Tuesday 28 April 2009

Frustrated entrepreneur!

So, how are you all surviving the credit crunch? Or is that a silly question? Do you remember what it is like to hold cold cash in your hand? Me neither!!

It is now 5.20pm and I have been on my laptop since 9am. I have finished applying for a job that I really want, but I have been surfing the web to find other innovative ways to make a buck. But I have come up with nothing.

For ages, even before the crunch kicked in fully, I've felt that I wanted to do something entrepreneurial...but I just don't know what! Grrrrr! You know that feeling when you are trying to remember someone's name and it is on the tip of your tongue but you just can't say it? That is exactly how I feel. I desperately need a Bill Gates or Richard Branson moment!

How are you all faring? My friends are 50-50; some of them have jobs but others don't. I have a cousin who has just now got a job after being made redundant from a Vice President position years ago. But funnily enough during the worst recession in living memory he has found a job that is in line with his experience!

I'm in a good-ish place. I'm doing an internship for a Chicago based magazine which I enjoy. I'm toying with the idea of doing another internship for a London-based publication as their focus is different and I will gain a lot of experience from them which is always a great thing. Now all I need is someone to PAY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 4 April 2009

Kettle calling pot, come in pot.....

If I were to ask you to define what the characteristics of a police man and woman should be, what would you say? Can I assume that you would state that they should keep the law? That they should be honest and above board in the execution of all their duties? I can almost hear some of you snickering sarcastically as if these are utterly ridiculous expectations of our boys and girls in blue!

Now, no one in this country is naive; we have all seen and read chilling accounts of police corruption, racism and brutality throughout the years. All of these things exploded powerfully into the public’s consciousness with the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 by five racist youths; an inquiry into the murder led to no convictions being brought against them primarily because of the incomprehensible, some say deliberate, incompetence of the police throughout the investigation. These issues led to the writing of the McPherson Report which, after investigation, concluded that the Metropolitan Police Service is “institutionally racist.”

Even allowing for all the disturbing reports, it was still shocking to learn that out of 144,000 serving police officers in England and Wales, 1,063 of these have received criminal records while in active duty. The data, obtained by the Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, include 59 convictions for assault, 36 for theft and 96 for dishonesty. Other offences include battery, fraud, perverting the course of justice and forgery. What is especially alarming is that, once these officers have been convicted by a panel/jury of their peers for deliberately breaking the very law they are supposed to up hold, they are being allowed to keep their jobs. How in all good conscience can they arrest someone for the same crimes they have committed? The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind.

Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said:

"It is staggering that so many of the people entrusted to protect us from crime have criminal convictions themselves. It is even more worrying that so many police officers convicted of serious crimes involving dishonesty or violence have been allowed to keep their jobs. The public entrust the police with the use of legal force precisely because they are self-disciplined and restrained, which is why anyone convicted of a violent offence should be dismissed. I cannot see how a police officer convicted of dishonesty can perform their duty effectively.

"The trust that is absolutely vital in policing is seriously undermined when police officers are being convicted of crimes of dishonesty. Allowing police officers convicted of offences of violence or dishonesty to continue serving merely brings the vast majority of law-abiding and diligent officers into disrepute."

Amazingly, whilst there are vetting procedures for dealing with new applicants, there are no Home Office guidelines for dealing with officers committing offences while serving.

Data obtained which covers 41 of the 52 forces show a further 247 officers have either resigned or been suspended because of their convictions.
According to the figures, the forces with the highest number of police with convictions are the Metropolitan police with 274, West Midlands with 121 and Strathclyde (Scotland), 107.

Interestingly, Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and head of workforce development for The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said:
"Where an officer has committed misconduct, which can include a criminal offence, a range of disciplinary actions can be taken. Each case is judged on its merit. The force concerned will then take action depending on a range of factors including the severity of the offence and its impact on an officer's ability to carry out their duties."

I totally disagree. If as a custodian of the law you willfully break it knowing full well the penalties of your actions, you should be dismissed from the force. Full stop.