Thursday, 26 February 2009

Footsteps we follow.

I have already mentioned my Dad on my blog and still miss him. This incongruous start will mean something at the end if the plan works.

On Tuesday I was sent to a report of disorder in a local pub. It was only 12:45 pm (IE. early afternoon) but the pub had been open since 09:00 you know who it is but won't mention the brand. Once again singly crewed and with all singing and dancing lights and sound turn up there. Inside all appears quiet (there are big windows on this chain) so after telling the DCR (radio room) I go in. There are a couple of people who look like they may have been involved in a fight, the swelling to the eye, bloody nose and split lip etc. Then this vision appears from the toilet. He has clearly been involved to as he has a huge cut above his eyes. He sees me and promptly announces that he has performed sexual acts on prison officers and I had better go away or I will be next. Can't resist the challenge so in not so polite terms tell him to moderate his language or else. I am 6'2" ish and about 15 stone, he was well......bigger than me. I can't allow him to better me as I am in full kit and what sort of image is that going to send out in the area where I work. The entourage in the pub sense my vulnerability and tell me to get out, the gang mentality has taken over and they feel invincible. I swallow and ask if further patrols are on the way, the reply is affirmative, and I can hear the sirens approaching once I take a mental step back and open the rest of my senses to the situation. The mountain is approaching me and bizarre though it is I see that he has no fingernail on his left thumb. That will make ID easier if it all goes wrong and with CCTV it should be easier. (Yeah right).

He also hears the cavalry coming and lunges at me trying to get out the door, not sure how but he ends up on the floor and next thing I have people trying to get me off him. A couple of poor punches to the body armour and next thing there is a big yellow van outside and I see 6 other colleagues getting out, one assists me in restraining man mountain and getting him cuffed whilst the rest clear the pub. Other patrols are cancelled as the customers seem to have lost their fighting spirit. The licensee offers to close the pub for an hour which we agree to and the mountain despite having been responsible for several public order offences is locked up D+D. He will cough that and it is a lot less paperwork. Order restored.

Anyway back to the start and my dad would always tell me how great people were who lived on Notgreat Road Notgreatside. He told me that they were the salt of the earth and after having a similar experience at 10:30 in the evening (when pubs closed then) he too was faced by a crowd. Wearing only a tunic, whistle and big hat he dealt with it. The crowd dispersed and no-one was locked up. Once the matter was dealt with couple of regulars came to him and said "Jock we were watching you, don't worry". Through a bizarre twist I now cover the same area that he did in the 50/60's. People have definitely changed.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Our Forefather's wishes.

The nine principles by Sir Robert Peel

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

  5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
Unashamedly copied this from a site that allows you to (of course). Where has it gone wrong and how do we justify the state of our current service?

I think that principle number 5 has been the one that been eroded both by the public we have sworn to serve and successive governments. I truly believe that it time for everyone to stop, take a deep breath and look at what we are there to actually do.

Robert Peel would be spinning in his grave if he knows just how downtrodden the service he created has become all these years later. How far from his principles have we been moved?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Good Cop, bad press.

Following my last post about how the people who police the police will hound you I read this and struggled to believe it but then again it came as no surprise.

How many such cases are going on at this time. Stressed Out Cop is running a story about a bad cop who got what he deserved. This officer has been cleared by the courts, now the disciplinary proceedings follow.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Our own worst enemy.

Today I attended an incident that came across as a race/hate crime. Someone had racially abused a male and called him a "paki". I wait for the alarm bells to ring and the front door to get smashed through for typing that. With appropriate race/hate pack in tow I arrive at the address, knock on the door and get greeted by an IC1/W1 male when the door opens. His first comment was "that got you here quick enough didn't it". The job was graded as attendance within the hour (grade 2) despite it being very busy for a Sunday, the tag was met. I asked him what he meant and he told me that he wished to report some youths causing annoyance in the street but knowing that he would probably get little if any response he decided to totally change the nature of his call. In order to ensure a prompt police response he lied. I told him that this was not a wise idea as other people might have more pressing issues for the police to deal with not just children who lived in the road playing football on a Sunday afternoon. They were watching when I turned up and continued their game as I knocked at the address. In short they weren't actually doing anything wrong. The "encounter" with this individual then deteriorated as he pointed out that I was a disgrace to the police as I had taken 32 minutes to respond to a racially aggravated public order offence that actually hadn't taken place. In my most professional manner, which can be very good when needed, I then cautioned him and pointed out the offence of causing a wasteful use of police time. He not so politely told me to go away and tried to slam the door. Anyway end result £80 PND issued and no doubt a complaint on the way.

