View Full Version : British Policing (catch all)

04-06-2012, 09:22 PM
A privately made short video, which is captioned:
A short video reminding the public of the varied and challenging work of the British Police Service following the recent horrendous changes to the conditions of service, in the hope of also reminding people that the Police aren't just a uniform.


I know a number of SWC members and readers are law enforcement in the USA and a few other places as well, so you may recognise many of the situations.

04-06-2012, 10:16 PM
It was my observation that the thing that bugged people wasn't the work itself, it was the supervisors and their actions. This video hints at that.

Are they really facing such drastic pay cuts?

04-06-2012, 10:58 PM

It is far more than cuts in police budgets (85% plus on wages) and have a peek at this short briefing paper by the equivalent of a PBA. Link:http://www.surreypf.co.uk/uploads/Winsor%20Part%202.pdf
In 1980 I was warned by a street cop in Detroit that the real problems for a police officer were inside the station, not outside; which for a British cop struck me as strange, but turned out to have merit.

04-06-2012, 11:07 PM

That link won't open. FIXED thanks.

05-25-2014, 06:53 PM
To hear 'Officers short, officers shot, get an ambulance' when you are a leader is hard.

On 18 September 2012, Constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, two Greater Manchester Police officers, were killed by Dale Cregan in a gun (32 shots) and grenade attack while responding to a report of a burglary in Greater Manchester, England. The incident was the first in Great Britain in which two female police officers were killed on duty.Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Nicola_Hughes_and_Fiona_Bone

This week the officers local commander, Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, spoke at the annual Police Federation conference (for US readers similar to the PBA and not a trade union) for just less than fifty minutes on what happened that day and what lessons he learnt, as a professional leader.

It is hard in places, when he asks 'Did I do enough as commander?' It is a painful and positive legacy - with some staff still affected. 'There is no blueprint' for afterwards; noteworthy as he had ten years Army service and twenty-two years as a police officer.

Quite a lot there to absorb. There's plenty of humour, a little "blue" language, sadness and pride. Yes it is a British situation, responding to this situation is sadly (almost) universal.

Updated June 2015 the cited video is no longer readily found. This is the most comprehensive account I can find now:http://www.policemag.co.uk/editions/June14_conf14_GMP_senior_officer_close_to_quitting .aspx

10-30-2014, 04:23 PM
Today's Home Office evidencce-based report concludes that tough drug enforcement does not decrease use of illegal drugs and one reviewer has remarked:
It is the most significant report on drugs the British government has published for 40 years.

Drugs policy is not my area of interest, but I noted the references to the long term reduction internationally in drug use. The same reviewer adds
No-one is entirely sure why the decline is happening, although it is thought it could be linked to the decreasing popularity of smoking. Cannabis makes up the lion's share of illicit drug use and some experts believe the drug has declined in popularity, like tobacco, because smoking itself is increasingly seen as unfashionable. As cannabis rates fall, they drag down general drug use rates.

Link to report, 59 pgs:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368489/DrugsInternationalComparators.pdf

The cited review:http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2014/10/30/the-home-office-admits-it-tough-enforcement-does-not-lower-d

The BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29824764

Now whether this report has any impact is unclear. Very few were in the House of Commons today for a debate, although several Conservatives spoke in favour of reform.

11-25-2014, 03:19 PM
Police officers whether British or not have often been the target of 'lone wolves' and planned terrorist attacks. It has become a "hot" topic within the police here as rumour, press reports and some obscure internal warnings cause concern:http://retiredandangry.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/british-police-sitting-ducks-for-jihadist-fanatics-a-guest-blog-by-chris-hobbs/

An ex-London officer has written a column, it opens with:
Circulating on the police grapevine are alarming accounts which suggest that both police officers and PCSO’s have been recently subject to ‘hostile reconnaissance’ in the vicinity of police stations when off duty travelling to or from work.
Police have every reason to be anxious: Just last month five men were arrested in conjunction with a plot that featured Shepherds Bush Police Station in West London. Images of two police officers and two PCSO’s were recovered during that investigation.
The author has some good thoughts on 'protect the protectors'. I wonder if any police leader will respond.

01-16-2015, 04:53 PM
After the murders in Paris, the fear others remain at large in France; the raids in Berlin and yesterday's raids, with two dead Jihadists in Belguim - the UK police have started a review regarding the safety of the Jewish community and police officers:
....in light of the attacks in Paris last week, we have been reviewing, alongside our partners, our overall security posture. This is a further step in a process over a number of years of learning lessons from such events. For example, since the attack in Mumbai in 2008, we have enhanced our ability to respond effectively to a marauding terrorist attack by expanding our specialist firearms capability and improving the effectiveness of the response and joint working of all the emergency services. More generally we have continued to refine our plans and to enhance our capabilities to respond to a terrorist threat which has evolved and diversified.

