Brexit and Covid-19 (Possible Food Shortages)

Ask yourself one question, ‘If you knew that there was going to a second lockdown, and that there would be shortages of food, and other products what actions would you take today?’

I suspect that you would stock up with food, drink, toilet rolls and booze. But what about some books, board games or even a pack of cards to occupy yourself.

Many High Street retailers are now open and shopping on-line for those having access to the Internet means that for the moment you can purchase just about anything provided you have the funds.

But what happens if the High Street retailers start running out of food, drink, toilet rolls and booze?

Could we be facing the prospect of a second lockdown and empty shelves again?

Consider that towards the end of 2019 many people were worried about ‘Brexit’ with forecasts of long queues of trucks at the port of Dover, along with medicine and food shortages.

Many families including my own prepared a Brexit Box with items we were worried might be difficult to purchase after Brexit, and all the major supermarkets rented warehouses and ‘Overstocked’ in anticipation of shortages.

As events transpired the UK government managed to obtain a 12-month transition period and we all gave a sigh of relief.

After the New Year we learnt of a deadly virus decimating France, Spain, and Italy with frightening news coverage of overcrowded hospitals and full mortuaries.

We knew it was only a matter of time before the UK went into lockdown and people needed to stock up with essentials.

Brexit boxes became ‘Coronavirus boxes’ and supermarket shelves emptied. Thank goodness our food distribution centres were full, and that the EU continued to trade with us.

On the 23rd March 2020 we went into Lockdown and we are still living under restrictions and the fear of a virus flare up.

Despite the upheaval of Covid-19 the UK Government refused to request an extension to the Brexit transition which means we are leaving the EU in December 2020 regardless of any deal or no deal.

The facts (As I believe to be correct) 

  • We leave the EU in December 2020.
  • The UK is not self-sufficient in food production; it imports about 50 of Packaged food and a further 30% of unpackaged products which is packaged in the U.K.
  • Basically around 80% of food is imported and half of it comes from the EU and other European countries.
  • A lot of countries are currently adopting a Protectionism policy and are keeping rice, grain, and other stable goods in fear of a global food shortage.
  • Thousands of people have been furloughed and job security is a very real worry for many.
  • The Country is in the deepest recession in living memory.
  • The number of people relying on food banks has increased dramatically.
  • Many crops have not been harvested because of insufficient crop pickers.

A possible Future

  • There could be a resurgence of Covid-19 or a second wave.
  • The UK Government agrees a trade deal with the USA. (As a pescatarian I no longer eat meat, but if I did, I would not consider chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-fed beef no matter how hungry I got.)
  • Backlogs of trucks at the port of Dover.
  • A 10% or more price increase on imported food.
  • Food shortages on some, but not all products.
  • Medicine Shortages on some, but not all products.
  • Events in Hong Kong Could result in tens of thousands moving to the U.K.
  • There is probably going to be famine in many countries around the world, consequential to Covid-19, drought, flooding, plagues of locusts, and war.

What can you do to prepare for an unknown future? 

Firstly, the UK will not run out of food once we leave the EU. There will always be food in the shops but there is every possibility that there will be shortages on some products, delivery delays, and price increases.

Secondly, do not purchase unnecessary food and waste it because it has gone stale or passed the ‘sell by or eat by date’. Many refuse collectors reported a massive increase in waste collections because shoppers purchased too much fresh produce which went off the week after lockdown.

Thirdly, only purchase food you like and intend to eat. That sounds obvious, but examine your food cupboards and pick out the products you bought at the start of the lockdown and ask yourself ‘do you really want this item?’ If the answer is ‘No’ then consider donating it to a food bank.

Fourthly, there is no immediate rush.  Covid-19 is reported on daily and if a new lockdown is announced there will be time to stock up. The UK does not leave the EU until December 2020.

Fifth and finally. Slowly but steadily replenish your food supplies, looking to take advantage of any supermarket bargains. Do not leave things until December 2020, because regardless of Covid-19 people will be preparing for Christmas and the shops are always busy at this time of year.

