DC Dave Thomas

Worry steals your joy from the present In this podcast I share my experiences with worry. I have spent a life time worrying until one day I realised that everything I feared would happen hadn't. I will also be talking about addiction and how the person who became an addict can never be the person... Continue Reading →

PC Dave Thomas

"quitting whilst your ahead is not the same as quitting" In this episode, I have decided to share a bit of myself with you and my role as a family liaison officer. Recorded purposely in respectful tones showing deference to those family's I've dealt with. It is only fair that I ask of myself what... Continue Reading →

CI Jackie Hirst

"theres a promise I made to my husband, please live life for the both of us"   Chief Inspector Jackie Hirst is a 27 year career police officer based at Blackpool in Lancashire. Chair of the "Women in policing" network, she is also a Force Incident Commander and Operations Manager for Firearms and Road Policing.... Continue Reading →

PS Regie Butler

"I've had some experiences in my life that nearly caused me to take my own life." Devon and Cornwall Police entered into a strategic alliance with Dorset Police in 2016. This week I am delighted to speak with PS Regie Butler about his well being team within the alliance. They offer peer support to Officers... Continue Reading →

PS Harry Tangye

"sometimes doing the right thing isn't enough" Harry Tangye is a 27 year veteran of the Devon and Cornwall Police. He is currently a firearms commander, VIP protection officer and a firearms post incident manager. As we walk on the outskirts of Dartmoor national park in Devon we discuss social media from a policing point... Continue Reading →

DCC Andy Rhodes

"How you feel is everything!" Andy Rhodes is currently the Deputy Chief Constable of the Lancashire Constabulary and the national lead for wellbeing for the police services within England and Wales. In a remarkably candid interview he shares with me his vision of the future; where the police service is at the moment and some... Continue Reading →

An introduction to the new Well Being podcasts.

Do all paths lead to the same thing? After several years of blogging  (which you can still find on this site should you wish to explore)  I have now moved into a medium that I have loved since I was a child and that is radio!. Except its no longer that crackly late night broadcast... Continue Reading →

The survival of the fitness

I'm no station sergeant tapping away on a typewriter that not only makes enough noise to reverberate through the nick or heavy enough to require a solidly built oak desk as desks were the. built in those days.  No, I am fast approaching 50 with 20 years in. Yes I joined relatively late but I... Continue Reading →

The Police Unity Tour 2015

The Police Unity Tour. What a simple yet perfect way to describe this years cycle ride supporting the charity COPS. Police….yes; Unity….. most definitely; Tour…. as close to riding in a peloton as you will you get! The Police Unity Tour UK has been going for several years now but it was only this year... Continue Reading →

WELLBEING: For every solution there’s a problem.

Ladies and Gentlemen I invite you to watch the following clip which is very funny and  acutely observed. The clip is courtesy of Monty Python. So while that bizarre argument; or contradiction, is still fresh in our minds lets have a look at the difference between argument and contradiction contradiction: noun a combination of statements, ideas,... Continue Reading →

WELLBEING: Umbrella’s

When the weather gets bad, most of us have an umbrella.  Usually it resides in the porch, on the back seat of the car or hanging up in the utility room with the rest of the damp clothing. We use our umbrella's when the weather gets bad. Heavy rain or snow.  Such a simple idea... Continue Reading →

WELLBEING: Normality

"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” Today we talk about what is normal. What a ridiculous question and the answer more so. What... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING. When were you born?

Of course in the general sense you will know exactly to the time, day and date when you were born. When you arrived into this world.  Do you remember it? Of course not, yet as soon as you are born your mind is a sponge, taking in every sense and emotion. There is an old... Continue Reading →


Ironically, its been a while since my last blog. The one overriding reason why this is so is because of time.  Too busy at work, too busy at home, too busy to post a blog.  In fact, sometimes you get so busy that there is no time to do anything at all.  No time to... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING: Every journey starts with a first step.

That is how the Chinese proverb goes.  Another saying is "The first step is the hardest."   Especially so when getting out of bed for that early morning run! This blog is dedicated to all those who have decided upon that monumental decision to take counselling.  I was prompted to write this after talking to... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: Bridge to engine room.

As human beings we all have a life line, something we cling onto, indeed grasp onto with all our life, in order to survive. And so I have several questions for you. Which end of that rope are you holding onto to? Where is the other end tied to? And is that rope you are... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: Russian Dolls.

