Monday, February 11, 2008

Why the police don't deserve their pay rise #94,000

Thanks to the email correspondent who pointed me towards yet another incident of heavy-handed policing which shows, yet again, why the fuckers have never been held in such contempt.
ARMED police have swooped on a house in an operation to remove firearms from Swindon's streets.

In the intricately planned raid, armed officers, acting on information that guns were being stored at a Pinehurst address, arrived at The Circle in convoy and immediately sealed off the area.

A second wave of officers from the north Swindon neighbourhood policing teams then sealed the outer edges of The Circle, to make sure members of the public did not stray into the line of fire.

A police negotiator spoke to the occupant of the house, before it was thoroughly searched.

Good god! What will they find? Are you on tenterhooks? I know I am...
During the search, two air rifles and two replica guns were surrendered to police.

Chief Inspector Simon Dicks, leading the operation, said that, although the weapons are not illegal while kept inside the man's home, the raid had helped to make Swindon's streets safer.

So, just hang on a fucking minute: armed officers from two Swindon forces arrived at a house to take possession of legal air rifles and the Swindon police are attempting to spin this as a success?

Has the raid made "Swindon's streets safer"? No, because not only were the firearms legal, but they weren't on the fucking street.

"Oh," you say, "But they might have been." Really? Look at the phrasing in the piece.
... acting on information that guns were being stored at a Pinehurst address...

When I was young, I used to build model kits; you know the sort: Airfix planes, tanks, battleships and the like. Often, I would stockpile them and then go out into the garden with my father's air rifle and shoot them up (and, when I had the strength to cock it, I used the air pistol too. The pistol wasn't as much fun actually: the increased power and larger slugs demolished the kits fairly swiftly).

What do you want to bet that something similar happened here, and some nosy fucking neighbour decided to 'phone the Pigs in a panic?
"This was absolutely not a waste of time," said Ch Insp Dicks.

Oh, really? You could have fooled me.
"If we have got four firearms less in circulation then I can sleep happier at night."

They are legal fucking weapons, you totalitarian cunt: you have no authority to hold onto them whatso-fucking-ever.
"These guns look very real, and could cause people to be genuinely scared, and if this man's house was burgled then they could be out on the street."

Yeah? And if his house was burgled, no doubt there would be more massive fucking kitchen knives out on the street: did you confiscate them too? In fact, have you confiscated all of the kitchen knives in Swindon, you fuck?
"We do not use armed police officers lightly, but in this case it was considered the safest course of action for the public and our officers.

"If people have firearms they have to make sure they are properly stored and licensed by the police.

"We will seize any firearms in Swindon, unless there is a lawful purpose for people to have them."

Who are you to decide what a lawful purpose is, you utter bastard? Those firearms—and I cannot stress this enough—were entirely legal. You do not have any damn authority to take them away.
Swindon's new divisional commander of operations, Chief Superintendent Paul Howlett, said: "There is a national issue about guns and gangs, but that is not to say there is an issue with them in Swindon.

"We came into information about firearms, which can cause lethal harm.

Fuck me, really? Did you know that cars can cause lethal harm too? Rat poison? Knives? Alcohol? Vitamin C, too, can cause lethal harm. Where the hell are you going to stop?
"And we have to make sure people are safe.

"Undertaking armed searches with armed officers there is always a risk and we have to make sure it is safe for the people around and the police officers involved.

"In this case it transpired that the guns were, in fact, lawfully possessed weapons rather than firearms.

"But of course air weapons and BB guns are capable of looking like real fire arms and there is a real risk if people carry them or display them in public."

Is there any indication that this person was, in fact, carrying them around or displaying them in public? Er... no.

Let us take the scenario with the kits that I painted above. Is it the case that these firearms were being displayed in public? No. They were being used in the privacy of our garden, in our own home, on our own private fucking property.

Is there any evidence that these weapons were being carried or displayed in public in this case? No. None. So what the fuck are the police playing at?
The occupant of the house was not arrested in the operation.

Oh, well, that's big of them, eh? And why was the occupant not arrested? Well, the clue is in what the Chief Superintendent said...
"In this case it transpired that the guns were, in fact, lawfully possessed weapons rather than firearms."

