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 ?


I'm sure you've heard people talking about religion on the news or the radio and have formed the view that anyone who even thinks anything to the detriment of a certain religion is castigated as one of the 'ists.

Well this guy has his own views, as we all do. He talks some sense with a little humour.


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Harm or Hazard ?

Alcohol, harm or hazard ?

That is the dilemma I have after todays news.

Alcohol excesses are spoken about in this way but what is the difference ?

Too much is harmful, I agree.

Too much is a hazard if you get pissed and wander all over the road risking injury or death. Climbing of scaffolding to retrieve balloons is a definate no no, even if dressed as Captain Marvel. This is a potential hazard but definately harmful if it all goes horribly wrong.

I can only presume that this is some neat marketing trick by the Government to justify some costly research and then use this to raise taxes to deal with the effects but really to syphon the funds to another more politically deemed worthy cause.

Let's see, increase in duty on booze or a income tax hike ?
Perhaps even both ? Either way its bound to cost.

Run wild, run free.

It seems that research shows that children who are not subject to parental control, who come from troubled family relationships and other background reasons are allowed to grow up to become the thugs and anti-social hooligans of tomorrow.

Ask anyone who has Policed our society for a number of years and they too could have come up with this exact point. You don't need to be a professor or hold a degree in one of the 'ologies to be able to come to this same conclusion.

The cycle of disorderly, anti-social violent and disrespectful behaviour begins at home, is endorsed and allowed to flourish by a society that fails to challenge and stop this menace.

Parents who allow this to thrive and challenge every attempt to stop it have meant that other areas are useless in developing good behaviour. Itis claimed to be the fault of everyone apart from the parents because too many fail to see or accept the responsibility that goes with raising their children.

Sadly those who take the time, effort and responsibility seriously appear to be getting more and more of a minority.

The triangle of learning and respect begins its most important phase in the home environment, supported and developed by the schools and followed up by the Police who represent the laws of the land.

It seems on too many occasions that the Police now cater for the increasing number who fall through this net. The net is full of holes that seem to get ever bigger.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Bureaucracy ? Whats all that about then ?

Thanks to a comment posted on one of my posts by Steve Roberts I have had a look at this posted on his blog Abundant Harmonies:


I think he has a valid point. In fact I think he has several valid points.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


'M' District is being hit by another spate of vehicle crime. We are able to read the daily crime intelligence and hit on the subject before the analysts recognise the trend and send the info to who ever presents it at the monthly management meeting. The groups are putting out a plain car and a couple in plain clothes out on foot in the area to see who is about and try to turn stuff up. They have the luxury of one and six on nights. As much time as I can make free I am there as well waiting for a snifter and to back up the troops. This is how we do this thing called Policing. Response who want to catch the bad guys and skippers who fully support that attitude. Everyone else there to offer the specialist skills when they are needed. Teamwork I think its called.

I hear the unit call in a person on foot and I am not far away so start to drift that way, its called self deployment and is sometimes not the tool of choice for some.

I hear the sound of an approach for a stop turn rather quickly into a footchase, I'm following the locations trying to anticipate the likely route and itis clear that local knowledge is keeping this guy ahead of his pursuers. Then nothing. They have lost him. I make for the last sighting, not calling up the pursuers incase they are lying low and I don't want to give their location away by their radios relaying my call, just in case they are that close. I get near and wait for only a few seconds, they must have heard the van and decide to call me. Dog vans are not made for silent approach.

We RV and I get the story, tried to stop a male with haversack acting suspiciously near a line of cars and he is off on his toes. Came around a corner and its as though he has been beamed up somewhere. Luckily for me they knew I was about and never started the search for themselves.

Its very windy, they can't understand why I've asked them to split up onto different corners and why I've gone to the far end of the street to begin my search. I set the boy up, give my challenge to give matey a chance to give himself up. Nothing. I send him and he is away, criss crossing the area in front of us, zig zagging across the wind, he is hunting. Not for food but for his quarry, for me, for the team.

Quickly the signs are that someone else is around, close, very close. My friend vanishes through a gap in a fence,I hear scrambling and a deep growling bark as he closes in. Matey boy is suddenly up over a high fence and off down the road, I go to where my friend is trying desperately to get over the fence but he is too close to get a good jump. I help him over, shouting at the world to keep still and my friend fixes his sights and sets off after his quarry. I get back onto the street at just the right time to see matey boy vault a fence that must have been 8 feet high and out of sight. I get there, help the dog over, even manage to get over myself and then see matey garden hopping several gardens away. This is a good game, we deicde to play as well. Not exactly hot fuzz but we follow on just the same. At the end of the line of houses there is a ditch, a wide ditch, in the distance there is a shape running, my friend clears the ditch but I do not. I wade through the half I cannot clear and I am chasing my friend chasing his quarry, across a large grassed area. The running figure disappears into the hedgeline. When I get there I hear nothing. I see nothing. It is dark and still. After all itis late. I know my friend. He uses the wind and will try there first. I feel the breeze to my right so I head right. In the distance I hear my friend, the sound of his frustration carries a long way. We are at a high metal gate and fencing. We get over, I harness him up and begin to track. I follow him following his quarry. We go on for what seems like ages but in reality is a matter of minutes.

I know as we approach the brambles that we have been successful. My friend knows he has been successful. He begins to growl and then bark as we approach. We stop just short and I shout for our quarry to come out and lie on the floor. I tell him who I am. If he does exactly what I say he will be fine. If he runs again I will send the dog after him. This time everything is in my favour. I tell him this. His eyes tell me exactly what he is going to do. I tell him not to even think about it. The dog wants to bite him if he gives the chance. He's off again, he is quick but not quick enough. I hear the thump as he crashes to the ground, followed by the yell as he realises that he is not going to get away this time.

A couple of response are well chuffed. This was a great stop for them and they are pleased with my support. I search the route we have gone and recover a haversack, torch, tools for the trade and several car radios. Luckily all they want from me is a statement and a copy of my book.

I will sleep well in the morning.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

ACPO concerns.

It appears that heads have been above the parapet concerning a variety of statistics that can be wrongly interpretted and Forces unfairly criticised.

If I believe the reports, Chief Constables have raised objections over rules that seem to pander to ethnic minority groups.

Home Office figures allegedly show show that officers spend more than a third of their day attending meetings, preparing evidence of dealing with bureaucracy.

The framework for producing these 'vital' statistics is a comlplex one, somewhat bureaucratic (no surprise there then) costly to Forces to administer and can be misinterpreted.

Police minister Tony McNulty admits that curbing Police Bureaucracy remains a work in progress.

Ken Jones, the ACPO president has many concerns at these published figures but also believes that centrally compiled statistics returns cannot hope to fully reflect concerns that communities may have or the wider complex threats to society. Fair play to you Ken for raising this important issue.

I know this much.

With Government Ministers and some Chief Constables continually claiming to want to reduce bureaucracy, there is no actual reduction in the amount of centrally complied statistics that are submitted by individual officers. The tide of bureaucracy flows ever one increasing way and over the head of individual officers. This is something that we are told to do and is expected from us. Regardless of an individual officer's views, this is what the management want and there is hell to play if forms are not submitted when required, either daily or monthly as the case may be.

