30 September 2006

Is this actually the stupidest idea EVER?

Respect to the MPS leadership! Just when you thought that they'd had so many stupid ideas recently that they really couldn't outdo themselves.... TA-DAAAAAAaaaaa:

From the Sunday Times -
POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid.
Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.

"So do you promise not to say anything before we go and do our raid which we have to do in the interests of public safety/national security/catching criminals? You do? Fantastic! Here's all the information we have - do you still think we oughta? Now remember - you did promise with cherries on top, so Mum's The Word, eh?"

So are we to have similar consultation panels for other species of terrorist? When I was a kitten there was an ickle bit of a problem with Irish Republican terrorism and, indeed, Ulster Loyalist terrorism. This might have settled down a bit lately with the old peace dividend and all that but, as the torrid Gerry Adams said in a moment when he forgot the cameras were still on him when asked at a Republican rally where the IRA had gone said, "They haven't gone away you know".

So let's also consult the Irish (and "Ulster") diaspora, trawl around Kilburn and Cricklewood in London and East and West Belfast, get together a "panel" [how the Met Police loves its panels!] - in fact let's gather anyone with an Irish setter, who's once drank a Guinness or once worn any item of green clothing and ask them to opine about raids and investigations on current and previous acts of horror. We can have the Met's Irish police association to be the bridge between police and community, and have consultations with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Garda Siochana [apols for lack of fadas here - can't get the font on my computer].

Then we can have the senior command apologise ad nauseum if the raids don't turn up precisely what we were expecting. Not just one apology of course, because the first few won't take, but many, from many different people in disparate reaches of the service. We can have Lionel himself, Tarique "Gaffer" Ghaffur, Cressida "Annie Oakley" Dick, Brian "Puff the Magic" Paddick, Steven "Full" House and have the whole team line up like Father Jack in front of Bishop Brennan:

Father Jack Hackett: [after Bishop Brennan asks how he is] Arsebiscuits!
Father Niall Haverty: [shocked] How dare you say that to His Grace, you must apologize immediately!
Father Jack Hackett: [Father Ted squirms, as Father Jack sits up and puts his hands on his front like a dog, and in a dog-like voice] I'm... so... sooo... sorry.
Father Ted: [to Mrs. Doyle] Now that was sarcastic.

[From the IMDb database]

I despair.

24 September 2006

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Well we've finally had PC Rain out and about on his/her patrols so the crime figures will finally look a bit better. However I for one will be glad to see it get a bit cooler at last.

Now bearing in mind to begin with that I am a ginger so any form of heat or sunlight is anathema to me anyway. Now add to that the "helpful" members of the public who smile at me and say "lovely weather!" when it's about 500 degrees Celcius out on foot patrol (yes, yes, I am one of those new (old) police who goes out more often than not on foot patrol rather than in a car) and I clearly look like a wrung-out dishrag desperately trying to stave off sunburn in my patrol area that seems to have no trees! and therefore a complete paucity of shade. But that's okay because they give you decent uniforms, right?

Well... let me tell you about the uniform almost entirely constructed of polyester:
The shirt - 65% polyester, the remainder, cotton. And forget man-made fibres that "wick away" sweat - the Job shirt is designed to retain as much moisture as it possibly can. It should really be used as a kitchen material to soak up spills.
The trousers - 60% polyester, the remainder wool. They select only the finest wool from the variety of sheep known as Super itchius legsius from the sheep equivalent of undernourished crack addicts. They then design the waist on the Simon Cowell model - if the waistline doesn't actually reach your boobs, they aren't the right size for you.
Pants - lovely - Marks and Spensive's best...mmm...
The cravat - fully 100% polyester
Footwear - again, fine because I buy my own - thanks very much, Job, I didn't really want a boot allowance anyway (you tight gits...)
The stab vest - phenomenally heavy to wear and designed for the ruination of good posture, these totally non-breathable items again are composed of a special heat- and moisture-retaining material that combines with the shirt [see above] to increase core temperature as much as possible in hot weather and yet be cold and clammy in cold weather. A miracle of crap engineering, the special misogynist design only accommodates women of AA cup size or below, despite purportedly being "bespoke" for safety purposes. For any women (or men) greater than an "A" cup, the front of the vest simply sticks out straight in front allowing maximum stomach/soft tissue exposure to whatever pointed/bladed object comes my way. The covert vest covers are naturally too small to fit the protective panels, leading to wrinkles that ruin the protective integrity of the structure; there is no such thing as a "high-vis" vest cover, so that in the height of summer if you want to stand out in a crowd/public order situation/busy road, you have to put on an extra thermal layer of high visibility over-jacket, again made of an insulating (but not waterproof - oh no!) material. This a particular joy for police cyclists, who only have a winter hi-vis, akin to a bright yellow duffel coat to wear, winter or summer, as they haven't sorted out a summer cycle uniform yet.
And finally, the lovely hat - again, chiefly made of plastic, but covered in a thick but water-loving felt that soaks the water up and then leaks it down the side of your head when it reaches saturation point, or collects it gutter-style only to tip it down your front as soon as your head leans forward. The hat is of a special 'sick-bowl' design, in black to soak up extra heat, with no ventilation holes anywhere for much-needed cool (or in fact any) air to circulate. And just in case that was too comfortable, there is no spongy layer or even leather band to soothe the fevered brow - the "designers" decided that a comfy or natural product might spoil us too much so they went instead for vinyl instead, which becomes scratchy in the heat. No part of the hat's inner can be removed for cleaning, so after a few days the smell is overpowering (and hair quite ruined!).

