When police officers talk about their work they usually refer to it as ‘the job’. Whilst it is a common phrase it relates to a profession which is unique in its range and scope. The pictures show Mike as a cadet at the age of 16 years tackling an assault course in Elan Valley, Wales whilst another shows Steve tackling the challenges and demands of working as a team on an accelerated promotion scheme. Two careers taking different paths whilst sometimes merging for moments in time. Once in you never really leave ‘the job’ even after retirement. It shapes your values for life and you remain part of the police family with lifelong friendships and memories of the good and the difficult
times which invariably never leave you. Writing books has helped us to preserve some of those memories. Without doubt ‘the job’ has changed over the years and sometimes not for the better but it still remains a great profession to enter – there can be nothing better than public service. Wishing all our supporters a Happy New Year in 2019.
In the 70s and 80s the so-called ‘beautiful game’ was blighted by organised football-related violence with gangs operating across the UK. As police tactics were developed, CCTV was introduced at grounds, and new legislation passed the situation improved steadily. Nowadays for many football hooliganism is a thing of the past but is it? The books shown, both fiction and factual, explore the history of the ‘English Disease’ , which was undoubtedly exported abroad, using recollections from many retired officers to bring reality to life. One of the books also explores more recent incident data, offers up options and poses
the question in the title ‘The Hooligans Are Still Among Us’
In the 70s in Birmingham the phrase ‘You’ll do off at 2’ was a familiar one. It signified that an arrest had been made which would require the officer going off-duty from nights in order to deal with a court appearance at Victoria Law Courts at 10am that day. Limited sleep was the norm! (picture courtesy of Deb Menzel) In those days many of the cases were presented at court by the officers themselves who gained a lot of experience in giving evidence and dealing with defendants. It was also a great breeding ground for cultivating potential informants. These days files are submitted electronically to Crown Prosecuting Solicitors and many officers do not go to Court until they are facing a ‘not guilty’ trial. The book covers shown illustrate some of the factual Birmingham-based books that they have been involved in writing
A little book of true Police slang
True Police stories
We are really pleased to have received our first five star review for the new book ‘This is a very entertaining little book and is a great way to fill a couple of hours. Policing must be a very stressful job and it comes as no surprise to find that tension breakers abound in the quieter hours. I’m sure, now that this is out, another volume will follow as new stories come in from serving and retired officers who think they can beat the tales here. I look forward to Volume 2 very much.’
‘Welcome to an unseen world – unless you are a ‘cop’ of course. These are genuine stories of the tricks that police officers play on each other, plus a dose of funny police stories as a bonus. You won’t believe the extraordinary lengths some officers will go to, in order to ‘get one over’ a colleague, or the quick thinking and wit to make the most of a situation that presents itself. Police and graveyards, police and mortuaries, the ‘character building of Probationary Constables, the Florida job that wasn’t, the magic bank card, the ‘art of spinning’, the ‘wubbery’ chow mein – they are all in here.
Mention the words ‘blag’ and ‘blaggers’, and most people of a certain age will think of the slang word used regularly in ‘The Sweeney’ to describe armed robbers, who attacked security vehicles with sawn-off shotguns and pick-axe handles in the 1970/80s.
In this little book, however, you will discover a very different police meaning – the ‘dark humour’deployed by police officers to play tricks on their colleagues. The ability to ‘wind-up’ staff was, and still is, seen as a desirable skill, funny, sometimes ‘well over the top and occasionally outrageously inappropriate. ‘Blags’ played on colleagues, some almost legendary, are enshrined within local policing memory and culture, and in this book the authors offer a light-hearted peek inside a little-known sub-culture. Not meant to be taken too seriously, it shows that even within the institution of the police service there is plenty of room for humour, and that the police are only human!’
Search on Amazon.uk, or go to the book page on this website for the link
Today’s abbreviation from ‘One In For D & D’ is ‘UC’ which is a term used to describe a police officer working undercover. Nowadays such officers are highly trained and go through rigorous selection procedures. In the 70s and 80s the training was different but many brave officers still placed themselves in ‘harm’s way’ to penetrate organized crime groups. The book ‘Hunting The Hooligans’ describes
how a number of such officers worked undercover in 1987 to gather evidence on a gang of football hooligans. On one occasion four of them were trapped in a pub and subjected to a ‘kangaroo court’ after being accused of being police officers. Fortunately for them a potential target was also wrongly accused at the same time and as tensions rose they managed to talk their way out of a potentially violent situation as they were surrounded by men wielding billiard cues. (The ‘WARD’ cartoon is courtesy of the British Transport Police History Group who work tirelessly to preserve the history of the Force)
Our next little book ‘It’s a Blag – the ‘dark art’ of Police humour’ is coming soon. If you want to bring a smile to your face whilst sweeping away the ‘post Christmas blues’ you will enjoy this.
Today’s phrase from ‘One In For D & D’ is ‘Pro Con’ which stands for probationary constable. The pictures are from a new recruit BTP course circa 1971. In those days you were on probation for two years and, apart from the initial twelve week training course and a two week continuation course, much of the experience gained was on ‘the streets’ working as an operational police officer with experienced colleagues. In many ways you would either ‘sink or swim’ but lifetime friendships were formed, young men and women became accomplished ‘thief takers’ and careers were shaped. Whether you regarded yourself as being a member of a police force, or a police service, you were looking at thirty years in ‘the job’. Nowadays there is much greater emphasis on academic achievement and future ‘Pro Con’s’ are likely to be requi
red to automatically study to degree standard whilst serving their ‘apprenticeship’.
Today’s little slang words from ‘One In For D & D’ are ‘Peg’ and ‘Cuffs’ which translate to ‘Truncheon’ and ‘Handcuffs’. In reality the old truncheon was not that practical and unless you had practiced the art of looping the thumb through the leather strap in such a way as to make it impossible for someone to pull it from you there was always the risk of having it taken from you. Extendable batons are now the order of the day.
Handcuffs were not routinely issued to all officers for many years and some of the very old ones used for escort purposes used to have a cumbersome screw type key. The latest style of ‘quick-cuffs’ are far more effective providing you can get both hands of the person being detained into them when they are struggling! (The first picture is courtesy of Deb Menzel)