The danger is that Chief Constables will see what areas are in the spotlight for hitting the right performance scoring areas in the next tactical or relevant period and deal with these issues to try to avoid being penalised as a result of missing the perceived hot issues. This sounds like political direction as opposed to reacting to needs of society and the community as a whole.

Stop & Search

It seems that there might some new stop & search going on soon.

What heinous crime are we looking towards ?

Those criminals who dump their weekly rubbish unlawfully ?
Those who put out more than someone thinks they should ?

Will it fall into the 'detectable' category ?

I suppose somewhere down the line there is some financial saving to be had by reducing the amount that households will be allowed to put out for collection.

Less to collect, less to dispose of, less staff, less vehicles, less
maintenance etc etc etc.

The obvious thing seems to be that this will only encourage some in society to dump it anywhere they can.

Any savings will then be taken up by extra work for some to dispose of this dumped garbage. There will be the council wardens whose responsibility it will be to exercise these stop & search powers for vehicles used by suspected dumpers. How are they going to stop vehicles for searching, seize and impound such suspected vehicles ? Where are they going to store the vehicles when they are impounded ?

I wonder what sort of form they will have to fill in for statistical or other reasons.

I also wonder what self classification rubbish dumpers will opt for. Where will the forms be stored ?

I also wonder who will come along and sort out all the crap when it all goes pear shaped.

Why not just retain the weekly collections and avoid all the trouble, extra inconvenience, crap dumped all over the place and the extra expenses that will be incurred.

Give that man a prize.

The correct answer was............................

Stan still, you are correct.
Go out and buy yourself a nice cake.

The first was a dog and the second was a human.

Stan........nice to see you are still in circulation.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Two patients.

Two patients limp into two different medical surgeries with the similar complaints.

Both have a great deal of trouble walking, both are in considerable pain and appear to need a hip replacement. This is later confirmed following all of the relevant examination processes.

Patient 'A' is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the very next week.

Patient 'B' sees his family doctor after waiting over a week for an appointment after a telephone consultation. Then waits four months to see a specialist, then after another 3 months gets x-rays completed. These aren't reviewed for another 6 weeks and finally surgery is scheduled for 9 months from that time.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

Saturday, 6 October 2007


I have recently visited a large organisation and sat a while in the plush surroundings awaiting the arrival of one of the directors for a bit of a chat.

We talked at length about the macro economy, micro economy and the social economy.
This guy had a degree in economics or someting technically superior to my grasp of reality. I found out that almost all of the consideration for most decisions was given to the first two and the social effects of many of these policies did not warrant full consideration.

The savings gained by employing less well trained staff turned into a financial loss which more than doubled that saved in the initial one off saving. This was by the increased training needed, new corporate uniforms, their inability to deal with a lot of the work they should really be able to do and as a result an increasing workload was placed on the shoulders of other employees, sometimes other departments, they even got new vehicles for christ's sake.

I found out that the Chairperson has become concerned about the job of her ordinary employees becoming submerged under a heavy bureaucratic burden.

She ( a she for the plot) has made several publicised statements explaining her desire to remove these unnecessary burdens in the hope of making things more efficient by removing this problem. She does not appear to have made this clear to her Directors and regional managers.

The Directors and regional managers still seem more concerned with statistics and targets as well as the heavy bureaucratic burden of multi-duplicated adminstration
that goes with such an important process. They regularly inform their staff of the importance of such targets and the deadlines for submission so that they can discuss these at their meetings.

I learnt that in the despatch department they were failing to meet their performance targets. They were all roundly flogged and a new and dynamic method was put in place to help their strategic strategy. They decided to increase the number of deliveries for the delivery department so they could be seen to be up to the mark and hitting their targets. The Director of the depatch department would get the credit for this dramatic increase in performance and service delivery.

At the next monthly meeting of the Directors, the Director in charge of delivery was roundly chastised because his (a he just for the plot) department had failed to meet their target and deliveries were delayed and some long overdue. He raised the issue of an increased delivery workload with no additional staff or vehicles. He had new adminstration systems put in place that he had not yet trained his department in. He agreed to see what could be done to increase his departments performance before the next meeting to ensure he was seen to be promoting the brand and the strategic corporate goals.

At the next meeting he announced that he had improved his performance target figures everyone seemed happy. He had done this by restricting his delivery staff to their old style of service delivery, in so much as their did one job at a time, did it well and with great care for their customers. His satisfaction figures were also back to their former levels. Even though the director had to take staff away from their prime functions to gather this statistical information, analyse it and forward it to other departments he was still able to improve his department's performance because his staff were dedicated, loyal and hard working. They covered for the loss of staff and made his department a success. The director got great praise from the Chairperson and a financial bonus as well. Well done.

Sadly, the despatch department incurred the wrath of the Chairperson as they had, again, fallen behind against their performance targets. I understand that they are thinking about reorganisation with their department as this is another new and radical way to sort out their problems. I believe that they may even consider a merger to help cut costs and make a considerable efficiency saving.

Does this sound at all familiar ?

As Einstein said, "Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted."

On my way out I saw that this company were recruiting, I also saw several vacancies advertised in the local press. I though about a bit of a career change but as I looked I saw that none of the posts were for the jobs I had expected from such a large organisation. They offered wonderful conditions but the prospect did not really appeal to me. I could facilitate, administrate, monitor a whole range of things, advise, ensure compliance of a whole range of other things, support and assist in other areas, work with multi-agencies, record things and work in a dedicated team managed by a team leader. Sadly none of this was what I really wanted to do.

Suddenly my interest faded and I tried to find my car in the vastness of car park central. Some jobsworth had put a ticket on my screen because I had allegedly parked in the wrong place even though I was at the car park extremities and there were actually some spare places, even on a Wednesday. CCTV would be examined and I would be informed of the consequences.

Friday, 5 October 2007


A group of young students were on a bus discussing the burden placed on society by the older generation of pensioners. One of the pensioners took great exeption to some of the comments and stated that he thought it was impossible for some of the older generation to understand todays younger generation and vice-versa. Things had changed so much during the years between their ages. As he was explaining the student interrupted him.

"You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one," the student said, loud enough for all his friends and most of the other passengers to hear.

"The young people of today grew up with colour high definition digital television, high quality music on CD's and MP3 players, jet travel, space travel, trains that have never travelled faster, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing and ..."

The pensioner interrupted him and said "You're right, son. We didn't have those things to enjoy and marvel at when we were young.......so we invented them. What are you doing for the next generation?"

The applause was resounding...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A,B,C, its as easy as 1,2,3.

Well its interesting when you speak to colleagues from other areas or Forces and see that itis not only you that has a rather large volume of paperwork that you feel is irrelevant, unnecessary and adds to the burden of paperwork you already have to do as part of your effort to justify yourself. The management line appears to be that this is highly relevant to do and is essential. Essential for who ? Essential to what goal ? Certainly not to anyone who has to complete them, apparently.