(Later) We are also considering what further measures we might put in place to enhance the security of police officers, given some of the deliberate targeting of the police we have seen in a number of countries across Europe and the world. Chief Constables across the country are reviewing how to strengthen the protection of their officers from such attacks. Our men and women on the frontline are used to confronting risk and danger and are well-trained in how to protect the public and themselves.

So no more - via a media Tweet - single officer patrolling.

02-05-2015, 11:41 AM
An update on the alleged plot by aspiring Jihadists to attack the police in London, after a court appearance yesterday and a trail date set in June:
Five British terror suspects are to face a 10-week trial on charges of plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack on police officers or soldiers in London. The men are accused of obtaining a handgun and silencer to carry out the atrocity, possibly in a drive-by shooting, which was allegedly planned during covert discussions last year. The five, all from London, are also said to have sworn allegiance to Islamic State and carried out “hostile reconnaisance” on Shepherd’s Bush police station and White City army reserve barracks in London, using Google Street View.

02-05-2015, 11:59 AM
The national police representative body and not a union, known here as the Police Federation has called for
All police officers should be armed with Taser stun guns in light of the heightened security threat, according to the head of the body that represents front-line police officers.

Only 3% of police officers in England & Wales are firearms trained, the remainder rely on a baton (various types), CS spray or PAVA peper spray when force is required.

In an online poll by the Police Federation just under 90% want Taser issued.

Taser has been in use here for around ten years, at times it has been controversial, not just when eight people died. A small number of Tasers are deployed today, probably less than 5% of officers carry them.

Taser clearly is not a response to jihadists with firearms, but to date aspiring jihadists have had remarkable little success in acquiring working firearms and ammo. The more likely threat is from bladed weapons, as it was in Nice, France last week.

Locally the West Midlands Police's Chief Constable has rejected the issue of Taser for all operational officers, saying it does not fit the British model of un-armed, minimum force policing. Time will tell.

02-05-2015, 05:34 PM
I fear that any police officer on duty, especially those guarding or patrolling on food are potential 'sitting ducks' be they armed with handguns, tasers or potentially rifles (http://www.france24.com/en/20150203-french-soldiers-patrolling-jewish-centre-attacked-with-knife/)

The assailant “lunged violently” at one soldier’s face, slashing his cheek, and stabbed another in the arm, a police source said. He was arrested while attempting to flee thanks to the intervention of two nearby tram workers, and a local shopkeeper. The soldiers’ injuries were described as not serious.
The military personnel were on patrol in front of the Jewish centre as part of heightened security measures following the Paris terror attacks last month.

Deadly attacks on police officers are thankfully extremely rare in Europe, especially those with rifles. IIRC the bloodiest incident of that sort happened peaceful Austria (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/charred-body-found-in-austrian-hunt-for-gunman-who-killed-three-police-officers-and-emergency-worker-8821742.html) by a local hunter turned poacher and not by jihadist returned from Syria. Btw he used a a suppressed assault rifle (http://www.krone.at/Oesterreich/Waffe_des_Wilderers_in_Bach_gefunden-Amoklauf_in_Annaberg-Story-405777), possibly stolen from the Austrian Army to murder the officers and the emergency worker. As said before thankfully such events are very rare, just like those Paris-style attacks as the victims stand little chance.

Am 13. August 2014 wurde bekannt, dass das im Lassingbach gefundene StG 77 aus den Bestaenden des Bundesheeres stammt. Die ausrangierte Waffe hätte eigentlich vernichtet werden sollen. Wie das Sturmgewehr in die Haende von Alois H. gelangt war, blieb offen und soll auch nicht mehr erhoben werden. Der Privatbesitz ist verboten.. So was an ex-army rifle, which should have been destroyed.

11-24-2015, 10:40 PM
British policing is having an exceptionally hard time, mainly due to a 20% budget cut since 2010 and another bout is expected to be announced tomorrow - even after the Paris attacks.

The link is to a blogsite that sums up the situation well:https://arrestingconversations.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/the-governments-hatred-of-the-police-is-putting-public-safety-at-risk/

12-03-2015, 09:18 PM
This is the title of a piece on Kings of War and is written by a recently retired senior UK police officer:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2015/11/cclkow-call-out-the-militia/?

The introduction by an Editor starts with:
Today in CCLKOW we are reorienting you to the homeland and the problems of interoperability between police and the armed forces. Even without the Paris Attacks earlier this month, the subject of mastering the ‘JIIM’ environment is critical, both in military operations at home and abroad. To discuss this, I am very happy to bring to you a special guest writer, Ian Wiggett, recently retired as an Assistant Chief Constable from Greater Manchester Police. It should be understood, then, that this piece is written from the British perspective, which includes a significant difference with respect to the use of force by the police, particularly as concerns the generally disarmed stance. Nevertheless, the issue of integrating a military response to an attack to the homeland matters even to the US.

