* Posts by Reid Malenfant

66 posts • joined 22 Feb 2008

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Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest

Reid Malenfant
FAIL

@ Kain Preacher - A fool!

Oh good, another one!

Its not hard is it? All you have to do is to READ the article and THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE!

At no point does it mention a wheel chair; not even the merest suggestion of one - this is all in your head! Indeed the article clearly stated that he moved towards the officers. Granted, it doesn't say if he was crawling on his belly but I suspect had he done so that would probably have become the main thrust of the story .... no?

Yes, the tagline uses the emotive "leg-less" description (I also alluded to sensationalist reporting) but the article clearly states he was ONLY MISSING A FOOT and not the whole leg - again, the implications of which I clearly described in my first posting - and you don't appear to have understood a word of it.

It is because of people like you that I repeatedly have to state "BASED ON THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED IN THE ACCOUNT" ..... and still that's not enough for the hard of thinking.

Moron!

If you wait patiently another bandwagon should be arriving shortly - try not to trip as you climb on!

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Reid Malenfant
Flame

Re AC "Toddlers"

You may very well be trolling but, regardless of that, I found your comments so contemptuous I felt compelled to respond.

Please re-read my above post and this time try to digest the points made:

1. You are guilty of the most common error made by so many Register posters, namely by offering comments based entirely on 3rd party hindsight which, without due qualification, makes you sound ingenuous at best, foolish at worst.

As I've already pointed out; based on the information supplied it was unlikely that the officers knew he was disabled or partially sighted until AFTER his arrest. All anybody can do is take a threat at face value and deal with it accordingly. If you are what you claim you are you should know that.

2. Of the 140,000+ UK Police Officers I'd be surprised if more than 10% of them have ever done anything beyond the most rudimentary martial arts training; far more seem interested in rugby than anything else!

The OST package (Officer Safety Training) is okay so far as it goes, but with such limited time, money and resources the basic 2 training days/year will never give you much more than only the most essential handcuffing, baton and captor spray techniques.

IMO even the new SPEAR package is, in reality, little more than a gesture and can never supply officer's with the correct levels of skill and EXPERIENCE to really make a difference. Like so much of our on-the-job-training it ensures that the organisation doesn't fall foul of their H&S Act obligations.

3. Easy is it? You sound like certain of my colleagues who mistakenly believe themselves invincible based on over confidence, Instructor's hype and extreme good fortune. I too have successfully defended myself, and others from attack, I have also been horribly injured but then after 30 years I can count such incidents into triple figures and - eventually - you'll lose out to probability.

If your two alleged attacks were so easily defeated then you should consider yourself lucky and accept it at that. Hand to hand combat leaves little margin for error and people are far too unpredictable to have any certainty of who or what you're dealing with until its far too late. Deluded over-confidence is a killer, if you have been properly trained you should know that!

Only a moron believes that Martial Arts renders you invulnerable.

Aside from being a long serving officer I have been a martial artist for a very long time and now teach. I will say to you what I tell all my students, never ever be fooled into tackling anyone with a knife unless you are left with absolutely no other choice and/or the PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES provide you with some kind of advantage or physical defence.

Everything else falls into the realm of the stupid and, I'm afraid, your comments imply you're no stranger to that place.

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Reid Malenfant
FAIL

Misinformed, Inaccurate, Biased & Irrational

Ah the joys of reading the rantings of the Armchair Experts:

1.Taser cartridges fire their two wired barbs simultaneously but with slightly differing, non parallel, trajectories. In practice they can be as much as 3' apart before reaching their maximum range of 21 feet and you cannot be certain in which orientation these barbs will leave the weapon.

Obviously both barbs must be embed before the current can circulate and it is not uncommon for one barb to completely miss; in fact at maximum range it is technically possible for both to pass on either side of an average sized human (well maybe not an average sized American but you get my point). The red aiming dot is only ever a rough guide and therefore absolute accuracy is physically impossible, all that matters for effective use is that both barbs strike somewhere.

2. At surprisingly large distances, someone moving towards you with bladed/edged weapon can close you down quicker than you can draw and use a holstered weapon; particularly if you did not foresee or anticipate it and especially at night. They can and usually do remain capable of stabbing/slashing you even after being shot with a handgun as numerous US Officer and civilian woundings will testify. In this regard Tasers are more effective than firearms as they are capable of physically stopping someone.

In training, you are usually compelled to start moving backwards in order to give yourself sufficient time to draw and use a Taser. If a concealed blade is drawn within that 21 feet you're out of luck and will invariably get cut. Such practical experience usually ensures that officers will draw a Taser whenever they see any hint of a weapon; indeed you shouldn't be doing the job if you don't. In the real world, adrenaline and unconscious muscle memory ultimately dictates how you actually respond, training only goes so far.

3. The report clearly states that the man moved threateningly towards them, it also said he was only footless and not leg-less (as the tagline implied) so that any wearing of a prosthetic foot would probably be undetectable. It does not say if he was wearing a prosthetic foot but its a reasonable assumption that he was not walking on his stump. It is therefore highly likely that the officers would have had no reason to factor in such a disability and treated him as able bodied.

4. Likewise, without an eye patch or a guide dog, you cannot readily tell a partially sighted person apart from anyone else. Furthermore, partial sightedness makes you no less deadly with bladed and edged weapons, particularly if using wild slashing movements.

5. Drunk and intoxicated people are inherently more dangerous and unpredictable than calm and sober ones.

6. The report stated that they were initially sent to a man publicly threatening suicide with such weapons, which would have inevitably primed them to anticipate someone already on the edge or capable of impulsive and irrational behaviour. This should automatically warrant at least two double crewed cars in anticipation of potentially being compelled to go hands-on. Again, had this not have been the case a number of people would be doing the wrong job.

7. The quickest, surest and safest way - for all concerned - to prevent someone from imminently stabbing or slashing themselves to death is to Taser them.

8. No Police Officer is obliged to place themselves, or expose anyone else, to unnecessary physical danger unless absolutely unavoidable; indeed legislation dictates this (H&S Act in the UK amongst others). You are simply not paid enough to become a human punch bag and you quite reasonably hope to finish your day's work in the same state in which you started it. Your family and friends prefer it that way. It is, after all, just a job.

However, the increased frequency of risk you face is profoundly higher than the average "man-on-the-street"; every officer becomes injured and assaulted at some stage, many seriously so. Every experienced officer can relate accounts of colleagues forced to retire through debilitating injury and, over time, this profoundly effects your decision making and self-exposure to risk, particularly as you grow older.

In conclusion: Based on the information supplied in the account, the officer's actions seem reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances and the least dangerous and effective way of resolving the situation. Once the talking solution was negated - by the man starting threateningly towards the officers with his weapons - I would like to believe that I would respond in exactly the same way as those officers did - and suspect that so would you if placed in the same circumstances with the same knowledge and training.

As to the charging policy, I can't constructively comment on that as they work to a different criteria than here in the UK; save to say that any decisions made were likely to have been taken by a District Attorney and not any Police Officers at all.

All in all; this is largely a routine non-story to all but the people immediately involved and has own gained momemtum through sensationalist reporting - that and the usual eagerness of the woefully misinformed to jump on a passing bandwagon.

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German boffins invent steel Velcro

Reid Malenfant
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@Rob Dobs

Climbing Gear? Noooooo thank you.

Roped access work is one of the few areas where the epithet "Health & Safety" doesn't elicit groans, sniggers and derision. I can't see any RAO giving this even a second look if used in any form of fall arrest system, let alone a single-line sport/leisure climber.

I'm only ever comfortable when I brainwash myself into believing that my belay could stop a falling landrover - though not when I'm also on the line.

I obviously exempt all eastern European RAOs from the above comments due to their collective disregard for any form of personal safety - odds on the Poles have already tried straping it to their boots and walking up a wall.

Crazy madness.

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Israelis offer unmanned robo smart-missile 8-pack

Reid Malenfant
Grenade

What really gets my goat

Is the extremely poor quality Photoshopage employed in the illustration; its was so shoddy it completely obscurred the contents the article ....... someone somewhere needs to get a grip!

Rockets? What's that you say?

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Police, Cameras, Pixellation

Reid Malenfant

Re AC

Well I'm afraid I can't provide the hard facts I think might satisfy you, certainly not in such a forum as this. I've lived my life, I haven't documented it and had I have done so, I certainly couldn't make anyone believe it if they chose not to.

To the best of my knowledge, stats are not specifically kept on incidents against Police Officer's families; certainly not in my Force - and I suppose why would they be? Such figures have never formed the basis of any HO statistical research or HMG's official directives or national crime figures that I know about - indeed they wouldn't even constitute anyone's internal goals or performance indicators.

