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  1. I'm a PC. I was a Special. Always been a cop. I'll more than happily have a frank conversation with anyone that disagrees. We harp on and on about the differentiation in skills between specials and regulars, much like the army did with the (then) TA. See "STABs". Cue 10 years later, and as a nation we've sent out Army Reserve soldiers to Afghan and Iraq to fight shoulder to shoulder with their regular colleagues with great success. 2 of the 3 SAS regiments are formed predominantly of reservists. Retained firefighters are competent; Army, RAF and Navy reservists are competent; NCA Specials are competent. See the trend? I invite anyone to tell me that operating in an actual war-zone is any less challenging than policing a city on Saturday night, because it's just not. There is a lack of skill in some, or many, specials, but that's not an indication of their inability to perform, it's an indicator of poor training, investment and management. Forces in the UK have suffered from a chronic lack of trust in our Specials, which then causes the skill deficiency that we all seem so hellbent on pointing out. Perhaps we should have a word with ourselves and start trusting the good folks that put on the uniform and get stuck in? 5 years ago, most of my force would scoff at a special having TPAC or an advanced bike course. Pan forward to the present, and some do, and are far more competent than I am. Don't even try to tell me that Specials can't use Taser, because I know of one that was trained and carried taser, and pottered on more than able to handle herself- strangely, hell hasn't quite yet frozen over. Rather facetiously, that means that 100% of the specials that I've met with taser were able to handle it. I fully expect the inevitable 'oh but surfer that's different, the army are different, it's comparing apples and oranges' ad nauseum. The simple fact is that volunteers can and are able to be more than competent enough. If we're going to arm our regulars (and I fully support routine arming), we should arm our specials. Also, as an aside- I was chased around a panda by a bloke with a machete once, as a special. That wasn't a call, it was something I came across.
  2. I'm a special working on response in the city, when I turn up for duty Saturday for either afters or nights (after working full time all week), this prevents a regular being single crewed. I attend the exact same incidents all other units do and have never backed off or been treated any differently by my section. People who want to fight or high on drugs intent on smashing their house up don't look at me and say he's a special, I won't try and assault that one. Regulars don't say you sit in the car for this one it could be a bit risky. On my second ever shift I was sent to a grade 1 with my tutor as a man was in A&E with a knife threatening staff. I've never once left a duty early, I'm always bang on time for briefing and stay till the very end. I will never pretend to do half the job you regulars do, but you should show some respect for people who admire the role you do and give up their free time to help out. I have a start date for the regs later this year and I'm so glad I put time in as a special beforehand, yes there are useless ones but you shouldn't tar us all with the same brush.
  3. Actually you are talking rubbish to be blunt. No unarmed officer should knowingly be deployed to an incident where firearms, edged weapons are being used or the person is otherwise so dangerous (suicide bombers). However often the information intelligence in these types of incidents isn't always be reliable. By their very nature they are spontaneous, chaotic and fast moving, was it 82 seconds for the Westminster bridge attack? Frontline officers part time, full time, uniformed, plain clothes or specials should be trained to the required standards to protect themselves and the public. No one, not even you with your vast experience knows where or when the next attack will take place or which officer will be first to respond.
