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on 26 February 2012
I got my eagerly-awaited copy of Wasting More Police Time on Saturday and have just finished it (Sunday). It is truly addictive, though not what I had expected.
Unlike the first book, Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime, this time police officers from all over the UK (and even some who have left the UK to work in the police overseas) give us their tales from the front line.
The result is not for the faint-hearted - particularly the stories of death and having to break the news of tragedy to family members. The piece about the couple who had lost the baby they'd been trying for for years, and having to find the husband to bring him home from work, is truly heartbreaking.
As a member of the public it was a real eye-opener and made me think about the human beings underneath the uniform - admittedly a job PC Copperfield's earlier book had already done.
All good books provoke a reaction in the reader and book made me sad, cross and surprisingly optimistic - that there are still lots of decent people who are prepared to put themselves on the line for the good of society.
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on 16 March 2012
Copperfield's excellent first book was vulnerable to criticism that it was just one man's experience, not representative etc etc. Notoriously, Tony McNulty MP dismissed it in the Commons as fiction.

The points Copperfield makes are too important to allow them to be so easily sidestepped, so this book is the testimony of some dozens of anonymous serving officers. As Copperfield's true identity was eventually established, they are all taking a real risk and must feel strongly about these issues.

To start there are a couple of chapters about the perennial problems of police work, dealing with society's human vermin and dealing with death, but the bulk of the book is about problems caused by politicians, courts and police senior management, i.e. new and often wholly unnecessary problems.

Criminals use extreme violence, especially against the police, at the drop of a hat, but are let off or charged with minor offences time and time again. Meanwhile the police are held to almost impossibly high standards. Like the army, they are often ill-equipped. They are still required to be PC Dixon when the world of Dock Green has long passed.

The big issue, though, as with the previous book, is the colossal amount of time and manpower that is simply wasted. Vast numbers of nominal policemen never set foot in the mean streets, but confine themselves to sending e-mails about targets from the comfort of their offices. For those doing real police work, procedures are wildly cumbersome, and they must take ten times as much time for diversity and sensitivity courses as for courses on catching criminals.

If the Home Secretary hasn't read this book she certainly should.
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on 27 February 2012
This book is addictive, shocking, funny, moving and exciting in turns. Written in down to earth copper-speak, it's hard hitting and pulls no punches.

A must read for anyone with an interest in Law and Order or in how the current destructive cuts are affecting policing and therefore the safety of all of us.
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on 29 July 2013
In this follow-up to PC Copperfield's 'Wasting Police Time', a large number of other police officers corroborate the assertions of PC Copperfield: The failings of the CPS, the bureaucracy, the penny-pinching savings, the shortcomings of equipment, and the political correctness gone wild. The authors make no bones about the fact that the policies of government(s), the social services, the judicial system, and the prison parole system are leading to reduced effectiveness of policing and resulting in serious and persistent criminals going unpunished.

The multitude of different authors all singing from the same songbook make this book more credible than its predecessor. Furthermore, the authors are drawn from police forces all over the UK, and the reader gets a better chance to understand their often very brave efforts to preserve law and order and help the public, sometimes under grisly and harrowing conditions. Reading this book will give you a better perspective of the police force and the work they do. Next time you get a speeding ticket for doing 80mph on a 70mph motorway, you'll understand that, in all likelihood, the policeman who nabbed you would much rather be after burglars, rapists, murderers and muggers, than sitting by the roadside helping his bosses tick 'crime solved' boxes for the government.
Highly recommended.
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on 24 June 2012
Having recently left the job, this was a timely reminder of the mess I have escaped from. It's great to realise you're not the only one mystified and left banging your head against the wall whilst the police service self-destructs. Successful change will only come from within, and whilst the promoted continue to support the system that got them promoted, the dinosaurs will continue to rule.
Copperfield strikes again, lifting the lid on the truly bizarre state the service finds itself in thanks to the faceless idiots in the background who have never faced an angry man and who think they know best because that's how they were told it was.
Essential reading for anyone in service, or perhaps thinking about joining this merry-go-round that used to be a career, but is now only a job.
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on 21 March 2012
I read the first book several years ago, and when I saw this one I thought it would be more of the same. It's very different, but I think I actually prefer this one. The book is made up of a series of extracts from serving police officers. In places it's truly shocking, thought provoking and challenging. Highly recommended.
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on 15 June 2012
Not only is this book extremely important it is also highly amusing, PC Copperfield has a natural gift for satire! I am an extremely proud daughter of a former police officer who served for over 30 years, 4 of my siblings have also followed Dad into the force, I myself have been unable to do so due to a health complaint. As you can see I have more than just a passing interest in this subject. It is an enormous part of my life and I am already more than familiar with the humans behind the uniform but I was still shocked by this book. Our police force is admired the world over (rightly so) but the government are slowly destroying it with their red tape, bureaucacy and human rights. I will no longer waste my time arguing the toss with ignorant friends and colleagues over the latest police bashing news story, I will simply recommend they read this book and I suggest somebody send the Home Secretary a copy as soon as possible!!
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on 10 April 2012
Following on from the 2006 publication 'Wasting Police Time', this second book put together by Stuart Davidson (i.e. David Copperfield) is really just a compilation of extracts and views from serving police officers around the UK. The original book was more or less a journal of Davidson's (then) day to day role as a uniformed response officer on the streets of a small industrial town in Staffordshire. 'Wasting More Police Time' differs from it's parent book in that this shows Davidson was not alone in his views and opinions in that the 21st century police service is really in a crisis of bureaucracy and political white wash and a criminal justice system that is in a state of complete farce. The theme of the stories varies throughout the book and the topics range from road traffic collisions, court punishments, stop & search legislation to last year's riots and student protests. The views of the officers are sometimes witty and light hearted to more dramatic experiences in the job such as one serving police sergeant recalling the day his 25-year-old son (also a serving PC) was killed on his motorbike on his way to work. Another powerful tale is of a response officer attending a serious traffic collision and watching a trapped driver burn to death in a car as he was unable to free him while waiting for the fire brigade to arrive. A very good book that more than 90% of the British police service (whether still serving or retired) can relate to.
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on 14 July 2012
An easy to read book about 21st Century policing. I know lots of police officers who have to deal with everything described in this book. A MUST READ FOR POLITICIANS of all parties.
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on 28 June 2013
It seems this is yet another target led profession that has been spoilt by people who would rather talk about how the job should be done rather than getting on with it. There are some very sad stories in this one and it makes you wonder why anyone would want to do this very difficult job. The police have certainly got my respect, and thanks.
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