All I can tell you is what I know. I have been in for 35 years now, I believe the longest serving in my Force. Despite being on the verge of leaving many many times; I stuck it out and remained a PC, albeit now a specialist one, fairly well removed from what most people would recognise as conventional policing. And I like what I do now, I'm good at it and my skills are such that I get to punch well above my weight (and certainly that of my rank) in terms of my individual impact on the world around me and I find this motivating and rewarding. But it was not always so and I spent my early/middle service with a dependent family desperately unhappy but financially tied, trapped by our circumstances (the details of which I don't intend to divulge).

These are not particularly unusual circumstance for people in general; the difference - for me- was that I found myself caught up in job and lifestyle that, in practise, turned out to be seriously deliterious to the health and well being, not just of myself but of those I loved, and that my friend can be a very heavy cross to bear. My kids grew up, not just fearing but experiencing the reality of the 'bad man' out to get them and their parents. Yes, of course its emotive, how could possibly be otherwise? It shaped my entire adult life and ultimately broke my marriage.

My father and father-in-law were both officers but worked at a different time in different environments and neither experienced what I have; my father-in-law never truly understood nor I suspect, entirely believed what I used to tell him. But then he was never compelled to live among the people he policed - and I've lived and worked in some pretty rough areas.

Think about it logically, much crime and disorder turns out to be an largely hedonistic affair, often commited by those unable to anticipate (or even give a damn) for the consequences of their actions. They do what they want because they can and are largley devoid of any recognisable guilt, responsiblility, empathy or compassion. Even those apparently driven to crime through addiction, intoxication or coercion still largely find it relatively easy to supress any vestigal moral compass they may have had - okay I'm a little biased in this regard; but I've had a lifetime of witnessing the worst of people.

Criminals (particularly urban ones) tend to be repeat offenders and they soon come to see that the one constant factor most likely to adversly effect them are the Police. You interject, they suffer, that's how it works. So it should not come as too much of a surprise to learn that those they come to hate most are the Police, way beyond any otherwise anonymous victim they happen to come accross. Their experience is of some copper making it all very personal by specifically going out to screw up their life.

They either fail or refuse to accept their own conduct as being the author of their fate, they find it so much easier to blame you enitirely and this often creates huge resentment and animosity often directed at the specific officers they hold responsible. Particularly, if you are an ever present thorn in their side. So some go out of their way to deliberately punish, intimidate, deter or hurt YOU because of what you've done to them and what better way than target your home and family where you are most vulnerable. Its all quite obvious and utterly predictable when you think about it.

Yes, of course members of the general public also suffer personal intmidation, for a whole variety of reasons and inevitably in numerically greater numbers - but there is seldom such a specific, clear cut causal corellation (save perhaps for racial attacks). That's just the way it is and it's not even particularly British - its a world-wide Police experience; its essentially the same phenomena (albeit somewhat scaled up) that has the Italian Mafia going after their Judiciary .

Look, you really can believe what you like, neither you nor I are likely to change anything anyway - I certainly couldn't after 35 years of trying. I am now tired and I have to be in Court in just 7 hours; more fool me. Oh, one more thing; would I be right in thinking those children policing your demos were in the Met?

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Reid Malenfant
WTF?

Police Perspective - from the real world!

There is an alternative perspective:

As direct a consequence of 35 years continuous operational UK Police service I have been an aggrieved in crime far more than anyone I've ever met - by a huge margin. It was me that joined the Police, not my family yet it so often them that have taken the brunt of it.

To name but a examples: My Wife has been assulted on several occasions and once chased and pelted with stones in a busy high street by a gang I'd had repeated cause to arrest (mostly violent shoplifting, robbery and blackmail). My son was only 4 when he was first assaulted as my proxy - he was kicked to the floor by yet another gang that surrounded us whilst we were out shopping. He was a target for years. As a teenager he was held with a knife to his throat in an effort to frighten me into dropping an investigation (fortunately he'd become an accomplished kickboxer by then).

My cars have been acid attacked, keyed, windows smashed, tyres slashed - house windows also smashed and my walls graffitted. I have had to move house twice, once after 'they' threatened to force my 8.5 month pregnant wife into aborting by breaking in whilst I was off on nights and kicking her stomach. I took this seriously as 'they' were more than willing and capable of such acts. My daughter is the only one of us who survived unscathed.

I have experienced one serious attempted murder (3 months off sick for that), 3 serious woundings and 8 GBHs together with over 30 lesser assaults (the latest on Bank holiday Monday outside my house - 7 onto one ... we go to court tomorrow!). At different times I have had a broken eye socket, collar bone and foot, my head has been split open and whilst trying to stop a gang of looters single handed, they attempted to cut my hands off with the broken plate glass, I have scars everywhere for my troubles. I have been attacked by several large groups a seriously beaten - on one occasion after the Soweto riots in South Africa - me being the nearest thing they could find to a SA policeman. The IRA also made a damned good effort to blow me to pieces. And there's so much more I could say.

I am perhaps unusual in a that I have never received a single complaint for any form of overbearing conduct, brutality, victimisation or assault. Such complaints are an occupational hazard and are usually used as the last line off attack for the bang-to-rights guilty to create some form of 'reasonable doubt' for their trial - the good old 'no smoke without fire ploy'.

I have however, survived a couple of concerted attempts at framing me up for theft, burglary and evidence planting - all by people who were too thick check that I was a) in the country at the time, b) not being observed by independent witnesses and c) actually in the company of the scumbag in question's own defence lawyer!! I know that, in this regard, I have been luckier than most.

A Policeman's lot eh? I must be one of those poorly educated power-hungry bully's you hear so much about in El Reg. The trouble is my social conscience cannot let me ignore anyone in trouble, and I am utterly committed to the belief that in any civilised society it is the duty of the strong to protect the week, unfortunately, this is not a view shared by most of society's paracites and so it becomes a principle that comes at a significant cost. Fortunately there are enough of us prepared to pay that price - you're free to believe what you like but, take it from me, anarchy is not pretty.

So yeah, I think I have the right to have an entirely different perspective from many of the naive armchair ramblings that so often appear in these pages.

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Met amends journo photo guidance to prevent interference

Reid Malenfant
Boffin

IRA v ?

Strange, I'm been a puzzled onlooker to this thread since it started. I'm a Police Officer and also a very enthusiastic photographer; as indeed are a number of friends and colleagues.

I've yet to come across any circumstances where its even crossed my mind to stop and search someone for taking photos let alone act upon it. I've recently made a point of asking as many colleagues as possible for their views and, without exception, their views were the same as mine.

Indeed, most of them looked utterly baffled and made such comments as "Why? What would be the point?". That said, many of us work in and around tourist destinations so being photographed is such a constant that its barely even noticed.

Incidentally my primary role is that of Protection and Counter Terrorism and I have being so engaged since the IRA were in full swing. We played a constant cat and mouse game with them and we would frequently cross paths - they would sometime let us know that we were under close quarters observation and, on occasions we foiled their intended attacks .... not all of which ever reached the media.

The IRA genuinely thought of themselves as soldiers fighting an honourable war with stated political objectives and as such they were, to a great extent, a known quantity. I happily survived one bombing by immense good fortune .... that particular event being instrumental in setting up the unit I am now on.

I have been kept at least equally busy with the 'new threat' but its not at all the same. These people are far less professional or rational than the Republicans and that has made a huge difference in our response. There is no over-arching organisation, as such, and all those involved (that I have met) have been utterly unpredictable and in possession of a world view that few 'infidels' seem to truly comprehend. Their ultimate objective is unattainable but they don't recognise that and, unlike the IRA, their 'Means' have become more important than the 'Ends".

The conflict has been centuries in the making only catalysed by recent events. An inevitable religio-cultural clash that cannot be won by any side and is likely to be with us now for years if not indefinitely ..... adversaries that cannot be negotiated, bought, politically coerced or beaten presents difficulties well beyond that anything the IRA had to offer. ,,,, And ultimately I believe it is this that is spooking western Governments so.

Finally, the other major difference that has hit me personally, is that, this time, I have found explosives, lots of them, together with the INTENTION to kill more people in one go than they IRA did in their entire history. I have been involved in a number of such operations so far, several highly effective and, just as before (and for exactly the same reasons), not all of which have been made public.

And I know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there are a significant number of people still alive today who would otherwise be dead by now .... maybe even one or two of you, if that doesn't sound over melodramatic? (and it probably does).

