All posts tagged 'police'

Hang on a minute, this is ridiculous!

by The Codgers' Club Friday, October 11 2013

by Alan Watkins

Nothing is more irritating than waiting on the phone for someone to answer.

I spent more than seven minutes the other day on one such call – or rather, on two calls because the first time I inadvertently cut myself off trying to see how long I had been waiting.

Each time there were the customary platitudes from the computerised voice.

The classic was: “Don’t hang up. We are experiencing high volumes of calls.”

There was an invitation to use the organisation’s website and repeated assurances that calls are answered in turn.

“Please be assured that all calls are answered in strict rotation.”

And all the time there was what sounded like a specially-commissioned piece of dubious “soothing” computa-muzak.

It is a question of whether one is soothed by the digital sounds or would prefer that infuriating “ring-ring” tone on which we Codgers grew up.

Eventually I got through to someone who sounded like a gum-chewing East Ender, the sort that Terry Scott used to encounter in shops as she buffed her nails.

As it happens I consider my call was important to them, but first I had to give my name, my address…

“We have your telephone number!” she said ...

I didn’t argue: they were experiencing high volumes of calls. The number I rang? – 111. That’s right, this is the police “non-urgent” phone line designed to free up 999 calls for real emergencies.

My call? It was about a missing person the police – and his family – had been increasingly worried about, and had put out appeals. We passed each other in the street.

To say I was not impressed was understating the obvious, especially when his body was discovered a few days later.

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Categories: Moans and groans

Good news is a big PR exercise by the police

by The Codgers' Club Friday, January 7 2011

by Alan Watkins

It cannot have escaped the attention of readers that the police are coming out with lots of good news for us this winter.

Crime is down. Street prostitutes are a thing of the past. Our smiling coppers are working with all sorts of community groups. Partnerships are the in thing.

Bad news is out. Just ask Steve Corbishley, our ever-smiling Top Cat at the Gavver Station (aka the Cop Shop at Gillingham Gate).

There’s a bright orange bus with SOS on its side (though these days I suspect SOS is a cry for funding rather than its avowed purpose to save the drunk, drugged, dehydrated or simply over-partied young hanging around Medway’s nightspots).

Thanks to the telly, the Fuzz has introduced Britain to a new source of storage once trouser pockets, handbags and purses become too full. It’s known as the Chatham Pocket (though fortunately some of us prefer a Man Bag).

Rumours abound about the demise of cannabis factories, brothels and speeding drivers. You’ll be delighted to know, for example, that there are only two burglaries a day in Medway.

From the Neighbourhood Watch reports I see they appear to be in the same small residential area in Gillingham, which means the rest of us see no criminal activity.

So we can all sleep soundly in our beds then, can’t we? Is it possible it all has something to do with the impending election of a police commissioner for Medway?

Or are they being lulled into a sense of wellbeing by our failure to report the attempted car thefts, petty pilferings and misdemeanours associated with misunderstood members of the community crying out for help?

I regret it has all the hallmarks of being a massive PR exercise.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see who decides to stand to be our first commissioner – our Happy Chappie Constabulary can’t stand.

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TV documentary features real heroes of our force

by The Codgers' Club Friday, November 12 2010

by Peter Cook

Allowing the cameras in to the custody suite at Medway Police Station showed great courage and an enlightened spirit by the local force.

It was particularly commendable that senior officers kept out of the picture, allowing civilian staff and the officers who actually do the job, to tell the story.

And a depressing story it was, revealing the revolving door of drug takers committing crimes to support their habits, going to prison, and then coming out to do it all over again.

As the custody sergeant said, the only way for them to break the cycle would be to get clear away from Medway and the influences that perpetuate their decline.

To my mind, the men and women of the custody suite are the real heroes of the Police Force.

There is no glamour in what they do. It’s an endless round of booking people in, clearing up after them, and watching them deteriorate from healthy youngsters into derelict human beings who have lost all control of their lives.

It’s the side of life that most of us prefer not to know about. But still these officers and civilians carry on with great good humour and forbearance, knowing that the people they lock up will play the system and give them the run-around, often dishing out drunken verbal abuse.

Like most viewers, I suppose, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by reference to the notorious “Chatham pocket”, a handy orifice for storing useful items such as a cigarette lighter or a mobile phone in conditions where there is no chance of contamination by sunlight.

One chap apparently had two mobile phones stored, together with chargers! So what happens if you get a call?

Can you get a signal up there? And what happens if you get a sudden coughing fit and accidentally dial The White House or somewhere?

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