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Appalling working conditions for police officers

(44 Posts)
Dadarren Mon 18-Aug-14 13:55:50


POLICE chiefs stand accused of pushing cops to “breaking point” on Commonwealth Games duty — as it was claimed some officers are working mammoth 14-hour shifts without breaks.

Whistleblowers said they were aware that two of their stressed colleagues wet and messed themselves when they were denied time off to use the toilet.

Others are said to have gone without food or water during day-long patrols.
And rank and file cops — praised by fans for their friendly nature — say failures by top brass have caused chaos behind the scenes.

Last night, Scottish Police Federation leaders confirmed they were investigating and had raised a list of complaints with Chief Constable Sir Stephen House’s senior team. One of the complaints related to reports that two officers had "accidents" whilst in uniform.

One source said: "A WPC had to resort to using some bushes as a toilet whilst patrolling a perimeter fence on a 12-hour shift after being denied a comfort break and we know of a young male officer who found the wait for relief unbearable and wet himself in the middle of the busy Buchanan Street.

"Another officer, who was suffering from a stomach upset, soiled himself after being repeatedly denied access to a portable toilet as he did not have the correct accreditation pass. He had been denied a break — despite asking five times.”

The source also claimed exhausted bobbies have had to take the wheel of vehicles. Another insider said dozens of officers destined for Glasgow were left standing for hours at a park-and-ride point on the edge of Dunfermline after a transport blunder. The source described cops as “dangerously tired, overworked and demoralised”. They added: “It’s only a matter of time before one falls asleep travelling to or from work.

“Bosses are claiming the security operation is a success — but they have a workforce ready to drop and running very close to one of us being killed due to driving tired.

“The police operation is a dangerous joke and officers at breaking point.”
Sources said one cop was made to work a Games shift lasting 20 hours. And officers from Ayrshire called in sick when their days off were cancelled after working 11 shifts in a row. It’s also claimed a local police chief sent home cops who were deployed to the Barry Buddon shooting venue in Carnoustie, Angus, because there were too many of them.

Federation chairman Brian Docherty stressed officers were doing a “fantastic job” despite facing a string of problems. He confirmed that some have complained about the conditions but insisted force chiefs were “doing their best” to sort out the situation.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said they had looked into claims about an officer wetting himself and had not yet been able to identify the constable said to be involved.

She was adamant police teams do have access to water. And she said a “small number” of officers due to travel from Dunfermline were delayed for a “short period due to a “minor transport issue”.

mrsruffallo Mon 18-Aug-14 21:44:29

Sounds terrible!

Redglitter Mon 18-Aug-14 21:59:10

and that's to say nothing of the added pressure on the ones left to deal with calls. Shift numbers were so depleted it wasn't funny

mrsruffallo Mon 18-Aug-14 22:00:27

This is going to happen more often with the cuts in numbers isn't it?

Aheadofyourtime Mon 18-Aug-14 22:03:05

Sounds like the nhs...we work 13 hr hospital shifts without breaks including food and water ones.

AmIthatHot Mon 18-Aug-14 22:19:23

I was at one of the venues. Most of the seats in the workforce break area we're taken up with police officers at various times of the day. The ones I spoke to were loving the change in duties and the overtime they were getting

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 18-Aug-14 22:22:07

Must be a similar feeling to what protestors get when they are kettled really.

Discoflame Mon 18-Aug-14 22:43:02

Doubt they will find the officers who were subjected to humiliation of wetting and soiling themselves. Nobody will own up.

Games organisation was a total sham, years of planning should have gone into this and instead it was disorganised and messy. Just very lucky nothing more serious happened.

AgentProvocateur Mon 18-Aug-14 22:58:33

Discoflame, in what way did you think the organisation was a sham? That wasn't the experience of my colleagues or me, or any of the athletes we talked to. The general consensus was that they went very smoothly.

AgentProvocateur Mon 18-Aug-14 22:59:20

Oh, and years of planning DID go into it. hmm

Discoflame Mon 18-Aug-14 23:13:27

Glad that you had a good experience of working it and I imagine that for the most part most other people did as well. But police were abandoned with no transport, had days off cancelled and shifts changed with no notice and on the other hand officers who were just sitting around doing nothing and getting paid overtime for it.

Plus the huge amount of food waste from catering breakfast and lunch. That must have cost a lot of money and there was far far too much ordered. And hardly any of it healthy food either.

