Wednesday, 26 December 2007

I've Got It!!!

No, not a nasty dose like the one I wished on Jacqui. And by the way, I still haven't seen her on Sky News having a crafty scratch "down there". Bloody Santa not making my wishes come true!

Anyway, what I have got is the answer. 

But what's the question? Well, if you also wear the Cloth, you'll know how we keep being issued with kit that's completely useless. It just doesn't do what it says on the tin. What's the phrase? Oh yeah, "not fit for purpose". 

For example, my fleece lets all the cold air and water in and after wearing it twice the word Police started to fall off it. 

My strides are itchy and uncomfortable and, on the odd occasion I get to chase somebody like in The Bill, I can't jump over fences without worrying about scrotal damage. 

And my shirts are OK as long as it's not too cold. Or hot. Or wet. Or unless they're taken out of the packet. 

I noticed that our PCSO's had been issued with some really nice looking strides. They were like combat trousers, but a bit shiny and smooth to the touch. I knew I'd never be issued any, because I'd only get them dirty and my Inspector would have to sew patches onto them. But I thought I'd treat myself to a pair. I phoned up our clothing store and asked who the supplier was (some company in Derby) and then phoned them direct to make an order. 

I spoke to a lovely lady who explained that they were £70. I told her she was mistaken, that I only wanted one pair and not one each for everybody I know. But apparently it was I who was mistaken. Because they were £70 a pop! In the end I went to Millets and got two (slightly less shiny but still very smooth pairs for £30. And they were fleece lined!)

So, that's the answer. Instead of Forces spending inordinate amounts of money on kit that either won't get used, because it's crap, or won't get issued because it's too expensive, I've decided to suggest a complete overhaul to the system. 

Basically, we all get issued with £300 worth of vouchers to go and spend at Millets during the Boxing Day sales. We get kit that works and the economy gets a little boost. 

And then we get our Inspector to sew the Force badge on what we buy. 

Monday, 24 December 2007

I'm Not Rubbing It In But...

But, I'm now off work until the 27th of December. Which seems like an awful long way away. It'll have been nearly a week by the time I get back. 

Normally I hate being off work for more than a few days because I start to wonder what I'm missing. I mean, I like drinking beer in front of the telly as much as the next bloke. And I shake a mean tush too, so bars and clubs definitely aren't off limits. But no matter how good a time I have, being off work just isn't as funny as being at work. 

So I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone out there who's going to be looking after me tonight. And also tomorrow as I try not to look too hungover in front of the family. (The smell of sprouts and burnt turkey can make me puke at the best of times but after one too many half shandies....)

Without the nurses, doctors, coppers, paramedics and firefighters Christmas would be an altogether different proposition. So I am grateful. 

But if my thanks don't help you to see the bright side of working whilst I'm shakin' it just think:

Off duty nurses won't be able to extract random household objects from people's arses which "accidentally" got stuck up there. 

Off duty paramedics won't be able to answer 999 calls from somebody who's got a condom stuck up their nose after a Christmas party prank gone wrong. (on a separate issue, I wrote "cuty" instead of "duty" on this one. Freudian slip? There are an awful lot of cute paramedics out there...)

Off duty coppers won't be able to turn up to a disturbance outside a pub and threaten to arrest everyone unless they sing you "Merry Christmas". 

And off duty firefighters can't all jump in their big red busses and go down town to collect kisses off pissed office workers. 

So, silver linings everywhere. Working at Christmas isn't too bad after all. 

And if all else fails, think of the overtime. 

Merry Christmas all x  x

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Merry Christmas (Winter Festival for those of you worried about upsetting anyone)

Well, here we are. Once again it's that time of year and, as I write this, there's only four shoplifting days left 'til Christmas. 

I've been watching the other blogs and, apparently, I'm not the only hoping that Santa brings our illustrious Home Secretary a dose of the clap this year. I thought I'd share with you the letter I wrote to Santa in the hope that, in case he doesn't exist, somebody out there can make my wishes come true. 

