Being quite a righteous child I had a strong ambition to join the police. I had an idealistic notion of being a respected defender of the law-abiding majority and chasing baddies with my truncheon. Over recent years however I've realised that it's probably just as well that I didn't go down that route, I would have been one hell of a frustrated "bizzie" (as we call them in Liverpool, apparently because they're always too busy to help).
PC Copperfield's book Wasting Police Time, a runner-up in ConservativeHome's book of the year award, sets out a lot of the reasons why. His frustration at the bureaucratic system was such that he outed himself and moved to Canada to be a policeman there a few months ago.
Another book definitely worth reading is written by another blogger - (W)PC Bloggs - A Diary of an On-call Girl: True Stories from the Frontline. Reading it over the weekend (thanks to the kind promoters for sending me a copy) confirmed again to me why, sadly, the police probably isn't for me as Bloggsy seems to be as close to my female alter-ego as anyone! It was only her brilliant use of irony that kept me from punching things in exasperation at her "computer says no" type anecdotes.
The story today about Norfolk police deciding not to categorise criminal damage as a criminal offence is exactly the kind of story PC's Bloggs and Copperfield give you great insights into.