Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nordic Nipper Nicked

Reuters reports that Security Guards have caught a three year old boy who was helping his mother - by trying to steal clothes from a shop in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

The boy was trying to carry a plastic bag out of the store to his mother who was waiting outside in Monday's incident, a police spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

"It was the mother who had filled up the bag and placed it so that the child could go in and pick it up," said Oslo police spokeswoman Unni Groendal.

This got me thinking - can you beat that?

It's all explained now

Sky News reports (and I have annotated accordingly for Patrolling Polis) that Office workers say they get the blues - when they work in an office that is painted blue. (That would be the sky for me then)

Yellow walls and ceilings made staff feel happy, energised and more focused on their work. (That would be a sunny day for me then)

Employees said they felt angrier, and possibly more passionate, if there was more red than any other colour (That would be the blood spilt then), while black made them feel "tougher." (That must be the uniform then)

Grey was described as "dull and uninspiring" (That's the colour of our cells) in the research among dozens of workers by photographic giant Konica Minolta.

"This study shows that it is not just Monday mornings (erm?), the rush hour (I live in Scotland!) or having to work late (aaahhh - the poor things) that can affect the office environment - colour has a huge impact," said Robert Sethre of Konica Minolta.

I have said before that PINK is the way to go!


Reuters reports that Political Correctness has hit Spain and the festive season has been cancelled.

Foamy has a view on this here too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Myanmar has gone too far

I generally avoid going political, 'cos I'm not meant to, but then I didn't get a Masters Degree in International Politics to switch off to what's going on in our little world.

Click on this link to see what has got me rightly worried.

If you asked me who is the person I would most like to meet and for whom I have the greatest respect for on this planet, then it would be
Aung San Suu Kyi. Her nation is being torn apart by an evil junta which makes Saddam look like a cuddly benefactor. Now they are kicking out the Red Cross. It really is time to worry about Burma.

If you want to see what's happening take a trip to the Burma Campaign UK and then have a look and weep at the official Myanmar website.

Girls and the Gooners

This is a true story from an Arsenal Season Ticket Holder from last Season and highlights the fact that woman just don't get football.

His season ticket last year was an absolute plum seat half way up the Highbury main stand close to the half-way line. In other words, a TV camera style view.

Anyway, after the first few games of the season it became apparent that despite all the home games being sell-outs, the two seats on his left were always empty. This continued until just after Christmas when all of a sudden a guy and his young son appeared there.

After a few weeks of sitting next to this guy and his son, he decided to ask if the guy knew why the seats had been empty for half the season.

If you are a woman you know the answer!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


News this week that the English polis are to trial headcams made me recall my local force's trial with the system.

I can reveal exclusively that I was one of the guinea pigs (sic).

My observations (must stop this punning) were that there were some technical, health & safety and personal issues vis-a-vis the likelihood of complaints against my civility being upheld!

  • Technical - If the camera is mounted as per picture and ours were, then the field of view captured is not that seen by the Officer. All too often the subject being viewed was off screen when replayed. The camera needs to be centrally mounted, which brings me to
  • Health & Safety - Small though the camera was, it could be pushed into my napper, especially if centre mounted, so we would need to wear a protective titfer e.g. cycle helmet or similar. Wearing the kit alone could make you a target.
  • Complaints - when patrolling normally, one can be less self-conscious of the methodology used to disperse miscreants. Given your actions are recorded, please remember to use your most civil tongue when asking the drunk/drugged up lout to move along e.g. "Sir, I do appreciate that it might be slightly inconvenient, but would you mind awfully stopping punching and kicking that gentleman and make your way home."
Having said all that the vidz were potentially powerful evidence and indisputable, especially given the fact that a Polisman's word doesn't seem to be trusted in the way that it used to be.

There will be those that bleat that this is surveillance. How can it be if you are on routine patrol and it is no more than an additional set of electronic eyes, ears and memory.

There was the negative side that some of our ASBOtastic youth thought they were on reality TV and auditioned accordingly!

The trial was just that and I have yet to find out why we didn't carry on with it on a routine basis. Personally I thought that, with a little bit of fine tuning, it could have been an optional tool in the fight against street crime... and no I wasn't the Polis spokesperson in the linked article!

Traffic Polis - They never miss a trick!

