Dear Media, Why Do You Hate Us So?

Are you really the right hand men of an incompetent government, intent to bring the Police Service, and others, to their knees? Or is it just that it looks that way?

Newpaper headlines are almost always slanted to make our Police Service look incompetent, violent or corrupt.  Even when the events being reported occur abroad, that fact is omitted from the banner headlines, so that the reader might reasonably assume that was in uk

Shooting of unarmed white man shown in police body camera videoCALIFORNIA

White female police officer charged with manslaughter after shooting unarmed black man Tulsa

Death of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher, shot by police with his hands up, sparks protests and official investigationTulsa

The list goes on.

Even when relaying the news from this country the headlines don’t always describe the reality, or omit an alternative scenario.

Snapchat video captures moment ‘a police officer repeatedly punches a suspect in the head five times’ – when one reads the whole article it is actually mentioned that the suspect was actually biting the officer’s leg and that was why he was being punched.  The article also contained the information that the whole incident had been investigated by the Aforce’s Professional Standards Department who adjuged that the amount of force used was in fact reasonable.  Not the impression given by the banner headline though is it?

Then there’s our old friend corruption. ALL cops are corrupt, didn’t you know?  Well at least that’s what the press would have us believe.

Scotland Yard launches ‘bent cop’ probe after 13 unsolved murder files lost – except that when one reads the whole article it includes this

The Met said they have no evidence the files, all dating back to the 1980s, have been destroyed by corrupt police officers, but added: “This is kept under constant review.”

Not quite such a strong story now is it?  The Met is a HUGE organisation and storage of its paper files must be a total nightmare. It is more probable that they have simply been lost/mislaid/misfiled.

The Met can’t find 13 files, who knows where they are?”  is not such an attention grabbing headline is it?

SOME officers are corrupt, but not very many.  Decent officers won’t and don’t tolerate corruption.  I am absolutely convinced that the Met, along with every other Force, would absolutely love to rid themselves of corrupt officers.  A little thing called EVIDENCE is what keeps getting in the way.  Many Forces have prosecuted and/or sacked corrupt officers when they have the EVIDENCE, but it’s a bit tricky without.

So, members of the press, if you have any EVIDENCE of Police corruption produce it and I’m 100% confident that it will be investigated and the appropriate action taken, if not, please stop labelling cops as Corrupt when you can’t prove it.

It’s no better than me saying that all journos are bunging Police Officers and Prison Officers for information.  I’m sure it goes on but do you ALL do it?  No, probably not.

Stop acting like the government’s paid bullies and try employing more accurate and responsible headlines.

Some while ago I wrote this,  it seems that the Press are playing their part very well.

Reform Is Down, Crime Is Working

Well, honestly, it makes much more sense than the Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working mantra that we’re used to getting rammed down our throats doesn’t it?

On the matter of “REFORM” my view is clear, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll have to say it again, but ‘Reform’ is simply NOT working, and it is not working on so many levels.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Reform:-

Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Please tell me in which areas the Police Service has been improved because I’m struggling to think of one this morning.  Which other Public Service has been improved by Tory Reforms?  Again I’m struggling.  NHS, Fire & Rescue Service, Coastguard, Education, Justice have all been hugely improved by the Tories since 2010.  Armed Forces?  Don’t get me going on that one, suffice to say I don’t believe that successive governments have invested sufficiently in the Armed Forces.

There are some things in life that the government (of any hue) simply has to afford.

For as long as I can remember we have been subjected to politician after politician, PCC after PCC telling us that Crime Is Down.

Is it?

The government’s current favourite, the Crime Survey for England and Wales has this to say about Police Recorded Crime

The police recorded 4.5 million offences in the year ending March 2016, an annual rise of 8%. However, this series is not considered a reliable indicator of trends in crime; most of the latest rise is thought to be due to improved crime recording practices and processes leading to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year than in the previous year.

So, Front Line Police say that Crime Is Up, but we don’t like that so we’ll go with the CSEW version

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the best measure of crime trends for the population and offences it covers, showed a 6% fall in the number of incidents against adults for the survey year ending March 2016 (6.3 million, compared with 6.8 million in the previous survey year).

