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What does it take to get our Keystone Cops to do their jobs?

whitelaughter 4 January 2012 110

So, once it cooled a bit this evening (about 11.00PM) I go for a walk around Lake Ginninderra – and get to see a quartet of 20-somethings trashing the Foreshore development: tearing out surveying pegs and throwing them into the lake, and so forth. One of them saw me and yelled out that the developer had screwed them over (of course, even if true, the developer will just pass the costs on, so the ACT will end up paying for the damage they inflicted).

Yay, what to do. Ring 000? Hardly – the last 2 occasions I rang 000 were (i) when my front door had been kicked in and my flat trashed: the twerp on the other end complained about me using the line for something so minor, and (ii) after a wifebasher saw me and decided that attacking me with a cinderblock was the best way to remove a hostile eyewitness: the police took 4 weeks to respond to that incident, and when they did were as concerned with covering up their incompetence as with dealing with the perp.

So I won’t be ringing 000 ever again. Surprise surprise, I don’t have either crimestoppers or the direct police number in my phone, and adding a redirect from 000 to those numbers is too hard for our enlightened defenders.

Of course, there’s a police station just the other side of the Belconnen Mall, so I walked up to make a report. (For anyone foolish enough to do this, be warned that there are three buildings claiming to be a copshop in central belco: however the centre on Benjamin Way is a training centre, while the building on the corner of Lathlain and Nettlefold is an admin centre. The actual copshop is also on Lathlain, but on the corner of Cohen Street).

So wandered in – open building. Unmanned counter. No bell. No phone. Intercom system, but off/broken and/or unattended. Clearly someone behind the ‘oneway’ glass, who is equally clearly not on the phone nor interviewing anyone, but nonetheless uninterested in finding out why someone might want to talk to the police.

So gave up. What, if anything, is needed to get these idiots to do their jobs? No, I am not prepared to give one a blowjob. [shrugs] It’s purely academic now, I really can’t be bothered pushing this any further, it’s just not worth the effort.


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110 Responses to What does it take to get our Keystone Cops to do their jobs?
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Mysteryman Mysteryman 11:24 pm 14 Jan 12

RugbyWhat said :

Surely this is to make sure the direct number is called, the call answered at a centralised location *cough* switchboard *cough* and the call directed to the most appropriate area…

Regarding the closeness of Police Stations to the location of an incident: if there are no Police available, how does it matter how close you are to the station?

When an officer says “we’ll send someone over”, and they are saying that from 150m away, you expect that it won’t take an hour. You’d also expect that being in such close proximity they will actually show up.

Maxwell Maxwell 10:07 pm 14 Jan 12

Just on the ” OMG the cops risk their lives” bit, I don’t think that they do.

If anything bad happens they’ve got the uniform a club, spray and units with access to tasers. They’ve also almost always got a partner.

Now they might get into the odd rough and tumble now and then which if you ask me is more of a bit of fun.

The point is if they’re even in any real danger they just taser the bugger, call a whole bunch of similarly armed mates, their special forces guys, or if worse comes to worse they just shoot the bugger.

How many of you have that kind of support and armoury ?

While a petrol station attendant who works in a dangerous area, or the night time delivery driver, security guard, taxi driver, you name it, has basically nothing apart from their hands.

And if they did use force, would probably get locked up for it.

So because careful about who is risking what to provide who with a service. By that logical we should declare all taxi drivers heros.

RugbyWhat RugbyWhat 9:04 pm 14 Jan 12

buzz819 said :

tinkers84 said :

KeenGolfer said :

obediah said :

The manner of police answering 131444 or station numbers at night is really one of “what are you bothering me for?”

You can’t ring stations direct, phone numbers aren’t listed.

Yes you can, just type Police Canberra into Google.

I just tried that..

Woden Police Station – 6256 7777
Civic Police Station – 6256 7777
Gungahlin Police Station – 6256 7777
Belconnen Police Station – 6256 7777
Tuggeranong Police Station – 6256 7777

Hmmm…. I see a pattern….

