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  1. Dogs of Blackpool
    Latest Entry

    Over 2000 hits, am impressed. As I have now left Iraq and working somewere else, have written a blog at an alternate facility inpreperation for a book about all my exploits.

    If your intrested let me know and I may give you the address for the new blog.

    Stay Safe and you never know I may see you some time as you never know when Big Brother is watching.

  2. Woo, what a week.Day Shift 1: Emergency SOLAP meeting with my Training officers. My SOLAP has to go to HQ for a check, to see if everything is OK. My Training officers are panciking because everything is NOT OK. They have been given some last minute training and have to put it into practise with me, so I am hauled in for a Tutorial. My DTO is my old Tutor, and the other DTO taught me as a Special, so I am in good hands. Tutorial goes well, I need to give out a few more Tickets (if I managed to get out of the station I would!!) but I have submitted LOADS of intelligence reports, and 45 of them are on the Intelligence systems, and I am kicking the a**e of the other probationers on my team when it comes to Intelligence reports. I can't help it, people just tend to tell me things, and I have a good memory for faces and places, and I just type it all up and stick it in!! My old tutor is very impressed.A few hours frantically typing up reports and getting people to sign stuff and it's almost ready.Although I am told I have to come back in at 8.30am tomorrow for some tutoring on the SOLAP. The only problem is....I am supposed to be going out tonight to meet everybody off my Training Class, so I've taken the day off. drinking for me tonight then.Just as I am about to leave for the day, I get caught up in a Sec.18 Wounding and before I know it, it's 9.30 at night and I am just finishing. So no night out at all!!Day Shift 2: Instead of 7am start, I start at 8am. Bliss - another hour in bed!!! I do a bit of clerical, and my meeting with the DTO is postponed until 10.30, so I make the time to catch up on my workload. It seems I am too efficient for my own good - the Sgts have noticed how quickly I get crimes finalised, so they tend to load me up with all the quick and easy ones - ones that only need a phone call to sort out - and I am given a few to sort out. Bah!!10.30m rolls around, and I am given a whistlestop tour of what I supposed to be doing with SOLAP. I am just banging my head on the desk when Chief Inspector comes into the office......luckily he is a top bloke and has a laugh with us and we have a natter about the Yorkshire Ripper Hoaxer, who has just been charged with a 30 year old crime.I finally get back to the report room at 2pm, and start to try and get my head roudn what I've been told I need to do when my Sgt asks me to sort out an assault at the helpdesk. One statement, one arrest and 7 hours later and I'm off home. 13 hours on a day off - double time. Woo Hoo!!Evening Shift 1: It's Friday night, oh what a night....the town is full of drunken party goers and we're out in a public order van after meal. After the first half of the shift is taken up with routine enquiries, the second half is the van. After the first hour we lose two members who are dealing with an arrest, so it's me, 2 blokes and the Sgt. All is quiet, just the odd drunk who doesn't understand what "GO AWAY, YOU'RE BARRED" means, especially when accompanied by a a hefty shove from a Bouncer. We finish at 3am, and all is well, so we decided to head back to the station at 2.45am. Just as we leave, a fight breaks out in front of us. We make 5 arrests and it's back to the nick with them. Unfortunatly 3 of the arrestees are Polish, which proves to be a little bit of a problem....!!! It's 5am before I leave. Rack up the overtime and my total tiredness!!!Evening Shift 2: I am late, I am late!!! I am due on at 4pm, and I don't wake up until 3pm!!!! Panic!!!!! Panic!!!! I make it in time (just), as I have a statement appointment at 4pm. They have left a message saying they are not going to make a statement, so I am supposed to go out with one of the lads on the shift (my mate Steeeeeve). At 4.20pm, a report of a rape comes in, and I am tasked with getting the initial account. The other girl on the shift (due to sickness and secondments and courses, there are only 2 of us!!) is a driver and drivers are in very short supply at the moment, so I knew it was coming my way. I don't mind, as I want to be Rape Trained, so any experience is good experience. The inital acount takes a couple of hours, and then the Rape Trained officer arrives and get to liase with CID - luckily I know a couple of them from when I worked at Huddersfield as a Special, so we get on really well. I get to attend the medical too. Obviously I don't get to see it, but I look after the girls Mum, and see how the Rape Trained Officer deals with the evidence and works with the Doctor. It is brilliant experience, and I tell My Sgt that I would like to be considered first for any future incidents, and that I would like to be Rape Trained. He is happy because not many officers volunteer for that kind of job! I get off on time at 1am.Night shift 1: I am up and about at 9am, thanks to Stu running about getting ready - late again!!! I do some housework and go and see my Mum at home on her dinnerhour. While I'm there, the Duties clerk rings. Would I please go to the ACR at Bradford tonight to do a 12 hour shift answering phones for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Emergency Helpline for Hurricaine Wilma in Mexico? Ooo..go on then.....First problem, I have to start at 6pm. In Bradford. In a location I have never been to before, and have no idea where it is. And I am supposed to be looking at cars with Stuart before I start work. Oh dear.I ring Stuat and let him now the developments. He finishes work early and we decide that we'll go and look at the car in Shipley, then go to the ACR in radford, Stu will drop me off and then pick me up at 7am. What a darling he is!!!!!THANK GOD FOR TOMTOM GO!!!!We find teh car dealer, look at the car, it's a sale............we negotiate the rush hour traffic and thanks to the miracle of satilite navigation we find the ACR. I have 10 minute straining on an alien computer system, and then I am answering calls from a national number. if you saw the news reports on Brits stranded in Mexico on the news, you will have seen the phone mumber "If you're concerned about loved one sin mexico, ring this number for updates..." Well it was me and 14 other WYP officers answering the phone and trying to calm people down and answer questions. Some of the calls were awful - people crying and screaming, relatives shouting and demandinga nswers...things I couldn't tell them because I didn't know. We started at 6pm, and finished at 7am. It was manic from 6pm till 2am, then it just stopped. We all tried to keep up to date with our crimes and keep ourselves awake. At 6am, they started again, relatives desperate for information and updates. It was upsetting. I heard an answerphone message from a woman trapped in Mexico, telling of squalid conditions, no food or water and people getting ill. I can't even tell you some of the things I heard. After some of the calls I just took off my headset and had to bite my lip to stop myself from crying.Stu picked me up and I was quiet all the way home.Night Shift 2: Another night on the FCO Helpline. Apparently these helplines are usually run by The Met, but an new ACPO guideline that came in this year said that each force will have a go at running helplines for disasters. The Met ran the Tsunami, the London Bombings and the Pakistani Earthquake, and now it's our turn. I start at 6pm and finish at 7am. Again, it's busy from 6pm to 2am. The majority of us are there who worked last night, so we get on really well.....the usual suspects go for fag breaks together, we discusss magazines in quiet periods, and one lad has brought in a DVD player!! Half the group watch a Peter Kay DVD and the other half (which includes me) watch Shrek 2 at 5am! It is so quiet in the small hours.Again, it's harrowing listening. I have relative sshouting at me, demanding to know whats going on. I don't have the information, so I can't tell them. An e-mail link is set up - if we hear things from Mexico vis relatives, we e-mail the Foreign Office. I am fed up with people ringing and demanding to know if rumours about flights out of Mexico are true, so I e-mail the FCO grumpily, asking for any information about Tour Operators, as we don't know anything about any flights. 10 minutes later, they e-mail back with an interiery of flights!!! It is golddust, so I photocopy it and pass it round everybody. We are all ecstatic - at last, some information!!!! And good news!!!To say we are sat there just answering phones, it is hard work, itreally take sit out of you. The relative sof people out there are frustrated and angry. Nothing is happening as far as they are concerned, so I basically have to tell people what I know and pacify them. I don't feel like I'm doing enough, I am stuck in a call centre in Bradford and I want to be in Mexico helping people. My sister works for Thomas Cook and tells me that Thomas Cook sent out a rescue flight and asked TC staff if they wanted to go to help. My sister said's not her thing. She is not good with dealing with people who are suffering. I don't mean that bad - she just can't switch off and deal with it. My Dad is the same. He is a tall, strong man, but finds dealing with the pain of people hard to bear. I have seen him disappear upstairs halfway through watching a programme about children with Cancer and found him watching it in his bedroom, crying. My Mum said she would have gone, and knows I would have gone too. Some of the calls are to much to bear. People are desperate to get home. It is so frustrating.Someone gets a call and takes off their headset and calls out my name. They say they want to speak to me. I walk over to the desk, put on the headset and introduce myself. It is a call from Mexico! I have been speaking to a relative who has told their so in mexico what I've said.....and they have rung me! I tell them not to panic, and help is on it's way. I have told to FCO where they are, just keep sat tight and help will come. The call ends and I pray that help does get there.7am comes around and off I go. Onto rest days and off to bed. It has been a hard 2 nights. I wish I could do more but I can't. All I can say is support the British Red Cross because they do more work than you could ever realise, and relatives were so happy when I todl them that they were out there in Mexico.