So, let me get this straight, the CSEW figures show that crime is at a level approx 50% higher than Police Recorded Crime but because it shows a small dip, and Police Stats can’t be trusted, the CSEW version suits their soundbites better.

How does “Crime is down but it’s much higher than the Police think it is” sound?

My final Gripe Of The Day is violent crime in London and the Police & Government response to it.

The charts below relate to the last 12 months, see what you think

KNIFE CRIME


GUN CRIME


STOP AND SEARCH


In response to such awful gun and knife crime figures, what do we do?  We reduce Stop and Search by about 70% is what we do.

The blue line looks better, we’ve improved our arrest rate from 8.3% to 19%, well done everyone.  By my lack of a degree reckoning 8.3% of 533 thousand is about 44,000.  Whereas 19% of 160 thousand is about 30,000.  Not looking so impressive now is it?  Contrary to how the chart looks, arrests are actually DOWN by about HALF.

What do the government have to say about that?  Absolutely NOTHING.  They have a vision for how the Police Service should look and what it should do and they’re not going to deviate from that, and heaven forbid that should actually listen to the practitioners.

So, YES, Reform IS Down and Crime IS Working, particularly gun and knife crime.  How on earth can they just sit quietly and ignore all those shattered or damaged lives?

This tweet just about says it all for me

To Double-Crew Or Not To Double-Crew?

That is, indeed, the question. 

To me the answer is an unequivocal YES.  In my mind there is no option, it doesn’t need thinking about, it’s a No Brainer.

But then, my mind doesn’t always sync with everybody else’s.

It occurs to me that it’s nearly half a century since my boots hit the streets of North West London for the very first time and things were most definitely very different in those days.  We had Reliefs, at first 3,  later 4 and for a crazy while 5 (but that didn’t really work). Each Relief comprised one Inspector, probably 3 Sergeants, maybe 4, and about 20ish Constables. The Division covered maybe 10-12 square miles, and in an ideal world we would aim to field one Area Car (double-crewed possibly with a 3rd officer as ‘Observer’), one Van (normally double-crewed), five Pandas (notionally single-crewed but often seen double-crewed), one unmarked General Purpose car (single-crewed), one Section Sergeant and one Inspector, all patrolling.  Anybody left over was posted to a Foot Patrol and cadged a lift when the Inspector wasn’t looking. And we were busy, although nowhere near as busy as the troops are today.

If we ever needed help (and we did often) it was never far away. Whilst we frequently moaned that we were ‘short’ we were NEVER as short as things are today.

We had more cops, we had more vehicles, we had more overtime, and we just about kept afloat, and we undoubtedly had fewer jobs.  It was a matter of personal and professional pride to get all your jobs done.  Handing too many over to the following shift frequently resulted in raised eyebrows.

Now I know that there’s a balance to be struck here, but more jobs, fewer cops, fewer vehicles and less overtime makes the officers more vulnerable. Yes, there is better PPE available but use it at your peril, particularly Taser, you’ll have Sophie and IPCC on your case. However, an officer off sick, or worse, in hospital, due to being assaulted and injured on duty is no use to man nor beast.  What little officers we have left need to be fit, available and on duty.  Assaults on Police Officers are escalating all the time.

The mere sight of a double-crewed vehicle will deter some idiots from taking on the officers.

I fully understand that numbers are down, but is that a valid reason NOT to double-crew?  The safety (and thereby availability) of the officers MUST be paramount surely?  Like many other public services the NHS, for example, has a Zero Tolerance policy on violence (or even threats) towards staff.  When will the Police Chiefs adopt this policy?

Going back to the beginning, my old Division was only 10-12 square miles.  Bronwen’s boyfriend Dai tells me that on Night Duty he (single-crewed) is frequently the only Police Vehicle to cover 400 square miles.  One of my Twatter contacts told me last night that they were frequently the only DC to cover a large, busy county on nights.  How can that be right?  Either case, not right, reckless.  What about Elf n Safety?

The population at large is increasing.  Police numbers are still reducing.  Just how low will the Populace/Police ratio go before it is unsafe?  Has it already reached that stage?  Is anybody from the NPCC or various Staff Associations ever going to stand up to the Home Secretary and demonstrate how unsafe this lunacy is?

