Category: Uncategorized

DOM JOLY MENTIONED YOU IN A COMMENT…

11067652_979058202117798_231464164279546677_n

Correct me if I’m wrong but the term “Antisemitism” refers to hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against a person for being Jewish. Have I got that right or not? I think I have. So with that in mind, can anybody see why anybody would say that the following is an “antisemitic comment”?

“pretty much the only two people who currently oppose the Rothschilds and the banking cartel…”

Within that comment I fail to see any hostility, any prejudice or any discrimination. I fail to see any mention of the Jewish faith. So how can it be “antisemitic”?

The above comment was posted in response to this image which was posted on Facebook by former funny man Dom Joly

14992051_1358183364205278_1909640207495034777_n

As you can see, the guy who posted the comment, Gaz Weeks, was simply pointing out that Putin and Jong-Un oppose the Rothschild and banking cartel. Nothing more. There was no expansion on his comment. There was no reference to being Jewish. There was no opinion expressed whatsoever. Gaz simply pointed out a fact. Russia and North Korea, if our media is to be believed (I know, don’t laugh) do indeed oppose Rothschild controlled banks along with the rest of the Western banking cartel.

It was Joly himself who then responded to Gaz and bizarrely claimed that his comment was antisemitic! The only way I can see Gaz’s comment being antisemitic in any way would be if 1. The definition of antisemitism was changed to mean you can not talk about Jewish people or Jewish familes. 2. Gaz said something negative about Jews such as implying it is ok to oppose the Rothschilds because they’re Jews… He didn’t and so I fail to see where the antisemitism that Dom Joly took so much offence to.

Several other people seemed as baffled as me and commented on the thread telling Dom that there was no antisemitism and in fact it was Dom himself that brought religious belief into the conversation.

Gaz pointed out to Dom that he was not being antisemitic and said he respects Joly as a comic but said that other than that he would like to kick Dom in the shin. A light hearted jokey comment I’m sure you’ll agree… Well, not Dom! He decided to respond with this…

Screenshot_2016-11-07-10-02-18-01.jpeg

His reply was questioned again by other people struggling to see the antisemitism in anything Gaz had said. I decided to ask him myself “How is opposing Rothschild antisemitic?”. I know that Gaz hadn’t opposed Rothschild but this was clearly what Dom had an issue with. I asked him whether it would make you a racist and prejudice against black people if you didn’t like Barack Obama? I asked him whether it would make you a sexist and against women if you opposed Killery Clinton? I tried to lighten the mood by poking fun at Trump too and suggested it was silly to pull the racism card on Gaz when there was nothing antisemitic about his comment. Joly got a little trigger happy with firing off insults with his response and tried to pull Gaz back into the fray by tagging him…

Screenshot_2016-11-07-10-02-08-01.jpeg

So I’m a “nasty moron” it seems. I laughed at how unhinged his comment seemed to be. Had he lost the plot. Where did Gaz imply that the Rothschilds were part of a banking cartel who “secretly control the world” and even if he did say that, how the hell is that antisemitic!? Because Rothschild is Jewish? So using Joly’s warped sense of logic you are antisemitic to say anything negative about a person who just so happens to be of Jewish faith even when your negative comments have no connection to that person’s religious beliefs. That would mean we can’t criticise movies staring a Jewish actor like Adam Sandler or Shia LaBeouf and that we must always laugh at every joke David Baddiel tells otherwise you’re a “nasty moron”. Using his same unhinged standards you might well argue that Joly is a racist against Koreans and Russians for sharing a post that makes fun of one Russian and one North Korean… I wouldn’t but a silly over sensitive individual who wants to pull the race card on those who disagree with them might well do.

I posted again and said

“It’s no more antisemitic [to slag off Rothschild and the banking cartel] than saying ‘Kanye West is shit is racist…”

I pointed out to the not so jolly Joly that Gaz’s post was simply stating a fact whilst his own comment labelling people as antisemites was potentially libellous. An alert flashed up on my phone telling me “Dom Joly mentioned you in a comment on his post”. This was his response…

Screenshot_2016-11-07-10-01-49-01.jpeg

So now I’m “Scum” along with being a “nasty moron”. Charming. His reply resulted in even more people siding against him and agreeing with me. I was unsure what “anti semitic lingo” I or indeed Gaz had used which had upset the comic and so had to ask.

I also pointed out that if a person opposes the Rothschild family because of their standing in the world of banking and financial control that does NOT make them an antisemite. I personally have a grievance with the wealth possessed by families like Rothschild, Rockerfella, Windsor etc whilst there is so much poverty in the world. It’s the disproportionate distribution of wealth that I oppose and that the religious beliefs of any of those people have no baring on me opposing their actions and hording of wealth. If however a person were to oppose the Rothschild family BECAUSE THEY’RE JEWISH then yes, they’re a racist and I would happily stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr Joly and shout “Scum” or “nasty moron”. Being of the Jewish faith does not give you total immunity to criticism for your behaviour and actions and also a person’s behaviour does not reflect their religion. His response?

He deleted the thread from his post.

I was tempted to post a new comment and start a new thread but what would be the point? Maybe Gaz deleted it cause he couldn’t be arsed with Dom’s mindless rants and the constant alerts? I don’t know to be honest but what I do know is that Joly, who I actually have a lot of time for in his TV programmes like Trigger Happy TV, seems to actually be a bit of a dickhead.

He should stick to playing pranks and acting the clown. And just for the record, criticising Dom Joly does not mean I have an issue with Lebanese people!

 

THE POLICE – Common myths, beliefs and misconceptions

lights

I want to take a moment to look at and address some of the commonly held myths, beliefs and misconceptions held by the public, perpetuated by the media and ingrained within society today in relation to the Police. The idea isn’t to defend the Police and it isn’t to patronise or “prove you wrong”. It is to raise awareness of REAL Policing. To help people see and realise that the Policing you see in the media both the negative stories in papers like the Daily Mail and the action packed scenes in TV shows like Cops With Cameras is NOT a true reflection of the work and duties of Police Officers today. Nor are the many rumours, beliefs and misconceptions you see on social media, hear down the pub or talk about amongst friends. I want to look at how the term “The Police” is used by the media as a cover-all term and how that can have impact upon public opinion. I also am going to look at some of the beliefs the public hold regarding the Police. Comments I have heard time and time again and opinions people have kindly expressed upon request to help me write this blog.

