nelc: "If you haven't grown up by age 50, you don't have to" (Grown-up)
In an ongoing Q&A about UK Police (registration required), a post about de-escalation training:
A2A: For the final assessments the instructors rolled a d6 out of sight of the students to determine the level of resistance the roleplayers displayed, so you might have got a 1 (complete compliance), all the way through to a 6 (they try and kill you).

Casaubon: I'm now imagining them getting carried away and rolling on the City Wandering Monsters table - "Right lads, you meet *rolls* 3 drunks, an expensive doxy, and (oh, unlucky) a lich."

I'm nerdy enough to have got out my DM's Guide for that, and am now wondering in what kind of city you might have a 1 in 400 chance of meeting a lich every time you go for a night out.


P.S. Also of note (but not at all funny), from A2A's post:
There was a constant theme of de-escalation and using your mouth to talk people into compliance, and understanding concepts like Betari's Box* (my attitude affects my behaviour which affects your attitude which affects your behaviour). There wasn't really any divide between using offensive/defensive techniques and de-escalation, we were expected to try and start off by calming things down and stay talking throughout. They also stressed that it's a lot better to start off at a low level and work up rather than come in high and then have to calm things down.
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I saw an interesting sight yesterday, as I was coming back from the laundrette. In the low rent end of the High Street, two cops were talking to a woman in a car, who was giving them a bit of chat, sounding like an excuse or something for some minor traffic violation. That wasn't the interesting thing.

I noticed that both the officers had what looked like holstered pistols on their right legs. I had to give them a second glance, and a third. Black and very firearm-like, they certainly looked like pistols. I wanted to ask them about it, but they were obviously busy, so I carried on. A bit further on there were a couple of Community cops who seemed more approachable, so I asked them. Their first suggestion was that it was indeed a pair of firearm officers, as though it was a completely normal thing for armed cops to be on Cheltenham High Street.

Okay, there's GCHQ in town, but that's a couple of miles from the high street, both the big doughnut and the less well-known ziggurat at the other end of town. Besides, as far as I've ever seen, there are seldom any police around either, let alone armed ones. And I've never noticed armed police in Cheltenham before.

The community police's second suggestion was that I'd noticed their tasers, but the pictures of UK police tasers I can track down show them with dinky yellow plastic handles. E.g.



The artifacts I saw were spitting images of the lower holster there, not the yellow thing on her anti-stab vest.

Damn, I know I haven't been getting out much lately, but this is creepy.
nelc: (Default)
I forgot to blog about this the other day, but Mrs W at the Chinese takeaway had her laptop stolen from behind the counter on Wednesday night.

A customer came in while I was waiting for a delivery, a little the worse for drink — slow and slurred, rather than outright unsteady and incomprehensible — looked at the menu and gave his order. Mrs W gave me the delivery at around the same time, so I went off at that point.

When I got back, Mr and Mrs W and the Chinese students who'd been eating at the tables were stirred up and agitated. Mrs W asked if I'd seen the customer with her laptop; apparently I'd just missed him. The students said that the guy had picked up his food and bolted, saying he had to catch a taxi, and then Mrs W had noticed the laptop was gone. It's a small place, only three permanent staff, including Mr & Mrs W, with a delivery driver or two, and Mrs W often leaves the counter unattended while she's helping out in the kitchen.

After a short fruitless look around outside, I called the police and reported it, and an hour later a pair of officers turned up to take statements. It turned out that one of the students had taken a picture of his mates when the customer had first come in, and there was a fuzzy lo-res image of him in the background.

Anyway, fast-forward to yesterday: The police phoned me up to look at their video identity parade and Mrs W got her laptop back. So today I went up to the station.

I'd never heard about this before — I must have missed the relevent episodes of The Bill — but the old-style live line-up behind one-way glass seems to have gone. Instead, the officer shows you a video of the line-up, one face at a time, with the participants looking at the camera, then turning this way and that. He shows the line-up twice, then you have the option to go back and look at particular members again, or I guess the whole thing again. Then he asks if you saw the perp in the line-up and which one it was.

The background changed a few times behind the heads, so I'm guessing that the ringers all came out of a Home Office video library with only the suspect taped (disked?) the other day. I wonder if they're ordinary civilians or suspects for other crimes?

Hopefully, the police have the guy bang to rights with his fingerprints all over the laptop and everything and he'll cop a plea, so I won't have to appear in a witness box in court (because that went so well the last time I had to do it).
nelc: (Default)
[Reposted manually from Dreamwidth from yesterday]

A strange man just wandered into my flat at dark o'clock in the morning.

"Hello?" he said, from the doorway. "Hello?" I said, from my bed.

"Who's that?" he said. What? I thought. "Me. Who's that?" I said, getting up, dressed only in a tee shirt.

"Me. I found a key," he said, showing me my spare key, usually hidden behind a floor level panel in the wall leading to the flat's stop-cock.