Surely this is to make sure the direct number is called, the call answered at a centralised location *cough* switchboard *cough* and the call directed to the most appropriate area…

Regarding the closeness of Police Stations to the location of an incident: if there are no Police available, how does it matter how close you are to the station?

DrKoresh DrKoresh 8:16 pm 14 Jan 12

The Dark said :

Henry82 said :

The Dark said :

Personally id rather fight a guy with an asp or mace than a knife

I think you should blindfold yourself and spar with someone. With some background noise i doubt you would get a punch in, let alone win.

The Dark said :

not to mention all the guns that have been stolen from private residences in Canberra over the last few months

A ‘run of the mill’ junkie robbing people for cash isn’t going to have a telescoping baton, mace or a gun. Those are the people you’re most likely to encounter on a late night walk where you might get robbed. Anyone who isn’t organised who has a weapon is probably going to get caught sooner or later, either by police search, or showing it off (likely on facebook).

Krav Maga endorses that, hence why I mentioned it earlier, but regardless, I’d rather fight fist to fist blind than fist to knife in stomach or neck with full visibility.

That’s not what I was saying, I mean these weapons are already present in criminal society, so the argument that innocents shouldn’t have them because criminals will get them is null and void.

I didn’t say that crims currently use them for muggings, that’s why I said knives are the worst thing out, not asp’s or mace, thus innocents getting things to defend themselves with is not going to destroy society via criminals getting their hands on them.

And no, there’s nothing to say that disorganised people will eventually get caught, cops don’t search everyone that they come across, thus you can walk past countless cops with a knife and not get caught, because even if you look like a ‘run of the mill’ junkie it does not constitute reasonable grounds for a stop search. alternatively showing off knives on your facebook might be stupid, but its not illegal, so they wont get caught.

Your pointing out flaws in what I said that aren’t there, I don’t quite get your point.

I agree with TheDark on this one (I realised I know him personally when he described those 2 incidents in his 1st post in this thread, being as i was present at both of them). I used to carry a knife with me at all times when I was at school, because I too was part of the ‘fringe’ culture at Lyneham and as such targeted by the same group of thugs from the Dickson, and never once was it found or confiscated.

And before anyone goes off about telling the relevant authorities, the school administration were well aware of the pervasive threats of physical being levied at TheDark and myself, and they were powerless to stop them, even though some of the perpetrators were students at the same school. No formal criminal disciplinary action took place, as far as i knew, aside from in school punishments which were of no concern to this particular group. So i always had a pocket knife, because they’d attempted to corner me several times and I didn’t give 2 turds about “reasonable force”, I was a frightened kid and the constant threat of a 6 (or more)-on-1 brawl meant i felt the need to even the odds. Now i never showed it off, because I wanted to keep my cards close to my chest, so to speak, and i really only kept it as a last resort, which may be why I was never caught with it but my point is, if I had felt that I were being protected (by the school, the police, anybody) then I wouldn’t have felt the need to carry a weapon. As it was, I became severely disillusioned with the institution supposed to be looking out for the safety and best interests of its students.

NoImRight NoImRight 10:51 am 12 Jan 12

I dont want to climd on the bandwagon as, on the whole I think we dont do too badly policing wise but its not just ACT. I was in a business in Queanbeyan that was held up a while back. We actually restrained the guy and called the cops. It took them at least 30 minutes to arrive when the business was across the road from the station. I know the reality is they arent all sitting around in there waiting for “that” call but we only needed one guy to come over and take said knob end off our hands.

Apart from that thumbs up for standing between us and anarchy.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 10:17 am 12 Jan 12

dazzab said :

I once reported my house being broken in to and it took several hours for them to arrive. They apologised telling me that because it was raining at the time they were attending a lot of traffic accidents.

I mentioned in an editorial to the Canberra Times that if anyone wanted to commit a crime they had a much better chance of getting away if they did it on a rainy evening.

Next day I received an anonymous phone call stating, ‘Be careful what you say about the Police in the paper or they just might not show up next time you need them’.

Draw your own conclusions.

That’s pretty disturbing.