  3. You might have missed the news that we're holding a summer social on August 9th, in Oxfordshire. BBQ, fun, games and a chance to put faces to names. I was hoping to get lots of people to come along but to date, fewer than 20 tickets have been sold.

    It's taken a fair amount of effort to get this organised, and I think we'll have a good day - but not if there's just a dozen of us. I know it's a distance to travel for some people, but that's the challenge when you have a site which attracts people from across the country - I had to find somewhere that was fairly central and Oxfordshire is where it's at!

    I'm really hoping the social goes well, I'm looking forward to it. Because I love a good game of rounders :saint:

    You can get more details and buy your ticket online here. Go on, you know it makes sense :rolleyes:

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    So why do they call me The Iceman?

    Well, 'The Iceman' is my real life nickname and is something that was founded by my beloved colleagues in the police. Back in the big freeze of 2012, I was on the night shift and anticipated below freezing weather. As this was going to be the case, I decided to be the smart cookie and ensure I was wearing all my thermals, gloves, hat and even a snood! We had a briefing before the shift of course all 6 persons were waiting for me in the briefing room, as I was running 5 minutes late (luckily those guys love me!). It was only once I was in the changing room did I put all my winter gear on, then I check my watch and realised I was behind schedule. So instead of putting my police gear on and delaying the process even further, I decided to walk into the briefing room looking like this chap -

    white-thermal-underwear.gifJust imagine him wearing a woolly hat and gloves!

    Now can you imagine 6 bobbies all in full uniform in a professional dark briefing room and me dressed like this?!?! Well as predicted, everyone almost choked on their winter coffees and began the process of taking pictures and crying with laughter. Once the briefing had finished ( and the laughing had made them lose their voices) I returned to the locker rooms, to put my gear on and get ready for action. During the briefing we were warned about driving very carefully when on response in the very icy conditions the night before had left us.

    I was single crewed and began my shift in the lovely panda. At this time it was around 01:30am on a tuesday night, the streets were ghostly with not a soul in sight. I was driving along and noticed a grey car with all of its windows tinted. The number plate was grey on black, which raised my suspicions. I ran the car through and it turns out there was no insurance, no MOT and the driver who owned the car had their licence revoked in 2009. That car should clearly not be on the road, so I informed my colleagues that I was about to attempt a stop on the car. As I got behind it and turned on the blues (and reds!) it decided to speed off. I knew this was going to happen and because of the weather this made for a very risky pursuit which needed clearing with the boss. Once I got the go ahead to continue, my nearest backup was around 15 minutes away and so I had the task of chasing this car and providing commentary, all whilst ensuring this ice did not send me spinning off the road.

    Backup eventually caught up with me and now there were 4 additional roads policing units behind the vehicle. We were pursuing the car along the cold and frosty back roads of Ross on Wye with nothing but open fields surrounding us. Eventually the vehicle decided to take the wrong turn and headed North up a completely ice bound road which looked like this - 21_11_2---Frosty-Road_web.jpg

    The car ended up spinning 360 degrees into a hedge, and the occupant decided to flee the vehicle and escape on foot. With 7 officers behind him, all in high vis jackets with cold steam blowing from all of their noses and mouths shouting stop, we went on a mad foot chase! With me in the lead (being the fittest ;)) I slipped over and went sliding on my belly down the road, with no possible way of stopping myself! However this unfortunate fall proved very valuable as I went plowing into the legs of the very leggy and slow suspect! I had slid approximately 45 yards before stopping myself by hooking my arms around the suspects legs! Of course all this happened in front of my loving colleagues, who expressed their amusement when we got back to the nick. The oldest ( and not very wisest) officer of the bunch took to naming me as the units 'Iceman'. Since then the name has stuck and that ladies & gents is why I am now known as 'The Iceman' !!!

    So now you know me a little better, be sure to get as much enjoyment as possible out of this read!! ;)


  4. My heartfelt thanks go out to the thieving little tosser that stole my new uniform from the uniform cupboard today at the station, only a matter of hours after it had arrived from stores.May the yuletide log fall from your fire and burn your house down.In other news I have been promoted at work, am still concerned at the lack of rain in London and have been to the Horse Races this week, hurrah! I can feel more trips to Windsor and Epsom coming on.Champagne for everyone!

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    Did you miss me? Did you notice I had gone? thought not as i didn't say anything :PSooo Edinburgh phoa what a city! Flew from Birmingham with BMIbaby £40 per person return if booked in advance (includes tax etc). Only 45 mins in the air people must be mad to drive or catch the train its so easy getting the plane and then a taxi to the airport. Even booked a cab for the return home it was that easy!In Edinburgh for the end of the Jazz festival and the start of the Fringe festival infact wish I stayed abit longer for the Fringe lots more comedians. Had a fantastic time Dara O'Briain was my favourite comedian even went and saw a play (by accident) "the odd couple" with Bill Bailey and jonathan creek bloke (forgot his real name) it was err ok not my thing but it was O K. Lunch time was spent always in the park looking at the castle, sometimes it was a M&S picnic othertimes we went to a sandwich shop called "scooby snacks"! In the evening went to the "frankenstien pub", Hard Rock Cafe was quality good music, good food, long waiting time to sit down... ahem was worth the wait though. Pizza Express one night which had a live jazz band which was very err whats the word "fitting". Best place was a grill house called McKindly down Morrison Street. Had a great meal, really good 10oz steak with big fat steak chips and a bbq sauce.Did the sightseeing thing, the castle is an amazing place looooads of history and things to do and see, had a little guided tour was fab. Went in the Dynamic Earth thing which was like a little sort of interactive science thingy on earth really good for young and old, message of the day "mother earth doesn't need us to survive... we do" slightly chilling.Did a sightseeing bus thingy ticket, which was good took us to all the tourist places so we knew of different places to go and visit and where they are. funny watching the americans and euro tourists fighting for top deck seats and then pile back down because its raining again. Went to the Fudge Kitchen i was in heaven, tasted so good spent more than i should have...!The old town and royal mile was good tried to stay away from the main street, have shops like Next, HMV, M&S, etc etc plus all the best shops and places to eat where around the side streets, away from the main bits.The weather was fine, if it rained it didn't rain for long, wasn't cold, was fine and didn't stop us doing anything.Evenings out where good aswel although not impressed with £2.60 a pint i'm up north not london... pikey tourist prices... overall Edinburgh rocks :Dand remember!!!!Ach ay Tha MOOoooos!