04-30-2016, 07:34 PM
In April 1989 @ Hillsborough soccer ground ninety-six Liverpool FC supporters died in a crowd crush and this week after a two-year long coroner's inquest it was determined by the jury:
The inquest’s verdict, when it finally arrived, represented the most thorough vindication imaginable for the families of the dead and an equally damning indictment of South Yorkshire Police. The jury supplanted the 1991 verdict with one of unlawful killing, laying blame squarely on the police in the process.The disaster, let alone this week's verdict, has always aroused passion and controversy.

This article is the best description I've read this week:http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/apr/26/hillsborough-disaster-deadly-mistakes-and-lies-that-lasted-decades

The local police force, South Yorkshire, now faces an uncertain future and civil legal action is likely - against them and the West Midlands who conducted a post-match investigation.

The part played by 'police culture' is presented by an academic and a former Met Police Commissioner in this short article (a good part of which I disagree with):http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/police-scandals-and-cop-culture/?

05-12-2016, 11:03 AM
In March I attended a small conference @ Warwick University, for a conference Policing and Public Confidence:
It brought together a diverse group of researchers, policing professionals, and people from the world of policy. Each has an interest in understanding relationships between the police and the publics they serve.Videos are now available for each session:http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/projects/public-confidence-in-policing/events-features

This summer is the 35th anniversary of the Brixton riots @ London and the 5th anniversary of another, wider bout of rioting.

Rather unusually IMHO both establishment and critical voices were heard, without rancour and it included some surprises - notably Det. Insp. Hart on Confidence and Threats to Life, whose research found there was no evidence for the methods being used:
There is no structured teaching in key-decision making roles in the police on 'threats to life' incidents. My experience is that threats to life incidents are looked at very subjectively, and massively different to the people we interviewed.

Bill Moore
05-23-2016, 07:15 AM

The Government has announced plans to recruit 1,500 extra firearms officers in the wake of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks. But there are already at least 300 vacancies across England and Wales as numbers of authorised officers have fallen to the lowest level for seven years.

Mr White said: "Before we even start talking about recruiting the extra 1,500, we are struggling to fill the vacancies we have currently got because of the lack of understanding and protection that officers would have if they have to discharge their firearm.

06-27-2016, 12:46 PM
An interesting article about the man and a film made now. I am not sure about the motivation here.

It is now five years since the mainly English urban rioting, which started in Tottenham, north London. Nearby is the Broadwater Farm Estate, where in 1985 another bout of rioting started.

A big "take away":
No police came. It just escalated. It just got worse and worse until the riot police came out there trying to clear the streets. You’ve got angry people trying to fight back. That lasted for about 13 hours.Link:https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/26/man-accused-of-starting-2011-london-riots-mark-duggan

07-28-2016, 11:21 AM
Chris Hobbs is a retired London police officer who has an irregular column on policing and other law enforcement issues. His latest column is entitled 'Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge, Munich: The UK’s Emaciated Blue Line Braces'.

A "taster":
Make no mistake, every single officer in this country, most of whom perform duties unarmed, would be mentally rehearsing their actions if and indeed when, they are confronted with similar scenarios in our cities, towns and resorts. Their collective view is perhaps summed by the legendary serving police blogger ‘Inspector Gadget’ who tweeted; “UK cops watching armed police on Sky News rushing to contain the Munich scene thinking what in God’s name would we do here.“


01-09-2017, 11:03 AM
Policing in London is quite different to the rest of the UK, including other big cities and with so many armed incidents, plus the threat of attack, Metropolitan Police officers have long argued - without success - that they should all be armed.

Now their professional body, not a trade union, is holding a ballot:
Questions being put to officers in the survey include:

Whether they would want to carry a Taser or firearm at all times while on duty
If they think there should be more firearms officers in London
If the thought of carrying a gun would make them leave the job


Within is this, which I'd not spotted before:
But a recent poll in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market attacks found 58% of the public believed officer should carry guns.
Actually the cited polling was after the Paris 2015 attacks!;)

01-17-2017, 05:40 PM
The British Police Service have always had an official set of documents on armed policing. I had missed a good part of those policies are now in the public domain; in a document from the College of Policing and known as APP (Authorised Professional Practice):http://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/armed-policing/
From the introduction:
This module provides:

guidance on the appropriate issue and use of firearms and related less lethal options within the police service.
a basis for the training of all relevant police staff in matters relating to the operational use of firearms. This includes command issues at strategic, tactical and operational levels.
guidance on command structures, tactical options and operational issues associated with the deployment of Authorised Firearms Officers