In the mean time the radio room had composed several e-mails notifying the race/hate coordinator of the incident and whatever else they needed to do. When I resulted the job it did not fit with their criteria, ie no race/hate pack completed, and they would not accept that the job was a crock of poo.

This highlighted to me yet again how fearful the job is of not being politically correct. The "buzz" words all demand ultimate compliance, boot licking and a general over-reaction that is not necessary. We must always be diverse, I don't have a problem with that. I do object to having several mandatory computer presentations rammed down my throat with non compliance threats if I don't do them.

The police service in general has been criticised for not updating "victims" regularly during the course of the investigation. Genuine victims you will bend over backwards for and do everything you possibly can to trace and arrest the offender, the matter will be passed on to the jacks if serious enough and they will also do their best. Locally we have a term for the vast majority of matters, SOSHNI (Shite On Shite Humans Not Involved). This relates to the average domestic, threats, assault etc etc that the "victim" has supposedly endured. You arrive, know damn well that the job is a load of bollocks from the instant you start speaking to them, but according to NCRS you must crime it. Many jobs are not crimed as the "victim" twists them self into knots whilst lying about the "facts" but unfortunately some matters you can't advise accordingly and they become a statistic. The victim charter then comes into force and next thing you are up for non-compliance. We must do better is the frequent e-mail that we receive. Yes you do very well for meeting all the grade ones and twos and your arrests and other performance indicators are outstanding BUT you didn't phone Chantelle to let her know that the complaint she made about her friend telling her to stop having sex with friends boyfriend was a load of poo and written off accordingly. What idiot took that complaint in the first place needs sacking!

In short the various think tanks that have looked at the way the police deal with people have made their recommendations. This is good and is a learning curve for all forces which does need addressing. The manner in which it is done is positively overdone. They have taken fully fit officers, many of them, and put them in roles where the sole purpose in to ensure compliance with whatever the current trend is, Citizen Focus, Victim Charter, Policing Pledge or Blueprint Promise Etc. Etc. Etc.

Must stop now, blood pressure on the way up. It seems that the role of the police now is not to police. It is to be scared of the faults that have been pointed out about it and make inordinately large efforts not to do anything wrong again. In order to do this the "squad mentality" takes over and a new team is formed to ensure we can never be criticised again.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the occupation we will always be criticised, we arrest people, we meet them at times of their greatest need and we generally get involved with people who would sooner we didn't. We are meant to be a uniformed disciplined force there to do a job and not be afraid of anything, least of all ourselves.

It needs to stop, lessons can be learned and within my area they are, after a moan. The job needs to stop trying not to upset people and remember why it is there. We are all appointed to the office of Constable and after training are given certain powers not granted to the general public. We swear an oath and then find ourseves unable to fulfil our oath as some other piece of crap has apparently overridden the fundamentals of policing.

Let us get out there and do the job and accept criticism, not be chained to a desk or computer screen complying with whatever nonsense that has been invented in order to ensure we don't upset anyone.

Sorry very long rant know, fed up.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Habitual Thieves.

As you can read about me I am still a relative newcomer to the job after having only served for 9 years. Those 9 years have been spent working somewhere that is in the top 5 most deprived areas in the country. As my tutor con told me when I first started you have to learn to swim bloody well or you will drown almost instantly. I didn't know what he meant at first but within a couple of days I started to sense the water fast approaching my nostrils. It was OK though because that is what he was there for and after throwing me some more armbands, I started to learn to swim through the detritus that was our area. That may sound harsh but that was the majority of jobs that we were dealing with.

Nine years on I no longer need any sort of buoyancy aid. Apparently I am so adept that in some peoples eyes I no longer proverbially even get wet. Not sure how that happened because I still feel like I know nothing and sometimes arrive at jobs thinking "what the f*$k am I meant to do here"? I usually get through and am not ashamed to ask for help if I get stuck. These days though it is usually supervision or the boss who I have to call as there is no-one on the block with more time in than me. This is a bit strange as there were 20 year plus bobbies on the block when I first started, where are their equivalents today?

Anyway, the point of this post was I had a blast from the past today. The first person I ever locked up was Stephen "X". It was a bread and butter arrest for shoplifting. He had stolen something trivial like coffee or bacon to sell in the pubs to fuel his heroin addiction. He had two other brothers Derek and Matthew. Between the three of them during my early days they accounted for quite a few of my early lock ups as all three were fond of heroin. I have not worked the area continuously and have been sent to equally salubrious areas to look after the "flock" in those.

