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Everything posted by oldcopper

  1. oldcopper


    When I joined, over 50 years ago, the height limit for most police forces in the UK was around 5'10'' with 2 or 3 requiring candidates to be 6'0''. It was necessary in those days for police officers to be large persons as we lacked the excellent equipment which today's officers are issued with to defend themselves or summon assistance quickly and frequently had to depend on our physical prowess to carry out certain aspects of policing. However, things have moved on and given the kit which today's officers are issued, physical prowess and appearance are not as necessary as they were at one time. I see many officers on the streets today who are les than your 5'8''. Good luck.'
  2. If anyone should tell the public the truth it is the Police Service itself. For decades police officers of all ranks have being telling the public that everything in the garden is rosy and that the Nation was being served by the best and most efficient Police Service in the World. The truth of the matter is that for years we bluffed our way through thick and thin and we did it so well that the people and many politicians came to believe what was being said and arrived at the conclusion that policing on the cheap could be achieved without any harm being done to anyone and that, no matter how overstretched or underfunded police forces were, the job could always be done by the good old British bobby. As I reflect over the past half-century I have no doubt that we must accept at least part of the blame for the current state of affairs.
  3. oldcopper

    Being papered by IPCC

    That was always the advice given by the Fed. to members of my old force and, generally speaking, I think it is good and sensible advice. However, there are always exceptions to the rule and I remember an officer who gave a lengthy reply when served with discipline papers which explained away most of the allegations against him and the matter was dropped almost immediately. I have to say that it appears to me that discipline papers are being served on more officers for relatively trivial matters these days or am I just imagining this.
  4. No matter what the truth of this issue, or whether it will prove good or bad, I have no doubt that money is at the root of the matter. Due to the fincncial situation in which our nation finds itself, cuts in the amounts of cash given to all parts of the public sector have to be made and it appears that the Poilce Service is not to be excluded from these strictures. While sympathising with HMG in its financial predicament I cannot but think that cutting the finances of the Police Service will, in the long term, be a false economy as policing will gradually become increasingly erodied and lawlessness will gradually increase with the inevitable costs. As I have said before, HMG should give priority to its principal functions of protecting the country and its inhabitants and exclude polcing from the worst parts of cuts on the public sector.
  5. You appear to have serious reservations about the job you are applying for and that appears to me to manifest a lack of the commitment necessary for such a post which leads me to believe you should withdraw from the selection process. It does you credit that you realise you might be wasting everyones' time if you continued merely for the sake of the experience and I have to say I can see some use in that line of thinking. I suspect you need more time to think about what you want to do with your life and which profession you wish to follow.
  6. oldcopper

    Hillsborough Verdict

    Yes, it's a bit like deaths in police custody. I was involved in one when close to retirement and although it was widely acknowledged that I and others did everything properly and a fatal accident enquiry did not apportion blame to the police, while a civil action by the family failed the relatives (I am told) still steadfastly maintain that the police were to blame for their relative's demise in police cells. All this despite that fact that he was a chronic alcoholic and drug user and had an underlying heart condition that had not been diagnosed prior to the post-mortem which followed his death. It appears that some people really must have a scapegoat.no matter what. And what better scapegoat is there than the Police Service.
  7. oldcopper

    Hillsborough Verdict

    So far as I can see, no matter what decision was taken by the police in relation to this incident, there was a strong potential liklihood that some form of disaster would happen and the police would be held culpable . If the police had not opened the Leppings Lane gate, to admit those supporters who arrived late, the said supporters would almost certainly have gone of the rampage and caused mayhem of a significant kind which would have attracted the opprobrium of the public etc. towards the police for NOT opening the gates and admitting the late arrivals. I remember an almost identical situation n Glasgow many years ago when it was decided not to open the gates and mounted officers had to be deployed to deal with the irate supporters who declined to disperse. Criticism fell upon the police for their actions in doing exactly the opposite of what happened at Hillsborough. It seems that sometimes you just can't win.
  8. This is so true and it appears to me that if a political party or an individual politician tells the truth about the potential economic situation we face in the future they are doomed to failure. All parties seem to win elections by promising the earth to the electorate in the form of low taxation or increased benefits of one sort another which involves more spending. I would like to see a cross-party group of politicians, assisted by the most reputable of economists and bankers lay out to the electorate exactly what will happen to our economy if we continue spending at the rate we have been doing for some time now. I doubt if many members of the Labour Party would be willing to participate in such a venture because all they seem to do is make promises about what they intend doing without identifying where the money will come from. It should be made abundantly plain to all that governments have no money other than that which they receive from us in the form of taxes or by borrowing. And even the borrowed money has to be paid back by the taxpayer.
  9. oldcopper