  4. To be honest other peoples' subjective opinions about when to do x, y or z are not really that useful to you. Every force has its fads (remember that thread about the force where one person a week is gassed in custody? That never happens where I am) and every investigating officer who reviews a use of force will be influenced by their own experience and opinion as we all are. The facts are that you can use reasonable force not only to defend yourself or another but also in circumstances where you might in truth be the aggressor - to effect an arrest for instance where someone is simply trying to escape, or to conduct a forcible search. If the only way you can stop a prisoner from breaking free from you is to spray them and you honestly believe that what you've done was necessary then that is strong evidence that only reasonable action has been taken. It's worth having a read of S76 Criminal Justice & Immigration Act which codifies a lot of caselaw around the use of force into statute. How other people will perceive your use of force comes down mostly to how you write it down because a lot of the evidence is the belief you hold in your head, and for that purpose the NDM is helpful as it allows you to set the scene, explain what you knew at the time and your perception of the risk, explain what you were trying to achieve and the factors in your mind and what you did or didn't consider. It's not enough to simply say well he was aggressive so I gassed him; you need to go into more detail to really explain your state of mind. For instance: I was confronted by Mr X who was shouting loudly at me and kept coming within arm's reach despite me asking him to stay back. I would put his height and weight around six foot four and eighteen stone, markedly bigger than myself. He was wearing a vest top and I could see he was of muscular build; I also noticed a teardrop tattoo below his right eye which I know is regarded in many quarters as a sign of a violent past, and his left ear was cauliflowered which I have seen before in boxers and martial artists. He was waving his arms, tensing his muscles and clenching his fists, flecks of spittle were flying from his mouth as he spoke and I could smell intoxicating liquor on his breath. I formed the belief that through his state of agitation he would be difficult to reason with, that he was volatile, could potentially become violent and that if he did I would be in a position of considerable disadvantage and personal risk. I considered my tactical options and felt that given his strength and build empty hand skills were unlikely to be successful, and because he kept entering my reactionary gap the use of a baton was not practicable. I requested other officers to assist me but was aware that due to the operational tempo they would have to travel from some distance away, leaving me on my own for up to ten minutes. As I continued to speak to Mr X he suddenly shouted "I've ####ing had enough of this ####" and pulled off his vest; I believed this was a precursor to an immediate attack and so I took a step back, drew my PAVA irritant from my belt and deployed it in two short bursts from a distance of approximately four feet towards his face. Whoever reads that can put themselves exactly in your shoes, and will be able to appreciate your state of mind far better. I learned this the hard way; I used force which someone felt was contentious, my statement at the time wasn't great and lacked detail and so I was served forms. When you're investigated you have a right of reply via a duty report within ten working days, so I got some proper advice and submitted a far better report. There wasn't any case to answer and had I presented my case better on paper in the first place chances are it'd have never gone that far.
  5. I was dead against routine arming when I joined. I thought firearms officers went to all calls involving weapons and there were loads of them in a cupboard somewhere that get wheeled out when required. The reality is unarmed officers have to go because there aren't enough armed officers and sometimes the people sitting in the control room are too reluctant to deploy them even when the deployment criteria are plainly met. We put unarmed officers in vulnerable positions far, far too often and are lucky it doesn't go wrong more often. When seconds count an ARV is only minutes away. In the last few months we've seen one unarmed officer killed in a knife attack and another seriously injured yet up and down the country forces will continue to deploy unarmed officers to knife calls. I don't see how anybody can argue that model works. We don't have the firearms capability to resource those calls with ARVs alone. We also don't have the capability to defend ourselves effectively when faced with a knife spontaneously. I didn't realise just how vulnerable police officers are when I started but it has been brought into sharp focus recently.
  6. I see no significant difference in time of deploying a sidearm or a baton. The only difference I would have seen is PC Marques far less injured, three dead terrorists and far fewer casualties. PC Marques is not just a hero, it was true valour but it would have been better if he was able to have said, Saw these three attacking members of the public, serious risk to life so I shot them all dead - The End, or not quite, I am on duty tomorrow because I sustained no injuries. That could have been the outcome had he had a sidearm. Zulu22, even you must find that hard to argue against.
  7. A simple yes in all three would have sufficed.
  8. For one @Zulu 22 how do you know which calls won't require a taser or firearm? Someone on the phone is telling someone with a radio who is telling an officer with a radio that something is going on....and yet the thinking is we can make sound response judgements? Guns and tasers could be, and have been, needed on the simplest of calls and if you dare to classify anything a police officer handles as "low risk" then a very dangerous mindset of complacency has set in. Further I still do not understand why it seems they want to separate your regulars and specials and treat the specials as a lower class version of a police officer when they are risking their lives in a volunteer capacity. The equivalent here are no different than me. The uniform is identical and so is the training. We all regularly train together and they are expected to perform to the same standard. They drive a patrol car and respond to any call that a full time officer would do, only they do it for free.