Today was a bad day from the start, huge scene following an incident that was not far off the Highlander film, huge broadsword included. Two abstractions for scene management. The offender was locked up and funds himself as a cage fighter so was a bit of a handful. The "victim" was also a cage fighter and had caused damage to the offender just prior to nearly having a limb chopped off with the broadsword. The result of this was the offender being sent from custody to hospital for treatment. Just for good measure it was deemed necessary to provide two for the prisoner watch there. Incidentally the victim is refusing to co-operate with the police despite his horrific injuries. So there is just me and another driver out and about to deal with the jobs.

The inevitable call comes in for an adult male shoplifter detained at ASDA and a patrol to deal. There is no-one else so I get sent. Imagine my surprise to arrive and see in front of me Stephen "X". He greets me and then tells me that I have changed over the years. I look at him in amazement and acknowledge that I probably have. In reality I can't believe that he is still alive. His heroin habit was drawing heavily on his body all those years ago and he looked close to death then. Today he still looked like death. He showed me a bottle containing methadone and announced that he is no longer on the brown. These days he satisfies himself with an occasional rock of crack cocaine along with the methadone. Despite this he is still a habitual thief. He coughs to the offence and tells me that it is because he owes someone a "score" (slang for a drug deal). He has stolen 5 books that have a paltry value to them, don't know who he was going to sell them to. Anyway with his 100+ precons for theft and kindred he is not eligible for a fixed penalty so it's off to the nick we go. He is talking gaily about the old times, even remembered the time he struggled due to the crack cocaine that was present. Remarkably he still remembers when I first arrested him. He says it was because I was so nervous it stuck out like a sore thumb that I was new.

Text book interview where he told me that he took the property with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it. Result, charged and bailed for court......again. Checking PNC later and other systems it showed that in all of the time I have known him he has spent only seven days in jail for numerous theft offences. No doubt when he goes to court in 7-10 days from now he will be absolutely slaughtered with another paltry fine and made to attend a drug programme that will be nothing more than lip service for him.

I don't know what is going to happen to him in the future, now I am back working in the area that I cut my teeth in I will no doubt see him again. The problem is that despite being on opposite sides of the fence you can't help but appreciate his attitude. He will good as gold go to court, plead guilty and face the wrath of the handcuffed criminal justice system. He knows it, I know it and in another few weeks I may be locking him up for theft again. Why do we bother?

Thursday, 19 February 2009


I'm sitting at home watching Playhouse Disney again. I have not been home at this time since Sunday and then I had to make a sudden dart to the local walk in centre when my 8 year old tripped on something indescribably small and hit her head on the TV stand. 3 hours later and 6 butterfly stitches later and we were back home. Straight to bed then for all of us.

My nearly 2 year old is bathed, dressed and just having a final charge about as we don't have to get up in the morning with it being half term. The 8 year old is next door with her friend for the next 20 minutes after being there since 6. She has had her tea there and is safe and looked after. I know exactly where my children are.

Last night I was in a different world, or so it seemed. There were kids everywhere all causing mayhem and chaos. It seemed that fire was the order of the day as numerous skip fires were reported followed by a nasty one that could have set a number of adjoining properties alight. Luckily the water fairies were prompt and all was well.

Anyway after digressing I was only too aware of the number of children out and about at night. It was only 8 PM as it is now but there were numerous kids about of only my eldest age. What is an 8 year old doing out in February at this time of night? In fact what is a young child doing out at night at any time of year? What do their parents think? I know that I wasn't allowed out properly by myself until I was about 15/16.

As I was on my way home at about 1:30 in the morning all I could see was kids in the regulation black clothing still hanging around. What are their parents thinking? I would be beyond myself if my daughter was out at that time. As in my last post I believe that parents no longer see children as a product of future generations they are simply a means to supplement their "wages". This has become a popular term amongst the underclass and they even relate to the day they receive their benefits as payday. On various occasions they have even told me that they pay my wages though they have never worked a day in their life.