In my exploration of leadership and well being I have tripped over several management terms and speaks along the way which to you and me mean very little. Yet their blue sky thinking does at times adequately describe a situation that many coal face workers find themselves in at the moment. Throughout this series of... Continue Reading →

2014 …….. a time for reflection.

It is a little known fact that when a road policing officer stands in front of a mirror, they do not see their reflection. That being said as 2014 draws to a close we all inevitably start to reflect on events that have transpired in the year nearly gone and in doing so we ultimately... Continue Reading →

Tomorrow is a whole new day.

As 2014 draws to a close and many of us look to 2015 as a new beginning we examine ourselves and strive to change for the better. Many aspects of our lives are still the same and will continue to be so, so change comes from not what we experience but in indeed how we... Continue Reading →


Morale. Its corporate, it’s collective. When moral dips, falls below the normal then it becomes a kind of corporate depression. Its affects everybody, indeed it infects everybody. From the bottom to the top and back down again. A lack of moral is a very quick wake up call for those in leadership. As it affects... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: Manager vs Leader

What makes a good leader and what makes a good manager and what is the difference? Well you could also simplify the argument and say its the difference between the head and the heart. Why do I use this analogy? Well, what ever we do in life, whether your a high flyer or a production... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: Who is in charge?

Any organisation that has to deal with major incidents whether that be the Police, Fire or Ambulance use a command and control system. For those not familiar with the structure, there follows a brief overview. A gold–silver–bronze command structure is used by emergency services of the United Kingdom to establish a hierarchical framework for the... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: Your mate’s your boss.

My abiding regret in 18 years as a police officer is that I never went for promotion. As you get longer in service you see friends climbing up the ladder. Police Sergeant, Police Inspector; before you know it they have gold braid on their hats. I regret not going for promotion not because my friends... Continue Reading →

LEADERSHIP: An Introduction.

Well here we are. In the last series of blogs we covered Well Being. A subject in itself. But it is nothing to the subject of leadership! This is an introduction so this blog will be brief, more an index to kick off the subject as a whole. As I have always said, these are... Continue Reading →


Over the last month or so I have attempted to describe the various things that make up well being through my own eyes of 18 years as a police officer. No one gets it right all the time but that is not what is important. For everything is a journey which, takes time and effort.... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING: # 4 Stress

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” - Thích Nhất Hạnh I want you all to hold onto that sentence for the time being. My previous blogs covered worry, depression and burnout... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING #3 Burnout

Wow doesn’t that encapsulate our role as police officers. Burnout however is not confined to those engaged in stressful occupations. You have heard the phrase “The straw that broke the camels back.” What ever you do, when you’re ready to snap and give up, then you are at the same place as those that risk... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING. #2 Depression

The worst thing to hear when one is depressed is “Pull yourself together”, “It will get better.” For years depression has not been recognised as an illness and as a result those views have continued to pervade. For anyone that has suffered depression, they will know the stigma that the illness attracts. One is thought... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING: #1 Worry.

Starting off with probably one of the biggest things to affect well being is that of worry. Worry is good in so much that an imminent situation that cause pause for thought increases the metabolism, blood pressure goes up and your body readies itself for a fight or flight. That’s not what I’m talking about.... Continue Reading →

WELL BEING: Introduction

As many of you that have followed this blog previously you will know I have commented on many aspects of traffic legislation and what it was like to be a traffic officer and all that it entailed including the role of a family liaison officer. Traffic legislation has probably more case law associated with it... Continue Reading →

Welcome back.

During the start of this year, major changes in which, to be honest every police force in this country had to embrace made me realise that there was no longer a place for "Tales from the Slab." After some persuasion I realised that there was still a place for this blog site, albeit with a... Continue Reading →

The end of an Era

Sadly, this will be the last post from the Tales from the Slab. It has been decided that after 55 years the way in which we police the motorway will change forever. That’s not to say that the motorway will not be policed. It will just be policed in a different manner. We have the... Continue Reading →

Invest in yourself.

The Tales from the slab blog is about road policing. But every now and again it’s about the people that work the slab and all other emergency workers. For do we not bleed? Its fair to say that 2013 has been an awful year for one reason or another. Perhaps it has been a good... Continue Reading →

Moments that change your life.