So, have they been returned? Have they?

So, whilst the police are hassling a private citizen in his own home and confiscating entirely legal weapons (which is, I might remind you, theft), how are the crime figures looking?
As we know, British policing is a catastrophic mess. Detection rates are less than 25%—half what they were in the 60s—there's a wobbling mountain of paperwork, real coppers on the beat have been replaced by numpties in yellow jackets, police stations are being closed all over the shop, and you're only really safe if you buy your own private security.

It's not exactly a litany of success is it? And we know why.

Because, revelling in their power, the arsehole police have decided that catching real criminals is a bit too fucking difficult. Instead, they decide to attack the law-abiding and the innocent and exploit, to the maximum point possible, every scrap of power that the totalitarian lunatics in Westminster see fit to grant them.

Police states have always needed one thing: a police force quite willing to use the powers that they are granted to oppress the very people whom they are supposed to protect; and I cannot think of a single police force that has not seized that opportunity with a quite distasteful eagerness. It is why police states come about.

No doubt some policemen will say that, "it's not my fault, guv. It was the government what made me do it. We don't like it anymore than you." This is, of course, bullshit of the very highest order.

If the police were not hugging themselves with glee at the prospect of being able to fuck over normal people, they would have marched in Westminster over something a little more important than whether their entirely undeserved pay rise was backdated to September or not. After all, the fuckers have had enough bloody pay rises.
Having perused the stats, we can confirm they're certainly well paid. According to the Office for National Statistics, your typical copper at sergeant and below now earns £36,700 pa (ASHE April 2007 [PDF]; T 14.7a, full-time median). That compares with economy-wide median pay of £24,000 (ft median). So the cops get a premium of 50%.

Back in 1997, the same typical cop got about £24,000, so his pay has gone up by over 53%. Since prices have only increased by 17% (CPI), that means a 30% increase in real pay. And in 1997, the economy-wide median pay was £16,700, so the police premium was "only" 44% (ASHE 1997). With police pay up by 53% and average pay only up 44%, the relative position of the police has improved significantly. Here's the picture:

And on top of their cash in the hand pay, there's that gold plated pension. Whereas for most employees final salary pensions are now a distant pre-Labour dream, the police still enjoy index-linked final salary pensions and retirement at 50. These days that's worth at least 30% on top of declared salary (eg see this blog).

No one trusts the police to do anything except to fuck over the general public, both directly (as in the firearms case above) and indirectly (through happily accepting massive fucking payrises in return for not doing their job). So, as I have said before, the police can fucking whistle for their pay rise.

Let us remind ourselves, yet again, of the Peelian principles, set out by the founder of the first formal police force, shall we?
  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

  5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

The police had better hope that I never get into power because, if I ever do, I will cut their damn wages every single year until they start doing their fucking job, i.e. upholding the damn law rather than targeting the innocent.

Actually, scratch that: the entire police force will be razed to the ground and we'll just start again. Too drastic?

OK then, let us moderate that proposal: every single senior officer will be sacked, without compensation or pension, on the very same week that I get into office.*

Start counting down the days, you totalitarian scum.

UPDATE: a warm welcome to members of the Police Oracle forum, especially Penbwich who neatly sums up the kind of attitude that I was talking about with this post.
Sounds like he is trying to find excuses for something. Perhaps he is hiding something. Perhaps he should be the subject of a raid.

There's nothing quite like the rush of abusing a position of power for personal gain, is there, eh?

As for the rest of you, if you can tell me which parts of my rant were factually incorrect—I do, after all, only have the media report to go from—then I will be happy to issue a correction. In particular, if anyone would like to tell me whether or not the Swindon police still have possession of these completely legal weapons, I would love to know.

* This is, of course, slightly hypothetical. I am not sure that I could be an MP: getting up every morning and loathing myself might be slightly dispiriting.

