15 April 2006

The Thin Blue Line

Well things are getting interesting here, now you know from my other posts there is a big deal being made of getting Sunni Iraqi’s to join the army, all well and good but at the camp I am on there is growing animosity between the Sunni and Shia units on base, it didn’t help that for the Sunni Soldiers were marching around the camp chanting Pro Saddam slogans calling him the Hero of Tikrit and chanting anti American Slogan, took 3 days before the Americans found out. As a result there are now groups of Shia Soldiers who want to deal with the Sunni’s their own way.

I was having a chat to a friend of mine back home (UK) about my time in the Police, the service as a whole in Britain is pretty screwed, it is suffering from a chronic lack of leadership with guts to tell all the hippy liberals to go screw themselves. The slightest hint of getting sued then the police give in making out of court settlements. At the same time the Police are more than happy to go on witch hunts of their own officers who have blog's or post on forums. There are times when I think some of the moderators on policespecials.com are employed by retainer from the PR Departments of their respective forces. They bully and harasses people to have the approved opinion about any issue they like, perfect example was a long discussion about Positive Discrimination, once force deliberately deselected white male recruits because they had enough, those people whit brain cells and common sense posted on the forum that this was illegal and even posted evidence to prove it, the result was getting flamed and having snide comments made. In the end the force did infact admit what they were doing was illegal, all the do gooders on the forum who were jumping up and down justifying what this force did all went quiet and crawled back under their rock.

Forces are increasingly becoming strapped for cash but waste money on witch hunts, one case was a force pursuing officers for making a comment in a secure police station to another officer about a criminal, something they would not have found out about if they didn’t have CCTV cameras investigating a separate incident. Now for all you British Police Officers who read this you will know of the catch all offence the Police Use to do with any officer they don’t like “Bringing the Service into Disrepute”, they use this for anyone who dares to speak out and tell the truth about policing, how senior managers are more concerned about their next promotion or getting a medal than the policing of their area or the welfare of their officers.

Forces hate to admite they are failing and like to pretend to members of the public that theya re getting value for money, so now with the explosion of blogs forces have taken to bullying their officers and threatening them with “Bringing the service into Disrepute” if an officer dares to speak the truth and say how it realy is. Heven forbid the public learn that it is rare for anyone above the rank of Sgt to be out on the street, or about how officers are being handicapped with left wing ideology. How officers are restricted from carrying out their duty for fear of upsetting a particular group. The Police are supposed to have a high level of integrity, but the powers that be feel threatened if officers dare to speak the truth, about how they spend more time filling in pieces of paper which justifies a civilians job or meets some target set by people who have no idea about how innicent members of the public have their lives blighted by crime.

Now with any police force there is always urban legends about different people in the force, one person I have heard about is in fact an ACC, now to look at him, he always looked a bit of a scruff and had a nose that Rudolf would have been proud of. Once such legend involving him was that at a Confirmation Ceremony when he hands out the Warrant Cards the poor officers who had to go up and receive theirs got breathed on and was hit from the fumes of his drinking. The same person also fell asleep due to his drinking at a Police Authority meeting.

Now as you know I was a Special Constable, for you Colonials that means Reserve. Now After initial teething problems I was moved to a different unit, in fact this was the best thing that ever happened to me, I began to develop an excellent working relationship with the regulars. Now the major problem with the Special Constabulary in the UK is the chronic lack of professionalism, when you have Senior Specials advocating walking out if you are asked to do something you don’t like, it hardly does the service any favours. One of my major gripes with specials is those who cherry pick jobs, I would always work the same shift as the regulars, if that meant I work 14 hours then so be it, one such day I was on duty for 20 hours, my attitude was that when I came on duty and until I went home I would do whatever was asked of me, if it meant babysitting a shit bag in the cells instead of the Area Car driver then I would do it, what makes more sense a Special sitting in the cells or a highly qualified response driver. It was this attitude that resulted in the close relationship with the regs, to the point that Sergeants would ask me if I wanted to do operations before asking the Section Officers (Specials Supervisors). Now something people need to understand at the time I was in the Specials there was a lot of nepotism within the Specials Supervision which meant the regs had very little faith in the Supervisors. It reached a point were the Area Officer deliberately obstructed me, he attempted to block my application to go on courses, it was only after I got an Inspector involved that I got on the course, his response was “Because of your relationship with the regulars you get better opportunities than the rest of us” My reply was simple, just be more effectual when you go on duty rather than just wander around doing sod all.

