Pay over!

The police pay fiasco could be coming to an end, as the Independent Police Arbitration Tribunal has come back with a decision supporting the staff side's claim.

Just received the below press release from the police federation:

Police associations join forces to welcome pay crisis arbitration decision

Welcoming the decision of the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal and speaking for all the police officer staff associations of the UK, Jan Berry, chairman of the Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), says:

“This decision is welcomed by 170,000 police officers throughout the United Kingdom who should have received an increase from 1st September but have been waiting for their pay arrangement to be honoured.

“It is disappointing that this had to go to arbitration but the arbiters’ independent decision reaffirms what we have been saying all along – that the Official Side of the PNB acted unfairly and unjustly by reneging on their commitment to honour our current pay arrangement until it has been renegotiated.”

The independent decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal is binding on both the Official Side and Staff Side of the Police Negotiation Board, and is now passed to the Home Secretary, John Reid, for ratification.

Calling upon the Home Secretary, Mrs Berry says:

“You know the strength of feeling amongst police officers across the UK, who have felt cheated, angry and undervalued throughout this dispute. The independent arbitration tribunal has now delivered its decision and found in our favour. The matter now rests with you Mr Reid. Only you can put this right. Show your support for the police service; honour our pay agreement and pay the 3 per cent now.”

Police Federation's Fair Pay For Police Poster
3%? We'll Be Lucky.....

Stephen Oake

The Posthumous George Cross for DC Stephen Oake debate continues...

Many thanks to You're nicked! for pointing the below out on his post Sign The Pledge.

Give D.C Stephen Oake A Posthumous George Cross is a petition on the government's own site, currently signed by over 1600 people. The deadline for signing this petition is 15 February 2007.

The petition has been lodged by Dave Brettell. He explains the reasons as to why he has created the petition :

The recent decision by the George Cross Committee not to award a posthumous George Cross to D.C Stephen Oake has outraged many in UK society. Many press commentaries have included the views of members of the general public who are disgusted at this outrageous decision. Indeed, many current and former members of the police service are considering returning their own medals in protest at the decision. This decision has come at a time when the UK is facing a challenge unseen since the Second World War. It is also a time when more and more elements of the criminal fraternity are prepared to arm themselves, and we are seeing greater numbers of police officers being injured or killed as a consequence of this. We petition the Prime Minister to intervene in this case and reverse this decision. This award will honour this brave and dedicated officer’s memory. It will show his family that the ultimate sacrifice he made has not been forgotten by his colleagues and those he was sworn to protect. It may also go some way towards improving the morale of a traditionally un-armed service that continues to serve the public with skill, dedication and determination in such trying times.

If you sign the pledge, you'll get an auto-generated email sent to the email address you've registered with on signing. In-order for your signature to count you need to click the link in the auto email. Please ensure you look out for the auto email, it may get filtered off to a junk folder or something similar...

There's also a specific warning to people who use hotmail email accounts, it would appear that hotmail doesn't recieve the authorisation email, so it would seem best to use an alternative if possible.

Please, please, please ensure you click the authorisation code or your vote won't count.

Whether the government will actually act on this Posthumous George Cross For DC Stephen Oake request is a matter of opinion, but at least we'll all have tried our best to get our voices heard.

If you want to forward the link to as many people as possible the direct URL for the petition is :

Still No Gong For DC Oake
DC Stephen Oake

Off topic for once!

Well I feel the need to write about this. I stopped a kid when I was on duty today who happened to be burning a load of books in his front garden. Neighbours dialled 999. He was by himself, said his parents were out, neighbours said he didn't live there. He was arrested. When further investigated it turns out that his "reasonable excuse" was "religious reasons". What religion requests people to burn books we wondered. But it turns out that there is such a religion. Janicism is the name. And amongst other strange but logical acts, burning books is part of the religion. I now know that it is deemed to rid you of bad books (similar to the bad karma idea in Hinduism.) He was released without charge. The house wasn't his, but was that of a local teacher, who, quite strangely just wanted to forget all about it. Ah well.


t currently seems like I've got at least two jobs. Obviously I'm mostly a policeman (well, mostly pretending, let's be honest) but at the same time I'm running a media empire from my spare bedroom. I'm involved in a few other things as well, which take up valuable time. It helps to be working shifts, but it still doesn't stop the mobile phone ringing a lot more than it used to whilst at work. I thought I might have got onto the "dead spy enquiry team" after all, according to Yahoo News, they had some "crack cops" on the case.

Taxpayers almost always think I'm dealing with important things, while the "economically inactive" think I've got nothing better to do than listen to their woes all day. The truth is that although I've got a few jobs on right now, none involve damage or loss greater that £75.00. Still, a crime is a crime.

After all that about drugs (good comments by the way), answer this: what's your most trifling case. Extra points for in-depth (but ultimately pointless) investigations.

It's raining detections!

