Urgent Assistance

  “Urgent Assistance”. Two highly emotive words – instantly recognisable to police officers everywhere. It’s a distress call. It’s the distress call: the one radio transmission guaranteed to cut through the relentless background noise – to prompt any Copper within travelling distance (and some much further away) to drop whatever they’re doing and get to... Continue Reading →


Don’t Go Changing

So much of the current talk in policing is of change. Of the pressing need for reform. And, truth be told, there is a great deal in this job that needs sorting out. But, amongst all the conversations about things like modernisation and transformation, it seems to me that we’re in danger of missing something... Continue Reading →

Nine Things I’m Learning

  I have a birthday this week. Not an especially significant one but, nonetheless, a prompt to pause and think for just a moment or two.  About work. About life. About the things that really matter. Almost 47 years of life. Almost 25 years of policing. And there are some things I’ve been learning along... Continue Reading →

The New Commissioner’s In Tray

This week sees the final interviews for the job of Met Commissioner. There are some truly outstanding people in the running. And what awaits the successful candidate? Simply, the honour and responsibility of leading the finest police service in the world. The Met has its faults and failings of course – some of them grave... Continue Reading →

Taking its Toll

It seems to me that we, as a society, owe a remarkable debt to police officers and their civilian colleagues. Pause for a moment to think about what we ask of the men and women in blue - what we expect of them. Amongst the humdrum and the routine, we expect them to go where... Continue Reading →

Heroes of our Time

On Tuesday 24th January 2017, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across the stories of three very remarkable men. Stories of quite astonishing courage. But, aside from a passing mention in a couple of newspapers they seem, largely, to have been overlooked by the mainstream media – and that doesn’t seem right to... Continue Reading →

Addicted to Violence

Violence. Society is addicted to it. In homes. On streets. Outside pubs and clubs on a Friday night. After the football. On TV. In the cinema. On games consoles. On the web. In fact and in fiction. We pursue it. We portray it. We glamourise it. We normalise it. We show it in slow motion... Continue Reading →

Policing Challenges in 2017

So here we are then, at the beginning of 2017. And the multitude of challenges facing the police service in Britain are, it seems to me, greater than at any point since the end of the Second World War. I.    Operational There are the crime challenges: Terrorism Serious Violence - including Homicide, Domestic Abuse... Continue Reading →

A Copper’s Christmas

Allow me if you will to present a retelling of the traditional Christmas story, using detail drawn from a little known historical source - the archives of the Bethlehem Police Department. One document in particular, the BPD Daily Crime Bulletin, offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and... Continue Reading →

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