Hello, hello, hello! What's all this, then?

The mods have proof, and there's some semblance of evidence here, too.

EDIT number 1: I'll be here from around 1400, London time. I'll be around for at least two hours, but if nobody has any questions, I may knock it on the head a bit earlier. It's my day off, after all, and there are at least two pubs nearby that still have ales on tap.

EDIT number 2: This has been fantastic. Thank you for all your questions everybody, I'm going to saunter off to the pub. I'll try to check back and answer some more questions this week-end, so do feel free to add a few more if you like.

PS, and least important: I have a book out, (available on Kindle and as no doubt carefully managed managed deforestation), but having seen how some of the recent AMA's (one, two) have gone down in flames due to being PR-heavy... I won't say any more about the book unless I'm asked specifically about it.

Comments: 348 • Responses: 108  • Date: 

Nomad_Shifter42122 karma

Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air sideways?

MattDelito37 karma

No.

MaLaHa20 karma

Have you ever held a gun?

MattDelito25 karma

I have, yes. I have even fired a gun at times. But only on shooting ranges.

MaLaHa11 karma

Just wondering as i imagine there probably has quite a few officers who have never held or dealt with firearms in the UK (outside of training?).

Also what do you think of the UK police shows like Road Wars, have you got a favorite?

MattDelito39 karma

I haven't seen much of 'em, although I did used to love the Bill. I was gutted when they stopped making it. The most realistic police show I've ever seen is Hot Fuzz. True fact.

sparks_smudge26 karma

hi matt. i work as a nightshift backdoor/warehouseman at a large supermarket just off a busy high st. and have been in need of the met police. and i thank you and your colleagues for there professionalism.

MattDelito53 karma

I tip my hat, and you are most welcome. May your drunks be friendly and your troublemakers puny.

shitsnacksandcracker17 karma

How often do you get fat or pregnant women asking to piss in your hat?

Please tell me that it is just an urban legend.

MattDelito26 karma

Them being allowed to do so is an urban legend. Sadly, because of its well-known-ness, I am asked frequently. A lot more often when I'm working in Westminster on aid. A lot more often than that when I'm working late-night events.

unoriginal_moniker16 karma

no question, just wanted to say that Gizmodo is a far less interesting place without your column, and i'm looking forward to reading the book. Keep up the good work constable!

MattDelito15 karma

Sir, your moniker is original in its self-defiance. Also, thank you. I would love to write more for Giz, but in addition to the book that came out today... I am working on a novel. It's only in a very early stage, but I don't think I can do both at the same time; it is hard enough to keep the story straight in my mind as it is.

Decyde13 karma

How do you feel about not being able to carry firearms?

MattDelito39 karma

Great question. I feel quite relaxed about that. I have only been in situations a very few times where I thought that a firearm might have been a good idea.

The key thing to keep in mind is that the Met has quite a few AFOs, and I work in a rather, shall we say, busy borough. The upshot of that is that a Trojan unit is never far away.

Given how relatively rarely firearms are needed, and how much training the AFO's get, the police would have to make a choice: They'd have to decide to either give people who haven't received enough training guns, or they need to invest a lot more in training. Cash-strapped as the Met is, I think the current situation (A lower number of top-trained guys) is probably the best compromise.

I know my colleagues very well; they are great guys. But I wouldn't trust all of them with firearms.

CombatSheeples9 karma

Just to expand on this, how do you feel about the PSNI having officers carrying firearms while for the most part, the rest of the UK remains unarmed?

MattDelito16 karma

Different threat levels, different appropriate levels of response. I have no problem with that; although the corollary is that if a threat level is reduced, so ought the response level be.

tjm914 karma

This is an "If we could afford it" question as there are probably better ways to spend money when budgets are as tight as they are now, but:

Do you think it would be a good idea for most, if not all officers to be trained for firearms use, even if they don't carry them regularly? So that in situations when armed police are needed, there'd be a larger/more flexible supply of potential man power?

MattDelito17 karma

You should look into how involved firearms training in the Met is, and you'd very quickly realise that this just isn't realistic. Similarly, they don't train all officers to be advanced drivers - but once you are one, they don't put you in cars that aren't for response use.

Training firearms officers and then not equipping them would be ludicrous, I think.

Atheist1013 karma

So basically you guys just have a SWAT team?

MattDelito3 karma

I am not fully familiar with what a SWAT team entails, and how it's different from a normal armed response team... So not sure.

TheJambo12 karma

Have you ever had to go behind another officer's back to ensure the safety of others? (Knowing that they weren't suitable out on the road and such)

MattDelito20 karma

I have arrested one of my colleagues before. That was awkward, but necessary. I think there are some pretty decent feedback loops in place, which is a good thing: When I'm in uniform, I'm never judged as Matt Delito. I'm judged on my uniform, and if most uniforms are useless, it makes my work life all the harder.

jimrie014812 karma

What do you think is the best bribe you have ever been offered..if any, and given the "Cash strapped nature of the met" might it be wise to start accepting them? :D

MattDelito18 karma

You know, I have been offered bribes remarkably rarely. A few times, in Traffic, when they 'accidentally' include a £20 note with their licence when they hand it over.

