On Tuesday afternoon we had our first experience in the Tube, which I will also talk about but in a later post. We took the Tube from Russell Square to Lester Square so we were able to meet up with Constable Watson. Constable Watson is our host for the Justice Studies group while we are here in London. He will be showing us around the criminal justice system in London and giving us information.
We met Constable Watson so he could show us around the special operations room and give us a brief history of London policing. The special operations room is a room where they are able to view the cameras all around London. Yesterday there weren't very many people in the operations room while we were there because there weren't any big events going on that need watching. But on days, weeks, or even months of important events the room is full. For example, during the Olympics when there was an extra 5 million people in London they had people come in and start viewing the cameras 3 months before the olympics started and then they continued security for 2 more months after the olympics ended. There were a group of 3 people that would work on an area of cameras at a time and would be talking to the police or taking 999 calls, which in America is the same thing as 911 calls. There would be one supervisor that would work for 12 hour shifts and then there would be three people that would be under the supervisor that would work 8 hour shifts. The three people under the supervisor all had the same job, but they rotated what jobs they would be doing every 30 minutes. One person would answer the phone and would calmly express to the person they were talking to that help was on the way, the second person would be on the phone just listening and logging down what the person had to say, and the third person would be on break. Now they would take a break every hour and for thirty minutes, because it is stressful on them having to sit at a computer and have to talk to people calmly. If a person were to stay on the phones for the entire 8 hour shift they would end up losing focus on what was happening and would probably not be very calm while talking to a person on the other line.
This is just a simple picture of what a few of the areas people work at look like.
After Constable Watson showed us the control room, he taught us about the history of police in London. There was a lot of information that he gave us, so I am just going to talk about one little area he talked about, and that area is the police protections that they were issued. The first element of protection the police in London were given were two wooden clubs, they have a specific name but we can't remember that real name for them. These clubs were placed in a secret pocket of the pants and the police were not allowed to have any part of them showing, as they wanted to let the people feel safe. They were then moved up to an acrylic baton. This baton was also worn around the belt and showing. The next thing they were issued was the collapsable baton because the acrylic baton was hurting people to much when the police would use them to push the people back during riots.
This is a picture of the order the police were issued with their protection. It starts on the left and moves to the right.
The last really cool thing Constable Watson was showed us were their handcuffs they use. I know handcuffs are handcuffs right? WRONG!!! The handcuffs here are A LOT different than the handcuffs in America. In London they no longer use handcuffs with a chain between the two cuffs but with a short little black middle. These handcuffs allow the police to have full control over the person that is cuffed. Once a person has one hand cuffed the police officer can prevent the person from punching them or from the person reaching into their own pocket and trying to grab something.
This is the picture of the handcuffs the London Police use.
Well it is time for me to go to bed! I hope you all have a good rest of your day! Goodnight! KCLO!!!