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    I have been a serving police officer for six years. In this time, I have learnt that police officers tend to hang back from the truth when it comes to emotion, and I include myself in that. I have dealt with some serious incidents where I walk away saying I’m fine, and its another day at work, but inside I cant help but feel shocked and on one occasion, slightly disturbed by what I had seen. Have I ever been offered counselling for such times? Never. Have senior management ever commented on a job well done? Never.

    The reason I say this now is because of the recent murder of a soldier in Woolwich. This was a horrendous attack of an innocent solider going about his daily business. I’m not going to dwell on this too much as everybody already knows this and the media are still covering it. I want to focus on the reaction of the police and public.

    Going back to the emotions of police officers, I know hardly any would admit this, but again including myself… We cant help feel vulnerable after this event. Having sat down and read updates of what happened and how things emerged, I cant help but think, it was so close to being a standard response car going to a stabbing or attack. The reality of it is that if the street was not as busy as it was and the members of public were not as switched on and there was no CCTV, they could easily have gone forward, and I have no doubt that the two males would have attacked and possibly killed officers going forward.

    This is our job, to go towards incidents people run away from. Since the Woolwich attack I have dealt with two stabbings, and each time its been in the back of my mind… Is this going to be another terrorist, is this going to be a copy cat or is this a fake call forward because someone wants to kill police, such as the events in Manchester. With this in the back of my mind, we still go forward, we cant hold back, its our job regardless of our feelings.

    I have dealt with members of public who have praised the bravery of officers, not only those involved in Woolwich, but all police. I have also dealt with people who have been shouting abuse at the police saying it was our fault, we didn’t get there quick enough, the first officers on scene should have done something.

    Its become apparent over the past six years that people forget we are human beings. I don’t just mean the public, I mean our senior management and parliamentary leaders. I am not writing this to have a rant about Theresa May’s fantastic choices or the Windsor report, I just wish they would open their eyes and see what we deal with and put with on a daily basis. They have to realise policing cannot be treated as a business, it is what it is. Policing needs as much help as possible, not doing it in such a way the public think there are more officers on the street.

    The people that were first on scene to the Woolwich murder would have continued their duties the day after… They would not be offered counselling and support for what they had seen. Yes, its their job, but as I started the sentence, they are people, not just police officers.

    I recall last summer, in June, in one day I dealt with…. A domestic incident where a man had fractured his partners eye socket, I then went on to take a report from a mother who’s two year old daughter had been seriously assaulted, I then went on to be first on scene to a murder of an elderly person. This was surreal and not everyday is like that, but it’s a fact that this is what we can deal with. This was all within a change of shift pattern taking normality from my life for the Olympics.

    As above, I am not going to slag of parliament here, it isn’t the place for it. But I would love to show this to Theresa May and say “Ma’am, take a walk in my boots” just so she can see how her choices will affect the police and the people within…. I would also remind her they I had to personally pay for my boots as we don’t have them issued.

  5. Hotlush
    Latest Entry

    Taking a break from study, principally to finish paying off my credit card (*damn you, ex*).

    Think it probably works out well anyway, will pay off credit card, have more cash for the holiday coming up, more time for Specialling and if I carry on, from where I left off, in 2007 should still be on track for a Qualifying Law Degree (I can still get the LLB, but have to do the whole thing in six years for it to be Qualifying).

    Blimey! At this rate I'll be debt free for the first time in *thinks* 12 years... apart from the mortgage and a few piddly household loans (*damn you, ex*)

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    I've enjoyed writing this blog, however an incident involving a colleague has led me to reassess the risk that doing so may cause to my job. In the north a manager in the Civil Service has been disciplined and dismissed for writing a blog in a similar vein to mine. The main differance being that hers included no negative slants on the DWPs business. Mine did, and so in order to protect myself and my family I have removed all my previous posts and will not be adding to this again.

    It is a shame that I have had to take this action, but I'm sure your appreciate my family come first.

    Thanks to all my readers, I wish you the best for the future.


  6. Well, as Kryten from Red Dwarf once said, "Spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska".

    Today has been one of those days whereby no matter what I say or how I've said it, or how it's meant, someone has taken offence.

    It started at the paper shop this morning when I asked for the P & J (local NE/Northern Scotland daily broadsheet). The newsagent, bless, gave me the Currant Bun instead. I simply remarked (lightheartedly) that I wasn't in the mood for breasts and gossip. However, he retorted by saying, we're not all clever gits now are we? Somewhat stunned, I left. Minus the P&J. B-)

    Next faux pas happened with a punter that we were moving stuff for. "Having any luck in buying a new property?" I genuinely enquired. "Absolutely none of your damn business" was the answer. Well pardon me for being polite and trying to make conversation.

    3rd strike came when I telephoned a client and mistakenly thought I was speaking to the lady of the household when actually it was her husband (must tell BT to check that line again B-) ).

    And finally, a forum post earlier tonight.

    So, if you find some offence at this blog entry, well........Tough. I've had enough and I'm off to bed. That way I can definitely keep my big gob shut for a few hours anyway. :aok:


  7. My radio spoke to me the other day.

    They/it wanted me to go vist one of our frequent callers re harrasment. Now I really hate these jobs.

    'Maker of your own misery?' you bet! an affair had gone wrong and now she was reaping what she sowed. somebody somewhere would have been glad of a visit but we were busy dealing with this tripe.

    I have a lot of time for traffic officers. But a little giggle could not be helped when one came into the office and needed to use one of our vehilces. they then retruned some 5 mins later stating the keys were stuck in the lock.

    SKODA keys it would appear do fit FORD'S.

    mind how you go....

  8. Just back from another interesting trip - House of Commons this time and although I've dropped off and picked up a number of times outside, this was my first trip inside.

    We arrived in plenty of time so he insisted we grab some 'fresh air?!' and exercise while killing some time on the Embankment; we took a nice 'Spooks Stroll' down past MI6, over Vauxhall bridge and back up Millbank past Thames House towards Parliament before settling in Victoria Tower Gardens to watch the boats pass.

    After fighting through all the Japanese tourists outside the Cromwell Green entrance and getting photographed by them as we walked down the long stainless ramp I was surprised by how many security guys they could squeeze into such a small security station. After getting our mugshots badged and passing through security, we settled in the 'coffee shop', an impressive space under a beautiful old vaulted ceiling.