I haven't, and would never, accept a bribe, no matter how cash-strapped policing would become; It's illegal, of course, but it's also diametrically opposed to the whole point of why we are there.

KillerHoggle7 karma

How do you normally handle being offered bribes?

MattDelito15 karma

'Sir, are you attempting to bribe me'? Generally does the trick. If they say yes, they are not very clever, and will be arrested. If they say no, then they get the fun task of trying to explain why they tried to slip me a twenty.

I have no patience for corruption in general, and especially not from people in positions of trust, like ourselves.

jakeNOLA11 karma

Were you working during the Olympics? Do you have any interesting stories from that experience?

MattDelito14 karma

I don't think there was a single copper in all of England who wasn't, to be honest.

The whole thing was great; we had a lot of great feedback from the public. It didn't run completely smoothly, of course, but then no huge event ever does. It is quite telling that there weren't really any stories worth telling. I did love the buzz in London for the duration of the olympics, though.

biehn11 karma

What is the strangest experience you've had during work?

MattDelito24 karma

I did have one experience where someone had let out a flat he didn't own, and then absconded with 3 months worth of rent. Responding to a 999 call from the real owner of the house, and the utterly confused tenants (who had lived there for months by now) was... Very surreal. It took us a long time to figure out what, exactly had happened.

Also, dealing with disturbed individuals on an epic amount of drugs (presumably) is... Interesting.

quicksilverjack3 karma

That guy sounds like the kind of character Robert Rankin would write.

MattDelito7 karma

Shit, you've found my real identity!*

(*) Not really. But that sounds interesting. What's your favourite book of his?

quicksilverjack3 karma

Probably Armageddon:The Musical or A Dog Called Demolition but I do quite like the newer ones like Retromancer and Japanese Devil-Fish Girl.

What about yourself?

MattDelito4 karma

I haven't read any, so I was looking for a recommendation to see which one I should read first :)

quicksilverjack3 karma

Go for Armageddon:The Musical it has a time travelling Elvis.

MattDelito5 karma

Downloaded to my Kindle!

quicksilverjack11 karma

Hi Matt,
Love the blog, I've shared it with a few mates who are police officers here in Scotland and they were very complimentary.

1: How has the election of Police and Crime commissioners been received by you and your colleagues?

2: What eventually happened to the colleague of yours caught with the "extra" CS-Spray and baton?

MattDelito11 karma

1: A mixed bag, but I"m not too comfortable talking about my specific opinions about individuals in a public forum, sorry.

2: I can't go into details, but he is no longer a police officer.

Beta_zone11 karma

Whould you like a cornetto ?

MattDelito9 karma

NO.

jimrie014810 karma

So....Kim? What's happened/happening there? also I have your book arrived this morning so if there is a story in there to explain it don't ruin it for me! :D

MattDelito6 karma

Actually, the publishers decided to remove most mentions about Kim from the book. The way they explained it to me, in a 'serialised story' like on Gizmodo, the running thread between each story made sense, but in a book, it was a bit soap opera.

I'd love to hear your opinion on this - I wasn't completely convinced by their argument, but then, they did have a good point: Once someone does buy the book, they don't need to be 'kept on board'.

IT_Support5 karma

So its not in the book...... But what happened? or are you saving it for a Giz special?

MattDelito14 karma

It's a bit anti-climactic. She was away with an injury for a while, and then started working on a different shift that was under-staffed. I met a lovely girl, and lost some of the hots I had for Kim.

Not very exciting, but that's just real life, I suppose.

jimbob197910 karma

What would you do if one of your mates rolled up a joint in front of you?

MattDelito22 karma

It has happened in the past, and it's awkward. I usually remind them that I'm an officer, and that I'd appreciate it if they could take it out of my immediate vincinity.

I am unlikely to nick a friend on my day off, though, life's too short.

BeeblebroxIV10 karma

  1. Which London based football club has the most rowdy fans and which the most well behaved?
  2. How has the fan conduct changed over the last 10-15 years?
  3. How do you like the hats you wear? Would you change them if you were given a choice?
  4. Do you have any affiliation with the Royal Guards?

MattDelito12 karma

I would love to answer this, but it's not my area of expertise. I do help out at football games (it's called 'aid', in the parlance of the Job), but any feelings I have about the first two questions would be anecdotal only.

3 - I don't mind them, you get used to them. And it is more classy than baseball caps.

4 - Personally, no.

TheSporkening10 karma

  1. Are those hats comfortable?

  2. Do you find the prolific use of camera surveillance around London to be worth the intrusion into people's privacy?

MattDelito16 karma

  1. Not very, but they do shape to your head, so it isn't as bad as you'd think. Also, did you know: They are called 'custodians'.

  2. I have mixed feelings about CCTV. As a police officer, being able to have eyes on the ground is invaluable, and the CCTV coverage is extremely useful, both in detecting, prosecuting, and preventing crime. As a private citizen, however, I am less convinced they are a good idea.