  9. The thugs are already carrying machetes and spraying acid in their victims faces. I wonder what you mean by 'upping their game'. It's all very well saying that 'vigilate justice has no place etc. etc.' but you're not a moped delivery driver working on the streets of London. It seems like vigilante justice is the only kind of justice that's being delivered right now.
  10. Personally, I think we should be training our officers well enough and trusting them to carry anything they need to do their job. Without a doubt, there is significant scrutiny attached to taser, but 20 something years ago there was the same stigma attached to CS spray. Some officers will no doubt fall foul of this, but I don't think leaving them ill-equipped is a suitable alternate.
  11. I still don't understand why there is a suggestion that cops on the mainland are somehow sub standard to the PSNI or anywhere in the world for that matter. I think if this were to be discussed seriously personal opinions would need to be set aside. The question is can the Police currently deal with weapons/lethal threats effectively and efficiently? If the answer is no then there is a duty to equip officers with the necessary equipment. End of really. Public perception, Policing by consent, the hypothetical officer who can't be trusted with a paper clip, the media etc don't really matter. What matters is the safety of officers and most importantly safety of the British public.
  12. I think that might well be force specific, I know what our close protection officers carry and it isn't just a firearm. As for a detective out and about, according to our SOPs they should be wearing their body armour and carrying a radio, spray, baton and cuffs already. I don't know any that routinely carry/wear all that but some of the better ones will have it near to hand. They shouldn't be out and about in public with anything less than a uniformed officer is expected to carry but the reality is that isn't really enforced and a lot of them do as they please! I crew up with a regular normally when working (double crewing is still the norm in Scotland) and go to whatever they get sent to, be it knife calls or other calls involving weapons. We cover an area nearly three times the size of the area policed by GMP from my station, can easily just be two officers on at a time. If we didn't send Specials to calls involving weapons then we'd be sending single crewed, unarmed regulars instead in a lot of cases with back up quite some distance away and armed officers even further than that. I attend the same types of calls as my regular colleagues though. Unarmed officers, regular or special, should not be attending the types of call Taser or firearms are required for but we have to on a regular basis and are not being given the tools to protect ourselves or the public at these kinds of incident. In a lot of areas there just isn't anyone else to attend and I don't know of any of my regular colleagues who would rather attend a weapon call single crewed than attend with a Special.
  13. I applaud the decision but it's rather like saying "we've decided to give our officers more air to breathe". I mean, great, but they should have this all along! That aside, once concerning aspect of the article is, as others have mentioned, the implication that you are issuing more tasers out due to an increase in knife crime. Really, knife crime? It should say you are issuing out firearms due to an increase in knife crimes! If you bring a taser to a knife fight then you are unprepared! Same applies to the metal stick and hot sauce. I'm not trying to make light of the situation but I believed I've mentioned it here before that our training is to never use a taser against a lethal threat without lethal coverage. And that is not just our training, that is also what comes direct from Taser. I cannot even estimate the number of drills we went through to make sure no one made the mistake of pulling their taser when confronted with a knife or gun. What's the procedure or training if a suspect takes a taser away from an officer? Our training considers anyone pointing a taser at us a deadly threat. Are your vests equipped properly, since the voltage from a taser dart can travel through body armor. Luckily they have started making our vests with something called "thorshield" which stops the electric current. Taser works great, when it works great. It's not a magical arrest space gun. Just like OC/CS is not arrest in a can either. Don't mistake what I'm saying though. We have used it successfully many times against violent unarmed people and against armed or potentially armed persons as well, however, in each of those armed situations there was another officer providing coverage with a firearm. That doesn't include the many times it's just been pulled and pointed to defuse a situation. And this bit about not including Specials - are they a lower class version of police officers, not entitled to the same protection? Are they not entrusted with public safety? Ridiculous. And a selection process? Every cop needs one! There should be no question with any of this.
  14. I always make time to fill it in. If the job queue starts getting big then it'll have to wait. The NPCC want it doing then I'll do it, along with my PNB, log, crime, safeguarding report, DASH and Taser form. Then when the bosses start complaining of missed target times they can take a good look at themselves.