    Residential tower block in West London

    I fail to understand why HMG did not call in the Army to coordinate and assist with this incident. The military have been used in various other types of disaster such as flooding etc. and I think their involvement would have been invaluable in this instance.
  10. I suspect your estimate of 5 years is not too far out. I also agree that the funding could, and probably should, come from the Foreign Aid Budget. However, no matter which party is in power that particular source of cash appears to be sacrosanct.
  11. Where do you think the money to pay for the end of so-called austerity is going to come from? This country already has large deficit and if we continue spending at our current levels this can only get worse and lead to even more tremendous economic problems in the future. All political parties wish to remain in power so they bribe the electorate with cash and other benefits to elect them and when it becomes apparent reductions in public expenditure are required they are either afraid of losing power and surrender to those who care nothing for the Country's economic future or they bite the bullet, do the correct thing and suffer the opprobrium of the public at large. I actually allow myself a wry smile when I hear talk of austerity. I am old enough to remember the 1950s quite well and austerity really did exist then. Most of the people who think we are living in a time of austerity don't really know what they are talking about.
  12. Sorry for the typo. It should have read 30 years servicde but I think you knew that.
  13. oldcopper

    The general election (June 2017)

    So true as regards Sturgeon and Salmond and I was also pleased to see Angus Robertson, the odious and unctuous leader of the SNP group at Westminster, losing his seat along with various others in the SNP gang. I agree about Corbyn and his bribery offer to sudents in England and Wales. I read that the annual cost of this would be £12billion and wonder that many young people are so gullible that they would believe Corbyn or accept that such expenditure is sustainable. Again we have talk of profligate spending emanting from the mouths of scocialist politicians who labour (no pun intended) under the misapprehension that money grows on trees. Sadly, it falls easliy on the ears of those who believe what they want to hear. It is the same with all those other issues such as care for the elderly, and the universal payment of Winter Fuel Allowance etc. They are all unsustainable in the long term but few politicians have the courage to tackle them head-on or even make reference to them. Theresa May did so in her manifesto and that honesty was part of the reason for the situation she finds herself in today. Perhaps the lesson is that, if you possess even a modicum of integrity or realism, don't enter politics.
  14. I s[pent all my police service in areas where the Labour Party were politically dominant and with very few exceptions can state that they, and other on the Left, were rarely great fans of the police. I don't think things would change when a current Labour win would have resulted in some if its leadership being people who once wished for the abolition of Special Branch and the disarming of the Police.
  15. I remember those days well and it was only because I was unmarried that I was not in the same situation as your father. Things only changed because of Edmund-Davies which came about largely because of a difficulty to recruit and the further problem of retained those who did join. Of my intake of 20 only 2 of us completed 10 years service and only 2 of us completed the 30 years necessary to qualify for a pension. We owe much to those who voted with their feet and resigned. Most had gone within the first 5/6 years, as predicted by the Sgt who took us through our first week at training school.
  16. oldcopper

    The general election (June 2017)

    Labour may not be a lost cause but I could never bring myself to vote for a party whose leader has been so connected to anti-British terrorist organisations such as PIRA and Hamas. Furthermore, I am old enough to remember previous Labour governments and their profligate spending which caused us great economic harm. Corbyn seems exactly in the same mould. I hope I shall never see another Labour government in this country.
  17. oldcopper

    The general election (June 2017)