Children, when you have them, become the most important thing in your life. They consume all your free time which you give willingly. When out shopping there is always something that catches your eye and makes you think that J or G would like that. They dramatically change the way you live your life, late nights and lie ins become a thing of the past. Anyway where was I? I have now given up the age old routine of the police taking children home unless they are specifically at risk. I have lost count how many times I have knocked at the door with bedraggled waif in hand to ask if they knew that their child was out. The usual reply was something along the lines of so what? As the gutter rat then runs off to "play" again. In the days where I knew no better I would be constantly amazed at how far social services could be pushed before they would become involved. Kids in a house that smelt of weed with both parents out of the game on drink and weed. Rugrat in filthy nappy crawling around at 2 or 3 in the morning. Police called by a concerned neighbour and walking into a den of iniquity. No family member willing to assist with the child and no way that the parents could look after the child. Police Protection Order duly issued by the Inspector and after a few hours social services turn up at the nick and listen to what you tell them. The next day the poor child is back in the same environment enduring the same treatment as it has been deemed a "lifestyle choice". How does a 2 year old choose to live in a house where it is only seen as a further income or a mistake? The choice isn't theirs to make.

Sorry If this post seems self righteous or judgemental but you can't mess about whilst bringing kids up. You only have one chance.

Friday, 13 February 2009

My beliefs are now confirmed.

For a while now I have been convinced in my own mind that society in itself has gone too far to ever recover. Where I work there are now families who have generations in them who have not worked since the late 50/60's. They have relied on the state for everything. It has all been provided for them, housing, food, schooling and great big 40+ inch LCD televisions. Their offspring have never seen their dad/mum ever go out to work yet they have always had £160+ Nike tracksuits given to them. They have never questioned where the money came from but just quietly accepted that they had it.

With the invention of TV people no longer had to rely on the "wireless" or conversation for entertainment. No longer did people have to open their mouths and speak in order to have stimulation, it was there on a box in front of them. People quickly developed favourite programmes and had to be inside for "Corry" Yes it has been running that long, nearly.. The neighbours who couldn't afford a TV were left outside with no-one to talk to. They wanted a TV but couldn't have one. They felt they were missing out, they couldn't watch tele and had no-one to talk to. Another level of divisiveness had been added to society. To compensate for the lack of ability to own one by legitimate means, the money to get one, or even to get one for free, the option was theft. Theft has always existed but avarice was rarely the cause. A look at history shows people stole to exist and feed themselves. The taxman and highwaymen were the exception but low level theft was usually purely to exist.

Please don't get me wrong this is going somewhere, just bear with me.

Anyway the idea of theft in order to gain worldly goods and not just to survive becomes "acceptable" amongst the people who have forgotten how to work. Society starts to teeter a little, this is a new addition that wasn't expected. Various things that were deemed as unacceptable in years past also start being eroded, children no longer respect adults. People no longer think if they can afford to have children prior to trying (we have moved 20 years forward now). They think that if they have one it will escalate the process of getting a place of their own and a couple of extra pounds a week. No-one in their family has worked for 20 years and they have accepted that this is normal. The last person in their family who can remember working passes away and now there is no longer anyone within their collective who can remember ever earning a living. Lifestyles change and the associated responsibilities that used to exist are now forgotten. The neighbours no longer speak to them, they are too busy watching "corry" and now everyone has a TV so no-one needs to talk to anyone outside the same room anymore.

Minor disagreements that could have been resolved by knocking on a door suddenly become massive issues. People can't talk to each other anymore because they have forgotten how to. They have never needed to resolve things for themselves because there has always been someone who they can call. Ghostbusters, Social Services, their mum or heaven forbid, the police. For those of you who do the job how many early morning "domestics" have you been to between mother and offspring who won't get up for school? There is no longer the element of "wait until your father gets home" because he is still in bed sleeping off the 10 cans of Stella Aktatwat he drank last night. People will openly air their dirty laundry in public now. We are in the 21st century by now and texts and e-mails, all paid for by benefits, have now taken over from physical or verbal confrontation. If people now want help from someone they only have to phone and someone will come. 999 is free so guess who gets called the most as most of them never have credit on their mobiles. They are now blatant in the fact that they no longer have the social skills necessary to lead their own lives. Their fellow socially incompatible are in the same boat. They too don't realise that booting someones front door in because they were looked at whilst in the off license, is not acceptable. They kick the door in, give the "dis respecter" a bit of a shoeing and leave with what ever they bought from the offy. The police are called because 999 is free and another aggravated burglary/robbery (depending on the current months counting rules) is recorded.

Family life has degraded to the point of no return in many inner city urban areas. This is not a government statistic it is based on personal knowledge. A child turns 16 and leaves school to pursue a life of, well not really sure at all. Another one has been in the making for the last 9 months in order not to lose the child benefit, that is why we have single mums with 9 kids from different fathers who allow their offspring to have kids at the age of 13. Wonder what benefits will now go into those households. Increased sex education in schools- NO, A dramatic re-think of the benefit culture-YES. (PLEASE).

