Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Impact of 'Police Cuts' Down My Way

A peaceful Saturday morning in the suburbs - but what's this?  Three squad cars turn up, one after another - has a fight broken out in the florists?  Terror in the trattoria?

Details obscured to protect the, ahem, innocent ...
The clue lies above the shopfront with the red awning.  Yes, it's a(nother) coffee morning for the boys and girls in blue.  Like every other morning of the week around here, save the Lord's Day.  And tea in the afternoons.

The percentage of the total patrolling force in this neck of the woods represented by 3 cars-worth at this time of day must be pretty high.  But I'm sure the local commander has bemoaned the impact of budget cuts upon his ability to patrol the streets as he'd like.  

So here's a suggestion ...

ND

24 comments:

Graeme said...

I have noticed the same thing in Welwyn Garden City and at the Nando's on the Southbank. Police cars collect in 3s outside food establishments in the early evening

Bill Quango MP said...

When I was a garage forecourt pump jockey the police came in around 10pm for a cup of tea, two squad cars. And very welcome they were too.

These days, with all the Greggs and bakery products in petrol stations they will be getting free the unsold doughnuts and buns too.

rwendland said...

The Daily Mail is on their side though:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4412702/PCs-soaking-sun-enjoying-tea-bacon-sarnies.html

"allowed a 45-minute break over the course of their eight hour shift"

Anonymous said...

Maybe there's no crime happening in which case this is good news......but what about all the fraud/computer based stuff etc etc they could be investigating? Or maybe it counts as community policing and catching up on all the local intel.

Electro-Kevin said...

They are being told to have their breaks in the 'community'.

Better value for the taxpayer to have them in the open that the clandestine 'tea holes' we used to frequent: friendly security guard's huts, basement of Bart's Hospital near the boiler room, the crypt at St Paul's, backrooms in dodgy cafes...

Then there was the legendary Rubber Dump - a whole underground mess room built out of discarded lorry tyres by PCs in a WW2 bomb crater in the vicinity of London Wall. As many of them were tradies they had an electric generator, windows, lighting, heating, drainage, beds and everything !

One night duty, E-K Snr (also a police officer at the same division) was in the inspection parade for muster when the alarm clock he was carrying in his tunic pocket went off.

Electro-Kevin said...

One Met PC confronted me and said "We only ever see your lot scurrying around back alleys on nights." to which I said,

"Ah. Those are the probationers."

The enthusiasm for getting out in the cold and nicking miscreants expires after about six months in the job. Even if you get one it really is a whole load of hassle - especially a juvenile, which most are.

Steven_L said...

But I bet nobody is using that cafe as a conduit for the sale of heroin and other class A drugs? That's got to be a small success hasn't it?

Thud said...

A suitable venue to check social media for offensive tweets and debate the merits of early retirement on health grounds

Nick Drew said...

obody is using that cafe as a conduit for the sale of heroin and other class A drugs?

So, Dianne, at 6 coppers per cafe, that makes, errrr, ...

Elby the Beserk said...

Shocking. I thought that the Police's main work now was policing the Internet in case somebody upsets somebody else.

See them at work here, and marvel at the public support they are getting for this crucial work.

https://twitter.com/bedspolice/status/891373001689759744

Electro-Kevin said...

Thud - 26 years service being the optimum for retirement with indefinable back pain.

WPCs particulary prone.

Thud said...

EK. nice work if you can get it

Electro-Kevin said...

Thud - Many coppers are outstanding but a significant minority not so.

I was no good at the job and was not prepared to be a uniform carrier/tea hole frequenter - so after five years I did the honourable thing and I quit then took a job despatch riding, then in a factory.

I'm wishing now that I'd stayed and worked the system.

The police pension and lump sum would take a lottery win sum to generate in commercial markets. No way did the average cop pay for it over 30 years and most look way to young to be retired.

pen seive said...