Footnote

I have no faith in the UK Government whatsoever, but I believe that within our multicultural society we are stronger when we stand together and support one another. If you can afford to stock up consider purchasing one extra item, it does not have to be expensive or fancy, just one extra item and placing it in the ‘Food Bank Box.’

Thank you

20,000 + Dead and still Following the Science

Every evening either the Prime Minister or one of his senior cabinet hold a press conference, with a senior scientists or Public Health England experts either side of them. Sir Patrick Vallance is the Government Chief Scientific Adviser is a regular attendee, as are Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, Jennifer Margaret Harries OBE, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director for NHS England.

These knowledgeable individuals along with many other Professor’s, Doctors, psychologists and other scientists form part of The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which provides scientific and technical advice to the Prime Minister and government decision makers during emergencies.

These are the people that politicians are referring to when they talk about ‘Following the scientific advice.’

Without doubt we have some of the best Scientific minds in the world and a review of the qualifications and experience of the four named SAGE members makes for impressive reading.

 I however have some concerns.

 Sir Patrick Vallance the Chief Scientific Adviser sounds more like a politician than a scientist and I fear that he is not speaking out when the Government go against the SAGE scientific advice.

Once the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) became so low as to be virtually non-existence Public Health England guidelines were downgraded and NHS staff were told to reuse existing PPE.

This was totally at odds to the ‘World Health Organisation’ instructions regarding PPE

Who made this decision and where is the scientific evidence to support this decision?

The number of NHS doctors, nurses and other front-line staff who have lost their lives is staggering and I ask why?

Why haven’t our NHS doctors, nurses and other front-line staff got effective PPE?

Sir Patrick Vallance was interviewed by SKY News presenter Stephen Dixon on the 13th March 2020 and said the about 60% of people would need to become infected for the UK to enjoy ‘Herd Immunity’.

Sir Patrick Vallance repeated his comments about ‘Herd Immunity’ during one of the early press conferences and nobody from Government challenged his comments. They were happy to go along ‘Following the scientific advice.’

Thank goodness for the Imperial College London who presented a detailed report showing that the ‘Herd Immunity’ would overwhelm our hospitals.

With the greatest respect to Sir Patrick Vallance why didn’t he know the information that the Imperial College London released and if he did know it then why the hell did he suggest ‘Herd Immunity’ as an option?

Advise V Orders

On the 16th March 2020 Boris Johnson advised people to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and work from home if possible and avoid “non-essential” travel.

Yet just a few days later on the 20 March 2020 Boris Johnson changed his ‘advice’ to ‘orders’.

Who was advising Boris Johnson and what changed between the 16th March 2020 to the 20th March 2020?

More people died – that is what happened!

In March 2020 Sir Patrick Vallance said on national TV

“If we can get numbers down to 20,000 and below, that’s a good outcome in terms of where we would hope to get to with this outbreak.”

The UK’s coronavirus death toll has now passed 20,000 and is increasing daily.

We have gone well past what might have been a (good outcome), and the number of deaths keeps going up!

The subject of whether members of the public should wear face masks on public transport, in shops or other public places is discussed daily and up until the 1st May 2020 the Government have failed to give any advice either way.

Sky Political reporter Alan McGuinness published an excellent article with the header

Coronavirus: No 10 admits face coverings have ‘weak but positive effect’ in slowing COVID-19

Are we to believe that it took the SAGE scientists 4 months to come up with this conclusion or was the information held back because of a National shortage of face masks along with other PPE?

Publish the scientific advice and inform the people of the UK – We need to know!

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Missed 5 Cobra Meetings

The absence of Boris Johnson from 5 Cobra Meetings in January and February 2020 was the subject of an in-depth report within the Sunday Times (Insight) on (19th April 2020) by Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott and Jonathan Leake. Other Newspapers and Broadcasters have run the story and the Government took the usual steps of issuing a 2,000 rebuttal of the Sunday Times report.

