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Thu May 10, 2012, 06:41 PM

Police demonstrate in London

Now lets have a thought experiment. What if a man with a black uniform and a facemask, with his badge number covered came up and smacked this guy in the head, then teargassed the shit out of the place.

How would he feel about that?

The police are the security force of the 1%. This is slightly ironic.

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Reply Police demonstrate in London (Original post)
Lars77 May 2012 OP
Smilo May 2012 #1
jannyk May 2012 #2
Mc Mike May 2012 #5
Smilo May 2012 #6
Mc Mike May 2012 #8
freshwest May 2012 #7
DeSwiss May 2012 #3
midnight May 2012 #4

Response to Lars77 (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 07:02 PM

1. As a placard read - "Not all cops are bastards"

See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/18018990

The trouble is that the Cons in the UK are trying to privatize the police - and they are removing more and more "bobbies from the beat".

From the same BBC story:

"One of the most dramatic out-sourcing initiatives so far has seen 200 police staff in Lincolnshire Police transferred to private security conglomerate G4S."

From: http://constablechaos.wordpress.com/

It's not about the money, money, money..........
It’s all about the public … all about the public … (sorry Jessie J)

In the past week, I’ve been pepper sprayed three times (holding on to bad guys not naughty myself I’d like to point out), punched, bitten, spat at and verbally abused on god knows how many occasions – and I didn’t even do a night shift on Friday or Saturday !!

With a colleague, we managed the almost unthinkable of actually catching burglars in the act – still trying to jemmy the window open !!!; we’ve dealt with yet another fatal RTC where the passenger was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected through the windscreen; we’ve hunted for missing kids under 8 years old on two separate occasions, one elderly missing Alzheimer’s sufferer, dealt with four assaults (one a stabbing) four fuel make-offs, three shoplifitings, attended seven domestics and had a ‘fail to stop’ where two decamped (and we got them both !!).

And that’s just two of us, on one shift, at one police station, in one force area. Not a particularly big one either. On weekdays !

Why am I telling you all this. Because this is what we do; all day, every day. in fact we do more than the above; there’s the nuisance comms jobs (“my ex text me n said he’s gonna batter my new fella if I don’t give him his X-Box back”), the ‘Facebook Threats’, eBay frauds, and no end of crim dam’s, noisy neighbours and kids playing football on the grass … again !

But this is why I,and virtually all of my colleagues around the country joined the police – to make a difference; to help people; to make our society better for everyone.

I didn’t join for the money, that’s for sure ! It’s certainly not a bad wage relative to average earnings in the area I live –but on a personal level, I took an almost £5,000 pay CUT !!! when I joined the police. On top of that, I went from paying a 3% contributory pension to paying 11%, so my ‘take-home’ fell even further. I also pay Federation subs and Private Healthcare which I never did before. You could of course argue, these two are luxuries, but they really aren’t.

The world and his dog are allowed to ‘have a go’ at the police these days. Certainly, things have gone wrong from time to time, but so high has been the fear in Senior ranks about miniscule complaints against officers, virtually all from the Great Unwashed of Society who are aggrieved that they are not allowed to continue their ‘unsocial lifestyle’ unabated, that they require every complaint to be investigated to the ‘enth’ degree. To this end we need the Federation to support and fight our corner; they are indeed the only real protection we have.

And private healthcare is a necessity in our game, not a luxury. Street policing can be a nasty place to be. Drunks, druggies and many others with a grievance against society see us as a legitimate target and are more than happy to ‘strike first, engage brain later’. Injuries to officers are far too commonplace, and the time taken to get the best treatment on the overstretched and under-strain NHS if just too long and drawn out.

After almost ten years as a front-line officer, I could easily walk away tomorrow, return to the private sector industry from whence I came, be instantly better off financially, not have to work in the dark or at weekends, not have to put up with the abuse and attacks, and go back to my happy, happy life thinking everything in the garden smells of roses and whatever happens outside my front door is ‘someone else’s problem’. My wife wouldn’t worry so much when she’s trying to sleep alone at night, wondering what’s happening to me now; my kids (who by the way are extraordinarily proud of what I do) wouldn’t get the jibes in the school playground that they do get (big thanks here to the youngest one’s teacher who has had to step in more than once) and I’d have a nice warm office with decent tech to spend my working hours in once again.

