Comments: 743 • Responses: 78  • Date: 


I imagine you have to deal with many troubled youths who've fallen into crime through circumstance rather than just generally being a shitty person.

What do you feel are the best methods of reforming/helping or even preventing these types of cases?

Community centres? More extracurricular activity?

I'm curious as to how a detective would feel about this rather than someone from the Government with little hands on experience.

HokeyCoke5 karma

What do you feel are the best methods of reforming/helping or even preventing these types of cases?

Prevention is obviously better than cure. I honestly think that you just have to get kids invested in their future. Their family, their environment, their Culture, their talents, whatever. They need to feel that they have something to work for, and aspire to.

They also need to be told that they can succeed.

I do feel that a lack of positive male role models is a big factor. I'm talking primarily about absent fathers. I'd say that was the single striking thing about the "worst" kids I knew. They tended to come from homes with no father figure, and they were often the eldest child. They misappropriated that role of being the man of the house, and it just lead to violence and gang activity. Mum was stuck in the house with younger kids, had no control over this 15-17 year old adolescent, who had realised that he could go out and rob or sell drugs for £100+ a day... that's a revelation to a young man with no strong guidance.

Reforming or helping? No idea. a whole other ball park. I think once you're engrained in that lifestyle, it's very hard to get out. You have to move away from the area, you have to cut off your old friends. No-one wants to do that.

Community centres? More extracurricular activity?

I don't think it's that simple. A whole bunch of that stuff, building up to a completely different urban environment and support network, perhaps. But London is a city full of extracurricular activity. There's more free and amazing stuff to do in London than anywhere else in the world. Yet these youths have such narrow horizons. They're locked to a post code.

KorranHalcyon3 karma

ever fake or plant of falsify evidence to convict someone who would've walked free if you hadn't?

HokeyCoke27 karma

Haha! No, absolutely not.

I'm proud to say I've never encountered overt corruption like that. Peoples perception of that (in regards to UK police) is out of step with the reality. Older officers I worked with recalled corruption in a really bad way - often collusion with criminals as much as "fitting them up". But we're talking 70's and 80's then when corruption was at it's peak.

When it comes to falsifying evidence... what's the point? Whatever happened, happened. As a Detective, I want the truth. If the person did whatever they did, then it's my job to gather the evidence that convicts them. If they didn't or it's not that simple, then the evidence will point to what we should REALLY be going after. I'm not down for sending someone to prison for 10 years+ for something they didn't actually do. If they're an active criminal, I'll be able to build evidence to send them down properly, without any falsified evidence.

It's also not worth my job or my freedom. If an officer in the UK gets found to have done something like that, it's Jail. For a long time. And Jail as a police officer is NOT fun. I have a family, a life, a pension. I honestly don't care enough about "taking down the bad guy" to risk what I have for the sake of him. If he really is a bad guy, we'll get him when the evidence is there anyway. Why put yourself on the line for that?

caracatus-potts3 karma

Prior to becoming a Detective, do you think the minimum 2 years' service as a PC on the street is essential, or do you think it discourages talented people from joining the Police because they have no interest in arresting drunks and giving directions to tourists?

HokeyCoke12 karma

There isn't really a hard 2 year limit. It's 2 years in any event to stop being a probationer and be confirmed in the rank of constable.

I think it's utterly vital. As a detective, you pick investigations up at a higher level, but you have to understand the challenges that go with uniform policing. The Street work you do grounds you in all aspects of police work, including investigation. It also drives home working knowledge of powers and procedures, which are complex and various.

You're also still a resource. In the riots, I was a response driver, I had an unmarked car, I threw on my stab vest and kit harness, and I was out there on the ground for 18 days straight, doing what I've always done. Running after youths, making arrests, stop searching. Without earning those street skills, what use would I have been when London needed every officer on the street?

You can't waltz in as an investigator and think you know it all and can do the job. Where are your radio skills, because you're going to be in charge of managing critical incidents? What if you need vital information from that drunk, but you've never spoken to one in a policing context so you have no idea how to go about it?