Despite the extensive news coverage and Government rebuttal I have yet to learn what the Prime Minister felt was so important, or to put it another way, what was more important that the ‘Coronavirus Threat’.

The first missed meeting on the 24th January 2020 was chaired by Matt Hancock, the health secretary and bizarrely he told reporters the risk to the UK public was “low”. Could Matt Hancock have been more wrong?

Where were the ‘Scientific Adviser’s’ we keep hearing about?

Were they even present?

Wasn’t the health secretary told that the Chinese Government had taken the decision to lock down 11 million people in the city of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei in an attempt to quarantine the outbreak of Coronavirus presented?

11 million people Locked down in just Wuhan, never mind the other cities and Matt Hancock thought the risk was ‘Low?’

Many people and I include myself were caught unawares at how fast the Coronavirus spread around the world. The UK Government also appears to have been caught unaware, but they shouldn’t have been. There have been numerous reports presented to the Government  warning and highlighting the potential threat of a Coronavirus type virus. Once the Government learnt of the Coronavirus, they should have gathered all their so-called experts and prepared accordingly.

The Cobra meeting of 24th January 2020 chaired by Matt Hancock failed miserably to identify the potential risks to the UK and failed miserably to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk and ‘save lives.

The continually repeated message ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ appears to be working, but what if the message had been broadcast earlier? How many lives would, could or should have been saved had the Government acted sooner and more decisively.

For goodness sake on the 16th March 2020 Boris Johnson asked people to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues. It wasn’t until the 23rd March 2020 that he issued instructions that these types of venues must close.

Did it really take until the 23rd March 2020 before the Prime Minister realised that decisive leadership and action was required?

At what point from the 24th January 2020 when Matt Hancock chaired the first Cobra meeting up until 23rd March 2020 when Boris Johnson addressed the nation did Boris Johnson finally realise that something was seriously wrong?

Where were the ‘Scientific Adviser’s’ during this time and were they actually giving the Prime Minister any advice?

By the 16th March when Boris Johnson asked people to stop frequenting pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues the following things had already happened.

14 January – World Health Organisation warns ‘there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus and there is a risk of a possible wider outbreak.’

30 January – World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency

5 February – The Diamond Princess cruise ship was in quarantine in Yokohama, Japan

23 February – Italy started to lockdown

11 March – World Health Organisation declared a PANDEMIC

Consider that on the 16th March when Boris Johnson asked people to stop frequenting social venues the World Health Organisation had called the Coronavirus a ‘Pandemic’ and Italy had started to lockdown.

Consider that it took Boris Johnson seven days (7) to from requesting people NOT to frequent social venues to instructing them NOT to.

How many lives were lost because of this seven-day delay?

Perhaps if Boris Johnson hadn’t of missed those first five Cobra meetings, he might have been better informed and been more decisive than he has been.

So, Boris I ask you

‘What was so important that you needed to miss five Cobra Meetings called to discuss the most serious and dangerous threat to the World in living memory?’

Why I’m supporting Extinction Rebellion

Anybody caught up in the disruption caused by Extinction Rebellion may well feel aggrieved by the protestors, and I can understand their frustrations at being delayed or inconvenienced by the protesters. However, when we consider their motive – Saving the World, then a bit of disruption doesn’t seem that high a price to pay.

Most of the protestors seem apologetic about disrupting people’s lives but caveat their apology with the explanation that the Government only pays attention to Protests if there is a serious Financial loss as a consequence. This argument seems to have some validity.

The Baltic Exchange bombing by the Provisional IRA on the 10 April 1992 resulted in a significant financial loss to the City of London, (Britain’s financial centre), and surely influenced the Government position in regard to negotiation with the IRA and the within two years we had the ‘Belfast Agreement – The Peace Process.

Climate change is very real and anybody who doesn’t appreciate the potential dangers really needs to do some research or watch a few documentaries by Sir David Attenborough. I know it real and yet like millions of others I have accepted that things are going to get worse, that there is little I can do to change this fact and that the Government won’t act until things are too late.

