This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.

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Monday, September 02, 2013

Out Back

For anyone who stumbles into this disused box room during a spring clean of their favourites tab, I thought I'd out a short note of explanation on about my absence over the last year or so.  

I never took a decision to stop blogging, but it tailed off for various reasons.  Some personal - I became busier at home.  But also because of work. I started my blog to put across what it was like on the front line of Britain's police force. I did end up satirising performance culture, and bureaucracy, and the insidious world of senior policing.  But really my aim was to fly the flag for the front line bobby.  I never intended to keep blogging if I was no longer front-line, which is the case at the moment.  Although the role I do now is still police work, I am a lot less likely to be assaulted or vomited on. Well, by non-police officers anyway.

I believe that those who take the greatest risk have the most right to tell others what it's like out there.  I still fight daily fights for common sense in uniform, and I still have a lot to say about the world that politicians think we live in. I guess I've become a bit jaded when it comes to my ability to change anything - some of those we bloggers talked sense to 3-4 years ago are now the worst instigators of lunatic policy when it comes to the police. 

I will go back to the front-line, and I hope I come back to blogging. The archive will remain up for anyone who's interested, and to remind myself what I joined both my force, and, for.  Contrary to what a lot of people think, the two aren't mutually exclusive. 

For now, stay safe out there.

Sgt Ellie Bloggs

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Monday, December 24, 2012


It is impossible to over-state the disastrous consequences of Andrew Mitchell's innocent cycle ride towards the gates of Downing Street on 19th September.

On the one side, rank and file officers have a gut feeling that the Chief Whip called officers plebs.  The feeling was not helped by his refusal to say, in meetings with W.Midlands Police Federation, exactly what he did say if he was denying the word "plebs".

On the other side, the case has added to the public's gut feeling that the police are not to be trusted.  This strong feeling is not helped by the police officer who allegedly posed as an independent witness to the incident.

"Always a pleasure."

"Excuse me, did you say Pleb?!"

As an observer, some things should be obvious:
  • At the time officers filled out the police log of the incident, they were not intending to make an issue of the incident or publicise it. Therefore to assume it was fabricated is a bit far-fetched.
  • It took Mitchell three months to cough up a full account of the incident, which he only produced after seeing and publishing the CCTV.  Call me cynical, but "adverse inference" springs to mind.
  • Any police officer writing a phony email posing as someone he isn't, and diving head-first into a political firestorm, is a cretinous idiot.
For the Police Federation, it is a political catastrophe.  The Home Office already detests the police staff association, seen as belligerent, old-fashioned and as full of dastardly mystery as a Masonic lodge.  Reform of "the Fed" is now inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing for front line officers if it can be reformed quickly and from within, rather than handing the job over to those who are so suspicious of it.

Speaking personally, all I really want from the Federation is someone to represent me when I am treated unfairly or in the proverbial - whether through my own doing or someone else's.  This includes standing up for my pay and conditions, but it doesn't include political warfare on Government ministers.

The Federation sees the upcoming reform as an assault on the office of constable.  As a police officer, I agree.  As a member of the public, I want police officers to be signed up to a code of conduct on or off duty.  I want them to be experienced and skilled at all police matters.  I want them to have discretion to show compassion, and the integrity to put their foot down.  There is no doubt that under the Tom Winsor formula, a diverse police force representing the needs of society is under threat.

I'm just not so sure that this argument is one for the Federation.  And they risk losing the battle over pay and conditions while they are distracted by politics.

Apologies for the patchy nature of my blog this year - I've had a lot on!

Hopefully in 2013 I will find more time to devote to it.

Happy Christmas, if my readers are still out there.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jack o' Night Tales

Oh what a tangled web has been woven by the Leveson Inquiry.

On the one hand, police blogger Nightjack has settled for damages of £42,500 from The Times, who exposed his identity, partly by way of hacking, in 2009.

On the other hand, prosecutions are becoming more common for those who offend and distress the public by posting what I like to term "brain vomit" on their Facebook and Twitter pages. In the latest two high profile murder cases, people have been arrested following sick and twisted posts online.  In less serioues cases, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has made clear that online "banter" is not a subject for prosecution.

The mainstream media has a complicated reaction to the private and social medias of blogging, Facebook and Twitter.  But more and more the standards applied to public media and the current restrictions on free speech in everyday life, are being applied to those using the internet.  Should it worry us public sector bloggers, or reassure us?  Most of us are committing only disciplinary offences (rather than criminal), at the most.  But what about comments we fail to remove, that cause widespread offence?  Or material that is used in ways we did not predict or permit?

As more and more prosecutions for public order or malicious communications occur, it will become clearer just what is and is not acceptable online.  In the meantime, hopefully the only offence this blog will cause is that caused by those perpetrating the folly highlighted here.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Real Big Society

We haven't heard a lot about Big Society this year.  In 2010, David Cameron launched it as some earth-shattering new movement, and last year claimed it was his mission.

There is no doubt that Cameron was passionate about the idea of people helping themselves, instead of relying on others.  The problem is, most of us saw it as contradictory to the recession, and not in harmony with Cameron's other policies.  The public as a whole received the message that - rather than the government and official bodies helping us - we were on our own.  

If the whole of society has felt abandoned, so have police officers.  Reading media reaction to Hilsborough, to Ian Tomlinson's death, to all the other negative news stories, is galling at a time when we also feel let down by our own management and the Home Office.  I am sure many police officers up and down the country have been wondering just what we are doing it for.  Wondering whether it's worth continuing, if we just can't bridge the gap to the public we serve.  At times, it has felt as though public support has been lost forever, and believe it or not, most of us wish for it fervently.

This week, there is hope.

Sometimes, the hardest cynic can be surprised.

Thank you, for your grief for our girls.  

Let's hope April will soon thank you herself.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

and a thousand more



'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A thousand words


'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Official: P**b is not offensive

The results of my poll are conclusive.  Out of 124 votes, 104 people voted for a term of abuse containing the expletive "fuck".  So "fuck" really is offensive, and we can stop debating whether or not the Chief Whip also called them p**bs

Incidentially, the word pleb comes from plebeian. The plebeians/plebes were a separate group, possibly originally immigrants to the Roman empire, forbidden to intermarry with patricians.  Check me out, I should be prime minister. (NB Boris would have known the answers.)

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


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