Reuters report that German traffic police were shocked to see a California Highway Patrol car cruising along the motorway, driven by a man dressed as an authentic American cop, authorities said Thursday. But they recovered sufficiently to book the 35-year-old Goettingen resident, whose uniform badge read "T.J. Lazer," for possessing a replica Smith & Wesson revolver without a licence and having out-of-date registration plates. "He was sitting at the wheel with his elbow on the window like in the best TV crime series," said Osthessen police spokesman Martin Schaefer. "Because wearing such a uniform in public is also prohibited, he had to exchange it for civilian dress after a shopping trip with 'real' colleagues," he added. The man told police he had been taking the 30-year-old vehicle to Bavaria to sell it and wanted to impress the buyer.

Did you spot the really serious misdemeanour?

Having out-of-date registration plates !!!!!!

Sleepless in Strasbourg

When the Working Time Regulations arrived most of us Polis must have thought that the bureaucrats in Strasbourg and Brussels had, for once, come up with a blinder what with enforced 11 hour breaks between shifts.

Well, I've just endured (and I use that term intentionally) a week of what's called Step Down shifts from my rostered nightshifts to ensure that my poor body was allowed adequate rest between bouts of work. I now wonder if the writers of this legislation actually envisaged (or tried out) what was implicated. All this disruption was caused by my need to appear in court as a witness. Here's my shifts:

Day 1 - Work 9pm to 6am
Day 2 - Work 5pm to 2am
Day 3 - Work 1pm to 10pm
Day 4 - Work 9am to 6pm

The upshot of it all was that no one was the winner out of this i.e.

  • The polis probably had to pay for someone to come in and work my nightshift on days 2, 3 & 4, and get double time to boot. Good for them, but not for the Polis budget or the general public's purses.
  • The family at home were deprived of my company and assistance with domestic upkeep (which to be fair is minimal anyway according to she who must be obeyed).
  • Mr Plod was heard repeatedly to say between snores both at home and at work, "I'm awake honest."
She who must be obeyed was her usual sympathetic self as I tried to explain the situation in a manner she might understand (I resisted drawing pictures), but I offered her this scenario around a 'normal' person's work day:

Day 1 - Work 8am to 5pm
Day 2 - Work 4am to 1pm
Day 3 - Work Midnight to 9am
Day 4 - Work 8pm to 5am (note however that this would actually be on the third day)

I think I lost her on day two, but I'm sure you get the point. I'm no Doctor, but if this was meant to safeguard and improve my health and welfare, then please can I see the evidence.

You can probably guess what happened when the trial date arrived.... yep.... sent away at 11am as not required to give evidence.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Correct Politicalness

A number of Polis bloggers have directed readers to the article in the Police Review submitted by an Inspector and airing his views on Blogging. I've linked to You're Nicked as he includes the full article, but other takes can be seen at Inspector Gadget and also at Sergeant Says.

Please read the article and then you'll understand why I have a few points to make:

  • Being unhelpful about resource levels - I like to do a little bit of customer research when I get negative comments from mops regarding response times etc. Ask them just how many polis they think are on duty in their city, town etc. Do this on nightshift, say about 4am, when all the office bound polis are in bed and the lateshift have gone home. When they get the answer horribly wrong and they will - n.b. for God's sake don't give them the correct answer, that would be definitely unhelpful - ask them also how many ambulance crews are on, Doctors and Nurses at the local A&E, Out of Hours Social Workers etc etc. Then try and figure out yourself how they got it so wrong. We must be doing something right if they think there's that many on duty. The truth is however that we are all fighting for scarce resources and anyway; they should all be in bed asleep!
  • Washing our dirty linen in public is not the answer - most of the blogs I read from Polis around the UK and blogs from other public servants are genuinely humorous and light hearted in their cynicism and critique of their paymasters. The mops (i.e. the members of the public - an acronym I like so there) that read blogs are likely to be gifted enough to make this distinction and not sit up at night worrying their little heads about the likelihood of them "being overrun by paedophiles, rapists, terrorists and murderers."
  • You always know someone has a poor argument when they resort to typecasting and blatant dishing of their 'opponents' cf. "the opinions of jaded and frustrated officers." Frustrated yes, jaded no. I just CARE about the job and the people I serve enough to highlight the hurdles we sometimes encounter in providing a professional service in a manner that is both appropriate and proportional and for me satisfying and morale boosting.
  • Anonymity - The inspector wrote, "I am aware my bosses read this piece, so I have to behave myself." What is he suggesting? Are Polis bloggers errant kiddiewinks who are due for an early night if they step out of line. A couple of clicks and my identity is there for all to discover, but I don't broadcast it like I was an official mouthpiece for my employers. The purpose of my particular blog, which is not exclusively related to Policing, but will have a large content about same given it's what I do for a living and is PART of who I am, is to discuss, comment and commune on matters I and others find interesting, amusing and thought provoking. I suggest the next time he is out for a drink or at a dinner party and he's asked about his job he just states, "NO COMMENT. I MUST BEHAVE." Despite my occasional moaning about things that DO frustrate me and others, I love my job and wouldn't do anything else. When asked at my confirmation how I felt about my job, I told the DCC I had found my niche. Nothing's changed my opinion. I only wish Inspectors like him (and let's face it the Police is almost unique in that the gaffers have all made their way through the ranks) would recall what they joined for and what their true vocation is. It's not to serve the implied monolith he refers to as THE POLICE, it's the public or as he would probably call them; our customers. In that there lies the problem. We are not a business. We do not have a profit line. Yes we have to give value for money, but we must do it proportionately and in a compassionate and efficient manner. My loyalty to the service remains strong, but it is rightly tempered by those actions made by Government and sometimes our own higher echelons that frustrate day to day policing.
Finally - I would just like to observe that this country has a fine tradition of free speech. However, with such freedom comes responsibility.