Long rant but that is my theory, all other suggestions gladly accepted.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Pleased as punch.

Sorry for the wrong picture, I am still getting used to this. Annette and R/T sorry for the misunderstanding and hope that Annette, your BP is still ok. (added @09:10 13/02/09).

This will only be quick as I am really tired after just getting in off nights.

I have the fortune/misfortune of being a tutor constable. 6 weeks of babysitting takes it's toll and you do eventually get sick of showing new officers the ropes and complimenting or constructively criticizing their role in that incident. They have to learn just as I did and someone took the time to teach me so it is only right that I do the same.

At an incident last night she like me was dreading the scene. There was a report of numerous victims with injuries and complaints of assault, violence and general mayhem. We are dispatched with blue lights to 6 Notgreat Crescent. Other patrols also call to back up. In the end all 8 of us who were on duty to look after the 350 000 people who reside in our area were at the address. I haven't worked with her for a while and don't know how she has developed. I knew she was efficient as she was so switched on during her tutor period and never had to be taught anything more than once.

Anyway, the initial call turned out to be grossly over exaggerated and in effect all there was in this terraced house was one male with a bloody nose. He was off his head and clearly in a drug and booze fuelled state. He was offering to fight anyone because he had got blood on his already filthy black nike tracksuit and suitably grey nike t-shirt. He wasn't listening to anyone, police, girlfriend or friends. He turned to my colleague and told her to go forth and multiply as he wasn't telling no officer what had happened or how he had come to sustain his injury. He told her again and to re-enforce this pushed her away. I could not believe how quick she moved! Using his body strength to assist her she deftly turned and next thing he knew he was on the floor. The coke in his body caused him to struggle a lot once he was there but with another seven of us he was going nowhere.

Once he was cuffed and secured she then re-adjusted her uniform and spoke to the rest of the group including the female who had made the call. Advice was given and lots of people walked out with their tails between their legs. The house was left with just one sole female occupier. Another gent who decided to verbally abuse us from about 100 yards away and wake further people up in the street by his offerings of violence was subsequently surprised by how fast most of us can run ( I am 39, smoke too much and could probably never ever be classed as fit) was locked up for S.5.

The end result was my former student officer dealt with a volatile situation, subdued an aggressive male and then sorted the rest of the situation out using little more than her mouth and the defence techniques used in training along with a good dose of common sense. She is not even close to her two years yet.

The end result, one male arrested BOP and another S.5. Not a great result that will ever ever be known publicly but a heart warming moment for me as she later told me that using what she had learned from me along with what she had observed other officers doing had started to form her own particular style of dealing with things. She also told me that she was once part of the British Judo team which did explain a lot. Having seen her actions I have no reason to doubt that.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

How bizarre.

Despite my dread and prophecies of doom the full moon didn't work out as bad as I thought. I would even go so far as to describe it as Q (uiet). Couple of domestics no forms filled in as per first post and eventually neighbours all falling out to the extent that one of them decided to throw a jar of PICKLE at one of them and missed. Unfortunately he put in through a car window instead. Loads of gloating witnesses who will never turn up for court. They all ended their statements with "I am not willing to attend court over this matter". In this day and age how little do they know?

I have had the misfortune to meet this individual previously when he headbutted his pregnant girlfriend when the electricity ran out. He was watching his favourite programme at the time though! There was a twist to the tail as I couldn't work out who was who in the pregnancy stakes when I first arrived as there were two pregnant girls there. They were both sisters and guess who was the father of both. That's just wrong! I promise I am not making this up, talk about a misguided sexual experience. I eventually elected the one with the slightly swollen bottom lip as the "victim".

Anyway, last night, he gets locked up and off we go. He is as good as gold all the way through and remarkably is not drunk. Bummer, I am going to have to interview him and sort this one out without being able to leave it for mornings. He coughs to the offence in interview and actually apologises for it happening. Reckless is explained to him and he admits that the criminal damage was caused by his recklessness. Thankfully as he has coughed it there is no need for CPS "advice" and the custody sergeant is quite happy to charge him. Phew!

With waiting times in the holding cell, getting statements, interviews and the rest it still took 3 1/2 hours to process him and I emerge back on the streets at about 04:30 to a city that looks like a plague has struck during those 3 hours. There is really no-one about. I aimlessly waste petrol until 06:45 and then head back into the station to go off duty.

That was not the night I expected. Must be the credit crunch affecting benefits, you know less disposable cash.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

LUNAR tics.

I have just read ATNS last post and am shocked a little by what took place. Not very shocked because I know how quickly situations change.

