I’m an ex-cop, but managed to end-up as a burned-out academic. Current officers always tell me how much the job has changed, but I suspect plus ca change. The jargon has moved on, but the cock-ups and excuses are the same. The blogs read like a journey back 30 years for me. When we needed good policing to deal with chronic, mad, criminal and drug-dealing neighbours there was almost none. Worse, there were deviant cops who lied, were cowardly, bungling and tried to make out we were the problem. They were still the best of a bad bunch of agencies and mostly good people unable to cope in a failing system. It’s a mistake to blame the cops for bad policing, but there is no excuse for what a few individuals did and the covering-up by the so-called Professional Standards people. They beat us up as victims. Our local authority was worse, politicians hopeless and cruel. Even Victims’ Support put the boot in, though they at least apologized.
The cops know what the problems are. It’s all over their blogs like a rash. Crap complainants muddy the waters and massive time is wasted in bureaucratic denials and dumb procedures. It’s everyone else’s fault. The CPS, politicians, lawyers, judges and just everyone else. This is more or less right, yet why are the cops not making what they know available for public scrutiny? Our farcical situation lasted over 7 years and ended, more or less with a petrol bombing, though not of us. The perpetrators moved on, and within months are as well-known at their new address as they were here. Just as our relief was setting in, I met a mature student friend in the pub. He was visibly shaking and low and behold the problem was drug-dealers next door to him, in an adjoining police division. Round the corner, racist attacks are taking place, our grandson assaulted because he play with the kids there. Along comes an honest police woman and tells us it might be better to do nothing, because that’s about all the cops can do.
Our cops here in Greater Mudwater have taken 25 years to learn how to answer the phones. This took a change in Chief Constable, the last known as ‘Shagger’, an obvious sex-pest much beloved by our Police Authority who have suppressed the details of the enquiry into him. If you look back to Soham, the police authority at Bumbleside were still in love with their great Chief too, even after he bulled about the Data Protection Act to try and cover-up pathetic failures to keep a record on the murdering swine. Blunket had to step in and shaft him. The big mistake was not to appoint his dog as Home Secretary, given the vapids given the job since.
About 30 years ago I went to a call not far from the Mudwater Canal. A young couple with a new baby were in tears. Ten officers had been before and they said none of them had done anything. I couldn’t that night either and over the next few days I spoke to the other officers and took some statements from neighbours. A rumour started that I was only interested in the case because the complainant was a good-looking blonde. This lacked charm and the lady will have to forgive me – I hadn’t noticed. It was a clear case of harassment, though we didn’t have that particularly stupid act back then, or much else in the way of powers other than the Rag and Flock Act. Neighbours had seen a police woman friend of mine assaulted at the scene, and the mad woman throwing slates down at children from her roof. Nothing had been done, and all the message pads (FWINs now) were signed off ‘neighbour dispute – no action necessary’.
I was on my way to the house again when a Ford Cortina with 6 young occupants took my eye. I asked for a vehicle check only to be told the system was down (this meant George was on his refs), but this became irrelevant when they bailed out. Officer needs assistance and the rest. My Chief Super was first to respond, so not all officers over the rank of sergeant were jerks in them days. I felt like a Woodbine break in the 100 yard chase after one of them and actually had one after I brought him down and cuffed him. The Chief was good enough not to admonish me and to stay and wait for the van while I went on to my job. Chummy had rather thick ears when I met up with him in the cells and had already blown out his 5 pals. The MOP car owner was well chuffed we got his car back within a couple of hours of it being nicked. An adjoining force got 47 TICs from the driver,
I went straight to the mad woman’s house. I had enough to nick her for slinging tiles at kids, but she was kind enough to come running down her garden path at me hurling abuse and to let me stick my ugly mug in front of her fist (well, that’s how I wrote it up). A young couple passing in a car stopped to ask if they could help and stayed with me until the van came. To reward their virtue, the driver (my mate Kev) ran into the back of their car. They were very nice about it. The blonde woman’s husband came out with tea for all and by extraordinary stroke of fortune the couple who stopped to help turned out to be brother and sister. Now, she was a looker, and we had a few months fun whilst discovering we were mutually incompatible. We didn’t want to charge the mad woman with anything substantial, so we opted for a breach of the peace and I had to stay up all night to be available in court. The Magistrates just asked if I had drafted the report myself, confused that a Plod could write without spelling mistakes, commended my grammar, had a word with the dock brief and got him to agree to a referral to social services (I’d already tried this route and been met with the usual fob-off from these undedicated time wasters). Nothing was heard from either address again until three months later, when a letter of commendation came in. It was from the mad woman.
30 years on, Greater Mudwater Police, when much more severely needed, screwed up at every turn for 7 years. NO one talked of ‘learning lessons’ in my day – which may be why we learned a few.