But I don’t want to. Why ? ….. because this is where I belong. Doing the right thing, Standing up for the little guy; or big guy; or girl. Making that difference. Not being afraid to be counted. Trying to make a better place for you, me, our children, everyone’s children. We all have a part to play if we want a better society to live in. Any every society has to have rules by which people abide if you wish to succeed. For without rules, there is Anarchy. And that’s a treacherous path down which to go.

On Thursday, thousands of police officers from up and down the country will give up their own time to march in London, demonstrating against the latest round of cuts and attacks on the British police service by the current Government.

These are your local police officers; the officers that look after your communities, day and night, 365 days a year; trying, against an ever increasing mountain of bureaucracy to keep you safe from harm; to catch the bad guys and stop them doing it again. You may not agree with everything the police do or the way they do it – believe me, most rank-and-file officers disagree with a lot of the politically motivated decision making being thrust upon them, but in a disciplined service things have to be done in a certain way.

You may say “What’s the point, there’s never a copper round when you need one”. It’s a fair point, but you are never going to get a bobby on every street corner and they can’t be everywhere at the same time. Think of the basic math; there are approximately 140,000 police officers in England and Wales against a population of approaching 54.5 million (based on 2010 figures) – that means one officer for every 389 people spread over a land mass of 28,789 sq miles – or 151,152 sq km if you prefer – (ONS statistics). However, not all of those officers are on duty at the same time – and only a small number are in ‘street facing’ or ‘response’ roles, i.e the officers available to attend incidents that you report. In my force, and I can’t comment for the other 42, approximately 50% of our officers are ‘response based’ and work across five shifts providing 24 hour cover. I don’t have exact figures so can’t do the stats but believe me, it’s a frighteningly low number of police out there when you need them.

Last night for instance, a bank holiday so the numbers on shift are cut to the bare minimum just to save money, we we a shift of FOUR. Yes FOUR ! To police a town of about 120,000 people on a Bank Holiday night. I managed to clock up over 200 miles on our clapped out Astra panda just going back and forth, blue light run to blue light run. That’s not good for anybody. It put’s me at increased risk, it puts other motorists and pedestrians at increased risk, and it puts the victims we are too far away from at increased risk.

What are the other officers doing ?? Well they are your Neighbourhood Teams (the ‘Beat Bobby’s if you like), CID, Burglary Units, Robbery Squads, Specialist Domestic Violence Teams, Firearms Support, Anti-Terrorist Units, and many, many more; all essential parts of the team that make up modern day policing, but don’t feature in the Governments cute & cuddly vision of the Dixon of Dock Green era they wish us all to believe still exists. But for the most part, they aren’t ‘front line responders’ by the definition the general public would accept.

The simple fact is that by portraying the ‘rouse’ that forces can reduce backroom staff without affecting the front line, the public have been duped big time. In every station in every force throughout the country, right now, some of those very few officers that are on the ‘front line’ are in a police station filling forms and doing paperwork that was up until a few months ago, done by a dedicated, experienced team of civilian support staff that are no longer there.

Whereas, arresting a simple shoplifter took a uniformed officer on our team off the streets for about 1.5 – 2 hours to book the detainee into custody, obtain the full details from the shop, record the crime and complete a handover for the Process & Investigation team, it can now take 4 – 5 hours minimum with the interview, follow up enquiries and file preparation. Ask yourself this; is it a wise use of your taxes to have a highly trained, highly experienced, not cheap, police officer sat behind a desk filling in reams of paperwork for matey boy’s 50th or more shoplifting when he could be out looking for the proverbial muggers, burglars and rapists ???

That’s why the British police forces are protesting on Thursday. For your future. For your safety. Because we know what it’s like to be burgled, we know what it’s like to be raped. We know what it’s like when one of your children is killed by a drunk driver. Because we deal with these things on a day to day basis ! Sadly, that is the problem. No one is a position of political power, who is running rough-shod over these changes has the slightest idea what Mr & Mrs Average in the street has to go through.