I was somehow reminded that tomorrow is a full moon. Does the phrase lunatic have anything to do with the phases of the moon? Is the term loosely aligned to "lunar" tic in the depths of time?

It certainly makes a difference when the moon is full, people may not exactly bay at the moon but patterns of behaviour are different. You can be guaranteed a busy night when the cheese is at it's fullest.

Just a quick one to provoke thoughts and good luck to everyone who like me will be on nights in this job tomorrow.

The perils of being married to a Bobby.

This is not a recent event so don't worry you won't catch anything by reading this.

It all started with a domestic dispute and getting sent to it. Upon arrival I could see the female in the front garden, it was beautifully sculpted with all sorts of intricate broken children's toys and empty cider cans and bottles. There was a fair amount of dog poo in which the female had stood.

She starts the conversation by bringing his parentage into question (ie "that B$s%ard) has done this that and the other. He is looking out of the front room window at us and starts calling us all the names you can possibly think of. Apparently I may not be heterosexual according to him. I ask her what has happened as she tells me that they have been drinking all day, it is July by the way, and have run out of money. It is approximately 8 in the evening and it is still very very warm. I am sweating profusely in my body armour and black trousers. I can see he is swigging away from a 2 litre bottle of white lightning cider and there is still a goodly amount left. She is regaling me with tales of all his wrongdoings and he is shouting similar stuff from the open window. I really have lost interest by now, no-one has been assaulted, there is no damage caused but the situation is alcohol fuelled and volatile. The neighbours are now enjoying it and being the lovely area it is have brought garden chairs out in the front to watch the spectacle. Gutter rats are coming into the garden and are asking me if I have a gun and is that pepper spray. One of them even tries to take my car keys off the karabina they are attached to.

Eventually the male takes it one step too far and with the window open issues threats that amount to a public order offence which is now the last straw. He tries to close the window whilst laughing at me. He is somewhat surprised seconds later to find the window being wrenched open and 6 foot 2 of police officer hurtling through it. He even dropped his bottle. He decides that he is not coming alive and a brief struggle follows. He lost. I am sweating a lot as mentioned before and following the brief exertion my arms are now sticky as well. He won't stop writhing on the floor and some further control techniques are used. The end result was him being handcuffed but only after lots of physical contact, there was no blood and surprisingly he was hardly bruised. He is still struggling and didn't want to get up off the floor. More physical contact with sweaty arms and he was on his feet with me now opening the front door. I have noticed that he really smells. That peculiar smell of bad feet, alcohol, cigarettes and weeks of never having seen a bath or shower. He was nasty. He tries to run away despite being handcuffed once outside but needless to say it didn't work. Eventually in the back of the car and locked up for a BOP because I couldn't be bothered anymore. Lodged, bedded down, charged and sent to court in the morning. Job done.

Roll on a week and I notice strange reddish/pinkish marks on my arms. I put it down to too much sun and ignore it. They start getting itchy and look nasty soon afterwards. I go to the doctors and they gaily announce that I have scabies! Oh joy! The cure? A lovely smelling cream for me, my wife and my 5 year old. All clothes washed on a hot wash and effectively me looking like a leper. Luckily S + J did not suffer the effects and mine went after a week or so.

It is not always just the officer who is affected by life's events it involves his family too. I am left with areas on my arms now that get red quicker than others in intense sun as a result of this encounter. I hope that this is the worst my family have to put up with for the last 13 years that I have left prior to retirement.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The time has arrived.

Once again I find myself bursting with literary prose.

In December on a Sunday morning I was singly crewed (again) when the job came in. The informant had just seen their van reversing down the road without their permission. It was a white transit LWB inconspicuously sign written on the side.

Being that class of driver I made to the area in the vain chance that I would be able to locate the vehicle and do something about it. A search of the area proved negative. All of a sudden the CCTV operator gave us the location of the vehicle and what was happening. It had stopped and it looked like the passenger door was opening. I was not far away and in less than 30 seconds I was behind the van. The passenger door was open and I could see a leg starting to come out. I wasn't sure what to do. Do I get out and risk seconds getting back in when the van makes off or should I just wait and see what happens. I waited and less than a second later off it goes. The prerequisite criteria were met and the pursuit was on! Vehicle now left left left onto X Road speed now x MPH (slow as it was a Tranny van) it's just contravened a no entry sign and entering X street speed now X MPH and requesting support and a tactical resolution. The tactical resolution was in the police car behind me but sorting a site out was a bit tricky. The van went quickly off road smashing through a fence and trying to lose us in the muddy ground. Miraculously I followed it and did not lose traction. There was a solid concrete bollard in front of us and it hit it full on. The rear of the van bounced up in the air as the front took the impact. A burst of steam and smoke came from it but it continued relentless quickly overtaking the rolling bollard down the road.

