Met Police - The way it was

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Bruegel, May 15, 2007.

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  1. I left the Army in 19** and joined the Met in a very tough inner city division. I make these points and address the subsequent questions to Met officers and anyone else who is interested.

    This is the way it was:

    Black, Gay, and Women Police Officers:

    In our eyes there weren't any. We were all Police Officers. No-one gave a toss about any one's sexual predilections (as long as it didn't involve children or animals).

    I worked for a year alongside one of the few black officers in the Met at the time. Coming as he did, from a first generation afro-caribbean strict family upbringing, he would be first out of the car to nick suspect or wanted black youths, who he saw a a disgrace to his race and background.

    The hardest officer I ever worked with was a women (she wasn't gay, so what if she had been). The only real criteria we judged each other on, was, could we count on each other when it came on top. That's all. We were Police Officers and comrades first, and anything else was secondary and irrelevant. Now what is it like? Are you Black, Gay, a Women first? Before being a Police Officer? Does it work?

    To be continued...
     
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  4. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    WTF. More water with it I think.
     
  5. The way it was.

    Continued...


    Use of Discretion:

    We had a wide range of discretionary power and used it (in the main) sensibly. At a basic level, this meant giving 'advice' to drivers for a traffic offence, moving parking and pavement obstructions without issuing a ticket, or spotting someone doing something silly, anti-social or downright dangerous, and by using a mixture of tact and discretion, get them to stop doing it without 'sticking them on'.

    At the other end of the scale, you might make a decision not to arrest someone. A typical example: A punch-up could occur at any time, in, or outside one of the many pubs on our ground.

    On our arrival, we would typically find women screaming, a couple of bodies laying about, plenty of snot and claret, and two or more men still fighting.

    Right. Split up the fighting men, drag them down the road (in opposite directions) and send them on their way with their fortunes told. Attend the wounded, see if medical assistance/Ambulance required (invariably refused unless dead), get them to their feet, and send them on their way. Tell screaming women to shut up and fcuk off.

    Hang about on scene, watch various parties go off, and prevent any further breach of the peace. Sorted.

    Opportunity there, to make lots of arrests, escalate situation, and cause everybody a lot of grief. Instead, discretion used, peace restored, everybody off home.

    The right result. Oh, and no arrests for 'swearing at a Police Officer'. We could not be 'insulted' therefore dealt with a prolonged tirade of abuse with 'The Ways and Means Act' which very occasionally involved 'summary justice'

    Was that 'right'? No. Did it work? Yes. How do Police Officers feel now when they give evidence that they have arrested someone for 'swearing at them and wouldn't stop'.

    Have they done the right thing? Could they have used discretion? Could they use more discretion in their everyday work, or is the pressure from above to 'stick someone on' or arrest them, persistent and irresistible.

    Disclaimer: not a journalist, reporter or author. ex-squaddie and met police, genuinely interested in 'the way it was' and 'the way it is now'.

    To be continued...
     
  6. Sounds like the way my Old Man used to tell it... He did his National Service in the 1940's then joined the Police.

    Lots of "common sense" back then and he was increasingly disillusioned about his former profession towards the end of his life...

    Mind you, the humour was of the type most squaddies could identify with!
     
  7. Is this the Army rumour service or boring plod blogs.com?
     
  8. Discretion isn't always a good thing. When I was a kid we lived in a place where getting pi$$ed on giro day and giving your wife a slap was the favoured pastime. The approach of the police was 'It's a domestic. Leave well alone.'

    A divorced woman lived in our street with her three kids. Despite having a court order banning him from the house, her ex-husband would come round every couple of weeks and give her a beating. She called the police a total of 19 times and, every time, they used their discretion to let him off with a warning.

    Eventually he put her in intensive care having nearly killed her with a broken bottle. He went down for attempted murder and she ended up permanently disfigured.
     
  9. The way it was.


    Continued...


    Targets:

    As a Probationer (first two years) I was expected to turn over a fair amount of work. I tried to get one arrest a day, it was usually either a shoplifter, or a 'Drunk and Incapable' (lying in the gutter) or 'Drunk and Disorderly' (standing in the middle of the road, directing traffic).

    My reporting sergeant did not put any pressure on me to get arrests, he would far rather have me out there pounding the beat and fulfilling: 'The primary objective of an efficient Police - The prevention of crime'

    What is it like for officers today? Do they get trapped into 'silly' arrests because of 'targets'? Are officers having to 12A a suspect (release without charge - don't know what it is now) because mistakes have been made due to pressure? Are officers effectively dealing purely in 'numbers' rather than 'people'. What is it like now?

    To be continued...
     
  10. Cpl ripper wrote
    Given that you have posted on 28 seperate threads using the word 'Police', it seems you don't find it that boring.
     
  11. I am not convinced he is all he says he is. A "what colour is the boathouse door at wapping" message has been sent!

    Trotsky
     
  12. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Regardless of what he posts:
    All coppers are b@stards
    :D
     
  13. The way it was.

    Continued...


    Stop and Search:


    We used to have a power to 'stop and search' under S.66? of The Metropolitan Police Act 1839. As I remember, it authorised a police constable to: '...stop and search any vessel, boat, cart or carriage...in which, or upon, the constable had reasonable suspicion that anything stolen or unlawfully obtained is being carried...' this also applied to: '...any person...' etc.

    I never saw any vessels or boats on our ground. I saw a few carts and a lot of carriages. A 'carriage' was interpreted to mean a car or lorry etc., and a person was a...person.

    What constituted 'reasonable suspicion' within the meaning of the Act? Well, we were taught that the 'time', the 'place', and the 'manner' of the person when seen, was relevant. An example could be: 'If you see a man running down the street at 2 'o' clock in the morning carrying what is clearly a heavy suitcase, and with a ladder over his shoulder - that would be 'reasonable suspicion' and you could stop him.

    Effectively though, the 'stop' went like this: (in the car, 'two up') 'Here! I nicked that bloke/saw him in the Charge room last week/month/year - park up here - I'm going to give him a pull' or, 'I don't like the look of that car/driver at all - pull him over and I'll have a word' Quite a few 'good arrests' came from this law.

    Did we carry out stops and searches on any ethnic minority disproportionate to their demographic on our ground? Yes. Who were they? Afro-Caribbean youths. Why? Because they committed a disproportionate amount of crime on our ground, especially street crime.

    Why did they commit so many crimes? I don't know, I was a police officer, not a youth worker.

    I understand that this Act is no longer in force. Has anything replaced it that would give a police officer equivalent powers? If there is, are you wary of using it, and why?

    To be Continued...