Plastic hacks & plastic cops

EP - On the beat 1

Back to the topic of what the Bristol Blogger calls the Evening Post’s “comedy columnists”. Let us introduce PC Martin Hudd, AKA PC Derkhead Dud, and his weekly “On the Beat” column of police propaganda.

PC Dud is the Post’s second “On the Beat” columnist, having taken over from PC Lee Kerslake at the beginning of this year. As you can see from PC Dud’s first column (I’m raring to get writing, left), there was nearly no more “On the Beat” after illiterate-Lee quit last year. Dud tells us that none of the cops down at Trinity nick wanted to take over the column – presumably they were worried about exposing themselves as dumbass, boot-licking, ignoramuses like PC Kerslake did every week for a year.

So, here we have a whole column in a major local newspaper joking about how no one wants to write the fucking column. Is the Post that desperate for contributors? Well, no, obviously not. But they are desperate to fill their pages for free. And with the threat of redundancy hanging over yet more professional Post journos, we can only expect more of this drivel.

So, how has Dud been getting on after two months in his “second career as a journalist”. We just picked up this week’s column (PCSOs prove their worth, Thursday 12 Feb, below right) to see what he’s been up to with his new box of crayons.

We’re not sure what the fuck Dud’s getting at in his intro here, but he seems to be comparing his PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) plastic-pig colleagues to some kind of vermin. Fair point, but I’m sure people have been arrested for lesser crimes.

So, it turns out the column is a bit of puff for some new PCSOs in East Bristol. PC Dud gives us some examples of the great police work done by PCSOs such as organising “clean-up days” and “fun days”. And ain’t that exactly why we pay council tax to the cops?  For them to clean the streets and organise fun days? (And shit, don’t that just sound like a FUN day, organised by a cop.)

Dud says, “Whatever your views on PCSOs, it cannot be denied that they have enhanced the service given to the public.” EP - On the beat 2

Really? Well just one week ago on 5th Feb there was a story all over the press about PCSOs.

The Telegraph reported “Bored police community support officers are committing crimes”,

Bored and unmotivated police community support officers (PCSOs) in the country’s largest force are committing criminal offences, a report has disclosed.

New figures show that PCSOs are responsible for half of all cases of gross misconduct in the Metropolitan Police, including drinking and driving, despite representing only 20 per cent of the workforce.

The BBC told us that the Met Police’s director of human resources had said that PCSOs were committing crime because of boredom and that many “felt akin to glorified security guards”.

(See if you can get away with that “I was bored” excuse next time you’re down at Broadbury Road.)

The BBC report also quoted the Police Federation (which represents rank and file cops like PC Dud) who called PCSOs “policing on the cheap”.

The Police Federation has in fact always been opposed to the use of PCSOs and in the past have called for them to be scrapped and called the scheme a “failed experiment”.

So, PC Dud, you shouldn’t actually have to go that far to find people who do deny that PCSOs “have enhanced the service given to the public”. In fact, there are probably a quite few sat in your canteen right now.

The obvious point is that whatever PC Dud tells himself and his daughter, this bollocks ain’t journalism. And, to be fair to the Avon and Somerset PR department it hardly passes as propaganda either, does it. It’s just filling pages on the cheap with superficially uncontroversial trash.

And if the Post are still having trouble filling up their pages why don’t they demonstrate their commitment to that journalistic shibboleth “balance” and run a weekly column by a convicted criminal? Now that would set the letters page alight.

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