For Polis bloggers, that responsibility is to avoid naming names until in the Public domain, avoid sharing ill judged opinions and observations until the facts are known or researched, avoid comments that are
sub-judice, but above all your comments should be transparent and honest. They say the truth never hurts and aren't we in the business of truth..... just remember what you say every time you go to court and before you actually give evidence. Something missing from the Inspector's article was the word integrity. He should look it up in his dictionary.

p.s. After writing all that (or in your case reading all that) I'm feeling JADED for another reason.

And yes, I have now let off steam!!!!

Posts to follow

1. WTR and 2. Headcams - but due to the effects of subject 1, Noddy has told Mr Plod to can it and let Noddy get some kip.

More tomorrow

Sound Intelligence

"What's all this hear then?"

Not only has CCTV taken its place as extra eyes on the street when along comes this idea from the Netherlands to be the ears as well.

It's just as well that these gizmos will have to be complimentary tools for the moment as no-one has invented a machine able to arrest ne-er do wells and report them - yet!

This video is in Dutch, but you'll get the idea if you read the linked articles above.

p.s. My Toytown friend threatened to hoof me in the nether region if I gave this post my first choice title!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Targeting The Troublespots

Hard on the heels of the mosquito, here comes the latest gizmo to keep our errant youth from pestering us old codgers at the local shops.

Not so pretty in pink?

n.b. See Totally UnPC's post on this here and the mosquito here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sign of the times

A Spanish town council is demanding half of all road signs and traffic lights show female figures with skirts and ponytails.

I welcome suggestions for other diverse signage and offer the following as starters for 10!

1. Full yashmak and chador.
2. Hoodie, Burberry cap and Nike trackie bottoms.
3. White stick figures on black background.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cold Turkey

As Victor Meldrew would say, "I don't believe it!"

Last time I looked the press were bleating about prisons being awash with drugs and inmates running away from open prisons to avoid taking drugs, but now it appears the poor souls cannot get their hands on their daily fix and the government are to pay out to avoid being sued for infringing their human rights. Will they disclose how much has been paid out?

Feel free to comment!

For other takes on this go to (w)PC Bloggs and Another Constable's posts.

A timely reminder

Just click here for a good reason why the polis deserve their 3%.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


The council in Manchester installed some retractable bollards to stop people using bus lanes.

It's causing a bit of an uproar with the public.

Click on this link to find out why...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm off to Tesco

More men are bound to shop if this new invention takes hold.

About time too!

It took time, but the 3% pay rise for Police Officers has been accepted.

However, it is noted that Mr Reid wants to examine the indexing agreement.

So look out for a new pay structure for 2007 linked to performance and compliancy. You heard it here first.

p.s. The polis need this dosh for all those burgers and doughnuts we eat whilst we do feck all - not.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Light Relief

I am sensing that all too many of my blogging colleagues are stressed out by the various pressures placed on modern police officers - not least the lack of a pay rise!

Many blogs are hilarious, but I do detect that there is a distinct lack of simple good time stories.

Let's face it, at the end of the day, despite all that confounds us, would you, could you, do anything else so varied, challenging and rewarding?

I was trawling through some of my archives and unearthed a collection of amusing incidents from my time in the Force Control Room. I thought I'd share them with you given that a safe passage of time has passed since their occurrence. Maybe I might just have started something.

Here goes:


A caller to the Police Office reported that she was attached to part of a bed headboard by handcuffs and had lost
the keys.

Police Officers were unable to assist her despite trying various sets of keys and a piece of metal in a vain attempt to spring the locks.