EDIT: Forgot question 2, because I am the proverbial n00b.

TheSporkening5 karma

TIL what a Bobby's hat is called. Thanks! I'd buy you a flagon or a yard of ale (or whatever you call it) if I could.

MattDelito10 karma

Ale comes in pints, good sir. Or in twice the number of half-pints.

TheSporkening6 karma

Sigh. So mundane. "Flagon" is such a great term, and an even greater quantity of libation!

MattDelito9 karma

I think they should sell ale in lightyears. Or Teslas. Or Ohm.

IT_Support6 karma

263.963 Pints in an Ohm...... an expensive roud

MattDelito33 karma

I wouldn't resist, though.

I'll get me coat.

thatchaplin10 karma

Do you consider yourself a policeman who has written about his job or a writer who works as a policeman?

What is your dream profession?

MattDelito10 karma

That is an amazing question! Sadly, I don't really know. I love writing, and I do sometimes wonder whether being a full-time writer would be something I would be suited to. I doubt it, though, it sounds like a pretty lonely existence.

thatchaplin9 karma

It seems, that you book is basically about your job. How do your superiors take the fact, that you have just written about how their organization operates?

MattDelito14 karma

Yep, the book is pretty much about me and my job. My superiors don't know who I am ("Matt Delito" is a pseudonym), but I'd like to think that I offer an interesting insight into what it's like to be an officer in London. My writing is not particularly political, and I'm generally not big on hanging out the dirty laundry in public... So I'd hope they wouldn't flip their lids if they did connect me to my writings.

redsquizza4 karma

MattDelito5 karma

Me too.

eddx9 karma

What's your most disliked task as a constable? Which task is your favourite?

MattDelito18 karma

Telling someone that a family member has died. Especially a teenager. Especially if the injuries were self-inflicted.

CheekyJack9 karma

What department would you most hate to be transfered to - River Police? Transport Police?

MattDelito10 karma

I never really figured out what the River police did, so perhaps I'd like to be with them for a while to learn more...

I don't mind traffic either, however, so neither sound like much of a punishment to me.

CheekyJack6 karma

By transport I actually meant the ones who are on the tube all day!

MattDelito7 karma

Ah, British Transport Police. We usually call our own guys Transport.

BTP have a pretty interesting job, actually, but if those two were the options, then I think it'd be the boats.

PeelianPl3b2 karma

The river police just fish bodies out of the Thames all day. That's about it.

MattDelito3 karma

Glamorous stuff.

DangerDoc8 karma

Once, when I was in London, I said, "G'day mate" to one of the policemen and they just gave me a strange look. Is this typical behaviour for you coppers?

(Also, I threw in an extra "u" in behavior so you could read it accurately)

MattDelito11 karma

If you G'day mate me, I'll g'day mate you back :)

coxy088 karma

I am very tempted to buy your new book but I am also a bit poor at the moment. just wondering what percentage of the stories are new and haven't appeared on giz/your site?

MattDelito13 karma

I think many of the stories have appeared on Giz before, but they have all been thoroughly re-written for the book. I am not the greatest writer, and the opportunity of working with a real copy-editor has been an eye-opening experience.

JustAFakeAccount8 karma

Big fan of the blog, and the book is going in my cart now!

Do you think much has changed since the riots in 2011. is there anything you look back on and think "We could have handled that differently"

MattDelito10 karma

Hindsight and 20/20 spring to mind. The truth is that front-line officers aren't often included in strategic decisions. When the riots erupted, we responded in the only way we could, given the information we had, the tools we had available, and the manpower we had access to. So, realistically, on an individual frontline officer's level, I think we would have done things the same way as we did.

I don't really have any opinions on whether the brass should / could have done things differently. I try to stay out of that stuff; it's easier to shrug and think 'that's above my pay grade', flick on the blue lights, and rush to the next 999 call.

cjkaz20128 karma

I loved your blog. I caught it late on and went back and read them all. How many of the stories were from you first hand? I realise some were not you otherwise it wouldn't take a genius to figure out who you are.

Has anyone found out who you are from your blog?

MattDelito13 karma

I'd say that around 75% are based on things I've experienced myself, 20% are based on first-hand stories, and around 5% are 'what-if's.

I don't think anyone has figured out who I am from the blog.

Keios808 karma

In your experience would you agree that the most devastating thing a terrorist organisation could do to cause chaos through the UK would be to destroy it's supply of tea?

MattDelito21 karma

Oh Jesus why would you even say such a thing. You monster.

chiry238 karma

What is your favorite part about your job as a whole? Is it a perk, a sense that you are doing good, or...?

MattDelito7 karma

A sense I'm doing good helps, but I think my favourite thing is how varied it can be*. The whole reason why I started writing about policing in the first place, was that I found myself surrounded by friends in the pub, wanting more and more stories. I figured I might as well write them down.

(*) Although in reality, a lot of days are quite similar to each other.