  15. Maybe that you can't miss an opportunity for a dig
  16. Couldn't agree more. Good point well made. To me this point can't just be glossed over or ignored. We can never accept bloodshed that can be prevented. As we have gone over quite a few times now it really does wind me up when people continually say that it wouldn't be possible to arm the police in the UK, the officers wouldn't be able to do it etc. Pretty much every other country in the world can do it, are we saying that British cops are sub standard? The argument around training people to ARV level is ridiculous. Why would everyone need to be trained to this level? As I have said before people only seem to see 'all or nothing'. My biggest concern is this is what would actually be discussed by chief officers and we would get no further forward. Put it this way we wouldn't expect every person on the road to drive to F1 racing standard, doesn't mean we should insist no one can have a licence. This isn't a trailblazing idea or some new invention. We are way behind the times and need to catch up. The longer we dilly dally around the more we are exposing hard working officers and members of the public to unnecessary risk.
  17. Whether you work once a week or once a month as a Special you can still be expected to attend the same types of call. We wouldn't decide Specials who work less often don't require body armour, it's absolutely mad to equate the level of protection we afford an officer with how often they work. I'm not allowed to disadvantage the safety of my part time staff at my own job compared with the full time staff I manage. It costs a fortune to sort PPE for all of our part time staff and some of them only work once in a blue moon but I cannot morally or legally say they are less worthy of the protection I afford my full time staff. I work more often than some of the regulars on part time patterns at my station, we wouldn't dream of saying they shouldn't be afforded the same protection as their full time colleagues because the reality is when they are in they are expected to deal with whatever comes in. They can't turn around and say "I'm only part time so I can't attend that knife call" and neither can a Special so why afford either of them less protection?
  18. Any officer at any time may have to confront a dangerous individual or situation - You are talking rubbish.
  19. Thank you all again for the lovely comments on my last post! I'm well into my second set of shifts now so I thought I'd update you on my time on division so far. My first few days were very eventful, from my first ever real blue light run to a sudden death to arresting a violent pensioner, and I've learnt so much about not only the job but myself already. A few years ago, like many, I didn't quite realise that the job of a Police Officer stretches so much further than fighting and solving crime. We are counselors when none are available, we are mental health nurses when they won’t attend, we are ambulance when they’re too far away, we are friends to those who have none, we are ears to those who have nobody to turn to, we are shoulders for those who need to cry, we are the final option and last resort for those in crisis, we are the barrier between a fighting couple, a lifeline for a terrified parent, we are those who can be blamed when things go wrong, and we are the people who the public hold so much expectation on to do the right thing all the time and every time. It's been a massive lesson to me from my very first day on the beat and to be honest I've appreciated every second of being this side of the job. All my new colleagues are amazing, all so strong and hard working, even when the shifts drag on for hours and our eyelids are so heavy on night shifts. I've been worried about the massive pressure to get everything right but I've had so much advice and support from everyone at my station already that I'm so happy to be there. I don't want to go into any detail about the jobs I've been to but I've had a massive eye-opener into the lives of some people and it's been really, really interesting. You view the world differently after just one shift in this job, honestly! It's a massive emotional and physical drain engaging yourself in so many different people's lives every day, often at some of the hardest times they'll ever face, and keeping your own head above the water to be able to help them. A few times I've felt instinct come over me and as much as I've felt like I don't know what to do or say, the words have just come out of my mouth and I really hope I'm doing okay for a beginner! I've learnt pretty quickly that it is SO much about how you can talk to people and get them to respond to you. I experienced my first real interview and was able to lead as well which was a really great experience. I was so nervous but as soon as I started with the questions they just came naturally and I felt like I had found my style that worked with this particular interviewee. I've been able to tag along with my tutor's withstanding crime enquiries which has been great as I've been able to watch some of the processes I'll be going through when clocking and investigating crimes. So far everyone has said I've been really dunked in at the deep end with some of the things I've attended with my tutor but I still go home at the end of every shift so excited to come in again the next day, and even though as the adrenaline wears off towards the end of every shift I am absolutely exhausted, I am really loving every second of it. I was so worried that after coming so far and through training that I wouldn't enjoy the 'real' side of policing but it's one hundred times better than what I expected it to be, it's great. I've never felt mental and physical exhaustion like I've felt the past couple of weeks, and I know that I 'ain't seen nothing yet but I suppose it's just because I'm learning so much so quickly that my brain is fried trying to keep up, but the rewarding feeling of leaving work every day feeling like I might have made a little difference in at least one person's life each day is enough for me. I plan on continuing to update throughout my tutorship with anything I think may help anyone else going through the process of training, or anyone like me who, before joining, loved reading beat stories!! Thanks for reading x
  20. I don't want to be that guy, but policing is most definitely not for everyone. If you're a bit of a snowflake, it's not for you. If you're touchy feely, it's not for you. If you're a sensitive soul that believes that there is good in everybody, it's not for you. I would implore people to "try before you buy" and become a special or PCSO. That said neither of those is ever going to give you the experience of constantly being held on, being recalled to duty, being berated by supervisors and completely undervalued by SMTs and the public. You won't experience the massive toll on your health, mental health and family life. Policing is the bipolar of the employment world, you will experience exhilarating highs and crippling lows.
