Blogs from Police &   
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Police: All For One

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

Yesterday’s Guardian newspaper included an editorial entitled Plebgate: stop digging .  This editorial contains two recommendations, both directed at the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW):

  • that the Federation should drop its challenge aimed at preventing the IPCC from reopening the investigation into the meeting between Andrew Mitchell and his local PFEW representatives;
  • and that it should stop funding PC Toby Rowland’s libel action against Mr Mitchell.

On twitter I said that, in terms of political awareness, I considered this to be good advice, adding the caveat that “if I were a member of @PFEW_HQ, I would disagree”.

I said this from a non-policing perspective but with some appreciation of the pain that the chain of plebgate-related incidents has caused to the vast majority of police officers.  It seems to me that the public have had their fill of plebgate, that the position espoused by aggrieved politicians is in the ascendency and that the press laps up every opportunity to criticise this most...

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Police: The Warm Body

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog
A few years ago, I worked for an engineering company that sold machines to customers all around the world. These were large, complex machines worth hundreds of thousands of pounds each. Getting one up and running on a customer’s site, known as ‘commissioning’, was often a difficult job in the best of circumstances. 
It was not uncommon, when a customer was making a nuisance of themselves, to send an engineer to site to placate the customer even if it was known that the engineer would be unable to fix the problem. Sometimes this was about buying time until a solution could be found, sometimes it was to hold the customers’ hand until they became more familiar with the machine. Often though, it was done to “fly the flag” when no solution was forthcoming. Customers often got less vociferous as soon as they knew an engineer was on their way.
This process became known in the ranks as “the warm body” routine. In nearly all instances, we could have sent someone with no engineering skills whatsoever (hence the “warm body”), stuck a company shirt on...

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Police: Frank Williamson & “The Fall of Scotland Yard”

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

‘When a policeman is doing his job, often difficult and frequently dangerous, he should be supported to the full by his senior officers and all law-abiding members of the community. When he breaks the rules, which he knows all too well, he should be dealt with according to the law. Until he does transgress, for God’s sake get off his back. He is doing a vital and responsible job, and he needs your support.’ Frank Williamson


On Saturday, 29 November 1969, The Times ran a story headed, “London policemen in bribe allegations. Tapes reveal planted evidence.”  The article alleged that three South London detectives had taken bribes, given false evidence in exchange for money and had “allowed a criminal to pursue his activities”

This story would, eventually, engender three major inquiries into corruption in the Metropolitan Police, producing in turn five major trials of London detectives. These revelations of deep rooted corruption forever...

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Police: Playing the ball: the real risks of Direct Entry into the Police.

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

Playing the ball: the real risks of Direct Entry into the Police.


In January, the Government went out to consultation on their proposals to introduce Direct Entry into the police.  The consultation closed at the end of March and the Government’s response to that consultation was published on 14 October.


The Government’s response states that the consultation process attracted more than 900 submissions but it is not evident that those submissions have had much effect on the original proposals.


The response makes clear that the Government remains committed to implementing fast track (to inspector) and direct entry (to superintendent) schemes which it believes will “offer an opportunity to attract the best talent to the police, bringing in new skills and ideas from other professions”.  There is also a plan to enable Police and Crime Commissioners to employ Chief Constables from overseas.


This places the Association of Chief Police...

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Police: A G4S employee experience.

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

Last week I published a blog (reproduced here on manyvoicesblog to aid new readers of this piece) on my visit to Lincolnshire Police HQ to see how the partnership with G4S was coming along, one year in to the ten year contract.  I was surprised by what I found because the overriding impression of G4S is that of a company doing as little as possible to get the most profit available.  I definitely did not find that in Lincolnshire.  I asked someone who works for G4S, in the Policing arena but not under the Lincs contract, if they would write a little bit about their own experience of transferring to G4S. It is important to remember that this person already worked for a private company providing outsourced services to Police.  Neither my own writing or the piece below has sought to discuss outsourcing or privatisation.  Rather they seek to open a window on the reality of it – the good so that we might celebrate and replicate, but also the bad so that we might improve and change. Increasingly, I am learning that a good...

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Police: G4S & Licolnshire Police. A Modern Romance.