Although, of course, if people voted for me, I would answer the call. But you can bet that my finances would be sparkly clean, and that I would, in any case, conform to the strictures laid out by the Libertarian Party.
Until some honesty has returned to public life, we will require that any candidate standing for election in the name of the Libertarian Party will make the following commitments:
  • the full details of any and all expenses that they claim in the execution of their duties will be disclosed in their entirety on this website within 30 days of being incurred

  • they will not employ their spouse, or any other member of immediate family, using public funds

  • they will not participate in any pension scheme associated with their public position

  • they will not accept offers of hospitality, travel junkets or similar freebies, which could be seen as an attempt by any individual or organisation to gain influence or favour

Whilst placing restrictions over and above the current state of the law on our candidates is distinctly unlibertarian, as a party we are prepared to swallow our principles on this to ensure that you, the public, don't have to keep swallowing yours in respect of how the political class currently abuse our trust.

And, of course, I would promise to call a spade "a spade". Or rather, call a liar "a liar".

However, I do not anticipate sitting in Parliament any time soon, so this is all rather academic...


randian said...

Right on, DK!

In addition, I would expand the "can't hire your family" rule. Not just your family, but:

1) Any ancestor or descendant in your immediate family line (no hiring parents, grandparents, grandchildren, etc).
2) Any brothers or sisters of you or your spouse
3) Any spouse or child of the above. No fair hiding compensation of direct family members by paying their spouses or children instead.

Anonymous said...

What a superb rant. AS a retired officer sidelined during the last 6 years of service because of my views can only agree with you. Please don't however blame the front line foot soldiers. Blame the bosses and those eager for promotion. Listen to the language used, complete double speak nonsense, everything spun and spun, or as we'd say 'ramped up' all to appear on a CV or application for another promotion. These senior officers, ACPO and ACPO wannabees are the serious threat here, no criticism allowed, one is quickly removed to an internal/virtual gulag if you do pipe up.

Well said and keep it coming, the police are one of the biggest threats to civil liberites and I know many people in the force who are very disillusioned but leaving isn't an option.

Anonymous said...

Bah! The forces of reactionary imperialism cannot spin this story. A great victory has been scored against the wreckers and counter-revolutionaries by the Swindon branch of the People's Internal Security Forces.

All power to the party!

Broon prevails!

Dave said...

Something stinks when you can have Metropolitan Police Officers commuting to work from Australia.
bah! Don't get me started!
What about all this policing with the consent of the public?
Is that why they don't clear the thieving scum from the pikey camps?
I've heard it said the the Police are/were the uniformed branch of the masons but it's far more corrupt than that.

Roger Thornhill said...

Such rot comes from the top. Replace the leaders and I think most of the problems will be solved.

Vote for Chief Constables/Sherrifs or whathaveyou and they will focus on crime prevention, not crime synthesis.

Anonymous said...

And to what extent did they validate the information that came into their possession that led to this raid?

Is this source going to be charged with wasting police time?

It's clear as day follows night that the source knew nothing, was just guessing or something, and the police didn't bother to check.

Angry Steve said...

And to top the polis going round and nicking some legally held weapons - the government want to save us from the scourge that is... deactivated weapons...

I blogged about this just the other week... The most damage you could do with a deactivated weapon is hit someone with it, or have someone's eye out with a bayonet if you wafted it round the wrong way...

Who are these idiots, and why do we let them get away with this?

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of the time when a brainless PC came knocking on my door.

He wanted me to show receipts for 3 bicycles I had, which were attached to a carrier on the back of my car.

No problem says I. I invited the officer into the living room and went to fetch a huge box containing all my bills, receipts and other junk.

After about 20 minutes ploughing through the papers I found one receipt from Halfords.

That's fine he says, no need for you to continue, and he gets up to leave.

I stood at the doorway and politely asked him to sit down again so I could find the other receipts.

Another 20 minutes goes by. He's getting more and more agitated. The radio keeps going off asking him to explain what's keeping him.

I find another receipt. Again, he tries to leave.

I politely stand in the doorway and ask him to sit down until I find the other receipt.

Eventually, I let the prick leave.

They are all useless lazy bastards.

The least we can do is politely fuck them about for as long as possible.


Anonymous said...