We may not have sufficient officers to routinely double-crew, but that doesn’t mean “Double-Crewing Bad”.  It means the bosses should be finding their voices and fighting back.  What was that old expression? Acquiescing by silence.  That’s exactly what is going on.

I know from last night’s conversations that there are Police Officers out there who don’t agree with routine double-crewing, all I can say is that I hope you never experience the need first hand before you become convinced.

In this day and age, nearly half a century later, the world has moved on. Double-Crewing or Single? Double every time in my book, and NPCC can fight for the resources to sustain it.

Put Up Or Shut Up (Sir)

I am indebted to one of our number for bringing the following article to my attention

Met police ‘routinely discriminate against black people,’ Scotland Yard diversity chief warns

Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa has openly claimed that the Metropolitan Police routinely discriminates against ‘black people’.

Police are routinely discriminating against black people in stop and search operations in London as part of a misguided performance culture

Routinely is defined thus;

  • As part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason
  • Frequently and without proper consideration of the consequences

I am shocked.  To think that this behaviour is going on every day unchallenged shocks me to my very core.  It is unprofessional, unethical and undoubtedly unlawful.  Mr Olisa says that the discrimination was unwitting and driven by performance rather than racism but had led to a negative stereotyping of black people.  “Driven by performance”?  Still unethical etc etc.

Ch Supt Olisa, one of Scotland Yard’s most senior black officers, said police were more likely to stop a car with young black men on the chance of finding drugs than stop a car full of white men in suits, though they could also be in possession of cocaine.  This is possibly true but, let’s remind ourselves what s1 (3) of Police and Criminal Evidence Act has to say on it

This section does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles


More likely to stop a car full of young black men than white men wearing suits?  Possibly, probably BUT whoever they stop they have to have REASONABLE GROUNDS.

Reasonable Grounds are explained thus

Reasonable grounds for suspicion is the legal test which a police officer must satisfy before they can stop and detain individuals or vehicles to search them under powers such as section 1 of PACE (to find stolen or prohibited articles) and section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (to find controlled drugs). This test must be applied to the particular circumstances in each case and is in two parts:

(i) Firstly, the officer must have formed a genuine suspicion in their own mind that they will find the object for which the search power being exercised allows them to search ; and

(ii)  Secondly , the suspicion that the object will be found must be reasonable . This means that there must be an objective basis for that suspicion based on facts, information and/or intelligence which are relevant to the likelihood that the object in question will be found, so that a reasonable person would be entitled to reach the same conclusion based on the same facts and information and/or intelligence.

So, Mr Olisa, you are stating or implying, that Metropolitan Police Officers are routinely breaching these legal standards in pursuit of Performance Indicators (which should have been scrapped years ago).

My challenge to you, Chief Superintendent Olisa, is to find these officers, identify them, identify and specify the nature of their wrong-doing or breach of PACE, or their racism.  ANY officer falling short of the required standards should be retrained, disciplined or maybe even prosecuted if appropriate,   I don’t have a problem with any of that.  I do have a problem with senior officers making scattergun allegations without producing a single shred of evidence.

The morale of the Police Service everywhere, not just the Metropolis, is at rock bottom.  Much of that is due to DPS/PSD/IPCC witch hunts and officers being forced to fear their own shadows.

If an officer complies with the legal requirements for Stop and Search he/she should NOT hesitate to use his/her powers immediately, effectively and professionally.

Mr Olisa continued

The cop on the ground is just doing it because of what he or she thinks is right, they are not doing it because they are racist.

But when you look at the accumulated data you see massive disproportionality. I think that’s where we get lost.

Could it possibly be that the accumulated data might mean something other than your interpretation?  We have had these discussions and arguments before, and the Police Service needs to stop shying away from them.  As a white, hetreosexual male I wouldn’t be in any way offended if statistics showed that white, heterosexual males committed the majority of crimes, or were more likely to get stopped and searched than any other sector of society.

This is another example of need.  Need for the Police Service to keep accurate, robust records and stand by them, whatever they show.

We didn’t seem to have half these problems when we were a Police Force.