    We then killed some time looking over the Westminster Hall, St Stephen's Hall and Central Lobby before making our way to the Committee Rooms (and it was nice to see them supporting British Industry, Dyson Airblade dryers in the Gents :) )

    I caught up with a few guys I've not seen in a while, while the meeting was underway, and was introduced to a few new guys too – networking is an essential skill in CP, it's never what you know but who you know and our bosses have a tendency to want things done, access arranged or needs met in an instant, the best way to achieve this is through local contacts and favours.

    The meeting went well by the look on everyone’s faces and we stopped off for a 'House of Commons' Scarf for Mrs Boss at the massively overpriced gift stand of St Stephen's Hall (he can afford it though I guess)

    And then we were off home again – quick visit but glad I went, it's a hugely impressive building in the flesh.

  9. wow, has it really been a few months since my last post?

    What have I been up to I hear you ask? (or maybe not). Well, not much other than the usual stuff, going to work, selling the house and the inevitable house-hunting that goes with it.

    Duty has been a bit of a mixed bag.

    I spent 8 days assisting with the training of the explosives dogs (not dogs that explode, that would be messy, but the cheeky pups that are starting their career with Sussex (and other forces) police sniffing out various explosive materials.

    Quite an interesting experience and very impressive how eager the dogs are and how quickly they learn. For obvious reasons cant really say much more about the whole affair but if you ever get the chance to get involved in such activities, I would strongly recommend it!

    Spent a bit of time covering officers days-off on response over the past few months. Always nice to respond to offences I wouldn't normally get involved with on NPT (mainly domestic violence on a weekend).

    Last Saturday I started off attached to two operations (flip-flopping between them accordingly) but as the night went on my crew partners got pick-off one by one until it was just myself driving around in the prison van. The last three hours where crazy and ended assisting response, I think I hit a personal record for the amount of jobs attended within about 90 minutes. "Charlie xxx, can you break for a .....", "thanks for the result, are you free for a.....", "Any officers available for assistance shout...." "can you break to attend.." One look up at the dark night sky and it all become obvious.... a big fat full moon!

    Now this isn't a complaint, I actually love it when its busy like that, keeps the adrenalin going, however.... I stood down much later than my previously estimated lateness (my own fault for taking what seemed like a simple transport job) and on my walk home (my partner was meant to give me a lift as we were supposed to finish at midnight.... he did, I did somewhat much later), face flat down in the middle of a road in a residential area was an 18 year slightly worse for wear and quite a bit of road-rash around her chops.

    Quick call over the radio and there i was assisting the poor soul while she targeted my boots with her incessant vomiting. Waiting for what seemed like ages (any small amount of time seems ages when you are dodging vomit) the ambulance arrived, stood down after passing her details I had managed to prise out of her. And eventually home to face the 'where the hell have you been' glares emitted from the love-of-my-life

    This Sunday I've been ask to help with the new Specials senario day by helping operate radio control.... I guess this means I had better brush up on 'correct' radio speak!

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    The Final Inspection

    Author: Author Unknown

    The policewoman stood and faced her God,

    which must always come to pass.

    She hopes her shoes were shining

    just as brightly as her brass.

    "Step forward now, policewoman.

    How shall I deal with you?

    Have you always turned the other cheek?

    To my church have you been true?"

    The policewoman squared her shoulders and said,

    "No Lord I guess I ain't.

    Because those who carry badges

    can't always be a saint.

    I've had to work most Sundays,

    and at times my talk was rough...

    And sometimes I've been violent

    because the streets are awful tough.

    But I never took a penny

    that wasn't mine to keep...

    Though I worked alot of overtime

    when the bills just got too steep.

    And I never passed a cry for help,

    though at times I shook with fear.

    And sometimes, God forgive me,

    I've wept unending tears.

    I know I don't deserve a place

    among the people here.

    They never wanted me around

    except to calm there fear.

    If you've a place for me here,

    Lord, it needn't be so grand.

    I never expected or had too much,

    but if you don't... i understand."

    There was silence all around the throne

    where the saints had often trod,

    as the policewoman waited quietly

    for the judgement of her God.

    "Step forward now, policewoman.

    You've borne your burdens well.

    Come walk a beat on heaven's streets.

    You've done your time in hell."

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    This'll be my only post in this blog, and likely one of the few/the only blog(s) I'll ever write. I've decided to set it out like a story with certain chapters to give it a story-esque feel to it, and I won't fully publish this until I'm completely happy with it.

    Chapter 1: Early Summer is the best time of year.

    I was born on the 2nd of June 1998, either into Hammersmith Hospital or St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington (don't remember which and I can't be bothered to ask which in all honesty :p) My mother was single and 19 at the time of birth, which gave plenty of ammunition for Daily Fail readers to judge her, but to be honest I don't really mind when people give birth, everyone is ready for a child at different ages in their life, a general age can't be given (except for law). As a child growing up without a father figure effected me to an unknown degree, I've never had one in my life; but it was only until my later years in life I would yearn for one. As an early toddler it was noted that I didn't misbehave much and was generally quiet, not really doing much out of the ordinary. To this day I'm still attempting to find out the identity of my father, but if I was to ever find I don't know what I'd do with this info.

    Chapter 2: A Golden cloud with a sour lining.

    It would only be until the age of 11 months that I would have no sibling, and on the 6th May 1999 my brother Oliver was born. His birth was rather uhm... extraordinary, with him "refusing to be born" Some form of extravagant machine was used to pull/suck him out, which disturbs me to no end. Obviously I was far too young to have any notable memories of him as a toddler, but that's more than can be said for my mother. She's told me that not long after birth (about 3-4 weeks) she noticed that I behaved completely differently to him, while I was still a bit quiet, my brother was completely un-social and hated people, and showed many abnormal behaviours for a child. My mother initially panicked thinking that something was wrong with him, and her worst fears were confirmed when he was roughly the age of 1, when doctors indeed confirmed that he was born with Autism. My mum's never discussed what she felt at this time, and I think that it's too much for her to bleed this out to me without turning into a bit of a mess, so I've avoided it so far. We were told that as my brother aged, he'd become radically more different to other children, eventually sticking out like a sore thumb with his behaviour by about the age of 7, but I'll discuss this later on.

    Chapter 3: Yeah, he's my brother.

    As an early chld I did relatively well at school, it was noted that I was one of the few children who were happy to go into school, finding the idea of being stuck in a home for the day incredibly boring, and savouring my chance at education, which sadly not all can. I spent my Primary School years up until Year 5 in St. Mary of The Angels R.C. Primary School, I exceeded greatly with my grades and general attitude in school from the ages of 5 and over, being noted as having one of the most matured reading and writing skill in the area, reading 11 year old books at the age of 6 and 7. While I excelled greatly (and enjoyed) a mainstream school, the same cannot be said for my Autistic brother. The all knowing (snigger) Tony Blair, at the time, thought it'd be a great idea to have disabled children be forced into mainstream schools, in some sort of pathetic attempt at trying to normalise their experience (this man irritates me to no end). While my brother was in school, he recieved the incorrect care, would occasionally be bullied and assaulted by children in the school (to which the Council refused as good enough grounds to have him in a specialist school). At one time he was so frustrated and confused he threw a chair at a teacher, and his carer at the time (bless her she was amazing- if you're out their Miss Murphy, thank you) knew that we were powerless to do anything, so we had to sit there and pretty much just watch. Though his disability matured me far earlier than I should've, I still of course didn't understand the full extent of a learning disability; I remember rather well that I even resorted to attempting to teach him myself, trying to sit him down and teach him how to read and write correctly for his age group, and even attempting basic spelling- which of course failed to no end, and shows just how desperate and deep hitting I found his disability. One thing I do remember from early childhood, is that nearly every time I made a wish with anything, be it a shooting star or blowing out my candles at a birthday, I longed for my brother to be "normal".

