Well, it made me laugh!



Police Diversity Internship Scheme - Racism

Further to my blog entry, the Daily Mail have run an article on the Met Police Diversity Internship Scheme. I am quoted as a Met Inspector. The Met have provided the following quote: 'This scheme assists us to understand the needs of the diverse communities we serve.' How? How does a racist discriminatory recruitment policy for back-room positions assist 'us' in understanding the communities we serve? What amazing insights does a university graduate from a visible ethnic minority background bring? 

The Met are making people redundant. Many of these are working class people, often from visible ethnic minorities. Most of these were in front facing positions, such as Station Reception Officers. They met the 'communities we serve' on a daily basis. With the money saved the Met are paying £3000 per head to recruit VEM graduates. This is diversity. This is managers within the Met slavishly following an agenda to promote themselves at the expense of other peoples livelihoods. 

I have been in the police for many years. I have never known anyone call 999 and demand a police officer from their own ethnic background. 'There's a man in my house with a knife! I need cultural reassurance on the hurry up!'


Vote Labour!

Winning While Appearing to Lose

Apart from a couple of hilarious columns on The Guardian from middle-class revolutionaries, the police response to the TUC march has been praised. Officers were noted as being friendly and polite. I think this shows that we do not 'kettle' large crowds for fun.

Two groups broke away from the main march - One occupied a department store and were all arrested. The second group, hooded and masked 'anarchists' caused significant levels of destruction and put a number of members of the public in fear for their safety. This included tourists who are essential for our economy.

The arrests have had a muted level of complaint, but I feel that the majority of the public associate these protesters with the violence, and they have lost a lot of support as a result. The police have received some criticism for allowing the 'anarchists' such apparent free rein.

During the first student protest, Millbank was occupied and damage was caused. The police were subject to severe criticism. The following protests were policed with much greater numbers, culminating in 9th December when most of the crowd were contained in Parliament Square. Despite the fact that this took place after violent activity from sections of the crowd, the police were condemned for this tactic. This was followed by several allegations against the police including a man being pulled from his wheelchair and another being struck across the head with a baton causing serious injury. Despite the fact that we have heard nothing of these incidents since, not even an account from the alleged victim of the baton strike, both events remain real in the public imagination.

On Saturday, the police response swung back. As a result, public support is with us again. Although not lost following the student demonstrations, elements of the media were feeding on the accounts of protesters who relayed accounts of police aggression. They have been unable to find similar accounts from the TUC march.

This situation puts the police in a strong position. On the 26th March, had the police contained the 'anarchists' as they approached the main march, removed their head coverings, searched and photographed them, there would have been public outrage. This would have spread to the main body of the march, and could easily have incited disorder. This would all have been laid at the feet of the police, and we would have suffered a major public relations disaster. Following Saturday, I would doubt there would be any complaint should such tactics be used in the future. The public are sick of the sixth form agitators, white middle-class revolutionaries causing fear and distress on the streets of our capital city. The police are of the public, and should work for the public. This is why on Saturday the police won whilst appearing to lose.


You Know You're Getting Old When...


Do I Win a Prize?

I think I do! The first article claiming yesterday's violence was all the fault of the police: HERE

For those of you who haven't experienced Laurie Penny, she is a columnist for the Guardian and New Statesman. She is a comedy leftie. She is also white, middle-class and public school educated.

It is refreshing to see the positive comments made about the police yesterday from the genuine protesters, and the almost universal condemnation of the violence by the small minority. The anarchists - I would place money on the fact that they also are white, middle-class and many will be from private schools. Just a feeling I have...


TUC March - Here we go again....

This Saturday, 26th March, will see further demonstrations in central London. The protest is organised by the TUC, and around 200,000 are expected. The Police Federation have stated that many police officers will be in sympathy with the marchers. This is because the police are, like many many other areas of the public sector, facing cuts to their budgets, pay and allowances. Whether or not individual officers support a particular cause, or disagree with a certain government policy, they should never vent in public. It is a key part of our society that the police remain impartial and non-political. By the Police Federation making such statements, we are breaching this long standing expectation.