"Yes, that's my spare," I said, taking it off him. He said something else, I forget what, and looked at the panel, closed, then wandered off down the corridor. He went through the glass door at the end, then down the stairs, pausing halfway, looking at me as I looked at him. We held this pose for maybe twenty seconds, until I cocked my head and he carried on down the stairs.

I went back to bed, and thought about this for a minute. He wasn't my only English downstairs neighbour. He wasn't the ground floor Spanish neighbour, nor her boyfriend. He certainly wasn't any of the Poles in the remaining couple of flats. So he must have come from outside. I got out of bed and got my camera, then put on my trousers, and went out into the cold corridor. No sign of him on the first floor, nor on the ground floor. The front door was open, and the shelving unit that serves as our mutual postbox had been moved over from beside the electricity meter cabinet to right by the front door.

Fuck. That was a burglar, wasn't it? Shit. I thought he was a drunk or something. But no, he was casing the place, looking for flats whose occupants were away, and spare keys like mine. And I didn't get a decent look at him, what with the flat being dark and the corridor light being on, and then the stairs being unlit.

I should call the police, shouldn't I? Though I can't tell them much. Damn. Don't know why he moved the shelves, though.

[Editted to add:] The police reckoned he was a homeless person looking to get out of the frosty night, looking for an empty flat to doss in.
nelc: (Default)
[Reposted manually from Dreamwidth from yesterday]

A strange man just wandered into my flat at dark o'clock in the morning.

"Hello?" he said, from the doorway. "Hello?" I said, from my bed.

"Who's that?" he said. What? I thought. "Me. Who's that?" I said, getting up, dressed only in a tee shirt.

"Me. I found a key," he said, showing me my spare key, usually hidden behind a floor level panel in the wall leading to the flat's stop-cock.

"Yes, that's my spare," I said, taking it off him. He said something else, I forget what, and looked at the panel, closed, then wandered off down the corridor. He went through the glass door at the end, then down the stairs, pausing halfway, looking at me as I looked at him. We held this pose for maybe twenty seconds, until I cocked my head and he carried on down the stairs.

I went back to bed, and thought about this for a minute. He wasn't my only English downstairs neighbour. He wasn't the ground floor Spanish neighbour, nor her boyfriend. He certainly wasn't any of the Poles in the remaining couple of flats. So he must have come from outside. I got out of bed and got my camera, then put on my trousers, and went out into the cold corridor. No sign of him on the first floor, nor on the ground floor. The front door was open, and the shelving unit that serves as our mutual postbox had been moved over from beside the electricity meter cabinet to right by the front door.

Fuck. That was a burglar, wasn't it? Shit. I thought he was a drunk or something. But no, he was casing the place, looking for flats whose occupants were away, and spare keys like mine. And I didn't get a decent look at him, what with the flat being dark and the corridor light being on, and then the stairs being unlit.

I should call the police, shouldn't I? Though I can't tell them much. Damn. Don't know why he moved the shelves, though.

[Editted to add:] The police reckoned he was a homeless person looking to get out of the frosty night, looking for an empty flat to doss in.
nelc: (Default)
From www.police.uk, my area's (more or less) crime map for last month:



It should be noted that this covers the town centre, and that the OMGbignumbers are about fifteen minutes walk from here, in the clubbing areas of town, and are mostly public order, anti-social behaviour, and violence offences. The biggest problem with this map is the lack of context. I have no idea if this is a terrible crimewave or business as usual. 745 crimes for one month sounds a lot to my naive mind, but maybe not, condidering that the burglary, car theft and so on has to support a number of career criminals.
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This is the bulk of a post by a US law enforcement officer on a forum I frequent. I'm putting it here so I can find it easily and point people to it without them having to become members of the forum. (Some minor editing for spelling.)

Use of Force in the USA is pretty standard across the country; SC rulings have pretty much standardized it. Some terminology will vary, and individual states and departments will have tweaked things here and there, but the following is a viable general guideline.

Force is defined as any action which restrains a subject from the free exercise of will or action.

The 'Use of Force Continuum' is a device that has been established over the years as a model for the expression of force levels. Imagine a bar with a sliding bead. We'll start at one end:

Officer Presence: The presence of a police officer inhibits people from full exercise of free will, and thus is in fact an application of force.

Verbal command: The officer orders someone to halt an activity, or to perform one: 'Stop hitting her', 'Drop the gun'. Passive resistance by a subject can be considered equal to this level of force.

Soft Hand: These are uses of force which involve physical contact between an officer and the subject which fall short of physical blows. Wrestleing, take-downs, searches, handcuffing, pressure point control, grabbing, holding, arm bars, figure-four leg locks, etc. Pepper spray is considered 'soft hand'.

Hard or Heavy Hand: Punching, kicking, head-butts, etc. Basically, strong blows delivered with the body.

Mechanical: Stun guns, tasers, and similar devices.

Blunt impact: This refers to strikes intended to inflict bodily harm, and include but are not limited to nightsticks, batons, saps, severe punches and kicks, beanbags, and flashlights. Mace is usually considered equal to blunt impact due to the danger of allergic reactions.