  21. The issue here is bigger than spit hoods, I agree with @SimonT post. The problem is we pander to anyone and everyone no matte how ignorant or biased they are. I just don't understand it. People are being brought up now and conditioned to challenge every ounce of authority. There is a message that police should be challenged, it's okay resist arrest if they feel in the right or are a 'child' no matter what the nature of the offence. Not to mention the restrictions on stop search and arrests. Its frightening really what things will be like in another 5-10 years. It has to reach breaking point somewhere where people in positions of power stop listening to the utter nonsense. As with various threads on different kit, the police need the kit and policies to help prevent and detect crime and safeguard people. Simple as that really. If a criminal hurts themselves or others due to THEIR criminal or reckless actions then they should be dealt with for it. Full stop. Not dragging officers through the mill for it. If a criminal spits at an officer and had a spit hood placed on them then who cares? No one cares about their objections. The same applies to pretty much any situation. As long as the actions are lawful, justified and proportionate then tough luck if someone is 'offended'. The liberal crazy obsession with peace and love and the sheer naivety of the vocal minority as actually doing more harm than good to our communities and it needs to stop.
  22. So having arrived in Glasgow last night for a festival, I went out on the hunt to find suitable parking spaces in the city. I left looking for a parking space, and came back with a final offer of employment as a Police Officer! At the moment it hasn't really sunk in, and I doubt it will seem real until I've passed out, but after starting a degree in Policing in September 2013, to applying and being rejected in 2014, it feels like a long long process has finally come to an abrupt end! Thanks to the many of you on this forum who have offered support and advice throughout the process - I wouldn't recognise any of you walking down the street but your help throughout has got me the job I always wanted and I'm truly grateful to those who are too many to name individually! Have a good weekend everyone, time to celebrate with Thom Yorke and a pint of warm, watered down lager!!
  23. Are they able to advise what this alternative might be? Pixie dust delivered by winged unicorn perhaps.
  24. OK guys everyone make a note, unless we're the OIC we can't discuss anything on here from news articles, Zulu22's orders. may aswell shut the forum down now eh?
  25. I've been so used to typing messages to my partner that I have once replied to a work colleague and end it with kisses.. It's something that took a few years to get over, especially when the shift kept blowing kisses when you walk in the room.
  26. I'm going to say we've all been guilty of theft at some point in our careers if this is the threshold. I bet you've put a drop of milk in your tea from another sections fridge, walked past the bait room with an open pack of biscuits and munched one etc etc. There will be more to this than is being reported or released by the force as others have said.
  27. I think it's nice to see someone trying to take positive steps to try and increase health and morale. Remember 'Sport' doesn't have to be running/circuits/gym, it could be anything like Golf, Horse Riding, Cricket etc... 3 days a year paid, playing golf, and people will still complain...
  28. I don't think so much of whether it is theft, it clearly is. I think it is the punishment and perhaps the route it has been taken. However, as I said in my previous post was it a case of the only thing they could pin on an underperforming cop, or is it a case of a prolific biscuit pincher and it has been a test case with three digestives, two Jaffa cakes four custard creams and a chocolate hob nob taken into consideration.