As would be expected, various groups of differing left-wing persuasion are expected to attend the protest, each armed with their own agenda. A number will attend with the intention of causing disorder. 

The above paragraph will have caused a reaction to everyone who reads it. Protest polarises. People develop a world view, through upbringing, education, and socialisation. We nurture this world view by associating with people who share our views, and seeking information from sources that do likewise. We are inclined to accept views which match our expectations without question, and dismiss arguments which counter our beliefs  without thought. 

The most recent contentious protest was the student march of 9th December last year. Everyone has formed an opinion about this. I would think the majority of memories relate to the interaction between police and protesters. Memory is notoriously unreliable. Eye-witness evidence is often the least useful in proving or disproving an assertion in a court. We interpret what we see. This is again influenced by our world view, our political beliefs, and the sources of our information. Words on a page can be interpreted differently by different readers, leading to completely different reactions. 

Many people genuinely believe that the police approach all protest marches as an opportunity to violently attack protesters and attempt to kill them by striking them across the head with batons. They refuse to accept that anyone other than the police may be responsible for violence. Alternatively, some police officers believe that all people who attend protest marchers are violent revolutionaries who wish to kill the police. They believe that all methods are legitimate to stop this. Most people find some balance between these views.

Consider these names: Ian Tomlinson and Edward Woollard. I would imagine you have a view on each. Some people believe that Ian Tomlinson was murdered by the police. Some people believe Edward Woollard attempted to murder police officers. I doubt many people believe both these assertions. They come from opposing world views. 

People like to find support for their views. The idea of a Conservative government using violent repression which requires resistance suits those who like to believe they are suppressed and must fight the state. Whatever it is, they are against it. It is a lot easier to shout NO and offer violence and destruction than offer valid debate and alternative solutions.

The vast majority of police officers who will be working on Saturday want a peaceful protest, and to go home without injury at the end of the day. That is my world view.


The Big Society - Get Stuck In!

As part of the 'Big Society' idea, it will be expected that the public take more responsibility for keeping the streets safe. This will inevitably lead to groups being formed with the express intention of stalking the streets in cheap uniforms and no doubt causing many more problems than they solve. Does anyone remember the Guardian Angels? They had a presence in London in the mid 1990s, but haven't been seen since. When the Metropolitan Police was formed, officers were often attacked by a public who took exception to being ordered around. Hence the notion of policing by consent. Any formal attempt to 'empower' the public will only attract the sort of person you don't want doing the job in the first place.

I do have great admiration for members of the public who risk their safety to help others. I have written about them previously. As a police officer, I am expected to act even when off duty having completed a 'dynamic risk assessment'. This basically means can I do something without getting my head kicked in or making matters worse. I would be interested to know whether my readers would take matters into their own hands. If not, why not? For those who would act, I would like you to consider the following scenario, and consider at what point you feel it would be time to do something, and conversely, when it would be an inappropriate intrusion on someone else's privacy.

You are on a train. The only other passenger on the carriage is a woman in her thirties. Two male teenagers get on. The next stop is ten minutes away. There is no guard on the train, however there is an emergency stop system to alert the driver.

The youths are well-built. They sit together opposite the woman. One of the youths begins playing loud music on his mobile phone. This goes on for a few minutes. The woman glances at them, but says nothing. She looks at the sign on the window showing that you are all in the quiet coach.

One of the youths puts his feet on the seat opposite. He then lights a cigarette, and shares it with the other one. The woman starts to cough. She says, "Do you mind?" to the youths. They laugh, and carry on smoking. The woman informs them that they can't smoke on the train. One of the youths calls her a 'bitch' and tells her to 'fuck off.'

One of the youths goes and sits next to the woman. He starts to talk to her. You can see she is uncomfortable. She stands up and moves up the carriage towards you and sits down. They follow her, and sit each side of her. You notice one of them is drinking lager. One of them puts his arm around her shoulder. She shrugs him off, and tries to get up, but is pushed back down. He tries to kiss her, but she manages to fight him off. She breaks free, and runs down the train chased by the youths and out of your sight.