I now understand what the unwelcome envelope that arrives for some contains, when they dare open it, not an invitation to a late night candlelight supper or free cinema tickets but something else, a little more daunting and unwelcome. The additional level of time taken to complete said forms always seems to go down very well with the protagonists. Unlike the 5 minutes a day itis alleged they will take.

Its as easy as 1,2,3. Do you believe that ?

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Q. If you were to spell out numbers in English, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?

A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

A. All were invented by women.
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.

When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Monday, 1 October 2007


I have been deeply touched by the numbers of responses to my 90 minutes post. This post was real and was spawned by the demise of my ex-partner who enjoyed a short retirement of only a couple of years with me before illness dictated the unfortunate course of events. Now over 60 comments is a record, for me anyway, this far exceeds anything else I have received.

I would like to thank all those who took the time and effort to visit, especially those from the Gadget pages following the post there.

Anyone who has forged a close relationship with one of our canine friends will understand the deep feelings towards an animal that asks nothing but gives everything
for seemingly little or no reward.

Anyone who has had the good fortune to work closely with such an animal and spend more time with it than you spend with your family will understand my sentiment.

Anyone who has had the even better fortune to work with a colleague who will follow blindly and is willing to protect you without question will understand the trust and depth of working relationship we have with our dogs.

We are lucky, lucky people. I have been very fortunate indeed to have been in such a position. I have parted company with other dogs, but not in the same emotional way.
Some dogs are special. This one was definately was.

I have been, shall we say, out of circulation and it was the Gadget post on the enormous and willing support we get from our 'non-police' support/admin colleagues that has drawn me back to the keyboard.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

90 Minutes

I hear the phone ringing, I wait for an answer. My mouth is dry and I don't want to speak. I can't remember dialling the number. Eventually it is answered just as I am about to hang up and delay the inevitable. My misplaced human sentiment rises to the surface again. I try to talk and explain who I am, what the problem is. The voice on the other end is calm, politely reassuring and knows how I feel. They have seen and heard this a hundred times. I get my time and the count down begins.

90 minutes is an awful long time.

The journey is only a fraction of that. 90 minutes is about as long as a football match. No time at all if your side is 3-0 up but an eternity of torment if your side is 3-0 down.

My 90 minutes of torment has begun.
Every second seems like a minute, seems like an hour, a day, a week.

My friend is not well. He is very not well.

We have seen lots of things together.
We have done lots of things together.
He has saved me from many things and ensured I
returned home. I owe him a lot.

Now I must take him for his last journey.

I cannot explain how such relatively short and slow journey turns out to be such a blur.

I enter the place that has made my friend better on several occasions but that will now stop his suffering because they cannot make him better any more.

They know. They take me to a small room when I walk in and close the door.
They are sympathetic. They care about what they do.

It doesn't take long but it seems to take forever.
My friend is gone. I'm going to miss him, a lot.

90 minutes was an awfully long time.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Obligations, part 2.

I am here today to pay tribute to you, to the forces you lead, to the local police authorities you work with, and above all, the 140,000 police officers and police staff who each day take responsibility for the protection of all our citizens.

Over the last year I have seen close at hand, in all areas of the country and in the last few days meeting police in Liverpool, in Birmingham, and the Met in London - your great achievements.

Your day-to-day work combating crime and ensuring safe communities.

Your one-to-one work with young people at risk of wasting their lives in crime, and
your achievements from the local to the global, uncovering and thwarting terrorist conspiracies, bringing major national and international crimes to justice.

We place in your hands our homes and our safety and security. We expect you to risk danger and sometimes your lives on our behalf - with the recent tragic deaths of PC Ricky Gray and PC Jon Henry reminding us again of the bravery and the sacrifice that is required in the line of duty.

There is no more fundamental right than the right of a citizen to be safe and secure.

So there is no greater responsibility than that which you as police officers accept.

And there is no greater obligation for us in Government than to support you in discharging that duty.

Who said this ? Gordon Brown. There is also that word again. Obligation.

He said more.

Tough on crime.

Between 1986 and 2000 Michael Porter admitted gross indecency and indecent assault offences against young boys as young as 18 months. He was recently convicted and sentenced to a three year rehabilitation order. He escaped a custodial sentence.

He has had mitigation for his circumstances by the fact that he came forward and admitted his involvement. The judge belived it to be an exeptional case because Porter had already received therapy.

He is banned from being alone with anyone under 18 years of age and has been put onto the sex offenders register.

He is a paedophile. He abused the trust of friends and work colleagues.

Apparently he left the court hand in hand with his wife.

The founder of the Victim of Crime Trust believes that this sentence absolutely beggars belief.

This was not a minor theft or damage. This was a series of serious sexual offences against innocents who could neither protect themselves or prevent these terrible things taking place.

I have no idea of how the families of the victims feel about the severity of the sentencing. I can guess. Itis my guess that they are not impressed.

The morale of the story ?

The Ant and The Grasshopper


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool. He laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

BBC, ITV, SKY news, Channel 4 & even CNN, show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The British public are stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, so civilized and prosperous this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

The grasshopper is immediately accorded victim status.

The telly tubbies appears on children's TV with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." along with other anti-ant songs.

Representatives and supporters from the various minority Political institutions stage a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." The Archbishop of Canterbury leads the group to kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Tony Blair exclaims in an interview with Jeremy Paxman that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both agree that an immediate stealth tax should be levied on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the European Commission, pushed by the UK MEP's drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The grasshopper seeks and is awarded legal aid to take his case to the European Court of Human rights.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. The Ant is left branded a grasshopperist and as a result of so much negative press is unable to begin to work to rebuild his life.

Cherie Blair gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of High Court judges that Tony Blair appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case. The grasshopper is awarded costs and a sizeable compensation package that leaves the ant financially crippled. The grasshopper employs an agent and is able to secure book & film rights and several lucrative sponsorship deals.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the local authority low cost housing property he has been given, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is later found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: You can decide this one.

Of course this is all totally untrue and non-factual. A complete work of fiction.
How could it be anything else ?

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Isn't it nice to hear government mouthpieces making reassuring statement about their obligations.

Trouble is, these seem to be towards the Iraq & Afghanistan population and not to things on the domestic front.

Oh yes. The prison officers have gone out on strike after being ignored for too long
and not being taken seriously by, the government, funnily enough.

What was that about obligations ?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in Vegas but there are more Catholic Churches than casinos.

Not surprisingly some worshippers at Sunday services give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed around.

Since they get chips from many different casinos the churches have devised a method to collect the offering.

The churches send all their collected chips to the nearby franciscan monastery for sorting & then the chips are taken to the casinos of origin & cashed in.
This is done by the Chip Monks!!!!

You didn't even see it coming did you?

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

The seemingly unstoppable tide of youth crime has taken another turn with the sad and unfortunate death of an innocent 11 year old in Liverpool.