    Chapter 4: My full realisation, and the beginning of the sweat and tears.

    By the age of about 7 or 8, I clearly had the jist of what was going on, government didn't want to help us, social services couldn't help us, and the council didn't want to help us. We were pretty much on our own, and around this time is when my brother became a serious thought of mine, particularly what I would do when my mother passes away. I did have something to take my mind off of this though, the arrival of my sister Poppy, on the 28th September 2005. Thankfully, she initially showed no abnormal behaviour, and no doctor ever diagnosed her with anything. We were happy, and I had begged for a sister for no end for the past year, likely out of sheer desperation for an ordinary sibling I could relate to. The happiest moment of my life came in late 2008, when we were finally handed the paperwork to swap council houses with someone in Hertfordshire. My mum had fought as much as she could since her birth to get us out of London, more specifically because my area (Queen's Park) was known as a poor place to live, with cramped houses and staggeringly rising knife and gun crime. At this point the neighbour across our street was a drug abuser who literally used her child as a weapon to fight off a Met Police Sergeant (of which I will rant about another time) and the police were seen less and less in the area. When we moved we all kinda cried a bit in joy, I had never experienced fresh air or lush green grass, and I stood open mouthed and in awe when I was passed by someone riding a horse in full riding gear, I was in heaven! This is when I moved to my final Primary School for Year's 5&6 called Warren Dell, which lacked severely behind in it's student grade, with a severe lack of teaching for high grade students, resulting in me losing out on a lot of key education that would bite me in the backside for many a year to come; the school handled children greatly though, except for when our Head mistress legged it with all the school funds. It was around late Year 5/Early Year 6 that I had my first traumatic experience, the alcohol related fits of my current stepfather (whom I hate to no end and won't name). I was tucked up asleep on a Thursday night when I was awoken by a large crashing and banging coming from the landing (we lived in a flat) and got up to see what all the fuss was about. I awoke to my mother being in complete shock, telling me that my step father had experienced a fit, and had loss complete memory of who we were and where he was; going so far as to attempt to assault her with a kitchen chair. We dialled 999 three times in the space of an hour, and no ambulance ever came, nor did anyone ring us back or even enquire about this. This was when he came back.

    Luckily he had regained his memory of where he was and who we were, and managed to stagger back to the house. Despite my thorough hatred for him, I helped my mum set out a chair for him and asked him how he was, as he was obviously still dazed and needed to sit down. He told us that he'd loss complete memory of who we were for a while, and was requesting that we get help. It was this time again he fell into another fit, collapsing from the chair and beginning to convulse on the ground. I was on the far side of the kitchen, trapped by him and his flailing arms, apparently him battling the fit, my mother screamed at me to jump over him as she couldn't reach me. I panicked to say the least, and noticed that he was beginning to give me a 1000 yard stare, and he was slowly starting to try and hit me, so I managed to jump over him and proceeded to barricade myself in my bedroom, me protecting my disabled brother while my mum locked herself in with my sister, as my step-dad had stood up and proceeded to drag a kitchen chair outside, initially trying to force entry into my mother/sister's room. He left again, now topless and only wearing a pair of trackies. I was completely mortified, and I was shacking like a stray dog in the cold. I couldn't control the flow of tears that were coming from my eyes, and rather disgustingly the mucus from my nose. After an hour of us still barricading our bedroom doors, me and my mum got out, checked he wasn't anywhere near the house and we finally locked the place down. I went into the kitchen and what I saw disturbed me greatly, with blood splashed all over the floor and once bright white cupboards, I had to fight the urge to vomit and panick again, reverting to staring at a field outside of the kitchen window for the next 15 minutes. About an hour later the clock struck 3 o'clock, and it was certain I wouldn't be in tomorrow. I couldn't sleep the entire night, haunted by what I saw. For the next 2 years after this event, I was plagued with nightmares and voices of him trying to form twisted words in my head- the voices I only seeked help about when I had a complete nervous breakdown in an R.E. class, seeing one of the school counsellors for help. The voices did still plague me every one in while until 13, when luckily they just went away. From that day, any nightmare I have involves me meeting a grizzly end, something which I awake from in a cold sweat the instant I kick the bucket.

    Chapter 5: These events need a good carpet to be swept under.

    Life continued on greatly after this, and so far the ages of 12-14 have been the happiest and care-free in my life so far, a stage of happiness I long to return to. I haven't had a traumatic experience such as this since, but I've got plenty more things to disturb me. I again exceeded greatly with grades, with a very bright outlook for every subject but French and P.E., two things I am dreadfully bad at. I was quit the social outcast at this time, as I had no access to the internet, and this was a point in my generation where the internet is where everything happened there, something which oddly has less effect on a person's popularity now than it used to. Luckily, I didn't care for popularity at the time, something which I regret now- as believe you me it's been hard work to obtain a decent popularity. I had my specific set of friends I got on well with, I had good grades and I was happy. But again, like many things in life, this didn't last long. About mid-way through being 14, I realised friends might actually be a good thing, and set about working on... well getting more. This had no impact on me really, and benefited me if anything, it just resulted in me being a little less confident. It's also at this time I set my eyes on a specific employment, politics. I had witnessed so many outrages to people like me and families like mine, I wanted a say, and boy was I ambitious. I ran for school council twice in Secondary School, but at such a young age we all voted for our mates anyway, and I wasn't too fussed surprisingly. This trend of happiness and slowly rising social status carried on until mid-way through Year 10, when we had to watch a few citizenship videos, all of them about mental health issues, specifically the disabled. For the first episode I laughed, and it took a lot fo downplaying to get people to realise I wasn't laughing at them, I was laughing with them, because I knew so much about what they had to do, it was uplifting and put a smile on my face that I knew exactly what there problems were, and had experienced them first hand. The second episode disturbed me greatly though, focusing heavily on a young boy with a disability that rendered him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he attended rest-bite just like my brother does, and the family discussed the same problems we had with getting help for him. This brought it all home for me a bit too much, and every time an episode featuring him was on I buried my face into my school jumper and sobbed silently, leaving class with suspiciously red and puffy eyes. I didn't mention this to anyone, and still haven't except for what I'm writing here.

    Chapter 6: It's happening again.