So Mr OIisa, we come back to the beginning, Put Up Or Shut Up.  Produce the evidence and act on it, and I, and many others will support you.  Until then STOP denigrating the reputation of what used to be the finest Police Force in the world, and further demoralising the good, honest, front line cops who are struggling against the odds to do their job to the best of their ability.  That’s why they joined.  That’s why anybody should join the Police, NOT to be part of a measured percentage.

UPDATE

Since writing the above, Mr Olisa has issued a rebuttal/explanation, which can be found here.

However, however much he swerves and wriggles, the Grauniad carried an almost identical article in June and I have not yet seen a rebuttal of that one.

The Latest Furore – Spit Hoods

I don’t suppose he meant to but Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, sparked off a right shit storm on Twatter last night after reversing the Met’s decision to trial Spit Hoods.

Whilst not entirely ruling them out he said 

Any attack on officers carrying out their duties is completely unacceptable, and the use of protective equipment is sometimes necessary. 

The decision on whether to use intrusive tactics is a highly emotive one and should be informed by public engagement. 

There is nothing wrong with public engagement per se but surely the safety of our Police Officers (and public) is paramount.  Did we ask the public what their opinion was before using handcuffs to restrain violent prisoners? Should we have done?  Should we now revisit that?

Surely the decision to use Protective Equipment, which Spit Hoods are basically, is surely an operational matter for Chief Officers?  The Commissioner has a Duty of Care for the Elf and Safery of his officers.  Who is the Mayor to ride roughshod over that?

Some arguements on the Twattersphere last night really got quite heated. ‘Friends’ were falling out over it.  A surprising number of people were arguing against them. Why?

If Johnny feels it is a little bit degarding to have a Spit Hood put over his head, or has a panic attack or feels a tad claustrophobic, is that worse than the potential consequences for the officer being spat on.  It is most unpleasant to be spat on, vile, but the unpleasantness is not really the issue, it is the potential transmission of diseases, the extended wait for the results of tests, the course of sntiviral treatment. That in itself is unpleasant I believe.

If little Johnny insisted in struggling and punching the officer would we be having this discussion about restraining him and putting him in handcuffs?

Whr the rights of a spitting, hissing prisoner more important than the rights of the officer(s) trying to restrain him?  Do the families of the officers not feature in this arguement?  The fears and worries spitting must bring into the family home are real, should we simply ignore that?

Finally, the simplest option is LITTLE JOHNNY COULD SIMPLY STOP SPITTING.

I’m sure one of you will correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe that Spit Hoods are used on compliant, non-spitting prisoners.

Amnesty UK weighed into the arguement with their justification for opposing (partially) the use of Spit Hoods

But they went quiet when it was pointed out that their previous view was at odds with last night’s contribution.

Have trials by all means, compare brand versus brand, design versus design, but DO SOMETHING.

With the government’s culling of the Police Service it is more important than ever to protect this endangered species.  We certainly don’t need political interference in operational policing matters, but I fear we are going to get it.

An Arrogance Like No Other

There cannot be a single person here who hasn’t heard the allegations surrounding the alleged activitis of Mr Keith Vaz MP allegedly.

I make no comment on the subject and content of those allegations as it is not within my personal xperience to know whether they are true or not.

HOWEVER

The attitude and behaviour of Mr Vaz since the allegations broke leave something to be desired.

He apparently pitched up for work yesterday and got stuck in, adking questions, as though nothing has happened.

He has referred the matter to his solictor, as it is right to do.  He has cmplained vociferously about the actions of the media, but not much that would constitute a denial or rebuttal of the allegations.

I have read varying accounts but as  I understand it he initially declined to stand down as Chair of HASC.  This is where I find his arrogance comes into play.  He is the Chair of a powerful Parliamentary committee, one that holds people to account, and pronounces judgement on ethics, legality and so on and so forth.  Be he Guilty or Not Guilty, surely the moral and ethical thing to do would be to stand down, at least temporarily while these allegations are investigated.

I find it incomprehensible that he hasn’t already been suspended from the Labour Party and/or HASC.  In his current situation there is no way he would pass vetting for access to confidential and sensitive material. No way at all.  Another reason why he should stand down.

As I type I have just seen that he has resigned as Chair of HASC.  I think that is the right and proper course of action and the very least he could do, but why did he not do ityesterday?