Because the victim was so young the slide into a so called new abyss of bad behaviour has been identified and hit mega headline news. This is becoming a now constant stream of bad news on an almost daily basis and definately sad reading or listening.

The renewed call for yet more police officers on the beat is answered by the statements that police numbers have increased year on year under whatever government is in power.

All this seems to forget that following a report by the audit commision some years ago police officers on the street were not deemed an effective use of such a resource, presumably because they performed a service in such a way so as not to have anything to measure. Funny that, as we provide exactly that, a service. To compare and judge along the lines of business is stupid and irrelevant and is only done to follow a trend in trying to appear more efficient and productive. We don't sell stuff, although we probably will soon, we give a service. It seems that the community either tolerate us because they have to or hate us because we are the only thing between civil obedience and anarchy of a lawless society that they want. Funny how some of them still complain when stuff happens to them.

Take away service to the community and replace with all sorts of targets to copy industry standards at the same time as saving as much money as you can. Add to this the ball park figures that the mouth-pieces state that this or that government has spent (in real terms, I nearly forgot that bit) and you reach the position where ever increasing numbers of officers have been taken away from walking their beats and reallocated to other trendy targets by a hoard of teams, squads and other groups.

The normal everyday response goes on relentlessly.

The normal everyday association with a regular officer in an area is almost lost.
A sudden return to this would still miss out on several years of local knowledge that the current organisation of resources has lost in all but small pockets. Very few officers spend all or most of their career on the same beat or area. The close relationship with the community is lost.

All this is because of saving money and an ideology of someone with a business brain and little or no regards for the style and quality of policing that was in place at one stage. This was deemed to be old fashioned and outdated. In my view just excuses for saving money and changing what service was provided for something more manageable, more statistically accountable and less of a service than it used to be.

Modernisation, better use of equipment and resources, able to better react to our changing society etc etc etc.

Society has changed, there is no doubt. More cars, more availability of cars, more people who have no social conscience, more people who care nothing about anyone but themselves and more people who condone and support lawless and antisocial behaviour.
Less and less people who stand up or challenge the unacceptible.

Yet the one consistent thing is that itis always somehow someone elses fault. Mostly, it seems, the police but if not then always someone elses fault.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. With action comes responsibility.

Breach that responsibility and nothing will happen to you, again and again and again.

This is the message we seem to be giving as a society.

I guarantee that the bad and disturbing news will continue because within the trends of generational growth the standards always get worse. The boundaries always get pushed lower and lower. What shocks gets ever worse. The ones who suffer most are the victims, the real victims, not those who claim or are given a variety of victim status but at the same time shelve all personal responsibility for their actions.
Again the actions of the minority have such a profound and negative effect on the lives of the majority.

I listened to a liverpool MP talking on the radio and what he said made a lot of sense. Even then the reported disagreed just for the sake of taking an opposite view.
There is a breakdown in families that is some part responsible for our declining standards of behaviour, along with the violence and filth and mindless trash that is available to watch by way of TV or computer games. Of course there will be 'no real & conclusive evidence' to support this but then again there never will be.

We've got too much opposition in this country and something needs to change.

But, then again, we got everyone's human rights to consider and people in jobs to justify their existance. Perhaps lets just stick to targets, everyone is happier about that.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

motorway madness

For the last several weeks I have been hearing on the radio at work, on a daily basis, about yet another RTC, formerly RTA that has occurred on the motorways or major roads, sometimes even both, of the road networks that run through my area.

The mayhem, inconvenience and untold delays these events cause to other road users are one symptom of events that occur that involve serious injury or all too often fatalities. Whilst suffering the inconvenience of delays itis all too easy to forget the feelings of those who have suffered loss & injury. We refer to this nowadays as life threatening or life changing as opposed to major, serious of very serious likely to be fatal.

This occurs every year during the main holiday season, regularly and without fail on an annual basis.

Two things strike me, also on a regular basis.

I am amazed at how some of our community are so heartless and selfish to the plight of others. Some treat death and serious injury as no more than a whim. I doesn't affect them so they don't give a toss. I am amazed at the total lack of consideration that others of our community show on the roads, often bordering total contempt.

I am also amazed at the levels of blatantly poor or dangerous driving, some of which is behind a lot of these accidents-collisions that disrupt what should be a time of people enjoying holidays.

Combine the two things and there is a recipe for disaster.

People who normally only drive short distances and the general intolerance and lack of consideration for others and you have our roads network in the summer. They get mixed in with the normal everyday people who drive as part of their living and seem to swell the road burden to an amazing level.

Police wrongly get the blame for much of this mayhem caused by road closures, diversions or blockages.

These are no longer scenes of traffic accidents-collisions. They are scenes of crimes and needed to be treated with such importance. We get one chance to get the scene examination done properly. Its no good when and if things go to court 10, 12 or 18 months later saying that this or that wasn't done at the time. We owe it to those injured or killed and their families to do the job properly. It will continue to piss off most of the poor sods caught up in untold delays and those jams that don't seem to move for hours. I know because I've been there as well.

Until the menace of impatience, intolerance and lack of consideration are removed this cycle of mayhem will continue.

Police dogs muzzled

No problems with this poll.

Clearly in favour of keeping our dogs free of muzzles and therefore not restricting their effectiveness. 91% of the votes say so.

Thanks again to those who voted.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend

Its the bank holiday weekend approaching. There will be football at the weekend, the last of the, laughingly called, summer holiday weekends that will collectively produce some of the greatest demand on the response resources available.

Rest assured that this perceived extra demand will have been carefully planned for with numbers down to minimum levels to deal with the extra workload.

A weekend when many of our 'partnership' partners will be unavailable yet the world as we know it has not taken a few days off.

I trust that the intoxicated and drunken behaviour of the generally stupidly inebriated will defy the odds and be so good that we will all rejoice in the bank holiday festivities and have an equally great time.

My best and safest wishes to you all.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Chimps without hoods.

I watched an interesting documentary the other day about chimpazees and drew some amazingly close comparisons with some of the modern, misunderstood youth of todays society.

They live in family groups, the chimps that is, some of them quite large. They have a strict heirarchy and appropriate acceptible behaviour levels. Any deviation from this is enforced rigorously and is quite brutal if needed to make the correct point and quell the insurrection. Itis over when itis over and normality returns to the fold. It appears that this is how they sort out the pecking order to sustain a successful group. The adolescents practice this behaviour amongst themselves as a preparation for the big wide world when they are mature enough to see and fit into the bigger picture.

The adolescent chimps appear to prefer to hang around in gangs, terrorising the small, weak or aged when the opportunities allow and appear to get great fun out it. The pester the bloody hell out of them (we call it bullying) and generally make their lives a misery. Getting their kicks I presume. They are unable to settle for any long period of time and appear to get, what I would called bored, for want of a better word. Then they are off looking for their kicks to amuse and stimulate themselves.

