Gift horses?


If little faults proceeding on distemper
Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chewed, swallowed, and digested,

Appear before us?

Henry V act 2, scene 2.

Gift horses houldn’t be orally inspected (err…), goes the old saying… however, this is becoming increasingly more likely if the person receiving said ‘gift’ is a copper.

Well… a copper below ACPO rank, to be more precise

Ever growing numbers of Police forces across the country are looking for ever more inventive ways of reducing that wage bill by sacking officers for misconduct ‘offences’ that previous regimes would have ‘winked at’…

A19 has got rid of a fair few, no recruitment has ensured natural wastage reduces the ever shrinking pool of officers yet further.

However… it’s clear from the next round of cuts (some as high as 20%) that more officers need to hang up their cuffs. Of course, voluntary severance (redundancy) will remove a fair few more -especially the target group of those with more than 20 years in. DPS/PSD will no doubt step up to the plate to get rid of a few more.

Great eh?

Forces large and small are sending emails to staff reminding them of the rules around gratuities received on or off duty.

‘You must declare all items or services received and record them in your Pocket Note Book and on the Gratuity System on the Police internal network.

Such is the paranoia (or devilment) of some officers I know, they record cups of tea, free ‘tasters’ given out by buxom ladies with trays of cakes etc…

Given that the Home Office estimates an hour of a police officer’s time is worth £39, so even if each of the 31,000 officers in Scotland Yard spent just five minutes a month filling in the forms, the time taken would cost the taxpayer £1.2million a year.

That’s a lot of extra officers… 35 of my grade, 63 newbies…) just for the MET…

Personally…I do not accept anything for free. I don’t have free tasters…I don’t have free cups of tea, coffee… I pay for everything… much to the amusement of the people offering.

Once, succumbing to a need for a hot chocolate I went into the McHorse on the front… (this is genuine…)

“Hot chocolate please miss”, said I …

“here you are officer”, said the student I mean staff member…

“how much do I owe you?”, I asked…

“err… it’s free for officers in uniform”, she said…

“No miss…I insist on paying please. I’m not allowed to take freebies”

She was now confused. The till had the figure £0.00 on the display-she had wrung in a no-sale. The manager arrived and asked the problem so I repeated myself.

“The till has been set now officer”

“Look…you’ve got CCTV. If someone in here decides to complain I got a freebie and they had to pay, I’m in a pile of …trouble. I’m giving you the money. If you won’t take it I will leave without my chocolate, your choice.”

He took the money and cancelled the no-sale.

As I drank my chocolate a lady opposite asked me about what had happened and confirmed I would be in mega-trouble… “people complain about such matters?”

She seemed shocked and confused…

Yes they do…

Detective Inspector Gill Barratt, deputy chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, representing the rank and file, said: ‘Because of the fact that people are being disciplined for much more minor offences, they can’t afford to fall foul of this.

‘A box of chocolates could cost you your job. I think it’s right that hospitality should be declared but this is a bit over the top.’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe records all his appearances on national television or radio, to avoid appearing too close to journalists

‘Two-dads’ waiting to pounce on officers accepting a sweet from an old lady…

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5 responses to “Gift horses?

  1. 10 miserable years to go

    Meanwhile all the smt continue with their snouts in the trough. I wonder how many chief inspectors and above got freebie tickets for the Olympics whilst us plebs just got our rest days cancelled.

  2. I like how the Daily Mail says “every box of chocolates” like its happening every day. I’ve never had a box of chocolates from anyone in my time. Come to think of it, I’ve never had anything. Doesn’t surprise me where I work though.

  3. Furor Teutonicus

    Now, I would be tempted to “work to rule”. Chrisatmas? Socks from Granny?? IN the report they go! Fred Bloggs, told me it was raining and should put my coat on….YOU guessed it, can NOT go recieving un-recorded free imformation now, can we?

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