You can take from this what you will, your views, like mine, are of no real consequence; I'm just relating what I've experienced. You are quite free to believe the world is flat - as ironically - did one of our above mentioed home grown nasties!.

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Apple tablet spooks world of PCs

Reid Malenfant
Happy

@ raving angry loony

I've had a near identical experience; only with 2 Acers and 1 Viao vs a Mactop (which had not been my choice) - the XP Viao's still running fine but that sodding Mac still runs like new, if a little slow by modern standards.

My biggest surprise, after so many extremely Mac-critical years, was the gradual realisation that I'd keep finding little excuses to do work on the Mac in preference to the PCs - In fact somebody else pointed this out and, to my shame, I very angrily and very vocally denied it all (I may even have heard a cock crow too).

Incidentally, I also have an Xplore tablet running XP pro (battery life expectancy truly crap). It was required for work capturing data outside in the field (carried in one hand), often in adverse environments where you frequently needed to let go of it in a hurry (it came with neck straps). I persevered but my colleagues soon dumped it for the tried and trusted biro / Weather Writer clipboard combo and extra work (err overtime?) back in the vehicle/office. Hmm, just spotted a correlation - damn!

Why did it fail? That sodding stylus was just too slow/small/fiddly/inaccurate/tether snagable to get any meaninful work done; in short it was too annoying to use. Perhaps if they'd let Wacom develop the stylus? Its also a pretty hefty slab, best part of 2" thick in its case. Voice control? Not a chance.

The one thing ALL my IT phobic colleagues used regularly to berate me with went something like this: "You bloody muppet, why didn't you just get one that lets you use your finger to write with?". It didn't help that they used to watch News Readers walking around the studio with one reading their Autocue.

It seems to me now that if Apple have researched previous failed tablet incarnations (see above) and can now truly produce a reasonably rugged, slim, touch tablet - there may well more interested business takers than you might realise. Yeah a big iPod touch maybe - but that would have worked just fine for us.

A sleeve/forearm, hands-free mount? Even better - now that would be something.

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Tasered Oz man bursts into flames

Reid Malenfant
Flame

@ Bish - Godbless the armchair experts!

"A well aimed disarming shot would've been a lot safer"

No not in the real world I'm afraid. There's no such thing as a 'disarming shot', in reality that's a just a movie concept. In practice only a sniper is likely to be presented with such an opportunity and only then if the target remains fairly inactive.

Police the world over are only trained to shoot at the largest body mass, and shoot until the target is 'stopped'. The adrenaline that surges when you draw a pistol in a perceived life or death situation can play havoc with fine motor skills; particularly when you've had no previous warning or even expectation of having to resort to such a reaction.

A physiological inevitability which can, and often does, reduce or impede otherwise unstressed marksmanship. One of the reasons why ex-servicemen and skilled target shooters can actually fail the judgemental components of Firearms Courses; a fact not an opinion I'm afraid.

Its hard enough to hit a large static target in such circumstances let alone the arm or leg of a moving one - not when the necessity to draw your gun and the time it takes to acquire your target then pull the trigger is counted in fractions of a second.

Couple this knowledge with the fact that, the world over, the vast number of armed Police Officers will never actually shoot in anger at all and are, in effect, totally untried and inexperienced in shooting at people - yet are acutely aware of the likely consequences of such a life defining decision.

You can speculate all you like about what you THINK you MIGHT do in such circumstances but, like so much else in life, its not until you actually find yourself in such a scenario that the truth will out and; believe you me, it can be as much a surprise to you as to anyone else.

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Police told to use Wikipedia for court preparation

Reid Malenfant
Flame

What you all seem to miss (continuously on the Reg).......

...... is that, the despite the near universal use of the internet in the UK, the vast majority are not even remotely computer literate.

And really why should they be when everything computing is marketed as an essential consumer utility no different than a fridge, TV or washing machine?

It might be heresy here but most people neither know nor care the slightest about IT nor who, how or why any of it works - they just want to email, surf view pics and facebook their mates ..... and that's it!

Absolutely EVERYTHING ELSE is regarded as just too boring and geeky to give even a second thought to; most people I know actually delight in their computer illiteracy - it's seen as far more credible! And this is right across the board regardless of education, class or profession.

Have you guys really not noticed this? I get mocked for even looking at El Reg at work; most find it utterly incomprehensible!

.... and can you really blame them? After all, who but the mechanics and enthusiasts among us can change a car's cam belt or worn clutch bearing despite the probability that far more people own and DEPEND on vehicles than they do on their latest Microsoft Porn Portal?

And you do know that mechanics also scoff at the ignorance and gullibility of the unmechanically minded don't you?

In the real (non IT) world, Wikipedia is widely regarded as the most convenient and accessible source of readily available information - the end!

When I point out the failings most respond with a shrug and say something like "Near enough though eh?" So why should this story be so remarkable when so few non-IT occupations require anything beyond the most basic computer literacy?

@ No Surprise really By nsld

Sorry my friend but grow up!

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Reid Malenfant
Flame

What you all seem to miss (continuously on the Reg).......

...... is that, the despite the near universal use of the internet in the UK, the vast majority are not even remotely computer literate.

And really why should they be when everything computing is marketed as an essential consumer utility no different than a fridge, TV or washing machine?

It might be heresy here but most people neither know nor care the slightest about IT nor who, how or why any of it works - they just want to email, surf view pics and facebook their mates ..... and that's it!

Absolutely EVERYTHING ELSE is regarded as just too boring and geeky to give even a second thought to; most people I know actually delight in their computer illiteracy - it's seen as far more credible! And this is right across the board regardless of education, class or profession.

Have you guys really not noticed this? I get mocked for even looking at El Reg at work; most find it utterly incomprehensible!

.... and can you really blame them? After all, who but the mechanics and enthusiasts among us can change a car's cam belt or worn clutch bearing despite the probability that far more people own and DEPEND on vehicles than they do on their latest Microsoft Porn Portal?

And you do know that mechanics also scoff at the ignorance and gullibility of the unmechanically minded don't you?

In the real (non IT) world, Wikipedia is widely regarded as the most convenient and accessible source of readily available information - the end!

When I point out the failings most respond with a shrug and say something like "Near enough though eh?" So why should this story be so remarkable when so few non-IT occupations require anything beyond the most basic computer literacy?

@ No Surprise really By nsld

Sorry my friend but grow up!

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Scientists design picture projection specs

Reid Malenfant

They would go perfect with ........

........ my surround sound ear plugs with a rectal sub-woofer!

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If they can break the law, why can't we?

Reid Malenfant

@ Graham Marsden - No No No

Not entirely correct my friend. With regard to supplying an Officer your name and address you are of course obliged to where a suspected offence has been committed.

Section 25 of Pace gives Police officers a power of arrest for NON arrestable offences under certain specific circumstances; one element of which concerns establishing a suspects correct identity in order that summon can be served. And I quote:

“Where a constable has reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence, which is not an arrestable offence has been committed or attempted or is being committed or attempted he may arrest the relevant person if it appears to him that the service of a summons is inappropriate or impracticable because any of the general arrest conditions are satisfied”

There are a number of these but the one most pertinent to this thread includes the following:

“That the name of the relevant person is unknown, doubted, or can not be ascertained, or a constable has reasonable grounds for doubting that the name given by the relevant person as his name is actually his real name”.

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NZ couple do bunk with £3.9m bank error

Reid Malenfant
Flame

Law of the jungle?

Should I infer from these comments then that, in so far as crime is concerned, action and intent becomes irrelevant if we collectively don't like the aggrieved?

Interesting ..........

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'Better IT could have stopped 7/7 bombings'

Reid Malenfant
Boffin

Logistics, logistics, logistics!

In the real world it may take up to 12 trained operatives (and numerous changes of vehicles) just to maintain 24 hour covert cover on a mobile, surveillance aware suspect. Regardless of technology, this is predominantly eyes and hands on work. Multiple targets effectively increase your work load exponentially - and ever increases your likihood of 'showing out' and blowing the entire job.

Surveillance work is a minority pursuit and only for those with the right patience and aptitude to take it on. There will only ever be a handful of sufficiently trained staff to properly undertake the most limited of operations. The work is highly skilled, intense, gruelling and not remotely compatable with family life so is rarely regarded as anything more than a limited detatchment - maybe 4 years tops - before the threat of burn-out and/or divorce prompts a career change and new and inexperienced staff take over.

This is both the reality as things currently stand and the reason why you'll only ever go so far with hands-on serveillance .

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Sikh coppers request bulletproof turbans

Reid Malenfant

More Fiction - Here we go again.