    All things considered, I faired rather well with what was going on. My brother's conditions worsened, but he had mellowed to the point where he didn't effect me too much anymore, but the thoughts of his later life began to plague me, and still do. This is where it starts coming to where I am now. Eventually, not long after turning 15, I developed a fascination for police vehicles, and liked them to no end. There was a free to play video game that let you play as essentially a fully customisable private police force, and joined one of the many British Police themed clans. Politics had begun to bore me at this age, and I was seriously considering a job in the police, but the pay and judgement from my small and very inter-linked family troubled me, and I decided not too say anything up until a month or two ago. Luckily my mum wanted to join the police, and supports me fully in my ventures, but my grandmother doesn't want me to join whatsoever, fearing my body will be found in a dark urban alleyway (what a positive outlook on life eh?) I have no problem with this, as her objections are small and won't effect me joining, it just troubles me that she won't be happy if I ever reach turning out day in a crisp tunic and tall and proud custodian. My brother still worries me greatly, and I do worry considerably whenever I begin to think about what will happen once my mum passes away. It's going to happen, and I don't know what condition he'll be in at that point. He's already been further diagnosed with Tourettes and Schizophrenia, which again a labour set of doctors didn't seem to want to pass. He's happy enough now, and he can be a real laugh. But his future concerns me greatly, and to add onto that it's now suspected my sister has minor autism, which I managed to bare the brunt of in peace. Whenever I watch anything to do with mental health I break down and just generally attempt to reach a happy place in my mind, I write about this now with misty eyes and a lump in my throat. I have great worry for what will come of my brother and sister, and I'm greatly troubled with the realisation that I'll never be at peace with anyone with mental health issues. It makes me sound like a complete nutter, and I hate myself for it. I can tell you now, my worst nightmare would be to attend a mental health call as a police man. I'd rather lay my life on the line and die then be forced to confront this, and I don't know if I will ever manage to mature out of this. I'm sure it'll pass once I know what the available options are, but I feel that there's a broken wire that sparks a bit in the back of my head to do with this, and writing this blog/story is helping me to come to peace with this all.

    Don't mistake this for some stressed cry for help please, I really am just ranting and writing here for my own sake, so I know there's something I can put my name down on and say "That's mine there, I wrote this and got it off my chest".

    If you've read this far, I have much appreciation for you doing so,

    Connor out.

  10. So, I'm feeling better now (I hope you visited the blue lamp foundation's website), and I can't sleep, so I thought I'd let you know about the next stage of the application process for Staff's Specials.

    As you know, I got the letter confirming I had passed the assessment day, and with it came a Counter-terrorism form and a medical questionnaire and a couple of erroneous medical-related papers.

    Firstly- Counter-terrorism. Very important in this day and age. It's part of the vetting procedure, and has to be sent off, in a provided envelope, to a separate department (not just to Human Resources). It's a peachy/orangey booklet that you may have had to fill out for a whole number of different reasons, from being a civil servant to contract work inside a prison. It's essentially a more formal version of the vetting sheets from the application booklet at the start of the process. You're asked basic details about yourself and both of your parents, and then about your criminal history and if you've ever been involved in anarchistic, terrorist or racist elements groups. That's pretty much all there is to it, and it probably won't take you more than 20 minutes.

    The next bit, the medical questionnaire, is quite simply, an absolute pain in the arse. Again, you fill out your details and your GP's details, and then you have to tick yes or no to several pages of various illnesses, and if you say that you've had one or more of them, you have to explain what it was and other details. Then you're asked your height and weight (so your BMI can be calculated) I'm 5'8" and 60Kg, so have a rather snazzy BMI of 19.2. Finally, and most problematically, for me anyway, is my immunisation history…as I moved Doctor, to my University's health centre I thought it would be best to go in and ask for my medical history, especially my height/weight and immunisation history, at a cost of 35p a sheet. 70p later (not funny- I couldn't afford a can of coke later because of that) I was told nothing about my immunisation history, excluding the Flu jab I was given when I arrived. I already knew about that, and it wasn't asked for on the questionnaire. *Sigh*

    They want to know what year you were vaccinated against Diphtheria, tetanus, TB, Polio, and Hepatitis B. As I went to Honduras last year I couldn't be certain as to whether I had been recently been given top-ups to those, as opposed to my regular boosters etc. So, after a call to my old GP, where I had to tease, painfully, the year of my immunisations from the receptionists (who were actually very nice), and not have to wait for my mum to open the letter they sent to my parent's home address I finally had what I needed.

    The other two sheets were simple enough, and asked your address (again) and your GP's address so they could send the form to him/her and get them to verify and sign it off. You don't need an exam or consultation to fill it out. The GP's are sent it later. The other sheet asks for your permission to have other people read your medical history etc.

    Send them off and you're all done. I'm currently waiting on a letter informing me when the medical exam is, as (I always have been) I'm completely confident there is nothing on either of the forms that will hinder my application, otherwise my parents (and the government to a much greater extent) would have some serious explaining to do.

    I'm glad I've got to this stage as now I can start to include the more exciting aspects of the application process, namely training, and eventually the duties I perform, which is what everyone's interested in, really.

    As ever, leave a comment, rate the blog, and check out My blog's site.


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  11. Hello again,

    I have just check my email and recieved a response to my question about joining the British Transport Police as a Special Constable. And they told me that I would have to consult my doctor for permission because of my Aspergers Syndrome, and they also told me that they don't have the resources to review every question deeply :rolleyes: . I wonder if they mean no by this reply?. Now I'am worried if they will reject my application aswell :rolleyes: .

  12. Right, when I started this blog before my training I thought that I would update this every couple of weeks or so, so that people could follow my journey and whatnot.

    Low and behold it's been two and a half months since my last entry and not only have I started training, I've finished it too! :aok:

    Training was great fun though was pretty intense at times as it was all weekend and two evenings a week for 8 weeks. Had some bad times like the pain of CS :saint: and some great times like every other bit of OST, first aid was a fun weekend too.

    So now I'm a fully warranted police officer, yikes! :blu:

    I've been 'in' for two weeks now and have already done 4 shifts. Not the most thrilling shifts mind you as I'm currently on Public Order in the city centre and no one seems to be getting in too much trouble while I'm about :( , probably because there are so many of us on shift and there seems to be an officer around most corners in the centre at weekends. I guess that's what the higher ups want to be honest, so many of us that no crimes get committed. But if no one's being naughty we don't have anything to do......had a couple of blue light runs in the van mind you, there was just nothing happening when we arrived.

    My next shifts are Good Friday and Easter Saturday so hopefully people will be a bit naughtier :w00t: the party mood :rolleyes: .

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    Recent Entries

    I've never written a blog and so I apologise in advance ... Thought it was about time I started blogging as I'm quite often told, I've always got something to say.

    02/02/2016 - Here we go I may as well start the blog and share where i'm at at the moment.

    My "special" journey began 15/18 months ago I suppose, I had heard word on the street that there was going to be a recruitment for regular officers as well as special constables coming up in my area and having been patiently waiting for an intake for about a year, my new dilemma was now which role I would apply for. Would I give up my current, happy career, go for a complete change in life and dedicate my life to the police service, which is what i've wanted to do my whole life. Or would I bide my time with my career, gain another years service (and add another year to my pension) and join as a special constable, to get my feet wet and see if it was indeed a job suited to me and also me suited to the job. And also most of all, to make sure the dream job I had imagined myself in my entire life, was not going to let me down by not living up to my own expectations.