Firstly and most importantly I think it may be best to look at just some of the duties your average Police Constable is expected to deal with. I refer here to the “patrol bobby” you see (or you may argue DON’T see) on a daily basis. A Police Constable is the lowest rank in the service but is also the foundation of the service. As a PC you can move into almost any role within “The Police” providing you have completed two years probation and have the competencies needed for the role. For example, a PC upon completing their probation on patrol/Neighbourhood team (the default position for all Police Constables) can move into the dog section, mounted, roads policing, drugs team, Firearms, CID… The list is very long. Many people think if you work in one of those other roles you must be a different rank from the uniformed bobby. That is not the case. The role of the PC is very diverse but Patrol or Neighbourhood Policing is their default position.

So let’s look now at the duties of a PC on a patrol/Neighbourhood team. The list is below is just a fraction of the duties and jobs a PC is expected to deal with at any given time. They are the first responders to pretty much all 999 calls, non emergency calls and simple public enquiries.

Burglaries both ongoing and historic
Robberies both ongoing and historic
Assaults both new and old, minor (push or slap) and serious (ABH, GBH)
Stabbings
Shootings
Theft both ongoing and historic
Neighbour disputes of varying degrees
Sudden deaths both suspicious and expected
Suicides
Murders
Pub Fights
Anti-Social Behaviour
Nuisance Youths (anything from knocking on doors, being loud, playing football)
Frauds and deceptions
Criminal Damage
Vehicle Crime
Drink/Drug Driving
Road Traffic Collisions
Audible Alarms
Poachers and Wildlife crimes
Drug dealing
Prison crimes (Crimes actually inside prison!)
Found property
Lost property
Missing persons
Death warnings (telling people a loved one is dead)
Preventing breaches of the peace
Harassment warnings
Assessing a scene for CSI
Guarding a crime scene
Protests
Domestic violence both ongoing and historic
Rape
Child Sexual Offences
Racism
Public Order
Shoplifting
Football matches
Music events
Carnivals
Noise Nuisance
Immigration
Assisting ambulance
Transporting for ambulance
Assisting mental health workers
Assisting Doctors
Assisting other law enforcement agencies
Assisting other policing teams (CID, Roads Policing etc)
Assisting door supervisors
Taking alcohol off children
Dealing with public nuisances
Guarding suspects at hospital
Protecting victims at hospital
“Suicide Watch” of suspects in Police custody
Working in the Custody Suit
Bullying
School fights and other school related incidents
Facebook name calling and bullying
Civil disputes (even just to inform people it’s not a police issue)
Ebay purchase disputes
Parenting kids (“My son is refusing to do homework” = true call)
Stray dogs
Aggressive dogs
Stray livestock
Loose Horses
Loose Peacock!! (actual call I attended)
Parking disputes
Forcing entry to property for other agencies (ambulance)
Taking statements
Compiling case files
Speak with CPS
Arrange solicitors to attend
Arrange for an interpretor
Interviewing suspects
Attending court
Seizing property
Completing stop and searches
Gathering intelligence
Submitting intelligence
Attending community meetings
Foot patrol
Youth work
Community involvement
School inputs and talks
Training courses
Control Room duty
Front Desk duty
Vehicle checks prior to mobile patrol
Reporting faults with patrol vehicles
Transporting paperwork, exhibits and colleagues to court

Like I said, this is just a fraction of the jobs a PC is expected to deal with. They are a slave their radio, to the orders of the higher ranks, the demands of the public and anything else they come across in the course of their shift. A lot of these jobs take up a lot of time. For example, it is not uncommon for an Officer to arrest a suspect for a simple offence such as shoplifting (simple in complexity, not seriousness) at the beginning of an 8 hour shift and for that officer to then be tied up dealing with that job for the entire 8 hours. Waiting to get into the custody area, recording the crime, writing a statement for the arrest, obtaining a statement from the victim, seizing property, possibly a house search, arranging CCTV, waiting for a solicitor, possibly arranging an interpreter, interviewing, obtaining charging advice, possibly speaking to CPS, charging, bailing or releasing the suspect, completing a file…. Bet you didn’t realise how much goes into one simple arrest for a straight forward offence did you?

Attending a sudden death can often take several hours as the officer has to wait for life to be pronounced extinct, await the undertakers, possible arrange for the door the officer has forced open to be repaired, replaced or boarded.  Even reassurance call to an vulnerable victim of a crime which occurred weeks previously can take an hour or so if the victim is afraid, upset or simply wants some company for a brew.

Throw all of this in with the fact that despite what you may hear from politicians, frontline services are being massively cut. The number of Police Officers covering your home town, city or village each day and night would shock you if your force’s senior command allowed you to know the truth. The Police Officers know the true extent of the situation but they are ordered not to tell the public by the pseudo-politicians at the top of the command chain in order to “maintain public confidence”. If they disobey and reveal information which could undermine public confidence then the Officer would be disciplined at least, dismissed at worst.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. I spoke to a friend still serving in one of our countries largest forces yesterday. He covers an area over 200 square miles in size. A rural area with a population of around 61,000 people. Normally there are 4 Police Officers covering this area. The “ward” as it is referred to, consists of miles of country side, forests, nature reserves etc and requires vehicles to be able to respond to emergencies in the many residential areas at any given moment. The 4 officers are banned from “double crewing”, that is they MUST work alone and not in pairs. They have 2 marked Police vehicles. The day I spoke to my friend he told me that of the 4 officers there was now only 2 covering the ward because the bosses had seen fit to take one of them to police a different part of force area. That left 3. Then one of the officers was sent to assist a GP gain access to a house. The Doctor was meant to be meeting a patient with mental health issues but was getting no reply to knocking. The Officer attended and was told to force entry on welfare grounds (to protect life and limb) and upon gaining entry found the man was just sleeping on the sofa. The Doctor took the patient to hospital for an assessment and the Officer was left behind to wait for the house to be secured by the council. He had been waiting over 3 hours at the time of my call which left my friend and his colleague with one vehicle and 200 square miles to cover. This meant that these 2 officers would have to prioritise any call that came in for their area. It meant longer response times. It meant 4 people’s work now split between 2. It meant that the public were not receiving the service they probably thought and expected they were. This isn’t a one off example. It is especially a problem for the rural forces or forces with rural areas. My home town is no different with contacts within telling me there are regularly not enough Officers to cover the area properly.

