As the late great Spike Milligan might say.... 
"A bit of a blog or a blog of bits"

Free to Air Footie

posted 23 Jun 2020, 02:22 by Jon Slinn

Corona Virus means UK Prem games are going out free for the remainder of the season. The free one are:


Fri 19th : 18:00 Norwich City v Southampton (Sky Sports/Pick)
Sat 20th : 19:45 AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (BBC)
Sun 21st : 14:00 Newcastle United v Sheff Utd (Sky Sports/Pick
Sun 21st : 19:00 Everton v Liverpool (Sky Sports/Pick)*
Wed 24th : 18:00 Man Utd v Sheff Utd (Sky Sports/Pick)
Wed 24th : 18:00 Norwich City v Everton (BBC)
Thu 25th : 18:00 Burnley v Watford (Sky Sports/Pick)
Sun 28th : 16:30 Watford v Southampton (Sky Sports/Pick)
Mon 29th : 20:00 Crystal Palace v Burnley (Amazon Prime Video)
Tue 30th : 20:15 Brighton v Man Utd (Sky Sports/Pick)

Wed 1st : 18:00 AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United (Sky Sports/Pick)


Hampton Police Liaison Meeting, Gloucester Road – 14th July 2019

posted 15 Jul 2019, 06:27 by Jon Slinn   [ updated 15 Jul 2019, 06:40 ]

What started as a police street meeting in response to specific issues raised by residents of Gloucester Road morphed into something closer to a liaison meeting with some 25+ residents attending including a good number from Whensleydale. The following are my notes from that meeting.

Police attendance was from Michael Somers and Marek Regan “Maz”. Mike has been in the force 15 years and worked the Hampton area for 4. Maz has covered Hampton for near 10 years.


Initial discussion was on resources. Some years ago they ran a 1 2 3 policy of one Sergeant, two Constables and 3 PCSOs. That is now down to ¼ Sergeant, 1 Constable (Mike) and ½ PCSO (Maz).

3 live police stations in the borough are down to 1 though there is a small community office in Hampton North at Hampton Square.

The command is now merged into 4 super boroughs which include Kingston meaning there is scope for resources to be pulled to Kingston when there are major incidents.

Profile & Data

There are typically hot spots of burglary and on many occasions that were discussed there are known individuals or groups who commit certain offences. In the past 6 months (to end June)  Gloucester has seen 1 burglary, 3 attempted burglaries and 2 vehicle thefts. Wensleydale has seen 4 burglaries & 1 attempted burglary.

The car thefts have been key-less meaning only the signal from the key was needed, no house entry, no keys stolen. Just acquire the signal and drive off with the car. See prevention for key pouches.

Figure 1 - Hampton Residential Burglary May 2019

It is clear from the polices own data that there is something of a hot spot locally in the Gloucester Rd area but that the number remain low by London wide measures.

Last year there was a spate of house entry via the breaking of glass in front doors that had only their yale locks on (no deadlock). An individual was convicted after trying to sell stolen items which were traced to Hollybush Lane. With the arrest these incidents stopped. Would you believe the individual was from Kent!

There have similarly been shed break-ins with bikes stolen, 5 in the recent past. The police are aware of what they call “our local bike thief”. He was described 5 foot 6 inch, small build, black hair sometimes with a black beard. He is around 30 years old. It was confirmed that he is banned from cycling in the London area and residents should report seeing him on a bike if they do.

Overall police believe crime in Hampton to be down 30% year on year.

Incidents & Response

A discussion was held about how to respond to given incidents. The police advise that if suspects are seen on a drive trying to gain entry to houses or cars this is a 999 call and is known as “suspect on”. There is a 12 min max response time.

Patrols were discussed. The resourcing mean the maximum Hampton can expect patrols is 1/3 of the time though the police assured that they patrol the roads in question whenever on shift. This can be 4 times on nights. Patrolling has decreased in the last two years.

Drug dealing in the village was discussed. A search warrant was executed (supported by village CCTV) and the police believe this helped move some problem individuals from the area.

Residents expressed a feeling that criminals had “free range” in Hampton. The police assured this was not the case and that reports are actioned. There was a longer discussion about why in a specific case in Gloucester police did not respond to an alleged attempted break-in & harassment. It seems possible the decision was made by dispatch based on priority of other events.

A discussion on 101 with many stating frustration at responses. Police advised that situations where suspects are on residents property and causing concern should be a 999 call. They state this as “suspect on” and will respond with a target of under 12 mins.


The council represented at the meeting by Mr Roberts stated that they are budgeting £100,000 for neighbourhood schemes. They are looking to provide ½ FTE for CCTV monitoring and that a mobile CCTV unit is available.