IrnSylar8 karma

[deleted]

MattDelito8 karma

You know, I think the vast majority frontline officers I work with would breeze through any fitness test. Contrary to popular belief, we do actually spend a lot of time on our feet, and occasionally running after people.

I don't really see the point, but if one were introduced, it wouldn't have much of an effect on me or any of my close colleagues, so I doubt I'd waste much breath in protesting it.

IT_Support8 karma

As a Police Officer do you feel you get any less respect from the public than say 10 years ago? It seems all the little scum-bags in the world are just out to cause trouble and 'fight the power' these days

MattDelito19 karma

I think a lot more people know their rights, which is a good thing. However, there's a big difference between the people who 'know their rights', and those who know their rights.

Ultimately, though, it's up to me to know my job, and I think there's always been a lot of argumentative scoundrels out there. The kind of people who don't have respect for authority will never have respect for authority.

dancerdan947 karma

Have you ever been in a crime scene that was personal to you?

MattDelito11 karma

I have been to crime scenes where the crimes or the topics are closer to my heart than others (simple example: As a motorcyclist, it is hard not to identify with victims of RTAs where motorcyclists are involved)...

I have also been to scenes where my colleagues have been victims in one way or another, so obviously there's a personal involvement of sorts there.

But I don't work in the borough where I live or play, so I think the answer to your real question is 'no'.

EtanSivad7 karma

Is it true that British police officers dislike the term Bobbies? Also, how many many people on the force know who Sir Robert Peel is?

MattDelito13 karma

I'm guessing everybody knows who Sir Robert Peel is - and I really don't mind being called a bobby. I'm called much, much worse on a regular basis.

Formatted7 karma

Thanks for the doing the AMA, I'm a big fan of your blogs and just started reading your book!

What happened between you and Kim? Did Syd ever make it as a special? I'm applying to be a special; any advice?

MattDelito8 karma

Me and Kim is answered elsewhere in this thread.

As for becoming a constable of any sort: Apply, be patient, and think really hard about empathy. It's probably the most important part of the job, I'd say.

Formatted3 karma

Thanks Matt.

What about Syd?

errebepe3 karma

Looks like Syd did make it to a special: http://mattdelito.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-prince-and-his-counterfeits/ ("Syd has been a special for a long time now").

MattDelito3 karma

Yep!

And a gold star for sleuthing :)

F-uck7 karma

What made you want to become an officer? Is it what you expected?

MattDelito8 karma

When I first started, I just wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. I don't know what I was expecting, but no, the job is very different than whatever I did expect.

cassbag166 karma

The obvious follow up to that is, how is it different from whatever you did expect? What surprised you about coppering the most?

MattDelito11 karma

The people. They are both much, much nicer, and much more horrible to each other than I expected.

F-uck3 karma

Interesting :) My friend is thinking about becoming a cop and this is something I will tell him. Thanks for responding

MattDelito2 karma

You're utterly welcome, any time!

ellark7 karma

Hi, big fan of your blog!

Do you ever work with door supervisors? Got any advice for them when dealing with the police and know what sorry of things just wind the police up? Aside from just being dicks, of course!

Cheers!

MattDelito8 karma

We often work with the 'night economy', and so we frequently work with door staff. I think most of the SIA training for door staff is very good, and I think that if all door supervisors stuck to their training and had a smidge of patience, we'd get along very well indeed.

And don't be dicks, of course.

IMasturbateToMyself7 karma

What is your stance on Marijuana in the UK?

MattDelito18 karma

Professionally, my stance is that I'll enforce whatever laws there are. I do think that the gradual decriminalisation has been a good idea: It means we spend less time chasing people smoking a joint or two, and more time focusing on more serious issues.

Personally, I think Marijuana is much less of a problem than alcohol, both medically and socially.

Smileyvirus7 karma

Have your abandoned your Gizmodo loyalists forever? ;)

MattDelito10 karma

I wouldn't dare, Kat would have quartered into three halves.

interfrasticted7 karma

Hi Matt, just bought your book - well done sir! Have enjoyed your column for sometime... keep up the good work.

As for a question...I guess I'll have to go with the Reddit classic:

If you had the choice of two incidents to attend, would you prefer to attend a breach of the peace featuring a Horse sized Duck or 100 Duck sized Horses?

MattDelito26 karma

That is a Reddit classic? What the actual f...

Anyway. I grew up somewhere rural, and I've learned to respect both horses (unpredictable and huge) and ducks (vicious little fuckers). But I think I'd have to go with a horse-sized duck. At least it wouldn't be able to surround you.

cassbag167 karma

What is the number one most annoying rule you have to follow?

MattDelito12 karma

There are a billion rules, that much is true. I consider myself a moderately intelligent person, and I strongly prefer to be able to understand rules: If I come across a rule or regulation that seems completely redundant, or put there by someone who doesn't understand frontline policing, it is more 'annoying' than one where I can see a clear logic behind the rule.

Some of the paperwork, for example, is often very hard to get excited about, until you've been in court, and see the dirty tricks of the people who work to get their clients off. The paperwork is there to help protect us, and to help secure convictions. Once you've made that link, you learn to brew up a coffee, and put your frustrations aside, as you plough through a 19-page CRIS report.

