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on 14 September 2007
So funny; I sat and giggled the entire time I was reading it (i.e. in the bath, drying my hair, trying to cook - which is not easy with a book in your hand..... My partner, who is not in the police, looked at me like I had gone quite mad. She's got the ridiculousness of the job spot on. And don't think she's kidding about the bureaucratic hoops we have to jump through - she's not.
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If you're wondering why the police don't have time to deal with your stolen car or stolen wallet then read this book. By demanding targets and accountability and a paper trail we tie the police up in knots so that they spend too much time covering their backs and filling in forms rather than catching criminals.

Which is better - having the odd thing go wrong without being able to attribute it to an individual and having a higher detection rate and quick response times; or being able to work out what happened when and who was responsible and fewer crimes detected and having to wait a week for the police to respond to your call? I know which I prefer and I would say stop having so many people checking what's going on and more people doing the job they're trained to do.

When you've read the book you will start wondering how we got from the only record being the beat bobby's pocket book to forms in triplicate and about twenty people checking on what one person is doing. There are laugh out loud funny episodes in this book but there are also episodes which will make you tear your hair out in frustration. There are shades of almost any big organisation in this book and I know I found myself nodding my head in recognition over some of the procedures.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what being a police officer in twenty first century Britain is all about.
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on 7 October 2007
"I am a woman", Bloggs reminds us self-deprecatingly and with a knowing wink - but this is a book for everyone. Wise, witty, and stingingly accurate.

Employing a recurring cast of police teammates and community misfits, WPC Bloggs anatomizes various elements of the police job. The episodic chapter structure moves between interrelated episodes and settings. For example, the "Missing" features people missing at three progressively more serious levels. "Crap Car" is particularly amusing, dealing with ongoing police enquiries from habitual callers. There's a revelatory chapter on how rape is handled at local police level: "Sex, Lies, and CCTV".

Both subjects and tone darken towards the end of the book, but comedy pervade the pacy narrative. Bloggs's unremitting sarcasm and satire are well served by the naturalistic dialogue. At times I laughed out loud, other times shouted "Oh, no!" in frustration.

Best of all, it provides insight into our postmodern society. Footling paperwork, teethgrinding phone/fax/email contacts and the soulkilling "targets" culture are things which proceed beyond the police on which Bloggs trains her perceptive lens.
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on 29 December 2008
Having read the foreward and noted all 11 reviews to date had awarded a 5 star rating, my expectations were high. The first few chapters started well and I found myself chuckling like the other reviewers. However, the more I got into the book, the more repetitive it became. For sure the levels of bureaucracy, procedural madness and political correctness beggar belief, but just how many anecdotes and examples do you need to make the same point. Additionally the irony and sarcasm is laid on so thick it starts to become monotous and tiresome in the extreme. By halfway I didn't really care if Bloggsy would get it on with Will, if the Perils would ever see their day in court or if the weedkiller would ever arrive at Blandmore nick. I stuck with the book 'til the end, hoping it would improve again, but wish I hadn't. To be fair the book delivers what it promises, which may explain the high ratings, but for me all the chapters morphed into one and were completely interchangeable. If the book was half the length, then I'd probably double my rating.
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on 22 November 2007
as I sniggered loudly to myself, causing people to look at me warily from the corners of their eyes.

Whether you're into police-type stories or not, this is a very amusing book and rather a good insight into the way the police force "works". Or so I've been told. I'm not an officer, but I certainly found this enlightening.

I have a healthy respect for people who stay in the Force and battle on, despite all the madness.
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on 25 September 2007
This insightful book has a wry, quintessentially British wit, put to terrific use exploring a subject - modern policing, with all its inanities - that is both topical and fascinating. It works on an episodic style where each chapter contains one or two hilarious and/or troubling anecdotes, tied neatly together with a colourful set of recurring characters and a loose plot.

Like all the best comedy 'On-Call' can reduce you to absurd giggles but never quite forgets the seriousness of the issue at hand. What have we come to when we are training police officers to fight crime then obliging them to spend all their time filling in forms and chasing arbitrary targets? But the sarcastic writing style ensures it never gets too preachy or depressing, and even offers occasional glimpses of sanity and hope. If anyone at the Beeb or elsewhere is listening, this should be your next hit sitcom.

I would recommend this book to anyone who really needs to laugh at the absurdities of modern life.
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on 14 January 2012
Like a few others, I had high expectations of this book, following on from reading similar books from the medical side of the UK emergency services. They held my attention to the end but, about a third of the way through this one, I was getting bored and annoyed with PC Bloggs. I think it was the totally negative attitude that came across. Sure, the paramedics and doctors writing about their experiences criticised the NHS but also seemed proud of what they were doing and their criticisms were ideas and pleas for improvement.. I'm not suggesting the author is anything but a dedicated police officer trying to serve the public but I'm afraid all PC Bloggs has done so far is complain and that's not only killed the insight into being a female PC but it's also killed the humour for me.

It's a shame because it could have been so much better.
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on 2 November 2013
Just how I like my books to be. Good British humour and an insight into the bureaucratic procedures of British policing. I live in Greece now - it's refreshing to see that it's not just this country that has ridiculous bureaucracy in place.

Liked the diary format and how a potentially boring set of procedures has been recounted in an intriguing way. Yes, a little repetitive (OK, we GET that the author's frustrated by the system, just as much as the reader is starting to get frustrated by the author being frustrated), otherwise an entertaining read that will leave a wry smile on your face.
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on 17 October 2007
I absolutely loved this book and found myself cackling to myself as I was reading it.

PC Bloggs captures the nonsense and lunacy that pervades the British police service and somehow makes it hilarious.

Written in the style of a novel, the characters are brilliant - haven't we all met a "Shimona" at some time in our lives - and you get a sense of the cameraderie that exists between officers in the police force.

The book continually proves that fact is stranger than fiction, for example, I was amazed when I read that PC Bloggs was stopped in the street by a mother who had lost her four-year-old son and then, after Bloggs had taken a description of the boy, said she had to hurry because she was late for a hairdressing appointment!
The book is crammed full of stories just as bizarre and the reader feels Bloggs' frustration when things are going badly and her elation when she manages to get rid of a "non-crime" that has been plaguing her for months.

There is also romance with her "will she, won't she" ever get together with her colleague Will.

It is a fantastic book and I look forward to reading a sequel!
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on 23 July 2008
Whilst a MOP myself (Member Of Public) I opened the book with great interest and found it an incredibly addictive read.

I thoroughly recommend it for lots of uses : as something to make you sigh at how ridiculously beaurocratic the U.K. has become, something to help you understand the response you receive if you call 999 because somebody "looked at you funny" or most of all, as something to genuinely make you laugh out loud at totally inappropriate moments !

I found myself sighing and muttering to myself numerous times whilst reading at the sheer stupidity of how our police forces are "managed" according to "targets" these days - this country has gone mad ! At the same time, some parts of the book are just beautifully, exquisitely funny.

I absolutely recommend reading this book - it is educational in a way that the tax paying public of the U.K. desperately need to know about and a thoroughly addictive read at the same time.

If you want to read something that will make you genuinely belly-laugh then you need to buy this book !
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