1. Been a Police Firearms officer for 15 years and very rarely, if ever, wear a helmet operationally; but then I don't always wear body armour either - you learn to cut your cloth accordingly.

2. Have worked with 2 Sikh firearms colleagues and their hair was shorter than mine ..... but then, like me, they were both atheists - I believe they regarded being Sikhs more as a cultural thing; or so they said.

3. Pound to a pinch of salt this story originated in the MET .... they'll never pass up an oportunity to be militant irrespective of any other consideraion - its a MET thing (yawn).

4. In my personal experience the vast majority of those who profess deeply held religious convictions invariably end up demonstrating various forms of blinkered cultural hypocrasy - but I'm an atheist so my views don't count for that much; I have, after all, been tainted by Satan .... or so a born again colleague told me last year!

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Police detain Craigslist masseuse murder suspect

Reid Malenfant
Thumb Down

Maybe not

Too many assumptions my friend. These circumstances aside, people get their kicks in all sorts of ways and it does not follow that those who wish to meet in this way necessarily think of themselves as a) prostitutes or b) are actually meeting with a prostitute.

It doesn't matter what is legalised, people will still crave excitement, risk and even danger and that will never change.

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Police law-interpretation: What next?

Reid Malenfant
Thumb Down

Hmm .... we seem to live in different worlds

Little of the above I know nor recognise ...... but then I don't live or work in London (or the GMP for that matter).

From my perspective @ Adam above had it about right ..... despite having so much in common, in reality there is often a world of difference between individual Forces, their policies and collective mind sets. No different really between any two business corporations.

The fact is that I am a fierce critic of my local Police and have been known to get very upset and fall out with some of them - on not infrequent occasions! On occasion some of them have left me utterly frustrated and exasperated and I find myself having to hold back from knocking heads; but not for any of the reasons cited above.

I am in fact currently in the process of making a formal complaint against an individual Officer, the Control Room staff befind them and a particular Force Policy they were acting upon. My family and I were immensely inconvenienced, put to unnecessary expense and then had insult added to injury .... but I know enough to realise that my battles are with the individuals concerned and not with the institution behind them .....

Oh by the way, I'm also one of them ..... with over 3 decade's service no less, so I think I have a fair grasp of what actually happens in real life; in my Force at least. I've never been power-mad and I'm not remotely autocratic (somewhat left wing in fact) but I do have very strong principles and I am highly motivated (at least within my specialist role). Off duty I am seldom taken for a Police Officer, my appearance belies my ethnicity and I know only too well what discrimination feels like. I like people and I've always had a well developed social conscience but (sadly) unlike most members of the British public today, its never been in my nature to walk on by when someone's in trouble.

What I don't like, however, is mindless yobbery, abusive drunks, thugs, thieves, rapists and bullies .... boy do I hate bullies. In my world, it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak and that's something I've always proudly striven to do. I have experienced a REAL Police State - a Fascist one that members of my family exiled themselves here to escape. Its something I feel very strongly about, so much so that I'd be prepared to fight to the death to prevent it occurring here; that may sound overly dramatic but such a defence was one of my reason's for joining.

I am not THE Police, I am A policeman, an individual. Like you I work (or not as the case may be) within a collective of other individuals - and we are most definitely not all of one mind; there is no longer any particular character type or disposition attracted to the police, Officers are now more diverse than they've ever been before. I have discretion and I use it every day; I turn a blind eye to some indiscretions and enforce others. I could not possibly enforce every single one (there's not enough hours in the day) and I doubt very much that many people would like it if I did. For all concerned, 'Zero Tolerance' is a very harsh yoke indeed.

The UK Police are a civilian body and quite independent of the Government and Military, to think otherwise is utter nonsense. We do not live in a Police State nor anything approaching one ...... you'd have to first replace the majority of us for that to come about. Yes I have been asked to do things I have disagreed with but nothing so extreme that it crossed my personal line in the sand; I do such things because that is my duty and part and parcel of what I signed up for but, like you, I have limits which I am not prepared to cross.

In the course of my job I've been a victim of crime more than anyone else I've ever met; I've been injured more than most too, occasionally seriously; even my wife and children have been attacked. But I remain committed and care about doing the right thing - without fear nor favour. I will help anyone if I can; even those I've had reason to dislike (and believe me, that can be hard).

Quite frankly, many of the above comments leave me puzzled, bemused in fact as its all so utterly alien to the world in which I exist. Regardless of whatever else you might believe to the contrary; I know, categorically, that whilst I and people like me exist there will never be a Police State in this country. You are of course free to remain in your own particular fantasy as, no doubt, many will accuse me of. But, unlike most armchair critics, I am compelled - on a daily basis - to stand up for what I believe in, regardless of risk or any personal cost involved ..... there, I've got it off my chest.

Re the Law:

Contrary to popular belief, the laws that the Police enforce are indeed subject to interpretation because, taken together, many can and do create ambiguity and contradiction. ..... this is one of the reasons why Trial Judges have continuously reinterpreted and modified existing laws by Stated Cases. You'll have to make a series of choices in order to get the matter to Trial in the first place and those choices will depend entirely upon your understanding (interpretation) of the legislation as recalled on the spot.

In certain circumstances it is not at all unusual for different items of legislation to all potentially come into play at the same time; this can be complicated by the fact that the specific context can be nothing remotely like that which the Legislators originally anticipated. Laws frequently have a utility beyond that which the Legislators sought to address and, despite precise(ish) definitions, their choice of words can indeed impact significantly upon hitherto unforeseen matters.

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Missed flight woman goes absolutely mental

Reid Malenfant
Happy

Clearly a wannabe 'celebrity'

Well done ....... a 1st class audition!

She's amply demonstrated many of the atributes necessary to score big points with the media ....... all she has left to do now is: prove that she's tone-deaf, dance with a pensioner or know someone who knows a football player to have completely cracked it!

Strewth, she even appears to have attended the Naomi Campbell School of Social Awareness Coaching.

It'll only be a matter of time now before she gets her own Reality TV show. Hoorah!

I can hardly wait.

@ Rag Week - that's really low ........ are you a 'celebrity' too?

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Pope's star watcher to visit Nasa and talk aliens

Reid Malenfant
Happy

@Tonto

I know .... it was intended to be a play on words.

It rather puts me in mind of a recent converstaion I had with a staunch Jebus follower. As a proof of God I was told that, by definition, athiests simply could not exist in a godless universe:

Apparently, without the existence of God athiests wouldn't have anything left NOT to believe in and so therefore would not be able to exist themselves!!

Hmm, I thought that too! :-)

Funnily enough, only yesterday, I found that very quote on another website but in that particular case they were making use of it to send up theist logic and not to defend them.

Funny old multiverse eh?

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Reid Malenfant
Alien

@ Xander

Chuckle? I positively laughed out loud at that one.

Possibly still in communion with God eh? Can you imagine meeting our extraterrestrial neighbours only to discover that they had irrefutable proof that it was only ever Baal all along?

Try explaining that one to the Pope ...... bad call Moses!

But then just imagine how we'd all feel if the only Prophet that ever became vindicated turned out to be David Icke ............ now THAT would be a hat eating moment!

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Reid Malenfant

I should stop now

A curious but ultimately inevitable topic when you think of it; @Peyton is absolutely right:

For all practical purposes how would a godless universe actually differ than the one we already seem to reside in ........ could you even tell them apart?

Logical consistancy can be a real mutha too because, irrespective of your particular faith (or indeed lack of one), when it comes to matters of religion the overwhelmingly majority of the planet must logically be completely misguided and fundimantally wrong!

A cliche I know, but for any one religion to be proved right would immediately render all the others profoundly wrong; and that would be irrespective of anyone's personal conviction or absolute faith. And please lets don't bandy that falacious western liberal viewpoint that all religions are merely local variations of the same thing ...... because that just doesn't hold water at all

If its self-evidentally normal for the vast majority of the planet to go through life so profoundly mistaken and misinformed in their particular faith, what possible criteria could you ever rely upon to ensure that YOU are backing the right horse?

Or put another way ..... and with my trolls hat firmly on:

Imagine if Satan's greatest achievement was in pursuading a gullible universe that God exists? Now that would be cruel .......... or is that just a rose by any other name?

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British troops to wear smart earplugs in Afghan combat

Reid Malenfant
Thumb Up

Completely missing the point

This shouldn't be too difficult to grasp.

The primary purpose of ear defenders is to prevent YOUR GUN from damaging YOUR HEARING because, - in this regard - the sound waves are originating mere centimetres from your ears and therefore have a significant probability of inflicting cumulative damage to your hearing.

The type outlined in the article are not intended to obliterate all sound, merely to filter out the worst effects of immediately proximate gunfire.