Smileyvirus6 karma

Are you still a tech junkie and if you are what's got you drooling?

MattDelito6 karma

Yes, I am. I love the fact that more and more of stuff is migrating to the cloud. I love that my devices (laptops, mobile devices etc), are becoming replaceable commodities. Between iCloud, Dropbox, Etc, losing a phone or a laptop is an expensive inconvenience, not a loss of data and productivity. Incredible. I remember when I lost a load of data to a HDD crash only a few years ago. If the harddrive on this computer died today, I could completely restore it in a few hours, having lost literally nothing.

MattDelito5 karma

As for specific tech - I'm in love with my iPhone 5, but am also sniffing around a Nexus 7 as my next purchase.

UnOffendedBlackGuy5 karma

Sorry to hi-jack, but how do you feel about the VPC? (Mets police cadets) We share an office with the specials, and the 'regulars' usually give us a hard time.

MattDelito2 karma

I know very little about you, but I never really understood the concept of cadets. Perhaps I ought to research.

Tattycakes6 karma

Hi Matt, I have been following your blog for a while now and I absolutely adore it! I will definitely be getting your kindle book soon!

I have few questions for you if you have time, before you traipse off to the land of inebriation!

  • Has anyone ever come close to figuring out who you are from the blog, and if so, how close a call? I see you answered this one above, lucky so far!

  • What's the biggest/best thanks or most gratitude you've ever had from a member of the public that you've worked with? (Everybody always seems to ask emergency personnel about their worst experiences all the time but never the good ones!)

  • Do women try to send you sexy messages/pictures/underwear/unmentionables?

  • Do you even lift? =D No, really, what's the expected level of physique from an officer, and what kind of exercise do you do to keep fit?

MattDelito6 karma

Hey!

The best thanks I get is when MOPs come up and tell us we are doing a good job. Some times, especially on very long shifts of dealing with some very challenging customers, it can take a huge load off my shoulders.

Women send very few sexy messages/pictures to me.

I don't lift, but I do martial arts twice per week, and I cycle a lot.

Andy54165 karma

What is you typical load out? I'm assuming since you don't carry a firearm that you have other non lethal types of weapons?

MattDelito13 karma

We have CS spray and a Gravity Friction Lock Baton. Along with a ream of paperwork, a stab vest, a flash light, and a fetching hat.

jimbob19795 karma

Do you think the police on various reality-style TV shows usually act the way they would act if the cameras aren't there?

What do you think about various cases brought against the police for being too heavy-handed (Ian Tomlinson springs to mind). Do you think that these handicap the everyday officer and prevent them from doing their jobs effectively or do you think that those particular officers deserve to be reeled in and punished for sticking the boot in?

How do you feel about being filmed/photographed by the public? Lots of police seem to really dislike this.

MattDelito14 karma

That's a lot of questions.

Reality TV: Don't watch it, really, so I dont' know.

Police being heavy-handed: It's extremely hard to judge what an appropriate response is in any given situation. The standard mnemonic is 'PLAN' - all use of force has to be proportionate, legal, accountable and necessary. If one of those points isn't covered, then by all means, throw the book at the officers in question, but there's also room for a little bit of leeway, in the form of realising that police officers are human beings who occasionally are scared, over-loaded with adrenaline, or prone to making mistakes.

As for being filmed in public: Imagine someone is filming whatever you are doing for a job up close. Suddenly, you become extremely self-conscious about literally every word you say, every movement you make, and everything that's going on. I know I shouldn't be nervous, but I have seen videos of colleagues (and of myself) on YouTube, where I realise that the cameras do change how we behave. It's especially hard when you are dealing with an already complicated situation.

I did for a while think that the Met should train us extra in how to deal with cameras, but I've changed my mind: I realised that, really, whatever we do, we should always do our jobs as if there's a dozen cameras pointed at us. That goes with the first point, but also with the two others: People have to accept that they have elected to let humans be police officers, so you have to accept that police officers are human.

Estamio25 karma

What's the latest on Jack the Ripper?

MattDelito20 karma

He's given up, and has started a career in interpretative dance instead.

AFellowOfLimitedJest5 karma

Hey Matt, good luck with the book launch. Would there be any negative consequences if your identity was somehow revealed, i.e. have you ever written something which could get you fired?

Secondly, some/(most?) of this is made up. What would you say the ratio of real:fake stories is?

MattDelito7 karma

I haven't broken any laws or done anything wrong, really, although if the book does start selling properly, I'll probably have to declare it as a second income. That'll be an interesting conversation, I'm sure.

For your 2nd question, see this one.

NorthStarZero5 karma

Hot Fuzz - accurate?

MattDelito8 karma

100%.

TownIdiot255 karma

Have you ever arrested any of the 11 Doctors for drunk driving?

MattDelito3 karma

No.

likely_controversial4 karma

I hope I'm not late.