The train stops at the next station. You see the teenagers get off and run towards a nearby estate. You see the woman being led of the train by a man in a suit. He is using his mobile phone. She looks distressed. The train pulls away, and you go back to your paper.


EDL video

The below video was found on Pickled Politics. The EDL, as can be seen here and on other parts of the internet, are clearly violent, racist scum. They are a disgrace to this country. They, like anyone else, have the right to protest. When the protest turns violent, the police are expected to act. That is the key when debating freedom in this country. The police must act when violence begins to protect the Queen's peace, ie the right of all people to go about their lawful business without fear or impediment from those with extreme political views.


Is this Racism? I think it is!

Thanks to Mitchell-images for pointing out an internship opportunity the Met Police are currently advertising. I have copied the full advert in italics below. Please note that the Met is currently not recruiting officers for at least three years, and is facing severe financial cuts. I run a response team. Month by month, my team numbers are getting less and less. This used to be dealt with by new probationers coming through from training school, however this is not the case at the moment. We miss 999 call targets on a regular basis. It is luck rather than judgement that nothing has gone seriously wrong because of this, however it is only a matter of time. When something does go wrong, it will be my fault. 

I accept that the Met, like every other public service organisation is facing budget cuts. Front line services will be feeling the pain. What I do not accept is the idea that scarce financial resources should be diverted to instigate the Diversity Internship Scheme. This is a scheme for graduates who are from visible ethnic minorities. They will be given a dedicated mentor, and a choice of roles and projects. Apparently this is not discrimination because it is called positive action. 

How much does this scheme cost? How many officer hours an I losing to allow this to take place? Have the public been consulted? I am told that our only performance indicator of note is public satisfaction. Will the tax paying public of London agree this is a good use of their money? 

The largest recent minority groups to London are from eastern and central Europe. Why are they excluded from this scheme? The old poster, 'No Irish, no blacks, no dogs,' has been replaced. But only slightly. 

I had hoped that the Met's obsession with positive discrimination had died with the sacking of Ian Blair and the end of New Labour. Sadly it appears that the diversity empire remains leeching from the underbelly of the community the rest of us actually try and serve. Such blatant discrimination only fuels the far right, and will cause more division than it solves. The government must stop this insanity - Big Society is for all, indigenous or immigrant, old or new.  

Are you interested in working for the largest employer in the South East? Do you want to find out more about how the MPS operates and learn from business experts? Do you have an interest in policing? Are you enthusiastic, self-motivated? If you answered yes to these questions then read on…

During the summer of 2011 the MPS is offering final year university students who received a minimum of a 2:2 in their second year exams or recent graduates with a minimum of an awarded (within the last year) 2:2 degree, from a black & minority ethnic background, the opportunity to undertake one of our 12-week placements. 

This programme complies with section 158 Equality Act 2010. In order to offer this as a Positive Action Programme, we define BME as those groups which are currently under-represented in the organisation, namely:

Black Caribbean, Black African, Black Other, Black British, Black Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Asian Other, Any other Ethnic group not specified, Mixed: White and Black Caribbean, Mixed: White and Black African, Mixed: White and Asian, Mixed: Any Other Mixed Ethnic Background, Greek and Greek Cypriot and Turkish and Turkish Cypriot.

We offer internships within the following directorates:

Human Resources 
Territorial Policing 
Specialist Crime 
Directorate of Resources 
Department of Public Affairs 
Whichever directorate you join, you’ll receive support and guidance, working on real and valuable projects. You’ll learn from professionals in the field and take ownership of delivering project work that will bolster your CV and reference your abilities as a talented graduate. To make sure you experience the varied and diverse opportunities available within the MPS dedicated mentors will also support you throughout your placements. 