The Extinction Rebellion protesters should be praised for refusing to accept what many of us believe will be the eventuality of climate change and attempting to do something to prevent the consequences of our own actions and in many cases our failure to take preventative action.

I’m too old and have too many aches and pains to join the protesters and as a former Police Officer, I find myself in conflict about breaking the law whatever the motive. What I can do as can many others is an attempt to be more aware of ‘Green issues’, by which I mean ‘recycling’, avoiding single-use plastics and supporting ‘Green issues’ whenever possible.

I’m a long way off purchasing an ‘Electric car’ or going ‘Vegan’, but I drive less and eat less meat than I used to. My attitudes to ‘Green issues’ has changed a lot in recent years, in no small part thanks to people like Extinction Rebellion. Let’s hope that they can persuade the Government as to the necessity to take preventative action to safeguard the future for all of us.

I also firmly believe that if the Government of today fails to take preventative action then they should be held to account and prosecuted for (Misconduct in public office.)

Misconduct in public office is an offence in relation to those who act (or fail to act) in a way that constitutes a breach of the duties of that office.

Failing to act to prevent the dangers of Climate Change is surely a breach of their duties.

 

PROSECUTING CELEBRITIES AND OTHER PAEDOPHILES

Following the death of Jimmy Saville evidence of his evil depravity started to leak out and the leak got bigger and bigger until such time that there was a flood of victims. How the hell did he get away with it for so many years and why didn’t any of the victims come forward? Well, the answer is fairly easy; every victim of his perversity had no way of knowing that they were one of many victims and as such, they felt isolated and very vulnerable. If they made allegations against a media star, who would believe them. Everybody loved Jimmy Saville, what a great guy, look at all the work he does for charity, Jimmy Saville a paedophile – Never.

But he was a prolific, abusive dangerous paedophile. Jimmy Saville had money and lots of important friends so who was going to believe some kid who said that Jimmy touched (abused) them.

Thankfully his death took a big chunk of fear away and those brave individuals who came forward to expose him and his wickedness shone a light for his other victims and perhaps, more importantly, victims of other Celebrities came forward to report historic crimes. Some allegations against some named Celebrities go back over 30 years and I have heard the argument as to whether criminal prosecution is realistic or relevant.

Let me try and put this into some context, there are many childhood events which I can remember with clarity and likewise some life-changing events which will never leave me. Over 25 years ago I had a horrible car accident and I can remember all the details very clearly, although I choose not to dwell on the event because to do so upsets me. I’m sure that many victims of sexual assaults remembers their assault with the same life-changing clarity and can give an accurate evidential account of events regardless of the passage of time.

The offenders however particularly if they were prolific offenders like Jimmy Saville are unlikely to be able to distinguish between victims, dates and locations. The very nature of their depravity is such that they have no empathy with their victims and once they have completed their maliciousness, they give no further thought to their victims. These paedophiles really are evil people who damage and, in some case, destroy innocent people’s lives for their own sick satisfaction.

Many accused criminals plead ‘Not guilty’ knowing full well they are as guilty as sin but hoping to get off on some technicality or another.  The prolific paedophile who pleads ‘Not guilty’ because they can’t remember a particular victim, or location, or can’t distinguish one crime from another because there were so many presents a different problem.

Forgetfulness is not the same as dementia. There would be no justice in prosecuting anybody with dementia regardless of their crimes unless of course, they were still engaging in paedophilic behaviour. A prosecution is a means of establishing guilt and sentencing the method of punishing somebody for their guilt. A person with dementia would have no knowledge of what historic crime they were alleged to have committed and why they were being punished and that would be cruel.

Forgetfulness because of prolificacy is no defence and if a defendant is unable to recall a particular incident of assault because of their prolificacy then lock them up and throw away the key.