The ones they don't mess with are the higher ranking males or females, because that means serious trouble. A bit like being grounded but with longer, sharper teeth. When these more dominant or mature chimps get really pissed off they are not slow in showing their annoyance and put the rowdy adolescents firmly in their place. A bit like the Police and SAS all wrapped into one but without the long drawn out legal proceedures. Needless to say, the adolescents know exactly who not to piss off. There is also no appeals process. The status quo is restored for a while before they start to gang up on the weak, young and old again. The really troublesome adolescents can be driven out of the group if they are a pain and lose the benefit of numbers for companionship, food and protection.

So maybe this disruptive, disrespectful and annoying behaviour of the hooded hordes is an ancient genetic trend or perhaps some of them are closer to chimpazees than we think. And where are the adults (higher ranking males & females) to sort out the troublesome adolescents ?

I think this would called vigiliantyism or something with our misguided human slant on things. I've called Bronson but he states he is too old to deal with this matter effectively.

One thing is for sure, our intelligence has allowed us the luxury of using most of our time to find ways to amuse or entertain our selves. The need for all our resources to be used just to survive, to find shelter,food and defend ourselves is now not the case. The days when everybody worked from a young age, because they simply had to, is well passed us because we are now civilized and educated, some may say anyway. Are we better off for all this advancment ?

We are more aware of what is happenning all over the world but often don't know what is going on in the next street, we can buy all sorts of convenience junk because the ads say we are better off for it. At the same time we lose the life skills we have needed in the past. Another thing society has lost is the burden of resposibility for our actions because we are deemed unable to decide. Everything is denied and everything has to go to court, be it civil or criminal.

Something must change but I suspect it won't, although we will be tolod it has.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Captain David Hicks

I have been inspired by one thing I read that really, I mean really impressed me. It has reaffirmed my view that inspirational leadership does exist, somewhere, out there.

Sadly it was not in the Police Force but in the military.

Captain David Hicks was supposed to be evacuated to safety for treatment for shrapnel wounds sustained during action and refused, preferring to stay and fight with his men. He showed the highest standards of leadership and earned genuine respect from those in his command. Sadly his wounds were so severe to be fatal.

He had also written a tribute to one of his men killed the previous day.

I wonder who will write his ?

I don't even know him but have enormous respect already.

Acceptible behaviour ?

I've made the mistake of buying a paper for the last few days and what sad reading it makes. Along with the recent news that seems to be almost all bad there is a trend in reporting of lawless youth who seem intent on confirming the impression that threats and intimidation by groups of dilinquent youth are making the lives of ordinary people a misery.

Enren Anil was killed after challenging two people for throwing something in his car.

If anyone is ever convicted of this crime they will say they didn't intend to kill him and shelve any responsibility for their actions.

Garry Newlove was punched & kicked to death after confronted a group of youths outside of his home.

I could go on.

Serious violent crime has soared in many places and the change in licencing laws as well the easy availability of alcohol has contributed towards this. Also the ever increasing number of our young people involved in alcohol related events are making lives a misery for ever more of the law abiding people who feel threatened, intimidated and angry about the effects of anti-social behaviour.

Sceptics may say there is no research that supports this but I say just get out onto the housing estates, both old and new, to see exactly what is going on and you will be able to open your eyes and see the reality of what is happenning. Anyone working as a response resource will also say different.

The intent is to look good, behave in such a way to enhance your status and get some and respect and copy the sulking bad attitudes and lack of respect for most of society that acceptible within your own peer group to the detriment of others.

Thankfully not all of todays young people are like this.

Like every group a increasing number get the decent ones a bad name.

I have been observing a large group and what I've seen has been harmless fun that irritates the curtain twitchers who complain needlessly.

I have also seen unacceptible behaviour by another group that has justified numerous calls and required a suitable response.

There is a balance and the most important thing in this balance is personal responsibility. Sadly an ever growing number take action without the responsibility for those actions.

Disorderly people do not want to see consequences of their actions.

Too many parents do not see or refuse to see any responsibility on their part for the actions of their children.

It is left to someone else to take responsibility and when this is done, in too many cases, people complain about over reaction or heavy handedness.

Perhaps those that complain, because the Police are doing the job of parents, nannys and just about everyone else who fails to do so, might have some positive words of encouragement for the families and friends of everyone who has been killed, injured, threatened or had property damaged by mindless selfish idiots who are often drunk and accept no responsibility for their actions.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Poll Result - What do you want from your dog handler

The results from my poll about dog handlers gave all the choices from those who voted within two of the four options.

31% of the votes were for a Police officer first with dog support secondary.

68% of the votes were for a dedicated specialist support resource.

Supporting their own departmental targets and not at all, returning to District got no votes.

That tells me that a good majority want us dog handlers out there as dedicated specialist support resource.

Thanks to all who took the time to vote.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

I've been tagged

It appears that I've been tagged by Twining.

What that means exactly I don't fully understand but, it seems to surround what I would do if I was in the glorious position of being commissioner for a day.

I've thought about this and itis clear that within this fantasy nothing much would be permanent because it would all change back.


If I could things I would like to instill some role reversal policies.

I would like all officers to perform a variety of different roles to gain experience and awareness of different areas.

We have moved on from what I consider true selection for a post because of fairness at work, equal opps and either cowardly selection procedures that are more concerned with reducing complaints which are largely caused by mis-information or simply bad losers. As a result we face people who are in a role they are not suited for or have little or no ability to do. It appears that quite often the best person for the role is overlooked.

Everyone will know of someone who is suited for a particular role but for a variety of reasons they fail a paper sift, their written evidence covering something is not as good as another's or they do not interview very well means they are overlooked. Someone who can submit high marking written evidence and perform well in an interview
will get the nod over someone with more ability to perform the role.

Now back to role reversal, I would like everyone to work in comms to see what there are up against. They have targets and staffing issues.

I would like officers of Insp & above to work as response unit for a month to see just what happens with workload and balancing all the things that get decreed from on high.

I would like those that moan about the management teams to perform that role to see how they cope with the different demands.

Then and only then will we get back to what we used to do well. That is putting people in jobs they enjoy and do well. Round pegs in round holes. We might also allow for the roles to get back to specialising in what they do instead of widening the demands and expectations within the role.

This is just a dream, I know. We are burdened down with all sorts of other crap that give this idea absolutely no chance to get off the ground. We are never going to lose the influeence of the host of policies to ensure we are seen to be playing fair, the equal opps, the positive discrimination, the statments from ACPO that appear to endorse selection procedure importance but are given lip service when selections are made.

I can still dream, I might still get that lottery win.

Sorry, I am dreaming again.


Sixteen year old PCSO's now there is a real move forward.

What will happen when the abuse starts. The first time someone tells them to F-off will they tell their mum ?

At a time when resources are stretched and these overstretched frontline resources are picking up holes left by the increased PCSO 'support' then how & where are the extra officers going to fill in the spaces of the stuff that can't be dealt with ?

You really couldn't make it up. But then again, you don't have to, its real.

Nothing to do with targets I presume.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

A different perspective.