We know that the tales and untruths, the spin and propaganda being churned out by this Government is exactly that. On Monday 7th May, BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World at One’ programme ran a article on the Protest March and in particular the #AntiWinsorNetwork. If you missed the programme you can listen to it here. Three real police officers from around the country gave their views and concerns about what the Government is doing to the British police service. Not one of them mentioned pay or pensions. But it was all the Policing Minister Nick Herbert MP could speak about. He showed a complete and utter failing to understand the real issues or provide any form of genuine response to the questions and points put before him.

We know that there is a need to save money; to cuts costs across the public sector. There are many, many, simple ways in which large amounts of money could be saved within the Police Service, without it affecting the front line or back room services we provide to the nation. You don’t need Government sponsored politically motivated reviews, think-tanks, or multi-million pound enquiries to work out where those savings can be made. You just need to go out there and ask your local police officers. You need to ask the general public what they really expect of the police and how they want to be policed. What jobs are the role of the police and what should be done by other agencies; Councils, Social Services, the NHS for instance. And then do what the public wants.

On a personal level, the proposed cuts will not affect me greatly. Yes, I’ll be a few hundred quid a year worse off, and probably have to work longer than I anticipated, but I am fortunate enough to be, as best as can be, financially secure. I know that I can turn round tomorrow, chuck in my warrant card and go back to where I was before – with, as I said at the start; more money, less grief, no more nights and weekends and undoubtedly, a more relaxed family environment. But I don’t want to be. I want to be doing ‘the right thing’. And my family supports me in this one hundred percent.

I know of course, that there are a great number of officers who are not in this position and will suffer massively as a result of the Winsor review. These are the same people who are already considering their position; literally whether it is worth saying put or if it’s time to move to more lucrative (and less stressful) pastures.

This is why I’m asking you to support the British Police on May 10th:

If you can get to London, come and march with us.
If you can’t, make your voice heard. Use Social Networking sites; Twitter and Facebook, just as the #AntiWinsorNetwork and its followers do.
Add your comments to the Public Consultation page on the Protect Our Police website – http://www.protectourpolice.co.uk/?page_id=814
Write to your local paper; your local MP; your local police force. Express your concerns – remember – it’s your money they are spending – don’t you want a say in where it goes ????
Above all, support your Police. Believe me, if you think it’s a Thin Blue Line now, you’ll really miss us when we’re gone !!

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Response to Smilo (Reply #1)

Thu May 10, 2012, 07:49 PM

2. Now that deserves a K&R!

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Response to Smilo (Reply #1)

Fri May 11, 2012, 06:04 AM

5. I guess you're unionized?

It looks like a good thing to me, if the uniformed constables are going 99%. Tougher for undercover provocateurs to infiltrate and cause trouble, and less chance the demonstrators will be abused by on-duty police. Politicized officers will get the chance to see protest events from the other side. If your outfit will support other anti-austerity activists, and oppose official violent repression against them, 99%ers are getting ahead, faster.

The law enforcement system has enough tax dollars in it already, the money just isn't going to the rank-and-file cops. It's going to sweet-heart contracts for privatizing corporations and high-tech big-brother surveillance gizmos (also sold by private for-profits.) I have no problem with uniformed police getting a living wage, but MPs aren't going to listen too closely to a non-voting foreign national. Does the UK have a Labor or Left party version of Dem. Underground, that you post on?

On edit: I guess your Federation is your union. I signed your request for a royal commission, don't know what a US citizen's signature is worth, though.

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Response to Mc Mike (Reply #5)

Fri May 11, 2012, 05:28 PM

6. Hey it's worth a try.


FYI - I am state-side and not a member of any police force.

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Response to Smilo (Reply #6)

Sat May 12, 2012, 07:28 AM

8. My mistake, S.

I clicked your second link, and didn't scroll all the way down to the article you excerpted from. Saw the first two May 10 posts, and didn't see the May 8.

I figured UK police would be union, and the third link kept talking about the Federation, so I guess they are.

I wondered why a Brit p.o. would be posting on the DU. A bit slow on the up-take, sometimes I am. Thanks for the links.

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Response to Smilo (Reply #1)

Fri May 11, 2012, 05:33 PM

7. Great reality based story, well detailed, please make an OP of it.

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Response to Lars77 (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:45 AM

3. Coming soon, to a country near you!


- K&R

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Response to Lars77 (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 01:39 AM

4. K&R

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