With the cut backs how do you think the chances of becoming a police officer are now and in the next few years?

MattDelito3 karma

The last I heard, the only vaguely reliable way in is through the Special Constabulary. I think police will always be a necessary part of society though, so if you want to become a copper, work hard, and never give up.

cruderudite4 karma

Gonna be in London next month. Any tips or hidden gems worth seeing?

MattDelito3 karma

Watch the sunset from a nice pub in Highbury. Try to travel further out than your guidebook says.

wobblycat4 karma

Hi there, I'm looking to become a Police Officer - any tips?

MattDelito4 karma

Get in shape, read up on law, use of force, and a bit of psychology can't harm. Focus on empathy, and do a lot of debating. The quicker you think on your feet, the better.

Join the specials & good luck!

Formatted2 karma

You've mentioned empathy a-lot. Do you think police training should look at empathy more?

MattDelito2 karma

I have no problem with the police training as it is, but personally, I find that being a police officer is a lot easier if you apply copious amounts of empathy.

In my experience, people rarely do things that don't make any sense at all - at least to themselves. Understanding where people come from - or at least attempt to do so - makes the job a lot easier.

There isn't always time for doing that when you're in the middle of a 999 call, of course, but I find that retrospectively thinking 'why in the world would they do X' helps me do my job better the next time I'm in a similar situation.

I don't know whether this should be part of training, but it works for me.

monochromatic04 karma

How dangerous would you say your job is, considering all the training police officers get and the experience they develop over the years?

MattDelito6 karma

Serious injuries are rare, luckily, but you do get in scuffles regularly. From my experience both as a martial artist and as an officer, I know that fights are unpredictable by nature, and so that is reflected in how 'dangerous' the job is.

I have a long string of scrapes and bruises to my name, along with the odd sprain and black eye, but nothing more serious than that.

I don't think being an officer is all that dangerous, but it is closely tied to luck, and how good you are at risk assessment, and knowing when to run away (yes, really).

fmotl4 karma

In general do you think police officers are aware of the implications of their oath with regard to common law and their duty to uphold the law of the land?

MattDelito4 karma

Yes.

Fernsy4 karma

  1. What qualifications do you need to get into the police?
  2. Are they recruiting atm?
  3. What's your take on the plebgate scandal and the hillsborough disaster in reguards to police misconduct?

From, the guy who messaged you a week ago :P

Fernsy3 karma

Damn! What a cop out! ba dum tssh

MattDelito3 karma

Wa-hey!

MrDag0n4 karma

Have you only worked for one London borough or various different areas? Which would you say is the worst area to police in the capital?

MattDelito5 karma

I think most boroughs have good spots and bad spots. I've only spent significant amounts of time in three boroughs or so; they all struggle with similar challenges etc. I think 'which is the worst to police' could be easily (and objectively) inferred from something like the Met London Crime Map.

ijusthadtodie4 karma

Hey you probably won't read this but I just wanted to say thank you! I know you guys have been getting a lot of slack recently from crazy left-wingers and rude boys alike but I want to say I do really appreciate what you do for Britain. Just don't go Bad Lieutenant on us! ;)

MattDelito3 karma

I did read this ; and thank you!

Dr_Medic3454 karma

Is it true that there is a spot for in a man's head that if you shoot it, it will blow up?

MattDelito2 karma

Indubitably.

charlieninjaman4 karma

What is your stance on the prohibition of certain drugs? For or against?

MattDelito2 karma

Professionally, I have no stance. We enforce the laws we have.

Personally, the cost to society for some drugs is our if proportion with the punishment for carrying said drugs.

But ultimately, what I think is irrelevant. Talk to your MP; they are the ones with the power to change things.

medianbailey3 karma

What is going on with the tall hats? some police have them others dont, is it to do with your role?

also i love the british police, when ever i am somewhere new, i ask a police officer where the best pub is. it always ends well :D

MattDelito3 karma

In theory, it's flat hats when based from a vehicle, and custodians when on foot patrol, or in ceremonial context.

In practice, the flat hats are more comfortable, so some officers elect to wear them more than they perhaps should.

Ciderglove3 karma

Do you like the hi-vis jackets you have to wear?

MattDelito3 karma

It makes us look less professional, I think, but if the idea is to be as visible as possible when we are out and about, then you can't go wrong with neon and reflective bits.

And since the idea, generally, is to stand out like a thumb mauled by a rabid fox, and since I don't get a say in what I wear, I guess there are worse things than high-viz.

chilari3 karma

How many people know who you are? Nobody; a few very close, very trusted people; a slightly larger but still smll group of highly trusted people, etc? Do any of your colleagues know, or it is just people you know outside of the force (assuming you don't answer "nobody")?

MattDelito2 karma

Only close family and a select group of friends. Fewer than 20, I'd say.

slinkydoll3 karma

Hi Matt thank you for doing this I was just wondering how the book came about? Did the publisher come to you?

MattDelito5 karma

Actually, I was just cheeky about it - I tweeted at a few publishers who I thought might be interested. For a while, I was talking to Unbound, which is kind of a Kickstarter for books, but the discussions sort of fizzled out. Then I tweeted at the Friday Project, and a few months later we had a signed contract!

