some excitement.

A few minutes in, I noticed a police officer being portrayed. This gave me pause for thought. I viewed the officer concerned. I looked at how the production team had imagined a police officer.

I assume they are not police officers themselves. I looked for the stereotyped uniform, I expected the typical pale faced white man and I was not disappointed. I wanted to see how the nuances were dealt with, or did they merely go with the straight forward 'POLICE' badge on the luminous jacket? Will the team realise that there are many different police services, with different parts of the country being run completely differently? Will they acknowledge that not every police officer wears a luminous jacket contrary to popular opinion and the stock pictures used in the Daily Mail?

I wanted this film to break down the barriers and not resort to obvious stereotypes for the purpose of humour. I was sadly disappointed. Please do not imagine that every police officer conforms to this stereotype.

Late note: Please be aware that the above post is my obviously piss-poor attempt to be witty and ironic by attempting to contrast the media representation of the police with that of minority groups, ie stereotypically. It was not meant to be literal, but having read it back, I appreciate that my wordsmith skills were insufficient!

The True History of the World aka Why We Will All Die

  • Become a sentient being
  • Look up
  • Ask question
  • Do not understand
  • Ask question again
  • Meet another sentient being with answers
  • Discover religion
  • Discover absolute belief in own beliefs and rest easy
  • Be challenged
  • Decline to debate due to unwillingness to undermine entire belief system
  • Kill
  • Forget you are a sentient being
  • Repeat to fade


Charity Appeal

During the course of police work, I come across many tales of woe, people in despair, the lost. It is something you learn to live with, something you deal with by a quick joke, often in poor taste, something you drown in ale, anything to drive the demons from your head.

I have been a police officer for a long time. I have seen the depths of depravity, the worst of the worst. It is only now that I feel I need to directly appeal to help someone with their loss. This person did what they did for the best reasons. Without fear or favour they acted and were spurned, abused and treated in the most despicable manner. They are now destitute. Please dig deep.

Remember the power of the root vegetable.

Send 'em Back!

Following 'Bigotgate' the immigration debate was once again thrown into the mix, with the BNP leading the way. The public have concerns about immigration, with the latest group appearing to be those from Eastern Europe. It seems to have missed many tabloid writers attention that many of these people are here under European Union free movement rules. All seem to be in agreement that we are on an overcrowded island however, and that something must be done.

The immigration service are under as much if not more pressure that other government or public sector services to achieve quotas and targets. What is interesting is how they go about this. Police officers who work in certain urban areas are directed not to arrest suspected illegal immigrants until they have received prior agreement with the immigration service. Many officers are told merely to obtain the individuals details and pass them on. Some parties are told to present themselves to an immigration office some time in the future. I don't know how many actually take up this offer.

People can only be deported to other countries with the agreement of the receiving country. Many countries will not take anyone without a passport. China are a fine example of this. It is not unheard of for many suspected illegal immigrants to not be in possession of passports. Other countries are equally as strict, with others entering into agreements with the UK to take their citizens back. These agreements are often made at ministerial levels, and are no doubt backed by trade agreements. The immigration service concentrate on these nationals to achieve targets and so on.

What is lesser known, but no doubt suspected is that the immigration service target easy wins. These are visible groups, ie those of colour and different language. Americans, Australians and South Africans are very rarely deported if ever, and usually only following the commission of serious crime. The people of middle England do not want tax funded public services concentrating on local barmen. Is it not the case that such people also take the jobs true born Englishmen apparently desire? Are we more lenient for any other reason than comfort with our cousins who look, talk and act like us?

Play Over Loudspeakers of Your Police Van!


Get out!

Got, got, need, need.

Let's Just Try and be Normal Shall We?

The police service is one of the most insular organisations there is. It jealously guards it's people, expecting the young to join and spend thirty years doing the bidding of the Home Office. It is frowned upon to leave the service. Staff organisations and the rank structure maintain a paranoid state, where everyone is a competitor and a potential enemy.

The public unfortunately play second fiddle to the internal machinations, being an annoying hindrance in the path to promotion for many senior officers. To many such 'officers' the public are nothing more than statistics on a spreadsheet, figures to be reduced in time for the next promotion process. They cannot engage with real people, and have no inclination to do so.

The promotion process, above Inspector, relies on the direct support and recommendation of a line manager. This continues up the chain. Certain 'business groups' can only recommend a limited number of candidates for each process. This again gives the line manager control. Nepotism and sycophantic pandering is endemic. This is the only way to gain favour with a line manager over your competitors. Ambitious officers are drawn into the web of their supervisor, and often find themselves supporting activities which are purely aimed at supporting the promotion prospects of the senior officer. Solidarity is prevented by junior managers being placed in direct competition with each other.

What can be done to change this? Any other public sector organisation recruits at all levels, depending on qualification and experience. The police service does not require any formal qualifications. The management role has become one as I describe. It can be taught. Might it not be the case that external candidates would enrich the service and provide the diversity the Home Office demands? The argument most often put forward against this is that senior officers must have street experience. The vast majority of officers who aim to be promoted to senior levels escape the real world as quickly as possible. This is easily done. Interaction with the public does not provide evidence for the next rank after all.

Only by becoming genuinely open will the police service properly serve the public and not itself. The current path is ripe for corruption. It is not the violence or racism of the past. It is senior officers. Watch this space.


A Ha!

This is the funniest thing on the internet. Give this man (or woman., transexual, transgender) a TV show!

Think of this on Thursday

Blasts from the Past

Just while I think of something witty, contemporary and relevant, here's some links to older posts you may have missed the first time round:


This is Genius!

Although I'm no longer in the Met, I still have my sources....

Every now and then, the Met runs an online forum, where members of staff can contact the Director of HR personally and ask questions. This is often useful for info about promotion processes etc, but can often throw up the odd gem such as this from an Inspector:

Sir, I believe it was Martin Luther King who said, "I have a dream that one day...they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character." The MPS is always telling us that managers should lead by example. With the annual appraisal writing period now upon us, would it be possible for you to publish the last 3 appraisals of ex Commander Ali Dizaei so that we may see how the most senior police managers in the Met wrote up and evidenced his exemplary performance? I do not use the word exemplary lightly, because it must have been so otherwise he would not have been promoted to the level he was.