I was still behind it and could not see how it was going to make it much further with the smoke and steam emitting from it. I was in my element the only downside was that no-one could hear me due to being in an older car the klaxons were in the light bar rather than under the bonnet. The commentary was useless. The van pulled up on the pavement and I pulled up alongside to stop the drivers door from opening. The van was silent, the woppa had done it and destroyed the engine! I then heard a diesel type sound and the van moved backwards, he/she had got it going again. I saw it reverse from the pavement and then move forward again. I engaged reverse but it was too late. The crunch started at the near side rear and continued all the way down the length of the car. I was pushed about 20 foot (with my seat belt on of course) and the Tranny moved away again. That was me out of the chase, sitting there wondering what had happened, did that really happen, why did I feel a crunch why has my nearside wing mirror gone? It all came flooding back to me in an instant when the following car shouted that has been rammed (or words to that effect).

That was me out of the chase, I had been rammed, I didn't know what damage had been caused to my car but I could see my colleague continuing the pursuit. I then heard that the driver had bailed from the van and was out on foot! My colleague was behind him and making ground. The subject was then out of sight as he he turned a corner and approximately 5 seconds later my colleague entered the deserted street to see a male furiously hammering on a door to be let in. No-one else on the street to be seen with this male showing a discarded black jacket like the pursued male had been wearing on the path behind him. Subsequently arrested for aggravated UTMV (TWOC) and dealt with.

Have a guess what the 5 second gap in observation resulted in No Further Action with the individual despite being known as a local scrote.

Justice? No not really, but never mind eh?

Thursday, 5 February 2009


I have just read a post from Which End Bites and a chain of thoughts started about influences that possibly govern the outcome of your life.

He mentions how an influential character from his early days in the job recently passed away. That made me think of my dad who passed away last year after a sudden illness. He was born north of the border and was at sea in the merchant navy at the age of 14 during the second world war. At the end of the war he had several other jobs including being a grease monkey on a long defunct railway line. In the early 50's he joined Notgreat City Police after encouragement from a former shipmate who had joined a couple of years earlier. At that time the force was filled with hard men who had either endured WW II as an officer or joined following the demob. They knew discipline and also what was right and wrong. They enforced the law in ways that would probably make politicians and senior managers shudder these days. People were poorer than these days but they cleaned their own step and could leave doors unlocked also children could play in the streets safely. In other words there was a sense of community that made people look out for each other. You only have to look at old photographs to see neighbours talking to each other in the streets. He used to reminisce fondly about the people who he used to deal with. He told me he never once had to use his truncheon and how they used to get criticized if the leather strap was visible sticking out of the pocket sewn into the trousers.

He used to eagerly ask me about what was going on these days and always tried to equate some of my encounters with his. After a couple of years he didn't bother but used to look at me with sadness as he realised that his adopted city had changed beyond all belief and that very few people who were falling foul of the law had anything to fear. He had to retire medically after 16 years after jumping on a wall that was subsequently demolished by the runaway truck he ironically jumped on the wall to avoid. Broken spine and nerve injuries resulting. He still insisted that if he had been a Mason he would never have had to leave the job and would have been found an office post. Once well again he worked solidly until retirement age and due to this thankfully my Mum has a comfortable life and need never worry about money again for the rest of her life. She even gets a small pension from the police from his contributions.

Speaking of my Mum she too was an officer around the same time in Notgreat City Police and after transferring to one of the surrounding Boroughs became the first female officer in that area. Guess how they met and following the birth of my brother in the early 60's she then left the job and became a full time mum who my Dad provided for for the rest of their lives. I haven't got a clue about her pension from the police but she doesn't get anything. I should ask about that really.

Anyway down to me, I tried to join the job at 18 but in the 80's that was deemed too young and told to re-apply when I reached 21. I subsequently joined the RAF and spent 11 years there leaving in 1999 after my wife left in 1997. Overseas detachments meant that one year I was home for 8 months and the next only home for 4 months. (4 months in the country then 4 months out). I wonder if my time in the forces was purely a experience to equip me for my current occupation.

I wonder if I was somehow "destined" to be a policeman due to my parentage, like my dad I saw conflict and learned what was right and wrong. I don't believe in fate or any of that type of thinking. I had a strict but happy upbringing, I knew my mum was always at home and that my dad was either at home or working. Subconsciously this has progressed to my own family as my wife stopped working and has been a full time mum since the birth of our first daughter. Chance? I don't know.