Participation in the Diversity internship scheme does not entitle intern/s to employment or consideration for employment but during the placement you will be paid under an internship/training contract the London Living Wage, and details of interns successful through the programme will be shared with partner organisations within the Greater London Authority. Applicants are also advised that they need to have been a UK resident for the last 3 years due to vetting restrictions.

These placements offer the opportunity to enhance your development, as individuals, through meaningful and rewarding projects, and offer you the opportunity to support the organisation’s drive to continue to learn about the needs and views of the diverse communities we serve.


Money for Old Rope - Police Pay Review

Like everyone else, the police are having their pay and conditions reviewed. It is also suggested that 28,000 jobs may be lost. I would suggest that these will come from natural wastage - the latter part of the 1970s saw a large recruitment drive, the majority of the officers who joined then will be retiring shortly. Their roles may not be replaced, but very few of them will still be in front-line positions. There are thousands of desk jockeys in the police in a variety of performance / diversity / pointless roles who have not engaged with a member of the public for many many years. Any warranted officer who does not directly prevent or detect crime or maintain  the Queen's peace is an un-necessary waste of a good salary. The job loses can easily be met from such individuals whilst maintaining front line numbers. They can be offered a return to response duties, but I would imagine GP surgeries suddenly being overwhelmed with 'officers' suddenly suffering from stress. 

In the Met, their has been a recruitment freeze which is likely to continue for the next three years. The most recent recruits are already on a different contract to those of us who have been around slightly longer. They are expected to serve for 35 years instead of 30, and their pension is less attractive. They are not eligible for Special Priority Payments until they have four years service and work in an eligible role. SPP was significantly reduced this year anyway, and it's loss will not cause any significant issues. Met officers are also entitled to free travel within a 70 mile radius of London. This is being curtailed.  

Overtime payments will always be necessary due to the nature of police work. If we could predict demand, there would be no crime. The four hour claim for taking a call off-duty is a myth. Officers are entitled to a minimum of four hours at time 1/3 if they work into a rest day. This should end. People should be paid for the hours they actually work, nothing more. 

The Police Federation claim that officers will be unable to pay their mortgages or heat their homes. I have no sympathy - overtime is not guaranteed, so if you financial management is so bad you can't house yourself without regular overtime, I would suggest some personal responsibility needs to be taken. Such officers are also leaving themselves open to corrupt approaches - financial vulnerability is a key indicator of potential corruption. 

Senior officers at New Scotland Yard all retain personal drivers. Most of these drivers merely drive them home and back, with the rest of the time spent sitting around in the office. Senior officers also have staff officers, of at least Chief Inspector rank, and PA and a second civilian staff officer. ACPO ranks need to use the train like the rest of us, work out how to log on and read e-mails, and simply get over themselves. This would save a fortune. The Met employ Alisa Beaton. She earns £189,896 per year. Alisa is not a police officer. She is the Director of Information. It costs around £23,000 to employ a new PC. 

There are massive savings that can easily be made in the police service. My only concern is that those making the decisions will jealously guard their own perks and performance units whilst expecting the front line to take the bit hits. I have no faith in senior officers, and cannot imagine them acting with the best of motives when the axe falls. 


Getting Pissed and Fighting

On a Friday and Saturday night, I would estimate that 90% of incidents dealt with by police across the country are alcohol related. My area has a fairly strong night-time economy which translates as hundreds of people going out to get drunk. Unfortunately they all seem to spill onto the streets at the same time with the booze-addled intention of fighting each other. 

I detest violent people. With alcohol added, they are even more of a problem, however their fighting skills are often impaired, making them easier to arrest. They often try and headbutt their way out of the caged van, then try and kick down the cell door on arrival at the police station. Why? I have no idea. Most are in no fit state to enter into a rational debate. 