How are you going to interpret dispatch logs, call handler logs, radio logs, officers notes, intelligence databases, crime reports, statements even, if you have no grounding in basic police work?

The basis of knowledge is simply vast. The only way to learn is by doing. Honestly, after a decade, I just about felt I had a sound working knowledge of the range of legislation, policy and procedure that governed my working day. Try and scale that pyramid without the firm base of policing knowledge, and you WILL Fail.


checkur62 karma

What's your favorite meal for a job well-done?

HokeyCoke6 karma


Vanishing_Time1 karma

How did you become a detective? What training did you do?

HokeyCoke5 karma

See the responses to baggyrabbit, above! I think that covers is.

cybergibbons1 karma

It sounds like you've come from a uni background. How do you feel about graduates being fast tracked into CID roles?

Ever done any work with SOCA?

HokeyCoke1 karma

How do you feel about graduates being fast tracked into CID roles?

I've sort of touched on that here.

In general, I'm against fast tracking into CID, or higher ranks. You kind of have to understand the complexity of Policing to understand why. I don't believe you can be effective in those roles without a through grounding in street policing and general police duties. There are core skills you simply have to learn through doing. And a degree is no substitute!

Since the foundation of the police, there has been talk of creating an entirely separate "strand" for CID, and it's never happened. I don't think it will, or should.

Ever done any work with SOCA?

I've used specific services of theirs, but never worked directly with them, no.

averyCOYS1 karma


I'm American but I'm obsesses with European culture and it is my dream to move to the UK (primarily London because I'm a huge Spurs fan). My Question is this:

What are your thoughts on the American gun policy? Do you believe there needs to be changes? How can you compare our policy against your policy(no guns)? I've always said we should make stricter gun laws but I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.

Thank you!


HokeyCoke2 karma

What are your thoughts on the American gun policy?

I think you're all mad! ;) No, not really.

I've spent a bit of time in the US, mainly in New England but also in California and the Western States. Your policy is what it is. You have a deep seated tradition of the population having relatively unrestricted access to firearms. It's part of your culture, and also a big part of your Economy. America without guns wouldn't be America. It would be... Vermont.

Do you believe there needs to be changes?

If you could wave a wand and disappear every legal and illegal firearm in the US over night, I think you would all be able to breathe a little easier. But you can't. I think that a move to restrict access to the most devastating forms of weaponry would be a good move, but since there is no consensus on that, even across states, it seems impossible. Your situation is as it is, and you guys just have to live with it, and control it as best you can.

How can you compare our policy against your policy(no guns)?

You can't really say that our policy is "no guns". My father owned very powerful rifles - a 7x64 and a 6.5x55 deer rifle, and I've shot these my whole adult life. Both accurate out to 300 yards, both with 5 round magazines, bolt action of course, as self loading rifles aren't permitted. You can even own a .50 cal rifle in the UK. Nothing prevents you, other than needing a good reason and a place to shoot it safely.

Shotguns are also widely owned and even easier to obtain a licence for - though buckshot and slugs are tightly controlled and in most cases illegal. clay pigeon shooting is a very popular sport, and we win medals and stuff in it.

But you have to have reason to own such weapons, and be of good character.

Handguns are basically unlawful, and I think rightly so: There is no legitimate reason to own one, other than "self defence", which isn't a viable reason in the UK. Deer rifles are tools for killing deer, handguns are tools for killing people. Frankly, we don't need that kind of shit in our lives.

As I understand US gun legislation, there is wide variation from state to state, from "Own anything" to really quite draconian laws. I think that's a primary problem. Driving across borders isn't hard.

I've always said we should make stricter gun laws but I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.

I think that unified gun laws would be a good starting point (HA! Good luck!) but overall, I don't think there's much doubt that fewer guns in circulation = fewer firearm enabled homicides, and that has to be a good thing? I'm no idealist though. I don't believe it will ever happen, I think the US is too firmly entrenched in gun culture, and there are very powerful lobbys preventing it.

(sorry, I forgot, it's only criminals shooting criminals, right?)

indeeds-4 karma

Why are we here?

HokeyCoke4 karma

I don't know, why are you here?