Anyway at the end of this random post I am still not sure why I have bothered to write all this. This is an off the cuff response to the post mentioned in the first paragraph. If it means anything please let me know. I will resume with police experiences shortly.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Just to put my life in perspective for the last two days I have done nothing heroic or mind blowingly exciting. My lovely wife gave me a lie-in on Monday (ta mate) and I got up about 10 am ish. From there a couple of coffees and shower etc.

Had to go and sort some bank stuff out, not exciting or anything. Errm that was it until school home time when it was snowing very heavily. We (me, wife and nearly two year old) collected oldest from school and got cold. Later we went to the supermarket and spent far too much. Then it was feed the kids, baths and them off to bed. A few cans with a takeaway and bed. Monday done.

Today, I got up with the kids and did the morning thing. Once oldest in school at nine, amuse the youngest whilst S did what I did yesterday.

I then had one of the worst experiences of my life that I have ever had. It started last week when I had to see a "specialist" appointed by my solicitor after I was involved in something in work, I may enlighten you at a later date when it is not recognisable by chance. I had a bad week prior to that and coupled with my insane fear of the medical profession I was somewhat stressed. The doctor saw me and promptly announced that he had concerns about my blood pressure and heart rate. He told me that I was definitely suffering from what I had initially been referred to him for and then told me to make an appointment at my own doctor and gave me a letter to give to him, sealed of course.

I duly went to my doctor today with an inner feeling that I was going to die. It had to do with the fact that I smoke too much. My alcohol consumption must surely be the underlying cause it was surely my kidneys closing down slowly thus my blood having to be pumped round at an even greater volume to compensate. For the last week I have probably been a nightmare to live with, my feelings of impending doom lying heavily on my shoulders.

The moment of truth dawned, there I was face to face with my nemesis, the doctor. He calmly opened the letter, I was in suspense, my heart felt like it was going to break out of my body and he was going to take my pulse soon. He then asked me how I felt at that moment. I told him I was literally crapping myself. I felt fine but something inside of me wasn't right. After apologising to him I also told him that I had a fear of doctors as when you visit them you can normally feel that something isn't right. On this occasion that wasn't the case. I was very anxious.

He then took my pulse, put the velcro thing on my arm and it inflated. This was it I told myself, I can do it, stop smoking (eventually) and stop drinking (gulp). What next, a visit to the hospital in the next week for further tests and their prognosis of my doom? He once again asked me what my level of anxiety was on a scale of 1-10 and I said about a 7/8. He then told me that my heart rate was 85/min and my BP was 140/90.............perfectly normal.

I couldn't believe it......What?Why?When How? I'm surely about to die aren't I? To which he replied, if you walk out of here and get knocked over by a bus then probably yes. He then said blood pressure and heartbeats, you can't live with them and can't live without them.

Hopefully I will be alive to post again.

Sorry, no police content in this one, a blog is meant to be about personal experiences and not just something that will gain comments. I will do my best not to be political in any future posts. Please chastise me if I ever do.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Just a little thought.

This is just a little thought after the last four late shifts of chaos that have reigned in Notgreatside.

In normal life people avoid trouble like the plague. They will cross over the road to avoid a conflict or confrontation. I believe this is normal human behaviour.

My role however (I'm not complaining, I choose to do it) involves getting to the conflict/confrontation/waste of time as fast as I can. To facilitate that we have vehicles which have been modified to assist us in our quest to avoid being normal people. We have equipment fitted that allows us to part traffic and continue to hasten our way to possible destruction, well injury or grief or even worse more paperwork. Not knowing what we will find when we arrive, we cunningly cut a swathe through traffic desperately trying to find out what the hell it is we are going to other than an address. Now my hearing is pretty good but when you are being deafened by sirens and concentrating on not crashing I may miss the occassional snippet of information. Therefore sometimes I may arrive at at job and not have heard a word other than the brief circumstances that were originally relayed on the initial shout for a patrol on the radio.

The overall point of this post is to say that you have to be slightly different to be a police officer. You act against the body's natural defences of self preservation by placing yourself in conflict due to your role and to assist you in getting there faster you even have added gadgets to aid your possible self destruction. Especially good fun in the snow.

For the narrow minded ones who will assume that different equals better, I don't think that. In your case you could substitute different for strange if it makes you feel happier. I personally think that strange is a better word to use.

Think I will go for a lie down now and forget about my job until Wednesday.