DrHiggins3 karma

I'm an American traveling to London soon, what should I do while I'm there?

MattDelito2 karma

Get a copy of Time Out and experience everything that's going on! Also, travel out from the centre. Go north, east, south, and west - loads to see!

GeekyGamer013 karma

On your communication system (TETRA), how busy is it?

Also, is there any more details you can give me about TETRA? I don't mean anything like the encryption code, do you feel it is better than Analogue communication (walkie talkies etc)? I'm studying radio, if you were interested.

MattDelito2 karma

We have a lot of channels, and each channel is more or less busy, depending on what's going on. Having said that, I know literally nothing about network contention etc, so I have no idea how close we are to capacity.

CutMeSomeSlackJack3 karma

My friend was recently heavily assaulted by two officers in Cardiff whilst passively yielding to their attacks, have you ever witnessed police brutality and do you feel the public have enough power to effectively report and follow through on such matters?

MattDelito2 karma

I can't comment on something I haven't seen. But my first piece of advice would be to note down all relevant details (especially shoulder numbers etc) and lodge a formal complaint. Get a reference number, and follow up periodically.

Jessica_T2 karma

Can a pregnant woman really demand your helmet to pee in?

MattDelito4 karma

They can demand. They may not.

logikblok2 karma

What do you think about America's gun policy?

MattDelito2 karma

Personally, I think allowing random civilians to buy guns is positively insane - but once there are as many guns in circulation among the general population as in the US, going back would be very hard indeed.

It's a multi-faceted, and very complicated challenge that I don't pretend to fully understand. But I'm very glad we're not facing it in the UK.

Apocalypte2 karma

What's your favourite ale?

What football team do you support?

I'm moving over (from Ireland) as soon as I get a new job. If you had one piece of advice for me, what would it be?

MattDelito3 karma

I do love me some Doom Bar.

I don't really do football, but I guess I show less than usual disinterest when Barcelona is playing.

London is a weird place, where it's tricky to make new friends, as everybody is so bloody busy all the time. Make an effort, and invite people along to stuff you find. Also: Don't assume that Londoners have seen all the 'typical' touristy things. I find that many of us secretly have been eyeing the Natural History museum, and finding a newcomer who wants to go means that we have an 'excuse' to do so, too.

jim_swanky2 karma

I've heard many stories around the thugish behaviour of the Met, one from a friend that witnessed a girl being mugged on the tubes only for the officers to grapple the victim to the ground while the criminals escaped, when he tried to intervene by walking over, pointing his finger towards the victim and saying "come on guys, this isn't right" one of the officers whirled around and clamped his teeth around my friend's finger, snarling like a savage dog! He got charged with assaulting an officer I believe, he had to go back to London to go to court but it was thrown out.

What are your thoughts on this apparent aggressive nature of your comrades, is it just bad press?

MattDelito13 karma

I can't comment on specific cases; the problem with 'stories' is that they are only told from one side (although, of course, that is also true for my stories).

But in all seriousness, I think police officers are people too. Some are better at their jobs than others, and some are more aggressive than others. If you ever feel that something is out of order, take down any reference numbers you can find (car number plates, shoulder numbers), dates and times, and write everything down in as much detail as you can. Then go to your local police station and lodge a formal complaint. Demand a reference number, and follow it up. Trust me, this stuff is taken very seriously indeed.

Ultimately, the police is doing a tricky job, but we are here to help you. If you feel we are doing a bad job, there are ways of complaining and doing something about it.

deadharts2 karma

Have you ever had a member of the public insult you and then sometime in the future have to respond to an emergency call from them?

MattDelito2 karma

Insults bounce off me most of the time (you can't do this job without being thick-skinned), and I see a lot of faces. So I guess the answer is 'possibly', but I wouldn't care. Even jerks need our help sometimes, and when they do, I'll be there to help.

deadharts2 karma

I guess you do have to be pretty thick skinned, I'm a young person who lives in London and I have to really thank the work you do, especially the night patrols, you've put my anxiety at ease many a night walk home.

MattDelito4 karma

Thank you!

If there is a specific area you're particularly worried about, speak to your local Safer Neighborhoods Team (SNT) - they will be able to give you advice about any risks, and if required, they can request additional police coverage to deal with any crime or harassment hotspots.

Lost44682 karma

What do you think about the arrests for twitter/facebook jokes? Or for protesting remembrance day by burning poppies and being arrested for it?

MattDelito3 karma

I think people ought to think more carefully about what they say in a public forum. Many people do t realise that tweeting or facebooking isn't whispering to a friend; it's permanently publishing for the world to read.

In principle, I am all for upholding the law, however it presents itself, but in practice, I think a lot of the laws we have are badly suited to modern society, and some of them may be adjusted to be more in line with how we live our lives in 2013.

Having said all that, this is one for the politicians; as police, we don't get to choose which laws to enforce.

