And So It Is Told…!

daily_mailAnd so it seems that the Daily Bog Roll Mail story, as predicted, was a pre-cursor for another kick in the teeth and here it is.

The Country’s Cops look set to take another financial hit with news that the Home Office wants pension contribution rises to 13.5 and 11.5% from 1 April 2013. The Majority of English and Welsh officers – on the 30 year pension scheme (PPS) – face a 1.25% rise to their monthly contributions – up to 13.5%. If Police officers are on the newer 35 year scheme (NPPS), they face a 1% increase to a monthly contribution rate of 11.5%. In July 2011, the Home Secretary Theresa May consulted the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) on her proposals to increase the amount paid by police officers into the police pension scheme (PPS) and new police pension scheme (NPPS) by an average of 3.2 % over a three year-period beginning in April 2012.

Two Faced Politicians

Two Faced Politicians

Following representations by the Police Federation of England and Wales and Staff Side, the Home Secretary decided only to implement the proposed increase for the year 2012-13, with contribution rates for most officers rising by 1.25% for those in the PPS and by 1% for those in the NPPS. In making this decision, the Home Secretary did state that the Government was still committed to increasing police officers’ pension contributions in the following two years, but that she would consult the PNB on any further increases.
On Thursday (24 January) Police Minister Damian Green wrote to the Independent Chair of the PNB asking the Board to consider an increase in contribution rates for 2013-14, which would take effect from 1 April 2013.

The consultation on these increases will close on 20 February. The Police Federation of England and Wales stated it “will work with Staff Side colleagues to formulate a response to these proposals.”

Bloody Ridiculous!!

I have been extremely busy over the past couple of days which has meant that I have had my thunder stolen in respect to the latest plebgate events. Having said that, the Chair of the Metropolitan Police federation is only saying what I was going to say. What a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time the investigation into the incident involving Andrew Mitchell on Downing Street whereby 30 officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Professional Standards Department are to interview 800 Diplomatic Protection Officers. In case you missed it, Andrew Mitchell was reported by Police Officers as having sworn at them when they refused to open a gate on Downing Street asking him to use the pedestrian access. His response in swearing was the old I pay your wages type comment and also that the officers were plebs.

Andrew Mitchell pictured on CCTV leaving Downing StreetIn fairness to him, he denied it. There is no independent recording of the actual conversation so you made your own mind up. It intrigues me that Mitchell did not deny the abusive language but seriously denied the use of the word pleb. I often apply the missive, having been accused of making up stories in my own career, that if the officers on the gate really wanted to stitch him up would they use an innocuous word such as pleb? Of course not, so my opinion of the incident for what its worth sides with the officers at the gate.

Then came the cctv footage which showed that Mitchell was forced to use the pedestrian gate. Somehow, even experienced journalists managed to infer that from a silent video the words attributed to Mitchell could not have been used! However, it did call into question the evidence of one person who happened to be an off duty cop posing as a member of the public and present at the scene. Unfortunately for him, the cctv does not appear to show him there. Of course, the utter b*llocks being spouted now is that because he is accused of lying it must be the case that all the cops are lying. The reality of it is that the behaviour which Mitchell admitted should have led to his resignation not just the use of the word pleb.

mitchellIf it is true that now 800 officers are to be interviewed in this case then it is an expensive joke. However, we know that this witch hunt fishing for information over a poxy dispute instigated by a pompous MP will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and will demoralise all those involved. Why doesn’t Andrew Mitchell do the decent thing and insist to Hogan-Howe that the Met Police Professional Standards Department should wind their necks in and get on with law enforcement. That way he gets a bit of credibility back – far more than a pathetically posed snog of an Inspector in his local constituency

Guilty as Charged

Today I probably committed a disciplinary offence for which I could be sacked but, you know what, I couldn’t be arsed. I have had an experience which is seriously making me consider my future. I have a partner who has set up her own business with a friend where she goes to certain types of markets and sells often 3 days per week. These markets seem to be popular as my partner has indicated that she is doing very well at it. This morning, her friend who was to help her on the market rang, very early, to say she was ill. My partner was gutted because this particular event was one which was always well attended. So, what the hell, I decided that, because it was almost 40 miles from home and no-one who knows me would likely be there, I would go with her and help on the stall.

On the way we passed through a City centre. We stopped for some cash at a cash machine and I noticed broken glass and blood on the pavement a few feet away. I also saw a silver button with a Crown on it, probably an epaulette button rather than a tunic button but I picked it up to stop it being collected like a trophy. My mind wandered and I thought that some cop must have been involved in a fracas near this location overnight. I just hoped that the blood wasn’t his/hers.