Once in a while you read something that makes you stop. What makes it exceptional is the words. Not written by the hand but by the heart. Indeed, anyone who has been in a similar situation will recognise the fact that the writer must also have been there too. That is its power. And so,... Continue Reading →

Snow road to Christmas………

As winter yet again approaches, here is an article from December 2010 courtesy of The Blackpool Gazette and reporter Jacqui Morley. Snowmegeddon! It's the moment most motorists fear...the steering has gone light, the wheels are spinning, and the car is out of control and skidding on icy compacted snow. That's the hazard many face as... Continue Reading →

Officer down…..never forgotten.

Todays blog is a guest contribution and in my eyes a very important guest. I have never had that earth shattering radio transmission that is "Officer down." Whilst we accept that police officer's will lose their lives on duty, it is a thankfully rare occurrence that a police officer is murdered. Regretfully Mrs Lin Woodward... Continue Reading →

Walking the thin blue line……….

Describe the job description of a police Officer…… that would be a question I would ask of any prospective candidate wanting to join todays police service. Many varied answers would ensue, some brilliant, some dire. When I had my final interview with a superintendent and an inspector, the purpose of which was to vet the... Continue Reading →

Specialist or specialism?

It is an inescapable fact that police forces across the country are been asked to do more with less. Or at the very least maintain what they do with less. At some point over until 2015 and beyond, something will have to give. Whether that be a sea change on how the police deploy there... Continue Reading →

The Motorway

Having spent the last three years blogging about the motorway, it struck me that I haven’t actually told you about “the motorway” or as it is nick named by those that police it as “the slab.” Many things you will already know about the motorway and some things you will not. The first motorway to... Continue Reading →

In the family way………

Recent events have transpired that has prompted me to write this blog.  Something I feel very strongly about.  In my unit, in the downstairs reception area is a space of wall that is directly adjacent to the entrance door.  You cannot hope to miss it.  On the wall are four plagues dedicated to police officers that... Continue Reading →

You must be mental

As a motorway patrol officer there is nothing that will get me quicker out of the door than that familiar radio transmission “PEDESTRIAN IN THE CARRIAGEWAY.” As a concern for immediate safety, that run will always be made on blue lights and siren. Today I will be looking at use of force on the motorway... Continue Reading →

Lane Two Hoggers

Recent legislation now means that a driver can be dealt with for the offence of driving without due care and attention by means of a fixed penalty notice. Until the change in legislation a driver could only be reported for summons and a court file submitted. The addition of a fixed penalty option has been... Continue Reading →

Traffic Offence Reports

Recent events in road policing legislation have seen a revolutionary sea change in how traffic offences are being dealt with. Up until recently if you received a non endorsable fixed penalty notice (an offence that carries no points) you would have twenty-eight days to decide whether to accept the fine of £30 or have the... Continue Reading →

Resource to risk.

Resource to risk is a familiar term often heard within the police family. On the face of it, a thoroughly sound principle. Direct the greatest number of officers towards the biggest risk of crime. Usually, but not always, that probably means a busy town Centre night time economy and all the related problems that go... Continue Reading →

Behind the times?

This latest rambling came as a result of a conversation on twitter the other night. The subject was Cannabis, whether to legalise it or decrimalise it? There is a difference and one Holland have embraced. It is still an offence to be in possession of Cannabis in Holland but they choose not to enforce the... Continue Reading →

I was lucky………..

I knew i would have to write this at some point. Knew I wanted to write it, knew I needed to write it.  All my years as a family liaison officer count for nothing.At 23:40 hours on Friday 21st April  my dear Mother took her last breath and started her journey from this life to... Continue Reading →

Carry on…….if you can

I have been meaning to post this for a while. The unfolding events of last night concerning the Boston Marathon brought my thoughts to the forefront. I am being assisted by @welshwallace. She is an inspiration and a person I admire immensely. Last week I went to visit my mother who is currently in hospital.... Continue Reading →

Every story has its end.

A blank screen.  Like a writer facing a blank page its difficult to to know how to start. Perhaps I will start will this.I am grieving in advance.My mother has suffered declining health for many years now but in the last few months the down turn has been dramatic.  6 stone in weight, almost as... Continue Reading →

Shades of the same flower.

