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Everything posted by Sherlock

  1. Ghostrider, I read your last with, I must confuse, a sense of bemusement. "Vigilante" is an ugly and emotive word. How, sir, can a person wearing the uniform of a Police Constable (special or otherwise) who is trained to the same standard as regular Special Constables and to the same high national standards as regular Police dog handlers, with a dog similarly trained and assessed by national assessors on a regular basis AND acting within the parameters of the law in that capacity while corroborated by or corroborating a paid Police Constable/Officer POSSIBLY justify being classed as a "vigilante"? (Pause for intake of breath) I am merely curious to see how you defend a stance and argument over which you, clearly, feel strongly about. I do not attack your stance, merely question it. (I believe it would be pointless to do so, as I suspect we shall never see eye to eye on the matter. ) Once again you take issue with the Police and your fellow Shetlanders. To hear (or read) you talk, Dogs against Drugs are little more than spivs gulling the feckless Shetlanders through misdirection and misinformation into parting with their monies only to benefit the Police and not the community. Is this really how you see DaD, the Police and your fellow islanders? Can you not even begin to accept that - as has been previously stated on this same thread - DaD may just HAVE knowledgeable supporters who choose to support out of their own beliefs, rather than yours? You speak of your fellows and your own home in what I read (forgive me if I am wrong) as apparently disparaging terms ("huddled on this rock"?). I look forward to seeing you at the next Council meeting, lobbying your duly elected representative to put an end to DaD funding from the public purse and wish you well in doing so. If you have the support, and your supporters have the will, DaD's days are numbered. As for your comments about the SSPCA, I know not from whence you have obtained your information, however Sir, it is my sad duty to inform you that I believe you to have been sorely misled and misinformed on this particular matter (and if on this matter, mayhap on others also?) You see, sir, we (the Police) do not have ANY such cases "handed over" to us by the SSPCA. THEY will take action against (and DO) any such perpetrators whom THEY detect and whom THEY report. Their officers even hold ranks and wear uniforms similar to our own, and many of their Inspectors have Police backgrounds for this very reason. Rarely, if ever, have I heard of any Police officers stepping in to report any such matters relating to animals, save those protected by legislation specifically designed to protect them (e.g. "eggers" and trappers of protected species, etc). Perhaps THIS is what you are thinking of, in which case clarification is vital in order to prevent confusion or misinterpretation of fact, do you not agree? Please feel free to enlighten me further, should I be mistaken, and provide specific instances from these self-same shores, as education is enlightenment and the resultant improvement in knowledge can only be beneficial for us all! Your last paragraph, though, appears to accuse the Police of hijacking DaD and twisting it to their own nefarious ends, depriving the good folk of Shetland of both charitable contributions/donations and public funds. A monstrous crime and one which I am sure you have evidence of and can provide on the minute. Or can it be that this "small but vocal bunch of people with an obsession" and a "half baked idea" (again you apparently belittle or detract those who do not share your views) enjoy more support than, perhaps, the pro-drug stance, and have so benefited from the public's pockets as well as coffers? Should anything about the funding of DaD - from public funds or otherwise - be ANYTHING other than "above board and legit". I would expect any right minded person able to prove such a claim to make a complaint and see the matter investigated fully and to the letter of the law. Misappropriation of public funds is, after all, at the very least embezzlement! Has this REALLY gone on in this instance? Have there been shady backroom deals? Sir, I am alarmed at the idea and beg of you to provide proof of same as a responsible citizen. More debate and further enquiry shall be our rallying cries! Let us find the answer together!
  2. NewMagnie, I'll direct you to my earlier comments re the Police dog handler, in that he is as likely to take your complaint of assault or vandalism as he is to deploy his sniffer dog. It also seems reasonable to me to have two persons trained too do the same job, as - with the best will in the world - you cannot always expect just one officer to be available for duty, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. I'll also direct you to my comment about Shetland Arae Command having a resource available locally that otherwise would have to be requested and abstracted - if available - from the mainland. As for the DaD officer, he is a Special Constable, which means he has been accepted as such by Northern, gets training like other Specials and is therefore perfectly acceptable to Northern. If Northern didn't want him, I am sure his position would have disppeared by now. As for objectivity or being dispassionate, he is not a supported drawn from the ranks of some rabid zealots, he is a suitably qualified person with a large degree of background experience who applied for and got the post. I am not prepared to comment on the C&E issue other than to say I cannot see how it is relevant now, as he works with us, and not them. He is therefore a resource which we can draw upon, so from their point of view may be viewed as being "somewhat superfluous". It does not change the fact that we now have a valuable resource which is cost effective and beneficial to drugs enquiries and investigations in Shetland Area Command which were somewhat weaker prior to his appointment. As a disclaimer, I am adding that this is my own opinion and NOT that of Northern Constabulary and Shetland Area Command. However I would be surprised if it was far from the mark, given that it is a viewpoint driven by logic and practicality. If you still have an issue with DaD funding a dedicated drugs dog handler, perhaps it would be best approached via direct contact with them, or through a public campaign to stop what you appear to think (forgive me if I am wrong) is a waste of charity money? If your support is there, I am sure you will be successful and the DaD handler will disappear, as will the education he delivers to Shetland schools.