So a huge list of duties and expectations (some of which should not be dealt with by police officers such as ebay disputes, facebook issues, parenting difficulties, transporting people and things….) coupled with ever dwindling resources is the TRUE reason you do not see so many Police Officers on patrol anymore whether that is in a car or on foot. I will admit and agree that many Officers probably do not want to be patrolling on foot these days but that is not through laziness (although I admit there will be the odd one who is lazy) it is more because with such vast areas to cover and the enormous range of duties they are responsible for with such small numbers, walking around in one town is not practicable.

For example, when I used to walk around on foot in the town of Wetherby I was useless if a call came in at Boston Spa or if a colleague in Aberford, a 10minute drive away but part of my ward, needed assistance. If you want more foot patrols you need more police. If you want more police you need to get behind them, stand up for them and fight the Government. It is their austerity measures causing this problem. The 20% cuts to Police budgets with an impending 25-40% FURTHER CUTS to follow this November! It is not “The Police” that make the choice not to patrol or to take their time getting to your call, it is the GOVERNMENT forcing this problem onto society through drastic austerity measures. Forcing senior ranks to make difficult and possibly dangerous choices over policing priorities.

I blame the Government and the media for a lot of the myths and bad opinions of our bobbies. I agree those bad apples in the Police Service do not help in any way and if you read my other blogs you will see my opinion of those who disgrace the office of Constable. However, it seems to have become the norm now to just report negative Police stories and to link anything to do with law, order, legislation and everything crime related with the cover-all term “The Police”.

We see “The Police” and images of Police related items such as the blue and white Police tape, being used by mainstream media when reporting on things which if we were to be fair, are not the fault of the Police. For example, when a particularly horrible suspect is released from custody on bail or without charge it is reported that “THE POLICE HAVE LET DANGEROUS SUSPECT “JO BLOGS” WALK FREE TODAY…”. In actual fact, if a suspect has “walked free” on bail or without charge, that is down to the law and legal system, neither of which “The Police” wrote or has any control over. There are very strict rules regarding the bailing and remanding of suspects which the Police simply abide by, not write. The decision to charge a suspect is made by the CPS in most cases or a trained Crime Evaluator in other matters. Decisions are based on evidence, threat to victims, witnesses or even the suspect and other factors. Although it is a custody Sergeant who authorises the release of suspects, it is done by following very strict rules which leave no room for ifs or buts or any personal opinion or preference, so how can they be blamed? Unless of course the release has been caused by a failure, malpractice or mistake by “The Police”, in which case you could blame the Officer responsible, but not the entire Police Service of England and Wales, your entire force or “The Police”.

When the Government introduce controversial new laws such as their snooping charter, the media often state to the public that it is “The Police” who want to have these powers. It is NOT the Police who request these powers. It is the Security Service and the Government but because it will be the Police who are forced to enforce the laws whether they agree or not, it is “The Police” that get the blame.

When it was discovered that the national crime statistics were wrong, fiddled and manipulated it was blamed on “The Police”. That resulted in many people thinking the bobby they see patrolling, attending their calls etc is a liar and fiddles the crime stats. The Police all over the country were labelled as liars and trying to cover things up when in actual fact the crime stats were fiddled by the senior command, the pseudo-politicians and the Home Office. Why label and tarnish an entire section of society, a vital public service, based on the actions of people who are so far removed from real life and the daily good the Police do? My guess would be to keep the wedge between the public and the public servants firmly in place so that they are less likely to stand together, shoulder to shoulder against the Government. But that is just my opinion.

This desire to blame “The Police” for everything, even it is not the fault of the Police subsequently bleeds into society. We have all heard the criticisms, opinions and myths surrounding policing. Let me elaborate and start with this one…

It’s lunch time, you hear sirens in the distance, you see a Police car with blues and twos on heading into town in the direction of shops and you say/hear “There they go, off to get their lunch” or something similar along those lines. We have all heard it. The comment has been uttered since I was a young child and even before then I am sure. I can not comment on whether that actually ever happened back in the “olden days”. Perhaps in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when Policing and life was completely different from today. However, I can guarantee you that it does not happen today and if it ever did then the Officer(s) would be disciplined and most likely sacked along with charged with any traffic offences they committed.

The reason being is that in all Police vehicles these days there is a “black box” device. This device requires the Officer to either scan their warrant card or security pass or type in a unique code in order to start the car. So long as the engine is running this device records EVERYTHING that vehicle does. It records, speed, breaking, gear, mileage and every time the sirens or lights are turned on. So if an officer has a collision in the vehicle the data is automatically looked at. If he is found to have been speeding, didnt break, using lights and sirens when he shouldn’t have been etc, then the officer is facing one hell of a problem. The control room supervisors and senior management can and do conduct spot checks on the vehicles. They can check what speed Officers are driving, they can make sure light and siren use coincides with an emergency call or other relevant and permitted incident. They are notified if the car goes over a certain speed and Officers are often called in to account for it. They can even check how long a car has been parked up with the engine running to ensure Officers are not wasting time. So the myth that Police use blue lights to get home on time, get their meal or for anything other than a lawful and permitted reason is absolutely untrue.