As I get older some memories are familiar friends recalled everyday; others pop up out of the blue but are as vivid as the first time they are experienced. Hector is one such find memory. Hector lived at the end of the street in an area called Old Trafford on the out skirts of central... Continue Reading →

Roadside tombstones

Like many of you I suspect, I do the same regular journey along the same route most days of the week. It is a journey which will have one aspect in common with every other journey everyone else will do. That is the bouquet of flowers that are fixed to a  lampost, fencing or an... Continue Reading →

Ten mile tailback.

In my police vehicle are a pair of binoculars........more about them later.  We have all been in that position, stuck in standing traffic for hours on end, getting frustrated and hot under the collar.  I was working Christmas day when the tragic events unfolded of a fatal RTC on the M6 motorway in Staffordshire.  The... Continue Reading →

It’s like trying to jump out of your own skin………

This post is a first for many reasons. The cat has been sick on my keyboard and as a result of cleaning it, it has now rendered my computer useless. Secondly I have now had to post this using my phone, very cosy. Thirdly I have never posted about depression. Perhaps considering the subject matter,... Continue Reading →

Visions of the future………

Trying to predict the future is always a difficult thing to do.  Even going back to the early 90's I remember when the internet first appeared I downloaded a a simple game at a rate of 300kb/sec, a blistering pace then.  Who would have thought now that the internet is an intregal part of our... Continue Reading →

I’m a leaf on the wind…….

I, like many of you watched the BBC program regarding cyclists and other road users.  Like many of you, I encountered a range of emotions I found myself experiencing.  As an experienced cyclist for over 3o years, some spent racing competitively and also havig a full time job as a a road policing officer I... Continue Reading →

Over in a second.

I am afraid to say that we play at road safety advertising in this country.  Below is a collection of adverts from various parts of the world regarding excess speed and drink driving.  I have to warn you all that some of them are very impactive. They speak for themselves.          ... Continue Reading →

The Black Arts………

Often referred to by Collision Investigators, the subject of Collision Investigation is a vast and complex subject.  The collision investigator can often be the most important witness in a criminal case.  Although police officers there sole over riding duty is not to their colleagues investigating a collision but to the court for they are treated... Continue Reading →

Unlawful killing.

I am but a humble foot soldier.  An operational police officer.  Schooled in all aspects of law, now specialising in road traffic law.  That does not make me an expert.  I have a working knowledge of the law, knowing enough to allow me to conduct myself on the roads of the UK.  If I need... Continue Reading →

Snow road to Christmas.

As winter approaches, I have reproduced an article I did for a local newspaper back in December 2010 when temperatures plummeted to -15 Celsius. Snowmegeddon! It's the moment most motorists fear...the steering has gone light, the wheels are spinning, and the car is out of control and skidding on icy compacted snow. That's the hazard... Continue Reading →

Shelf life expectancy

The general public imagine police officers as fighting crime, chasing cars and locking up villains. Yes we do all of that.  But some of us also perform the duty of a family Liaison Officer.  A post volunteered for.  A traumatic and stressful position no doubt.  You see we are those officers that knock on your... Continue Reading →

A necessary evil.

With growing austerity police forces across the country are looking at ways to save money.  Quite rightly my own branch of policing has come under the spotlight.  Sadly, some forces have drastically reduced or even chopped their road policing units.  However, every force in this country is required to reduce KSI's (killed or seriously injured... Continue Reading →

Procedure…………. Speed offences.

I think whatever we do in life we are governed by procedure.  Do you get up in the morning at the same time, wash, shower, breakfast in a certain order? We are creatures of habit essentially.  A rather arbitrary introduction at present.  Courts and the law they oversee are also covered by procedure whether they... Continue Reading →

Too scared to speed.

Like many I watched the recent television documentary "Too scared to speed" concerning emergency response workers driving to incidents using their blue lights and sirens.  At the end of the program I drew two immediate conclusions. Firstly, the emergency workers shown in the programme who had been prosecuted deserved to be. Secondly, the documentary completely... Continue Reading →

One more for the road.

As Christmas approaches and forces up and down the country once again start their Christmas drink drive campaigns, here is a little food for thought.......... The Police Officer Today’s topic and a poignant one is the subject of driving a vehicle whilst drunk.  I don’t intend to try and find something good out of this... Continue Reading →

Welcome back

For those that used to follow this blog; for which I am eternally grateful, I have made the decision to once again comment on current road policing practises. For those new to this site, I hope it will be a source of information, education and occasionally a modicum of humour. As you know the stereotypical... Continue Reading →

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