  29. Zulu you wouldn't get my vote but you may consider a career in politics I will leave our disagreement here but although you state you have not changed your stance, your posts on here would beg to differ! I would also beg to differ on the threat level, yes we face a different threat here, but none the less a very real threat. But you are entitled to your opinion, although again reading your comments here and on other threads you make a poor unconvincing argument.
  30. Or is the 2 billion saving the country? Because the alternative of possibly another election and Corbyn and his comrades getting in doesn't bare thinking about..
  31. Taser is of limited use when faced with 3 men armed with a knife. All officers should have taser as standard, but thy should have PPWs now in my opinion. As already stated, PSNI mange it. The Army managed it in NI after all
  32. No need for an armed police force, no way, that wouldn't be British. Oh the horror/think of the children/that's just not cricket etc etc etc.
  33. But then you're taking a huge gamble with officer safety by saying only a certain percentage of officers will ever be attacked. You don't know who those officers will be, when it will happen, which call/incident they'll be dealing with/come across, what weapon will be used etc. The aim is to provide officers with a PPW that they can use when needed but hopefully never need to. Why do you find it acceptable to 'chance it' with officer safety? Is it because you yourself have dealt with armed incidents successfully as an unarmed officer and therefore think it'll work out that way for everybody? You should have a chat with PC Marques from BTP who got stabbed in the face when trying to stop the London Bridge attackers. He wasn't responding to a call, he came across the incident on patrol. He didn't have any other option but his baton because of views like yours.
  34. I'm not sure by what definition a Special Constable is not frontline to be honest. Unarmed regulars also shouldn't be getting sent to jobs involving weapons. An unarmed regular has no more protection than a Special and is just as vulnerable in those circumstances.
  35. Put it this way, if the first officers on scene at the London Bridge attack had been armed they could've ended it there and then and possibly saved themselves and others from being further injured. Not taking anything at all away from him and his colleagues they are heroes.
  36. The one time I've used CS was on a burglar trying to escape on a rooftop. My justification was that he ignored my commands, including a warning CS would be used, and I could see he was clearly eyeing up whether to go over the roof, or come straight at me. He was higher up than me, and I was alone, stood on top of a fire escape. We were both in precarious positions, and if I'd done nothing he could have knocked me off, or fallen himself. If I'd gone hands on, there was a risk we'd both fall. I saw the opportunity to spray him whilst he was in a relatively safe position and it worked, he was then dragged onto the fire escape and detained. He wasn't being violent in the slightest, but the use was still justified. I used force to effect an arrest, and chose the most reasonable level of force available to me. It was necessary to protect my self and another (himself), and it was more than proportionate to the risk he posed. It's not hard to justify a use of force. If your guts telling you it's right, chances are it is. Most people who get in trouble for use of force do so because they haven't done a good enough job explaining their rationale, or they lie about it. Don't get tied up worrying about what policy says, or what trainers told you, or what the training manuals say. Stick within the law, don't do anything stupid, and you should be fine. It all comes down to how you felt at the time. If you felt CS was necessary and appropriate, just explain why you thought that. For the love of God though, if you use force, record it properly, and justify it in your statement fully at the first opportunity.