Deadly Force: Any force whose application or intent is designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death.

Now, some important notes:

A police officer may use force at one level higher than the force being used or threatened. Thus, if the subject is punching or kicking, an officer could use a TASER, or lacking a mechanical device, blunt impact.

Departments are not required to employ every type of force. For example, my dept specifically bans all electrical devices, meaning that we cannot employ the mechanical level, going from hard hand to blunt impact.

An officer is not required to touch upon lower levels of force before going higher. For example, if a subject advances on an officer with a tire iron (blunt impact or deadly force, depending upon the subject's intent), the officer is not required to try soft hands, then hard hands, and on up. He can go straight from Verbal Command to that level of force deemed needful by the circumstances.

In judging an officer's use of force, said judgement must be based upon the officer's perception at the time the force is used. The classic example is a subject who points an unloaded firearm at a police officer, and is shot. The fact of the matter is that the man was unarmed. However, at the time of the use of force, the officer's perception was that the man was about to employ deadly force. So the officer's use of force is valid.

There is no obligation of a police officer to sustain any sort of injury. Therefore, an officer does not have to wait to be fired upon, or stabbed, or struck before using force.

Force is employed to safeguard the lives of others, to protect the officer, and to effect a lawful arrest, search, or detention. An officer is charged to employ the 'minimum force necessary' to accomplish these goals, which as noted, is set at a maximum of one level on the Continium higher than is being used or threatened against him.

Officers frequently employ equal or even less force in these situations that is being employed against them, but that is a personal choice based on the circumstances, and cannot be required of them.

This is a very brief overview; actual training in this subject for LEOs runs on for days, but the UoF Continuum is an extremely useful tool.
nelc: (Default)
This is the bulk of a post by a US law enforcement officer on a forum I frequent. I'm putting it here so I can find it easily and point people to it without them having to become members of the forum. (Some minor editing for spelling.)

Use of Force in the USA is pretty standard across the country; SC rulings have pretty much standardized it. Some terminology will vary, and individual states and departments will have tweaked things here and there, but the following is a viable general guideline.

Force is defined as any action which restrains a subject from the free exercise of will or action.

The 'Use of Force Continuum' is a device that has been established over the years as a model for the expression of force levels. Imagine a bar with a sliding bead. We'll start at one end:

Officer Presence: The presence of a police officer inhibits people from full exercise of free will, and thus is in fact an application of force.

Verbal command: The officer orders someone to halt an activity, or to perform one: 'Stop hitting her', 'Drop the gun'. Passive resistance by a subject can be considered equal to this level of force.

Soft Hand: These are uses of force which involve physical contact between an officer and the subject which fall short of physical blows. Wrestleing, take-downs, searches, handcuffing, pressure point control, grabbing, holding, arm bars, figure-four leg locks, etc. Pepper spray is considered 'soft hand'.

Hard or Heavy Hand: Punching, kicking, head-butts, etc. Basically, strong blows delivered with the body.

Mechanical: Stun guns, tasers, and similar devices.

Blunt impact: This refers to strikes intended to inflict bodily harm, and include but are not limited to nightsticks, batons, saps, severe punches and kicks, beanbags, and flashlights. Mace is usually considered equal to blunt impact due to the danger of allergic reactions.

Deadly Force: Any force whose application or intent is designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death.

Now, some important notes:

A police officer may use force at one level higher than the force being used or threatened. Thus, if the subject is punching or kicking, an officer could use a TASER, or lacking a mechanical device, blunt impact.

Departments are not required to employ every type of force. For example, my dept specifically bans all electrical devices, meaning that we cannot employ the mechanical level, going from hard hand to blunt impact.

An officer is not required to touch upon lower levels of force before going higher. For example, if a subject advances on an officer with a tire iron (blunt impact or deadly force, depending upon the subject's intent), the officer is not required to try soft hands, then hard hands, and on up. He can go straight from Verbal Command to that level of force deemed needful by the circumstances.

In judging an officer's use of force, said judgement must be based upon the officer's perception at the time the force is used. The classic example is a subject who points an unloaded firearm at a police officer, and is shot. The fact of the matter is that the man was unarmed. However, at the time of the use of force, the officer's perception was that the man was about to employ deadly force. So the officer's use of force is valid.

There is no obligation of a police officer to sustain any sort of injury. Therefore, an officer does not have to wait to be fired upon, or stabbed, or struck before using force.

Force is employed to safeguard the lives of others, to protect the officer, and to effect a lawful arrest, search, or detention. An officer is charged to employ the 'minimum force necessary' to accomplish these goals, which as noted, is set at a maximum of one level on the Continium higher than is being used or threatened against him.

Officers frequently employ equal or even less force in these situations that is being employed against them, but that is a personal choice based on the circumstances, and cannot be required of them.

This is a very brief overview; actual training in this subject for LEOs runs on for days, but the UoF Continuum is an extremely useful tool.

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