There I was, curled up sound asleep on one of the beds, dreaming of chasing that magical mouse and just about to pounce after stalking it into a suitable convenient corner, when I was suddenly and violently interrupted by the demented rantings of a madman. My defence impulses kicked in straight away, luckily for me I can tell you, as a cushion came spiralling my way at break neck speed. This was a particularly nasty cushion with pointed stitched and piped corners and possessed a rather nasty zip fastening. I saw this, luckily, as it hurtled towards me. In an instant my special pussy service (SPS)survival training came into play and with lightening reactions I leapt from the said bed, twisted in the air on the way back to terra-firma to see my assailant with a follow up cushion held aloft by arm already in the cocked position. As I landed on all fours I had to employ evasion and avoidance techniques of the highest calibre. You would have been so proud of me. My first thought was name, rank, serial. I had no intention of divulging important information. I quickly glanced around and I spotted a likely escape. I dived for cover under the bed, right to the back where the shoe tray is, slipped quietly in amongst the shoes and out of sight. Time now to get my bearings and work on an escape plan now that I was still alive. I had no time to fathom out why this sudden and unprovoked attack had come to pass. After all I had not invaded anywhere recently. And then it came to me...............

The crazy one, the one with the dog (bloody nasty thing) must have found my little present. Just then I was aware of the mattress safety zone being lifted up. I had to think and act quickly. My position within the shoe box would become visible to the enemy and my exact location would be know. I would be in serious risk. Then I saw my chance. I crawled out of the shoe box and out from under the bed, through the door and I was out, across the landing and down the terraced hillside to the low valley. I made a quick search for an exit to that secret land they call 'outside' but found that all likely routes were barred. This was a suprise as usually the madman with the dog (horrid thing) is normally only too happy for me to experience this wonderful place, as he so kindly puts it. I had to think quickly again as I could hear the thumping from up the mountain and hear his war cries. I was in immediate danger so I decided to seek further cover and continue to formulate my evasion plan. All possible borders were either closed to me or presented more risk than it was worth. I could brush myself against his legs and give my bestest miouw but I detected sufficient hostility to dismiss this stupid and foolhardy idea almost as soon as it came to mind. I was now beginning to feel a little tired. I had been awake, on a knife edge, for almost a minute. Surey now was time for just a little nap. But no, I had to be brave and continue with my escape plan. Not even time for a quick wash.

Behind the settee was my choice. Almost certainly this would not be his first choice to look. As I slipped between the back of the settee and the wall I felt the squeeze as my sides were compressed by a considerable force. No, he hadn't got me but I may have put on a few pounds recently. Perhaps thats why he calls me lardy ? Well who knows ? Everyone knows that Lord Herby is my true title. I have a shiny collar to prove it as well. One has ones standards you know.

I was very surprised to see that he came straight for the settee. This guy is a lot smarter than he looks. He continued to rant and rave and another beige cushion with the piping an those nasty sharp zips, came crashing down between the gap, my gap, towards me. I was able to turn over and head back seeking some protection of attack from above and headed towards the coffee table. The sod clearly anticipated this as another cushion hit the floor only inches in front of me. I quickly turned again and headed back around the settee (the rather tastful black leather and leatherette corner suite) made a bolt for the door that had been left insecure and down the valley bordered by sheer cliffs to one side and the terraced hillside on the other. Once throught the valley I was into the feeding area, my instinct told me to go left as the dog lies to the right. This would have a stupid and foolhardy decision. Although the food lies in that direction but, in light of the current circumstances I decided to let this opportunity pass. So left it was, I leapt up onto one of the low terraces under the wide plateau. This has provided safety before and affords an excellent covert surveillance point with exit routes to north south east and west. I have heard this referred to as table plateau and I know that the humans sit around on the low terraces grunting and consuming their nourishments.

Despite the pounding in my chest it was then I heard it, the click of the guardian stone at the head of the valley. I heard no magic key sound as you need to gain access from the place known as outside. But the click to suggest that the madman had inadvertantly removed the guardian stone. But why ? Could he have been stupid enough to give me a potential escape route? Did he think I had got to the outside when he knew damn well I never had my own magic key to the guardian stone. I decided to lay low and consider the possibilities. I fully realised at this point that he could only have recently discovered my present and had discovered it neatly in a line on the bedroom carpet. I thought the rather moist dribbly bit at the end particularly tastful. I thought for a while that he must have got out of bed on the wrong side, as you humans do on occasions. But after careful consideration I dismissed this as it was clear that if he had got out on the wrong side he would have catshite between his claws. Clearly he had been able to avoid this as there was no evidence of any debris between his claws. I', sure I would have seen this. My respect for him grew immensly. He was a worthy and conniving adversary. I began to feel tired again. Now 2 minutes at least had elapsed and I hadn't had so much as a small kippette. If I can't manage at least 40 snoozes I simply don't have the energy for my proper sleep. And anyway, if he had not got out of his bed on the wrong side, why was he is such a bad mood ?

As I thought about my predicament (big word for a feline) from the safety of the low terrace, I heard the tell tale creak of the terraced hillside being ascended. I have learned this sound and know it well. It has been the trigger for food on many occasions accompanied by a series of feeble mewings and leg brushing. God you humans are so gullible. I thought about the evidence. The madman is climbing the terraced hillside. The guardian stone has been removed from the end of the valley. How could he have been so bloody stupid. I saw my chance and quickly bolted from under the low terrace, kept my claws in so as not to alert the madman of my presence and moved swiftly but silently to the end of the valley. The creaks of the terraced hillside remain reassuringly distant so I seized my chance and headed for freedom and safety through the valley towards the now opened guardian stone and into the perilous outside world. I began to gloat at how I had once again overcome the madman when suddenly I realised, to my horror, that I had greatly and rather foolishly underestimated him. A quick glance told me that he was indeed on the terraced hillside but not climbing, just walking on the spot, on the 5th or 6th terrace up and had been able to reload with further cushions. How could I have been so damn smug and shallow. Too late, the first fizzed through the air and landed only millimetres from my right shoulder, I began to weave and dodge in true and trusted SPS evasion patterns but to no avail. The second incoming took me across the back and a third took me across the shoulders as I got to the gap left where the guardian stone had been moved. I realised that the madman was a worthy adversary and one who demanded the utmost respect. He had fooled me into accepting an escape and it was I who was the stupid one (only on this occasion I must emphasis.) I had fallen for his plan and sufferred the consequences. The humiliation will be unbearable.

Imagine how I feel, outwitted by a mere human and a madman at that, even without the help of his dog. I could have dealt with this but not just the madman.

The mate of the madman, the one who likes to look at shiny things, a bit like me really, the one who normally feeds me and seldom shows me the place known as 'outside' was even exhibiting strange emotions towards me. She also was aware of my present and did not appear too grateful or considerate. She came along with some holy water to bless the sacred mark and wore some form of latex regalia. Must have been some powerful stuff in there as she repeated the sacred psalm of rawlf and bwarf during the blessing ceremony. She does concede that every rooms a bedroom but fails to understand that every room is also a toilet. Why they think I should belittle my self and sell my own soul to use a litter tray is beyond me. A litter tray I ask myself ????? Some of use still have our dignity you know. Would you have a crap in a litter tray ???? Of course not, so why expect me to. I need stress councelling as a result. The litter is a bugger to get out from between one's pads.