That said, distant gunfire, whilst of enormous importance in many other respects, is largely irrelevant to the issue of ear defenders.

Yes, okay, they will also protect you from your colleague's gunfire if they are sufficiently close by - and yes, an enclosed space will also have a deleterious effects .........

but you get the picture; yes?

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Reid Malenfant
Boffin

The Crack

Some UK Police Forces have been using the larger circumaural version of this for some years in the training environment, where historically 99.9% all their shooting actually takes place.

Their systems significantly enhance the shooter's normal hearing range whilst minimising the worst of the crack from all weapons in close proximity. Its permits you to to hear a whispered command from 50+ metres made via another's headphone system.

Police marksmen take stringent annual hearing tests and its worth noting that the majority of those who eventually fail are ex-servicemen who's hearing has already become impaired through unprotected military shooting.

The only current bugbear being the need to "double plug' when firing heavier calibre weapons such as the Colt M4 (M16) and, in particular the shorter barrel LM3 derivative.

In their current form these particular headsets are too unwieldy and impractical for continuous operational use but the more compact version, as described, could, if developed with user feedback, prove to be a significant improvement. Particularly when mated to an integral comms system.

But being the MOD, I very much doubt that active servicemen will ever be consulted until its far too late to address any concerns or observations.

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US Navy spends $12m on electric hypercannon

Reid Malenfant
Happy

The British Railgun?

Need I say more?

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5,000-year-old 'ice man' was shot to death

Reid Malenfant

You can't stop me.... you do know that?

Oh, and I take it that you do know what you are don't you?

I knew you just couldn't resist it!

..... see you at 7 numbnuts (its your turn to make the tea)!

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Reid Malenfant
Happy

Back to the Fussia

@ Dunstan Vavasour

"Am I the only one who thinks that, once all the scientific information has been gathered, he should be given a decent burial?"

As opposed to what .... an indecent one?

Seriously, what would be the point? Any issues concerning the possession (or otherwise) of his immortal soul was decided long ago (or not as the case may be) in this man's case .... and its not as though he has known relatives asking for his remains.

Your comment reminds me somewhat of all the nonsensical (to my mind) law suits and clamour for the remains of prehistoric Native-Americans (North and South) from museums and research institutes in order to satisfy certain modern day politico-cultural/religious mores.

I often find it curious (and sometimes illuminating), to reflect on the mindset of people who feel so confident as to assume that they have even the slightest idea of what any long-dead individual's thoughts or belief systems might have been - Let alone this strange desire to stand up for their posthumous 'rights'.

Beyond mere statistical probability, we have grounds whatsoever for assuming anything at all with regard to his thoughts and beliefs. For all we know our frozen friend might have been an adherent of a thriving humanist cult, perhaps a lone atheist wandering rationally or maybe even the very first prophet to hear Allah's message to the faithful! We cant possibly know.

I guess provided he's treated with at least a modicum of respect and descency and spared from any excess, the scientific commumnity will at least spare themselves from too much irrational ranting. And thats about it.

If anyone were to find anything left of me in the dim and distant future, they're free to do with me as they please - because what could possibly concern me? ...... well apart from a spot of time travel or reanimation?

Nah, I'll settle for an infinite number of alternative realities in a possible multi-verse - perhaps one of me there might get to meet an alternative Iceman and get to apologise for everything I've just said!

Hmm, I guess he probably died intestate too? ..... bags I the bow and arrows!

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Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely

Reid Malenfant
Thumb Up

To Matt Bryant

Matt, I believe that during the last couple of years I've read a fair cross section of your postings, I have even replied to a few, primarily because I had taken particular issue with your opinions.

However, I now feel prompted to congratulate you on your sterling defence in the face of a relentless barrage of insults and dogmatic tub thumping. I do enjoy reading someone that can combine apparent sincerity with wit and intelligence, regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

It's probably my age but I’m finding mindless insults and name calling increasingly tiresome and utterly futile. With regard to certain topics, Registerland does indeed seem to possess its own 'received wisdom', and woe betide anyone who dares to challenge an accepted standpoint.

Surely what we want here is a range of opinions? Rounding on an individual for offering an observation, or claiming knowledge, that contradicts your immutable dogma suggests intimidation and displays a certain hypocrisy, particularly when viewed against a backdrop of a supposed Police State and Governmental fascism. Does no-one see the irony?

Personally, I find all the “we’re going to hell in a Police State” musings about as reasoned and balanced as the archetypal Daily Mail rant against the unstoppable tide of immigration and vicious criminals on every corner. They are all loaded political standpoints based on assumption, bias and pre-judgement (that’s ‘prejudice’ to you and me!).

As in so much of life, the truth tends to walk an uneasy path between extremes and is invariably skewed by the unforeseen and unexpected ….. that and the fact that people rarely conform to stereotype, no matter how much you may want (or even need) them to.

To assert, for instance, that 98% of police are racist, that all mac owners are by definition idiots or that there is an international Jewish conspiracy is at best childish or naive and, at worst, malicious.

There, see what you’ve done, now I'm ranting? …. damn! I’m come over all hoists and petards now.

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Counter-terror police arrest Tory frontbencher

Reid Malenfant

@ Jon Axtell

As far as this case is concerned, what has has NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC is the precise nature of the initial allegation that was made to the Police; nor how it was delivered, from whom or what organisation it came from nor what particular piece of legislation the complainant sought to invoke.

It would ONLY have been from these factors that the Police response would have been calculated and, quite clearly, someone has briskly pulled the rug out from underneath them too! They were clearly led to believe there was sufficient prima facie evidence to justify an arrest which, in turn, subsequently satisfied a Custody Officer that he/she was justified in authorising a lawful detention.

We HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD what that consisted of; furthermore, I'd have thought they'd have conducted these searches UNDER WARRANT, particularly that one in Parliament (it would have been very foolish not to), in which case the evidence, for what it was, would also have had to satisfy a Magistrate BEFORE the Police could have proceeded. It sounds to me like they were well and truly sold a pup by someone they initially had cause to trust but are now finding quite difficult to communicate with! One of those nasty 'shifting sands' scenarios that occasionally rise up to bite you in the bum.

Because, with the benefit of hindsight, had they had fully appreciated quite where their enquiry would lead them I can all but guarantee that the eventual operation would never have taken place as it had done, if indeed any operation would have taken place at all. And that's not to say that they'd have preferred to have ducked all the flak (though that certainly would have been a welcome bonus), no, they would have strictly confined themselves to an alleged criminal investigation and steered a very wide berth around any matters of constitutional impact.

I imagine there has been much resentment and sleepless nights for the unfortunate individual(s) who sanctioned this operation ..... something he or she knows, only too well, will haunt all their future career prospects.

Re your 1st point: Quite simply because they are the MET and the MET have always and will always do everything differently from everyone else.

Few rank & file officers within the MET realise just how hierarchical their Force has remained in comparison with the larger of the provincial Forces. To outside Officers visiting it feels like you've stepped back into the 70's. Certain other Forces tend to operate more as a meritocracy where experience and ability will usually trump rank when it comes to special operations and emergency actions. For example in the MET a Polsa or Bronze Firearms Commander is usually an Inspector or even Chief Inspector whilst, next door in the TVP they are more likely to be a PC (but with probably more service than the MET guy).

Now this is a very sweeping statement I know but, as a consequence of the above, there really does seem to be a far greater sense of involvement and responsibility permeating the lower ranks of many provincial Forces than seems tangible in the MET. A factor that's frequently laid bare to those involved in joint and cross border operations.

I know they don't like to hear it but excesses and irresponsibility has long been a particular MET trait going back decades. They are nothing like as good as they think they are ..... I'm afraid that old 'call in The Yard' cliche has long since been a hollow joke.

The NPIA (National Police Improvement Agency) are doing their level best to standardise practice, procedures and paperwork across the country; but everyone knows that the MET will never completely conform; they are far too big, have absolutely mammoth resources and far too many vested career interests to ever allow that to happen.

Sad but true.

re your PS

Well, its only been a few decades so far but I live in hope. Thanks for asking.

....... and for being well read.

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Reid Malenfant
Boffin

@ Michael Fremlins - Police Out of Control

> Unless "leaking" is a terrorist offence these days, why were anti-terrorist police involved?

The Met Police Search Teams that conduct all of the vulnerable missing person searches and routine warrant executions together with all the crime scene searches are also the very same people who conduct all the SO15 counter terrorist searches.

Once you filter out emotive hype you'll see that all police searches are conducted by Counter-Terrorist Police or, put another way, the Missing OAP Search team or Drug Raid Team or whatever else you want to spin them as.