When asked to comment on the problems with uniform design, the Head of Uniform Services was heard to say, "So what? It's cheap, and I don't wear it so who gives a crap anyway??"*

So if you smile at a PC (or WPC - !!) in the street and say something like, "lovely weather!" when the sun is making scrambled eggs from their brains, do not be surprised if their heads explode, they scowl, or grimace at you, twitching dangerously; it's just that they're too bloody hot!

[*I made this up, but I imagine it's not so far from the truth]

21 September 2006

Don't mess!

Don't mess with PC Bitseach when she's pissed off!

Know the signs!

Dr John "Taggart" Reid warned Muslim parents that they must look out for the signs of extremism in their offspring. Here are some of the things they need to look for:
  • sweating
  • glazed eyes
  • detachment
  • mumbling
  • disinterest in schoolwork/job
  • spots around the nose and mouth
  • smell of solvents

oh er, hang on.... I'm getting confused with glue-sniffers again aren't I?

[well that was the bogeyman when I was a kitten!]

18 September 2006


With sincere apologies to the late Sir John Betjeman and family, upon the news that he apparently regretted writing that Slough should be bombed.

Come come, you bombs, don't fall on Slough
I didn't really mean it now!
At least you don't have phoney cows
Like Milton Keynes

Come bombs and from your course allay
From smashing up the bright café
Fried egg, fried meat and all the way
To refried beans

Don't mess the streets of this new town
By throwing nasty litter down
A CSO will see you fined
For fifty quid

And see the child with double chin
For whom the ASBO's rolling in
And hoody's like a second skin
A darling kid

So flush the 'nabis down the loo
And shake the hands, so used to screw
The Vespa, Zip and Typhoon too
Then burn them out

But spare the kids on ABCs
They've only one GCSE
(tho' that was in an -ology,
Which carries clout)

It's not their fault they're bloody fools
As no-one told them, -Go to school,
Or learning's fun and learning's cool
They didn't know

And talk of drugs and stealing cars
And fighting outside crappy bars
And what the bloody hell are stars?
From TV shows??

In Council-paid-for homes, with care
Their teenage mothers bleach their hair
And teach their kids to smoke and swear
And scream and bawl

Come come, you bombs, don't fall on Slough
Just stay a while - I'll tell you how
The cabbages are running, now,
The City Hall

Copyright PC Bitseach.

17 September 2006

SO offended...

Wow, some people are touchy. It seems like everyone is too easily offended these days, both in The Job and in real life. We'd a tricky and unpleasant day at work recently and, as is common in such situations, somebody made a very quiet and inappropriate joke. Other people laughed at that joke, partly because it was funny, and - more - to release the tension. Typically a civvy tutted and harumphed [and why is it always a civvy or a vaulting careerist that is the first to "tut" and harumph, usually then to look around to see who had seen them challenge the inappropriate joke?].

Death and viscera are always nasty and usually leave the ghost images in your brain for ever, but what are we supposed to do? Cry and bawl when we have a job to do? Beat our brows and say how sad we are, dwell on things and suffer nightmares at night? Or release some of the tension and have a guilty giggle to shoo off the demons and let us get on with the job until we get to go home and think over what happened, or drink, or perhaps think kindly of, or say prayers for the person we laughed at that day?

But it's easy to get offended and look down on your colleagues from the moral high ground. In the end, it's generally the officers, and not the civvies and vaulting careerists that are still on the crime scene, getting their hands and trousers dirty and trying to keep breathing through their mouths and not their noses.

Likewise the reaction of much of the Muslim community worldwide to the Pope's recent speech. If any of the people complaining about the speech had actually read the full text, they might have seen that it referred to a discourse from centuries ago, that the Pope's debate hinges around faith and compulsion, and he quotes that the originator of the discourse passage that so offended so many who hadn't even read it, did so with "startling brusqueness". He talks about Greek philosophy, the age of reason, and in the end invites an intelligent dialogue between cultures.

Now some people with bigger egos than intellects have decided that in quoting the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologus in a discussion, the Pope is endorsing the Mediaeval view, that he's saying that all Muslims are violent. Now this would not in itself be news, but what have so many undereducated and manipulated Muslims decided to do, presumably to attempt to disprove the violence that the Pope has (not actually) associated with a minority of morons who believe everything they're told about Islam without actually reading the words of their Prophet (or in fact any words that might challenge their closed minds)?