Another common complaint and frustration as a member of the public is that “The Police” attended a burglary, damage, theft etc and “were useless, they did nothing at all”. When the Police attend any crime scene where the suspect(s) have left they have to look for clues or evidence. They will check if there is CCTV covering the scene. Were there any witnesses to the offence? Has the suspect left any items behind? Has the suspect left any forensic evidence such as fingerprints or blood etc. Unfortunately, criminals these days are switched on and quite often do not leave any evidence behind. So if the Police Officer is unable to investigate your crime further it is NOT because they are useless or can’t be arsed, it is because there is no evidence to lead to a suspect. You can not logically or fairly call “The Police” useless for not being able to magic evidence out of thin air I’m afraid…. And if you want to use the argument that if they were patrolling more they may deter these crimes, please read the beginning of this blog again then complain to our Government.

“I told ‘The Police’ that that bloke down the road was dealing drugs last week and they’ve done nothing about it!”… This is a common complaint I hear from people or see on social media. It is so frustrating for us as members of the public that criminals in our society seemingly get away with their crimes without any Police action being taken. It is very frustrating for Police Officers that they can’t just go and search a property or a person who has been pointed out as committing crime such as drug dealing. It is THE LAW that prohibits the Police taking quicker action against suspected drug dealers. If a member of the public tells a Police Officer that “Joe Bloggs” is dealing drugs from his home address they will take that information and submit it as intelligence. They will check the Police system and if there are other recent reports of the same nature then they can look at swearing out a warrant, organising a raid at a time when they have enough resources and then searching the address….If there are no other reports or only a couple then I am afraid the information will sit there until futher intelligence gathering can be done. The courts will NOT issue the Police a warrant on one or two intel reports. They will not issue a warrant until the Officer can satisfy them that the information is viable, reliable and they know as much as possible about the address and it’s residents. This all takes time. It takes Surveillance, intelligence gathering and an operational order. These all take time. Some operations can take months to put together, especially if the suspect is switched on and smart. A lot of this information will not be passed to the member of the public who reported it and so to the unaware it WILL seem like “The Police” are doing nothing. They are doing something, just have some patience. It is hard to do all of these essential things to get a warrant when they are also doing the duties in the huge list above.

“I TOLD “THE POLICE” THAT MY DAUGHTER WAS BEING LED ASTRAY BY A BOY AND THEY SAID THEY CAN’T DO ANYTHING”… The same applies to parents worrying about the friends their kids have. The Police do not have the legal powers to instruct people, including children, who they can and can’t associate with. The law allows people to socialise with whomever they wish. This boils down to simple parenting. So long as no criminal offences are being committed or there is no immediate risk or threat to life and limb, the Police will not and can not act. It is down to parents to handle their children and there are other services around to assist if they can not. The Police will be there to deal with any crime or risk to life and limb only.

“I SAW “THE POLICE” LOCK SOMEBODY UP JUST FOR WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITH A BRITISH FLAG”… Well that simply isn’t true. I’ve seen a recent video which starts just as the Police are arresting somebody carrying a Union Flag. You do not see any of the incident before this. The title of the video is purely designed to cause unrest as it claims the Police arrested the person because the flag offended somebody. There is no law against carrying the Union Flag or any other for that matter and so it is only possible that the person was arrested for their conduct. Words or actions used whilst walking down the street with the flag. The Police can only arrest for what the LAW allows them to and no law will allow them to arrest for this. Simple as that.

“THEY ARE POLICE OFFICERS THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONTROL THEIR ANGER BETTER”… Sadly there are many reports of Police using excessive force and I will never try and justify it. I will however just try and explain why a Police officer is no more able to control their temper, adrenaline and reactions in a violent situation. It is believed and expected (and rightly so) that The Police are highly trained in dealing with violent situations. That they are trained in self defence and are skilled in controlling their adrenaline. They are not. A Police Officer will still suffer the same adrenaline rush, the “fight or flight”, reaction as anybody else. They are of course more like to choose the FIGHT reaction. This doesn’t mean they will scrap with somebody, it means they will stand their ground and deal with the situation. In training all role plays of violent situations are far too Health and Safety controlled and so they can never be realistic and officers can never really be trained for real life until they hit the streets and encounter live situations. The level of self defence training they receive is no more than a few strikes to “pressure points” on the forearm if somebody grabs you or your kit or to press the mandibular angle to try and “gain control” of a suspect. All of this impractical Unarmed Defensive Tactics training mixed with pushing back with their hand held infront of them saying “Get Back”. I studied martial arts throughout my childhood and teens and also read a lot of self defence books too. I learned more from those books than the Police taught me. There were always requests from Officers for more realistic training but it was never permitted due to “Health & Safety”. So when an Officer gets involved in a violent situation his/her natural animal instincts kick in and unless they have had sufficient training OUTSIDE of the service they simply do their very best to survive and control the situation. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to excessive force being used or mistakes being made.

These are just a few of the gripes, misconceptions and opinions expressed to me from members of the public and friends. I am sure there will be more. I am not for one second trying to say that the Police are perfect, don’t make mistakes or that all issues are down to cuts and being under resourced. There are problems in the Police Service which are caused by individuals whether that be corruption, racism or other criminality or malpractice but on that issue I would add that again, the actions of these individuals is not reflecting or representative of “The Police”.

I hope this blog has gone some way to increase some awareness of the situation within the Police Service of England and Wales and has come across as intended.

 

**In my next blog I am going to look at some of the duties Police Officers deal with which clash with their morals and beliefs but which they are legally obliged to fulfil and ask where would that obligation to duty over personal morals would end.

 

 

METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICERS FEEL THEY ARE “DROWNING UNDER AN AVALANCHE”

METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICERS FEEL LIKE THEY “ARE DROWNING UNDER AN AVALANCHE” DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGE, INCREASED WORKLOADS AND POLICE “REFORMS”

Avalanches-sfSpan

Front line Officers working within the Metropolitan Police Service feel like they are drowning with the immense pressure they facing on a daily basis due to “Police Reforms”.

Constables working in Neighbourhood Policing or “SAFER NEIGHBOURHOODS” as it used to be called once worked in teams of 6 covering a reasonably sized electoral ward or area.

The six person team would be made up of 1 Police Sergeant, 2 Police Constables and 3 Police Community Support Officers.

Now they have moved to a new system rebranded “LOCAL POLICING TEAMS” which now comprises 1 PC and 1 PCSO dedicated to the ward. Each pair then has as backup a team of 4 Police Constables and 1 Police Sergeant who [are supposed to] police a cluster of EIGHT wards.