>Why did it take 9 anti-terrorist police to make this arrest?

Because a standard Met Police Search team consists of 1 Team leader, 6 searchers, at least one Exhibits officer and occasionally a Polsa (Police Search Advisor). If it were regarded as a 'major crime' there would almost certainly be several teams involved. The fact that it seems only 1 team was deployed speaks for itself. A thorough MET CT search of a private dwelling takes a good week to execute not a single day, this tends to imply that the Police didn't consider it a CT Job.

>Were these police armed, and if so why? Were they expecting armed resistance?

Why should they be? Hardly any search requires AFO cover including the vast majority of CT searches. There are in fact very few UK Police forces who use AFO's (Authorised Firearms Officers) as their searchers. The Met certainly don't, their searchers are not even specialist full-time officers; they are just normal uniform Divisional officers who volunteer for the extra training and yearly 3 monthly attachments - its primarily an overtime thing.

As far as the other 42 UK Police Forces are concerned, yes the MET is a very different animal, and is generally regarded by the rank and file with varying degrees of derision - but it would still be a very rare and brave Polsa who would willingly ramp up a search operation to CT levels without any lawful justification - that's a real career buster and they just won't do it.

Whatever else you think you "know" about Police Officers, do not underestimate the average plod's sense of self preservation - even in the MET ..... in these accursedly political correct times, there's no shortage of officers only too happy to say "no" to dubious or insensitive instructions. Because they all know that when push comes to shove, the hierarchy would think nothing of hanging them out to dry. An unfortunate fact that is increasingly stretching loyality to its limits and fostering a growing sense of militancy right across the country. This is not a happy time to be a police officer as evidenced by an increase in transfers, emigrations and early retirements.

This feared Police State will have to be run by a band of idealistic 22 year olds with a 10 year career to look forwards to because soon there'll be no-one else left save the Bramshill set. More Camberwick Green than Stasi.

The information, as so far stated, certainly does raise questions but I'm very mindful that most of this has originated from political and media sources - neither of which are renowned for their reliability or independence. I tend to suspect that, whatever else it was that led to this particular enquiry, still has yet to see the full light of day. Indeed, it may never do so now its come under such an intensive spotlight.

Sad but true!

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Secret Service camera bought on eBay

Reid Malenfant

@ AC

Nice one Tone!

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Reid Malenfant

@ Mark ?????????

Sorry?

Try re-reading my posting again and see if you understand it this time.

I was primarily venting my spleen about:

a) the supposed integrity of our beloved 'free press' and

b) the tendency people have of abandoning critical judgement when confronted with information that fits their own particular world view. The latter being a frequently encountered precursor in many forms of prejudice.

I was doing so because, once again, so many posters were laughably going off one one whilst:

a) clearly not being in possession of all the facts (and of course how could they be?), whilst self-evidently filling in the blanks with their own particular assumptions and preconceived ideas and

b) readily accepting a piece poor quality, unsubstantiated journalism, as evidence enough.

I never said that the story could not be true, I merely alleged that it was more likely to be merely REPRESENTATIONAL of the facts, which is an altogether different assertion. I stand by that hypothesis based, in part on probability, in part on those allegations outlined in my second paragraph and in part on the long standing editorial ethos of the Sun newspaper.

Do you find this particularly unfounded, illogical or irrational? Are you a journalist or have such aspirations?

The proof of the pudding, for me, lies in the great lengths that Registerland folk usually go to in minutely dissecting and critiquing every facet of those Stories that they readily WANT to disagree with whilst, just as frequently, accepting at face value, almost any old tosh that is fits in with certain viewpoints; its the sheer inconsistancy (dare I say hypocrasy?) that gives the game.

You know exactly what I'm talking about.

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Reid Malenfant
Coat

I was just wondering ............

The Great British media is usually first in line for a hammering in Registerland, particularly such rags as the Sun and Daily Mail, for very good reasons I might add.

You remember: selective reporting, shameless politically biased sensationalism, congenital overhyping, LDC (lowest common denominator) journalism, outraging their target 'readership', promoting trivia to significance, celebrity fetishism, relentless mud slinging, presenting urban mythtisism as news and of course everyone's favourite: good old fashioned barefaced lying.

I've yet to read a single article that has ever acurately reflected the totality of any event that I have had personal knowledge of or involvement in; and, sadly, there's been quite a few. I've even failed to recognise a few stories in their entirity until perhaps a familiar name or location crops up - and they can get those wrong too.

AFAIC all newspapers (and the media in general), of whatever hue, should come with a boldly printed warning stating "ONLY LOOSLY BASED ON REALITY" - or do we disagree on this?

So by what measure of journalistic integrity has seen this particular story, like so many others, promoted to the status of incontravertable fact? Factual enough to get so many of you so hot and bothered (see above);

"Wherein doth the whole truth reside?" ...... Wherein indeed? Because I'm quite prepared to bet that Sun's angle is, at best, merely representational of the actual events. Or is this a story, like so many others, what we really want to believe - something akin to what makes a stereotypical Sun reader keep going back for more?

Does anyone else find the frequently outraged, angry and irrational postings that appear so often in Registerland almost as amusing and entertaining as the alleged 'stories' that provoke them? Bullshit tends to beget bullshit my friends, or have you forgotten that?.

But like I said; I was just wondering .............

Mine's the Troll's cloak ........... because there are occasions when trolling becomes a worthwhile virtue.

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Scientists study near-death sensations

Reid Malenfant

Going Underground

I too have had a near death experience on the underground.

As a matter of fact I get one whenever I use public transport,

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Samsung unwraps MacBook Air beater

Reid Malenfant
Stop

Registerland Intellectuals:

My dad's bigger than your dad ... nah nah nah!

Good grief .....

"IT'S A PUPPET"!

Damn! I've just quoted Brian Conley .... sigh .... hung from my own petard!

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Police protester snap did not breach rights

Reid Malenfant

@ Mark – Mk II - DAMN IT!

First I must apologise for being tired and posting a very incomplete reply by mistake, my meaning was probably lost; this is what I had actually written:

Unless of course civility is not actually the situation you had in mind at all ….?

For example, I recall a number of similar situations at pub turnout time when the inevitable drunk fuelled disturbances occur. It is not that unusual for a copper to have his hands full with struggling prisoners and screaming yobbery and simultaneously having to contend with an otherwise unconnected Ballbag who deems it necessary to step up to offer his hate filed critique of your current performance.

It usually plays out with said Ballbag screaming into your face their erroneous interpretation of events and your alleged breach of his and everyone else’s civil rights. As is usually the case, I’m still trying to calm everything down but the net effect (dare I say intent?) of Ballbag’s intentionally provocative behaviour is to inflame both your detainee and the increasingly volatile crowd now hell-bent on finishing off their evening at your expense. It invariably ends in increased violence and extreme anti-social behaviour in which everyone loses.

Is this more what you had in mind as there is a whole world of difference between this scenario and the one you seemed to imply? But having said that, I of course don’t know what’s going on in your mind, you do not appear to be talking from a particularly informed standpoint.

By the way, the last time this actually happened to me I had spotted a guy wanted for a serious Aggravated Burglary (he felt it necessary to concuss a female OAP in her hallway) leaving a nightclub, the watching crowd, egged on by my particular Ballbag, merely assumed I was arresting him because he was black and turned on me. This being the apparent ‘evidence’ of their own eyes coupled with that well known ‘fact’ that all Police are racist irrespective of their own ethnicity – such is the nature of blind prejudice. Freed by the crowd, he got away (and as far as I know he has yet to be recaptured), and I got yet another roughing up (would you believe that one of my attackers was actually the OAP’s unknowing grandson!!!). I did however manage to arrest the intervening TWAT that inflamed the violence in the first place as he foolishly remained to berate me as my back-up arrived and attackers fled.

… by strange coincidence I seem to recall that his first name was Mark or Marcus, this wouldn’t, by any delicious irony, happen to be you would it?

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Reid Malenfant

@Mark - Could this be a persecution complex bordering on masochism?

You’re peddling bollocks again aren’t you?

a) “the Police don’t know that”

What are you talking about moron? Of course they do, the bloody information is deliberately plastered all over their uniform for the whole world to see. UK Police have been wearing their SHOULDER NUMBERS for over 100 years now and NAME BADGES for well over a decade.

Or perhaps you hadn’t noticed?

b) “the police don’t like that”

Maybe not in your fantasy but the reality is that the vast majority are largely indifferent. Stop and think about it for just a second …. how could they be otherwise when they openly WEAR the information in question precisely for people like you to read it without even having to ask.