  3. As regards the media, I can assure you that each and every one of the major media groups (and subgroups. ie different radio & television stations, newspapers, etc) expect to have their questions answered by someone from the Police. The SIO (Senior Investigating Officer) - in this case, Det Ch Supt Gull - will be brought out for the more serious news conferences. I am sure that there will be several Media Liaison Officers (probably all civilians with significant media experience) beavering away in the background the rest of the time. The media are a difficult group to deal with in that they have the ability to reach farther and wider than Police ever could. Ergo, we NEED to use them to our best purposes and that of any ongoing enquiry. Failure to do so results in a breakdown of a relationship which is, at best, tentative in the first place. However they will not just allow themselves to be used in this fashion. Not without a quid pro quo, or a great story (the two not being incompatible). As previously stated by someone else, if no details are provided - NOT a lot, just enough to keep the "crusaders" in the media off the Police backs - then some in the media will begin to speculate. Speculation can be harmful, negative to an enquiry and sometimes downright irresponsible. However, to be realistic about this, their job is to sell stories, ours to catch persons responsible for crimes and deter others. Sadly, the twain only meet on a few occasions. There is a hunger for news among the populace that has never been rivalled in history, and with the advent of the Internet, an ex-pat or interested party in Borneo can monitor a news story in Denver WHILE IT IS HAPPENING. I know that many of you are aware of this and am not seeking to be condescending or patronising, I am merely trying to illustrate my point. As someone else remarked earlier, the Press in this country have become more like their cousins in America over the last few years. News helicopters hover over crash sites or hostage sieges, 24 hour news channels desperately try to fill each and every one of the 86,400 seconds they are on daily with bigger and better news, more in-depth, further reaching items than their rivals. Do you seriously believe that if the SIO in this - or any other major - enquiry said, "Sorry, we're getting on with our enquiry, which is progressing apace, so no further comments or interviews, please." they would say, "Oh, okay then. Fair do's. We'll all just head home. Thanks mate!" Mainstream public perception is moulded by the media. I challenge anyone to disprove that. An enquiry can often be made or broken by the degree of reporting and assistance provided by the media. As can careers. If the public were to be allowed to perceive that the SIO in this case was a feckless clown or unsuitable to lead an enquiry such as this (which they have done in the past, through allusion, insinuation, etc), how long do you think he would remain in charge of it? Such is the power of "public" opinion. Let's just watch, wait and see, shall we? If I am having a house built, I don't expect to visit the site and see the architect or estate agent who sold me the plot slinging bricks and framing windows. However I would expect the site foreman to give me an update on progress when he had the chance. The allegory may be too obtuse for some, however I hope not. Lastly, I will direct you to Theodore Roosevelt and his view on critics (my favourite quote ever). It begins "It is not the critic that counts.." and is fairly lengthy, however if you "Google" it, you'll see what I mean.
  4. It is all too easy to stand on the outside, in possession of a tiny per centage of the facts and criticise, whether it be how the Police in chasre of this case are operating, or how full they keep the shelves in Somerfield. My own view on such matters is best phrased by my namesake in my "signature", appended below. Incidentally, while not conclusive by any means, I see that - in between "pandering" to the media and (in some people's view) enjoying the limelight, the enquiry team have made an arrest this morning. Of course, English law is very different from Scots in this regard, however let's hope they have the right man and no more families need be shattered by the knock at the door.
  5. New Magnie, Yes they are two separate people, one is a police officer employed by Northern Constabulary, the other is a Special Constable, funded by Dogs against Drugs. Njugle, Who's the good cop, who's the bad?
  6. To quote from my namesake, "It is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one's audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though perhaps a meretricious, effect." Written a LONG time ago now, and yet still speaks for this topic and the other conspiracy theories, if you ask me. It's just my opinion.
  7. No relation, and if he is a "polis" then he has not broadcast it to the rest of us. Sorry I don't know if he was a cop or not, although he certainly gave that impression from what I have read. And, no, I am not ashamed of what I do. Never have been, never will be.
  8. I am sure the DaD handler will be happy to hear that at least one person on the forum approves of the work he does, Sudden Stop.
  9. Thanks Trout, however anything I post will be more personal than professional, although I will not be drawn into petty insults or comment on ongoing policies or enquiries. I hope that is okay with your members. The reason I posted here is because I genuinely believe that DaD provide a valuable service to the people of Shetland and the handler should be complimented, not insulted. He does a lot of work with kids in schools regarding drugs education and while it may not be what all your members want to deliver to them, he does explain the effects of the different drugs available to them. It's not indoctrination, it's education - BIG difference. Then he leaves it to them to make more EDUCATED choices. He visits almost every school in Shetland regularly doing this, as well as speaking to other groups - often in his own, unpaid, time - and is tireless in his contribution to keeping kids safer in Shetland. Considering he receives not one penny from the Police (he does not claim basic allowances to which he is entitled as a special constable), I'd say Shetland is pretty lucky to have someone like him working here. No doubt there will be plenty out there who disagree.
  10. In answer to the queries about the Police drugs dog handler, from my experience - not necessarily from a Force viewpoint - folk in Shetland have wanted their own resources in the past, rather than having to rely on officers travelling from the mainland (e.g. when dealing with serious road accidents). The dog handler is a full-time police officer who also handles the regular matters dealt with by other officers, however he IS a trained and accredited dog handler whose animal is trained in the detection of controlled drugs. If we were to mount any size of anti-drugs operation, it seems logical to me to have the resources here to do so, rather than having to wait for them to come from the mainland, risking all and sundry finding out prior to their arrival or commencement of the operation. Does that make sense to anyone else? These dogs are invaluable when searching houses/cars/areas under suspicion, and take the role of what would otherwise require full police search teams (taken off other normal police duties elsewhere around the force) to detect. Again, does this seem logical to anyone else?
  11. As a serving Police officer (and not ashamed of it) I have to take issue with the last comment. I have been here several years and have NEVER heard of any such "injunction" or indeed of cops "staking out" in folks gardens. Any proof of the last, in which case I will acknowledge your allegation as fact, rather than hearsay/fiction?
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