From that little back up team however, one will be responsible for what they call “appointments car” whose role it is to attend those calls from the public which are not deemed as urgent and so they are allotted a time when a Police Officer will attend and speak to them regarding whatever it is they felt the need to call the Police about. This may or may not lead to recording crimes but never the less can be a time consuming roll for one Officer.

Another from the group will be responsible for investigating all Crime Reports handed to them at the start of the shift. Making contact with the victim as per the “Victims Code” which requires a Police Officer to make contact on a regular basis agreed to by the victim. Arranging a visit to the victim and/witness to obtain statements, gathering information and evidence perhaps missed out in the intitial report. Again, a very time consuming yet important role.

So that leaves just 2 PCs and a Sgt to patrol the 8 wards, conduct arrest enquiries and any other tasking the Senior Management requires. So in effect the work of the Neighbourhood Police Officer which used to be completed by 2 PCs and 4 PCSO which still caused the public to complain of a low Police presence, has now been chopped down to 1 PC and 1 PCSO!

My source within one such Policing team said

“Combined with the no recruitment for a number of years and the Local Policing team system we’ve just changed to, we feel like we’re drowning under an avalanche!”

External Police recruitment within the Metropolitan Police has been frozen for some time now for both PCs and PCSOs. There is a shortage of PCSOs on many teams due to them becoming PCs and the force not recruiting others to replace them.

Due to the increase in the responsibilities of a PCSO it often means the streets are left un-patrolled. PCSOs walking to calls and enquiries under pressure to get there and complete certain tasks is now the Met’s idea of patrolling.

The Police Community Support Officers are sent to “re-visit” burglary victims and conduct house to house enquiries along the street which itself can take several hours at times. They will also be deployed to make contact with “vulnerable victims” and spend time reassuring them. They have ward and council meetings to attend. Crime prevention leaflets to deliver. Targeted patrols of shopping centres to deter shop lifters and purse dippers. They deal with long term neighbour disputes acting as mediators and go betweens as well as referring people to external partner agencies…. All of this is expected on a daily basis and it does not take a genius to see that there is far too much work for the numbers deployed.

Another source has told me

I’m a dedicated ward PCSO. My work load just gets larger each day. I have to do an analyst’s job with figures for my Inspector as well as dealing with the normal PCSO duties of visiting burglary victims and neighbours and vulnerable victims etc. I stayed nearly two hours late last night doing figures and updating our website… Saying that I often stay an hour or two longer to try and keep up. But it’s never ending!

So where does it end? This isn’t an isolated case. This problem is reflected in almost every single force around the country yet the public are expected to swallow the lies that frontline policing is not being effected by the Governments excessive cuts.

The Police Service of England & Wales is on the verge of collapse. Morale is at the lowest it has EVER been. Numbers are at a 12year low. Crime stats (when reported correctly) are increasing. The public are NOT receiving the same high level of service they once were and still deserve.

Where this ends and what it will take to open the eyes of those in charge, nobody knows.

 

 

“FROM THE DAY WE SAILED THE TITANIC WAS ON FIRE”

A Channel 4 documentary aired on Sunday evening shed a fascinating light on the tragic circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Titanic and the death of 1503 people on that fateful night.

“Titanic – The New Evidence” follows Senan Malony, author of a number of books on the Titanic, as he examined evidence that seems to have been brushed aside for many years which proves that the sinking and the tragic loss of life could have been avoided had the ship’s owners at White Star not been more concerned about financial loss than they were about the lives of all on board.

A raging inferno lasting weeks in the boiler room weakened the hull and the bulkhead which led to the ship sinking after coming into contact with the iceberg. That fire was discovered BEFORE the ship set sale.

The enquiry began after the discovery of a photo album discovered at an auction house. The album contained photographs taken by the ships chief electrical engineer charting the building process and launch of the vessel. On two photographs a distinct mark on the ship’s hull measuring around 30ft long can been seen and this sparked the enquiry.

20170101_235945.jpg20170101_235956.jpg

Official records from the time show that the day the ship prepared to leave Belfast for Southampton a fire was discovered in a 3 storey high coal bunker in boiler room 6. Dr Guillermo Rein of the Imperial College of London an expert on coal fuelled fires stated the the fire would most likely have been burning for weeks before being discovered. Records show that the bunker had been filled 3 weeks prior to the fire’s discovery and so could well have been burning for that length of time. Fire fighters on board the ship reported that even after 4 days of 11 men fighting the fire it was simply out of control. The ship was launched to set sail for Southampton whilst it was still on fire.

Official reports and accounts from the men on board the ship reveal startling information. They state that White Star top brass told them to “keep your mouths shut” about the fire. Fire fighters and engine room workers report seeing the bulk head, the main safety feature which prevents water flooding the ship in the event of a breach in the hull, glowing red and warping. The black mark on the hull in the image lies directly in front of where boiler room 6 is situated. It seems the heat weakened the steel structure of the hull. One of the survivors, John Dilly, who worked as a stoker on board the ship told a reporter in New York “From the day we sailed, the Titanic was on fire”. Dilly stated that there was “hundreds of tons of coal stored in there… we made no headway against it”. Four days later and the fire was getting worse.

The fire fighters fought the fire on the journey from Belfast to Southampton and were warned by bosses not to utter a word. It seems they were pressured into keeping the fire a secret to avoid people refusing to travel or the journey being delayed. However once the ship was at Southampton only 8 of a crew of over 160 decided to get back aboard Titanic and continue the journey to New York. All but 8 people had to be quickly replaced.

On the 10th April 1912 the Titanic set sail with it passengers from Southampton. Many on board the upper decks were millionaires and members of British aristocracy. The investigation suggests that the owners of the vessel had already suffered delays in the Titanic’s maiden voyage and were fearful of losing money and reputation if they delayed any further to extinguish the fire and repair any damage. They would also have expected passengers to refuse to board had they known about the inferno in the boiler room and so White Star permitted the journey to go ahead regardless. Further reports suggest that substandard steel was used in the construction of the hull when building the Titanic to save money which may also have contributed to the fate of the passengers.