A significant contributor to the APP is Simon Chesterman, his slim bio states:
Simon Chesterman QPM has been in the police service for 33 years. He is currently the Deputy Chief Constable of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. He is a firearms commander and part of the national counter terrorist command cadre, and has been the National Police Chief's Council lead for armed policing for approaching nine years.He has written an article 'The police we need: Armed police officers and the use of lethal force', currently available to view on a small website, after free registration on ' an e-newsletter 'Policing Insight' (not run by the police service):https://policinginsight.com/opinion/police-need-armed-police-officers-use-lethal-force/
Post 15 on the main UK Policing thread refers to the latest developments in London, a vote by serving officers on whether to be armed:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=21459
A previous APP on Undercover Policing had 4,489 views:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=24129

01-17-2017, 08:36 PM
The UK has millions of private and public CCTV cameras, covering public and private spaces. Policing has for at least fifteen years placed incredible reliance on obtaining usable footage to investigate crimes, now a formet Met officer has "blown the whistle":
Thousands of crimes in London are going unsolved because police are failing to fully investigate CCTV footage, a former senior Met detective claimed today. Mick Neville, a former detective chief inspector, said that despite billions of pounds being spent on CCTV cameras by companies and individuals, images were not routinely collected by police.
Both links are the same. The original newspaper report:http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/met-police-fail-to-solve-crimes-because-of-ignorance-about-cctv-footage-a3442416.html

From an advocacy group:https://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/media-and-press/evening-standard-met-police-fail-to-solve-crimes-because-of-ignorance-about-cctv-footage/

01-26-2017, 09:42 PM
A reply to Simon Chesterman's article (Post ) by Professor Punch on 'Policing Insight' website, alas you need to register to view. He raises a host of issues.

As we are learning from a public inquiry in Liverpool, led by Judge Teague, into a fatal shooting by officers from Greater Manchester Police (aka GMP and England's 2nd largest force) in March 2012, in Cheshire a “coach & horses” are being driven through what senior police officers have been saying.
Why? Here is the inquiry counsel:
The position is that of the five officers in a command role on the 3rd of March 2012 there are problems with the operation and occupational competency of four of them’ and the paper refers to ‘four of the five senior officers in charge of the operation did not have the correct training, and one had failed a firearms course. Then and probably citing an IPCC report:
That intelligence “did not support a reasonable view” that Grainger was violent, possessed firearms or was involved in armed robberies, the IPCC found in 2013, and it questioned whether the tactics used were “necessary or proportionate to the risk in this situation” From: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/17/anthony-grainger-shooting-public-inquiry-police-intelligence
If a large metropolitan police service, like GMP, did this can the public trust reassurances from other, mainly smaller forces? GMP is known to have had serious problems with armed criminality, including the murder of two police constables.

02-14-2017, 10:07 PM
An academic article that argues firearms wold be a "step too far" and even a greater issue of Taser has problems. It ends with:
When it comes to police weaponisation, international research offers clear guidance. Although many police officers feel they may be safer if they are permitted to carry weapons, in reality they might not be.Link:https://theconversation.com/police-prefer-to-carry-tasers-but-would-that-make-anyone-safer-71646? (https://theconversation.com/police-prefer-to-carry-tasers-but-would-that-make-anyone-safer-71646?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20February%2013%202017%20-%2067554945&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20February%2013%202017%20-%2067554945+CID_28fb3792495cfad3461831ff7047fbee&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Police%20prefer%20to%20carry%20tasers%20% 20but%20would%20that%20make%20anyone%20safer)

04-23-2019, 07:25 PM
A short report by a BBC reporter who embedded with the police in Manchester for three months, but didn't do the paperwork. Here are two sentences:
Over these months, I've seen police officers working under immense pressure with no margin for error, in situations that most of us will never be exposed to. Those officers who do this are not normal. They are brave and sometimes they're heroic.

05-05-2019, 10:24 AM
A public comment by my local Chief Constable which reinforces my view that policing here is broken. So what did he say?
We are not always able to take the fight to the criminals in the way we would want – in some routine cases, the delays and stretch are resulting in charges not being brought as they would have years ago.
The public know that serious organised crime and counter-terrorism are important. What is cheesing off the public is the routine stuff. That’s the stuff for the vast majority that affects legitimacy and confidence. It’s the phone not getting answered, and not turning up for some jobs people expect us to do. That is damaging confidence and legitimacy.

Part of the problem, money aside, is the police's reluctance, if not refusal, to publicly say "We do not do that now". Then they say "x" is a priority or we have officers patrolling your area - when in reality there are none.

Here is a Met (London) constable's anonymous commentary:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/02/police-officer-london-lost-control-streets-knife-crime-cuts?