I’m currently in one of those troughs you go through when it seems like for weeks you’re dealing with handovers and the rest of the shift are running out of the station and chasing shoplifters across the shopping centre car-park. Still, if this weather continues we’ll have a national emergency and I’ll be able to take my own shotgun to work (I’ll bill the ammunition to the force though).

This story isn’t really surprising. What’s surprising is that it’s news. The orthodoxy is that a policeman on patrol comes across a burglary once every five years, so what’s the point in leaving the office? The longer I do this job, the more I think that this is utter rubbish: once you know where to look, there’s no shortage of thieves to harass and you can even catch people bang at it. The insanity of "Office-based policing" is creating a demand for officers like this (and good for them).

You just have to be out of the office.

I took a walk down the High Street on Saturday: hat on, amongst the market traders, refusing gifts of cauliflowers. I suspect I made more people happier than I would have done if I’d have stayed in the office filing my four detections before the end of the month. That’s the funny thing about the police: we furiously try to detect everything going, pushing our detection rate ever upwards and cautioning more people than ever (it’s called “Bringing offenders to justice” these days), whilst at the same time, the public don’t give a monkey’s.

I worry myself half to death about submitting paperwork in time and using all my organisational and IT skills to keep my head above water and yet all I have to do to earn the thanks of a town is to put on my hat and chat to people waiting for a bus. The thing is, I can meet most Home Office targets without ever leaving the police station.

Big Fraud!

Whilst colleagues were getting wet earlier in the week, I spent a delightful afternoon gathering evidence about a fraud. Not the kind of Ebay/Paypal/419 type of fraud which is never going anywhere, but the kind of 4-figure, straightforward-but-not-too-easy kind of fraud I like.

Apart from myself and the finance manager there was also a secretary in the wood-panelled office taking notes. All the telephone calls that came in were diverted to answerphone, and I was served tea in a company mug. I asked for a number of things: copies of agreements signed by the offender, details of a couple of other staff members, relevant bank details, that kind of thing.

After a couple of hours I had a reasonably firm chain of evidence and a list of four things I still needed before I would be able to arrest the offender. We resolved to do the remaining enquiries via email: they would scan copies of documents to me, and I would email prepared statements to the staff members who worked elsewhere in the country.

It's taken only a few hours to gather all the evidence and the relatively basic technology (email, a scanner and a computer) I've used has saved hours of travelling time, missed appointments and general aggravation. I've given a very professional service having arrived at the appointed time, wearing a tie. I've informed the MD that I will email him in a couple of weeks when the offender has been arrested.

It makes a refreshing change to actually have a case that will require a bit more than me asking, "Did you do it?" and the suspect saying, "No I didn't."

I've also picked up a shoplifting job where the suspect has stolen meat from a local store. The staff tells me he's a regular and the CCTV is quite good, so I've taken to waiting round the corner and when he tries it again I'll surprise him by pushing him off his bike.

My weekend!

Well, I had a good weekend learning how to sail (RYA Level 2 Dingy sailing actually), my father-in-law and I signed up for the course way back in June when it seemed like a good idea (i.e. the weather was a LOT warmer). So saturday and sunday were spent sailing around in a little dingy, desperately trying to avoid capsizing because frankly I wasn’t sure my heart was up to the shock of falling into a cold british river in the middle of november.

I’d only had one (introductory) lesson on sailing before (which was way back in June), so there was actually a very steep learning curve, with lots of new ‘lingo’ to learn such as ‘tacking’ and ‘gybing’, as well as all the practical stuff such as actually making the boat go in the direction you want and even more importantly being able to stop the boat once you get where you want to go.

The boats we were sailing were Laser Pico’s, which are fanatastic little boats….that is they’re fantastic if you’re a child or a slim woman. If you’re a 6ft man like me (who could probably do with losing a few pounds) then they’re a disaster waiting to happen, firstly if I sat on the gunnels (edge) then the boat would invariably start to tip over into the icy water, secondly when you’re 6ft tall it’s a lot more difficult to duck your head under the boom as it whips across the boat in a split-second.

I did quite well (I thought) and go into the second day of sailing before the boom caught me square on the nose and almost knocked me out, at this point the sailing instructor was telling me things like “Pull the sheets in”, “tack away”…whilst I was sitting there literally seeing stars and pretty much unable to do anything for the best part of a minute or so (which is a long time when you’re sitting on a 4 foot wide boat which is intent on trying to capsize you). Luckily my nose wasn’t broken, but 2 days later it’s still bruised and blackend (and very sore)…still it’s a lesson learnt (no the lesson isn’t to duck in time, the lesson is to get a boat with a higher boom next time).

So, anyway, I’m now a qualified (RYA Level 2 at least!) sailor, which is a scary thought and what’s even scarier is that I’m trying to find time to go sailing a few more timers again this year before the weather gets even worse!