The fire was mentioned in the official inquiry conducted in 1912 by Lord Mersey but wasn’t deemed significant with Lord Mersey dismissing the evidence a number of times and trying to refocus the inquiry towards the excessive speed and iceberg theory we have all been lead to believe.

One fire fighter, Charles Hendrickson, who boarded the Titanic at Southampton to replace one of those who abandoned ship, give evidence to the inquiry and stressed the importance of the fire. He admitted that they didn’t actually start removing coal from the bunker until the day it left Southampton. The only way to deal with the fire was to shovel the already burning coal from the bunker into the engine furnaces. Until this point the fire had simply been burning away causing devastating damage to the ship. It took them a further 3 days to get the fire out. Once the fire was out Hendrickson also claimed that he discovered the metal of the bulkhead was “red hot” and he was instructed to cover the “dented” and “warped” bulkhead with a black oil to make it appear ordinary. Despite these facts Lord Mersey kept trying to move the inquiry along to what he called “the real, serious issues of the inquiry” and he instructed that the fire had nothing to do with it.

The documentary then reveals even more dramatic evidence of a SECOND fire in the neighbouring coal bunker caused by the red hot metal. The fire fighters then had to begin emptying the coal from a second bunker and throw it into the furnace. Malony’s investigation suggests that this could be the reason behind why Captain Smith ploughed on at full speed into the ice field ignoring all warnings. With the UK suffering a minor’s strike and the ship carrying just enough to get them to New York, was Captain Smith worried about running out of coal if he slowed down through the ice field and then loaded up the furnaces again once safely through? If he ran out of coal and became stranded at sea due to insufficient coal reserves what damage would that to do to both the ship company and his own career and reputation? Again, it seems risks were taken to avoid financial loss and damage to reputation.

The evidence uncovered by Malony is indisputable. The Titanic sank due to the fire. Another witness quoted in the programme was Lead Fire Fighter Fred Barrett. He was in boiler room 6 at the time the Titanic struck the ice. He reported afterwards that he had seen the fire damaged bulkhead give way and the sea water came flooding into the ship. That would never have happened had the bulkhead and the hull not been subjected to such intense heat for such a prolonged period of time. Experts using scientific evidence and computer generated reconstructions suggest that had the bulkhead of boiler room 6 held tight the Titanic could have stayed afloat long enough for the rescue ship to reach them. The loss of 1503 lives could have been prevented if the owners of the ship had not valued money more than life.

Titanic – The New Evidence can be seen again on channel 4seven on Thursday at 12:40am or Sunday at 7:00pm

SLIMMING WORLD

w3lzgiop

There are hundreds of diets out there these days and for those wanting to lose weight it can quite literally be a mine field of choices between the downright ridiculous and dangerous to the pointless and ineffective and all those in between.

In the last 12-18 months up to November 2016 I had put on some weight and was beginning to feel the effects. Sweating all the time even when doing pretty much nothing. Feeling out of breath when doing something as simple as running up the stairs or moving some barrels in my cellar. A simple task like bending down to fasten my shoe lace was actually an awkward task resulting in me sweating or having to sit up to catch my breath. I began developing symptoms of what I believed at the time was diabetes and so took myself to the doctors for tests. It was here I learned that was was 20 stone and 4lbs! That was the heaviest I had ever been. I had previously gotten up to just below 20 stone but that was whilst training hard and my body fat was measuring at only around 12%. Now I was 20 stone and I dare say my body fat would be measuring in the 20’s too.

In 12-18 months I had gone from wearing 34″ waist jeans to squeezing into 40″ waist jeans. From comfortably wearing an XL shirt to XXXL shirts to fit over my gut. The only place I could find that sold clothes that fit was Jacamo and it wasn’t cheap. Whenever I spoke about my weight to people I was told to “get your arse to the gym”. It’s true that had I joined the gym and began exercising it would have made a difference but the truth of the matter was I had zero energy or motivation to exercise because of how tired and run down I always felt and the health issues I had caused pain. The clothing situation together with the health issues made me decide to get my backside into gear.

My wife had been attending Slimming World meetings for quite some time and she won’t mind me saying that she struggled to keep to it. She would yoyo diet. Lose a pound, gain a pound, stay the same… It wasn’t really working because when she has a big greedy fella at home, two kids, a pub to run and all the other rubbish life throws at us it was all to easy to eat rubbish and forget the diet. Why cook a slimming world meal for herself when me and the kids were ordering a takeaway right? Katie decided she was going to give up Slimming World despite me telling her not to quite and to keep going and so I made her a deal… Stick to it and I will join too!

I don’t think Katie believed me. It was a Friday night and I had had a few beers with friends and customers at our pub. She thought that come weigh-in and group session on Monday I would “wimp out”. But I didn’t. I had decided that I needed to join and I thought if we both stuck to it together then it would make it so much easier for us both.

I have to be honest, I was nervous and without meaning to cause any offence to anybody I had a preconceived idea of what “group” would be like. I know that some men do attend and have had great results but before attending I thought Slimming World was just female orientated and knowing how crabby dieting made Katie at times, the idea of sitting in a room full of dieting crabby women petrified me! However, I bit the bullet (they’re syn free apparently) and Monday morning I attending my first group with Katie.

There was absolutely no awkwardness or reason to be nervous. I was made to feel instantly welcome by Sharon who runs Thirsk Slimming World and equally so by all the other women who attended. My first weigh-in was recorded in my book and then we all sat down whilst Sharon went around the room chatting to each of us about how we had done. One hour later I was out of there with my book of foods I can and can’t eat and information on how to follow the diet.

The more I looked at the book the less I believed it was actually a diet. For a lad who likes his grub the thought of not being able to eat was daunting. However, I was blown away by what I was allowed to eat on the diet. With my allocated 20 syns a day (I can best describe “syns” as the foods that keep you sane and allow you satisfy any cravings and urges but in a regulated way) which I rarely used in the first week I set my mind to it and got through my first week without even really realising I was dieting. The following Monday I couldn’t believe I had lost HALF A STONE! Not only that but in our first week of dieting together Katie had lost the most she had ever lost in one week since she started Slimming World!

