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Everything posted by oldcopper

  1. Policing of football matches

    I am really surprised at the number of postings OBJECTING to charging football clubs for Police Officers deployed outside their grounds, in addition to those inside, for whom they do pay. Some of the reasons given by those who object are unbelieveable. One of the most bizarre was the posting which objected on the grounds that imposing such a charge might result in a dearth of young football players rising to play in the larger clubs. Does it really matter? Who cares if nobody ever plays football again? Have we been `dumbed down' to the stage where we really believe football is important ?( I think the answer to the last questiion would be `Yes'). Personally, I don't mind people playing/watching whatever sport or interest takes their fancy, but it is their choice and I cannot for a moment see why ratepayers should be out of pocket by having to provide extra Police resources for what,after all, is just a game and a piece of entertainment. Another strange objection was that football clubs might pass the cost of the extra charge on to their fans. Of course they will. All businesses do that. If the price of maintaining a football ground increases, the the clubs would pass the cost of that onto their customers as well. If the customers don't like it they can withhold their custom. It's not as if football was an essential. It's not like putting up the price of bread. What IS important is that the ratepayers are treated fairly and that means football clubs should have to reimburse them for policing `above and beyond' that paid for in the normal course of events by diomestic rates. Oddly enough, few postings make much in the way of reference to the vast profits made by the football industry and the disgusting wages paid to football players who really contribute nothing to society, while people like,nurses, carers etc. receive much lower financial reward for their efforts. That, perhaps indicates the type of society we have become. Anyway, I say roll on the day when footall (and other sporting) clubs have to pay for all types of policing incurred by their activities, along with venues where concerts and other such events are held. If this idea comes to fruition it will be a vioctoiry for the ratepayers of the UK. They should celebrate because they don't get many.
  2. Policing of football matches

    There are,indeed,similarities between this situation relating to liquor licences and the charges being proposed in relation to the policing of football clubs. Personally, I have no problem with it. A great deal of the problems we have with drunkeness are as a result of publicans serving alcohol to those who are already drunk. This is an offence under the Licensing Act in Scotland and I suspect a similar situation exists in England/Wales. Many publicans take advantage of the fact that the Police rarely enforce this law and thus make huge profits. Accordingly, I see no problem with additional financial charges being made to licencees. I realise licencees will pass the cost of these charges on to their customers, but said customers have a choice. They don't HAVE to drink alcohol. So far as responsible drinkers are concerned, it might be a bit unfair on them but the blame for any unfairness lies with irresponsible licencees and drinkers. I don't use heroin but i have to pay,via.my taxes for the treatment of those who become addicted to that drug. Life's a bitch and then ye die.
  3. Policing of football matches

    Yes, where does it all stop? Well, I hope it does NOT just stop here and trust this trend will continue to include major sports events of all types and other events such as `pop' concerts. I WOULD exclude (reluctantly) political marches etc.and demonstrations as we live in a country where these types of events are part of our right to political expression. However, football, rugby,cricket etc. are merely games and entertainment. I realise football clubs etc. pay normal rates but the policing they receive,outside and inside their grounds, goes beyond the normal rates bill. No doubt football clubs and other organisations who might be affected by this proposal will pass the additional costs on to their spectators/audiences etc. This is what business people usually do when faced with some sort of increase in their overheads. If the `punters' do not wish to pay the enhanced entrance fee they have the choice of doing something else on a Saturday afternoon, like watching an amateur football fixture where no Police attendance is required and expense is not incurred by the ratepayers. It may well be that some smaller football clubs cannot afford the increased Police bill. They then have the choice of doing what every other poor sod has to do when he cannot pay his lawful bills. Ultimately, that might mean bankruptcy but there are a lot of people in the country today who are having to go down that road in respect of their homes and other matters more essential than games of football,rugby etc. However, the football industry is awash with money which is evident by the ridiculous salaries they pay their players. Perhaps the bigger clubs might have the magniminity to help their less prosperous brethern out. I truly hope this is the start of a trend to make football clubs and others,who have been spared the true cost of policing, pay the full price for the services the Police have to provide.
  4. Policing of football matches

    I agree Rangers and Celtic should have no financial difficulty with this matter but,predictably, they are whining already. Many of the smaller clubs may have a problem but their fixtures do not normally attract the large crowds and public disorder which matches featuring Rangers and Celtic do and, therefore, the number of Police Officers required at their games is less. However, even the smaller clubs seem to have the finance to pay players exorbitant salaries etc. for doing not a lot so I see why they should be exempt from paying their share to the public purse for Policing.
  5. General election