DUH!

c) “the police will arrest you for asking”

What the hell are you talking about? Why and to what end? To give themselves yet another 2 hours of futile, boring and utterly pointless paperwork? Get real! Or has this too happened to yet another ‘friend’ of yours?

No, I’m sorry, but asking an officer, CIVILLY, for his identity is not remotely contentious and I’m afraid you’re making yourself sound silly. Unless of course this is not actually what you had in mind at all ….?

I can, however, well imagine a mid-fight/disturbance where all kinds of physical shit is taking place all around you. Your hands are full of prisoners and, suddenly, for no apparent reason, some drunken, abusive and provocative ballbag climbs into your face screaming his and everyone else’s rights. The net effect of such behaviour is to invariably to exacerbate the situation and simulate further violence. But there is a whole world of difference between this and the scenario you originally posited.

Do you really believe in even half of the claptrap you seem so keen to spout?

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American auto dealer offers free handguns

Reid Malenfant
Joke

The thought made me smile ....

of going into the showroom and asking to buy a Shooting-brake?

But then I'm easily pleased.

Incidentally is that what you still call luxury estates in the US?

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Taser gun usage soaring among UK cops

Reid Malenfant

@ Mark - 7 shots

There is insufficient space and time here to go right into Stockwell, I am not prepared to second guess the guys involved nor what took place after the dust settled, but I will make the following observations.

Unlike the general public, we have been shown us the gory footage of Israeli police, soldiers and security guards attempting to stop suicide bombers at close quarters - very few of them ever survive. Their bombers seem to use a number of detonation techniques including: hand triggers, dead man’s switches, 360 degree contact switches and remote activation (often doubled up in case of last minute indecision). Most bombers also take out those trying to stop them despite suffering fatal gunshots. The detonation effects in that scene in Swordfish are somewhat exaggerated but essentially correct.

This would have been burning through the minds of those CO19 guys as they ran into the tube; they’d all be acutely aware that their survival odds were rapidly diminishing the closer they approached their ‘bomber’. And this can’t be emphasized enough, whatever the failings of the operation, at the crucial time they BELIEVED that they had a live suicide bomber and it was entirely down to them to stop him, regardless the consequences to themselves.

When necessary I can fire a Glock SLP at 5-6 rounds per second without any adrenaline surge; I have no idea how much faster or slower I’d be if I was facing a suicide bomber at close quarters.

There were in fact 2 CO19 AFO’s that simultaneously shot; from experience I’d say that, regardless of all previous planning and years of training, it’s quite likely that in the milliseconds immediately prior to and during the actual shooting, each officer would have been momentarily unaware of the actions of any other person around him. It’s quite possible that all the shoots were fired in a half second, we’ve certainly videoed similar times in training.

Perceptual distortions are an inescapable human condition and the more extreme and/or life threatening your circumstances; the more they can kick in. Time seems to slow, your vision tends to become tunnelled and you can suffer varying degrees of audio exclusion. Your memories of events are heavily influenced and highly subjective, they also seem to change over time. This is neither unusual nor controversial. I’ll give you an example:

Just after the Canary Wharf bombing we knew an IRA ASU was in our midst and we had very good reason to believe they were active in our area. I was then part of a vulnerable VIP’s protection team and was out patrolling alone. In the tree line overlooking the house I found a man hidden up a tree with a sniper’s rifle and dressed in camouflaged clothing, he was hooded. I had evidently stumbled accross an IRA operation.

I saw him first and beat him to the aim; he slowly raised his hands with the rifle balanced on his lap. He was 15m away I could clearly see his gun, the bipod was folded flat, it had a large silencer and telescopic sights. I knew he wouldn’t be working alone and the fact that I was still alive implied that his colleagues could not yet see me. I realised that I was in serious shit and dared not move nor make a sound for fear of giving my position away. Because of that, I could give no challenge nor use my radio (pre-panic button days).

I was 100% certain of what confronted me and fully prepared to shoot if events took a nasty turn. I weighed up the possible consequences: 1. I get killed, 2. I’m up for murder and 3. they surrender. It’s fair to say that I didn’t fancy my chances, running away was not an option. I adopted what little defensive measures were available to me when suddenly the man slowly pulled his hood off. To my utter amazement his rifle then appeared to shimmer, I blinked and it seemed to morph into a double barrelled shotgun!

At that precise moment, I suddenly became aware that a 747 was passing low overhead almost drowning out my radio which had been calling me for sometime. For a second, I could not believe my senses before my perception of events shifted; it was a salutary experience, one which has remained with me ever since.

Fortunately, this has not reoccurred in me (as far as I know!) but I do know it has certainly happened to others. Oh, and that gunman turned out to be a visiting gamekeeper unfamiliar with our operations.

Finally, shortly after the shooting, one Stockwell eye witness gave a live media interview claiming to have seen a man vaulting the turnstile wearing what appeared to him to be a suicide bomber's vest. This appears to be a genuine mistake and almost certainly the result of perceptual distortions. This was reported in the IPCC's Stockwell One report and I remember hearing it myself on TV. It's hardly surprising that he subsequently failed to offer himself up for trial by media.

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Reid Malenfant
Unhappy

@ Mark

All people by default ought to have some basic respect for one another, call it common courtesy or politeness; I think of it as social lubricant. Police officers cant function without it.

The UK Police are a civilian body and by definition are “citizens locally appointed”; so yes they are “us” and always have been, that was the whole point of their inception. Their essential job description is, in order of priority: “The preservation of life and property, the maintenance of order and the prevention and detection of crime”. And that, by and large, is what the vast majority of them endeavour to do, even the youngest most inexperienced.

The job can indeed be dangerous and unpleasant; it can also be boring, hilariously funny, rewarding, frustrating, exciting, depressing and exhilarating. Dependent on the Force (there are 43) and local demographics, the nature of job and the number of different roles within it, can vary enormously, usually far more than most people realise. There’s certainly no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all cop and to pretend there is, is at best, naive.

Sadly, many people today seem locked into several fixed stereotypes, and like all stereotypes, they can become enthusiastically reinforced by selective (and often inaccurate) news coverage, uninformed speculation (the Daily Mail anybody?) and the constant drip feed of TV and movie fiction. But haven’t we all learned yet that stereotypes seldom reflect reality, particularly on an individual basis? Any inner-city teenaged black kid will tell you that with far more eloquence than I.

I have personally had a number of very violent and unpleasant experiences (including 2 attempted murders) with black youths and, based on so many of the “I once saw a cop doing …. therefore they all etc” arguments, I ought to now be pre-judging all Afro-Caribbean’s accordingly but I don’t because I know better and can recognise a stereotype when I see one; sadly, this does not seem true for most of the above including yourself.

You say that ‘the Police’ don’t actually do the job they’re supposed to be doing, but that’s absolute nonsense and manifestly incorrect, in any event, it is now almost entirely demand led. For the vast majority, the workload is relentless and is embraced with an enthusiasm borne of job satisfaction and social conscience. There are over 140,000 of them, that you seem content to selectively allow individual events to rubbish them all is both a facetious and disingenuous standpoint. It’s certainly not an argument that would hold much water in any other discussion.

Yes, individuals can and do indeed do stupid and inappropriate things from time to time, I certainly have and so probably have you but you try and learn from them and move on. Hell’s teeth, Doctors murder patients, Bankers embezzle, Solicitors steal money and Builder’s wreck extensions, does that mean they’re all rubbish?

My greatest concern, however, is the acute loss of experience coupled with the Home Office’s overly-enthusiastic embrace of PCSO’s – and I mean no disrespect to any of them reading this – the consequences are already being felt on the streets. That and much of the muddled thinking that emanates from the Bramshill Police Staff College (ACPO training) and the Home Office in general. Much of the law we're given to enforce is shocking and ill-conceived but, quite rightly, we have no direct control over that.

Half hearted policing on the cheap is no substitute for the real thing and, as I already mentioned, many of the yobs are realising this and are gradually ‘upping the anti’ in many areas across the country. It is no longer unusual to find weapons and Class-A drug stashes in housing estates and a ready willingness to resort to extreme violence and intimidation over mere trivia. In the first half of my 33 year career I encountered murder rarely, in my current role, it’s now a weekly event (well twice this week already). And if we stop coping with it, what hope do you have?

I fear for the future.

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Reid Malenfant
Coat

@ AC - Bad, bad, bad.

That ‘trigger happy’ cliché always makes me smile and yet still it persists. In my Force we’ve been carrying firearms for decades, every day - 24/7. At any one time there are a number of pre-planned operations that necessitate the issue of firearms not counting the growing number of ARV (Armed response Unit) deployments.

