Heroes of our Time

Just three examples of outstanding courage and bravery


On Tuesday 24th January 2017, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across the stories of three very remarkable men.

Stories of quite astonishing courage.

But, aside from a passing mention in a couple of newspapers they seem, largely, to have been overlooked by the mainstream media – and that doesn’t seem right to me.

So I want to tell you the stories of Nathan Lucy, Andrew Wright and Martin Finney – some of the finest and bravest people you could ever hope to meet.


PC Nathan LucyQGM is a Hampshire Police Dog Handler.

In April 2014, a vulnerable woman jumped into the sea at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. PC Lucy responded and, as she drifted on the current, he ran ahead of her on three separate occasions, calling for her to come in.

She didn’t respond.

At that point, PC Lucy made a simple…

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Addicted to Violence

Food for thought… though the items on this menu should make you thoroughly sick…



Society is addicted to it.

In homes. On streets. Outside pubs and clubs on a Friday night. After the football. On TV. In the cinema. On games consoles. On the web. In fact and in fiction.

We pursue it. We portray it. We glamourise it. We normalise it. We show it in slow motion replay. And we present it as entertainment.

I’m not about to come over all ‘Mary Whitehouse’ on you, but I am troubled by the consequences of it all.

Roll up, roll up for:

  • The serial killings
  • The gang rapes
  • The extremist executions
  • The teenage stabbings
  • The 24-hour news loops with scenes of atrocity playing on repeat

Is it any wonder that some of us are becoming desensitised; that some of us are losing the capacity to be shocked; that some of our young people in particular have lost sight of the consequences of their very…

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A Copper’s Christmas

Just brilliant!


Allow me if you will to present a retelling of the traditional Christmas story, using detail drawn from a little known historical source – the archives of the Bethlehem Police Department.

One document in particular, the BPD Daily Crime Bulletin, offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and men – whilst shining new light on an old tale.


Bethlehem Police Department
Daily Crime Bulletin
(Date obscured – believed to be c.2000 years ago)

Late Turn (2pm-10pm)

Team Briefing

  • Day 5 of Operation Census
  • Substantial numbers of migrants arriving at border during past week
  • Low levels of community tension reported; no incidents of note in last 24 hrs
  • Large crowds expected in central Bethlehem this evening
  • No intelligence re: pre-planned disorder
  • Terrorism Threat Level remains at ‘Severe’ (an attack is highly likely)
  • 12 PCs on duty

(Handover note: Roads Policing chariot in for repairs –…

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Guest Blog: A Copper’s Tale

A beautifully written piece highlighting the fact that change is always possible with the right support and guidance.


Allow me to introduce you to a colleague of mine, PC Ben Forbes. He’s a remarkable man.

A couple of weeks back, he emailed me his story and asked what I thought of it.

I told him it was powerful stuff – and that people should read it.

He asked me if I’d be willing to publish it.

So here it is. Have a read.

(You can find Ben on Twitter – @BLF090)

A Copper’s Tale


Every police officer has their story – one that is unique and special to them. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell my story – and to explain how it has an impact on everything I do as a Police Officer. I also want to take this opportunity to talk about the vital importance of Partnership work in reducing crime and diverting young people away from damaging lifestyles.

The Beginning

We all have…

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Misconduct & Mistakes

Fantastically well written piece that really puts the job in perspective!



It occurs to me that, from time to time, police officers make mistakes.

It also occurs to me that we live in a world that is increasingly unforgiving of them when they do.

There are, of course, any number of reasons why police officers might get it wrong:

(1) Because they are human

Though my wife comes close, I’ve yet to encounter an entirely perfect human being.

I’ve certainly never met a perfect police officer.

But I have known officers who make mistakes. I look at one in the mirror every morning before I go to work.

They make mistakes because they are tired; because they are stretched; because they are under pressure; because they aren’t in possession of all the facts; because their instincts have let them down on this occasion; because hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Because they are human.

(2) Because they operate in the hurting places


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Spitting Feathers


I’m not an expert on Spit Hoods.

In fact, even as a serving officer, I was completely unaware of them until relatively recently.

If I’m honest – and this is very much a personal view – I think they look pretty alarming. And so do a lot of other people if the debate of the last couple of days is anything to go by.

I understand that. And I understand any desire on the part of the Mayor’s Office to seek a wider set of views.

But I also understand the strength of feeling expressed by many frontline officers about the issue.

I guess it’s important to try to understand what spit hoods are designed for – why on earth they might be required in the first place – and the exceptional circumstances in which they might be used.

I have been a police officer for twenty-four years and, in…

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A prompt I can work with 😀


I am, for the most part, a perfectionist. Only in certain areas of my life though. I don’t care much about appearance of person or possession. However, perfection of creation is a whole other matter.

When I was much younger, I had many jobs in the manufacturing sector. I was often complemented about the neatness of my work. It only became a problem in jobs that were paid as piecework. I found one job particularly challenging. I worked as an upholstery sewing machinist in a furniture factory. To achieve an acceptable level of pay, the work had to be churned out at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that you just can’t have quality and quantity. Piecework necessitates quantity. I could only manage quality. Therefore, my job didn’t last much past the initial training stage.

I have been a cross stitcher for about 30 years. I have had many compliments on the neatness of the back of my work. Some people think it just doesn’t matter about the back side, after all, who’s going to see it? To me, that misses the point of job satisfaction completely! It doesn’t matter if no-one will see it. I know it’s there and if it’s a mess, I’m not happy with it.

The photo on the left is the front of the project. The photo on the right is the back. I find both these images to be pleasing to look at. It’s a personal thing, I appreciate that. Each to their own. I am not so much of a perfectionist that I railroad every single stitch. It does annoy me working with two strands of thread when they twist. I prefer to counteract this by using only one strand. I also don’t like the lumpy nature of natural linen to work on. I adore symmetry and, as such, prefer to work on true evenweave fabrics.

Anything I create is subject to the worst possible scrutiny by myself. What other people think is good enough, for me, it just isn’t. But I don’t have a problem with that. It has long been said that cross stitching, in particular, is about enjoying the project. I agree totally and for me, personally, to enjoy it means to be happy with it. To be happy with it, it must meet my idea of perfection, however big or small the project.

It doesn’t just affect cross stitch though. I am a knitter, crocheter, writer and many other things. All of the things I create have to come up to my own ridiculously high standards. I am probably my own worst enemy in that respect. What is perfect to me is often seen as flawed by others and vice versa.

One last thing on the subject of perfection. People. I do not believe people are perfect. No-one is. Is it possible to find someone who is perfect? Perfect for you, yes, although I’ve yet to manage that myself.