Now back to my delightful camp in Iraq, for all my Military readers you will fully understand the difference between line officers and those who have got their rank sitting on their ass’s in an office who think they are line officers, we have 3 of these at our camp a female Lieu Colonel and 2 Captains, all these are Air Force, none of they appear to have any Combat experience and are the biggest wingers going. There are units working outside the camp to protect us and prevent the insurgents attacking us, when the US Officers working with these units come in to camp we have a chat, laugh and get on great, even they are getting pissed off with the office jockeys. The Office Jockeys seem to have no comprehension of what life is like in the field, whilst the guys in the field are sleeping in crap accommodation without air conditioning,, permanent power supply the wingers on camp are bitching because a light has blown in their room, or their tap leaks or their air con doesn’t work properly.

Since I have been working with the Americans I can fully appreciate why people don’t like them due to the actions of a few everyone gets labelled the same. I have made some really good friends out here and even they are embraced about their fellow country men/women who they say are getting them all a bad rep.

The British Police service has been liberalised to the extent that in some cases they have tied their own hands up for fear of upsetting someone, the So called leaders or Commanders have forgotten that first and foremost they are police officers, in one force I have a friend who is a Special Constable, now in this force gangs of youths basically claimed an estate, vandalised cars and set them alight then started attacking the police who went to deal, what did the Senior Officers do, instead of gain the streets back and instilling Law and Order after 3 Police Officers called for a PSU (Riot Police), guess what the order was……

Yep you guessed it the request for the PSU (Police Support Unit) was denied all three times and all police were pulled out of the area, leaving the innocent with no protection because the senior officers had no guts. I wish we could go back to when the police had a back bone.

A similar incident happened to me in my first force, I was leading a public order van on a weekend night, we went to back up a couple of foot officers, they ended up getting into a scrap and my van set up a cordon, about this time the night club closed so all the people spilled out into the street, resulting in more fight breaking out, PAVA drawn and used, emptied my can and drew my baton, one officer had her front teeth knocked out, loads of Urgent Assistance calls go out. The Controller was getting every available unit to respond, but the Duty Inspector standing nice and safely in the control room watching the CCTV screen made the judgment that he didn’t want to inflame the situation so cancelled the officers responding. The controller was spitting bricks, as we were still rolling around the floor fighting trying to shout for help over the radio’s the officers ignored the inspector and raced to the scene, with one incident we filled the entire custody block, the control so angry they called the duty Superintendent. The debrief was interesting all the officers who were at the incident went ballistic when we ground out our help was cancelled, so as a UDT/OST (Defensive Tactics Trainer) I stated that I would be documenting what happened and the risks the officers faced in my official statement and use of force form and would be ensuring that it reached the Head of Operations and that officers were deliberately put at risk.

The Inspector was one of the rapid promotion types, were they get very little operational experience but are good on paper. In the time I spent in the force as a Special Constable, he went from Special Constable to Regular Inspector in the same amount of time.


Blogger Semper Fi said...

Excellent blogging Tactical Thinking! Keep up the good work. Oh and Liberty are to blame for lifes problems in the UK.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's important to realise that the PSD's are officers who have been forced onto an attachment most of the time.

It's the politicians who need a kick up the arse, then Police leaders wouldn't be breathing down the PSD neck with the "find me some force desrepute charges so we can show Hazel Blairs" attitude.

Good blogging Tactical Thinking.


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