The Paedophile Problem

During my police service, I was involved in some horrific incidents and investigations, but the one crime which used to haunt me was the abuse of children by paedophiles. I hated being on a paedophile investigation because although I wanted to catch the scum, I was aware of just how much damage they caused to vulnerable young minds and bodies. I didn’t enjoy attending blood-stained crime scenes, murder victims who had been decapitated or otherwise mutilated but as a career detective, I was able to disassociate myself from the crime. I was a detective and I was going to investigate the crime, catch and prosecute the killer. But on a paedophile investigation even after you had caught and prosecuted the offenders you are aware that the victims are still victims, and some remain so all their lives.

The damage caused to the victims of paedophilia goes way beyond the impact of other crimes and such the punishment should be above and beyond the sentences handed out to thieves, fraudsters and other criminals. In today’s compensation culture in often appears that ‘upsetting somebody’s feelings’ or ‘offending’ them receives greater compensation than a physical assault.  I argue that the abuse a child or young vulnerable person does more damage to their mental health than any physical injury. Serious physical injury such as ‘Grievous Bodily Harm’ should always incur a serious and substantial custodial sentence, and so should ‘GBH to a victim’s mental health.’ Just because there are no physical marks or scars doesn’t mean that that the victim hasn’t suffered as much pain as a physically injured person.

The absolutely fantastic achievements of the Para Olympians show us that physical disabilities are not always a bar to greatness. These athletes consistently impress us with their determination and strength of character. I don’t doubt that many if not all of our Para Olympians have encountered numerous and varied difficulties along their chosen paths, but they do what they do because they possess positivity in abundance.

An abused child doesn’t have that positivity. Paedophile’s steal childhood and all the good things that being a child should enjoy. Hope, ambition, trust, love are all damaged and for some, the damage is too deep to repair.

Personally, I would lock up Paedophile’s for life, but there again I am very right wing in regard to law and order. I honestly don’t have any answers but until the Government truly recognise the seriousness of this problem and are prepared to take the necessary action, if needs be draconian action to eradicate this problem children will continue to suffer.

Every single paedophile I ever investigated had a criminal history of previous abuse against children. Every single one. That means that having abused a child and having been sentenced they continued to abuse children once released. Not just once, twice or three times. Paedophiles offend and re-offend time and time again and it isn’t until they are convicted of a Childs murder that they are finally locked up for a long time.

You can’t stop them; the abuse of children is what they want to do. It’s like a hunger to them. Their sexual drive isn’t the same as the rest of us. They don’t want a loving, caring relationship with a consenting adult. They want power and domination over a vulnerable child who they can intimidate and abuse. This isn’t natural and yet we allow them almost free reign.

Can you imagine telling a young man or woman, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual that they can no longer participate in sex with any consenting adult? Do you think that person would abide by this ruling or do you think they would carry on having consensual sex but keep it secret? People enjoy sex; it’s the birds and the bees for goodness sake. We wouldn’t expect any person to retain from consensual sex so why do we think that paedophiles will refrain from abusing children? Their sex drive is no less than any other persons; the only problem is their sex drive is perverted. Paedophiles will not and do not stop attempting to abuse children; they just become very devious in hiding what they do.

My Phonetic Life A to Z

Alpha – I actually don’t care if I’m an Alpha Male or not. (I care, I cry, and I regularly get things wrong – Am I an Alpha male?)

Bravo – To all the Emergency Services and everyone serving. Bravo to all my former colleagues and all the doctors and nurses who patched us back together. Bravo to one particular Occupational Health nurse who helped me get through a dark place. Bravo to all the ambulance paramedics who turn out and turn up every time. Bravo to the all Fire Brigade officer for all their work, not just putting out fires, but for numerous acts of rescuing people. Bravo to all those who do or seek to do the right thing. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo to all of you. Bravo to my wife for putting up with me.

Charlie – I have felt a right Charlie on many occasions and happily recall many embarrassing situations in my first book “Low Fat Police: Tales of a Dyslexic Detective”

Delta – Force. I know I’m showing my age but ‘The Delta Force’ with Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin taking down terrorists who had hijacked a Boeing 707 was a great film.

Echo – A distant sound of former days when the Police had enough officers to do the job.