Alleyways and passages that give access to the rear of properties are a weak point. The police advised that where possible if residents can club together to share the cost of a gate and lock blocking shared access routes it is of great security benefit.

Trellising on fences, burglar alarms, video doorbells and CCTV all help. Dangerous additions such as razer wire should be avoided.

Cars should have steering wheel locks & it was recommended that anyone with a key-less system should buy a Faraday Bag for £5 - £10 (

Neighbourhood watch was discussed. There is a group in Gloucester Rd though the police note that in other areas a local WhatsApp group has been highly effective. John Murray is the local police liaison

Further Contact & Thanks

Residents are encouraged to report information that may be of use to the police such as suspicious activity to the Met Police or Crime Stoppers (

Hampton police liaison officer is John Murray and you can be added to the reports and info about meetings via :

Thanks must go to Max Bridger who arranged the meeting, the Police and Council officers for attending and Hampton Prop School for the use of their facilities.




Jon Slinn – Hampton Conservatives : :

Five minutes with an entrepreneur

posted 1 Jan 2013, 10:34 by Putney Basketball

The following interview was originally conducted by Hiscox PLC's small business marketing team. It was made available in an edited form on the Hiscox website under the title Five minutes with an entrepreneur : Jon Slinn in Dec 2012


Jon has been an entrepreneur since he sold sweets to his classmates in school. Rockshore, which he calls his first “substantial business”, develops real-time information systems for airports, railways and mobile phone companies. It has 50 staff and turnover of close to £3 million.

Why did you want to set up your own firm?

I have always wanted to build businesses. I sold homemade toffee at school, had a team washing cars when I was still in shorts and registered my first business in my first years at university. I then took a little too long (in my view) to go from the small stuff to a real business. I worked for eight years in technology and telecom firms, and when the US firm I had helped establish in Europe was sold to HP that’s when I knew I needed to really go for it. That led to me founding Rockshore. I was 29 and that was the real turning point for me.


Did you alter your business plan once you were in business?

Yes, though that’s always going to happen. Your business plan is a goal – it’s nothing more than that. If anyone gives you a business plan that’s 30 or 40 pages thick and full of projections for the first five years, you know they have no clue what it’s really like to start a business. The future is unknown and unknowable. All you can do is have a sensible goal that’s been thought out as far as possible then go for it.


What has been the biggest lesson you've learnt since becoming an entrepreneur?

There have been a few. Consumer websites have probably taught me the most about what I am good at as I keep trying to start them and failing. I realise now that they need huge backing to get to critical mass. I tried years ago with a ringtone site and more recently with a clipping service for Kindle and e-readers. Both were used all over the world, but neither of them was capable of generating enough revenue early on to support the engineering investment needed in the development of the websites, the running of the servers and the on-going support costs. I now understand why all the big consumer websites or more broadly internet and wireless services have burnt through hundreds of millions of dollars in their start-up phases. It’s a completely different approach from new businesses which are able to generate cash from day one and hence can be bootstrapped (built with little or no cash investment).


What's been your biggest mistake?

Misunderstanding what motivates people. It’s easy when you start something to think everyone has the same drivers as you. It’s not true and it hit me hard when I started to understand that what drives me is not necessarily what drives others. It can lead you to make some big errors on shares, pay and performance management in general.


What's been your biggest achievement?

Building Rockshore to where it is now. We never had any investment, never borrowed a penny and I started with a laptop and a phone. It’s a true bootstrap business, in the jargon, and it proved to me that I was capable of making it happen.


If you were made Prime Minister for a day what would you do to help small businesses?

Full National Insurance (NI) rebates for firms with turnover below £250,000. Charging start-up businesses to employ staff is a crushing cost and leads many to look for ways to avoid it. The government has gone a long way in this regard, with the NI holiday outside London and other efforts, but much more needs to be done. We need a situation where the first five hires a firm makes only cost their salary and where the administration (form filling) is reduced to a minimum. NI is a mess and it’s hugely expensive to fix, so there would need to be savings elsewhere to pay for it.

The other area of taxation where there needs to be a complete rethink is in the sale and purchase of digital goods. The tricks used by major Internet and technology firms to siphon digital sales through Ireland and Luxemburg are extremely damaging to UK Plc and the national tax base. The US is much more aggressive on this issue and we need to get a grip of it too. I can see options for a franchise tax or an alternative minimum turnover tax though none of them are without their own issues.