We got to the venue and I was amazed throughout the day just how busy we were so it came as no surprise when the tally up at the end of it revealed that we had taken a substantial amount of money. A profit of just over £1000 to be split 70% to my partner and 30% to her mate due to their initial outlay. 5 hours work for £700 – not bad in my opinion but an average day according to her indoors. Considering that on the 16th November 2012 Greater Manchester Police Federation reported national Federation findings that 56% of the police in this country are considering whether they want to remain in the police. Well now, make that 56% + 1. What a great time I had speaking with people without worrying whether I was saying the wrong thing. I did not have to have eyes in the back of my head.

In January this year a Metropolitan Police survey revealed that only 47% of the Met were satisfied with their job. Another more damning statistic was that only 34% of the Met Police believe that they provide a good service. Yet still we need to cut and chop the service to bits. The Manchester Evening News uncover that road deaths are soaring following a significant reduction in Road Traffic Cops in the force, yet still Sir Pete cuts deeper.

I felt the silver button in my coat pocket and thought of my times dealing with drunken idiots, the blood and gore, the violence and the sheer stupidity that often symbolises an average weekend in the city. Then I thought of the great time I had had committing a misconduct offence and earning £700 in the process. No nights, three days a week, no blood, vomit or drunken dickheads, no pain, just early mornings and a great deal of hard work for two grand a week. On the other hand, I could stay as I am and have to work longer for less, have my pension reduced whilst I pay more for it, work for butterfly senior officers who constantly spout the ACPO mantra. Decisions, decisions?

Three Comments of Shame

Three comments sum up my difficulty with many un-informed commentators on the subject of arming the police. News reporting media should stop using people who really have not got a clue passing comment when they have no qualification or experience to do so.

The first comment was on Sky News at about 11pm Tuesday 18th September 2012. I wasn’t really paying much attention to the balding male who was giving his opinion to the question about arming the police. Until, that is, he said comments similar to the fact that he did not see that the police needed to be armed because the numbers of police being killed in recent years was reducing.

Think about this. His argument effectively suggests that whilst some police are killed but not many, then the basic protection a firearm may offer should not be afforded to the police. He was advocating an acceptable loss attitude!!! The Sky News presenter did not pick up on this, neither did the other guest on the programme at this point and it matters not to me whether the comment was intended to be made and accepted as it has been. Where do we get these people from who have the power to make such inane comment? Unfortunately, it is comment that people listen to from those who often have no experience or right to say what they are saying. If someone knows his name, please tell me in an email or a comment on the site. I need to send him and Sky News a complaint.

The second and third comment came from Sky News this morning. The lady who assists Eamonn Holmes to present the news decided to offer a couple of tweets in respect of opinion about arming the police. Once again, there were people there to object or comment but no-one did, including Jackie Hames who is now a TV presenter and a former detective. Therefore the tweets/comments have remained unchallenged.

The first tweet, second comment, stated that the opinion of the tweeter was that it would not have made a difference if the police were armed. How can he or she say that? Could it be that the offender knowing that armed police were likely to have a gun he might not have actually fired at them. Even if he had, could one of the officers have shot him in response before he fired any fatal shot, thereby saving both their lives? Should that decision actually be given to the women and men who put their lives on the line rather than the observations of a moron whose biggest life problem is whether his internet connection is working?

The second tweet, third comment, stated that the response by criminals to the routine arming by police would be that they would progress to bigger and bigger guns to fight back. This is absolute bollocks, pure and simple. Currently the British Police are unarmed except for a few specialists. In recent years since the mid 1980’s where the police have NOT had guns, the criminal element have progressed from knives, pick axe handles, baseball bats, handguns and shotguns to semi-automatic and automatic pistols and rifles. They have progressed to self loading handguns which can carry magazines up to 15 rounds and now, in Manchester, they have progressed to hand grenades. Listen so you understand. F*CKING EXPLOSIVES. Indiscriminate and substantial in their application against the person.

The second tweet buffoon needs to realise that the kudos of the average armed criminal is his ability to get a bigger gun than his rival. If he can afford a high calibre automatic weapon with a thousand rounds, he will buy it. He won’t refuse it because the police don’t carry guns. 

A criminal prepared to possess and use guns needs to know that his use will be met with a similar response. It is time to arm the police. Instead of viewing America as the typical arming scenario, we should look at Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, et al. Arming the police is called self defence. At the moment we are just experiencing slaughter.

A Day of Tragedy

Two unarmed police officers were murdered today in a most horrific way attending a routine incident in Mottram, Hattersley, an estate within Greater Manchester bordering on Derbyshire.

My sympathies go out to the family of both officers.

The routine arming of police officers is always resisted by politicians and criminals know this. Therefore, how can anyone justify the shooting of the officers and the exploding of a grenade in his attempt to escape. He was wanted for a previous shooting when a grenade was again used resulting in the death of a man.