My experiences with Police in the ACT have been mixed. Sometimes they’ve been very helpful, other times they’ve harassed me for no reason. I’ve only had to place 1 call to them so far and their response in that instance was pathetic. I was working at a store in Homeworld, Tuggeranong on a Friday night and a customer drove in and parked outside across 3 spaces. It took him 5 minutes to get out of the car and he stumbled drunk into the store. We spoke with him and it was clear that he was very, very drunk. He wandered around for a little while and my colleague and I decided to notify the police – this guy was planning on driving home and we didn’t want him killing someone. I phone the police and got put through to Tuggeranong police station. I told them the situation, and asked that someone come get this guy as he was way too drunk to be driving. I was told someone would be there soon.

We kept the drunk busy for nearly 30 minutes in the hopes that the Police would actually show up. They never did, despite the station being less than 200m away.

buzz819 buzz819 7:45 am 12 Jan 12

tinkers84 said :

KeenGolfer said :

obediah said :

The manner of police answering 131444 or station numbers at night is really one of “what are you bothering me for?”

You can’t ring stations direct, phone numbers aren’t listed.

Yes you can, just type Police Canberra into Google.

I just tried that..

Woden Police Station – 6256 7777
Civic Police Station – 6256 7777
Gungahlin Police Station – 6256 7777
Belconnen Police Station – 6256 7777
Tuggeranong Police Station – 6256 7777

Hmmm…. I see a pattern….

tinkers84 tinkers84 5:03 am 12 Jan 12

KeenGolfer said :

obediah said :

The manner of police answering 131444 or station numbers at night is really one of “what are you bothering me for?”

You can’t ring stations direct, phone numbers aren’t listed.

Yes you can, just type Police Canberra into Google.

Tooks Tooks 11:45 am 10 Jan 12

IrishPete:
So now I’m lying? I was there, I saw them, and I did say they were working on computers and paperwork, so I don’t need to be told that they were by someone who thinks they’re smarter than me. It still seems odd practice for late on a Sunday night, when callers are often told “we don’t have any enough officers on duty”. I don’t know what the muster room is, but if it’s their tea room, that’s where I was, and they weren’t – they were in open plan office spaces, working, not socialising. It was in 2008.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and say you are exaggerating the numbers greatly, rather than deliberately lying. Anyway, you say they were working, not socialising. So what’s the issue then?

There have been court backlogs for years, they are not new and nothing to do with claimed reductions in crime.

I didn’t say they were caused by a reduction in crime. The original post implies police don’t do anything; the fact there are court backlogs, proves that they do. That’s the point I was getting at. If you are saying that catching criminals is not at least one factor in court backlogs, you’ll need to explain your logic.

Wait until crime goes back up again (it will) and then will you blame the police for that?

Will you? Are you saying the drop in crime has nothing to do with policing? There are many causes for the crime rate (whether it’s on the rise or on the fall). The type of crime also needs to be looked at. For instance, the murder rate dropped to one this year, which realistically cannot be credited to policing. On the other hand, a significant reduction in property crime may be due to increased patrolling, better use of intelligence to target crime, incarceration of recidivist offenders etc.

If not, then don’t be so quick to credit them for reductions.

I’ll give credit where it’s due. Locking up recidivist offenders (especially property offenders) has a significant impact on crime. That’s a fact.

Anyway, reductions in crime mean reductions in arrests

No it doesn’t.

You’re implying that crime is down because police have arrested prolific offenders

I’m saying that is one factor in the reduction in crime, which is true.

Tooks Tooks 11:31 am 10 Jan 12

Violet68 said :

And then what happened? That sounds just like a system that a Police service would introduce, given complaints are recorded and reiewed by the Ombudsman, unless of course your complaint was drivel and didn’t warrant being recorded. From the response you received I would suspect it was drivel

Nothing. So who gets to decide a complaint is drivel? The Officer’s themselves? Gee, that’s accountability for you.

Your complaint was minor in nature (otherwise you would be informed of the outcome), they took your complaint, the complaint is recorded, the officer spoken to. Of course, you can always go to the ombudsman if you’re still not happy.