Dear Father Christmas, 

My name is Paperwork and I have been very good this year. I arrested some bad people and made sure that they weren't able to hurt or steal from the nice people for at least a few hours. I was nice to my Inspector, even though he's a buffoon, because I know how sensitive he is. I only broke one Police car. And it wasn't really broke. Well, the wheels were, but that's all. And I was very sorry. And lastly, I only shouted at people when they were unpleasant. The nice people all got smiles. 

So, Santa, please can you bring me the following things? 

1) A new car. Not for me you understand. It's for work. Only, the one I'm driving there now has over 120,000 miles on the clock. And, because H.M. Inspectorate have decided we've got too many cars, my Inspector won't give me one. 

2) A new pen. I know, I know. You brought me loads last year. But I'd used them all by February. Which wasn't bad. Imagine if the Government weren't cutting down on the paperwork we have to do...

3) Some business cards with "I know it'll bugger up your budget, but I want what I'm entitled to. Thanks." printed on them. This is because I've decided to stop putting overtime on my card. As you know, I used to do it all the time but now the nasty Mrs Smith has screwed me over I'd rather just have the money now. And anyway, it's not like we're allowed to use the time off anyway. 

4) A big stick. Because Mrs Smith keeps screwing me and I don't like it. I thought perhaps I could poke her with it until she goes away. 

5) Some friends to play with. I used to have lots of friends at work, but they all keep disappearing. They go to somewhere called "specialist unit" and nobody ever sees them again. The Inspector told us we were going to get some new friends, but they were called "Support Officers". He said we're not allowed to play with them in case they get hurt. 

6) A new slogan. Because I'm bored of the one we've got. Everybody's started using it. In. Every. Sentence. As in; 
Officer 1: "Where are you going, colleague?"
Officer 2: "Why, I'm just popping out to Make ****** Safer. And Feel Safer"
Any slogan will do, but if you could bring me one that has something to do with "Locking Up Villains Until They're Too Old To Commit Crime" then that'd be nice. 

7) A donkey jacket, brazier and a big cardboard placard. I don't know why, but my friends (the ones who haven't disappeared) say we're going to need them soon. By the way, what does "scab" mean?

8) A Commendation. I saw in General Orders that the Chief gave loads out last week. I know I don't deserve one, because they were all on Quality Development Projects and Community Diversity Teams and I just arrest the bad people. But it might be nice to have a "Santa's Commendation" to put on my wall. 

9) Finally, Santa, I want you to bring peace and goodwill to all. Apart from the following:
  • people who can't be arsed to work for a living and expect me to pay for their Stella and Sky Sports
  • people who think it's OK to treat others like sh*t
  • people who want me to raise their kids for them, because frankly they're too busy stealing. And drinking Stella
  • people who can't so much as sniff a can of Stella without punching whoever happens to be stood next to them
  • people who can't be arsed to sort out their own problems, "because, like, the Police should, like, do it, right, cos I pay your wages!"
  • people who don't understand the concept of "that doesn't belong to you"

All the best Santa, 

Paperwork, aged 5 x

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Never Judge A Book By It's Cover

Is what my old mum always used to say. And she's right...

...unless you happen to be driving a green Peugeot 106, have a skin head hair cut, are covered in tattoos, have a girlfriend/f**k buddy in the passenger seat and insist on talking about "disrespecting" you.

Under these circumstances I can be fairly confident you'll give me loads of attitude and insist on making a huge display for the benefit of your neighbours (none of whom appeared to be at work, even though it was a weekday morning) so that you could be a local hero for telling me to "f**k off!"

I'm also pretty confident that when I tell you that you're under arrest for being a pillock that you'll kick off and your (we'll call her) girlfriend will start screaming at me to leave you alone.

And then, even though I'm about nine and a half stone and you weigh almost double that, I wouldn't be that surprised if you started kicking off and shouting about how I'm assaulting you and that I haven't got the right to grab hold of you and kick your legs away from you. (Actually, during the confusion, I never got the chance to ask which university you studied law at.)