  37. Whilst it is disingenuous to equate circumcision with FGM, it is also disappointing when those who argue for the differentiation often seem to put a case across that minimises the objections that people raise against circumcision. And, sadly, it's often women who do this and I don't think that they have a place to do that when they don't know what it's like to have a willy. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY- It is a basic human right that that our bodies remain intact until we are old enough to make our own decisions. Whilst clearly FGM is a disgusting breach of human rights and an abhorrent form of mutilation, that doesn't mean that circumcising a child isn't also a breach of their human rights. CIRCUMCISION AS A MEDICAL PROCEDURE- Just because circumcision is dressed up as a medical procedure does not give it legitimacy. It is often still performed without anaesthetic causing a baby much distress. Just because it doesn't remember the distress doesn't mean that it isn't wrong. I remember a case of a nurse who moonlighted to perform home circumcisions, whereby she did it with a pair of kitchen scissors and the baby bled to death. LOSS OF SEXUAL ENJOYMENT- Whilst circumcised men can still enjoy sex very much, it should never be the place of anyone else to do something to someone's human body that impacts on their future consumption of sex. Circumcised men do seem to enjoy sex in slightly different ways and they do so with less sensitivity. This doesn't mean that they don't enjoy sex! But it shouldn't be the place of anyone else to say 'oh they can still enjoy sex, it doesn't matter'. MEDICAL BENEFITS- Circumcision is not routinely funded on the NHS because it is not seen as a legitimate medical procedure that has standalone benefits, unless it is in response to a specific issue (like 'traumatic zipper injury'). People claim it is more hygienic and perhaps it was in biblical times, but in the modern world people clean themselves frequently. HIV PREVENTION- Whilst studies have shown that circumcision can be a protection factor in the transmission of HIV, these related to African men having vaginal sex. It is widely known that different racial backgrounds have different natural immunities to HIV, so it does not follow that circumcising white Europeans would have the same benefits, especially when then chances of a white male European catching HIV is pretty remote. PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT- Circumcised men can face a sense of stigma or inadequency. Issues related to female body image are reported pretty much every day in many newspapers but it is very rare for such issues to be reported for men. Many men worry about their bodies, especially the younger generations who are confronted with unrealistic expectations about body image gleaned through porn consumption. Circumcision is just another dynamic in that and perhaps even a subset of worries about penis size, shape and form. As a gay man, I know that circumcised men are generally seen as a less attractive option but I also doubt that it would be a deal breaker in a relationship. This isn't my view, I am just saying what people write on forums or things you hear people saying in conversation. Just like straight men talks about breasts, gay men talk about willies. My first proper boyfriend was circumcised and it didn't bother me, but I know of gay men that are very angry at their parents for circumcising them and these were white British individuals who had it done for no particular reason. The whole issue of circumcision is very emotive. My own view is that it should be banned for non-religious reasons. When performed, it should be highly regulated and this should require the consent of both parents. It should also be made an offence to take a child out of the country for the purposes of getting them circumcised. Whilst I do think that from a moral perspective it should be banned for religious reasons, that argument will not currently be won. As such, let's use the law to ban this practice and make it be seen as socially unacceptable to circumcise children.
  38. I'm not entirely sure how long ago you retired, however the Specials are being utilised in many more areas now. There isn't a distinction between Specials where I am, and you only have to look at social media to see that they're not off to village fetes on a Sunday afternoon. They are in the same danger as Regulars. Arguably the risk is lessened by hours - same as road incidents. The more you're on the road, the higher chance of being involved in a crash although the hours on the road = greater experience and therefore slightly negates that. That could be applied to the Specials. I know of some Specials who clear 200 hours per month, working on proactive teams and regularly arrest violent offenders carrying weapons. Most of the Specials that I see regularly are in more often than not. If this motion is being discussed it should be for everyone.
  39. Actually I think you are missing the point specials could well be the first officers to face such a threat, terrorists or criminals won't see the difference or care all they and the public will see is a police officer.
  40. I think the point is, we're a bit odd among the world's police services in not having routine or even optional arming of frontline officers. Comments about specials should be addressed by proper training, as other countries' auxiliary police resources are routinely armed and don't appear to be useless. The Netherlands pay their equivalent of specials by the hour and have a planned duty system that's a little more organised - a senior officer of theirs was present during my initial training and the training lead explained to us in awe a conversation they'd just had on the subject. In the United States, in some areas, anyone could be packing heat. It's just not an argument to say officers shouldn't carry because they might possibly be incompetent. MAKE THEM COMPETENT. No, I don't think anyone should be forced to carry either, however it might be considered that new frontline officers should be expected to carry a sidearm, which would eventually result in the routine arming of all officers. Ahem, policing by consent, ahem, referendum perhaps?
  41. There should be no debate. A large number of casualties and lives lost could have been prevented over the past months if all police were armed. I would stress the importance to you all of responding favourably to ANY survey or questionare put out by your respective forces in relation to the arming of police within the UK.