He is an elected public official.  If a Police Officer, of any rank, was similarly accused I would expect that officer to be suspended from duty until the allegations were proven or otherwise. Should the allegations be proven, I would expect Bye Bye, end of career.  Why should Mr Vaz not face similar sanctions?  It has been said by some senior politicians that is a ‘Private’ matter.  I disagree he is/was the Chair of an influential public government committee, often in the public eye.  The public are entitled to expect certain standards from such a person, and if those standards are called into question then maybe a spot of Gardening Leave while they are being investigated might be appropriate.

You can try and bluff it out Mr Vaz, and you may well be Not Guilty or you may have been Set Up’ but never ignore the rights, wishes and expectations of the voting public and taxpayers. 

They Walk Among Us

It cannot have escaped your notice that over the last few days there have been at least two serious Road Traffic Collisions in London caused by cars being ‘pursued’ by Police crashing and injuring or killing totally innocent pedestrians.

It goes without saying that these are tragic events, and my thoughts are with everyone involved, in any way.  I do not wish to minimise the seriousness of these events or trivialise them in any way, but it is immediately apparent that the media, and others, have jumped upon a bandwagon and are calling for such pursuits to be stopped because they are dangerous.

Yes they are dangerous, I  don’t dispute that.

However, behind every pursuit lies a hell of a lot of skill and experience. They don’t just happen in a random, uncontrolled manner.  There are rules concerning which drivers can, and can’t, engage in a pursuit. How many cars can be involved. How long it can be allowed to continue before it is abandoned or the ‘bandit’ is forced to stop.

The drivers involved have undergone weeks, if not months, of intensive theory and practical training.  If they don’t meet the required standard they are failed.  It is NOT a “Turn Up And Pass” course.

There are experienced supervisors in Police Control Rooms who will be constantly monitoring the pursuit and communicating advice or instructions to the pursuing vehicles.  In the Met, at least, those communications are recorded in case they are needed later.

There is nowhere to hide from the responsibility of being involved in, or supervising, a pursuit.

But still things can go wrong, as we have seen this week.

NOBODY can anticipate, or prevent, the driver being pursued, exceeding his/her abilities and crashing. Nobody.

Tragically that can, and will, happen, and it WILL happen again in the future, of that I have no doubt.  The drivers and controllers are highly trained, the risks are being constantly assessed in Real Time within, and away from, the Police cars.  Drivers and Controllers have aborted pursuits that they think have become too dangerous, and they will continue to do so.  Nobody, however, knows the fate of the ‘bandit’.  It cannot be anticipated 100%.  Sometimes they will crash and there is nothing anyone can have done to prevent that, as long as the rules and guidelines have all been followed.

Have they been followed in these two incidences?  I don’t know and I’m not going to prejudge it, the subsequent investigations will establish that, but I hope that they were.

Public reaction to such an awful event has been swift and I have seem all manner of comments and opinions, but my hat goes off to a lady who has launched an online petition calling for such Police pursuits to be banned.

I want the government to stop the police chasing stolen vehicles. More people have lost their lives today when a stolen vehicle ploughed into pedestrians after being chased through busy streets by the police.
Why is this important?
It’s important because the police are too gung-ho when they are chasing thieves in cars and too many innocent people have lost their lives. More will lose their lives if this isn’t stopped.
A car is not worth the price of lives that can be lost.

This, I find to be naive in the extreme.

  • Not all cars pursued by Police have been stolen.
  • People have been killed or injured by stolen cars that were NOT being pursued by the Police.
  • Frequently the officers do not know why the ‘bandit’ makes off at high speed when he/she sees the Police, are they supposed to just shrug their shoulders and wonder why?
  • The driver may be drunk, a danger to themselves, and other road users, and need to be stopped for Public Safety.
  • There may be firearms in the car, are we supposed to just let it go?
  • There may be the victim of a Child Abduction in the car.
  • There may a Kidnap or Rape victim in the car.
  • The driver may be on the way to or from a Burglary, or other crime, and not want to be stopped for obvious reasons.
  • The driver may be Disqualified or have No Insurance.