As I wait for other officers to turn up I'm not that surprised that your underclass brethren decide to crowd around me and get all brave. Particularly the ones who are happy to drag their young kids with them (what, no school today either?) so that I can't marinate anybody with my new pava spray.

Oh, and not wanting to prejudge anything, I'm kind of expecting you to plead not guilty to the public order and resist arrest charges. And in doing so to sponge yet more money from the public purse. Well, why should you care? It's not like you pay taxes is it?

Which is a point that didn't go down too well during the cafuffle as we gave each other a hug in the middle of the road.

Random Leary Woman: "Oi, leave it out. We pay your wages!"
Me (for a moment not watching my tongue): "Er, no, I pay your benefits. So move away and dribble spit on someone else".

I'll stick another post on similar to this one which demonstrates why I think my patience with these people is starting to fade somewhat. I need to be careful before I come out with something that will get me in trouble.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Suffer Little Children

There's been a couple of instances recently in the news where young children have been either neglected or actively abused by family members leading to the deaths of the children.

One of the things I found hardest to get to grips with after joining the job was coming face to face with this sort of depravity and not throwing the parent out of the nearest window. I couldn't understand how an adult could treat any child so badly, never mind their own. But there were lots and lots of examples of how wrong I was. Still, I never quite got used to it.

One particular time, we'd been looking for a guy who was wanted for theft and burglary and we knew he spent a lot of time at a particular house. The woman who lived there, we'll call her "Sara", was a raging heroin addict and had four kids. The youngest was still in nappies and the eldest about fourteen. Her place was basically an open house for any drug addled low life in the area and when her benefits couldn't stretch to her heroin she paid for them by whoring herself to the other users and anyone else she could find. She'd do this at home with the kiddies still in the house.

Anyway, we'd gone round there and put containment on the house to stop the bloke we were looking for skipping over the back wall. I knocked on the door and, after being told to "f*ck off" several times I persuaded Sara that it would be easier if she opened the door from the inside rather than us doing it from the outside.

I walked in and the sight I was met with was enough to block out the abuse she was giving me from about six inches away. As she called me every name under the Sun, including a few I'd never heard before, screaming into my ear I gazed around her "home".

The kitchen was covered in dirty clothes and dirty plates and pans. To the point that you couldn't see any of the work tops and most of the floor. There were flies, living and dead, all over and a small army of ants working their way around the days old rotting food. Turning left, I walked down the hall into her "living room". I call it that, but the only things actually living there were probably what Tony Blair was searching for in Iraq. The sofas were taken up by a group of heroin addicts I was on nodding terms with and they were engrossed in the football. I said hello to them as I looked behind the sofa for the chap we were looking for.

Instead, I found Sara's youngest, filthy dirty and with a nappy overflowing with piss and shit. He gave me a big smile and wave. His hands were black with ingrained dirt.

Sara's carpet was purple originally, but in most places had either worn away or was now more of a browny black colour. There was a stench of human fecaes that made me retch. I asked one of the bobbies with me to wait in the living room and I walked upstairs. Again, the carpet had all but worn away. On the landing there was an ironing board set up and, on the ironing board a large saucepan. Sticking out of the pan was a wooden spoon. I looked inside and saw it contained some rice krispies and milk that had long since gone off. The stink of the sour milk did help to cover the smell of urine from the bedrooms though so small mercies...

The bathroom was more filthy than the living room, the toilet caked in brown stains and the bath full of more dirty clothes. The bedrooms were equally bad, with matresses on the floor barely covered by dirty sheets. Again, the floors were covered in dirty clothes and half eaten takeaway meals.

Sara's room, unsurprisingly, was the cleanest of the lot. That said, it still stank of sweat, dirt and recently burned heroin. I prodded around the rooms with my stick and we eventually found the bloke we were looking for hiding in a cupboard set into the wall in one of the kid's bedrooms. Considering he was going to go to prison, he was remarkably compliant. I put this down to the fact he was close to passing out due to the smell. In fact, he perked up enough to put up a bit of a fight one he'd had some fresh air.