Week two went pretty much the same with a 4lb weight loss. Week three saw a 6lb loss and now 8 weeks later with a little gain in the middle I am just 4lb short of being 2 stone lighter! I say that now before I have been weighed after Xmas, I may well be a couple of pound heavier but I can live with that and am now back on the wagon after a day or two of falling off. In the same time my wife has lost almost a stone too so following the diet together, motivating each other and cooking the awesome recipes for the whole family (the kids love them too, especially the Diet Fanta Chicken!) has really paid off.

For anybody wandering whether Slimming World works or for any man put off by the fact that many meetings are predominantly attended by women or who may even be feeling a little embarrassed about attending a slimming group my advice is this…

Forget all that silliness. Think of YOU. Think of your health. Think of how much more energy, confidence and self esteem you would have when you shift some weight. Your mates might tease you for it, some of mine did until they saw they saw how well it was working but they had the same preconceived ideas as I had and that’s why they give me some stick. Take the jokes on the chin and be proud of yourself for actually doing something to improve your health. If I can sacrifice the beer when I am a pub landlord and stick to this diet with the long hours and lifestyle I lead then YOU can do it too!

I have since found out that my health issues ARE most likely weight related and my consultant even advised that I should stick with Slimming World as a lot of her patients have had amazing success with it. Since losing weight I feel so much better already. I have already committed to joining the gym in January too now I have so much more energy.

In a nutshell, if you want to lose weight, improve your health and fitness and are tired of trying to fathom the mine field of diets out there just find your nearest Slimming World group and pop along… It will change your life.

Controlling Your Black Dog

depression-black-dog

It has been a long time since I wrote about my depressive illness. In fact it has been so long that I have archived my previous blogs. As much as writing them was part of my journey and helped with my illness, so too was archiving them. It felt right after a while to put them away for now. It wasn’t because I was feeling better. Not at all, at the time of doing so I was still very much suffering and relied heavily on my tablets. Those who suffer and those with close friends and family who suffer may already know that you never really beat depression but YOU can control IT rather than IT controlling YOU. And that is what I have achieved now 6 months down the line.

I did this through a mixture of the following things. They worked for me but may not work for you.

  1. Education and awareness
  2. Music
  3. Identifying the cause and doing something about it
  4. Exercise.

I will briefly explain each of the four stages and how it has helped and is still helping me to control my black dog in hope that somebody might benefit from it and begin to gain some control over their own black dog.

Education and Awareness

When I was first diagnosed with depression back in September/October 2013 I already had quite a good awareness and knowledge of the illness. As stated in my other blogs I have seen and helped other family members suffering with depressive illness and got to see the different stages develop. However, observing is completely different to experiencing depressive illness and although having a knowledge of the illness helped me to recognise I was suffering and begin various self help techniques when it got too much and I was put onto medication I decided more research and education was needed.

I immediately took to the internet to read up on Depression but found everything so clinical, so boring and so black and white. Everything I read simply repeated what previous articles had said and what I already knew. I took to twitter and was, from the very start, open and honest about suffering with depression. I told people, whether it be on social media or in person, about MY depression and how it made ME feel because no two cases are the same. It was then somebody, and I wish I could remember who so I could thank them, pointed me in the direction of this book…

Depressive Illness – The Curse Of The Strong by Dr Timothy Cantopher is a MUST read for anybody suffering any form of depressive illness. The book takes everything there is to know about the illness including why it is a PHYSICAL illness and not a mental illness, the various chemical imbalances in the brain, the symptoms, why certain people are more prone to depression than others… All the way through to recovery and control of the illness and it presents it in such a down to earth, easy to understand fashion. The book also manages to be humorous at times too. This one book not only educated me and helped me to understand the nature of the beast but it also counselled me through the last 6 months+.

“To know your enemy, you must become your enemy” – Sun Tzu

In order for sufferers of Depressive Illness to be able to start recovering and getting better and also in order for society to be more accepting and understanding of the illness which in turn helps the sufferer they must first KNOW the illness. Understand it. Know what is happening internally to their brain and body and why they feel the way they do. Understand that contrary to popular belief depression is not something that impacts upon weak people but quite the opposite, it is the curse of the strong.

Working within the Police Service I found the lack of knowledge, understanding and awareness of what is now the 2nd biggest cause of human sickness in the WORLD frighteningly non existent. The Police spend a lot of time learning about mental health or how best to deal with a member of the public suffering with mental health problems but they do not actually pay any attention to depression and how not only to handle those members of the public we come across who may suffer but also and perhaps more importantly, how to identify it and manage it within the workplace.

For this reason I set up SIREN SUPPORT (@SirenSupport on Twitter). I set up the twitter page followed by a blog website in an effort to raise awareness of depression within the emergency services as a whole, not just the Police. The idea behind it was firstly to try and help those who may be suffering and not realise, those suffering and are too afraid to tell anybody or those who have suffered a long time. The aim was then to educate and build awareness of the issue amongst those who do not suffer and do not know what depression is other than “it’s just a mental illness isn’t it?”. Even amongst the highest levels of management within the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services the level of knowledge was and still is appalling. Via SIREN I reached out to unions, federations, training facilities for the emergency services such as the College of Policing, Chiefs, Commanders and even Government. All my emails were either ignored or responded to with empty words. Sadly this is still the case and SIREN has now slowed right down because I can not manage it on my own and became tired of being ignored by those in power who care very little about the subject. I do however plan on coming back with a new strategy in the near future and seeing if things can be changed.

Building my own self awareness of depression and then helping others to do the same has played a major part in me now being in control of my “black dog” and dark days are virtually non existent now.

