Tuesday, March 14, 2006
It seems like my blog and several others have drawn some attention in the media - link is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4799994.stm and here http://www.platinax.co.uk/news/13-03-2006/police-threaten-copper-bloggers/
Thanks to the BBC and Platinax for the free publicity, though I'd imagine this may be the catalyst for releasing the bloodhounds on our respective blogs.
A couple of people who have posted comments have mentioned that posting about police operations and specific incidents/people is Not A Good Thing. And, to be fair, I completely agree.
Posts about specific incidents and people would potentially compromise identity, and is also unfair on those people I'm posting about, so I tend, and intend, to post about 'composites' of jobs, as they're usually posted to make a point rather than for the sake of being an entertaining read in their own right - there's plenty of other places and books with entertaining jobs in them. And I post about certain types of people generally, aka drunks in my earliest post about door staff, rather than individuals.
As for police operations - well, you can read about most of the juicy ones on official force websites and in the press, with the rest far too boring to be worth writing about! If you really want to read about a join Council/Police initiative to combat litter... Just because it has the word 'Operation' in front of a random word doesn't automatically mean it involves people in riot gear smashing down doors - that's only on special occasions!
Let me give you a general guidance about police operations generally though:
1. They all involve operational orders - a big long document which reads like a corporate project presentation. They include words like Background, Methods, Intention etc. and sections such as 'Risk Assessments' - which are copied from the last operational order as the risks are usually exactly the same. They're read out in the briefing by an extremely bored operation leader who has probably memorised large parts of the standard proforma stuff through repitition. We are always told to be vigiliant for terrorist alerts, just in case we forget.
2. The majority involve 'hi visibility re-assurance patrol' - so really, it's just bimbling about as per normal when we haven't got 15-20 crmes on the go, but in a certain area and usually on foot with a big official document behind us to justify it. Thus it's an 'Operation' and sounds much more exciting. After the July bombings I was on an 'Operation' which involved walking around in a yellow coat being alert for dodgy things and people. Some called it an 'Operation', I preferred to refer to it, with teary-eyed nostalgia, as the long-forgotten concept of 'patrolling'.
3. There's usually, but not always, overtime available, so even if it's standing on a traffic point for 6 hours in the freezing cold, there'll always be someone up for doing it!
4. They look far more interesting when written up in the press than when you actually do them!
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Well, that's just a fact of life. Journalists have to struggle to make life seem more interesting than it is. So, also, do scriptwriters. Who the hell would want to watch The Bill if it was realistic? Who would think a Holby City surgical procedure had any credibility if the surgeons weren't dripping with blood at the elbows?
Life is generally humdrum and it's that quality that makes it special in a peverse kind of way. Blogging is the the first real-time method available that allows a wider audience actually to apprehend the fact, to savour it, to digest it and, ultimately -- one may only hope and pray -- to ''grok' it.
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