E-K,
As you were in the Job, you would probably remember having to pay 11.5% of your salary towards your pension - which is 11.5% more than MPs pay - (now upgraded to 14.5% of Police salary under Tom 'Walter Mitty' Winsor's reforms). You could retire after 25 years with a pension of half of your salary and after 30 years with a 2/3 salary pension (now 'upgraded' to 1/2 salary pension after 35 years under Winsor's reforms). The retirement age limit was 55 years, to take account of the shift patterns and nature of the work (now increased to 60 years of age under Winsor's reforms, which means you could have your grandfather dealing with public order problems in your High Street on Saturday night). If you were injured on duty and required to be medically retired, the Edmund Davies formula allowed a maximum of 5 years service to be added to your pension contributions (under Winsor's reforms, if you are injured on duty and cannot return to front line Policing after a set period, you face a reduction in pay or premature dismissal). The average life span of a retired Police officer is still somewhere between 5 and 8 years after leaving the Job. The problem these days is that many Police forces are run by people with degrees in sociology from Che Guevara university who seek to employ social workers in uniform keen to climb up the promotion ladder as quickly as possible, with just enough 'rough brutes' who are willing to be cannon fodder or scapegoats when the wheel falls off. Be a copper today? No chance!

Electro-Kevin said...

No. I wouldn't be a copper today on new entrant's terms.

My present pension is 10% of my pay with forty years to completion and nothing like the lump sum at the end of it. It is considered to be an 'excellent' scheme.

The police is a job in which you can hide and one from which it is very difficult to be sacked unless you work hard at it.

pen seive said...

E-K,
Forgot to mention that the lump sum on retirement comes out of the pension calculations - up to 25% of the pension can be received as a lump sum. The larger the commutation, the smaller the pension. There is no pension and lump sum unless a smaller pension is taken.
Assume you do not work nights, lates, and earlies, with only one guaranteed weekend off a month for your 40 years? Or that you spend 12 hours walking a town's streets in the middle of January only to have someone ask why you aren't out fighting crime when you have your first hot drink in 5 hours (you will recall that a 45 minute meal break can be taken in an 8 hour shift "subject to the exigencies of your Police commitments" - major job, no time for meal break, tough!). Also, let's not forget the assaults, danger of insults to you and your family when off duty, or realising the back of your clothing is covered in phlegm after walking past a group of kids 'who all know their rights'.

Steven_L said...

From what I've seen, police stations are a bit like council offices, just with less posters about transgender equality, no flexi-time and nobody over 50.

Electro-Kevin said...

Yes. Done all that PS. My shifts are harder now and if I'm not at the workface it gets noticed.

Nights one if five weeks now. I'm also doing early turns this week, some of which start at 00.50 in the morning (nights again in other words :( )

No bank holidays, weekends worked too... not complaining or anything. My pay is good but compared to a copper of similar service when all is added in...

My point (seeing as it was Thud who raised early retirement and not me):

There is a huge off balance deficit in unfunded public pensions liabilities. I've heard estimates that dwarf national and personal debt. This indicates that public servants aren't actually funding their own pensions.

The police friend I cite retired last year with an 18k index-linked pension and a lump sum of £130k from a provincial force suffering cuts.

No way did his contributions amount to that - not that I resent him having it, just saying that the country can't afford it.

Electro-Kevin said...

Aged 49.

He's taken up building to fill in. I'm sure he could police a town centre still.

Electro-Kevin said...

Going on his father's health he could be drawing that until 90. 41 years - which is 11 years longer than he was actually in service !

My Dad drew 25 years until he passed - Mum is taking 50% now.

Thud said...

EK, the reason I mentioned it was because over the years I've known and worked with several ex police officers two of whom took early retirement.I know some are good (my dad was one of them)but most others I've had contact with have with a few exceptions been useless. As for the job being hard....no.

Electro-Kevin said...

Depends on your area and how prepared you are to get really stuck in, Thud.

It also depends on your nature and the ease with which you get along with people. An easy job is only easy to someone who is a natural at it.

In the police I dreaded going to work. It did not flow easily for me.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff - what era was this Barts basement tea-hole? An old Barts alumnus (74-77) wants to knows.

Electro-Kevin said...

'86 to '89. I recall tables and a food chiller/dispenser in there. The odd nurse would pop in to get a sandwhich and must have been horrified to see a whole divisional group playing cards.

We also used to go for drinks at the Charterhouse outside hours. Tins of cheap lager, beer or bottled wine out of a chest fridge served by medics off duty if I remember.

I vomited over the bar one night.

Not proud. Just reporting it as it was.