Wednesday, 30 January 2013

What have we got here, then?


A policeman on 'the beat' walking around our streets is now a very rare sight indeed. These days, they race past pedestrians in cars, deafening them with sirens as they make their way to the scene of some incident, or sit in a cosy van whilst clocking up multiples of £70 speeding fines by letting plate-recognition and radar do the job.

They are just about to start a recruitment drive, and the new recruits will be the first generation of coppers who do not have to spend a year or two plodding the streets before applying for a CID job, not that their predecessors have to any more either.

If you ask a senior officer what is going on, the general gist of the answer will be that they just cannot cope any longer, what with the cutbacks and paperwork, but if you dial 999 you will be put through to one of the many civilians who are employed by the force to take the burden of administration away from the officers, so that they can get out there and do the job.

Some forces are just about to order a batch of pellet-guns which fire a high-velocity, 20 gram lump of DNA at the suspect, and automatically 'tags' him/her so that the police can saunter around to the suspect's address at leisure - say, a week later - to pick him/her up.

The police say that this will allow things to cool off - as in a riot situation - so that they can question the suspect in a less confrontational situation, but I rather suspect that it has a combination of advantages over the more traditional method of feeling collars.

Because the police hardly ever get out of their cars these days, they can't run any more - unlike your average hoody. All they need to do with this gadget is wind down the window, as in a drive-by.

In the old days, if a suspect out-ran the police, they sent the local beat copper round the area to ask a few questions, but there aren't any old-style beat coppers any more, so 'police intelligence' (an oxymoron if ever I heard one) is now contained in the hard-drive of the station's computer. Regional forces being fiercely competitive, these data-bases are hardly ever shared between the forces unless it involves a matter of national importance, and even then a regional police force has to be compelled to give up vital bits of information which it considers to be it's own, hard-won and private property.

Of course, there has never been a better time to hand-pick university graduates to be fast-tracked through the police forces, as many of the degree holders find themselves stacking shelves or selling hamburgers when they leave the hallowed halls, deep in debt.

At least these latest recruits will have joined-up writing skills, but they may be hampered by an un-joined-up system when they first sit at the desk as a fully qualified Detective Inspector.

27 comments:

  1. Very well explained ... I've been trying to remember the last time I saw a member of the police standing where I could see him or her -- not counting Lewis or the rest of the television ilk -- I can't remember. It was probably in America. There you still see them swaggering round guns at the ready...

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    1. We only have them at airports these days.

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  2. Dear Tom,
    in Germany a lot of the police has to go by bicycle to be quicker. And girls always wanted to go to mounted police (they have not many horses). I definitely would not like their job (had many who gave it up, telling me: Each idiot in the street is telling us names, people are aggressive, stoned)and here the police doesn't earn that much).

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    1. It appears that you lack the knowledge of what it is like to be 'Stoned'
      Thus to be stoned is when you smoke so much marijuana that you are unmotivated to even move- and every muscle in your body feels like it's being weighed down by a huge weight like a stone.
      Therefore people who are stoned cannot be aggressive!

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    2. Whatever it is that you smoke, Heron, it obviously bears no resemblance to the skunk which is puffed by every hooligan in the country these days.

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    3. Heron should use his glasses: I wrote 'they' told me - meaning those policemen who gave their job up - and of course a policeman isn't allowed to get 'stoned' - and obedient to the law he may be forgiven to be inaccurate here :-)

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  3. Not very impressed with our Police Force then Tom ? ......... I have to say that we have quite a few on the beat around here so, I can't really complain about that.
    Has it hardened off yet ? I was a bit worried that your BLOW heater might set fire to your workshop, leaving it on overnight. XXXX

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    1. It has just started to harden - thank god for oysters and BLOW heaters.

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    2. Thank God indeed ........ had some oysters in the pub today....... lovely jubbly !! XXXX

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    3. I know a man in Southern Turkey who would give you a free meal in his restaurant if you could answer the question, "What does 'lovely jubbly' mean?" I couldn't, so never got my free meal.