This article is obviously written by someone of limited vocabulary, hence all the swear words. Probably has an I.Q of around 9 or 10. Don't worry though, idiots like you done survive long in the real word, you are too thick, probably on the dole, scrounging off the state.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Yes, that's right: don't address any of the points that I made, will you? Do make sure that you play the man, not the ball, won't you?

Actually, I believe that my IQ makes me, technically, a genius.

Let's play "spot who works for the police", shall we?


Anonymous said...

"probably on the dole" ??

I've worked for the last 22 years. As for claiming dole I own my own business and, as such, am disqualified from claiming dole. When business is slack I have to resort to my savings.

The reason I got so steamed with the brainless PC was his snotty attitude.

This was the first time I ever had the police to my door, despite the fact that I'd called them three times before. Once when my car was broken into, once when my shed was burgled, and again when someone attempted to break into my house in the middle of the night. Not a total loss though, I did manage to get a crime number over the phone. If I wanted a random number generator I'm sure I could write my own.

I am sure there are many reasons why ordinary law abiding citizens are so disheartened with modern policing but, for me, that time came when a cocky young PC came to my door treating me like a criminal just because I was carrying 3 bicycles on my car.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, had a speeding ticket have we?

I've never read such tinfoil hat wearing rubbish in all my life.

Though it has cheered me up no end.

Anonymous said...

When you get robbed or your head kicked in, brick through your window you'll call 999 and be our best friend.
Or do you have your own private security outfit on call 24hrs 7 days a week? Thought not.

Fulham Reactionary said...

"When you get robbed or your head kicked in, brick through your window you'll call 999 and be our best friend."

Or, to put it another way, "you'll call 999 and expect us to do the job we're paid (very well) for".

You won't, of course. As so often happens, anyone calling up over something like that would be lucky if some useless PCSO turned up three days later.

" are too thick, probably on the dole, scrounging off the state."

Considering that it's the police who are demanding that the state give them a big, and entirely undeserved, pay rise, that's a bit hypocritical, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

When you get robbed or your head kicked in, brick through your window you'll call 999 and be our best friend.

We will, will we? What, so that the police can demonstrate again that they don't give a shit about doing their job, and won't do a damn thing for anyone calling them for help, like with this guy?

Beaten up by a neighbour and police did ... nothing

Maybe you could tell us how calling the police would have results any different to not calling them, that is if that won't strain your brain too much.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the "gold plated pension" line before. If everyone paid 11% of their monthly pay into a pension they too could have a decent pension. The state of the police is governments doing. Every officer joins to do the best job they can. It is not the individual that is at fault. Whatever the police do it wont be enough for the public. If we get info and don't act,u say we havent done our job. we act on it and it's not as it was portraied, you rant like this. We catch speeders, were catching easy targets, if we don't do speeders and fatal accidents rates rise, u will criticise us for not doing more speed enforcement. We can't get to your call because your not the only one that calls that day!! Each front line officer in my nick carry's at least 10 live crime reports to investigate as well as responding to 999 calls and what ever else comes in during the shift. Get real you have absolutely no idea what your talking about!! To get on a specialist department i studied the relevant law in my own time for 3 months!!!
People like you shouldnt comment on something you know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, there is no way your average worker could retire on maximum pension in 30 years, (now 35 years for new Police starters, although contributions are drastically less) even if they paid 11% in. Your pension is HEAVILY subsidised, make no mistake.

Secondly, a bad workman blames his tools, the police blame the Government, get over it and get on with your job. It's not just the Governments fault that the Police are failing the public. How about the Police taking some of the responsibility themselves.

Thirdly, I wouldn't complain if you stopped catching speeding motorists. It would give you more time to do the sort of Police work the public want to see. Try walking up and down my street once in a while, something you haven't done for many a year.

Lastly, you and the many thousands of other coppers that marched in London seem to have forgotten one thing. If you don't like it, leave and earn your wages elsewhere, however I have some bad news for you, The grass isn't as green or so richly abundant this side of the fence, so I'm guessing you'll all be staying where you are as apart from MP's, the Police probably have a better employment package than virtually any other profession.

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