Also, I would get rid of employment tribunals for all but the most serious situations. Managers are petrified of the employment law and it badly affects productivity, I see this every day in many businesses. No one wants to fire people and they cost a fortune to hire! Every below-standard staff member who stays in their role because their managers are afraid to sack them not only damages their own future prospects – because the role is clearly not for them – but also undermines the work ethic and motivations of those around them.

But it’s also worth giving government some credit. The Companies Act implemented by the last government solved a lot of corporate governance issues. The corporation tax direction is clear and positive for business. HMRC and Companies House are making increasingly good use of the Internet to remove forms and join together processes. There is more to do, but this is generally a business-friendly country—the political consensus has been pro-enterprise since the late 1970s and the parties need to keep travelling in that direction.


Have the banks helped you grow your company?

They certainly have not hindered us, as we use their services every day and have managed to get some very good deals, like zero-fee banking. I don’t share the general view that all banks are evil. Some people seem to think that a bank must lend to them. That’s completely wrong. You need a proposition that makes them want to lend. After all, they need to make a return on their investment, just like you. But I will say that we have a weaker banking relationship than I would like with our main provider.


What's the best thing about running your own business?

Achieving something. I never have to sit there and think: “how do I get to Friday?” It’s an attitude that kills me, but which is particularly prevalent in big firms. Now, I never feel like that.


Entrepreneurship – is it nature or nurture?

Nature, but which can be enhanced with some nurture. It’s a total waste of time to try and ‘teach’ enterprise. You can give people an opportunity but you can’t teach them how to take it. No course in the world can teach how to pick up the phone and call someone with an idea… it’s just in you.

But, at the risk of completely contradicting what I’ve just said, I help out at my old uni [Bristol] with their enterprise course. The reason I am for it is that it’s trying all the time to help people follow their nature. As soon as it becomes a PowerPoint show on ‘How to be an entrepreneur’ I will pack it in.


What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Just go do it… now. Right now. What are you reading this for? Call someone. Sell something. Sorry… that’s all there is in it. Once you’re up and running you can read and learn and go to all the presentations you want, but nobody is going to make that first client call for you.

You have to be prepared to leave your comfort zone: you must have the guts to walk away from that corporate job with its pension, health plan and guaranteed salary. You are going to need to feel the fear and remember none of it really matters because one day none of it will matter… that much is certain in life.

If you can’t do that then stop worrying about it and excel in the corporate world. You can be an entrepreneur inside the biggest firms in the world. To do it alone as a true start-up is hard, often lonely and not for everyone. So be honest with yourself – can you live on £15K a year and eat baked beans all week?

How many millions do banks waste on poor process?

posted 30 Nov 2011, 09:44 by Putney Basketball   [ updated 1 Aug 2015, 01:35 ]

I called Santander today asking how to change the details of an account. I wanted to add a new user to the accounts clipDO holds with them. I get to speak to someone after some generic automated options.

Its then that things get silly. I am asked to confirm my name. I am told that’s not right. We try again, do they have John, Jon, Jonathan… I wonder what they typed in at opening. If they are as dyslexic as I am we could be here all night. We get there in the end. It was the missing middle name.

I am then asked for my address. I hand this over and am told that’s not right. We go through a few loops of this until I understand they have some post office DB or other source of addresses so now its a game of guess what’s in the DB… Those of you with addresses that are easily varied, flats, roads with two names, cross street names etc. will understand the pain here. "I live at 66 Acacia Avenue", "thats not what we have sir".... We get there in the end…

I am a little tired now and we are 9 mins in already

Next…"do you have blah"? No. "Ok what’s blah"?. I go into the account on the web and tell the nice lady. DOB.. managed that in one. We are there… "what would you like to do again" I can hear her think?

Right.. you wanted to add a name to the account. “I need to send you a form to do that”, “would you like it emailed or posted”? I choose the email. It arrives as we conclude the call. There is just a simple plain form. No info pre-filled, no specifics about me or my account, nothing. Its just a form.

So now I ask the nice lady… “why did we have to go through all that”? “Why when I asked to add a name did you not just send the form”?

“security” I am told. Of course security. “could I not just forward this blank form to anyone now”? Actually it is even available here on their website: Change of Details Form on Santander Web

She says “security” again… a little less convinced but sticking to the now clearly very silly script.

This kind of thing really annoys me. Think of the multiples of 17 minutes wasted on such processes. I kick myself for not google-ing it first. I DID look if there was any way to add someone online in the account pages but no luck... which I was not remotely surprised about. 

We are all the poorer for such process stupidity as it saps efficiency and growth. Let's see what Santander have to say in a few weeks....

- Unpdate: They had nothing to say

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