    Come to think of it, you are quite right. What are the financial arrangements for MPs when they leave Parliament? Does anyone know? I do know that they have a final salary pension scheme and I think Mr Cameron recently stated he would close this to new entrants to Parliament which implies that those who continue to serve will receive the same pension benefits they enjoyed previously. However, when does this pension `kick in'? Do they have to wait until they are 65 plus and retire or do they begin the receive the pensiion if they resign from the House or loose their seat,
  6. General election

    In this morning's news I note that a Mr Philpott of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is predicting job cuts in the Public Sector of up to 350,000 over the next 5 years. He also predicts much in the way of industrial action. I do not see how the Police Service can escape having to share in these cuts, although I seriously doubt whether any Police Officers will be made redundant. I would anticipate a reduction in Police Support Staff however. The main areas I see being targeted for sworn officers are salaries and pensions. I suspect Mr Cameron (or whoever beomes PM) will be most unwilling to increase Police pay to keep it in line with inflation etc. So far as pensions are concerned, he has already said he favours a money purchase scheme for Public section workers and I suspect he will impose such a scheme on the Police Service to replace the existing.final salary scheme. How this will affect those already on pension I do not know but I have heard rumours that a special tax might be imposed on existing Public Service pensions (inlcuding Police) to claw back money already paid. I believe existing Officers will rertain the pension benefits already accrued but these will be swtched into a money purchase scheme. None of this augers well for the Public Sector and the Police Service in General. I foresee a serious deterioration in Public Services in general and I think this will manifest itself particularly in the standard of Policing.
  7. General election

    I agree cuts in many Civil Service Departments, Quangos and amongst the ranks of Social Workers would,indeed,be of significant assistance. However, as the amount of debt we have accumulated is enormous, I feel financial cuts in these areas may be insufficient. Personally, I believe we should leave the EU (that tells you who I voted for the other day) to whom we give £40 million per day. If we retained that money for our own internal use we would be going a long was to solving our current financial difficulties. I think we all agree there are hard times ahead and my particular concern is how the incoming government will treat the Police. If financial cuts are made across the board and the Police are adversely affected via their pay,conditions and pensions I fear the government might lose their loyalty at a time when large amounts of that commodity is required.
  8. General election

    I think whoever wins the forthcoming General Election will have a hard time in government. The Country is in such a mess. If the Conservatives win, they will have to do many unpleasant things to turn things around and they could become unpopular within a short period of time. That could mean problems for the Police in many respects and I do not exclude public disorder from that scenario. I hope Mr Cameron would recognise this and treat the Police Sservice with greater respect than the current Government. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, I have never heard him say anything with regard to his opinion of the Police and have the impression that he has little regard for us. Perhaps I am wrong and if anyone out there know differently I would be pleased to read their post.
  9. General election

    Don't be too sure. Mrs Thatcher was probably the exception to the rule where the Police were concerned and (correct me if I am wrong) the only Prime Minister in any government to have any real regard for the Police . I have never heard Mr Cameron say anything to make me think he had any regard for the Police and I suspect he does not have much time for us. I hope I am wrong and would be interested to read the post of anyone out there who can say different. My own thoughts are, that no matter who wins the next General Election, the pay,conditions, pensions and overall treatment of the Police Service will be seriously eroded. Again, I hope I am wrong, but that is the way it seems to be going. Policiticians of all political parties regard the Police as a necessary evil.
  10. Injury On Duty Pensions

    Yes, I don't think there is much loyalty around and, as I have said previously, I suspect this is the thin edge of the wedge to chip away at Police Pensions (and those of other Public Sector occupations) to help this Government (and the next one)to get out of the financial hole it has created for itself. I am disappointed the Federation and Narpo have not made more of a protest about this gross injustice. Does anyone know why this is? Have we become so `dumbed down' that we will now accept anything that the system throws at us?
  11. Injury On Duty Pensions

    Such treatment of officers who were retired on medical pensions as a result of injuries sustained on duty is absolutely disgraceful. I suspect this is just the beginning of an attack on Police pensions and Public Sector pensions in general by whichever political party forms the next government. During my own Police Service I regularly took risks involving the possibility of physical injury and, on occasion, I was injured. Fortunately, none of these injuries resulted in me being pensioned on medical grounds. I was no different to any other officer: I was just one of the lucky ones. I am astounded the Federation and Narpo have not made more of an issue over this matter. At the very least, the Federation should be publicising the matter to all serving officers with the warning that they should be more thoughtful about taking risks which might result in them sustaining injury. If the Government continues with this practice I suspect operational officer will, understandably, become very risk averse and this would, most definitely, not be in the public interest. This is one of the worst injustices I have ever heard of and cannot believe we are allowing these former officers to be treated in this fashion. Is there anyone out there in Federationland who can explain why this is being permitted to happen without rigorous opposition?.
  12. Legalise something else?

