Thank you for your continued interest into this staged Blog. I have had a period of being busy at work and at home but I am back.
In my three Blogs I covered the Inquiry lead by Lord Scarman into the Brixtion Riots in 1981. They can be found here and if you are a first time reader I recommend that you read these two previous posts before reading on.
It is no secret that every force is currently struggling to deal with budget cuts inflicted on them by Government. Only this week the media has been full of reports stating that we have as many as 10,000 less Police Officers on the street since this Government came to power. Forces are looking at collaboration projects with neighbouring forces, staff posts are being cut and morale is low. Forces all over are desperately looking at ways to plug the gap.
Having had a chat with a Twitter follower who is a serving Special Constable. It was clear in that chat that the demand on the Special Constable is increasing significantly and I felt the need to look into this. I uncovered some interesting things. I have found this Special Constable recruitment video that I want you to watch before I continue.
Looks and sounds interesting doesn’t it! Volunteering your spare time to support your community by putting on a uniform to protect others. I have a massive amount of respect to every Special Constable...
I do not need to remind you of the dangers that police officers these days face. Once upon a time the traditional Constable in their tunic and wooden peg as is was called was enough to put the fear of god into anyone, however today is another story. Before I get into this post have a look at this short video. Whilst watching it I want you to take note of the use of a wheelie bin and think about the incident without that bin.
Frightening stuff hey! Police Officers carry a belt or tactical vest that carries their radio, handcuffs, baton, defence spray and in some cases leg restraints. All officers are educated on what is known as the National Decision Making Model. This model teaches officers about things to consider in regard to use of force. I am not going to go into the Â National Decision Making ModelÂ so I suggest you look it up if you want further details.
The video that you saw clearly involved a dangerous man armed with a massive knife. He was clearly under the influence of drugs or something...
I continued with examining the report into the cause of the riots that had been written by Lord Scarman. This is a very comprehensive report and to be honest at the time I did not know how big a task it was going to be. For that reason I will be releasing two further Blogs on the Scarman Report that will cover Lord Scarman’s Conclusions and Recommendations to prevent further disorder.
I recently wrote a post on the Brixton Riots of 1981 and I explained that I had chosen this point in time to start with my assessment of the relationships between the Police Service and the Community that we serve. The previous Blog covered the build up to the Brixton riots and if you have not read that post you can see it by clicking the link Police & Community Relations â€“ Part 1 â€“ The Brixton RiotsÂ 1981
Immediately following this very violent event the Government appointed Lord Scarman to conduct a official review into the riots and their causes. Lord Scarman was also empowered with making recommendations in how to prevent further disorder in the future. The Scarman Report was released in November 1981 and made very interesting reading. This report had been compiled following a series of evidence hearings from community members, police officers and other relevant persons.
The Scarman Report is far too detailed to cover in one Blog so I have chosen to split...
I have written this post following the court result in the Ian Tomlinson case.
If you do not know what case I am talking about it is a trial that ended this week after a police officer named Simon Harwood was filmed hitting a man with a baton and pushing him to the floor. A short while later that man who was called Ian Tomlinson died.
This case has obviously attracted massive media interest. I have mixed views of the media but experience has proven that the media will write anything to sell a paper or make a story even if that means bending the truth, adding or taking away vital facts or even telling the occasional lie. This claim is made from personal experience. I ask you to bear this in mind whilst reading this post.
Any loss of life is tragic and I do feel for the family of Ian Tomlinson. At the same time I do feel that the media have successfully done their bit to stir the pot in what seems a constant lets make the police look bad again attitude.
Tomlinson died during the G20 protests. The first Post Mortem...
I wrote part 1 of this Blog yesterday and said that I would be writing a further one at a later date. When I said that I was not intending to write this one so soon but after a shift that I can only describe as mental last night I felt that I should strike whilst the iron is hot.
Yesterday I worked from 14:00 to 23:00 hrs in a custody suite that holds 16 prisoners. The building itself is old fashioned and does not have the luxury of intercom links between the cell and charge desk. Instead it has old fashioned buzzers that have to be answered by walking down the corridor to personally visit the cell. My shift yesterday saw me experience a mixture of worry, anger, frustration, hunger, as well as happiness. I can’t forget to add the bucket loads of constant stress!
14:00 – Briefing
Having unpacked my lunch box, put my epaulettes and given my colleague some stick for making a grade A cock up the shift before its time for briefing. The Custody Sergeant, my colleague and I are...
I am a proactive member of my team. I like to harrass, terrorise and scare the living sh*t out of the criminals on my Division. That said I am fully aware that policing is not all about locking people up and that the role is about dealing with people in a respectful and dignified way, even those who to put it blunt deserve a bloody good slap! There are a few reasons for it, but I am for a short while working in the Custody Department and boy am I seeing this vital area of the service in a different light.
I decided that I would Blog about this work as to be honest I really do not think it gets the recognition it deserves. That, and having read the recent article in the news of yet another G4S balls up that nearly cost a prisoner their life made me realise that the only time custody gets any publicity is when a prisoner dies or a complaint of excessive force is made and I wanted to try my bit to clear up some of the negative thoughts towards custody.
This is the first part of a staged Blog that I am writing covering community relations between the police and the communities that we serve. I have started with the Brixton Riots as feel that this was a very important mile stone in British history and the events of April 1981 can in some ways be linked to the recent rioting.
I will be examining what happened, why it happened, the lessons learned and what has changed since then. I hope that the mixture of text and video interviews is informative and educational.
London, January 1981.
A party is under way at 439 New Cross Road and in attendance are a number of black youths. It was Sunday the 18th of January, and it was a birthday party for one of the occupiers and they had music on as is the case in many parties. People were enjoying themselves but nothing could prepare the party goers for what would happen later that night.
Complaints had been received early on in the evening about the noise levels coming...
I woke up on the morning of 7/7. It was like any other day and I was due to give evidence in the local Magistrates Court for an assault I dealt with a few weeks before.I got up and got ready for work. I put my uniform on and went to the station as usual and got my kit on. I have spoken before about the unpredictability of a Police Officers work and 7/7 certainly reinforces that claim. NOTHING would prepare the Police for what would happen later that morning.
I arrived at court and as per the building rules my radio and mobile phone were switched off as I sat in the witness room with witnesses in the case and other Police Officers. I cannot recall the time but a Court Usher walked into the room. The man had a very serious face and for some reason I knew that what he was about to say was not good news. The Court Usher then said “You lot had better switch your radios on. Court is cancelled and you are all required to return to your home stations as a matter of urgency”.
When my radio had logged on to the network the first transmission I heard...