Caller was advised to at
tend at ‘Dick’s Sports’ as he apparently held various sets of keys.


999 call to Control Room from female reporting that a local licensee had kidnapped her cat for the second time.

Police Officers attended and described the female as an “alcoholic idiot” and warned her accordingly.


Fire Brigade advised Police they had attended a report of a child’s head stuck in a potty. They later called back reporting they had rendered the necessary assistance.


Call to disturbance. Initial Police unit attending reported that male had a cut to his head and required attention by ambulance staff.

Traffic unit reported they were standing down as the initial unit had the “matter in hand.”

The Initial unit then reported finding what appeared to be a 1” square piece of the injured male’s scrotum and asked for further instruction from A&E staff. Needless to say the section of wrinkled retainer was delivered post haste to hospital.


999 call received reporting a group of people outside the caller’s home intending to break-in to his flat.

Police attending reported that the caller was senile and delusional.

Further 999 call from same man stated he had found the persons responsible, one described as male and the other as an attractive female and that they were now trying to get into his house via the sewer.

Yet another 999 call from same man reported that the persons concerned in trying to get into his house had been soaked as he had filled the bath and let the water go down the drain. Flushed with success the caller cancelled any further Police involvement, but he was advised to contact his GP.


Fire Brigade advised Police that they were attending a report of a Chip Pan fire at Pluscarden Abbey.

Wag in Elgin Control Room finished off the call by noting that “nothing more than a fat friar had been involved.”


999 call to Police from a Chipper reporting that “someone is battering the deep fat fryer.”

Police attended and established the Fryer had been dealing with troublesome customers. Fortunately, there was no complaint.


I received a call from an anonymous female reporting a stray Duck. She went on to tell me that she was travelling on the main dual carriageway north and had seen a large duck waddling about on the road.

She had more to add though ……. She reported that the duck’s partner appeared to be an ex-duck as there were feathers everywhere.

She had even more to add …… She further reported that if this particular duck was hit, it would cause damage.

I couldn’t resist adding to the incident, when I transferred it to another office, “Appears that it may be playing chicken.”


Caller reported that he owned a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and that when the Pizza Delivery Man came to the door to deliver a pizza, the Terrier had grabbed hold of a stray Labrador which was outside the door at the time.

The caller went on to advise that the poor Lab had been savaged and the Terrier had its jaws locked around the injured dog.

Apparently, the Pizza Man had been trying to put the Lab out of its misery by hitting it with a baseball bat (as you do).

At the time of the call the Bull Terrier had retired to the bedroom. Unfortunately its teeth were still locked round the neck of the Lab, which was still, rather remarkably, breathing.

The caller reported that (and I suspect this is what really upset him) his kids were screaming and there was an awful mess at his house.

The SSPCA were advised and reported they would attend and that at this stage the Police were not required.

The SSPCA Inspector then had second thoughts and asked for a Police unit to attend as he reasoned that if the Bull Terrier was as evil as reported then he would be unlikely to handle the matter himself.

Now here’s the twist ……..

The SSPCA Inspector advised that the dogs had been successfully separated and that the owner’s of the Terrier had voluntarily agreed to have it put down. He was then to try and contact the Lab’s owners in order that a vet could attend to its wounds and the despatch of the Terrier. So far so good, but it is the public we are dealing with and ….

The owners of the Lab refused to have anything to do with it and ended up being charged with cruelty etc. for not seeking the assistance of a vet.

You couldn’t make these up!


Must have been a Snappy Tomato Pizza!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Speaking about eggs....

Not wanting to be seen as neglecting my male colleagues when it comes to tips for enhancing our appearance and in answer to (W)PC Bloggs post for her female colleagues, I offer this link and this online shopping experience for those in need.

Apparently (sadly I checked!) they are not available for those of us North of the Border - could that be 'cos we're not as vain or 'cos we don't need them?

Halloween Crackdown - Ban egg sales to U21's

I have posted before about the humble egg being the latest weapon of choice for our errant youths, but it seems my Neighbourhood colleagues have had a smashing time cracking down hard on their use as part of Operation Fawkes.

My next initiative will be to get No sales to U21 signs up in all grocers and supermarkets!

Speaking about Operations like this I'd like to welcome PC Dogberry to the world of Police blogs. I'd just like to observe that the fad for creating media grabbing and self serving Ops like those he refers to surely belittles our profession and opens us up for ridicule. Let's just stick to the basic foundation of good honest Policing - common sense.

Useless Software

Foamy sorts out the dross from Germaine's PDA, but as always the lassie has the last word!