    My decision was basically made for me, there was no regular jobs coming up and so either it was apply for the special constable roles or wait. Sit it out and wait for that fulltime job coming up. I'm a very impatient person, and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get a taster of what I would be letting myself in for and so it seemed like a no brainer. I have many friends who are serving police officers and I told them my thoughts and was urged to get my application in as soon as I could, get that foot in the door. One officer in particular was an integral part in me taking that step and putting my application in, my inspiration to become the best i could possibly be, regardless of the role i was doing. And so the studying began!!!

    The jobs went live November 2014. Special Constables for Scotland, several different locations available. And I got my head down, putting together the best application I could, I am a bit of a perfectionist and so it needed to be right. I had a month between the job being advertised, and the closing date, and I used every day of that month, writing up my application, perfecting my answers, learning my answers inside out and changing things I wasn't happy with. I finally submitted my application on 5th December 2014 and I was told it could take up to a month to have a reply. And so I had to wait.

    And wait

    ... And wait some more!!!

    January 2015 and I get that all important "PING" in my mailbox that I had been checking for multiple times a day for a month. My application was a success and i was invited to the assessment centre in Glasgow to hopefully further my dreams of joining the police. Now time to prepare all over again. I spoke to those friends who helped push me into applying and i got some assistance, some pointers and some truths ... all of which were essential in my preparation. I planned my interview, and the presentation i had to give, I learnt several vital things that i will take with me throughout my continued application and hopefully long career in the police. I ran through my presentation with friends, i changed what needed changed, i went to the gym, i got myself fit and prepared for the fitness test ... and pretty soon there was nothing else i could do to prepare and it was assessment centre day.

    I was ill!! A really bad viral infection had knocked me for six, and left me with no voice and struggling to breathe!!! How the heck was i meant to do a fitness test like this? How was i meant to give a 10 minute verbal presentation when i could string two sentences together without struggling for breath or coughing up a lung. I started to freak out. I text my pal, told him i was freaking out i was ill, I was going to have to pull out of the assessment centre and hopefully reschedule, there was no way i was going to be able to go through with it. I was told, not as politely as this, to get a grip. To sit myself down, sort myself out, get my notes together and get my butt to that assessment centre and smash it out of the park. I knew he would tell me like it is and give me that much needed support and push in the right direction. So off i went after my lemsip and Benelyn with my notebook in hand.

    I managed to cough and splutter my way through my interview section and my presentation. The maths test etc were the easiest part of the day and i would have happily done those for 6 hours than the interviews and the fitness test. The fitness test, well .... thankfully i had prepared for it let me put it that way. Had i not prepared then i don't think i would have managed it given the fact i struggled to breathe just talking. But i made it! i survived the day and it was all over. Now again, the waiting game!!!

    Some waiting ... and more waiting ... and then a little bit of waiting!!!

    "PING" ... there it was. THAT email again!! "We are delighted to say ....." I don't think i seen anything else, i was elated. I had done it!! Now the last part, the medical and the vetting. Easy stuff. The email says, medical would be 06/02/2015, a Friday, and i had to have my vetting paperwork etc completed by this date. Again easy ... right?!

    Monday 02/02/2015 ... I had a horrible accident which left me in hospital. A badly fractured clavicle my injury, a borderline compound fracture that required an emergency operation in order to stabilise me and my arm. Everything i worked hard for and towards was ruined in a moment!! There was obviously no way i could sit my medical in this state, especially not in 4 days and so the day after my accident i had to phone and withdraw my attendance for my medical and possibly even my entire application as we weren't sure if i would ever be able to fully use my arm again until i had my operation. Recruitment were amazing!!! Gave me their full support and also said not to withdraw my application yet, see how my operation went and what time frames etc i was given by surgeons and then go from there. Should i not make this intake i would be put onto the next intake of specials or if regular came up i could apply, given i had recovered.

    Fast forward a year! Well almost a year ... what a horrible year it was, full of operations and recoveries and set backs and impatience AND another break!!

    30th December 2015 "PING" THAT email again ...given that i was fit and healthy and still interested then i would be put into the next intake!!! HELL YEAH!!! I owe it to myself and to everyone who supported me and most of all to that one special person who always believed in me and supported me when i wasn't supporting myself.

    And so here we are, sitting waiting on another "PING" into my mailbox, telling me when my medical is and then it really is all systems go!!! Its been a helluva year/18 months ... one which i would happily never think about again ... But i suppose im a year older, I've had another year to mentally prepare, to learn even more, another year of life experience, and especially another year to think about whether this is definitely the job for me and if im ready for it!! AND I AM READY ......... Im sitting waiting here right now, looking at my phone every 10 minutes waiting on that "PING" that i know should be coming soon.

    Monday 09/02/16 ..... I attended an open day/ workshop in Glasgow on Saturday, a workshop to help people prepare for the assessment centre and interviews as well as their application. Now I know I've already passed this stage, and so you may be wondering why I went along, many folk I met there on the day that I knew and knew my story asked the same thing, I even had an Inspector ask me why I was there. Truth is, I went to be nosy!!! I wanted to see the people who I would possibly be joining with and training with, I wanted to speak to serving officers and specials about current plans and how the job currently was, I wanted to see if I remembered what I learnt a year ago and take in anything new that I may have missed or forgotten. I also wanted to nab the recruitment team and have a personal face to face chat with them, its all good sending emails back and forth over the past year keeping them updated on my situation but face to face is more personal and it meant I could thank them in person for their help and support over the past year. It really did mean a lot to me to have these guys have my back.

    The day was a success for everyone it seems, I learnt more than I already knew, got to speak to several members of current serving staff and most importantly I got to thank the recruitment staff who ive been pestering in emails for a year.

    All in all a good day and I felt so much better and more positive and focused coming out of the workshop than I already was.

    Just waiting on that "PING" in my inbox now with the vetting and reference forms, and hopefully a medical date shortly.

    Monday 15/02/16 - "PING" .... "Please fully complete the attached Vetting Application form and reference form by 12pm Wednesday 17th February 2016!" ........... Here we go we are getting there slowly but surely.

    Time to get form filling.

    Hopefully not much longer before the medical is sorted and then its all systems go for sure.

    Monday 29/02/16

    Had my medical today ... 90 minutes of lots of paperwork and talking ... Pass all relevant parts with no hassle but had to go in with the doctor so he can have a look at my shoulder and decide if they need to speak to my GP or surgeon before I can be signed off ... He decides this is not necessary and passes me off as fit and healthy and good to go, HOWEVER has had to write about my shoulder on the form and that because I have a metal plate in it, I could be at higher risk than any others to have a re-fracture should I receive a direct heavy blow to my collarbone but not enough of a risk to even recommend restricted duties. BUT also that at the same time I have more stability than most because of the metal plate, so basically contradictory.

    So it is all out of my hands now, just waiting on the vetting and the references coming back and my uniform fitting and that is me, good to go!!!

    Here we go :D:D:D

    Sorry to have babbled on a bit ... told you I had never written a blog before but i can certainly talk ... i hope you've enjoyed this "story" so far and hopefully ill be adding to this in the not so distant future updating my journey.

    Any questions please ask away.

