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Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime [Paperback]

David Copperfield
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 Oct 2006
The book the government lied about and wanted to ban - the explosive truth about modern British policing, by a serving policeman writing deep undercover for fear of the sack.

WASTING POLICE TIME explains why there's never a policeman around when you need one, why the 'war on crime' is a sham and how senior officers and the government conspire to fake the crime stats and fool the public. PC David Copperfield is an ordinary bobby with an extraordinary talent for writing - he's hilariously scarcastic and biting about his bosses, the criminals he deals with and the judges and politicians who allow our streets to collapse into chaos as they themselves live in fortified houses and are driven around by armed police.

'Graphic, entertaining and sobering' - The Observer
'One of the three political books of the moment' - Nick Cohen, The Observer
'A huge hit... will make you laugh out loud' - The Daily Mail
'Very revealing' - The Daily Telegraph
'Hilarious... should be compulsory reading for our political masters' - The Mail on Sunday
'Passionate, important, interesting and genuinekly revealing... riveting' - The Sunday Times

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Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime + Wasting More Police Time + Perverting the Course of Justice: The Hilarious and Shocking Inside Story of British Policing
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Monday Books (9 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955285410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955285417
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

If you like the sound of WASTING POLICE TIME, check out 'IT'S YOUR TIME YOU'RE WASTING, a teacher's tales of classroom hell' by FRANK CHALK (published September 06 by Monday Books).

From the Author

WHAT do you think the police actually do? If you watch a lot of telly (as most of my ‘clients’ do), you probably think we spend all day roaring about in our souped-up cars, kicking down doors and shooting people. Or perhaps we’re all devilishly clever detectives unravelling murder mysteries while listening to classical music and swanning round in old Jags? I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not actually quite that glamorous. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job - especially the occasional moments where I get to chase after thieves and arrest them. I love nicking proper crims - after all, that’s why I joined. The problem is, I hardly ever get to do that. Instead, I spend most of my life filling in forms and responding to initiatives, and it really gets on my nerves. Before you ask, I am a real copper, at the sharp end, and this is a diary of my working life over the last year or so. Some of it (actually, most of it) isn’t all that dramatic (though I hope it will amuse you, all the same). That’s kind of the point: being a policeman in modern England is not like appearing in an episode of The Sweeney, Inspector Morse or even The Bill, sadly. No, it’s like standing banging your head against a wall, carrying a couple of hundredweight of paperwork on your shoulders, while the house around you burns to the ground. I hope this book will give you an idea of the depths of sheer incompetence our police are plumbing, and the downright scandalous ways in which your money is wasted while the crime books are cooked in ways that would make Nick Leeson proud. PC DAVID COPPERFIELD.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably accurate. 21 Nov 2007
By Anon
As a serving Police officer, I can say that the only point in the book that I would disagree with is the amount of tea/meal breaks he gets. The rest of it is like reading my own accounts, and anybody who is even thinking of criticising individual Police officers for being ineffective NEEDS to read this book. It will allow you an amazingly accurate insight into the frustratingly wasteful world of 'modern' Policing, as well as providing you with much needed laughs!

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really changed my perceptions 14 Nov 2007
I can honestly say reading this book has changed my perceptions of the British police force and reinforced my views on the evil of bureacracy. The stories were excellent if saddening, i felt so frustrated that the people paid to protect us spend their time paper pushing. I feel so let down by the current system that a good policeman spends his time dealing with 'abusive text messages' rather than patroling our streets. The fact he has to use a pseudonym from fear of losing his job is proposterous, he wants to help people and feels threatened telling the truth about how hard this has become. How so much time and training is spent on accepting peoples cultures but no training what-so-ever on how to catch criminals, how to deal with aggressive 'customers', how to help people on the beat.
This is where our taxes go, police have to spend time matching government statistics like our hospitals and our schools - i really believe passionately every single MP should have to read this. Its ridiculous but its true and we should face up to it and move for change.

This book made me geniunely angry and made me geniuinely care. It is an excellent book, i dont think it could very well have highlighted the sheer anti-climax of crime fighting in Britain any better and the itchy fingers of the police officers that just want to do their job but are prevented by ever mounting paperwork and people wasting police time.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inner London coppers view 9 Feb 2008
I've been working in central London for a few years having moved from an outer force, I've read 'wasting police time' a couple of times now, each time making me laugh like an idiot and sink into my chair feeling nearly as depressed of many people I deal with. Despite what that cretin Tony McNulty said - this book, and the blog for that matter, are as far from fiction as one could hope.

Or dread, depending on your point of view.

