March 2009: Police Inspector Blog

An unhappy cop.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the following:

Despair over the failings of the criminal justice system

Concern about the bureaucratic, target-bound nature of modern policing

Irritation with New Labour

Constitutional dislike for health and safety legislation

will find much of interest in our Blog of the Month for March. Police Inspector Blog is written by a high ranking officer known only as Inspector Gadget and tells of life in a rural constabulary. Perverting the Course of Justice, a book based on the blog, was published in 2008.

Police Inspector Blog is less a chronicle of the day to day life of an ordinary public servant, than an insider demolition of the damage caused to the system by excessive paperwork and a concentration on the most minor of crimes. If you have any interest in the current state of law and order, this is worth paying attention to. That said, you might just come away feeling irked by the fact that the anger on display here is not counterbalanced by many suggestions as to how things might be improved

Anyone who knows a police officer will be familiar with the tone: a (barely) contained comic hysteria fuelled by disbelief and a frustrated sense of powerlessness. It is a voice that seems to have struck a chord. This blog is extraordinarily popular. At the time of writing it has had over two million hits. Either every police officer in the land is reading it or Jacqui Smith is very, very worried.

Garan Holcombe

24 February 09