The perils of pursuit

An interesting story from the BBC news website.

A police officer has been found not guilty of setting his dog on a suspect after a high-speed car chase.

Pc Deano Walker, of West Midlands Police, denied charges of assault, dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court cleared him of setting his dog on the man and perverting the course of justice.

They found him guilty of a charge of careless driving, but cleared him of dangerous driving.

During the three-day trial, the prosecution claimed the alleged incidents took place while police were chasing a suspect in a stolen van.

The prosecution said that at one point the footage, from two patrol cars and a helicopter, showed Pc Walker's car colliding with the van, which they had mistakenly believed was stolen.

Helicopter footage then showed him knocking down the van's passenger, Martin Pearce, and setting his dog on him, the court was told.

But during the trial Pc Walker said he did not believe either he or his dog had been particularly aggressive towards Mr Pearce.

Pc Walker, who was suspended from the police force for 14 months, was given nine points on his driving licence and fined £500.

Outside court, Pc Walker said: "Now I want to get back to work and do the job I'm paid to do as a police officer."

Pc Walker will still face disciplinary action from West Midlands Police after he admitted breaking force rules as he was not authorised to take part in pursuits.


Saturday, 11 August 2007

Funny thing death.

Funny thing death, as some posts from other bloggers have said.

My own death experiences have been rekindled yet again and taken my mind back.

I remember how stupid my old dad used to appear to me and how much rubbish he used to talk. Then I became aware of how much he had suddenly learnt, about all sorts of stuff.

He appeared to have gained an awful lot of knowledge and experience overnight and became almost a pleasure to have a conversation with. How could this have mysteriously happened in such a short space of time. Had he been to nightschool ?


Could it possibly be anything to do with my sudden burst of maturity and life experience, seeing things and people differently ? Probably so. Funny how you get to a certain age and you actually see things, understand stuff and generally become more aware of so much more of what is going on.

I would have loved to have told him, but sadly, it was too late. Lots of things are out there, if we choose to see and understand them. Don't miss the opportunity, you might not get another chance.

Remember life is not a rehearsal. You only get one shot at it. Don't let that chance pass you by.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

If Nelson were alive today.

Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."
Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."

Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"
Hardy: "Sorry sir?"

Nelson (reading aloud): "'England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.' - What gobbledegook is this?"
Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal
opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments."

Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the
mainbrace to steel the men before battle."
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."

Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on
with it ........... full speed ahead."
Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."

Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."

Nelson: "What?"
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness, and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."
Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral."

Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."

Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I
refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of
admiral by playing the disability card."
Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"

Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

Nelson: "What? This is mutiny!"
Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of
being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."

Nelson: "We're not?"
Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary report."

Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King."
Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life"

Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment."

Nelson: "What about sodomy?"
Hardy: "I believe that is now legal, sir."

Nelson: "In that case...............................kiss me, Hardy."

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Polls, not exactly MORI but its a start.

I have added a poll to my sidebar.

Please feel free to made a selection.

I shall be changing them from time to time
in the interests of finding out exactly
what frontline officers want from their
dog handlers.

If the poll doesn't give the answer of
your choice then please add a comment.

Monday, 6 August 2007

The Organisation

I have found out that we are now part of an Organisation.

We no longer belong to the Police Force. That is far too old style and outdated.

Police Service is also very last year's fashion. So now its Organisation.

We are also part of a family of something, we belong to a family of Forces
but not to a family of organisations. We also never do stuff by ourselves
anymore. We always have a multi-agency approach to our problems. This apparently makes it better.

We also have things that show how we value our staff as individuals. We have things like 'investing in people' that show how well we treat our staff and value their contributions, no matter how small, towards the aims of the organisation (there is that word again) as part of this multi-agency approach to solving problems.

This 'organisation' does not consist of rather large scary people in black suits sorting out their problems. This caring,sharing,multi-thingy is where the future lies and is all part of the plan to educate the rest of us as to just how good a place the world is now that we are an organisation.

Gone are the days when individual officers are capable of working out what is going on out there in the outside world by using skills they have honed over a number of years. Now the organisation tells them what they should be doing.

There seems to be a large erosion of the word 'trust' relating to how officers used their skills, their noses or just their perserverance to direct their policing efforts towards giving free bed & breakfast to deserving cases.

Now they are told what to do and when to do it and then to submit electronic data into the paperless office of parts of this organisation. This is so that we are able to show we are doing the chosen thing for the benefit of the organisation.

As long as itis for the benefit of the organisation I suppose that makes everything alright ? The only thing I fail to understand is for whose benefit within this organisation does all this happen ?

We also don't seem to have responsibility for things any more. You now have ownership of something. Therefore itis your problem now.

I have removed my sense of humour as it appears that this, too, is inappropriate for the needs of the organisation. I have removed my ability to think for myself as this leads me to make my own decisions and this might not be one of the aims of the organisation. I have taken away my views of how the organisation operates and I now believe and support what the people in their offices and at their meetings decree.

I realise that the multi-duplication of statistical information is not meaningless but is vital to the benefit of the organisation. I am looking at the bigger picture.

Does it all make some form of wierd sense now ?

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Perception........its a good word.


Now we are into the school holidays. Great for the teachers but bad for the Police and most neighbourhoods. To add to the weekend drunken madness of people who behave like assholes because they've had too much drink on their nights out for an alleged good time, we have the hoardes of juveniles who seem intent on mirroring their slightly older brethren by getting drunk and behaving like morons. Dozens of calls to add to the drunken bouts of fisticuffs and handbags at ten paces along with all the other drunken dross associated with the weekend revelry.

Every collection of young people seem to be targetted by the curtain twitchers 'taking an interest' in their local universe or those who have their peace disturbed by these groups of yoblets who are developing their taste in anti-social etiquette. Drinking, abusing passers by, damage to fences and walls, graffiti, talking loudly, shouting even louder, swearing, playing loud music, taking drugs, threats and intimidation, riding mopeds with no helmets, the list seems apparently endless.

We can easily draw on extra resources to deal with the influx of calls and deal with the problems as we see them as well as how they are perceived by the public who take the time to ring the jobs in to us.

But can we ? Exactly where are these resources ?

We haven't got any, thats where they are. How reassuring. Both reassuring for the public who call the jobs in and for the frontline officers who have the security of knowing that if it all goes pear shaped their backup will be along, well some time and hopefully soon.

I'm beginning to understand why so many of the older generation refrain from going out at night and prefer the 'safety' of their own homes. Safe from the drunken antics of these idiots, from unnecessary involvement with the old bill if they decide to try to resolve an issue themselves.

At least we are safe in the knowledge we have our targets to fall back on. That makes everything alright.

Now where was I ? Oh yes, perception. I nearly forgot. A good word is perception.
Its all about how you see or understand things.

The word perception comes from the Latin perception-, percepio, , meaning "receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses."