Foxtrot – The one Ballroom dance that consistently drives me mad at my ineptitude to follow the beat.

Golf – Only the crazy version for me.

Hotel – Prefer a Cruise Ship Cabin.

India – A Place most definitely on my bucket list to visit – it looks so vibrant and colourful.

Juliet – I believe that ‘Juliet Bravo’ was the first UK police series to show a woman in a senior police role. I watch most Cop TV programs even though I consistently moan at incorrect procedures.

Kilo – The constant problem of drugs is summed up in this one word.

Lima – The capital of Peru. (Towards the bottom of my Bucket list of places to visit.)

Mike – AKA Micky, my best mate.

November – Winter starts to take hold. Back in the 1980 as a uniform copper, every duty felt almost like a night duty with the early dark nights – don’t mind the cold, but dark wasn’t fun.

Oscar – I could hand out a dozen or more Oscars to solicitors and barristers for their performance in presenting an image of a defendant which bore no resemblance to the truth.

Papa – I’m a Papa, and incredibly proud and happy to be a grand Papa. Nothing more important than family.

Quebec – Been to Canada three times so far. Once with the British Army, once on a Police enquiry and once with my family. Haven’t seen Quebec yet, but plan to visit the year after next in the Fall. Supposed to be beautiful that time of year.

Romeo – I’m no Romeo, but I love my wife with all my heart.

Sierra – The car I was driving when I had a horrific accident and Wiltshire Traffic Cops became heroes in my book. I still called traffic officers ‘Black Rats’ during my service, but I always dealt with them differently – Trust me they play a vital part within the police family.

Tango – Back to Ballroom Dancing – almost got this one.

Uniform – I wore Khaki before Blue and took pride in both. (Although spent most of my service in a suit, but often donned a white forensic suit).

Victor – My favourite comic as a kid. The front and back cover would be a short story of heroism. Wish I’d kept them.

Whiskey – In a Hot Coffee on the Brecon Beacons in a two-man tent – happy memories.

X-ray – I’ve had so many I glow in the dark. (Injuries on and off duty).

Yankee – Yankee One – the fast area car on ‘Y’ District – ‘Fear and Fun’.

Zulu – One of the Greatest Films of all times, with the best question and answer ever. As the small detachment of British soldiers attempt to defend Rourke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 a trooper turns to Colour Sergeant Bourne and asks, “Why us Sarge?”

To which the Sergeant, played by played by Nigel Green in the film ‘Zulu’ replies, “Because we’re ere lad. Nobody else. Just us!” I know that feeling only too well.

 

 

 

 

 

Extending the Law on Reasonable Force – Motorbike Offenders

The UK Law as it currently stands, “A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.

So, is it reasonable to use a Police car to stop an offender riding a motorbike?

Reasonable force in most situation is focused on the incident within which force was used. In cases of domestic violence, a history of previous abuse against a victim is often presented in evidence to justify the actions of the abused person should they be prosecuted for murder or assault.

I believe that the law should be amended to include a provision to ‘Extend Reasonable force’ to include: –

  1. Historic evidence of the impact on victims of similar motorbike related crimes.
  2. A realisation that unless the offender is apprehended, they pose an ongoing risk to the safety of others.
  3. The wider effect on society as a whole if the police are seen to be unable to stop certain types of criminal behaviour by offenders seeking to avoid arrest by deliberately making themselves vulnerable to injury.

Using a vehicle to stop a motorbike offender clearly presents a risk to the offender, but that is their choice.

Are the police really expected to give motorbike offenders a ‘Get out of Jail free’ card, by not pursuing them?

 

 

 

Is there corruption in the Police?

The simple answer must be ‘Yes’; why else would Chief Constables run ‘Anti Corruption’ units. There has clearly been corruption with the police in the past because some serving and retired officers have been convicted of corruption offences.  When I talk about corruption I mean a police officer using their position as a police officer to engage in criminal activity. Any police officer committing burglaries or car theft or any other crime when off duty is clearly a criminal, but not necessarily corrupt. I’m talking about officers accepting bribes to look the other way, giving information about police activity to criminals, supplying criminals with a police radio, that sort of interaction with criminals.