Lost44682 karma

I think people ought to think more carefully about what they say in a public forum.

What about free speech? I don't think the government should be able to do anything to me unless I'm inciting violence or what I say will be an immediate threat to someone (e.g. "Kill Matt Delito" or "Fire" in a public place).

MattDelito1 karma

Have a think about the stories you've seen about people being arrested for social media behaviour. Do you not think they fall into those categories?

Lost44682 karma

No they do not.

Burning a poppy and posting a picture of it on twitter will not physically hurt or endanger anyone.

Posting jokes about April on facebook will not physically hurt or endanger anyone.

"Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

Being arrested for that is ridiculous, perhaps some background checks should have been done on him but that's it.

The guy who got arrested for making a comment about that divers dad was a dick, publicly shame him, but getting the police involved and having him arrested is just fucking stupid though.

MattDelito2 karma

So you don't see any problem with saying you will blow up an airport?

You may be surprised to hear that this is sometimes how genuine bomb threats come in. There are certain things you do not joke with. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech, and everything to do with common sense.

MattDelito1 karma

So you don't see any problem with saying you will blow up an airport?

You may be surprised to hear that this is sometimes how genuine bomb threats come in. There are certain things you do not joke with. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech, and everything to do with common sense.

MattDelito1 karma

I am also not saying that all of your examples are bad ones; I simply don't know enough about each case to comment. It may well be wrong, but without full details, I cannot get the full picture, and thus not comment.

MattDelito1 karma

I am also not saying that all of your examples are bad ones; I simply don't know enough about each case to comment. It may well be wrong, but without full details, I cannot get the full picture, and thus not comment.

I_want_a_cool_reddit2 karma

I'm visiting London this summer. Is there anything we realy should do and anything we should avoid?

MattDelito5 karma

I would avoid Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. It's overrun with tourists, and it doesn't feel like the 'real' London to me. I love taking out-of-town guests to Greenwich (the observatory and the GMT museum are great), Highgate (lots of nice pubs and the cemetary is a good visit, too), and to Stoke Newington (again, lovely vibe, good pubs, great Turkish / Greek food).

I_want_a_cool_reddit2 karma

Thanks for the advice. Would you recommend any other museums?

MattDelito2 karma

If you've got a strong stomach, look into the Hunterian Museum, it's one of the weirdest (and most awesome) museums I know in London.

I also have a weak spot for the Tate Modern (although that's definitely a tourist trap), the Photographer's Gallery, and the V&A.

AlDorman1 karma

I am not a Russian nationalist, not even a Russian. However, I think the UK has made a mistake in shielding the late Boris Berezovsky from Russian authorities. There are reliable people who indicate that Berezovsky, a former Russian cabinet official and oligarch, was behind the 1999 apartment bombings (blamed on the Chechens and used to start the Second Chechen War), and possibly behind the Litvinenko poisoning. So, why does the UK harbor these people?

MattDelito8 karma

Waaaay above my pay grade, sorry.

kylexys0 karma

Seriously why don't we use guns here in the Metropolitan Police

MattDelito6 karma

We don't need 'em very often, and the guys who do have guns are much better at doing so than I would be.

goodkidmAAdcity0 karma

Afternoon Cuntstable

MattDelito4 karma

How do you do, kind sir? How may I help you?

jizzmakesmecum-9 karma

Why do you guys have to be such massive dicks? I've never had a conversation with a Met Police officer that left me feeling anything but hatred for the entire organisation. It's like as soon as you put those handcuffs on your belt you turn into a bunch of power crazed, arrogant, impolite morons with a huge chip on your collective shoulder.

MattDelito17 karma

Interesting question.

If you start all your conversations with people you meet with this level of aggression, I am unsurprised that you meet with a certain level of reservation at the very least.

Of course, I do try to remain professional with people, but if you were to come up to me in person and ask the above question, I think it would be relatively disinclined to break out my most jovial side.

Respect begets respect.

jizzmakesmecum-2 karma

Respect is earned.

For the record, I'm a professional woman with a completely clean criminal record who has never approached a police officer for any reason. My interactions have all been initiated by the officers in question, have always been rude, pointless, impolite and left me feeling humiliated for no reason.

MattDelito6 karma

I don't know why you are getting downvoted. You have a legitimate concern, although for the record, I would recommend that you consider how you voice your concern.

I think if you have had negative experiences with the police in the past, I would genuinely recommend to make a formal complaint. There is no space in the Met for coppers who cannot treat others like decent human beings.

Obviously, I wasn't there, so I cannot comment on specific incidences, but I do think you ought to complain if it happens again.

There is actually a deeper problem here: If you approach me on the street (or if I have to approach you for any reason), you are not going to know me. You will judge me on my uniform. If you have had multiple negative experiences with 'uniforms' in the past, that makes my life and my job a lot harder, because not only do I have to get my point across, I have to fight through the (apparently earned) prejudices you have to the police.

I'm sorry you have a bad experience with us, and I hope that if you ever run into me, that you will have a very different experience.

Seriously, though - do make a formal complaint.