    I suspect the reason why mobile phones were the form of driver distraction made illegal was because the degree of distraction is probably quite high, with one hand being off the steering wheel and the driver concentrating on his/her phone call. I think the law is perfectly reasonable on this matter and believe eating, drinking and smoking at the wheel should also be considered as possible offences, although I doubt if the level of enforcement would be high as I regularly see drivers using mobile phones quite openly with no apparent fear of attracting a fixed penalty. I would also agree with the minimum age for driving being raised to 21, with exceptions for those under 21 who already hold full licences, HM Forces, Police etc in the execution of their duty etc. No doubt a number of under 21s would still drive but I suspect the majority would comply with the law.
  13. Legalise it......????

    FAILURE OF SOCIETY It MAY well be that the strata of society under discussion are prepared to continue their lives in the manner they do because society has failed them but, as society is made up of individual, fallible, human beings I think we must expect it to produce some degree of failure in anything it attempts. However, you must agree that, in the UK, society has tried quite hard to wean these people from the type of lives they live. Over the decades there have been many social workers, prison reformers,medical people, clergymen, politicians and even police officers who have done their best for the lowest echelons of society. I regret to say their efforts have, with certain notable exceptions, been fruitless. The good old British taxpayer has also tried to help by providing millions to provide those we speak of with all the essentials of life (and some more). Have you ever considered there could be a genetic factor at work here? I joined the force in which my paternal grandfather served for 36 years and, coincidentally, was posted to the division where he spent most of his service and had retired from 18 years prior to me joining up. My grandfather and I shared the same name and it wasn't long before it became obvious many of the juveniles I arrested were descendents of those he spent his time arresting during his service. Their parents and grandparents,on learning my name, pointed out that they had been `clients' of my grandfather. Anyway, I think that ``those who are in a position to something about it'' have done what they could and are a bit confused about what to do next. The reality is that this element will always be present in our society and all we can do is protect others from their depradations. If providing them with free drugs is part of that, then so be it. Personally, I would get them all back into areas where they did not contaminate the rest of society and ``birds of a feather could flock together.''
  14. Legalise it......????

    Iin Policing we frequently encounter people/families of this type. They have always been with us and I think their numbers are increasing as a result of the Welfare State which encourages a culture of dependency. The position of these type of individuals in the drugs scenario is significant as they routinely use recreational drugs as a means of escape from their indolent and pointless lifestyles. In the town where I grew up, and in the city where I began my Police service, they were,generally speaking, confined to certain local authority housing estates. These,admittedly,were ghettos, but in retrospect this was a good policy as it kept them away (most of the time) from those with more mainstream lifestyles. It also made policing easier and more effective. Sadly, in more recent times, there seems to have been a move to integrate them into `better' areas. This has been a disaster as they only contaminate such areas with their sub-culture, including drug usage. I realise the idea behind this a well meaning attempt to to rehabilitate them and a step towards politically correct `inclusion', but it just does not work as they have a culture going back generations which seems impossible to change. They really see right and wrong differently from us and need to be accommodated in their own areas where they can live their inherited lifestyle without inconvenience to others. That would include providing them with inexpensive or free drugs to prevent them stealing to fund their habit.
  15. Legalise it......????

