In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 by grahamharrowell

If you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago what the Commissioner’s Reserve was I’d have hazarded a guess at a particularly crusty old port, a branded variety of particularly strong extra mature cheddar (both just what you need for Christmas) or banker’s dodgy investment portfolio.

Then during the student fees protest I noticed that one group of police was wearing new baseball caps, with lots of embroidery in a rather fetching shade of pastel blue. What Sir Philip Green would make of this I don’t know. Just as he’s encouraging everyone to establish a central procurement programme and encouraging, for instance, all 43 police forces to buy all the same items in bulk from the same supplier to gain economies of scale in purchasing, the Met breaks ranks and buys its own special caps with added value branding. What they should be doing is getting together with their chums and ensuring that the kit is bought at rock bottom prices and sewn by a band of small children in Vietnam.

A Met police insider tells me that the guys who turn up in numbers when there’s trouble are, in fact, the Commissioner’s Reserve. (Tasty, crumbly, the best cheese you’ve ever tasted. A rich full bodied fortified wine from the banks of the Douro.) I noticed them the other day in Westminster. They weren’t attending any emergency, they were just waiting about in case they were called on. Even so they were all parked illegally, some even encroaching on the footway. This is not only wrong but it elicits little sympathy from the public who would cop a ticket if they did the same, having already paid the congestion charge just to get there.

Their job is to turn up and help the ordinary cops when things get out of hand. Like last week when we saw a couple of ordinary police officers struggling to get between the mob and the Royal Rolls, equipped with little more than a big hat and a warm jacket. My source tells me that Reserve like to consider themselves an elite and that this view is borne out in practice because most of the time, like Caesar’s crack troops, they are always in the van.


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