Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fancy joining the police?

Last week, I was amazed when I saw a young man standing
nearby the Central Library in Nottingham. He was not
very tall (about 5.5 feet high -- 1.68m), and appeared
to be wearing a policeman’s uniform. I looked at him
again – yes, he was a policeman alright. Up until now
I thought all policemen had to be about 6 feet (1.83m)
or more to get into the police force.

I chatted with another policeman in town today about the
relaxation in the requirements for police force entry.
He confirmed that there was no longer any minimum or
maximum height requirement – but there were restrictions
as regards BMI (body mass index) – so no jobs for fatties
then – and people like me who have poor eyesight wouldn’t
pass a medical either – so they don’t want anyone who
looks like Mr Magoo either. The officer told me that the
physical fitness requirement was a laugh – if you can
manage a brisk walk, you’d pass.

I found this online reference as regards eligibility to
join the police, if you’d like to find out more.

Perhaps this is a sign of modern times, when fewer police
officers seem to be patrolling the streets, but zoom round
in cars instead, or spend a lot of their time doing
paperwork, writing up reports on this and that?

I spend a lot of time walking into town and back, and I’m
always impressed by the quite large numbers of traffic wardens
who patrol our city streets, looking out for people who
haven’t paid car parking fees or for their Road Tax, etc..
Even more impressive are those men who buzz around on little
motorbikes about 4 o’clock in the afternoon to clear the main
roads of parked cars – very efficient. However, I was
surprised to read a newspaper headline on a billboard one day
(for the Nottm Evening Post), saying that the traffic wardens
are to be given SAS-style training – what on earth was all
this about, I wondered? Are the officers going to dash about,
zapping offending motorists with stun guns, after lobbing tear
gas canisters into their cars? Or are they planning lengthy
surveillance operations, and then jumping out of vans, wearing
black masks and firing off machine guns to give motorists a

I think calling out the Armed Response Team would be more
effective – armed with paint guns to frighten the life out of
the b-----s, and to splatter them with paint. We could also do
with them to brand the litter louts (mainly schoolchildren),
who toss their sweet wrappers and other litter onto our
streets most days of the week.

Oh dear, I’m beginning to sound like Victor Meldrew, who
moaned to his wife about the Twix wrappers he’d collected from
his front garden. “And where did all these come from? .......
Planet Twix, I suppose!”


Blogger Kitty said...

Oh Justin, everyone loves Victor so you'll be fine!

Sorry I haven't been over for a while. Been rather busy at work. But I have just caught up on your life. Baby Ava is just gorgeous - being a grandparent must be wonderful. I look forward to it.

There has been some talk in the press about being too short for teaching. They say that you can't impose discipline if all the pupils look down on you. Piffle! The scariest teacher in our school is also the shortest.

Anyway, have a good weekend, Justin and I will try not to leave it so long next time.

1:43 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Hi Kitty, thanks for dropping in. Yes, I think seeing Victor is very funny, but to live with someone like that (a permanent Mr/Mrs/Ms Negative) would be horrendous.
I've met some fearsome vertically-challenged hospital consultants in my time, who can be charming to patients but really nasty towards their staff and students --tearing strips off them.
We went round to see little Ava and her mum today -- both of them were very well, though R looked somewhat tired with breast-feeding, etc, every one to four hours.

12:21 AM  
Blogger steve said...

you are right Justin I dont see many policemen as I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, but yesterday we went into town (Birmingham)now I am quite tall 6-2" and with my winter boots on about an inch taller and I towered above all the cops I saw, also they are all foetus's,, god I am getting old.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Katt said...

I hope that the drop in entry requirements isn't going to mean a drop in standards.

What would England be without the good old English Bobby? Or am I about 600 years outdated here?

9:51 AM  
Blogger angel said...

heh heh... i wonder if south africa's police force has any regulations?

4:58 PM  
Blogger justin said...

In general, I have a high regard for what our police are doing -- a difficult and stressful job for many. I feel less trustful of their political masters, eg Mrs Thatcher and her cabinet's handling of the miners' strike in 1984, and their use of the police force, which I think was disgraceful.

7:55 PM  

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