Violet68 Violet68 9:31 am 08 Jan 12

And then what happened? That sounds just like a system that a Police service would introduce, given complaints are recorded and reiewed by the Ombudsman, unless of course your complaint was drivel and didn’t warrant being recorded. From the response you received I would suspect it was drivel

Nothing. So who gets to decide a complaint is drivel? The Officer’s themselves? Gee, that’s accountability for you.

IrishPete IrishPete 9:13 am 08 Jan 12

p.s. I can’t be bothered to check the source of those crime statistics, but shoud I infer from the exclusion of certain categories (e.g. assault and sexual offences) that this means they went up? Is that the police’s fault? It’s the obvious corollary to giving them credit for reductions in the other categories. Unless you work for the police PR department.

I’m a huge fan of police, but I also have very high expectations of them because of the power that society gives them, and because they’re funded by taxpayers, you know, those same people who would prefer police rather than them went through the broken front door in case the perpetrators are still inside. Like all public agencies, they need to be open to scrutiny, and even anecdotal critical claims are of concern. Even if only because they affect public perceptions of and confidence police. One cynical way of reducing crime rates would be to engage in behaviour that makes people less likely to report it.

Also very interested in the parallel post about the number of police resources devoted to a fail to stop on the Federal Highway, which so far turns out to have been a speeding unlicensed teenager from Victoria. Wow. Crime of the century. Maybe the kid thought he was in Victoria, because in the interests of balance, here’s a piece about the possible effects of Victoria Police’s pursuits policy http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-29/police-defend-pursuit-policy/3751850 (although I’m not quite sure the point the journos are making, i.e. whether they think the chases should have continued, or whether they should have been abandoned earlier).

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 8:55 am 08 Jan 12

buzz819 said :

Hmmm 10pm Sunday night, do you think this could have been close to shift change?

Good point. Could have been.

IrishPete IrishPete 8:53 am 08 Jan 12

Tooks said :

Hmm, you were at the back of Tuggeranong police station and could see through to the muster room. Wonder how you did that (lucky you weren’t a gunman with a grudge – that would be dozens of easy targets). That raises a few questions in my mind. Don’t know how long ago that was, but you would not find dozens of uniformed police in any police station at 10pm on a Sunday night. Ever. You wouldn’t even find two dozen.

What amazes me about our blindingly incompetent and lazy police is the fact they’ve somehow been able to significantly reduce just about every type of crime in the last year.

Robbery down 22%
Burglary down 32%
Vehicle theft down 37%
Property damage down 22%
Other offences against property down 54%

Imagine if we had a decent police force in this city…

The Supreme Court has a backlog of about 2 years. The judges must be pissed at whoever is catching all these crooks for serious offences and putting them before court.

Likewise with the Magistrates Court. They’re so busy they’ve recently added another magistrate. Why is the magistrate’s court so busy? Someone needs to look into it and find out – it’s getting ridiculous.

Bimberi and AMC are near capacity. Someone needs to tell these crooks to stop handing themselves in, before we need to start adding extensions to these facilities.

On a serious note, policing is like any other profession – there are good and bad. I have friends and family in the emergency services (firies, cops, ambos). They are hard working, dedicated people, in it for the right reasons. Of course, there are also bad apples (lazy, incompetent, rude etc). If you have a bad experience with police, or unsatisfactory response/service etc, then make a complaint – it’s easy enough (can do it over the phone). An internet rant may make you feel better, but it does nothing to make the police accountable.

For a bit of balance, I’ve only had interactions with police about a dozen times in my life (not just ACT). Not all of those interactions have been a positive experience, but overall, I think we have it pretty good in Canberra.

So now I’m lying? I was there, I saw them, and I did say they were working on computers and paperwork, so I don’t need to be told that they were by someone who thinks they’re smarter than me. It still seems odd practice for late on a Sunday night, when callers are often told “we don’t have any enough officers on duty”. I don’t know what the muster room is, but if it’s their tea room, that’s where I was, and they weren’t – they were in open plan office spaces, working, not socialising. It was in 2008.