How many corrupt officers there are is something which cannot be calculated because although some are convicted, some clearly get away with their criminality.

I actually believe the number of corrupt officers to be extremely low for several reasons. Police officers are more accountable for their actions and inactions today than at any time in history. Those same CCTV cameras that catch criminals in action also record each and every one of us, going about our daily lives more times than many people appreciate and that includes recording police officers,. Any officer being where they shouldn’t be or doing something they shouldn’t be doing is just as likely to be captured on CCTV as any other criminal.

It seems that every kid has a mobile telephone and many of these phones or other portable devices are capable of recording any conversation. Any officer considering giving a suspect a ‘verbal’ i.e. lying to what was actually said between them risks the suspect or one of the suspect’s friends producing a recording of any conversation.

Magistrates and juries understandably treat uncorroborated evidence with caution because if the evidence is challenged it boils down to one person’s word against another. Any corrupt officer would need a second corrupt officer to corroborated them if they wanted to be believed and that is extremely unlikely.  Today’s breed of officer is fully aware of the dangers of corruption and are actively encouraged to blow the whistle on any officer they suspect of corruption. Those same officers also know that within every force there are ‘Sting team’ and that honesty and integrity testing takes place all the time. If one officer was to suggest to another that they lie about their evidence the second officer would almost certainly report it because it was the right thing to do, but also because for all they know they might be being tested.

But despite sting operations, CCTV and whistle blowing I honestly believe that the number of corrupt officers is very few is because primarily the young men and woman joining the police are honest, law-abiding individuals. The realities of the job do wear off some of the shine and after a few years service officers can become more pragmatic, but the core personalities, those traits which resulted in their selecting police service as a career rarely fade and corruption simply isn’t considered.

So, Is there corruption in the Police?

Maybe a few, but the number is minuscule to the number of honest, law-abiding officer.

 

 

Dealing with Knives

Steve White the head of the Police Federation recently went on record as stating that all front-line police officers should be offered tasers in response to the increased risk from terrorism and I’m assuming that he is talking in particular about the threat to attack and kill street coppers.

The risk is real and I don’t think anybody can doubt that. In fact, the risk to street patrol officers has been real long before the increased terrorism threat. There are a lot of violent people in the world and thankfully most of us avoid them, but the nature of policing is such that officers regularly come into contact with the violent members of society.

Knife crime is also on the increase and any person holding a knife is a potential killer. Within my service, I have disarmed or otherwise taken a knife away from a suspect several times and during that same service, I was aware of numerous colleagues including close colleagues being stabbed or cut by knives. When I think back on some of the incidents I got involved in I don’t look back in pride or think to myself “well done mate, good result” I think to myself “You stupid idiot, you were bloody lucky to get away with that unhurt.”

The problem was and still is that most coppers get involved and don’t hold back just because something is dangerous. If a call comes over the radio relating to a suspect armed with a knife officers respond and attend as quickly as possible. Most sensible people would be running away from a knifeman, but coppers are the ones running at danger. Why do they do it? They do it to protect the rest of us. Can you imagine if the call to an armed knifeman was not responded too if all the coppers stayed away?

People would die, that’s what.

So, if we accept that the only people going towards a knife-wielding suspect is going to be coppers don’t we owe it to them to ensure they have the right equipment.

A taser doesn’t kill. I know there is always going to be the exception and maybe somebody with a heart condition might die. But my answer to that is if you’ve got a dodgy heart then don’t go around waving a knife at people.

A truncheon gives an officer a small advantage in that it extends the length they can strike a person, but it still requires an officer to get in close to the knifeman. With a taser, an officer can keep their distance.

We owe it to all our emergency personnel to ensure they have the right equipment to do their job.

 

 

 

 

 

All front-line police in England and Wales should be offered Tasers in light of the increased terrorism threat, says.

said the devices would help protect against “dangerous people” who could be preparing to attack officers.