Don't get me wrong, something on such a big scale could never go completely without a hitch but I just think sometimes the basic planning was lacking.

Redglitter Mon 18-Aug-14 23:18:06

Mrsruffalo no not necessarily but rather than pay cops overtime rates they changed shifts and cancelled days off. that way they didn't need to pay overtime but it was done at the expense of shift strengths. so the shifts were working so short it was horrendous.

Redglitter Mon 18-Aug-14 23:20:51

Don't know who you spoke to AmIThatHot but none of my shift benefited. They had weekends off cancelled with a few days notice were walking perimeters or sitting in car parks etc.

for something so long in the planning it was a total shambles. I've never seen morale so low

Dadarren Mon 18-Aug-14 23:22:53

Discoflame, one of them has!

AmIthatHot Mon 18-Aug-14 23:54:22

Redglitter, I spoke to lots of officers at the two venues I was at, plus I have friends whose husbands did shifts. I genuinely hadn't heard any grumbles.

Where I was for three months was well organised and had been well planned.

I don't usually expect food to be provided while I'm at work, so the food we were given was appreciated, and I had lovely salads most days.

But I don't work for Police Scotland so cannot comment on how they managed their end of it, as clearly there are unhappy police personnel.

Redglitter Tue 19-Aug-14 00:05:30

I wouldn't dare post some of the things that happened during the games on a public forum but it really was a shambles. I have a large number of cops on fb and it was absolutely shocking reading some of the things they experienced

some of the things I encountered would make your hair curl as a member of the public.

not sure where the money ear marked for policing went but it didn't go to any cops I know. I'm amazed more didn't go sick

Redglitter Tue 19-Aug-14 00:07:06

It wasn't that the cops expected food but in many cases they didn't get anyone to relieve them so they could eat food they brought with them, grab a coffee or go to the loo.

Discoflame Tue 19-Aug-14 00:13:09

Def did not expect to get fed while on duty at all and I guess you could say a handy perk which didn't have to be used but no salads at all, stodgy sandwiches, fizzy juice, no water, bars of chocolate, no fruit. And tonnes and tonnes left over at the end of each day to be thrown away. Even if it had gone to homeless or hostels or something would have been better! I don't normally bother particularly about waste but the amounts left were eye watering.

I know plenty of police and have not heard one positive thing about the games or the organisation of it all. Shame really when you consider how good and smooth it looked to the public.

Isitmebut Tue 19-Aug-14 10:20:22

So there is anecdotal police evidence that the police were denied toilet breaks, and they STILL have nothing to go on. Hmmm.

There was a time not so long ago, figures showed that only around 10% of our police were on the streets at any one time, now they are over deploying in some cases.

Surely it should not be beyond the collective geniuses running our police forces to deploy the correct number of officers in any given situation and/or organise food & toilet breaks for those on long shifts.

Greengrow Tue 19-Aug-14 10:26:46

Some of us have worked all night fairly often and all day without over time. My daughter did 43 hours without a break (although she did have access to a toilet) last Christmas (she is not a police lady and of course will get no pension and her retirement age will be over 70)

Redglitter Tue 19-Aug-14 14:51:10

several people on fb have confirmed the story about the officer who had no toilet break they know who it is but obviously aren't naming him

The Games were great for Glasgow and it's a shame that most police personnels memories of it will be so different to the general public.

Questions definitely need to be asked as to why it went so badly

Dadarren Tue 19-Aug-14 18:25:27

Which one?

Redglitter Wed 20-Aug-14 01:35:42

Which one what??? smile

TheFairyCaravan Wed 20-Aug-14 01:45:54

Members of the Armed Forces piss and shit in bushes all the time, live in holes and work mammoth shifts, too.

They get called in to cover all sorts of events etc, leave gets cancelled at the last minute, they work overtime with no extra pay.

It is rare that anyone speaks up for them, though.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Wed 20-Aug-14 02:38:15

This is not news its what is happening day in day out. No different to the riots or the olympics. Greengrow, before making comments on pensions etc please read up on the new implementations its an interesting read. And quite frankly being shot at or having your nose broken whilst your at work isnt great fun either. Neither is paying 14% of your salary in every month, your daughter might be able to retire before 70 if she does this. But someone has to do it, just like the military, nhs etc all who are shat on.

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