A Copper’s Christmas

Just brilliant!

policecommander

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.

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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.

policecommander

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

ben-forbes

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!

policecommander

images

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

As…

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Spitting Feathers

policecommander

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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Finally…

A prompt I can work with 😀

Perfection

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.

A missing one…

Connection

I’m a bit late to the DP party today. It’s been one of those days. The anniversary of my dear Mum’s passing and I miss her so much.

She is my number 1 missing connection. Life was great while she was alive. I don’t mean that it was anything special other than being alive and knowing everything would be alright somehow because, well, Mums make everything okay, right?

I have no doubt that the majority of things in my life are worse since she left us. I know she wouldn’t have chosen to go, but I couldn’t have wished for her to suffer any more than she had already.

Of course I still talk to her. Sometimes I hear her answers, other times just a deafening silence. I still have occasional dreams where it hits me that I haven’t spoken to her for a while and I’m reaching for my phone to give her a call.

It’s been 12 years. I still wonder if there was more I could have done for her when she was alive, even during her illness. But I did all I could do at the time. Looking back I’m sure there must have been something I missed.

I have my son. Without him, I would feel much like I didn’t have a connection with any one person. And this is where the internet, for me, is something I treasure. I have many friends and positive interactions through social media. I have not found it to be a horrible experience, simply because I do not let other people bully me online and I will not engage in slanging matches via a keyboard (don’t like them face to face either, for the record!) so if someone upsets me with their nasty words, they are just deleted and blocked. Simple!

I wish I could say the same for other people though. The people that abuse the privilege of internet access. There are many out there. It always saddens me to see people engaging in less than moral behaviour, not just as themselves, but in disguise too. Fake accounts and profiles created to do bad things. I can’t even begin to get inside the head of someone who would do that but one thing’s for certain… They have no place in my world.

I’m aware that everyone makes mistakes and occasionally crosses the line but it’s the persistent offenders I don’t understand. Why abuse the social connection? I don’t know.

I feel no connection to where I live. This is a sad thing in many ways. I’ve been in the same house for 18 years and it’s never felt like home. The village doesn’t welcome outsiders and I’m an outsider. I was when I moved here and I still am. Part of that is my fault. When I began to realise the hostility to people not born here, I gave up trying to forge friendships and withdrew into my own space. I figured it was better to be isolated than mix with people who openly disliked me.

I do feel connections to other places though. I could never hope to afford to live in the place I feel most connection to, but it’s a lovely place to visit on holiday – even though the last time I managed that was in 2002, oddly, when my Mum was still alive. That was the last holiday we had with her, the last holiday full stop!

I am looking for a connection to the spirit world. I love my beautiful crystals and am talking to Angels. I am practising mindfulness every day to raise my personal vibration to a level that attracts the good things in life. It will be a long journey but one I am determined to make. I need to feel connected on different levels, and I am working to achieve that every day.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow here in the UK. My son has given me a beautiful card with some genuine sentiment written inside. By him, I hasten to add, not just the words printed in the card, but the heartfelt ones he added. I am so thankful for having such a wonderful son, I am truly privileged to have been given this unique connection. Thank you Universe.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my friends and readers who also have the privilege to be Mums.