This government and previous governments do not care one jot about the police. The senior officers appear to be in collusion with the government, happy in the reform of the police which is a phrase which means a reduction in the numbers of colleagues working alongside you. The same government and ACPO who want to reduce your pension and make you pay substantially more for that reduced pension. Yet, we always respond with courage, honour and pride in our attempts, in spite of everything, to make things better and to make things right.

I salute your courage simply to put on a uniform which instantly makes you a target for killers, newspaper hacks, politicians and senior police officers. Rest in Peace. We have all lost something today.

Rely on ACPO

In a remarkable display of no support to the ordinary rank and file officer, ACPO decided to release a press statement in respect of the current disquiet about changes to Police pensions. I produce it below in full or it can be read here:

ACPO lead for reward and recognition responds to the Government’s announcement on long-term reform of police pensions

ACPO lead for reward and recognition Chief Constable Simon Ash said:

“The changes to the Police Pension Regulations by the Home Office are broadly supported by ACPO, who have worked constructively with other stakeholders since March to ensure that the best possible balance is achieved for longer term reform whilst providing sufficient transitional arrangements. We will continue to support the process going forward, and continue to highlight key areas for the service.”

Work longer for less

For any officer who does not know what Simon Ash looks like I suggest you take a long look at him. This is an officer who is a classic example of what the public should fear about senior officer.

ACPO lay their cards firmly on the table. They do not give a toss about the officer on the front line. In fact they want those officers to work longer for less and they disguise it in the name of “reform.”  We all know that ACPO is not about improvement, it is about profit. The true colours of the ACPO rank have been laid bare over the Hillsborough tragedy and should now alert people to the real meaning of an unelected and unaccountable organisation who change the way your local police deal with your complaint and there is nothing you can do about it.

All cops know that ACPO and the senior officer rank is not to be trusted. A story in the Sun newspaper (for what it is worth) outlines an officer who is now retired and was present at Hillsborough and who has found out that his witness statement has been changed and submitted as evidence without his knowledge. I suspect there will be a number of other officers in a similar position. I reported a similar incident on this very site in March 2011 by my very own uPSD. Take a look here. This is the mentality of ACPO who see the front line as simple “cannon fodder” by serving a purpose and then to be thrown to the wolves. The ordinary copper is a honourable person. I wish I could say the same about senior officers, without morals altering reality to save their own skin and sod anyone who gets in the way.

Inspector Gadget

On a congratulatory note, one of the reasons I got into this was because I read the Inspector Gadget Blog. He pretty well sums up the problems faced by most cops but would never be told to the public by senior ranks. In fact, he tells it as it is. My congratulations go to him though because he has just passed the 11 million hits barrier whereas I am just below the 100,000 mark. I will keep trying to emulate my hero!!

The Thin Ended Wedge

ACPO President

I love it when a stupid idea comes back to bite you on the arse. Peter Fahy or Sir Pete as he would have you call him, is the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and also the Chairman of that well known business enterprise called ACPO. ACPO, for those new to policing circles is an acronym for the Association of Chief Police Officers but is actually an organisation that has non police officers in its ranks. ACPO are responsible for shaping the way many duties of the police and how they should be carried out. Ergo, it is quite feasible for an executive from private industry, once they are safely ensconced in a role which allows them to join ACPO, to develop and promote police practice despite having absolutely no experience or insight into police duties. Any dealings with your average HR official will lead most police officers to understand where I am coming from.

However, ACPO are an organisation who want to civilianise great swathes of police duties such as criminal investigation, statement taking, witness liaison and many, many other police duties. Then the idea rottweiler bites them on the bottom. In Manchester, Sir Pete’s current force, Securitas have begun setting up a private police force to patrol the streets of Manchester in uniform! Just read here for details. Sir Pete is now horrified because this private police force undermines his own power and stops him from being lord and master over everything he surveys, police-wise.

The private police force will have body armour and cameras but no powers to do anything……….as yet. No doubt that, in time, they will seek to issue the odd fixed penalty here and there and then control traffic, may be take the odd crime report. Pretty soon Greater Manchester Police will be just that, patrolling Greater Manchester and not the city centre where Manchester City Securitas Police will be in charge. Although they won’t be subject to the usual disciplinary code which is normally applied to warranted police officers dependent upon the direction of the wind.

Sir Pete then pipes up like a spoilt child bleating that this type of policing style is not what is needed in Manchester. He has been brilliant in cutting the crime figures for Manchester, no doubt justifying his most amazing knighthood (nobody saw that coming, I’m sure!). This must be stopped, it is a travesty and cannot be allowed to happen. So what have you got to say about his debacle then, Mr Securitas?

Sources at Securitas were surprised when told of Mr Fahy’s comments. One said: “We have been in dialogue with the force for a good 18 months about this during which time they have been very supportive.”

Game over. The shafters have been royally shafted!!