Friday, 3 August 2007

de Quervain's tenosynovitis ?

de Quervain's tenosynovitis ? What's all that about then ?

Well try repetitive strain injury. It could be worth a cool £484,000. Now that is a lot of money and must be the result of an horrific injury. Or so I thought.

I read a post from Rogue Gunner http://rogue-gunner.blogspot.com and wasinitially shocked and then angry. What the bloody hell is happenning when someone in a non-confrontational support role can get an insulting and obscene amount by way of a compo claim and our maimed and injured servicemen & women get only a fraction of the amount. Something dark, unpleasant and nasty is lurking out there and itis a sorry state when claims by employees who face no real danger get this sort of compo payout. Was she depressed ? Send her out to Iraq or Afganistan so she understands the meaning of the word.

An RAF typist who injured her thumb at work is to be paid almost half a million pounds by the Ministry of Defence.
The civilian's award is almost 30 times the amount a serviceman would receive for the same injury.
It is eight times more than a soldier would receive for losing a leg and almost double the amount he could expect if he lost both legs.
The £484,000 payout was condemned by former soldiers, politicians and servicemen's charities who fear it will severely damage morale.
The woman, believed to be in her 20s, developed a repetitive strain injury while typing computer data.
She claimed it left her unable to work and caused her to become depressed, and she started legal action against the MoD.
Tory defence spokesman Liam Fox said: "I think it is indicative of a very weird set of priorities that those who are injured carrying out orders are less well compensated than those who are typing up the orders."
Critics claimed it was an insult to the 2,626 British servicemen who have been injured fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defence analyst Major Charles Heyman said: "An award like this to a civilian who is never going to be in fear of her life drags down morale.
"It shows where the MoD's priorities lie and those don't appear to be with the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The soldiers will be shocked and astounded as they all know people with severe injuries who got nothing like that."
Jerome Church, secretary of the British Limbless Ex-servicemen's Association, said: "It would be laughable if it wasn't so outrageous.
"Hearing about this would certainly upset the soldiers coming back from war zones with serious injuries."
The woman was working as a data input clerk for the RAF when she developed an injury in her right hand.
It was later diagnosed as de Quervain's tenosynovitis - a repetitive strain-type injury in which the tendons at the base of the thumb become inflamed.

The woman claimed her injury left her unable to work and also caused her to become depressed.
She sued the MoD and it was revealed that she was awarded a total of £484,000 in compensation and associated costs.
Legal sources estimated that her total costs for the action would be unlikely to amount to more than £50,000, meaning she would pocket about £434,000.
This dwarfs the sums offered to serving members of the armed forces who could expect a one-off payment of just £16,500 for the same injury.
It is almost double the £285,000 a soldier can expect if he loses two limbs while fighting for his country.
The official tariff of compensation for injuries lists £28,750 for someone blinded in one eye; £57,500 for the loss of a leg and just £8,250 for injuries associated with surviving a gunshot wound.


A funny thing happened on the way to the office , sort of thing happened.

I was searching a large cemetary which took over 2 hours to complete.

During my time I regularly saw three blokes walking round carrying shovels.

No matter where I was I saw them walking around apparently lost.

When I had finished searching, I again saw the three and eventually my
curiosity got the better of me so I approached them.

Following a brief chat I found that the three were, in fact, grave diggers
and they had completely lost the plot.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007


A radio, somewhere, suddenly crackles into life, there is an alarm actuation at a building site, security bloke has seen someone climbing over the security fence into the site. Double jeopardy for someone.

Why is it that security fencing is never really that secure ?

Also, why is it that night security staff are always blokes, normally the wrong side of 50 and about 9 stone or are foreigners with barely a word of English ?

Anyway, suddenly my radio crackles into life. I am requested at a confirmed alarm at a building site. The same one as above, funnily enough. Trouble is that I am umpteen miles away and that district has no dog cover. Trouble is that its absolutely hammering down, again. I have to leave the area I'm patrolling because of what our statiticians call a 'developing trend'. Contrary to my perception of the management trust, I am able to work out where stuff is happening.

I make the usual checks,aks the usual questions but still cannot make an accurate informed decision so hit the blues & twos and hit the gas for depths of Upton Chutney or where ever this place is. I check that containment is on and hope that our intruder is still within the site.

After 25 minutes at mach .05 and a bit I arrive. Can't find the unit at the scene, can't find the security guard anywhere. Local unit is at the back containing, its still hammering down. Me and the lad get out, head for the rear of the site. I haven't gone far and I come across the containment. Both are sat in the car sheltering from the elements. Both are dry. Its been raining for at least 4 hours solid. They have driven as far around as they can go to contain said site. Security bloke buggered off ages ago he has another couple of sites to check and we are to ring him if anything is amiss. Suddenly I begin to realise I am the only one who gives a toss. In only a few minutes of being outside I am soaked. I follow the fence and find a hole. I begin to search the site and find several more holes. How on earth anyone saw anyone climbing over is a complete joke. There are multiple ways in and out and I have not included over or under as well. Colditz this is not,soakditz it most certainly is. Itis also mudditz, as the site activity and the rain over the passing of time have turned the site into some form of tank training course. I even ignored the hard hat and trip hazard signs as well.

I carry on searching and then after a further 20 minutes of immersion I finish with no result. There was never likely to be a result. But I did this because thats what we do. We support our colleagues. On this occasion they gratefully receive my specialist support from the dry comfort of their vehicle. Perhaps a few drops got through the three inch gap when we spoke briefly. How the hell can anyone contain anywhere when this is all the resources available anyway ? I suppose I was fortunate that they hadn't been called away to another job.

Then to add insult to injury I find out that there is another addition to the 'developing trend' figures and hot foot it back through the rain to more familiar territory only to find that the local units have completed the search because I was so far away, even though I told them I was winging my way back to them.

They've all gone, resumed to other duties or just to stay dry. I can't stay dry, I can't even get dry. Everything I own is wet. Sometimes you just can't win. Would I change this for another job ?

No bloody chance.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Dog Bites.....ouch.

The next time you hear someone shouting these words'

"Police Officer with a dog, stop or I'll send the dog "

Exactly what should you do ?

Choose your answer and your subsequent actions carefully.

Is it

Answer A: Ignore them, they're only bullshitting you. Run off.

Answer B: Even if there is a dog I can either outrun it or hide. Run off.

Answer C: I'd better stop as instructed. If there is a Police Dog and it bites me it will hurt and probably land me up at the nearest acident and emergency department.

Answer D: Shout at them "Come on you bastard send you're f+*^"g dog, I can take him and you as well". Don't run off but stay and fight.

See here for the correct answer.


Nice one Mr. Copperfield.

I think I would suggest answer C:

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Whoever said History was boring ?

Some true facts............IN THE 1500'S

The next time washing your hands and complaining because the water temperature isn't just right, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

These are interesting....

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It's raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, 'Dirt poor'. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat..

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen
table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be 'saved by the bell' or was considered a 'dead ringer.'

Whoever said History was boring ? ? ?