    SISTER PURITY: What is it you envisage would happen if recreational drugs were legalised and supplied via. the State and approved pharmacies? It would not be the end of the World as we know it. When I suggest legalisation, people who initially disagree usually give the following reasons for their disagreement- LEGALISATION WOULD CAUSE MORE CRIME If I thought for one moment that would be the case I would not advocate legalisation. I believe crime rates would actually decrease as addicts would not have to resort to crime to support their habit and, if legalised, the authorities could control the price, ensuring it was always lower than that offered by the criminals who currently run the drugs trade. For those concerned about welfare of drug takers, I would also mention that if the State was in charge of the distribution etc of drugs it would be in a position to control the quality of the substances being supplied. LEGALISATION WOULD CAUSE MORE DRUG TAKING AND ADDICTION As I have said before, I have never met any NON drug taker who said they refrained from indulging in contraband substances because they were illegal and, as illegal drugs are so readily available, I think it highly probable that all those who wish to go down the road of drug taking are already doing so. I would not expect the rate of addiction to rise and, even if it did, the addict would be in exactly same `free will' position as the those addicted to the currently legal drugs of alcohol or nicotine at present. DRUG TAKING IS IMMORAL: That is a matter of opinion but, even if it is true, it does not necessarly mean that it should be illegal. Adultery is also immoral but we do not have legislation forbidding it. Furthermore, where does that leave the situation regarding alcohol and nicotine which are already legal? The Misuse of Drugs Act and attendant legislation was intended to end/ reduce drug use, but it has failed miserably and created a situation whereby the criminals who operate the trade become wealthy and powerful and their customers/victims resort to preying on others to fund their drug taking. THIS LEGISLATION HAS FAILED MISERABLY AND AGGRAVATED THE SITUATION IT WAS INTENDED TO SUPPRESS How long will it be before we adopt another approach which might be more successful?
  16. Legalise it......????

    The suggestion that one should blindly accept any law without question is an interesting concept and, if followed to its logical conclusion, would mean that the law would never change or progress. However, that is a significant discussion in its own right. In the context of the current debate re legalisation of certain substances which are rendered illegal by the Misuse of Drugs Act, I can honestly say that,as a Police Officer, I performed my sworn duty and enforced the law as laid down by Parliament even though I believed it to be a `bad law.' One ventures onto thin ice by only enforcing the laws with which one agrees. However, my required duty as a Police Officer did not prevent me arriving at the conclusion that the current law relating to drugs achieves little or nothing and,indeed, probably exacerbates matters.
  17. Legalise it......????

    SISTER PURITY:People take drugs such as heroin,cocaine,cannabis etc. for exactly the same reasons you consume the drug alcohol which, I think we agree, produces much the same effects on human beings and society as the substances outlawed by the Misuse of Drugs, Act, 1971. As with yourself, if alcohol became illegal it would not make much difference to me, but I have no doubt the criminal fraternity would rejoice having yet another illicit drug to produce,market and profit from. As evidence of this I point you once again in the direction of prohibition Era USA. It seems we never learn from history.
  18. Legalise it......????

    SISTER PURITY: I agree with you that not all crime and public disorder would cease to exist if recreational drugs were legalised. However, in common with several others who have posted re this issue, one of the caveats I would impose relating to legalisation would be that the substances concerned would only be available from the State, probably through approved pharmacies,either free gratis or at a very inexpensive price., This should, at least, have the effect of reducing crime committed by those who rob and steal to fund their drug taking activities and take those powerful criminals who make large profits from currently illicit drugs out of the picture.. Of course, there would still be sudden deaths emanating from overdoses but we have the same situation relating to alcohol/tobacco which kill thousands each year in the UK. I really see no point in keeping the currently illicit drugs outwith the law. Those who wish to `do' drugs will use them even if they are illegal with salutary penalties for possession/supply etc. It is their decision what they do with/to their own bodies and if they did not have to steal etc. to support their `habit' the harm they cause others should be eliminated or minimised.
  19. Legalise it......????

    SISTER PURITY:You are correct when you say No One NEEDS drugs, but the reality of the situation is that mankind has used substances for recreational purposes since time began and we have never (to my knowledge) been able to stop people doing so. That being the case, my opinion is that we should legalise the substances in question, with certain caveats applying to protect non-drug takers from those who wish to use them. That way, we might be able to exercise some form of control over the substances in question. We do not have that at the moment. No one NEEDS alcohol or tobacco.Both are widely used recreational drugs but few advocate making it illegal to use or possess them, even though the former is a very dangerous and destructive drug which has caused extreme social difficulties for centuries. When I was a Drug Squad officer, officials of the Home Office Drugs Branch and the Pharmaceutical Society told me alcohol was so dangerous that,if it was discovered tomorrow, it would became a Class `A' Drug. I understand the contempt you hold for drug dealers, but your friendly local publican is as much a drug dealer as the `low life' selling cannabis,heroin or cocaine in the`sink' estate. If you are a Police Officer I am sure you will be well aware of the problems the drug called alcohol creates. These are, arguably, more or equal to, the problems caused by those substances which are currently illegal. I am not tee-total but I recognise the extremely serious damage done to individuals and society by alcohol. Nevertheless, I think it inadvisable and impractical to go down the road of prohibition of alcohol as tried in the USA in the 1920s. I suspect legalisation of all or most controlled substances would be a step forward, leading to those criminals who profit from the currently illicit traffic in drugs being deprived of their substantial incomes. Those who use drugs are persons with their own free will, ,just like the rest of us, and if they continue to use drugs for recreational purposes then they are in the same position as those who presently use legalised drugs such as alcohol. I don't believe legalisation would increase drug taking as I suspect those who wish to take drugs are already doing so.
  20. Legalise it......????

