Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Final Score

Don't you just love domestics!

Its the early evening we have just finished dealing with a crappy neighbour dispute. When we receive a call to a very busy estate, a report of an on going domestic by a neighbour. We are not far away and wanna get out of this street ASAP so we make are excuses and tear off.

We arrive on scene to be greeted by the female, she runs into the front garden in some very revealing pink PJ's. She shouts out 'he's run out the back door!' We run around to the rear lane but he's gone. We search the rear gardens nothing, except in the rear garden of this house there is a pile of clothes and a toothbrush strewn on some weeds purporting to be a lawn.

Never mind, I go inside and start getting her account. My colleague chats with the informant next door.

She says they've had a row and he's kicked her.

I ask if there are any marks but I there are none. I also ask if she wants to make a complaint this time. I've never been here myself but apparently she has made several complaints before and never gone to court with them. She is not entirely sure but in the end she states she does want to give a statement. So I start taking a statement I begin by getting some background, how many kids they have, what lead up to the row etc. All the time I've got Ant and Dec full blast on the TV and their eldest child of 18 months who's just started walking going through my file and pulling at my paperwork.

I've written about a page and a half by this stage.

She states she slapped him first.

Woman 1 Man 0

She then states he kicked her until she fell on the floor.

Woman 1 Man 1

I say that's fine he can't claim self defence as its not really proportionate to a slap. I ask did anything else happen? Well I did get a knife and shout I'm going to f**king kill you she adds does that make a difference? My colleague informs me that's what the neighbour heard and that's why she called us.

Woman 2 Man 1

Anything else I ask. Shall I mention the bit where I him with the chair?

Woman 3 Man 1

Oh dear I say. We explain that if he is arrested there are likely to be counter allegations. She ponders on this, then decides not to make a complaint after all.

PNB signed happy days.

I think he'd already lost this round.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Where were the parents???

This is the tragic story of a young ten year old boy who drowned in a lake earlier this summer.

He and his 8 year old sister went to the lake, the young girl got into difficulties in the lake and the boy tried to save her. Two passer's by then got in and pulled out the girl unfortunately the little boy slipped under and disappeared from view.

Two PCSO's attended the scene, but for whatever reason they did not assist in rescuing the young boy.

I've just watched the mother on the news having a go at the police and asking 'why didn't the PCSOs jump in and save her boy?'

I've got some questions for the mother, where were you whilst this was happening?? Why did you allow your 8 and 10 year old children to go to a lake unsupervised??

The police have defended the PCSOs stating they were not trained for live saving. Well neither are regular PC's (except for Devon and Cornwall).

The fact they were PCSO's is irrelevant. They as individuals had to make a split second life or death decision. They were there they had the information, they know their own physical capabilities they knew the condition of the water and all the other impact factors.

Personally I probably would have jumped into a lake in the month of may to save a live. But I'm a fit male twenty something. If it was the north sea in December I'd have to think twice.

The point is this is another example of the public blaming the police solely responsible for something, when maybe they are partially responsible.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Cooking the books.

As anyone who works for any department in the government, be they teachers, paramedics or police officers they will know the government is obsessed with targets.

Be they hospital waiting lists, exam results or ambulance response times etc. For the police however the government has decided that the way a police force will be judged is by the percentage of crimes they 'solve' or 'detect' compared to the number of crimes reported as a percentage.

This has the following effect, all the forces are then compared with each other and ranked. My force has come in at around forth from bottom, so all the big bosses got a bollocking from the Chief Constable. Then all the Chief superintendents got a bollocking and so on and so on until the sector inspectors gave their sergeants a bollocking.

Then all us Pc's at the bottom of the pile get told to get out there and get some detections!

This has had the following effect in our nick, on every wall is a poster stating the minimum number we each require each month. (Several officers have now been called into the inspectors office and been asked to account for why they've failed to meet this target invented by the inspector). The inspector has written all our names on the whiteboard and next to it the number of detections for each month.

I thought that our nick was bad, in our neighbouring nick its even worse with an actual race to who can get the most each month with a points system and prizes for the winner !!!!

As I said a detection is a detected crime. Now a detected crime could be solving a murder, a rape, a robbery or a burglary. However a crime could also be a person person swearing in the street or it could be a lad having a spliff in a park.

It takes about 15 minutes to issue a £80 ticket for section 5 and even less time to issue a street warning for possession of cannabis. However each one still counts as one detected crime the same as a murder, rape, robbery or burglary.

So we are actually being encouraged by the bosses to get these 'quick' hits. This has led to any officer get some time to be pro-active they are not really looking for robbers or burglars they'd rather find a group of lads sharing a spliff.

I have also heard rumours of officers actually winding up people until they contravene section 5 then issuing them with a ticket.

It's almost as if nothing else matters just get some quick detections, even to the point where are discretion is being taken away. Perhaps you may be dealing with something that could potentially lead to a charge but is probably better to sort out another way i.e a playground scrap or some unwanted texts. You find yourself thinking why bother just get them charged. Which has lead to this.

So if you see your local Chief Constable in the paper or on the news going on about how much their force has improved and solved loads more crime, the likely hood isn't that they haven't solved any more murders, rapes, robberies or burglaries they just learnt how to cook the books.

There is more on this in tonight's episode of panorama 'wasting police time' on BBC1 at 8.30.