‘You should be out catching criminals’

Why do we try to explain?

I have had, as have many of my colleagues, many conversations with people we stop and deal with and it is difficult to get through to some about the career path that we choose. I guess the most favourite phrase they use is

I pay your wages

It’s a favourite. Particularly if they have been stopped for an offence, angry, upset or drunk. I would like to ask them more questions, particularly those, who choose, or aren’t fortunate enough to be working.
For example, if I was told ‘I pay your wages‘, I would like to ask ‘how much of your subsidised money from the state comes to me?’. I would then ask ‘how much of the tax you pay from your wages comes to me?’ or ‘how much of your council tax you pay goes towards your policing?’
There could well be a bit of a tumble weed moment as the question sinks in. At this point I guess I should point out that neither I or my colleagues would say this out loud, we are professional, but I am sure we have, as would anyone in our position, have thought the same or similar.
The retort would come from the ‘customer’ would be along the lines of

well you should be out catching murderers or burglars

Yes, that is the general idea, we are out there to catch criminals, that is people who commit an offence so by saying that when you have been stopped for committing an offence doesn’t really wash. Are you saying that speeding or talking on a mobile phone whilst driving, which could kill someone, isn’t an offence? Please

So what do they do then? Well there are two schools of thought. There is the ‘shouty’ school and then there is the ‘flirty’ school. I find that both are tried by both sexes, and normally if one isn’t working the other comes in quick succession. I do hear of officers talking about the ‘attitude test’ and some are swayed with a bit of a flirt depending on their mood, but I would like to think that this isn’t how the majority of offences are dealt with or we would have to put a ‘shouty act’ and a ‘flirty act’ through Parliament!

Don’t forget too, that 70% of an officers time is ‘paperwork’ related, because of the replication of details, written, typed, sung, danced, and written again, all because we have to cover all angles of attack and having to justify our existence that we are needed to keep our society safe and away from harm.
When they say we should be out ‘catching criminals’ it does make me think of the future. When the police service is cut up into little ‘security’ pieces, who will they yell at then?

you should be catching criminals

That won’t have the same effect when they are being dealt with by a ‘fluorescent’ orange jacketed security officer who has stopped them for a particular sector of crime and they won’t be able to say that because of course they will only be employed to deal with that type of offence, oh, sorry, it’s already happening, we have already started to employ security in to our custody areas, and ‘traffic officers’ on motorways, as well as security officers who can deal with shoplifting. So when they say you should be catching _________________(fill in the blank), they will be able to say ‘actually, no I’m not authorised’.
The point is the ‘Police Constable’, the warranted officer, will be a rare commodity.

We are being hounded by the Government, paying more money for a pension (which is the highest public sector pension), which is going to be worth peanuts, getting less money for putting our lives at risk for the sake of our community and our families, so next time you say ‘I pay your wages’, just think Do you? Do you really? Some of you might contribute, as we do, to our wages, but see it as a positive, because soon you will be paying for security officers, and Police Officers just might be a thing of the past.


4 Responses to “‘You should be out catching criminals’”
  1. pj21****** says:

    See you on May 10th Sir/Ma’am.

  2. John Crossley says:

    Wish the majority of the public would read your blog, then the assholes who come out and say to a police officer “We pay your wages” They hopefully, but very much doubt it would realise that a PCs wages are hard earned especially having to listen to the shit that they have to put with. Keep blogging.

  3. Dave says:

    As a special (an therefore unpaid), I’ve always been amused by the “I pay your wages” line… it’s quite pathetic, really!

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