Monday, 28 June 2010

ACPO support, Trading Standards and a funeral

I've just read Crime Analysts latest post about the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Bizarre though this may seem,  it immediately put me in mind of the traveller git and his ilk who, several times a year, parks his tranny van and deluxe caravan on a pristine roadside verge a couple of miles up the road from here, for about 10 days at a time.

The white Ford Transit van disappears before dawn and doesn't reappear until after dark. Sometimes its gone for a couple of days. A female-type thing remains on site, in the caravan, dining outside on a picnic table if weather permits. They seem to live quite well as it is a very nice caravan and the tranny van seems brand new. I presume the bloke nips back from time to time to feed her. As the days drift by, several piles of shite appear adjacent to his `campsite` that include broken up lumps of concrete, smaller pieces of rubble, piles of topsoil, old washing machines and other domestic human detritus. Then these people suddenly vanish, leaving the verge looking like a scene of post apocalyptic earth, the sort of scene you'd see in films like `Terminator`. Then, after a few days, the Borough Council come along and remove it, making a very good effort at returning the verge to its natural, green and pleasant state.

For anyone unfamiliar with this sort of  entrepreneurial activity I'll explain. The git in the van has been knocking on doors in the area offering all sorts of `services` that would have included removing unwanted rubbish and laying a new, hastily mixed and seriously sub-standard tarmac driveway. The victims are usually, but not always, the elderly or vulnerable. For those who have been taken in by his blarney, there would have been a fee for this service that is always way in excess of the shabby job done.  He doesn't take the rubble and crap he's dug out to the local amenity dump like a registered trader would, because he'd be charged for the use thereof, so he dumps it on the side of the road to let the council foot the bill. Its brilliantly simple. He effectively gets paid twice for doing a crap job, has no responsibility to the locality or the poor customer he has duped and, when he moves on, the locals pick up the bill for cleaning up the crap he has left in his wake and the poor punter who paid for the `service` in the first place is well and truly shafted.

During my latter years in the police, I would occasionally ponder on my mortality. It happens as one gets older and nothing tends to focus one's mind more sharply that when one attends the funeral service of a colleague. As in every such event, the younger the late departed was, the harder the slap in the face it gives you. It came to a point where I just didn't want to go to any more, but I did, taking the view that funerals are really for the living and I wanted to be there to show the loved ones of the person I served with that I respected them. Strange as this might seem, but I once said to Mrs Hogday that in the event of my death, in service, it was my strong desire to have no one from the ACPO (SMT) group of my force present - and I meant absolutely none. My reasons were simple; they meant nothing to me, they did nothing for me and the only time I really could have done with their support, it wasn't there - in bucketloads.

So there you have it. I still find it a little odd that Analyst's article on ACPO should flash up the image of the traveller up the road and my thoughts on my own service funeral, but it did.

21 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Not before you've come for beers!

allcoppedout said...

Senior management in every job I've done fit this model Hoggie. I wonder, in my own time, whether I turned into such a shabby creature myself. Friends have told me in various proportion I was too drunk, mad or too decent to qualify for the Pigeons' Wings (proving I could fly in,eat all the food and leave a total mess behind) as a boss. In my own memory, I couldn't eat at their table without consuming shame.
I have found these people lie at the drop of a hat and often have no clue about evidence other than what they have learned they can get away with by bullying and treating others like shit. We talk about stereotyping categorisation and groupthink in my current game, but the truth is it's lying from self-deception.
I share this vision and it makes me sick. Sadly,I am seeing ordinary cops display similar tendencies in not treating everyone on the same fair basis.

CI-Roller Dude said...

That "foot ball" announcer looks like he's going to have a heart attack. Give the man some drugs.

powdergirl said...

Well, maybe you're just an odd guy?
Wow, I can't believe your 'travelers" get away with that. Around here, dumping waste anywhere but at our state-of-the-art landfills will get you killed, at least, if they catch you.
But hey, can I come to your funeral? I mean, I know I've never done anything for you either, but I'm a real hit at wakes and funerals, with wakes being my fave of the 2 : )

allcoppedout said...

Perhaps the travellers would get prosecuted if they left some coconuts behind. Use of the word has gained a criminal conviction for the black councillor who merely used the term in speech in Bristol? I have checked the use above is not a speech crime.

Hogday said...

Powdergirl: I totally agree with you. Over here, `travellers` who do this sort of thing are rarely prosecuted because the local authority take the view that it would cost more to prosecute/secure/obtain evidence than to just clean up after them. They are also scared o issues surrounding the Human Rights Act for some strange reason - like its a right to dump shit on the highway?! WTF? Plus, these `people` create a big public order problem and the local authorities and the police always blink first. I didn't blink when I dealt with an `invasion` but when my boss got back from leave I was told off for my positive action. I showed him the bundle of letters of thanks I'd received from a grateful public, but to no avail, my bollocking stood.PS. My word verification to add this comment was `ranted`. Yeah, right.

Hogday said...

The bastard's back again! I'm thinking `Napalm`......

Blue Eyes said...

Hogday, I reckon your Jedi Mind Tricks might do the - err - trick.

allcoppedout said...

