Coppers - CH4 - 21.00 tonight

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Active Member
Sep 2, 2008
E300DT-W210-1997-Elegance-Azurite Metalic Blue. (Don't mention the rust, LOL) Running on WVO. 65k m
Very accurate - trust me.

And the guy behind the programme has written an excellent piece in this week's Radio Times. Well worth a read and al too true.
Well at least they aren't going on about the "chatham pocket" tonight lol
Do you rats still carry a little fuzzy thing in your back window? :D
Ok so after the 'love gun' bit it was quite good.

Understand the issues the ginger chap has with dealing with NOK cos I'm just the same, lucky where I work as we have FLO's who now take this on after the initial death message knock.

Also the sentence for the driver who's actions caused the 60yo womans death is sadly too common. Again you try not to get tied into the court results or you'd just give the job up.
And I cant comment on the stickers in windows of private motors, but if you have one and your not a rat?....hmmmm
I've always had a deeply held respect and admiration for the police and the work they do; I know for a fact that I could not do the job myself.

Thankfully, my only encounters with them have been as a victim of crime (theft from car, house burglary) and the few times I've been stopped for, erm, enthusiastic driving. On those latter occasions I've naturally adopted a contrite attitude, on the assumption that if they've gone to the trouble of stopping me then they had good reason to do so. I'm pleased to say that in return I've only ever been treated with the utmost respect by the police. So far, so good.

However, since the advent of these warts-and-all documentaries, I have started to have grave misgivings about the calibre of some police officers, and this programme (which I've just watched on 4oD) did nothing to allay those fears. I suppose the aim of these shows is to demonstrate that the police are just ordinary people like you and me, but in doing so I believe they are undermining the regard in which the police have traditionally been held.

In the opening minutes of the show we were treated to an officer using the sort of language one might expect to hear from a miscreant they'd just arrested. Now, I'm not saying I never swear, but I would never do so in mixed company or in public. For an officer to do so knowing full well that his words are being recorded for broadcast shows a lack of self-control and judgement tantamount to bringing the force into disrepute. At least on this occasion his only immediate audience was his fellow officer (and the camera crew); I remember being genuinely shocked the first time I heard a policeman swear at a member of the public on a low-rent programme called "Street Wars", especially as later in the same episode they were seen arresting people for swearing at them, despite the fact that these people probably knew no better.

Bearing in mind that Coppers featured traffic officers, perhaps the worst trait on display was a distinct lack of discipline while driving. When the driver responding to the accident involving the overturned red car encountered other drivers (first a BMW, then a 4x4) blocking his lane, instead of just signalling to them to move over and then going on his way, he indulged in shouting pointless abuse and gesticulating as he drove past. As he reached the scene of the accident, he referred to the driver of a Senator as a muppet just because he seemed unsure which way to move to get out of the way. They must encounter this kind of behaviour all the time, so you'd think they be able to deal with it calmly by now.

This same officer was heard to admit that encountering poor driving by other motorists "makes my blood boil", which is precisely the opposite of what I would expect of a highly trained professional, driving at high speed in emergency conditions. I can understand police drivers getting frustrated with other road users - we all do - but if they start giving vent to their frustration, isn't that what's known as road rage?

In a similar vein, one of the officers had a glint in his eye as he described "fast cars" as one of the attractions of being a traffic officer. This put me in mind of the laddish Essex boys on a similar BBC programme, who used to speak with relish of the adrenaline rush they got from driving to an incident at high speed. This always struck me as being rather inappropriate, as their sole motivation while on the road should be to reach their destination as quickly and as safely as possible, rather than treating it as some kind of thrill ride that comes as a perk of the job.

Another bugbear is the general standard of spoken English. Is it too much to ask that our police force should be readily understood by those they interact with? I recall a hypothetical debate I had with a chum many years ago, in which I put forward the motion that as policemen generally worked in pairs, they should be deployed on the principle of 'brawn and brain', whereby one would be little more than a henchman, who would handle the apprehending and restraining, while the other, with a high IQ and a perfect RP delivery, would be responsible for communicating with the detainee. Of course, this wasn't a serious proposition, more a reaction to the decline in standards that was at that time starting to infect the recruitment process. Yet I was reminded of this when I heard officers featured in another programme repeatedly deliver the made-up charge of "driving otherwise in accordance with a licence". Add in the usually garbled reading of the rights statement and I'd say any lawyer worth his salt could get his client off on a technicality without too much trouble.
I was also less than impressed with their eating habits. I cringed as one of them guzzled a fizzy drink and munched his way through a portion of deep-fried cheesy kumquats (or whatever vile concoction McDougal's is serving to its unfortunate customers these days), sucking his fingers between each greasy mouthful while all the time delivering a 'piece to camera'. "Where are your manners!" I found myself shouting at the television. Elsewhere there was the spectacle of a fully grown man in charge of a police car, eating from a bag of kiddie-sweets in a most disgusting manner. "Where is your dignity!" I cried out loud. Even as I write this, the mere thought of my feeling compelled to direct such opprobrium at a member of the constabulary makes me shudder.

Bad language, aggression, sloppy speech, poor diets - am I picking on trivial points here, in relation to the overall body of work undertaken by the police? Quite possibly, but these are all indicators that the police are no longer the paragons I once held them to be. Perhaps they never were, but now the mask has slipped - or rather it has been voluntarily lowered - to reveal an unsavoury face. As institutions from the Magic Circle to the Royal Family have found to their cost, once the mystique has gone, all you're left with is the grim reality.