There are many, many reasons why a driver may make off when he/she sees a Police vehicle and in many instances the officer won’t know what those reasons are until the vehicle is stopped and the driver questioned.

Never forget that the ‘bandit’ ALWAYS has the option to stop and bring things to a safe conclusion.  The moment they choose not to, whatever happens after that is largely down to them. Their responsibility.

The officers didn’t leave home that day intent on being involved in such a tragic event.  They will be feeling absolutely bloody awful, even if/when it is shown they were within the rules. They are human too, with human feelings and emotions.

Yes there has to be rules and guidelines, and yes they have to be followed, but please, petitions like the one above are a knee-jerk reaction, they are not what is required. Tie the officers’ hands behind their backs, prevent them from doing their jobs in a responsible manner and we may all just give up and go home, the criminals will have won.

Is that what we want?

Playing The Hand We’re Dealt

A number has been bothering me recently, a number that I simply can’t get out of my head, but I don’t know what the number is.

What is the number where the Police Service of England and Wales can no longer function? How many more officers can we shed before we reach that number?  Because we know that even more losses will occur before 2020.

Twice yesterday I put the question to NPCC, together with the current and former Home Secretaries via the medium of Twitter

Unsurprisingly no response.

I say unsurprisingly because we know that no Risk or Impact Assessments were conducted as part of the Winsor Reviews.  I asked the Home Office for copies and their reply was that none had been done, so why should I assume that Risk and/or Impact Assessments have been conducted as part of the culling of the Police Service?

Somebody somewhere must know the formula for calculating the bare minimum number of Police Officers needed to keep this country safe and maintain Law and Order, but nobody wants us to know.  How far can we stretch the knicker elastic before it twangs and our drawers fall round our ankles?


Then I happened upon a convo on Twitter between NPCC and Leicestershire Chief Constable, Simon Cole;

To which I contributed the following;

The response I received from Mr Cole was this;

That just isn’t good enough.  All that implies to me is that the Police Chiefs have rolled over and will try to do the best with what they’ve got, but they have given up the fight.

WHY ARE THE CHIEFS NOT FIGHTING?

Are QPMs and Knighthoods the ultimate goal?  By refusing to fight are they not being disloyal to their troops and betraying their populace?  I think so.

Play the hand we are dealt well?  The bloody deck is loaded, a couple of the Aces are missing and a few Jokers have crept in.

To me Reform is about improvement, making things more efficient.  I don’t oppose those two ideals, but how do you improve and become more efficient when you are being culled?

Somebody please explain this to me

An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle

Or is it?

I can’t begin to speak for the County Forces, I have absolutely no idea what their rules are or were. However, back in 1972 when I joined the Met I had no say in it, I simply HAD to live within a 25 mile radius of Central London.  I can’t remember now whether it was Hyde Park Corner or Charing Cross, but there isn’t much difference.

It didn’t end there either.  Once my family and I had found a house we would like to live in I had to submit a report to the Senior Management to obtain permission to live there.  Partly to ensure that my choice of abode was within the dreaded circle, but also in order that the neighbours could be vetted, to ensure that I would not be living next to a drug dealer, murderer or bank robber etc.  I understand why, I understand completely, but it completely rode roughshod over the rights and wishes of my wife and family.

Over the years the rules were relaxed and eventually officers were moving out of London for the more affordable accommdation available just a few miles outside, or maybe even as far away as the South Coast if you were really lucky.

Alongside the private sector there were alays Section Houses and a small number of flats for single officers, and a range of 2,3 or 4 bed Married Quarters for families.

Eventually, along came Boris, and to help the Met achieve its Austerity targets most, if not all, of the Section Houses and Married Quarters were sold off to property developers.

House prices in London, and private rentals, are now sky high, so now more than ever, officers are forced to live further and further away from London in order to find a reasonable house, at an affordable price, in a reasonable area.

Next hing we know we have Policy Exchange recommending that officers should live within the communities they Police. Forgetting the price of housing just for one second, why does the officer’s wife/husband/partner have no say in where they live? Why do their rights and expectations get absolutely squashed by the Police Service?

Police Officers and their families living on a Council Estate that they patrol during their working hours?  What could possibly go wrong?