    I served as a Drug Squad officer in the 1970s, and after my first 12 months on this type of duty realised I was part of the problem and not the means of solving it. It was also obvious to me and another of my colleagues that,if recreational drugs were not legalised, their supply and use could not be controlled and that would cause problems akin to the situation experienced in Prohibition era USA. We conveyed our thoughts to a very senior officer who laughed and accused us of empire building. He further stated that the citizens of this fair land were addicted to alcohol and would not add to their menu of recreational drugs to any great extent by including such delicacies as heroin,cannabis,cocaine etc. How wrong he was, but those like him rarely listen to those who operate in the sleazy streets below their ivory towers. All that the criminalization of recreational drugs achieves is a situation where certain criminals are able to become millionaires and enjoy lifestyles they could not have attained had they remained burglars or whatever. Those who would use drugs for recreational drugs will do so anyway. I have NEVER heard anyone say the reason they don't use drugs is because they are illegal. If drugs use was decriminalized, the State could distribute them via pharmacies and the gangsters currently making a fortune from the trade in contraband substances would have to go back to nicking lead off roofs, which is not so profitable. I wonder if drug dealers ever have nightmares about a day when drugs are legalised?
  21. pension at risk

    Many thanks to Keithboy37 and Old Codger for replying to my post re pensions. The information you provided was interesting and useful,even if it was a bit disappointing. Neither of you mention the Police Pensions Act which I referred to in my post. Has it been repealed? I hope, however, that the Police Federation will attempt to maintain the standard of Police pensions. Even if they lose, it is better to go down fighting than to go down with a cowardly,humiliating, whimper. I have always believed the Police and the Military are special cases as they are the only occupations deprived of the right to strike. This factor should be recognised when it comes to pay,pensions etc. If the Police are not a special case it means they are just the same as any other workers and the government and public have no right to expect them to risk their lives for them or to have any more commitment to their job than anyone else. I hear some officers are asking for the right to strike and voted thus at the Federation conference. I would really hate to see that coming to pass, but if officers are treated with contempt and disdain who can blame them. I'm glad I'm out of `The Job' now and I have to say that, when asked by youngsters if I think joining the Police is a good idea, I invariably reply in the negative.
  22. pension at risk

    I have been retired on pension for some years and have time to peruse the national press and on-line web sites dealing with financial matters, including pensions. There is tremendous anger regarding public sector pensions, much of it directed against Police and Civil Service Pension Schemes. Coppers and Civil Servants are none too popular and I suspect the next government (of whatever party) will be under great pressure to reform the pensions of Public Sector employees. They will find this comparatively easy as those not in the Public Sector are envious of the benefits supplied by Public Sector Schemes and many would support the government. So far as non-police employees are concerned, I EXPECT what will happen is that new entrants will be excluded from final salary schemes and offered pension schemes providing far less attractive benefits. Existing members of final salary schemes will be credited with such pension benefits as they have accrued, but these will be transferred to the new pension scheme being offered to new entrants. The situation for Police might be slightly different as I believe the Police Pensions Act prevents a serving officer being given a pension with poorer benefits than that which he was given when he joined. CAN ANYONE CONFIRM IF THIS IS THE CASE? I don't think those (like myself) who are already on pension can rest easy either. In the current financial crisis, the next government will be desperate for money and will, I suspect, take money from anyone in a Public Sector scheme, even though they are already in receipt of their pension. While I understand the government needs to do something about the financial crisis I feel it is unfair that the Police and other Public sector workers should bear the brunt as the problem (as always) started in the private sector (banking). Does anyone know if the Federation are doing anything about this issue?