    No matter what other attributes TM possesses, campaigning is clearly not one of them. Part of her problem is that I think she lacked the guile necessary in a politician when announcing in the Conservative Manifesto her Party's intentions regarding the Triple Lock and Social Care for the Elderly. It must have been obvious that these issues would be anathema to many Conservative Party core voters, even though they represent the correct way to go with regard to the long term position regarding the increasing number of elderly people and the resultant cost to the economy.
  18. All governments will endeavor to achieve policing on the cheap. Policing is an expensive business and as the Police Service does not normally enjoy the popularity it currently does, due to the recent terrorist events, it is quite easy to make cuts in police budgets. The Police are a fairly easy target. The reality of the situation is, that as a country, we are spending money we don't have and cuts in public expenditure have to be made somewhere. Having said that, I think that governments of all political hues over the past few years have forgotten what their principal duty and function is, and that is the protection the Realm and its inhabitants. That being the case, HM Forces, the Police Service, Prison Service, Border Force, MI5 and MI6 and the general Criminal Justice system should receive much more from the public purse that has been the case for many years. This should be done even it is means moving money from the Foreign Aid Budget, NHS etc. none of which HMG has a duty to fund. Of course, this would cause uproar especially when it comes to the NHS, but many countries such as the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand do not have a NHS and although I do not advocate disbanding the NHS I think HMG should get its priorities right.
  19. oldcopper

    Start arming UK police?

    A very valid question to which I would be interested to know the answer. What do they do in countries where the police are routinely armed when they have to deal with public order situations? Years ago I spoke to an armed RUC officer who said he had never encountered any problem with this issue and stated he had recently dealt with a large scale disturbance at a dance hall where he ended up struggling on the ground with a prisoner. He told me he knew of only one instance where a police officer had been cornered and forcibly deprived of his firearm. I also knew a retired Royal Hong Police officer who told me of several instances where criminals had `mugged' patrolling constables with the intention of robbing them of their routinely armed firearm. It is a difficult issue and I can think of many public order incidents where I was attacked by a hostile crowd while making arrests and could have had a firearm taken from me. However, whatever the situation I think much of the solution is down to individual officers who volunteer to carry firearms. Are they really made fully aware of the highly possible consequences which face them if things go wrong? Are they willing to accept these consequences and the long term effect they may have on them and their families?.
  20. oldcopper

    Start arming UK police?

    To an extent I agree with you and I suspect the day is fast approaching when all police officers will have to be armed. I carried a firearm while still serving but never had to use it. I can recollect 2 occasions during my service when officers shot and killed armed criminals and another occasion when one of them wounded an armed man. They had to go through a period of uncertainty while waiting to be informed if they would be prosecuted and were given little support from the force during that period, despite the fact that the circumstances were patently clear and there was no great public or political outcry for heads to roll. However, the position has changed and in several instances in recent years where officers have shot criminals there has been little support for them and if I was serving nowadays, fear of prosecution etc. would make me wary about volunteering to carry a firearm. The current wave of support for the police in the wake of recent terrorist events in the UK may well be short-lived: the public are very fickle. r
  21. oldcopper

    Start arming UK police?

    Interesting point. What happens to police officers in an armed police force in a foreign country, such as USA or France, where all police officers are routinely armed if they fail their periodic firearms qualification?
  22. oldcopper

    The general election (June 2017)

    They are also lying. What they are now saying is completely at variance with what they have said in the past and I am of the opinion that are only saying things like hiring extra police etc. in the hope of hoodwinking the electorate. Sadly, some are gullible enough to fall for such perfidy.
  23. oldcopper

    Walk The Beat

    From what I can see and hear from serving officers there is much truth in what you say. However, for many years we encouraged the public to telephone us, no matter how trivial the matter, and this message eventually got through and contributes to the amount of heavy calls experienced today. I remember a woman phoning in because she found her budgie dead in its cage and being assured that this was OK when she apologised for taking up police time. Also, when I joined and walked the beat we did not have personal radios and relied on police boxes with flashing lights to keep in contact with the station. By the time we saw the light flashing and phoned in to see what we were wanted for and made our way to the street fight, or whatever. the incident was often over. After we became more mobile we attended incidents more quickly and the public came to expect a speedier response. I think all these things contribute to the situation where it is frequently operationally impossible to deploy regular foot patrols.
  24. oldcopper

    Walk The Beat

    I should have mentioned in my previous post on this subject that I have noticed when police officers ARE walking the beat members of the public stop and look at them. If further proof was required that the walking policeman is a rarity these days, this fact would appear to verify it.
  25. oldcopper

    Manchester attack

    Totally agree, and if things continue to deteriorate I would hope that HMG give some consideration to internment where appropriate.