Browsing articles in "Bob’s Rants etc."

Bob’s Rant – Throwing down the gauntlet to our new Police Commissioners!

Bob Bridgestock infront of the world media.

 

What’s happening in the world of law and order in 2013?

Some forces still have to make vast savings on their expenditure yet still I see no change at ‘The Top’! We still have the same number of highly paid Assistant Chief Constables, supported by a large number of Chief Superintendents and in turn Superintendents, Chief Inspectors… Why can’t they see the service NEEDS to be pruned from the top NOT at street level.

The starting salary for recruits is being reduced by £4,000 yet the Chief Constables are looking at a pay rise up to as much as 10% on between their £130,000 to £181,000 per annum salary. Will this not be seen as a reward for compliance with the Government right arm-police and crime commissioners, who of course already have budgets for their assistants?

The police service human resource structure is taking the shape of an inverted triangle. There is an old saying – ‘You get what you pay for.’ It would appear the majority are not being heard…

The barely visible ‘thin blue line,’ is already supported massively by more volunteers than ever before but the reduction in recruiting and reduction in salary makes it even less attractive to put one’s life on the line to protect the community. Already I know of serving officers who have second jobs to pay the household bills – not expensive holidays.

Policing they say is a vocation and whilst I don’t disagree, standards and salary need to be adequate to ensure a credible, transparent and trustworthy community service.

What happened to the idea of reducing the number of Chief Constables by them covering more than one force? After all they have sufficient assistants to make this possible.  This would also reduce the number of commissioners and their assistants too. Resources are centralised so why not the hierarchy? Maybe then we could utilise the savings for the front line officers who are almost extinct in some areas.

I feel I must comment on the punishment for crime at this point. Massive reductions in sentencing –

42 people serving life imprisonment were released early last year. Will this year see any increase in that number? There are less people being sentenced to imprisonment and if they are actually sent down if they show ‘good behaviour’ they even get an early release! Have we not created homes/hostels for some and a B&B for others who are allowed to clock out daily from our prisons and clock back in again at night?

The victims of crime and the public deserve, no demand law and order in this land and punishment for crime – simple transparency in what sentencing really is, would be a start. We need a deterrent – re offending is too high so the system requires overalling once and for all.

Or behind this inadequacy is there some hidden agenda – more privatisation?

I end on a positive note. It is early days in 2013 and we should always seek out the positives in everything. This I feel is that the majority of us still h ave respect for others and their property and we continue to teach our children the difference between right and wrong.

I am not aware of any forces planning to reduce the levels of hierarchy even though they remain in huge financial difficulty and top heavy, are you? Yet at the sharp end moral and numbers dwindle to an all time low no matter whatever positive spin they try to blindfold us with.  

At the moment I am aware that there are more people wishing to join the regulars and even these are finding it hard to be accepted into the role of an unpaid Special Constable. Many of these are hoping the route will get them a foot in the door. Will they still hold that dream when the starting pay is now reduced by £4,000?

Whilst not voting for or believing in police commissioners perhaps they could change my view on collectively standing up for the service. Reject the Governments intentions on reducing police starting pay and deal with the top heavy service. I throw a gauntlet to you and give something to show us your worth to our society!

Bob’s December Rant! Ever the Optimist or am I just a Grumpy Old Man!

Bob’s December Rant!

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am an optimist. Well I’ve had to be since I’ve seen the worst of man’s inhumanity to man over my thirty year police career. Twenty eight of those years were in the Criminal Investigation Department, so I really did see it at its worst, at times. But I’ve always tried to look on the bright side of life, even in the darkest hour of a murder investigation.

Today however I am beginning to struggle to comprehend some of ‘our’ actions as I read today’s newspapers, or am I simply becoming a grumpy old man?

A coalition Government I know was never going to be ideal, but the idea was surely that they pulled together? Maybe no one actually told them that? As for the opposition, they simply aren’t. MP’s have never had less credibility and they continue to fail to impress. Members continue to lose numerous laptops. They are spending millions abroad –  £15 million on Columbian flatulent cows, and talking about wind over £60 million in assisting other countries to develop geo-thermal and wind power. Under the budget heading ‘International Aid’ we hand out millions but do we see value for our money. Where is the investment in the UK?

Talking of VFM (value for money) – who the hell came up with the following ideas?

