Einstein : Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I've moved.

I've moved to here.


For those who have taken the time to view please feel free to try my new place.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


There appears to be a growing trend to add things to reports that are circulated.

This evil is the fashion to highlight things in the most irridescent, bright colours that can be found. Some reports are so bright you need sunglasses to read them.

We have had the hi-vis yellow tide ebbing and flowing on our streets to convince the public that we really are out there because just look, you can't miss the bright yellow jackets. Even in bright daylight, not just a health & safety thing at night.

The equally hi-vis yellow marker pens that appear to blight almost every report is surely not to convince us that there is more and more paperwork out there. I think we can work that out for ourselves.

We do not need hi-vis marker pen slashes to let us know there is too much paperwork out there. Not just the stuff that gets passed up or down the chain so everyone can see who has read what and who has marked the trendy buzz words or phrases. It even appears as grey blotches on emails and copies of messages sent by the internal mail network.

Hi-vis marker pens. They aren't big and they aren't clever.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Diversity Training.

A Sergeant, an Inspector and a Superintendent recently attended a Diversity Training event at a non-police facility within their Force area. During their allocated lunch break, rather than sit amongst the other participants, they decided they would go out for a stroll to take some air and generally discuss the proceedings.

As they walked past a line of shops, the Sergeant, being very observant, spotted an old dull metal lamp in the window of a second hand shop. He went in, asked how much and ended up buying it for a fiver. The Inspector and Superintendent laughed as they thought this was stupid and irresponsible. All three returned to the facility after their stroll and whilst the Sergeant was rubbing the lamp with his sleeve to remove some of the grim that time had accumulated there was a bright flash and a cloud of smoke. When the smoke cleared they saw a Genie who spoke to them.

"You are the holders of the sacred lamp of Alcobar. Each of you I will grant 1 wish"

The Sergeant was caught out in a state of shock but the Inspector was quicker on his feet and replied " I wish to go to a desert hide-away with every luxury I could imagine and stay there for a month".

There was another flash and the Inspector had vanished.

The Sergeant then said, nervously, "I wish to be taken to a tropical island paradise full of the most desireable women in the world, to be looked after for the rest of my life and suffer no ills".

There was another flash and he too, had vanished.

The Superintendent looked at the Genie and said, "I want those two back here after lunch".

Thursday, 18 October 2007


The trouble with swans is that they are sedate and graceful creatures that should be restricted to waterways to do what swans do. Swans should be left alone on rivers, lakes or other bodies of water. That way they are no harm to themselves or anyone else. Anyone who has had a close encounter with a swan will know just how nasty they can be when they are pissed off. The experts will tell you that they are stressed or frightened but if you do have one of these 'meetings' then I assure you that you will be the stressed and frightened one.

So when I get a call asking for Dog support and foolishly don't ask for some background info I learn a lesson. Because I am deemed to know a little about dogs itis assumed, quite wrongly, that I am an expert on swans. I am not.

I arrive at the location but have to go on foot the last 300 yards because traffic in the City is at a standstill and I assume, again wrongly, that some heinous crime might have been committed and there is a preserved and contained scene.

The offence is obstruction of the highway, a main highway near the City centre. Amongst the stationary traffic I can see a circle of people all moving this way and that. It reminded me of a school playground fight with the circle of baying kids egging on one or other of the combatants. The baying was efforts to avoid the flapping and snapping bits of the offender.

The huge relief of the officers upon my arrival was about the same as my huge surprise and...........disappointment, shall we say.

These guys had been telling everyone that once the dog handler arrives he is the animal expert and he will sort it out. Yeah right on there then.

Then I am in the chair, that chair, all alone and the spotlight is on me and then magnus speaks.............your specialist subject is swans. Then this deranged thing goes straight for me, no warning at all, I back off initially and begin to circle to buy myself some time. I can remember on the news seeing someone holding a swan in a blanket. Thats it, I'll use a blanket. I say to the guys, 'you got a blanket in the car ?'

'No, nights used it and didn't replace it'. So much for kit checks.

Thats it, plan A is a gonner.

I've got to be 'professional' as thats what the bosses tell us. No matter how deep itis, just be professional. Its their way of telling us we can do what we want but we mustn't drop in the shite. There you are, arses covered.

Plan B hatches almost immediately.

I must be professional. I remember I have no hat on. How are people going to recognise me as a Police Officer. This is only a minor distraction from the problem I face. I quickly forget about it.

I say to them, 'You pair move around to try to get behind it and I'll catch it from the side'

I think I can use my anorak as a substitute blanket, its not as big, it might protect at least some of me. They give me that smug look as though there is an idiot in the immediate vicinity.

I remove said garment and try to make it a lot bigger then itis and approach slowly but the guys seem frozen on the spot. I say ' do something just to distract it a bit'.

They begin to shout and wave their arms and the swan goes all flappy and honky and I lunge forward covering one flapping wing with my anorak but, to my enormous relief, grab hold of the business end, the white feathery boa of a neck with the hissing, honking snapping mouthpiece on the end. I decide I am not letting go. I try to get up but have only two levers, my legs. My arms are otherwise engaged for the foreseeable future. I manage to get to my knees and the crowd are clapping and the guys tell comms that the obstruction has been removed. It has from one place but not from me. What the bloody hell are we going to do now.

The least we have to do is to get the traffic flowing again, my van is a long way away and we agree I shall get into the back of the car, their car, to consider the way forward. We get into the car, there are two heads apparently stuck to the respective side windows and we drive away.

We hear from comms, there is a guy who deals with swan rescues and rehab and such, they are going to ring him for advice. They do and we can take the swan to a place also nearby'ish for them to take custody of the offender.

We get there and the guys alight as though they are on a footchase, they do open the door for me but I am left to struggle out. The swan is greeted by the new custodian who is oblivious to everyone else around and takes the struggling beast from me and walks back into his property. He returns after a short while with all his bits intact and the swan confined in some form of carrying harness straightjacket that is designed for swans, funnily enough.

He tells us that the swan appears to be stressed and frightened and may have sustained a neck injury as it crashed to the road mistaking it for a river because it had been raining and the sun was reflecting off the wet road surface.

This man knows far too much for his own good. Itis time to go.

No one got bitten, not even a pecked ear. The swan, apparently, was none the worse for its ordeal and I found a small amount of green mess inside the sleeve of my anorak when I put it on again.

One thing, trust me on this, don't mess with swans.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

PC Lee Armstrong

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC, you have restored a small amount of the faith I had lost that someone within the legal system has some common sense. Thank you.

New Dog

A colleague from a different part of the country sent me this. I must stress that this is not part of a new efficiency drive to reduce costs. Having said that, the food bill would reduce as we could go out catching chickens. The kennel space would be far smaller and only consist of a hole under the garden shed. I am beginning to think strategic here. There could be benefits somewhere. This would be a real plus with all the extra fox activity since the ban on hunting giving a seemingly endless supply.

What would you have done.

Put yourself in this position.

You are a manager who decides what resources to allocate to different 'target' needs.

You have two specific areas that you decide you need to provide support for.

The first is domestic burglaries within the metropolis.
The second is a vehicle safety related issue near a major travel related centre.

The resources you have at your disposal for these 'targets' are as below.

Dog Handlers and Traffic motorcyclists.

Now I would assign the Dog Handlers to the domestic burglary 'target' and the Traffic Motorcyclists to the vehicle safety related issue 'target'. To me this makes a lot of sense.

What would you have done ?