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    Latest Entry

    I did a 12 hour late shift (4pm-4am) last night in the Force Control Room and I am still mentally knackered from it. It was just plain mental!!! :stars:I was on dedicated 999 calls for most of it and I took just over 150 Calls (on average - 13 Calls an hour!!!) and created 84 Incidents which was crazy! :blink: I even took a very strange job for Harlow which was a big ball ache for the room supervisors and local top brass. When I took the call I thought the person was a bit lala to start with until she said the whole street were out looking and the incident was also ratified but 2 seperate units on division!!! :confused:oh well if that wasn't enough punishment for me, I am off to do the same again tonight!!! :p

  14. Stressful at work today, far too much going on and the increasing realisation that I am fighting a losing battle against other peoples' inertia and incompetence.Stopped off with like minded colleagues at a handy wine bar! Sorrows drowned admirably. I am now at peace with the world. Finally got on the train, leaving Kings X at 23:30 so home at some point hopefully.Isn't Wi-fi great on trains. You can stop off at a wine bar after work, have too much to drink, and then write your thoughts straight onto the web while travelling home in the comfort of coach G!Today's thought for the day, as delivered to me daily by email:“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the ideaâ€This thought for the day is both apt and accurate. In fact, I am like a cat. I like to be warm, comfortable and stroked occasionally. On trains I always find the perfect seat. I haven't curled up on it, but I can't rule out that happening at some stage of the northward journey. The train is packed as the entire population of the suburbs, home counties and commuter belt have been denied access to their mock georgian detached mansions for the past 5 hours. And yet I have found, secured and occupied a table. Not just a table, but a table with a cunningly reserved spare seat which my briefcase is thoroughly enjoying. I can stretch and relax - watch the scum huddle in their pitiful cramped seats!However, there is a blot on the landscape, there is a fly in the ointment; if you will, there is a cloud in my perfect sky. Approximately 10 minutes after I located and sneakily took my excellent lurking spot, the seat across the aisle has been occupied by - the token weirdo!Every train has one. Every bus, plane, rickshaw and tram has a token weirdo. They sit and drool, they ask questions of the furniture, they stare at the windows but never out of them - and, if you are very unlucky, they discuss hockey at length.I am unlucky this evening.Hockey is a game that fascinates me in the same way as the sun is made of ice. I love Hockey, but only in the same way as I love being stabbed in the eye with a fork. I could listen to Hockey discussions for as long as an unsupported house brick would float lazily on the summer breeze if tossed casually from a balcony. Not to say there is anything wrong with the sport, not to criticise those who play it, watch it, or - God forbid - know the rules of it, but anyone who can fill the last 10 minutes with detailed descriptions of national training and coaching schemes, county schemes, calf muscle injuries and the divisional structure of the English league has something about them that I don't wish to be exposed to. And all this in a very odd voice!Oh, the voice! It is some bizarre squeak in which a diatribe of drivel is very deliberately delivered. He sure as hell couldn't say that sentence coherently! However, the train is moving now and at least I can concentrate on the noise of metal grinding against metal like nails on a blackboard - a noise that usually I would shun but find infinitely preferable to Mr. Squeaky there.Worse things could happen, you say. Well they are. Far from being alone in my idyllic table with soft chairs, a girl has now MOVED MY CASE and occupied the seat opposite! Common sense would dictate that she sit in the diagonal seat, but no! Why not sit directly opposite and have all the awkward leg touching and eye contact that it entails?She has taken things a step futher though. Upped the ante, heightened the stakes, you could say she has crossed the line. You could, but you would be too busy sending subliminal instructions to the jaw muscles instructing them to remain strong against the shock and horror that is taking place in the chair opposite! Did I mention that she was sitting opposite? Not diagonally, but opposite!She has a small mirror. She has removed it and is examining her face. I can forgive this indiscretion, it isn't the kind of thing I set out to find on my way home, but you must admit there are shows that charge admission that would probably provide less entertainment. But that isn't the worst of it. What is taking place before my bewildered eyes is genuinely astonishing. What is happening opposite (did I mention she was sitting opposite?) is horrifyingly and dreadfully unbelievable. Must break off briefly to get jaw situation back under control.Mandibular mania notwithstanding, I can tell you what is happening not 2 feet from my wide eyes.The girl is picking her spots in the small mirror. There, you read it! Read it again if you don't believe me! If I were speaking to you I would have to repeat that because you wouldn't believe what I had said, and yet with the printed word you have the benefit of seeing it again in all its offensive, unbelievable black and white. Why would someone do that in front of everyone? And why would someone sit in the opposite seat rather than diagonally facing? Cats would not worry about these things, they would curl up like an aging sandwich and let it pass them by. I am distinctly unfeline in this regard, being more canine and worrying about things that would be better left ignored.And the squeaky voice drones on, informing all who don't have the privileged luxury of being deaf that this is an intercity 125 as opposed to an intercity 225 , the difference being - what, exactly? Doesn't seem too clear on that point and moves on to detailed account of what Astroturf is made of.And so, the end of my essay, and still 50 minutes of the journey from hell to go! This could become an epic, it could rival war and peace, it could be published and make me millions which I would lose in bitter legal wrangles with squeaky northerners, spotty girls and all those who cannot discern 'opposite' from 'diagonal'.In 30 years time I will issue a commemorative mug with a tribute to weirdos everywhere and a small mirror, just in case.Aarrrggh!! Brief leg touching with the girl there! Avoid eye contact! Don't listen to the weirdo! Think happy thoughts........and purr......................WOOF!

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    Well what a day it has been.I have had an awful lot of my beliefs challenged today. First of all the horrific events in London, and then rather less dramatic the Dispatches programme on C4 tonight.London - I have made no secret of my dislike of the increasingly draconian Anti Terror legislation that has been appearing recently, yet todays events brings home what it is all about. Saving lives. I cannot adequately express the deep loathing i feel towards those responsible for the attacks. Yet some small part of me also feels some resentment towards our Government for getting us so closely involved with the US in Iraq etc, and so making us that bit more attractive to the terrorist fanatics of the world. I just hope that any response is proportionate and reasonable. "Trying to find reasonable solutions to deal with unreasonable people" was one quote that has stuck in my mind all day.C4 Dispatches - All about an undercover supply teacher..she went into some of the worst schools in the country and we saw some truly shocking behaviour. Well, shocking to me anyway. I honestly did not realise exactly what some of our teachers are up against. The worst school by far was Highbury Grove....where one senior teacher wonders if the schools lack of clearly defined boundaries of what is and isn't acceptable is a contributing factor to the appalling behaviour within the school. I found myself thinking "Well DUH!!" The final school was one of the most improved in the country, and not far from Highbury Grove. They have a strict clearly defined set of acceptable boundaries, and pretty much a zero tolerance policy towards misbehaviour. The difference is remarkable, even taking into account the fact that the school is a Catholic All Boys school.I am now wondering if maybe that is what is lacking in many many schools/homes...a clearly defined idea of what is and isn't acceptable? All in all, today has left me with a distinct sense of unease, in the respect that i find myself wondering if some of my attitudes and beliefs are "too soft", and whether things would generally improve in society if a tougher stance was taken?Can't say i am going to convert into a Mail reading right of centre'ist just yet....but i certainly am having to re-evaluate what i do think about certain things..... :p