So let me get this straight, you've done all these things in order to prove that you're not violent? Well Gosh, I'm certainly persuaded - what could possibly be more pacifist??! QED mate, QED.

I'd like to suggest to everyone that they learn to shrug, laugh, think, reason, empathise, sympathise and try to understand.

Now Dummies back in prams please, everyone!

12 September 2006

Bad boys, bad boys

There's been a rash of people recently calling or referring to me as a "cop". Now I don't so much mind being called a "copper" (one who cops?) but can't abide being called a "cop".
- How many cops are there in your team?
- Er, I'm not sure, but when did we all become American?

I don't claim any consistency whatsoever; why else would I mind cop and not copper? If anything, copper should be a source of pain and anxiety to me as it was one of the many names I have been called for having strawberry-blonde, yes it's strawberry-bloody-blonde hair, not ginger over the years. But I don't mind that. It's not even that it's an Americanism; a common term of address both in the street and in court is officer, which is derived from US culture (however, that's possibly just because it beats the ever-hilarious mispronunciation of Constable [how we laughed and laughed!].

I suppose it's just because it sounds so darned cheesey, faux American, mid-Atlantic Essex cowboyish. I dunno.

Anyway, apropos nothing except gingerism a new batch of Street Duties officers are out soon so the new competition will shortly commence in the Happiness BOCU to be the first to induce a new officer (we're not allowed to call them Gobby Probbies any more - yeah like THAT'S the worst they'll get called in the street!) to describe their suspect over the radio as IC7, the universal IC code for gingerists.

Let battle commence - bwah ha ha ha haaaaaaa......

11 September 2006

On a sad day

On a sad day and a sad memorial it's easier to gloss over the serious for the trivial but really and truly, we must never forget.

Another day, another whinging git...

Phone goes.
Against my better judgement I sprint over before the answering machine kicks in and pick it up. Now the name of my little team has changed recently to something that nobody knows the meaning of, so I just say "Happiness Borough Community Police. PC Bitseach speaking..." and wait to see if they recognise this, give me 5 beats of silence as they try to figure out what I've just said, ask for somebody who works in some other unit or try to order pizza or something. Instead we both wait while Mrs Stepford tells us both that she's very sorry that we can't take the call, Mr Whinging-Git shouting "Hello! HELLO!!" at increasing volume whilst I try stabbing every button that might MAKE HER STOP! The maximum number of rings you can set it to is FOUR (4) [aaahhhh statement-writing.....] which is about 10 (ten?) too few for me to get across the office and answer it before Mrs Bloody Stepford starts drawling in her soft modern way that just makes you want to punch someone.

This is the drill:
  1. Ring-ring. Uh? Was that the 'phone?
  2. Ring-ring. Ah it was. Hmmm, shall I answer it? Nah I'll let the machine get it. NO! It might be important and I MUST SHOW COMMUNITY FOCUS! If I really sprint I'll get it
  3. Ring-ring. Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhh....! [thunderous clatter of feet on office flooring, dodging around desks, twisted joints]
  4. Ring-ring. "Good morning [ puff, pant ] Community Unit [huff ] PC Bitseach speaking" Ha! got there in time.

"I'm sorry, your call" [Hello?] "cannot be taken" [ is this the police? ] "at the moment, but please leave a message after the [ hello!? HELLO?? ] tone.


But I digress....
When I finally got the stupid answering machine off all I can hear is this shouty old git-bloke:

Git: I PHONED earlier and TOLD you what the problem was and you've done NOTHING about it AT ALL. NOTHING!
Me: Uh, good morning, uh what seems to be the trouble?
Git: YOU LOT! SOMEBODY was supposed to phone me BACK!
Me: Huh? [ huh? ]
Git: I TOLD you about this already. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Me: [what the fu...?] Sir, we do get a lot of calls to this office. Can you tell me briefly what it's about?
Me: [sigh...should have followed my instincts] Right, I know what we're talking about now. Well we have officers in the area and....
Me: [in school? where's he been? Doesn't he realise the good burghers of the London Borough of Happiness don't send their children to school!!] Sir as I'm trying to explain, as well as having officers in the area, we've also arranged.....
Me: [ silence ] Sir, if you continue to shout at me I will hang up the phone [ sir, you can poke your stupid complaint up your arse. If I could reach through the phone handset and throttle you with my hands right now, the next CAD message would be a suspicious sudden death at YOUR PLACE ] now if I can help in any way I shall.
Git: AAAARGHHHH I am shout blah blah nothing blah blah IPCC blah blah complaint fuh fuh. [ SLAM]

Twat. Ruined a good cup of tea. Last time I answer the bloody phone.
My views are my own and would probably not endear me to my dear employers.