Each month there are a number of overt 'rapid interventions' and 'hard stops' during which offenders are arrested, many in possession of firearms themselves. There’s a small army of Protection Officers, Tactical Support Group officers, ARV and ASVs, Firearms Instructors and a few others and events certainly keep us very busy.

Many thousands of man-hours (oops person-hours) have been expended on armed operational commitments and, as always, the fundamental plan is to try to prevent anyone having to shoot at all (both us and ‘them’) – and I have to say we’ve become rather adept at this.

I’m afraid that I only have a detailed awareness of the last 40 years but in all that time only 2 shots have ever been fired in anger.

On what planet does 2 shots in 40 years actually count as trigger happy?

I'll get my BPV.

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Reid Malenfant
Flame

Hype Hype Hooray!

Wow, this thread reads like an inverse Daily Mail and is about as balanced and reasoned. I’m afraid it smacks of that special “well everybody knows” wisdom that the Mail tends to adopt when it wants to damn asylum seekers, gypsies, Muslims, hoodies or anyone else they care to defame.

Outside of the Metropolitan areas the only way you’re likely to become outnumbered by the cops is during pre-planned events because, for the most part, they’re spread so thin on the ground they have no real effect. For example, it’s not that unusual to have just 5 night duty officers for the whole of South Bucks where once there would have been in excess of 50; and its like this right across the country.

The fact is that the majority of shift officers are still within their first 3-4 years service and desperately inexperienced, their average age is 22 and 50% of them are female. That 1970’s recruitment bulge are now retiring and large swathes of the remainder have either emigrated or left early. In many towns today the cops are outnumbered by PCSOs and that’s a real scandal.

This new breed of young cops, ‘The 12 year Olds’, now represents the majority of most Forces and are utterly indoctrinated with political correctness and career development; they are certainly no match for the relentless yobbery that blights so many estates and town centres and the yobs know that.

They go out of their way to avoid any confrontation and are not remotely equipped to deal with violence. They certainly can’t handle it themselves; does anyone really believe that 2 days annual Officer Safety Training days even remotely equates with “trained in these techniques of self-defence and submission holds”? They’re absolutely petrified of receiving any complaints and act more like Social Workers than Police Officers. Battering handcuffed prisoners? Get real, they’d be petrified.

The modern Police Force may be facing a looming crisis, the tragedy is that those in charge are utterly blinkered and can’t see it coming - but this has nothing to do with all of that bilious invective spouted above. They’d rather please the press than enforce the law. If the Police are unable to protect themselves the rest of us don’t stand a chance.

There is a whole country outside London people, stop falling for the hype and see what’s really going on – there’s plenty to be depressed about it’s just not what you think it is.

But then I’m probably wasting my breath when so many of you really think you ‘know’ what’s going on.

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Lancashire plodcopters in laser dazzle outrage outbreak

Reid Malenfant

Pedantry

Minor points: Police helicopters are not piloted by Police Officers. Why go to all the time and expense of training one up when there are plenty of experienced combat trained ex-military pilots only too happy to do the job?

Armed officers have no real use for laser dot aiming on firearms as all they effectively do are to give away your position; not too clever when you're cammed up in a containment position. The much favoured Eotech HDS sights contain their 'red dot' internally within the parallax-free holographic display and are much more effective.

Tasers, on the other hand, use visible laser sight painting to both: a) enable quick firing from any hand/arm position and b) to act as an effective deterant which they invariably do in the majority of deployments, this is also why they are purchased in high viz yellow. Tasers of course can only be used at close quarters and are all but useless in containments.

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'Mad Scientist' developing powered suits for US military

Reid Malenfant

re @ Reid by AC

I doesn't have to have a Direct Neural Interface to be of potential use to stoke victims, just a means to brace up the immobile side whilst perhaps providing some sort of servo assisted movement in balance with the funtional side. Don't forget, not all stroke victims suffer a complete paralysis down the one side, there are varying degrees of immobility and someone with, say, a 75% reduction in neural control might still find some benefit if the technology was carefully tailored to their needs.

Likewise in those other disabilities that I mentioned; across a large sample of patients there will be a fairly wide continuum of disablement that stretches all the way from excessive muscular fatigue right down to a complete paralysis. Take MS, for example, whilst some people suffer a gradual debilitating degeneration others may only go so far then find something of an equilibrium that might keep them in a state of moderate restrictive movement for many years.

If some of this technology could be harnessed and, perhaps linked with the ongoing sophistication of prosthetic limbs, for those who need them, then you could seriously improve the quality of life of certain patients.

Ah progressive limb regeneration, now that would really be the holy grail wouldn't it?.

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Reid Malenfant
Heart

My priorities must be all wrong .....

because all I can think about are amputees and those who suffer from stokes, muscular dystropy, spina bifida and multiple sclerosis etc. etc.

But then I don't play computer games.

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Alienware ships 'most powerful' 15in laptop to Brits

Reid Malenfant
IT Angle

@ Troy Shanahan - RE: Computer Games

Curious riposte that change of direction - its the classic politicians' response. Well done, you completely evaded the issue.

I'm sorry but, irrespective of the relative merits of Hollywood movies, TV, novels, Neolithic cave paintings or anything else you care to come up with. Computer games are still a mind numbingly futile waste of time.

Hmm, perhaps I'm going to be told I need get in more?

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Reid Malenfant
Unhappy

Computer games

come somewhere between watching paint dry and waiting for planks to warp in the list of utterly pointless and futile ways of passing that, all to brief, time between birth and death.

What a waste of technology!

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Server theft knocks Peter Gabriel off the web

Reid Malenfant

I'll nick anything me, I'm a geeza!

Their first elementary mistake was siting anything of any value or consequence in High Wycombe - what a shit hole - if its not nicked there it'll soon get trashed by the low-life.

I've both lived and worked there and witnessed first hand, world class looting in action. In reality, building security is merely a challenge, a blatant advertisement that there must be something, anything, somewhere inside worth stealing. Mind you, the same could be said about Slough, Reading and Oxford. Grief the Home Counties are becoming the clepto version of Dawn of the Dead.

Roll on the luna Botany Bay!

I'm only surprised by the fact that they didn't torch the place on the way out - I wonder how much smack they got for all the hardware?

Bastards!

They even stole my bloody dreams in High Wycombe ....

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Scotland Yard pokes crooks on Facebook

Reid Malenfant

Maybe ......

Sadly, there are more than enough low-life morons willing to 'big-up' their exploits to probably make such endeavours worthwhile. In any event such work would almost certainly be undertaken by civilian employees (that now make up to 50% of some Force's establishments).

Hitherto, such own-goal revelations have only tended to come to light once an investigation's run its course and usually then only by chance. Yes, of course there's issues of identity and intent but that's normally the case in practically every inquiry.

As for the justification on resourcing grounds, that's not always easy or straight forward to quantify. Your average murder enquiry, for example, will invariably require a prodigious investment in time, money and resources, and I mean truly huge. It all depends on the circumstances and it doesn't take much imagination to postulate seemingly unsolvable crimes; script writers do it all the time: random victim, no witnesses, no suspects etc, its seldom easy.

I've been involved in cases where numerous hunches, bogus confessions and plain old red herrings have led to an excess of 5000+ written statements being recorded, not to mention a couple of years hard slog, before good fortune leads to an offender. In such circumstances, every potential lead eventually becomes followed, no matter how tenuous. So an ongoing drip-feed of You-tube etc scrutiny may indeed pay dividends in the long term, though at first thought, it'll probably be about as elusive to quantify as trying to gauge the precise effects of crime prevention. Someone has clearly made a business case for it, I'll be interested to see how it pans out.

Incidentally, I never cease to be amazed that the higher a crime's profile, the more the deranged flock in their droves to 'confess' to it, regardless of consequence.

And with regard to the oft assumed harmlessness of imitation or replica weapons: firearms used in crime are seldom discharged, they don't have to be as the mere threat of use is sufficient. This effectively removes any practical difference between the real and the pretend as numerous successful armed robberies will evidence. Here, its the criminal's intention which is paramount. It gets really tough to deal with when they tell you they have a loaded weapon but you can't see it properly (in cover, darkness, under a coat etc). You really don't want to be stood out in the open when that happens as you very quickly start running out of options; but that's another story.

Furthermore, its not always obvious deciding when someone should be taken seriously or not. An unarmed colleague of mine once stupidly convinced himself that the small gobby 13 year old in the playground only had a toy gun until the little sod suddenly shot him in the cheekbone with a .22 pellet; I think that's called learning the hard way.

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