Recently Police Review informed us that,
concerning Tasers, Amnesty International has â€˜voiced its fears about growing
use of the less-lethal weaponâ€™ (given that â€˜lethalâ€™ is an absolute, how can you
have less-lethal? Itâ€™s like being less pregnant
or less dead). Well call me old
fashioned but I donâ€™t actually give two hoots what Amnesty International thinks
about Taser. They are entirely missing
the point that, although Taser is not perfect, it is much less likely to kill
the recipient than a 9 mm bullet, which
is the usual alternative. I cannot
remember attending an incident when a member of the beard-and-sandals brigade
flung themselves between an armed aggressor and their intended victim and until
I see that happen I would cordially invite the do-gooders to go away and
campaign for wider cycle lanes or something equally non-lethal. Faced with a knife-wielding maniac I would
rather have the opportunity to temporarily disable their motor functions with
something more potent than a...
Why on earth is there all this fuss over Derbyshire
officers having to speak German to their police dogs? After all, they donâ€™t need to learn many
commands, in my experience. â€œSitâ€, â€œGet
in the vanâ€ and â€œRun after that shifty looking bloke legging it over thereâ€
will generally suffice, with the added option of â€œLet go of his leg, heâ€™s lost
consciousnessâ€ for those IPCC moments.
As with everything else to do with the Police Force (as I still like to
think of the Job), what worked for the past 150 years is no longer good enough
for those who now hold the reins of power. Police dogs used to come in one form: big,
hairy and with sharp gleaming fangs, with names to make the villains tremble,
like â€˜Stormâ€™ or â€˜Gnasherâ€™. Now they come
in all shapes and sizes, and one of our handlers had an Alsatian called
â€˜Florenceâ€™. What kind of name is that,
for goodness sake? Clearly not a very
good one as Florence got herself...
in case you are confused by the bewildering array of talented individuals after
your vote for your local PCC, hereâ€™s my guide to those after your vote. I can almost guarantee the candidates will be
the same wherever you are.
Mick Spanner (Labour). Whilst
serving on the old Police Authority Mick opposed the Tory idea of PCCs as a
matter of principle. However, as the
post allows him to remain true to the traditional Labour ideals of wasting
public money and bossing people around, he feels ideally suited. Although secretly he nurses a grievance about
the Minersâ€™ Strike, he recognises a sinecure so will happily toady to the local
Chief Constable. Theme tune: â€˜The working class can kiss my *ss, Iâ€™ve got
the PCCâ€™s job at lastâ€™
Dorothy Hatpin (Conservative).
â€˜Dottieâ€™ had never realised that Britain needed PCCs, until that
nice Mr. Cameron told her so at the Conservative Party Conference, so it must
be right. Being barking mad...
One of the banes of the average police officerâ€™s life
is the resident loony. We all know one,
or more usually we know a whole busload of them. I have one such at the moment who contacts me
regularly, complaining about being harassed on the internet. Not only that, but she has made sure that our
local MP is kept updated so that he has to worry about it as well. This has been going on for months apparently,
with the lady in question actively contributing her many and various thoughts
and opinions to various forums and being roundly abused for her troubles. Bless her; it has never occurred to her to
stop using those forums and switch to one that is less contentious. Somehow it
is all my fault that the police canâ€™t stop this abuse. Fortunately, by diligent investigation, one
of my team tracked down one such abuser who lives in another force area, and he
received a harassment warning for his troubles.
He has now made a counter-allegation of abuse and harassment by the lady
in question. The latest product of...
My thanks to a diligent colleague in the Met who has passed on a draft copy of the Home Secretary's New Year message to the troops. It was apparently recovered along with sundry other Cabinet papers, from a litter bin in St. James' Park.
"First of all I would like to recognise the hard work and sacrifices most police officers and staff have made over the past year. You have provided security and support for politicians as we went about our important business of enjoying free lunches whilst telling the public to tighten their belts. In particular, you kept the great unwashed Rentatrot activists and trouble-makers away from the Conservative and Lib Dem party conferences. You nobly stood in the path of incoming eggs and detritus when we visited your towns and cities, thereby removing the necessity for any of us to 'do a Prescott' and thump the lights out of any protestors. Talking of protests, thank you for putting your lives on the line during the riots, or 'Summer of Complimentary Retail Therapy' as the party...
Apparently 130 of our colleagues are seconded to the UK Border Agency (the re-branded HM Customs 'n' Immigration, now with added Inland Revenue). I bet, as Michael Caine would say, that not a lot of people know that. Well we do now. So what will they be doing while we are all busting a gut on Wednesday, watching lawful protests and catching bricks in unlawful ones? Well, they will be checking passports of course. Why, you might ask. At the end of the day they are police officers and when we are short staffed, should they not do what they do best, which is still be police officers? I'm sure we've got plenty of people from outside agencies seconded to work with us but we don't give them a set of cuffs and send them out on the beat, do we?
In any event, should we be used as strike-breakers for anything other than saving life and limb? Last time I checked, UKBA wasn't a blue light service. As has been suggested in the media, when it has suited them, UKBA has perhaps taken a less stringent attitude to passport checks in the past so...
Bernard Hogan-Howe, esteemed Commissioner of the Met and all-round man of steel, has suggested that more tazers could be made available to officers across his Force. At the moment the popular scrote-zappers, nicknamed 'stun guns' in the press, are the preserve of specialist officers, including firearms teams. However, Bernie the Bolt infers that it might be useful if they could be easier to get hold of if you are an officer facing a deranged weapon-wielding maniac. Without tazers, there is an option gap between trying to baton the psychopath into submission, which involves getting up close and personal, and shooting them, which involves reputational risk, court cases and rioting. So you would think that most people would see tazers, which are rarely fatal, as a good thing to use against lunatics with machetes and samurai swords. But no, voices of dissent come from do-gooders in the London Assembly and even Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Where's the support when you need it? If a member of...
I have to say I've always been somewhat skeptical about the concept of restorative justice. The toerag who does you over gets off with it for saying 'Sorry. I had always imagined that every such instance would involve. A do-gooder sitting down with the semi-literate halfwit concerned and dictating a letter indicating shame and remorse, even if these were not actually the emotions felt by the offender. Clearly not in every case however.
West Yorkshire Police have published a letter which slipped through the Victim Support net. In it the young scrote told his victim it was all their fault for leaving the curtains and window open. Someone should have explained that there is a difference between something being easy and it actually being right. Fortunately the letter didn't get sent on to it's intended recipient. I wish I could be certain that the spotty idiot was put back before the court and given a dire punishment, but I'm not.
Just to remind you, in case you could possibly have forgotten, the final edition of Police Review is out now. The editor, as a parting short to the British police service, ACPO Press Office and the Home Office, allowed me free rein to write until I ran out of useful things to say. Buy a copy if you can, and put it on one side for your grandchildren. I'm sure they would prefer a large wedge of cash, but who knows how much the final PR might be worth in a few years.
Now I'm on my own, apart from all of you, so please keep updating me via e-mail, the Guestbook button on this site or on Facebook. What, I wonder, will all our Press Officers do with their time now? Answers on a postcard please...