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  4. Not only does one NEVER see a Gendarme on 'the beat' over here, but the Gendarmeries are usually conveniently locked from the inside.

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    1. You need to get a van-load of CRS parked outside your house all day and night, playing cards, like they do at the Sorbonne.

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    2. No thanks; but at least they stay in their vans.

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  5. I was indeed amazed when I was in Ireland in Dec that I went a week without seeing a cop. Iasked a pub owner about it. She said "Oh they are there, watching us...they are good at watching us" Not sure what she meant but is sure sounded mysterious.

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    1. I cannot take the Garda seriously - long hair and brown shoes? I thought they were traffic wardens.

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  7. In Monroe WI, (US) we still have cops that walk the town square and bicycle cops that patrol around schools and areas that are considered worthy of the extra effort. I can honestly say that our police force goes out of their way to be out in the public. This gets the general public comfortable with the officers and when something bad or sinister happens, the relationship that they've cultivated with the citizens of our community becomes an asset to their investigation. Not sure how it works in the more "metropolitan" areas, but in small town USA, the local law enforcement officers are our neighbors and friends.

    30 January 2013 09:35

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    1. I have seen off-duty US police shoot bank-robbers. I don't know if that makes me feel safe or not.

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    2. I guess that would depend on whether or not the guy was armed. (in my mind) The way I feel about it is...If you know that by robbing a bank you are running the risk of being shot, then you enter into robbing a bank thinking that's an acceptable risk. (I'm not advocating that they "shoot to kill".) Maybe just wing them a bit. :)

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    3. I wasn't being judgmental about it - I would do the same, I am sure.

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  8. We haves pleasant round faced plastic policeman who smiles broadly on his website photo
    Apparently he covers several villages in the county....
    I saw him once last year..he came to the flower show!

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  9. Ps he seems very nice....
    Mind you I have a thing for uniforms

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    1. I kissed a female police officer quite recently - with her consent. It was quite nice, actually, even though she wasn't in uniform. Tasted a bit like pork...

      A friend of mine got arrested - twice in one night - because he thought that the woman police officer who turned up to arrest him on his birthday in the pub was a strippergram, and gave her a good groping before he was tazered.

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  10. Where i live now is rural enough that police officers need to drive. I see them now and again drive up my street. I always wave hello, and they always wave back. Before i moved here full time, i came to the house for a winter visit and got my car stuck in the driveway. My snowplough man was a cop in my town (he has since moved up to being a sheriff for the county), and i didn't know many people, so i called him. He was on duty, and he and his partner arrived and helped me to move my car. He felt bad that my car had gotten stuck. He didn't realise it was so low to the ground and ploughed closer to the pavement after that.

    I thanked them and apologised for taking away from their ability to stop crime while they were helping me. "We are supposed to help ALL citizens," his partner assured me.

    I went around to the station next day with a box of sweets and a card as a thank you.

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  11. The last time a copper pulled me over and red stickered my car for having dodgey steering, I asked her if she'd ever driven a car without power steering.

    (She must have been about 15, okay maybe 22 and it didn't help me being a foot taller and cranky.) Her response was to point her torch/cudgel at me and say, 'You should respect the law!' and stalk off while I called in her sergeant, because all the other teenaged copper boys were waiting for a catfight.

    Later when I put the car over the pits, the mechanic said, 'there is nothing wrong with your car, darl. I'll just wipe that bit of oil off and pass it.'
    He charged me $400.

    She went back to work and the last time my house was broken into, nobody came. When I finally worked out where my stolen goods were, I had to go and get them myself!

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    1. It all sounds familiar. My mates who have moved to Oz recently were recently fined $600 for not stopping at a deserted T-junction, by cops hiding behind a bush waiting to catch people not stopping. Cunts...

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