 

 

Firearms, Cops and Squaddies

Like many serving or retired police officers I served in the Army for a number of years before joining the police and as such, I can speak from experience. The proposal that soldiers might need to be deployed at sensitive or potential terrorist target buildings because there are insufficient firearms trained officers needs to be binned before it gains any momentum.

Why is there a shortage of firearms officers of officers volunteering to receive firearms training? The answer appears to be a fear that the police as an organisation won’t support officers if anything goes wrong or if it is suggested that something has gone wrong. There is no end of people waiting to queue up and accuse the police of every shape and shade of misconduct and officers simply don’t feel supported. This lack of support and the preparedness to throw an officer to the wolves existed during my service and I have experienced it firsthand. Is it any wonder that officers are reluctant to receive firearms training? It never fails to amaze me that the media consistently seem to imply that the police close ranks when something goes wrong. The truth is any officer accused of any misconduct is effectively plucked from the ranks and made to feel very isolated.

A firearms officer who discharges their weapon and kills or injures any party had better be 100% certain that firing their weapon was the right thing to do. Now for anybody unfamiliar with violence and firearms situations let me clarify that decisions need to be made in a split second and achieving 100% certainty is next to impossible.

Is that a piece of wood the suspect is pointing at you or is it a gun? If you fire and hit the suspect and the suspected gun is a piece of wood the media are going to make a meal of it, reporting about trigger happy police. But if that object is a gun and you don’t fire you risk your own life, the lives of your colleagues and anybody else present. If it is only a piece of wood, then why is the suspect holding and pointing it at an officer as if it is a gun? This really happens by the way and idiots do imitate the pointing of a handgun or long-barrelled weapon at people.

The gun was unloaded, it was an imitation gun, or the suspect had mental health issues are common accusations after a shooting.

Let me tell you that the person who invents a device that will tell firearms officers if the weapon being pointed at police is unloaded, an imitation gun or the suspect had mental health issues are going to make a fortune. Unfortunately, there is no such device and officers have to draw upon their training and experience and make decisions in a split second.

“Why didn’t you shoot him in the leg?” is a favourite question of those that have never experienced a gun being pointed at them. Suspects carry guns in their hands and shooting a suspect in the leg isn’t going to stop them firing back at you. It’s only in the films that the good guys manage to shoot guns from the hands of the bad guys.

I honestly don’t know the numbers involved, but I do know that many firearm officers have been long-term suspended from duty or have stood trial for firing their weapons in a challenging situation. Now let’s consider soldiers being placed in similar situations. Is the fact that the person firing a weapon is a soldier going to change the way that the incident is investigated or is the solder going to be given leeway because they are a solder and not a police officer. Not on your Nelly. It wouldn’t be long before some poor soldier finds themselves gripping the rail of the Central Criminal Court charged with murder or some firearms related offence.

Having been employed as a soldier and a police officer I can categorically state they are as different as chalk and cheese. Police officer training covers a wide range of subjects and is designed to give an officer the knowledge and skills to deal with most incidents by themselves. I know that officers occasionally patrol in pairs and that you get police carriers containing a dozen or so officers to deal with public order situations, but most officer’s patrol alone.

Soldiers are team players and practically all their training is team based. When the army was called in to help deal with the floods they responded as a team and worked as a team. Start taking soldiers away from that team mentality and giving them, individual responsibilities and you are immediately placing them under stress.

There have been times and most surely will be times in the future when British soldiers are deployed on mainland Britain, but these occasions should be specific and not routine.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for all our armed services and the conflicts of recent years have truly been challenging. Let’s not forget that the problem of a shortage of firearms officers isn’t because there aren’t enough police officers in service, although there is a good argument that there are insufficient police officers to effectively police the UK. No, the problem is a perceived lack of support amongst the rank and file officers which extends beyond firearms officers and encapsulates every copper trying their very best to do their jobs.

Until police officers have confidence in their own forces and the governance of policing this problem will only get worse and no amount of squaddies will make any difference.

 

 

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