We obviously removed the kids that were there under a Police Protection Order and Sara kicked right off. The loving, caring mother was probably stressed about losing her child benefit payments. As I carried the toddler out (admittedly at arms length. I mean, I like kids as much as the next person but...) Sara was again screaming at me as she was held back by a bobby and one of her smack head mates. The temptation to drag her upstairs and stick her face in the pan on the ironing board was almost overwhelming.

Instead, as she followed me outside and played up to the growing audience of jeering anti-Police neighbours I instead just pointed out, loud enough for them to hear, why exactly I was taking her children away. All of a sudden the neighbours weren't quite as supportive of her.

As we drove away we felt like we'd done a good job all round and I definately didn't mind filling in the paperwork for Social Services to follow up on our P.P.O. Thing is, within a week, the kids were back living in the slum after Sara had given "assurances" to the social workers. Still, we felt like we'd done our bit and at least we knew to keep an eye on the kiddies in the future.

I bumped into her eldest not long ago. She'd left Sara's as soon as she could and got a place at a hostel for young people. She found a job and started a college course and she's doing OK. She's been in trouble once or twice, but not for anything particularly bad and I felt really proud of her. She's beaten the odds and I just hope her brothers and sisters do too.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Only The Big Issues

So much has changed since I popped off and have since come back.

There's a new Prime Minister (I was going to say new Home Sec' too, but that goes without saying. When's the last time anyone spent more than eight days in the post?) and we're waiting to see what his thoughts on Policing are.

The threat from Al Qaeda is still ever-present culminating in some mis-guided numpty trying to drive his BBQ set into Glasgow airport. (On a side issue, could they possibly have picked a worse target? Anywhere else in the country the passengers would have been running for cover. In Glasgow they all weigh in and give them a pasting. Even the bloke who was on fire! I saw (made up) an interview with one of them on TV. He said, "I saw he was on fire and tried to put him out with the fire extinguisher". Interviewer: "Yes, but they work better if you spray water out of them, not beat the person around the head with it".)

There's been massive falls on the stock exchange leading to fears of global financial meltdown. Or something.

The football season's just started and I'm trying to convince Mrs Paperwork that we need Sky Sports. Even if it means we don't eat for a couple of weeks. Think of the weight we'd lose.

And it looks like we've got another fight on our hands to get a pay rise in September.

But all of these issues pale into insignificance alongside that of a new tea fund that's been introduced in my absence. Honestly, turn your back for five minutes and somebody goes and hikes up the prices and buys crap biscuits. Supermarket own-brand digestives are inferior! Only custard creams, bourbons, hob nobs and McVities digestives (chocolate or plain) are acceptable!

It's possibly because of this trauma that I was a very bad boy on my return. My inbox contained a daft amount of emails, so many that it would (possibly) have taken days just to skim through them. So, in the interests of efficiency, I just kind of deleted them all. I've got to be honest, after the initial burst of endorphin-fuelled high I did wonder whether it was such a good idea. I mean, there was almost certainly one or two in there that, if not exactly interesting or important, did need some sort of action from me.

So I'm waiting for the fallout and trying to think of excuses. I was going to blame it on the Home Secretary. By the time they work out who it is this week they'll have forgotten why they're asking in the first place.

Friday, 10 August 2007

I Only Popped Out For A Loaf Of Bread...

Er, hiya...

Sorry I've been a bit quiet. I had to go work away at short notice.

I've had loads of really nice emails and other messages from people asking where I am and, if I've died in some sort of yachting accident, can they have my kit?

Well, just to dispell any rumours, I'm back, I've not been sacked, I haven't run off with the Superintendant's wife (recently), I am still here and I definately DID NOT toe the party line.

It's my first proper day back today but I'm going to try and get something a bit more substantial down on Monday.

In the meantime, hope you're all enjoying the weather and keeping safe out there.

Peace and love,

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Quick Update

Very quickly, I got a reply to the nasty email I sent.

I was told to "tow the party line".

That's me told then.