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Truncheon Judy

Uniforms for PCCs, guru gratis and a spot of dogging

► What is it with PCCs contriving to clad themselves in branded uniforms? First it was Northamptonshire’s Stephen Mold. Out and about with traffic cops, he wore a hi vis jacket emblazoned with: “PCC.” Presumably that was so people could tell who he was. Now Cambridgeshire’s Jason Ablewhite is at it too. While picking up litter with volunteer police cadets in Wisbech he wore a police cadet T-shirt adorned with the Cambridgeshire Constabulary crest. Later he put on a fleece branded with the Cambridgeshire PCC logo – an item of clothing he had made specially – complete with epaulettes and the constabulary’s crest. Seems it’s time to shed the suit.

► After Home Secretary Theresa May declined to authorise water cannon for use on the UK mainland, one of the justifications the Met gave for continuing to hold on to the old bangers it had acquired from Germany was that these would be useful for training officers who might be deployed to Northern Ireland – where water cannon is allowed to be used – under mutual aid arrangements. However, this rationale now been blown out of the water, so to speak, by the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, George Hamilton. Asked whether the likely impending sale of the Met’s ill-fated water cannon would make any difference in the province, he remarked: “It’ll be fine because we would never use mutual aid officers as water cannon crew - we’d use our own people.” In the meantime, the vehicles continue to sit in the Met’s training facility at Gravesend, gathering dust at a cost of at least £20,000 – the annual amount required to maintain them.

► After last month revealed that the Met had shelled out hundreds of thousands of pounds to have management guru and inspirational speaker Jim Lawless address officers about a planned cuts programme, Mr Lawless got in touch to say that he had offered to speak for free but that this offer was politely declined. Strange. The force “clearly thought they were getting value for money for the contract they had for these events,” Mr Lawless told me. He added he would continue to assist the Met through “informal” and unpaid advice and coaching. The series of events cost the Met a total of £621,651, paid to company Inspire Change - not all of which went towards paying Mr Lawless’s fee. But as one officer said at the time: “It's a sad state of affairs if the Met can’t find someone inspiring from within the police.”

► And finally, Devon and Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez gaily tweeted last month that she was “helping a shopper out with a spot of dogging." We later found out she meant dog-sitting.