As response officers, the guys and girls on my team have to deal with anything and everything that comes over the radio or what happens in front of us, we have no remit and the results are exactly as DC has written. Domestics, drunks, suicides, cries for help, petty shoplifting and minor drug dealing are the bread and butter of what we deal with, no matter where in the country you work. And as for the issue of racism in the force... I personally have never seen it in any of my colleagues and yet we see it every day directly from members of the public - black, white, Chinese, Asian, Arab, eastern European. Everyone.

This book is about as close to the despair that every one of us feel every time we go to work and I urge you to read it, along with 'Diaries of an On-Call girl' which is also excellent.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that needs to be read!! 14 Oct 2006
This is an important book about modern Britain. That's really not not overstating it. Not at all. It's just sheer brilliant.

It's a humourous and incisive critique of wht's gone wrong with policing today. But the scary fact is that it could probably be applied to any of our public services today. And it should be read by every senior police officer and politician.

The most frustrating thing after reading this book is that an ordinary frontline copper has come up with simple solutions to solving problems...but that in the end none of those in charge will take heed.

What ultimately shines through though is the passion and dedication David Copperfield has for his job despite all that front line beat officers have to face. We need somebody like him in charge...although I doubt he'd want to take up the offer.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True! Spot On! 100% behind this book! 21 Mar 2007
This book is fantastic and more importantly so very very true.

I can see all the reports of "crimes" and incidents I have attended over my years.

Every paragraph I read I found myself smiling, nodding and saying "Yep, that's right!", "Done it!", "Been there!"

This should be compulsive reading for all politicans and may be then they would realise what actually happens in the big wide world.

All to much nowadays the Police is run by numbers. People don't seem to matter any more, just as long as the "scores on the doors" (As I like to call them) are good and improving each month.

A must for police officers and non-police alike.

Police will agree all the way and those non-police will hopefully have some sympathy for us as we (The Police) have for them.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Firstly, what a great book! It delivers everything it promises. It is Humorous, witty, sarcastic, shocking, depressing, scary, and above all, very humane. It does shed light on what does go on in the life of an ordinary bobby, and I've no reason to doubt that the vast majority of it is as honest and truthful as the author intended.

Now, I noticed that a lot of the negative reviews have focussed on PC Copperfield's political leanings (Right Wing, middle class, lock-away-the-key mentality), and to be honest, I don't ascribe to this mentality at all...but then again, I do not have the privilege of sharing PC Copperfield's experiences in his job.

Besides, the personal opinions of PC Copperfield are not, and should not be the focus of the true intention of the book. The purpose of the book is to show that the state of the Police Force in the UK is rapidly becoming a minefield of beauracracy, where forms need to be filled in & filed, where conducting 'risk assessements' become more important than saving lives, and where the statistics on "Crime" are adjusted and massaged to show a more beneficial result. - Whether PC Copperfield is conservative or liberal in his outlook is a moot point. The issues he raises are still the same, even if readers don't always see eye to eye on his policitcal opinions.

In actual fact, the book benefits from his refreshing 'Speak my mind, and to hell with the usual Political Correctness brigade'. PC Copperfield isn't racist, homophobic or prejudiced in any way, but he's not someone who seems to be too worried about watching how he phrases things to appease the out-of-touch powers that implement this tripe.

Finally, it does give a brutally honest view of Britain's underclass, and the state that it's in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece by PC David Copperfield
OK so this is fiction. But, having been a police officer for nearly four decades, I can identify with the characters and situations related in this book. Read more
Published 29 days ago by jtrackpaul
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by K T Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars Infuriating
This book made me feel nauseous at times. I don't have right wing views. I am a humanist. At other times I laughed out loud. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Miles Alura
1.0 out of 5 stars Wasting Our Time
This book is just one long moan, written by someone who has no sense of humour and I suspect little experience in being a 'Copper'. Being a policeman is easy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by william guffogg
5.0 out of 5 stars accurate account of our work!
If you want to know what it's really like , read this book! Every cop can relate to a story in this book.
Published 6 months ago by M. Davey
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry
I know others who can tell a funny story around police officers experiences and to be brutally honest this was not funny!
Published 7 months ago by Squire
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
A very funny no holds barred insight into a police officers dealings and strife of days and nights. Worth a read.
Published 7 months ago by sussexlass
4.0 out of 5 stars Think before you dial!
As much as I enjoyed reading this, I also admit to feeling uncomfortable at times too.

It was exactly what I was expecting - anecdotes from the front line of policing, a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by K. J. Noyes
4.0 out of 5 stars wasting police time
I liked it and it gave me a look into the way policemen see their job and was very interesting.
Published 7 months ago by livio
4.0 out of 5 stars I do object to having to write something after I have rated a product....
I do object to having to write something after I have rated a product. I have expressed my opinion by rating it haven't I?
Published 7 months ago by Mr. J. Biltcliffe
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