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?


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog. My best friend is a traffic bobby and another close friend just doing his ARV training so I have better idea than most what you really go through, I don't know how you all do it!
So, thank you, Bendy Girl
PS: North west based too

Area Trace No Search said...

A great post, it is strange when you become entwined in the lives of some of the regular 'clients' we have.