Today we have the press running a total non-story about Met Officers living in Cornwall, or even the South of France.  So what?  They don’t commute that journey every day.

Officers could,and probably would, live much closer to Londn if they could afford it.  House prices have risen, officers’ take-home pay has decreased thanks to the May/Winsor coalition ‘Reforms’. Section Houses and Married Quarters are no longer an option.  They have been sold off to the highest bidder.

The basic reasons for all of this can be traced back to Central Government, Boris and no doubt Police and Crime Commissioners across the land.  Short-sighted, stupid, sucking up to May and Winsor?  Who knows, but a disastrous policy that would have prevented mischievous headlines lke we saw today.

Met terror warning as report reveals ‘commuter cops’ live as far away as Cornwall and the South of France

Police Officers’ partners, wives, husbands have rights. Ignore that at your peril

Why Can’t All Politicians Be Like Mine

Sarcasm Alert – there may be some.

Like the rest of the country, here in DeadBadgerShire we have our very own MP, and he’s an absolute corker.

 

He’s good value for money because he doesn’t seem to bother Parliament very much;

  • Has spoken in 17 debates in the last year — below average amongst MPs.
  • Has received answers to 0 written questions in the last year — well below average amongst MPs.
  • Until 2015 he saved us money by employing his wife as his part-time Senior Parliamentary Assistant at a salary of £15-£20k p.a.
  • He is a Conservative MP, and on the vast majority of issues saves any confusion by voting the same way as other Conservative MPs.

 

So, when he is at work, he tends to vote, so far so good.

 

  • Consistently voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  • Generally voted for reducing central government funding of local government
  • Generally voted against equal gay rights
  • Consistently voted against the hunting ban
  • Voted a mixture of for and against allowing marriage between two people of same sex
  • Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights
  • Generally voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life
  • Consistently voted for the Iraq war
  • Consistently voted for an investigation into the Iraq war
  • Has never voted on a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  • Has never voted on UK membership of the EU
  • Generally voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)
  • Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • Generally voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Almost always voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
  • Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • Generally voted for increasing the rate of VAT
  • Generally voted against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
  • Generally voted against a banker’s bonus tax
  • Voted a mixture of for and against higher taxes on banks (???)
  • Generally voted against an annual tax on the value of expensive homes (popularly known as a mansion tax)
  • Consistently voted for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity
  • Consistently voted for reducing capital gains tax
  • Almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax
  • Voted a mixture of for and against measures to reduce tax avoidance (???)
  • Generally voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS
  • Generally voted for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
  • Voted a mixture of for and against a transparent Parliament (???)
  • Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly
  • Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament
  • Almost always voted against a lower voting age
  • Generally voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities
  • Has never voted on merging police and fire services under Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
  • Consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests
  • Generally voted for culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis
  • Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
  • Generally voted against a publicly owned railway system
  • Consistently voted for phasing out secure tenancies for life
  • Generally voted for capping civil service redundancy payments
  • Voted a mixture of for and against restricting the scope of legal aid (???)

He has actually voted on about 76% of occasions so far this year, which is about average for an MP I believe.

 

He takes a lively interest in current affairs, I know he does.  When I wrote to him in 2012 about the slash and burn approach to Police Pensions, he had a firm opinion on the way forward and kindly wrote to me telling me how he felt about it.

paterson_pension 2

 

So, there we have it, he’s not a waste of space like most of them are, and he hardly has any external income to trouble us with, all he has to declare to the Register is

Payments received in my role as consultant to xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx Ltd, a clinical diagnostics company, of xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx  xxxxxxxxx. This role began on 1 August 2015 and I received my first payment on 9 September 2015 (see below). Until further notice I now expect to receive £4,166 a month, for an expected monthly commitment of 8 hours.  He received an Oxbridge (or was it Uxbridge) Education where he studied for a degree in History (I assume he passed), he then went on to work for the British Leather Company in 1979, becoming Sales Director in 1983.  He has many other achievements since within the world of leather, all of which seem to make him ideally suited for a consultancy with a clinical diagnostics company commanding a meagre income of £4k per month for a whole 8 hours of his time.

 

All in all a thoroughly good egg, no? A great public servant with the best for his electorate always in his thoughts.