1 Aug 2007

Sgt Oscar Blaketon

There was a time when the majority of Sergeants were like Oscar Blaketon, the one who confronted me when paraded for duty at my first station certainly was! Some would say he was a throwback from a bygone era and that may be so, at least you knew where you stood, what was expected of you and what would happen if you didn't come up to scratch!

There doesn't seem to be many of the Oscar types these days, many of them are more like PC Geoff Younger with stripes and with a similar length of service! There was a lot to be said for having a Sergeant with some experience and wool on his back. I say 'his' because that's how it was, I think there was less than half a dozen female Sergeants in the force when I joined. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not sexist or have any desire to return to the days of the 'Policewoman's Department' however, even with today's maternity and flexible working considerations, there is still a limited number of female Sergeants, despite large intakes of female recruits?

I suppose many of those we recruit don't see the police force as a career any more, male or female. Indeed, the powers that be don't even promote the job as a 30yr career? It appears that being a police officer for a few years is just another notch on a CV for many, I suppose that saves money for the employers in not having to pay long service salaries and pensions! One of the main problems is, having no Oscar Blaketons along with rafts of inexperience Constables, the police service is in danger of deskilling.

Bring back the Oscar Blaketons that's what I say!

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