  42. ^I'm not comparing/equating the two - I'm saying that I believe neither should be done and no child should have any form of body modification that is not strictly medically necessary.
  43. I don't think the fact we've muddled on for so long is a great reason to continue doing it. Unarmed policing doesn't work. We get told we shouldn't be attending certain types of call unarmed but get sent anyway. We get put in a position where we can't even defend ourselves let alone the public far, far too often. Not giving officers the equipment to defend themselves and the public because it is too expensive or too difficult to train them up is wrong. I generally think the public are far more supportive of routine arming than we seem to think they are as well, I would say the majority of people I meet would be supportive of it. A lot of MoPs seem to think we're all armed anyway.
  44. What would help would be the courts actually imposing meaningful sentences. Despite all the tough talk regarding tough sentences for knife crime, I read on a daily basis sentences being imposed that are nothing like. Just the other week in my area a male caught carrying a knife was given a suspended sentence.
  45. I agree with you. I definitely don't think this is the way to go but where is the justice? The police can't do right for doing wrong. They're completely restricted by knee jerk reactions every time something goes wrong, regardless of the consequence to society as a whole. If you commit crime on a moped you're almost guaranteed to get away with it. If you're unfortunate enough to die or be seriously injured it'll probably be the police's fault so you or your family will get a nice payout. You can commit knife point robberies and carry weapons almost with impunity because police are so scared of being labelled racist and they're so stretched that they won't stop and search. If you are unlucky enough to get caught then the Courts hardly offer a deterrent. Unfortunately, society and the police have allowed the police to become a minor inconvenience to criminals who commit anything other than the most serious of crime. I don't see any way out to be honest. We can't back track. It should never have become 'correct' for criminals to harm themselves or others in the course of their profession and for it to be the fault of anybody other than the criminal.
  46. The talk of moving it to Hyde Park that I heard was accompanied by the idea of ticketing the event. They could then go the route of Lovebox and turn down gang members at the door in an attempt to keep the violence down. It's not a perfect answer, and the violence will no doubt simply shift down the road, but at least then the people who went to actually peacefully enjoy the event could. That being said, I'd personally just cancel it outright. There is too much violence, too much disorder, too much damage to property and it turns one of the most expensive areas of London into a tip, forcing local residents to actually board up their houses for the weekend.
  47. You're labouring a point unnecessarily. I think we can all agree training shouldn't be realistic to the point that colleagues are losing their lives. The GMP thing was an unfortunate accident where a weapon was loaded with live ammunition because blanks and operational loads were stored in close proximity was it not? However, if the military can do live fire exercises, there is no reason why some of the best trained officers in the UK cannot do the same.
  48. I have a good working knowledge of the training required, it forms part of the initial officer training. The firearms element isn't that long and isn't that intensive, nor does it need to be. As others have said it's just another tool in the box. Given the rate of discharges by PNSI I would suggest it appears fit for purpose. However I would suggest Jeebs is the expert and could answer any questions you have about it. I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of our colleague's from PNSI, they are no different to the men and women serving on the mainland and for this reason alone I cannot accept that officers cannot be trusted to carry firearms on the mainland, given the correct training.
  49. The training they get to routinely carry a sidearm is obviously sufficient for the purpose of defending themselves so why couldn't that work here? Why would officers in GB need to be trained up to current AFO standards when they won't have access to the same equipment as our current AFOs and as such their tactics will be limited by what is available to them?
  50. Yes, unfortunately crime doesn't confine itself to units as we like tend to do with ourselves. Naturally we also have various units that make up our department. As a detective I'm not out there routinely responding to calls in progress yet just yesterday myself and my partner happened to be close when an armed subject call comes in so we were right on scene. Even though I'm not assigned to patrol naturally I still wear my sidearm, spare magazine and handcuffs everywhere I go, plus in the car I have my vest with taser, baton, spray, etc and long rifle & shotgun, should the need arise. So while I may be a detective I still have all the tools available just in case we go somewhere where we need them, and every officer goes through the same training every year so we are all on the same page.