It's a real pain when you can't even expect them to travel off and multiply Hog. My word this time is 'thogy', perhaps some as yet unmarketed item of female attire?

江婷 said...

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Hogday said...

ACO: OED>"Thogy", `a person who will dig up a roadside verge and then sell it to the local unsuspectings as `lawn turf`.

archytas said...

Much better than mine Hog - though which is the most distasteful? I get halti this time. I can only think a halti-thogy would be slutwear.

I am strangely obsessed at the moment by the idea that cop responses and competence should be statistically measured in a new way, and where forces claim they can't make calls because of prioritising, extra people should be recruited within the existing pay budget until they can. I suspect this would reduce the chocolate-dipped strawberry glut!

Hogday said...

Archy`: Beautifully simple. I liken this to when I was talking to an American police officer about tactics for dealing with some of the more extreme fighting dogs. He said that the best thing to do if a Bandog got through your defences and was coming for you, was to decide which limb you felt you could most easily live without....and just ensure the dog got it's jaws on that first. Come on ACPO, shake a leg.....

InvisibleWoman said...

Hmm, am I the only one to find the description of a woman as a female-type thing offensive?

allcoppedout said...

Hoggie - this metaphor is brilliant. I intend to plagiarise extensively - an interesting and potentially unwary admission in a future world in which my book makes money!

Amongst such stuff as 'female type thing' (descriptive not sexist?) and 'thogy', we perhaps need a word for a soccer player creaming himself as the other team misses the penalty that has just got him sent off, and his team win in the penalty shoot out (Urcheataguy?). What happened to shame? Does it disappear forever on the first chocolate-dipped strawberry?

I once stiffed some marauding forward intent on taking me and the ball over our try line and thus depriving me and 12 mates of winning pay. He bought my fist beer after the game, but Dad didn't speak to me for weeks. Morality is tough,but I'm still ashamed.

Hogday said...

Invisible Woman: The `thing` I described was part of this evil thieving person's modus operandi. They are well known and have done this stuff before. They prey, typically, on the vulnerable and old. They offer to do work, always do a pathetically poor job with the minimum of effort and skill, charge an outrageous amount of cash and then when this is challenged they intimidate those they have duped by use of threats of extreme violence (including one example I dealt with, of dousing family pets in paraffin and threatening to set them on fire, traumatising the owners and their children) in order to extract `payment` - Its actually called "Blackmail" in law. They use their children to assist them in distracting their victims by inducing sympathy in the victim before violating them and their property.

The last case I dealt with was just a few years ago, where an 84 year old lady was distracted by a `mother` and her 5 yr old daughter, who feigned pain and distress by spinning a yarn about the childs lost puppy. The old lady looked after the child, gave her a drink of orange and went to help her search for the `missing puppy` whilst the rest of the team burgled her home of cash and her most treasured possessions ie her late husbands war medals, his wedding ring and other items of great sentimental value. The mother actually trains the child do do this shit. I dealt with the old lady not as a police officer, as I'd retired by then, but in my capacity as a member of the charity "Victim Support".

In all my 30 years of policing these people were, for me, the most odious and evil parasites I ever encountered. Even then, I always approached each encounter in the vain hope that I would meet a half decent one. I never did. Those words you picked up on were the result of a lifetime of bad experiences caused by dealing with these people. I confess that I despise them and clearly still do. I suppose they damaged me and by using the terminology that offended you I showed that they still get to me and I sometimes speak out my inner feelings :(

I have lots of stories like this, but I rarely voice them on this blog. When I do I tell it like it was and how it affected me. If you have never encountered people like this, and most decent people won't, then you are indeed fortunate.
PS: I'm not a masculist.

Allcopped: An honourable mention or a reference in the bibliog` is all I'd ask ;)

allcoppedout said...

Indeed, Sir, I expected no less from you.
No doubt you came across decent gypsies as I did too. Our system seems increasingly capable of money-raising from those of us who will pay and less able with recidivists like criminal travellers. We could do with a database of such stories to guide decision-making. I suspect most of this is done through fiction.

Hogday said...

ACO: Yes, I met some real good Gypsies. The thing that amazed me re `crimtravs` (christ, I'm beginning to go all Newspeak) was my guvnor not being able (or having the spine) to weigh up the human rights of the community-in-brick majority and the travellers, see whose rights were being denied the most and then make the decision to act.

allcoppedout said...

Spine? They struggle to be bi-pedal! I used to find most comments about ethnic minorities a load of cobblers, but we have created something much worse through political correctness. I hate racism and PC has become a vicious form of it.
Clestrap this time - sounds like a PC version of claptrrap.
Germans were a bit ruthless. Thank goodness they were invading Argentina.
Did you know CB Fry, the ultimate sporting gentleman, was so impressed by the Nazis he invited Goering to come over and play cricket? Perhaps the blitz was just an attempt to created an Ashes trophy on megalomaniac scale?

sparkcheck said...

I have yet to run across a decent gypsy. I imagine you have many more of them over there than we do over here, so maybe your chances of running into a decent one are better?

Hogday said...

Sparkcheck: Thanks for the return visit. It should be every officers duty to write about a decent gypsy encounter! My tale was of a thieving itinerant/traveller and I am still waiting to tell a good story about them.