Meeting the Met and messing with printers…

Meeting the Met and messing with printers…

Like I’ve said before, I just can’t get into international football. I have seen some highlights on the web and note that those idiots with the drums and trumpets are still being let into games – isn’t it about time someone took their toys away and sent them for recycling?

God forbid we ever get that at St. Mary’s. Oh, and you can keep your stupid musical bursts when a goal is scored as well – that is for teams with no support and no hope – we’ve got bags of both at Southampton.

I went and met the Met on Wednesday. Well, the head honcho, at least; Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to be exact. He was holding a Q&A at my local football club and I went along to hear what the man with the toughest Policing job in the country had to say for himself and hear about his plans for London in what is, without dispute, one of the busiest years we’ve had for decades.

He opened with a quick speech outlining the form for the evening and by talking the assembled mass (about 60 people) through a few slides with compared crime rates for the area against the London average. Not too heavy, not over-produced and with just enough to make it meaningful to everyone. Off to a good start, then.

I think I was possibly the only one there that was not directly associated with either the Metropolitan Police or the local authority – the number of people proudly wearing their council staff ID’s was comical – quite why so many were there I have no idea, but it smelt a bit like there had been a 3-line whip to encourage attendance.

Anyway – BHH talked a LOT of sense. He is clearly enjoying the role he’s held since September last year and has taken it by the scruff of the neck. He’s got a lot on too, with the Olympics, Jubilee, Leveson and everything else, not to mention the task of managing the Policing of our fair city. But, having listened to him closely, I think he and his team can do a fantastic job, subject to two provisos;

i. That Bungle and the rest of the Government leave him to get on with it and stop sticking their noses in – HE is paid to do the job, not that bunch of trough-nosing finger poking time wasters

ii. That everyone realises Policing a city as big and diverse as London cannot be done on the cheap and that cutting the Met’s budget now will lead to more expense later on. I think it was generally accepted that smarter working and sensible economies will go a great way to reducing costs, but it should not, must not be at the expense of basic Policing.

The Q&A was pretty good, BHH had no advance warning of the content and came across as someone who had his finger on the pulse and when someone else was better qualified to answer a point, he let them do so. I really do wish him and his team well.

One slight concern for me was the number of people re-tweeting points raised at the meeting – clearly one of his team at the front was in charge of the blackberry, but for every point posted there were dozens of re-tweets – was there a room somewhere at the yard full of people waiting to hit the “re-tweet” button every time their leader was able to get a hard-hitting point home?

Early start on Friday – my friend and colleague Stuart had purchased a printer and wanted my help to go and collect, deliver, build and install it. What kind of printer warrants that sort of attention? – Well:


That is what I call a Printer! The centre section as you look at it is just over 24″ in length and the whole thing stands at about 4ft high. When we got to Maidenhead to pick it up, we looked at the box, then the car, then at the box again and had the same thought – it won’t fit! With the help of the warehouse manager we stripped it of all packaging and it fitted easily. The other worry was the weight – the box claimed it to be 140KG, but it must have been about half that. Stu’s bother Tom came over to help with the construction and installation and between the three of us it went without a hitch. I have to mention Stu’s wife, Mrs. B. who kept us fed and watered throughout the day.
The Printer will print individual sheets but is designed to print from the roll, at 24″x as long as you like. It’ll also print on canvas and lord knows what else. We pushed a couple of test prints through it once it had been built and placed in its permanent home and the results are very impressive. It takes 10, yes – t-e-n cartridges in three sizes from small to bucket. I am not at all jealous – I’ve not got room for it. Wouldn’t take much to find room, though!

The other event that took place on Friday happened up at Hendon. Regulars will remember me writing about a young lad I know that had wanted to be a Police officer all his life and had recently passed his entrance exams. Well, his passing out parade took place at the Police College on Friday; I’ve seen pictures of him with BHH and a VERY PROUD mum – who said I just threw this journal together?

He started work as a constable with the Metropolitan Police on Saturday. A dream realised. Good luck PC195 and remember, if you see me amble out of the station “refreshed”, point me in the right direction and push me gently on my way – there’s a good lad!

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