  A ‘Fair Access Tsar’ to encourage the elite Universities to ‘let-in’ a wider range of students. Two days a week, working from home – earning £45,OOO per annum.

Police Commissioners – they’re now selecting deputies at an even greater expense. I thought the idea was to make this role a ‘one man’ post instead of several on a committee? These people can also keep their second jobs I hear but only two members of the public were allowed to apply.  Is anyone going to be upfront and tell us what other perks will be available to them? Once again this appears to be something that once again the majority didn’t vote for, and still don’t agree with, but hey, who cares – not the ones getting the salary for sure.

Big businesses don’t pay tax for years which is only now identified or action taken, can you imagine if that had been you or I not paying our dues?

We can’t even stop people outside the UK making millions by bombarding the British public with daily ‘nuisance’ telephone calls about PPI monies allegedly owed.

Neither can we evict from our Country major terrorists or Criminals. Human rights have been around for a long time, what happened to forward planning?

The old chestnut of ‘Decriminalisation of Drugs’ comes to the fore suggesting ‘A Royal Commission’. Come on everyone knows the destruction caused by drugs, so wouldn’t this be a licence to kill? The lower level drugs have and will remain the gateway to the more destructive drugs such as heroin, cocaine etc, etc and I have seen the ‘fall out’ many, many times. People suggest that ‘some’ drugs are no worse than cigarettes and alcohol but we also know really the misery they cause. They are regularly used in mitigation for committing crime, ‘It was to feed a habit or it was because they had taken a cocktail of drink or drugs,’ the defence solicitor will say.  Rubbish, they’re adults they know the consequences of their actions and should be held to account for it like anyone else.’

We have a duty of care. Do we really want to decriminalise drugs?  Some states in America have done and now sell marijuana flavoured lollipops to children or introduce drugs into lip balm? Is this what we want, a catalyst to addiction? Will they become used in everyday products? The war against drugs will always be difficult but it is necessary and we should continue to disrupt and destroy the importation. Not everything from America is good.

The Government needs to start listening to the majority, only then can they assist the minority. We need more investment at home, re-boot the housing market and not just for first time buyers.  We know that this market has a knock on effect for all industry. Put more Police on the streets not build further hierarchy and let’s create deterrents that make people think twice about offending in the UK. Giving cautions in some cases is just a mockery, ask any police officer.

 Imprisonment should mean just that. I see if you’re in prison you can go out daily using the prison as a B & B. Prison is supposed to be a last resort a punishment. It has become home for numerous prolific re- offenders simply returning to the hive when they can’t cope or don’t want to cope in the outside world.

Well I’ve got all that off my chest so that must be a Positive.

All that remains is to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2013.

 Bob

 

 

 

The Future of Policing

 

THE FUTURE OF POLICING

I have a positive outlook on most challenges in life, however at present I struggling to comprehend the continued dilution of our Police service.

During the past 20 years the emphasis in policing has been about performance and its monitoring, cutting costs whenever and wherever. This major focus remains a number one priority, crime and public order are simply distractions from the paperwork attributed to this.

We need to remember that officers have died in the line of duty, shot, stabbed, beaten to death or killed by vehicles. Gun crime has trebled and officer’s numbers are at their lowest for a decade facing like many other groups pay freezes and increased pension contributions. Yet we hear comments such as ‘We must ask Police Officers to do more for less.’

We are talking about devoted servants of the Crown, who put their lives at risk on a daily basis protecting others what more could be asked of these men and women?

The flesh has been removed and the service is a mere skeleton of what it used to be and as for the heart, dare I suggest it has been well and truly ripped out! A duty of care under health and safety? Or is it too late with one foot already in the grave.

It seems like a bleak horizon for the world renowned and respected law enforcers-

Political Commissioners—Lucrative deals for some to ensure compliance? And the Home Secretary appoints a ‘Police Watchdog’ with no experience of the ‘real’ world of policing. Perhaps confirming why she gets the ‘vote of no confidence’.

Policing in this Country continues to be diluted beyond belief and in the future no doubt a ‘time team’ will be employed to discover whatever happened to the thin blue line.

But what will replace the ‘British bobby’ one asks? Profit making privatisation, offering VFM? Street walkers or vigilantes driven by cost alone? I dread to think who the sleeping partners would be in these industries or who as a hand in ensuring fair distribution of the relevant lucrative contracts.