There have been court backlogs for years, they are not new and nothing to do with claimed reductions in crime. Wait until crime goes back up again (it will) and then will you blame the police for that? If not, then don’t be so quick to credit them for reductions. Anyway, reductions in crime mean reductions in arrests, so reductions in court workload and prison places. Criminology 101. You’re implying that crime is down because police have arrested prolific offenders, and that’s an arguable point, but not a simple fact. And it will need to alst more than a few months before you start drawing too many conclusions from it.

IP

Brianna Brianna 11:13 pm 07 Jan 12

noma said :

there’s no need to be so harsh about a person who’s genuinely concerned with the neighbourhood. I think it’s good that the OP has a watchful eye and we need more of such people. The citizens are doing their jobs – it’s up to the police do theirs.

+1……..I’m tired of the apathy of most of the general public.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 8:50 pm 07 Jan 12

Instant Mash said :

Just less reason to have faith in the local pigs.

Calling police officers “pigs” is well out of order.. They, like all organisations, are not perfect but they do a pretty good job under difficult circumstances. They are one of the few occupations where they may be killed in the line of duty, and that alone deserves some respect. Even if they’ve stuffed up somewhere, they still deserve civil treatment.

If you were assaulted, mugged, burgled, injured in a crash or whatever, would you call the police who came to help you pigs?

Referring to them as pigs helps nobody. It certainly doesn’t lend credibility to your argument.

housebound housebound 8:20 pm 07 Jan 12

Mistake no. 1 – expecting the police to care …
Mistake no 2. – being idealistic enough to think it is worth complaining about.

Tool Tool 8:03 pm 07 Jan 12

Violet68 said :

I tried to make a complaint regarding a police officer. Was told that I could state my complaint over the phone, but it would be handled internally and I would not be advised of the outcome. That’s accountability for you……not.

And then what happened? That sounds just like a system that a Police service would introduce, given complaints are recorded and reiewed by the Ombudsman, unless of course your complaint was drivel and didn’t warrant being recorded. From the response you received I would suspect it was drivel.

Violet68 Violet68 8:02 pm 07 Jan 12

That’s simply not true. You would be given a time frame (say 28 days) in which you would receive a written response to your concerns. For interest’s sake I googled TAMS. They say they aim to respond to complaints within 10 days. Looks like a supervisor “may” speak to you regarding a complaint against a Police Officer. Hmmmmm, the garbo’s are more accountable than our police
http://www.afp.gov.au/~/media/afp/pdf/m/making-a-complaint-about-the-afp.ashx

Umm it says it will respond to a complaint, it doesn’t say they will tell you the outcome of the complaint.

If a supervisor needs to contact you they probably will…

A planned response within 10 days is far better than a “may” respond. Yeah I suppose a supervisor will make contact….if they feel the need. I’m sure the AFP appointee I was complaining about will be really, really upset when the supervisor brings it to their attention. Said AFP appointee also put me onto another officer to take the complaint because it was about them and refused to give me their details so yeah it was all done according to “policy”….not. When I asked if there was a complaints form that really threw them :0

But I spose it’s better to defend them vehemently than ask for some improvement in this area. Such a defensive lot…..

Big feet, please go back and read that brochure again – if you’re able. Can you not grasp the concept of comparison? I find your assumptions about my values, beliefs and “world” disgusting. You are quite vicious, bigoted and intolerant of others who may be different or think differently to you. Believe it or not, many people find those traits appalling. Making sh*t up about people you don’t know is “lying” so YOU would be the one guilty of that …….again.

dazzab dazzab 7:53 pm 07 Jan 12

I once reported my house being broken in to and it took several hours for them to arrive. They apologised telling me that because it was raining at the time they were attending a lot of traffic accidents.

I mentioned in an editorial to the Canberra Times that if anyone wanted to commit a crime they had a much better chance of getting away if they did it on a rainy evening.

Next day I received an anonymous phone call stating, ‘Be careful what you say about the Police in the paper or they just might not show up next time you need them’.

Draw your own conclusions.

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