MUSIC

Those who know me and who follow me on Twitter (@CanisLupusPC) will know how much I love my music and love to sing. I have posted more than enough videos to my YouTube channel and Twitter to bore you to death (there a more on the way for those who like them). Music has by far been the number one tool on my belt to help control the black dog. When I first realised I was suffering with depression, way before I took the big step of going to the Docs or telling anybody else how I felt, music was one of my self help techniques. I had a number of songs or pieces of music, including things like wolf song and sounds of nature, which I could listen too and instantly begin to feel calmer, happier and more relaxed. I found that when I was stressed or becoming angry or upset, locking myself in my office and recording a couple of songs, even if I never went as far as uploading them, helped to calm me right down. Singing released me. Singing and listening to music helped me drift into another, much happier, place. Music was and still is a wonderful therapy. Music has long been my passion since I was a little child and so perhaps this is why, for me, doing anything musical helped. My other passion is photography however my depression sadly made me lose a little enthusiasm for this passion (it does that to you) and it fell by the wayside but thankfully, because I would hate to live in a world without it, music remained with me. Music, they say, is what emotions sound like.

IDENTIFYING THE CAUSE AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT

One great thing to do if you are suffering from depression is identifying factors in your life that may be contributing to or causing the illness. By this I don’t mean dwelling on things which happened in the past of which you no longer have any control or ability to change. I mean things which are happening NOW. It may be certain people, social events, commitments, relationships or, as I found, your job. Without going into the details of why the Police Service is going to ruin under this government (this isn’t the blog for that) or some of the things I experienced (you can read that in my future book hopefully) I realised that it was my job and certain people I worked with that was causing the majority of my stress and depression. Thankfully I had a few good and honest friends at work, especially my buddy Steve, who kept me sane and stopped me losing the plot completely. He was one of the very few who recognised depression in me but was the only one with the balls to tell me. I can honestly say that had it not been for him then I would probably have screwed up at work and gotten into bother due to certain individuals being out to make me snap and I dare say it, (if you knew him you would laugh at this) that he was my calming influence at work.

I found myself angry at work, angry as my rest days were coming to an end, angry at the thought of going to work. I lost interest in the job, lost motivation, lost the drive I had always had and then one day following an argument with a colleague who I know had leaked some personal information about me to criminals (long story for another day) I lost it and ALMOST went for him. I saw the red mist and had it not been for Steve I think I would have been facing charges of assault. It got THAT bad. That was the day I decided to take time off work and the day I had made up my mind that I had to leave that job.

And that is what I did. I took the HUGE but necersary step and I resigned from the Police Service. I have since moved into the Pub trade and I can honesty say, other than missing my mates, I have no regrets whatsoever. It is by far the best decision I have ever made. Even handing in my resignation felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I thought I may get nervous or change my mind as my final day approached. I didn’t. I was glad to be free from working in the Police Service. I spent a decade in the world of law enforcement and it will always be a part of my life.

One of the other major contributors to my stress and depression was my lifestyle and lack of exercise which as some may know impacts upon the hormone balance within the body. So the final piece of my personal puzzle is Exercise.

EXERCISE

Exercise balances and manipulates hormone levels within the body. Depression is a result of imbalanced hormone levels within the body. So it stands to reason that in order to re-balance the hormone levels you need to add some exercise into your lifestyle and perhaps change your lifestyle completely.

I have been a pretty lazy slob for about 2 years now. After inuring my spine and having scans and treatment galore I was advised not to do any form of exercise as it will aggravate the problem and to simply stick to the stretches shown to me by the physiotherapists. This did wonders to fix the neck/spinal problem but did little to stop my gut growing outwards and extra chins forming on my face. It also did nothing at all to help with my depression and I believe this contributed a lot to my depression too. I started putting on weight, going from 16 stone to 19 stone in less than a year! I watched as I gained the extra stones and could do nothing to try and shed it. As depression took its toll I honestly don’t think I would have had the drive to do any exercise even if my neck got better over night.

As time went by and I stuck to taking my 20mg of Citalopram a day as instructed by the doctor I got my get up and go back. I started doing little bits of exercise at home. I would work my arms shoulder and chest by spending hours chopping firewood. I began being more active. I also live in a pub and so the temptation to have a pint or two each night was high and so I used what little will power my black dog allowed me to muster and I decreased my alcohol intake too.

In the last few weeks however I decided enough was enough. My neck was much better but still not perfect and I was feeling much more motivated. A good friend of mine had been training since June in power-lifting and his transformation so far has been impressive. I watched him pull a transit van 8.6miles to raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and I thought “I want some of that” and I signed up right then.

PowerBurn involves high intensity weight training 3 times a week focusing on different parts of the body on each session as well as a strict diet plan. It is very hard work but I LOVE it! I am trained by one of the strongest women in the world Gemma Magnusson and after only 3 weeks I already feel like a different man. Not just physically but mentally.

I did a silly thing and stopped taking my tablets 3 weeks ago. I ran out and kept forgetting to put my prescription in. I intended on visiting the doctor to have them reduced to 10mg anyway and then wean myself off of them BUT I did what I always tell others not to do and I stopped taking them altogether. However I honestly feel that PowerBurn is already working to rebalance my hormone levels and doing what the tablets were doing. I feel GREAT. I feel happy. I look forward to getting up at 0550hrs on a morning to train. I am on a zero carb diet right now so am completely off the booze. I do have one strange feeling which is my head feels a bit wishy-washy. Almost like I have flu. But this is the exact same feeling I had when I started taking anti depressant and they started rebalancing the hormone levels. For now I will continue to NOT take them and I am going to see the Doc to let him know and I am going to stick to this new found passion in training.

I would strongly advise anybody suffering with depression, whether diagnosed or not, to start adding exercise into their daily routine. Just one hour of high intensity training 3 times a week could make a vast difference. Also start eating healthy. What you eat effects how you feel. You are what you eat they say. One brilliant little gem of knowledge I learnt from Gemma was that a handful of Cashew nuts has the same hormonal impact as a prozac or anti depressant tablet. So finish this blog and get ya backside up and DO SOMETHING. Whatever you can manage. Just be active and you will feel a difference. Small steps to start with if you struggle with motivation or drive because that is one of the worse side effects of depression. After all you do not want to burn out and end up feeling worse.

So there we have it. These four simple things have helped ME to control MY black dog. I don’t know if it is under control for good or whether the leash will break at some point but for now I feel better than I have done in YEARS.

dogonleash