One industry that is booming in a time of world recession is the Government ‘Lip Service’ who like those before them are NOT listening to the people. What this Country needs is to absolutely support its Emergency Services-a duty of care to its population.

I finish on a positive note. I am proud to have had a distinguished career as a Police officer, having spent thirty years policing the community with loyal and devoted service. (Will this also be a thing of the past?)

Whilst I continue to write crime fiction. The Government needs to embrace reality! A new Home Secretary perhaps one that cares for the Public and the Queens peace.

Bob

 

 

On Hillsborough. As a retired police officer who was ‘commanded’ by some of these people, sick to the stomach is how I feel.

 

When major incidents happen and people died,

The last thing we want to hear is a Police Officer lied,

Saddened, disgusted and repulsed is what we hear,

A further scandal against those we hold dear.

Year after year and as time has gone by, people have covered up this outrage and lie.

At last documents are disclosed, in the public eye.

On that fateful day in Hillsborough our friends and family didn’t have to die.

Those in charge made up a story looking us straight in the eye.

From the very start the families have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth.

Just as good, as any police officer sleuth.

Now it is time for those involved in this shameful scam to pay the price.

Over the years they have been looked after and living a life that’s been ‘very nice’.

For the bereaved there has been no closure but a continued fight to seek the truth.

Sadly those responsible still remain detached.

As a police officer, sick to the stomach is how I feel, others I know feel the same, right back to Robert Peel.

All everyone wants to know is the truth,

So those in the know can’t remain aloof.

Tears have been shed and the pain goes on for those involved.

Isn’t time for this crime to be solved?

 

 

 

Thirty Years In The Job… Bob’s Thoughts On Police Commissioners

POLICE COMMISSIONERS

The advertising has begun,

About the candidates that will run.

A nice salary and a company car too,

And there’s very little we can do.

Keep an eye on the Chief and the Force,

Take part in lavish lunches of course,

Reporting back to Government a daily task?

Rather hiding behind an expensive mask.

Super heroes I think not! White elephants at their best,

Will voting for this be done with zest?

If the turnout for voting is really low,

Will the government stop this now and shout, ‘No?’

Or will it simply happen driven forward with speed,

After all this campaign will have cost us a fortune indeed.

Will we ever get to know the number of votes cast?

Or simply it’s inevitable, this will be passed.

Policing is already top heavy, there’s too many at the top.

We don’t need another ‘would be’ cop.

We need officers on the street, money well spent.

Not an over inflated commander’s tent.

If you believe it will make a difference to Policing, it won’t!

If you are considering voting my advice is simply, ‘DON’T’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLICE COMMISSIONERS

The advertising has begun,

About the candidates that will run.

A nice salary and a company car too,

And there’s very little we can do.

Keep an eye on the Chief and the Force,

Take part in lavish lunches of course,

Reporting back to Government a daily task?

Rather hiding behind an expensive mask.

Super heroes I think not! White elephants at their best,

Will voting for this be done with zest?

If the turnout for voting is really low,

Will the government stop this now and shout, ‘No?’

Or will it simply happen driven forward with speed,

After all this campaign will have cost us a fortune indeed.

Will we ever get to know the number of votes cast?

Or simply it’s inevitable, this will be passed.

Policing is already top heavy, there’s too many at the top.

We don’t need another ‘would be’ cop.

We need officers on the street, money well spent.

Not an over inflated commander’s tent.

If you believe it will make a difference to Policing, it won’t!

If you are considering voting my advice is simply, ‘DON’T’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob’s view – ‘Killed In The Line of Duty’

Bob has been asked many times over the last 24hrs on his personal thoughts regarding  the deaths of PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes and so he felt it right to share those with our readers. Yesterdays events were a shocking reminder of the debt we owe to our colleagues/friends/police officers, those who put themselves in danger to keep us safe and secure.

It goes without saying that our thoughts and I think the thoughts of the whole country are with the families of these brave officers at this impossibly difficult time, who were callously murdered responding to an alleged crime in action.

Yet again we have had to taste the bitter dose of ‘reality’. The news tells us about murders, people brandishing knives and guns to savagely attack and kill others every day. This tragedy will/has opened up all the debates that time and time again does the rounds. Is it time to arm all police officers? Should we bring back capital punishment? But it will be ‘lip service’ sadly not action I feel, as it always is by the powers that be. If we want our streets to become a safe place we need action!

