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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Meeting 'Pc Bloggs'
By Ben Ando
BBC News

Pc Elle Bloggs - not her real name - has been lifting the lid on what really happens in the police for nearly a year in her blog and is about to have her book - Diary of an On-Call Girl - published.

Woman police officer
'Pc Bloggs' says she does not want to give up her job

She says she joined the police "to make a difference and to catch criminals".

"I didn't expect to change the world, but I also didn't expect to fill out the same information on 10 different forms," she says, adding that she finds herself frustrated by the bureaucracy, target culture and paperwork endemic in the police.

"I haven't set out to discredit my force," she says. In fact, the book does not say where she serves.

"This is a general problem I'm talking about and people are now recognising this as a general problem."

Pc Bloggs feels that the target culture is largely behind the difficulties she and her colleagues face.

"There is an obsession with detections - we are very detection driven.

"Yet a lot of the best work I do is spent with victims of crime. I can spend four hours with a victim, say an elderly man who's been robbed by a fake official - a distraction burglary.

"Yet there's no way to measure that in the current climate.

"If you ask any senior officer one-on-one then, yes, they'd encourage us to do that. But each month, when the figures come in, all they see are the targets so they want us to deal with one incident and move on to the next, generate a figure, and move on."

'Staying anonymous'

Pc Bloggs also feels that attention to paperwork and targets can deflect attention from other, more tangible problems.

I love my job and I have a huge amount of affection for my colleagues and my job
Pc Bloggs

For example, she says the system for monitoring rape suites needs updating.

"The rape suite... is a normal room.

"The regime is that officers put a tick in a book to say it needs cleaning. But the cleaners don't work weekends and only clean it once a day - if there's two rapes in a day the suite won't have been cleaned."

Pc Bloggs says she has to stay anonymous for the time being because she wants to continue serving as a police officer. She dreads being found out, she says.

"It's a scenario that I've played out in my own mind a thousand times.

"I've decided that, if I'm asked, I will own up but, to be honest, I don't really think they can do anything to me anyway, can they?"

She is worried that, if her identity was revealed, it would affect the way her colleagues regard her.

'Surprise' success

The Home Office says it's largely sympathetic with many of the points she makes.

Stuart Davidson (pic: Monday Books)
Blogger Stuart Davidson quit the British force to join Canadian police

It says that cutting red tape was one of the reasons why Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, was asked to undertake a thorough review of police procedures.

She admits that the success of her blog has taken her by surprise, but says it's a welcome surprise.

"I love my job and I have a huge amount of affection for my colleagues and my job," she said.

"I hope that comes across too."

She says that, when she started the blog, she had no idea that other police officers were already blogging or that her blog would become so popular.

Since she started, she says she's made contact with hundreds of serving officers around the world.

But unlike Stuart Davidson - another British police blogger who wrote under the pen name Pc David Copperfield and who has since emigrated to Canada - she has no intention of leaving her job just yet.

And, for the time being, she also has no intention of giving up her online double life.

What WPC Bloggs has to say

Police blogger revealed
16 Sep 07 |  UK
Bloggers reveal their motives
03 Jan 05 |  Technology

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