I still look up to the police - after all, that's how I was brought up - but doing so no longer comes quite as naturally as it once did.
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It is fair to say that standards have fallen from days gone by and the new Comish has I feel accepted that and is starting to address this and bring pride back into the Service, to BE an Officer and public IN thier Officers.

I appriciate that these programs give members of public a view of what we do and thats a good thing, but please do not think that we are all the same!

You have to 'opt in' to have a camara crew with you. All I would ask is look at the type of people who 'opt in' to reality TV shows. Do you think it takes a certain type of personality??

Judge the Officer as the person in front of you, not the one behind the screen.
I must agree that these programmes do seem to give a skewed picture . I work alongside lots of cops both at fire scenes and RTC's and , thankfully , know that the majority are decent guys doing a job of work , and generally doing it well .
Your Fire Service? Now THERES a job!, you guys run INTO the burning buildings!

Cap off to you. Stay safe.
Photographer with the Fire Service - one day : happy , smiley stuff ; next day : some of the not so nice stuff ...
OK , since you are a TPO , here's a question - I'd be interested in your opinion .

Not long after I started driving , I decided to better myself working up through IAM , LSD ( now Rospa ) etc - did instruction then got to the stage where I was teaching others to instruct .... I was one of three lucky ones picked to go to Police College and do driving part of TPO course , then PI so that we could train other instructors . This was late 1970's/early 1980's and we , of course , used the old , six feature system .

I try when I can to keep up to date , both going out with some of our guys ( full of admiration for the way they can get HGV's somewhere so quickly but still , mostly , safely ) and from time to time with police drivers .

What's with this new 'four phase' system ? Dumbing down - or what ?

Do you think a Class One certificate these days is still what it was 30 years ago ?
They have moved on again.

You now get a 2 week course (level 3 small BHP) then another 2 week course (level 2 for larger BHP) a further 2 week course for pursuit training (level 1).

Used to get class 1 or 2 in the level 1 section but it was felt it could seem a driver was not up to standard if they got a 2, so why pass the level 1?

TPO get another 2 weeks training for the m/cycle course. All the folks at my Garage still hold driving as our chosen vocation within the service and take the upmost pride in what we do.

I want other officers in my Service to see my battenburg vehicle and think 'oh hell its the rats, remember training, push pull the wheel rev on donw change, vision up, mirrors mirrors mirrors etc!', let alone a MOP seeing me in the rear veiw!

IAM does not seem now to hold much sway with insurers now though in the South, do you find the same up there?
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IAM does not seem now to hold much sway with insurers now though in the South, do you find the same up there?

thanks for that .

I don't think I ever got a discount for it that I couldn't equal or better just by shopping around . Just renewed insurance on my 500 last week - shopped around on phone and the internet and , out of a dozen or so companies tried , only one asked about IAM . Although I'm no longer a paid up member , I still have the badges on my cars , and like to think my driving is still at least up to their standards .

IAM did seem like quite an achievement when I did it at about 18 years of age ... once I had progressed a bit further up the ladder , my viewpoint changed - won't say any more than that as don't want to belittle or offend anyone : it is still and ALWAYS will be a good thing to do , as we all have room for improvement - not least me .
I appriciate that these programs give members of public a view of what we do and thats a good thing, but please do not think that we are all the same!

You have to 'opt in' to have a camara crew with you. All I would ask is look at the type of people who 'opt in' to reality TV shows. Do you think it takes a certain type of personality??

Judge the Officer as the person in front of you, not the one behind the screen.

Rest assured, any criticism in my post was directed solely at the behaviour demonstrated by those partaking in the programmes, and I hope I made it clear that I was not referring to the police in general. I'm not one to tar a whole profession with the same brush, but it is nevertheless a concern that the police are happy to have their officers portrayed in this manner.

If the reasoning is that it's just cinéma vérité, then surely there is a need to remind those behaving this way that they are supposed be setting an example to the rest of us, whether on TV or not.
Hello Moca

I share your concern that some managment level's appear to feel it acceptable to have thier Force/Service portrayed and represented by Officer using poor behaviour.

I can only asume it is an attempt by production teams to make the program 'more gritty', and then maybe the Police managment having not insisted on a 'first approval' viewing prior to broadcast?

Although I also feel that part of the practical driving test should include an section on how to respond to 'blue lights', again, sadly in the program the Officers behaviour was not what I would expect of myself or my working partner.

Cant see why he got so agitated? it happens so often you just forget it and move on!

All I would say is the the Officer's who should be on screen showing you what we do and how we do it, dont feel that they need to be on TV to do so.

And if you hear or see an Officer behaving in an unacceptable way, note thier Shoulder number and report it! you can do this by phone, e-mail or in person at a Station.
The tv people are making a tv programme. They are not writing an assessment report on the state of the police service. Many many hours of footage are recorded and the only parts selected for air are those which they think will get bums on seats in the living room (strictly my view). There is not much mileage in showing an uncontroversial bog standard encounter because there is no "action". So, I watch with interest but I don't extrapolate. We see the bit where it goes "wrong" but not the 1,000's of times it goes "right".

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