Where is the deterrent I ask them, if it’s not in the courts of justice, the prisons, or on the streets?

Are we surprised that people carry guns or other weapons? Are you aware some criminals even wear bullet proof/stab proof vest? To me those perpertrators give out one clear message.

The review of the justice system is a mammoth, costly task – no wonder no one wants to take it on. But it is necessary otherwise what legacy will we be leaving our children?

I am angry and saddened by recent events, knowing for one that the killer will be kept in ’comfort’ and looked after, protected, for the rest of his life and who knows he may even successfully make a claim that his human rights have been breached during his imprisonment, for one reason or another. Punishment for him? Justice for Fiona, Nicola and their families, friends and colleagues?

The sad thing is like I said before the debates will continue, for a short time, the shocking news will take the ‘front page’… until it happens again, which it will as our precious ‘blue line’ fades away.

Fiona and Nicola may you rest in peace. You paid the ultimate price protecting your community – I just hope they realise that!

Bob

 

 

Bob’s Thoughts As A Former SIO on ‘The Hillsborough Disaster’ News

 

 

The prime role of an investigator, as I was for 28yrs, is to discover the truth no matter how distasteful or embarrassing that may be. The investigation should be on behalf of the victims and to trace the perpetrators. It’s a sad day in our society when integrity has not been at the forefront of a major investigation into such a devastating incident such as the Hillsborough disaster. This will leave a deep scar in the life of the police service eternally and undermine the good work that so many hardworking and dedicated officers do on a daily basis.

Thank goodness the families have kept up the fight to make sure the truth is revealed at last otherwise it may have remained ‘swept under the carpet’ forever.

And I wonder how many people do you think saw, or had access to the documentation that was revealed to us, only yesterday?

My thoughts, as I am sure yours are, with the families.

For now,

Bob

Retired Detective Superintendent Bob Bridgestock  – West Yorkshire Police

BPV – The Future of Policing

 

 

THE FUTURE OF POLICING

I have a positive outlook on most challenges in life, however at present I struggling to comprehend the continued dilution of our Police service.

During the past 20 years the emphasis in policing has been about performance and its monitoring, cutting costs whenever and wherever. This major focus remains a number one priority, crime and public order are simply distractions from the paperwork attributed to this.

We need to remember that officers have died in the line of duty,  are shot, stabbed, beaten to death or killed by vehicles. Gun crime has trebled and officer’s numbers are at their lowest for a decade facing like many other groups pay freezes and increased pension contributions. Yet we hear comments such as ‘We must ask Police Officers to do more for less.’

We are talking about devoted servants of the Crown, who put their lives at risk on a daily basis protecting others what more could be asked of these men and women?

The flesh has been removed and the service is a mere skeleton of what it used to be and as for the heart, dare I suggest it has been well and truly ripped out! Is this a duty of care under health and safety, or is it too late with one foot already in the grave?

It seems to me like a bleak horizon for the world renowned and respected law enforcers.

Political Commissioners — Lucrative deals for senior officers to ensure compliance? And now the Home Secretary appoints a ‘Police Watchdog’ with no experience of the ‘real’ world of policing. Perhaps confirming why she gets the ‘vote of no confidence’.

Policing in this Country continues to be diluted beyond belief and in the future no doubt a ‘time team’ will be employed to discover whatever happened to the thin blue line.

But what will replace the ‘British Bobby’ one asks? Profit making privatisation, offering VFM (value for money)? Street walkers or vigilantes driven by cost alone? I dread to think who the sleeping partners would be in these industries or who as a hand in ensuring fair distribution of the relevant lucrative contracts.

One industry that appears to be booming in a time of world recession is the Governments ‘lip service’ who like those before them are NOT listening to the people. What this Country needs is to absolutely support its Emergency Services – a duty of care to its population.

I finish on a positive note. I am proud to have had a distinguished career as a Police officer, having spent thirty years policing the community with loyal and devoted service but I fear this will be soon a thing of the past.

Whilst I now continue to write crime fiction the Government in my view needs to embrace reality! A new Home Secretary perhaps, and one that cares for the Public and the Queens peace.