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

This time last year Lincolnshire Police were at the beginning of a journey many did not want them to embark on.  The groundbreaking contract between the Force and G4S had just begun, to a background of Olympic controversy and impending PCC elections.  Policing was in flux. The people of Lincolnshire could be forgiven if they found themselves worrying about the service they might receive from their Police Force and the officers and staff were rightly nervous but also demoralised. The partnership was in a harsh, unforgiving spotlight and the pressure for both sides must have been intense.  Privatisation of Public Services became seen as a stick with which the Government was beating the people and most especially, public servants.

 Reality is almost always a hop, skip and a jump from popular supposition.  Lincolnshire Police is still Lincolnshire Police.  It has not been privatised. Outsourcing has been common practice in all Public Services for many years now.  So why the furore over the...

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Police: Argumentum ad baculum

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

As he steps out of his vehicle, snow crunches underfoot, the crispness of the air irritates his sore throat, this is the time of year he does not mind wearing the bullet proof vest despite the  bulkiness, it adds to keeping warm a bit, coughing slightly he heads into the imposing structure preparing to start his workday.

The doors close behind him but this is not where he stops being just a member of the public, that happened years ago, when he joined the force.  That day was the last day that he could ignore the problems of others if he wished, or speak out openly about his workplace, or bosses, just to give a couple examples of how life changes in the pursuit of the desire to serve the public.  That day he swore to uphold the law.

Over the years he has been shot, stabbed, beaten, threatened, had various disgusting liquids thrown at or on him, more than a few Officers die in the line of duty or the ones who took their own lives, and those are just the things I know, there are others I can guess at, but you see it’s not often...

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Police: Letter from a Police officer to the Guardian

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

 On 4 March 2012, Ian Blair wrote anarticle in the Guardian describing police officer numbers as a “political shibboleth” and suggesting that excessive focus on the number of serving police officers acts as a “straitjacket” to police forces, preventing them from modernising. Since then, I have noticed a marked trend in Guardian comment pieces, demonstrated for example by Martin Kettle on 31 January (Theresa May has simply got on with the job of police reform), to accept as read that police officer numbers are a red herring and that there is no need for increased recruitment.

I am a police officer. I work in a busy CID in London. Some officers on my unit are investigating 26-28 crimes. There have been times when officers have had approaching 40. I am officer on the case for five separate incidents of GBH. These are not my only crimes; they are simply the most serious. Despite their importance, I am constantly distracted from being able to provide the victims with a proper service because the workload is so crushingly...

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Police: A Question of Trust

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

A Question of Trust

Let’s start with a little game…

Which of these is the odd one out?

Cate_Images (1)

Give up?

Okay, the answer is the computer. Police officers are generally trusted to use the other five things.

Batons, CS, fast cars, tasers, even guns. All capable of causing pain. Some even capable of causing serious injury or death. All capable of hitting the headlines through their use, influencing public opinion or affecting the reputation of the police service. All requiring those who use them to be professional and accountable for their actions at all times.
And there’s nothing wrong with that is there? It is right that police officers are held accountable for their actions, especially if this involves the use of force or coercion. Our police service is founded on the principle of policing by consent – therefore the public must be able to trust us to carry out our duties and it rightly follows that we must be able to justify our actions.

So, what’s the difference with the computer then? Actually, it is there to represent...

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Police: Fresh faces, old ideas

Written by RSS Poster manyvoices Blog

“We need to cut the bureaucracy and get back to fighting crime. So we’ve taken an axe to police red tape, saving up to 4.5 million police hours a year and getting the equivalent of an extra 2,100 officers back onto the streets. We need to give the police the freedom to use their judgement. So we’ve scrapped all police targets and given them a single objective – to cut crime “ Theresa May, Speech (9th October 2012)


​The brave new world of Police and Crime Commissioners is finally upon us. As the honeymoon period of glossy “getting to know you” photographs and hand-shaking tours of outlying stations and towns comes to an end, these new political beasts are starting to publish their draft Police and Crime plans for the years ahead. For those of you not in the know, these documents set out the plans for the Police and Crime Commissioners, their strategies and visions, which will be translated by the Police into reality.


​You will note from the Home Secretary, and latterly...

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Latest Manyvoices Blog Stories

All For One
The Warm Body
Frank Williamson & “The Fall of Scotland Yard”
Playing the ball: the real risks of Direct Entry into the Police.
A G4S employee experience.

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