This country suffers particularly from alcohol related violence. Other countries manage to consume alcohol without the related violence levels. I believe this is based on historical reasons. Religious based temperance and moral superiority imposes a feeling of guilt in those who consume alcohol. This is exasperated by the depressive properties of alcohol, and creates a self-fulfilling rotation of abuse. Although the majority of drinkers in this country are not religious, the social stigma remains. Public drunkenness is looked down upon, and becomes a right of passage for the young. Due to the stigma, most young people, who will naturally explore drunkenness as part of growing up, are forced into the parks and common areas to consume cheap and potent alcohol without the guiding hand of a responsible adult. This leads to excessive consumption, and the related problems this causes. 

Public drunkenness is also a class issue. The middle-classes predominantly drink out of public view, and their violence is of a domestic nature. The working-classes are provided with upright drinking establishments, and are offered cheap drink at the supermarkets to lube themselves up prior to going out. The lower orders are expected to accept their lot in life, and are socially conditioned to treat their social time as drinking time. This is enforced by social networks and the media. It becomes expected that people can act in a different and often socially unacceptable manner once drunk. This includes committing criminal offences. A criminal record significantly impairs life chances. Police resources are deployed to deal with the fallout, meaning arrests are more likely to be made - most drunk related offences come to notice by being discovered by a police officer on  patrol. The working class are more likely to be arrested as a result. 

Dealing with this country's problems around alcohol would reduce policing costs substantially. This is not an easy option. Health campaigns make the dangers clear, however this often has to opposite effect. Enforcement by police will not stop the problem, only criminalise more people. Good education is the key - impress a sense of self worth on the lower classes, and they will have more pride than to go out fighting on a Saturday night. There remain people in this country who leave the education system unable to read and write. They must become a priority, not the middle-class obsession of having higher education paid for by the government. 

The Easy Way Out?

Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes. Sometimes, I sit at home all alone, and remember dead colleagues. Not many people get that one. Some (and I hope a minority, but no breath holding) think the only good cop is a dead cop. Good luck to them. Don't get burgled. 

Others, ie,not me. 

Who mourns dead friends? All of us? Most of us? 


It really is the military. At the moment. Well, by that we mean the army. It is the working classes that are dying in foreign fields. In army uniforms. Still, I have a good friend who is an army officer. He's sent people to their death since Bosnia. 

I've been in the police for 20 years. I've never sent people to their certain deaths. People have died though. Work that one out. It's different. But I've known four people who have killed themselves. For the job they do. I won't glorify myself by telling their story here. Not yet. Probably will. Because I can.  


Which Colour Are You?

Having had doubts about my political persuasions, I took this test. Turns out I share the views of Gandhi! Try it - I'd be interested in knowing the views of my wonderful readers. 

Another test I took told me I was BNP, so it's all in the interpretation...


Daydream Nation

This is post number 201. I thought I'd mark the occasion with some Sonic Youth related art work.


Time for a pay cut....

Seems that the police won't be avoiding the cuts. Good. The police are part of the public sector, and should not be excluded from the necessary cost saving measures. The police, like the NHS, are overwhelmed with managers and back-room staff who are responsible for spreadsheet management. They are all paid the same if not more than those employees who actually do the job.

The police, like some other public sector employees, are paid double-time to work on a bank holiday. Why? Notting Hill Carnival is a force working day in the Met, which means that all uniformed officers are expected to be on duty. Around 5000 'police' the main event, all those below the rank of Inspector being paid double. The Royal Wedding will also cost the public purse similar amounts for the same reason. There can be no justification for this in today's financial climate.

Police managers have responsibility for budgets. I have one. It is overspent. I can do nothing about this. I only authorise overtime for officers to stay on at the end of their tour of duty and complete paperwork that is required by law / policy following an arrest. If the police actually had computer systems that spoke to each other, a lot of this time would not be required, and the incredible amount of duplication would be avoided.

The CID also have a budget. Every six months, they go through the usual routine of stopping all overtime, then spend spend spending near the end of the financial year to make sure their budgets are not reduced the following year. Remove the threat of reduced budgets for those who underspend, and this ridiculous situation would end, saving money and time.

Bonus payments exist in the police. Senior officers are often rewarded for achieving targets. This can only encourage corruption. End all bonuses.

There you have it - cost savings made easy.