Yours faithfully,

 

Bob Bridgestock. Former Detective Superintendent, West  Yorkshire Police.

 

Anger over flash cars for top police – I always knew they had their ‘head in the clouds’ about some issues but no one can think this is right can they?

 

 

If one had a static holiday caravan, one would feel grateful for the Chancellors u-turn ensuring the VAT rise isn’t going to happen. Who knows, perhaps even celebrate with a hot savoury pastry, which is now affordable; or a barbeque with the ‘never mind the calories,’ vast amount of food some supermarkets are offering us which includes a bottle of Ketchup. Please note Doctors will not be available for severe stomach pains, due to a strike, so make sure you cook your meals properly. Be careful you don’t fall asleep afterwards and miss any of the Leveson Inquiry – Oh, you’re bored with that too?

European economies and dreams are shattered and we are riding a double dip recession making severe and savage cuts, which are essential. Shops and businesses close and we have almost four million households where no-one has a job, yet if you are the Mayor of Salford you can have thirteen assistants, all necessary of course, if we believe what we read?

Genuinely I felt disappointed and even ashamed when I read this headline in the Yorkshire Post this week though … http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/anger-over-flash-cars-for-top-police-in-west-yorkshire-exclusive-1-4598738

If you are a Police Chief you are still entitled to the ‘top of the range’ Jaguars, Audi, BMW’s etc. the choice is yours – No cuts for them at ‘the top’.  They may need to buy to a SAT NAV though for their drivers, using the service credit card of course, as there will be no beat officers to ask directions. Nationally, thousands could be saved on this ‘perk’. This is described by the press office as part of overall package to attract the right candidate – tongue in cheek I guess since the people having to put a positive spin on the announcement are fighting for their own jobs yet again. Is this three times in as many years? I can’t imagine the pressure this puts them under. Is it not true that saving could be used to put at least twelve Police officers back on the beat in the West Yorkshire Police force alone? I dread to think what the costly Police Commissioners will ride around in and have as an ‘incentive to attract the right candidate’!

It appears that yet again the Civil Service credit card is the best one to have, (part of a that employment package of course), which racks up millions of pounds in expenses  every year; isn’t it right that in some areas this expense to the public purse is actually over a billion?  A promised clampdown recommends; fewer bookings at 5* hotels and a spending on alcohol – yes, checks will be carried out now they say on all transactions. As if people of this ilk would abuse them? Such harsh recommendations!

‘Lead by example’ leaves a bitter taste right now. ‘I’m alright Jack’ goes to the top of the charts. I don’t blame the present Government or envy their task, being left with empty coffers, watched no doubt by the smiling Blairs’ and Mandelsons ‘ with their lucrative deals . Do they feel the bite of the recession? I think not.

Enough moaning! It’s the Queens Jubilee. We’re in Europe for the football, Wimbledon is just around the corner and of course we have the Olympics in England this year, we’ve a lot to be proud of and look forward to.

The other option is to read/listen to a good book -  e-book, paper back or hardback whatever your preference and escape for a while from reality.

My dad used to say, ‘The higher up a tree you go my lad, the more of your arse you show. Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself and remember, those at the top have a long way to fall, and fall I know they do.’

Bob

 

May 26, 2012

BPV – Am I just a Dinosaur?

Reading the paper this morning I wondered if I am becoming old or just less tolerant. I can’t get my head round the fact that:-

Rapists still don’t get life imprisonment (in my view they should be castrated!).  

Drivers, through drink, drugs or mobile phone use kill, but still don’t get life imprisonment.

In prison the criminals are cared for to the highest standard with all their human rights intact, including being allowed to vote so I read will happen, and not only that but it will be voted in by unelected foreign judges.

A boy is awarded for going to school in a skirt, but yet we all fail a girl who is allowed to reach 63st or another who is given eight abortions!

Have we all got our heads in the sand? Or are we so lazy today that we accept ’that’s how it is’ and daren’t put our ‘heads above the parapet, and question the decisions made on our behalf? No wonder people want to live in this country. If this is a government who says they listen SHOUT LOUD AND CLEAR!

I hope one day we have a severe deterrent for crime and a society that repulses, rejects and punishes criminals for the benefit of the community.

 Alas the sun is shining and life goes on, but remember the future is for our children and think about what legacy are we leaving them?

Bob

 

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