In this blog entry I shall set about dispelling some of the most common misconceptions.
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The myth: a defiant unemployed deviant stands smugly in his doorway, arms folded, safe in the knowledge that the police cannot step foot within his humble abode without first obtaining a piece of paper from the courts saying they can. The reality: oh yes they can. Police officers have all sorts of fantabulous powers that allow them to stroll right into your living room. In fact, on some occasions they can get a great big 15kg steel battering ram and smash your front door into tiny little splinters, run in shouting all kinds of colourful language, before they walk their muddy boots all over the pristine carpet.
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Telecommunication devices. The reality: land line numbers can be traced within minutes, regardless of how long the caller was on the phone. Likewise mobile phone numbers can always be captured and subscriber checks do not take long. If the mobile is unregistered, police intelligence checks can glean if that number has ever called the police before, and who was on the other end at that time. It is very rare that police will ping a suspects phone purely to determine their location for investigation purposes — this would be a terrible breach of the scallywags privacy! Cop cars are really fast.
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Their cars is well fast with like bhp and like superchipped and stuff, you-get-me, blood. Traffic and area cars are indeed usually high powered saloon or estate cars, piloted by highly skilled officers with faces fit for TV documentaries. But the common, all-purpose, lesser-striped pandas on the other hand that are most frequently seen on the High Streets of the United Kingdom are in fact nothing more than economical family hatchbacks with k miles on the clock and insides that smell like old MacDonalds.
The boot is full of all sorts of heavy crap and copious paperwork, not to mention the rotund stab-vest clad officer or very, very rarely officer s sitting up front. Even police pursuits are less common and - it is with much shame I must admit - I am yet to perform a J-turn in the line of duty either. I hang my head. Forensic science. The reality: forensic science is one of the most powerful tools in the police arsenal. Clever scientists can do amazing things in their sterile laboratories. And if the Force can afford it. And as long as you can wait a few days… or weeks. No comment.
The reality: increasingly solicitors skilled in the dark art of criminal defence are advising their clients to keep schtum in interview for fear of them saying something stupidly incriminating. Or occasionally the mastermind criminal will decide for themself to deny absolutely anything the police put to them — even their own name!
Even CCTV footage that is a better true likeness of them than their own passport photo! It is true that anyone under Caution has the right to not say anything. Police line-ups.
The authorities hold pre-recorded images of thousands of faces. A witness or victim will be shown an image of a suspect in custody or more likely on bail , mixed in with several other images of similar looking people unconnected to the investigation. This saves resources and also prevents any intimidation or outside bias on behalf of the viewer. If the suspect had bright green hair, then the viewer will be shown several images of others with bright green hair — or, if this is not possible due to a lack of green haired nefario, the hair might be digitally removed from all the images.
Undercover cops have to identify themselves if asked.
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The reality — this is an Americanism. Even in America this is utter rubbish! Undercover cops, in the line of duty, can get away with all sorts of borderline deviant behaviour in order to preserve the investigation and their personal safety. Everyone has to be Cautioned. The myth — unless an officer tells you his name, collar number, time, date, offence and grounds for arrest, before Cautioning you i.
The reality — Whilst you will have to find out much of the above soon after arrest, an officer is obliged to ensure you are aware you are under arrest — those shiny silver bracelets on your wrists are a giveaway — and why, but only at the earliest practicable time do they have to say those magic words. Police headwear and pregnant women. The myth — you know the one. The reality — NO! I am a serving police officer and author of moderately humoured police themed books. Please check them out on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and other online retailers.
Wednesday, 23 October Looking on the brighter side The purpose of this blog is to entertain you with light hearted stories, intriguing accounts of policing at the sharp end, interesting insights into incidents my colleague and I attend, and humorous banter about all manner of police matters. Where possible I will endeavour to keep the topic and content as upbeat and positive as possible. For this blog entry I wanted to talk about the current state of British policing and speculate about what the future holds for the ever thinning blue line.
Even the most optimistic would find it hard to argue that these are not tough times for the police service.
But then these are tough times for the whole country; in fact these are tough times for the whole Westernised World. Despite what Westminster say, you only have to look around the briefing room at work to see that the front line is being affected. Whilst in the doldrums, where most find themselves, it is hard to look to the future with much expectation and take any positives from the current situation. However, who would argue that the police service - along with the entire criminal justice system actually - was not in dire need of an overhaul anyway?
Many of the antiquated procedures, legislation, processes and systems deployed in this once great country of ours have been allowed to stagnate. For far too long we have rested on our laurels and proudly boasted that the British police service model is the finest in the world and to be imitated by other countries — but never truly replicated. This is credit to the diligent, increasingly few officers up and down the land that continue to work hard and risk their lives daily for the greater good.
But a commendable compliment of rank and file officers can only achieve so much. Despite our efforts the fact of the matter is this: reform is not only necessary, it is essential if we are to go on improving the service we provide, as well as keep up-to-date with the changing needs of the public, technology, social trends and the ever evolving methods of criminality.
Anyone working in the police service could see that for years money and man-hours were being wasted, frittered away by Forces up and down the country on ridiculous and failed ideas, both at local and national levels. Then the bright sparks that thought up the ultimately futile ideas, or bolding reinvented the wheel, would still gain an extra pip or crown on their shoulders for trying their best though - no longer, however.
There are positives on the horizon:. Firstly the financial crisis will not last forever. The country has been strangled by such recessions before and bounced back. The police service will learn, evolve and grow stronger. As a consequence of the cuts the service is tightening the belt over its ample girth, trimming the fat, being forced into efficiency.
The wheat is being separated from the chaff and those who cannot fulfil their roles effectively will be removed from their position. Whilst maintaining warranted experience is absolutely essential in certain positions, no longer will an experienced, well-paid, ten year PC be able to hide away in an air conditioned office, behind a desk, doing a role suitable for a civilian employee on half the money. That experience will be moved back to the front line and police officers will now have to justify their salary - which is absolutely correct.
He plunked half a bushel onto the kitchen counter of his suburban home and began pulling ingredients from his cabinets and refrigerator. He let the crabs steam until their shells turned the color of fire. But before he could eat, Smith had to run two errands.
He slid a dozen crabs into a brown paper bag for his mother, collected his 5-year-old son, and hopped into his police-issued Ford Explorer. The sun was drawing down over the Northwest Expressway, and as Smith cruised south, he felt a rare lightness of spirit. The past two days had been quiet. The following morning he would begin a day vacation. As he turned into her driveway, his phone lit up.
With intelligence flowing back and forth, his phone could buzz up to times a day. He peered down at the screen. Male found in a pool of blood, appears to be a gunshot wound to the head. Twenty-four-year-old male.
Dionay Smith. His insides clenched when he saw the name. How many Dionay Smiths could there be? He texted the officer handling the case. I know that name, Smith told him. Stevyn Colgan. Self-Defence for Non-Experts: a book for people who can't fight. Joe Bloke. Geoff Thompson.
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