Blast From the Past

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Thanks or Apologies to PC Bloggs who has inspired/caused me to think about a hypothesis.

Its called "Damned if we do, Damned if we Dont".

There are many examples of this, which I need not bother going into as im sure we all know what they are, but I shall make some hypothetical ones up to illustrate my point!

PC Smith is called to reports of a man acting supiciously possibly armed. PC Smith is an armed officer by the way. He tells the man to put the take his hands out of his pockets and place them on his head. He refuses after being told many times and having a gun pointed at him. He then pulls his hands out his pockets very fast towards PC Smith. PC Smith shoots the man. The man dies. The police get a slating for this "unprovoked killing"

Ok lets change the scenario a bit. Same thing happens but PC Smith does not shoot, and gets shot dead by the man who then kills some other people (yes over the top but hey). The police are slated for not doing anything to prevent this crazed man from going on a "killing spree".

Hence the damned if we do, damned if we dont theory.

Another example...

Johnny Scroate has stolen Mr LeMans car. Mr LeMans is a bit of an arrogant self obsessed bloke (not that this makes any difference). PC Jones spots Mr LeMans car driving, and gives chase. Johnny Scroate who cant drive such a powerful car ploughs it into Mrs Miggins and her twelve cats sat on her patio infront of her house. Her and her cats all get killed/injured. The police get a slating for causing Johnny Scroate to steal the car and drive like a fool and killing/injuring Mrs Miggins and her cats.

Alter the situation a bit, same as above but PC Smith see's the car, attepts to stop it but it doesnt stop. PC Smith decides to not pursue and goes to tell Mr LeMan that he has seen his car but didnt do anything due to the dangers/human rights issues of Johnny Scroate and the risk that he might injure himself, and we couldnt possibly have that.
The police get a slating for doing bugger all.

Once again another example of the damned if we do damned if we dont theory.

Let me know if you have any other theories along these lines!


PC Bloggs said...

This is so true. I guess the answer is to always do something, and do whatever seems right at the time. At least that way you can always justify it in front of PSD/IPCC/Crown court (worst case)! I think the most problems police officers get themselves into is when they either lie or hide things due to embarrassment or worrying they will be criticised. Times I have gone to court and they have said "Why didn't you..." I have just said, "I forgot./Didn't realise./Made a mistake." It flummoxes them and although you might lose a case, at least you are being honest.

Anonymous said...

I am an AFO and it is something that you have to think about everytime we get called anywhere at status.. It's something that until your faced with would be hard to answer. Do I shoot, Don't I shoot.. The baton gun holds many answers for us! At least we stand a better chance of not killing the muppet who stands before us.

My force has armed all our armed car's with one baton gun, However, It still crosses my mind, when someone asks the question. Why did you shoot your MP5 when your partner had a baton gun.. Could I stand in the middle of a firearms incd and shout to Barry my partner, Shoot him Barry (meaning the baton gun) seconds count. Although the training we have is amazing.. Without being in that situation it's so hard to say...

I understand what you mean, How many times do we drive down the road and see something, It crosses your mind, Should I stop him for using his mobile phone? Better not, He is black and it might come back at me.. Should I stop that white boy riding his bike on the path. If I do, His Mum goes mad and tells me to find a real law breaker, If I don't it's in letters to the editor how police "DO NOTHING WHEN ANTI SOCIAL YOBS RIDE BIKES ON THE STREET"

I better stop him for speeding
"having you got anything better to do officer" across the papers cause he is a reporter

Yet if I don't stop him and he hits a kid.... It's not worth thinking about...

My answer is simple... If I see them doing something wrong and can justife my reasons at that point, I do stop them.. Write your reasons in your pocket book and sleep easy!

Keep up the good work.. Your bloggs are amazing.. Someone at work has even started printing them off to show the PC his is training!

Richard Dannatt

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Thanks very much Richard for your kind comments :)
I must say, out of all the roles within the police yours is probably the hardest and one which has such responsibility yet you put your life/career on the line to protect people - you guys have great respect from me!
Thanks for reading :)

Gargoyle said...

In every situation, you do what you think is the right thing in the given circumstances. That is why you are an SPC. Wasn't for the money, eh?
That way you can be satisfied, and happy with your job, life and soul... No matter who judges you, stand tall and believe in YOUR judgement.