Friday, 31 July 2009

Winging it.

It is not often that I find myself stuck in a situation where there is apparently no resolution. I found myself in such a situation on Sunday.

A bit of history, I was called two weeks ago to an establishment that assists people who have conditions that require some counselling in order for themselves to determine their route in life. I attended the establishment after one of their residents made a really good effort of hanging himself. He pulled the cord from the rear of his television and somehow using the window nearly completed the job. Fortunately staff intervened and his attempt was foiled.
He was assessed by the duty crisis team and once the effects of alcohol had worn off they deemed his demeanour to not be one of someone likely to harm himself.
His background, well his father committed suicide approximately two years ago once the onset of his condition started taking over his life. My subject, let’s call him X is twenty something years old and has also been diagnosed with the condition. His sister also has the condition but she has come to terms with it.
His condition is Huntington’s disease. I had heard of it previously but didn’t know what it was. X has seen his father deteriorate and take his own life. He knows the symptoms and the end result. He doesn’t want to end up like his dad but due to the hereditary nature of the disease he IS going to.
Anyway, Sunday, he receives a family visit which doesn’t go well. Following that he expresses his desire to end his life again and wants to go out. Staff have seen a pattern emerging in his behaviour. He talks about positive and negative things whilst sober, once he has had a drink he doesn’t talk but tries to take his own life. He has admitted that it is only after he has been drinking the suicide attempts start and last Sunday he wanted to go drinking. The staff don’t have the powers necessary to detain him but understandably they are doing everything they can not to let him go out. The situation escalates and the verbal arguments become verbal threats from X. The duty manager left with no options and fearing for the safety of X and his staff calls the police. He states that he wants the male detained under S.136.
A sceptical Constableconfused arrives and after a quick background from staff goes to speak to X. He finds X sitting in a chair smoking, very calm, very collected and talking a lot of sense. Definitely not a 136 case. He tells me all about his problems in a calm, controlled and informed matter and that he is a voluntary patient and as such wants to leave. When asked what his intentions are he tells me he is going to get drunk and try to kill himself for the reasons outlined above. His reasoning can’t be faulted; he is in control of himself and provides what is really quite a good reason for ending his life. He apologises to staff and to me for wasting our time but once again expresses his desire to leave and get drunk. I have no reason to detain him but now have a duty of care. If I let him walk and he does the deed how much poo will I be in. I manage to speak on the telephone to one of the CPN’s who last saw him on Friday and they state he is in no way mentally disturbed, confused about which life choice to take certainly but not in need of mental health care. He is starting to become irate now and once again offers violence if he is not allowed to leave. I then lock him up on the tenuous grounds of preventing a breach of the peace. That way he won’t be drinking anyway.
The trip to custody follows with me justifying the grounds for the arrest in my head all the way. I relate the circumstances to the custody sergeant who looks at me with some strange looks before authorising detention for a “BOP”. He knows me and my methods so will no doubt ask me for a full update once the “prisoner” goes for processing. I subsequently provide the full background to him and the Inspector who has now turned up and acknowledge that my arrest is probably unlawful but what else could I do? The Inspector sums it up nicely by saying yes it is unlawful and he may get paid a couple of thousand if he pursues the matter but I can’t be criticised for my actions. My actions I perceived were entirely in the best interests of X.
The next problem, how do we get out of this mess? He is clearly not a matter for the courts but also can’t languish in a cell for too long. The “home” is no longer interested stating that they will have no network available until 9 a.m. the next morning to progress this. It is just after 6 p.m. now so they are no help. In effect they have washed their hands of him for the night. I visit the crisis team in Notgreatside County Hospital who state that they are aware of X and believe that he will one day kill himself but he is undecided at the moment. Great help. I ask them for assistance but they say there is nothing they can do. Tick Tock goes the custody clock.
My mobile rings and it is custody stating that the male has been on the intercom apologising for his actions and asking if he can go back. He states that he is now at what he perceived to be rock bottom and sees the home as a much better option. He is seen by the FME and she spends over an hour talking with him. At the end she recommends he be released once she has a stern word with the home. This is duly done and X gets changed from his safety gown back into his normal clothes.
He is refused charge for the BOP and I take him back. On the way he is a different character, he has taken a shine to the doctor and asks which practice she is with. He talks about remaining in Notgreatside and resuming his college studies which were interrupted several years ago.
I drop him back at the home and hand him over to staff, as he entered he turned and looked at me nodding before jokingly (I hope) says “SAME TIME NEXT WEEK”? I drive away wondering what the hell has happened during the last few hours. My conclusion was that there are supposedly partner agencies everywhere that are there to assist during incidents such as these but at 6 p.m. on a Sunday night there really isn’t anyone. I winged it, playing it by ear. I was backed up by Sgt’s and the Inspector and also the FME. Between us we resolved a situation that we really had no part in but were the first to get called.
How many similar situations do you find yourselves in? The first port of call for many people even though we shouldn’t be.

By the way, did you know it is not an offence to commit suicide but if you try and fail, it then becomes one. Apparently!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Just for amusement.

Our lager, which art in barrels.
Hallowed be thy drink,
Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk)
At home as it is in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head
and forgive us our spillage.
As we forgive those who spill against us.
Lead us not into incarceration but deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer,
The bitter and the lager,
Forever and forever

Just been sent this and it seemeed quite amusing as I have started rest days.


Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sergeant Simon.

I have never read any of Sgt Simon's postings and must regrettably say I have been lax.

I have just read his profile and thi sums it all up nicely I think. I really couldn't have worded it better.
A police sergeant on a response team in the outskirts of a major UK city. Response teams are the only people in the police who don’t have a remit, who have to deal with everything. We are the whipping boys and girls who work all hours with all sorts of targets and guidelines issued by office living senior management who, from my point of view, sometimes seem to have forgotten most of the realities of the 24hr response jockey. I work on the starfish principle in policing. For those who don’t know that story, its the boy walking on a beach where a storm tide has washed up thousands of starfish, which are slowly dying. As he walks, he picks up one starfish after another and throws it back to the water. A man sees this and asks why does he bother, as he could never make a difference to all the thousands stranded. The boy doesn’t break stride as he picks up another and throws it back. “It made a difference to that one”, he replied. Thats the way I work. I know I’ll never make a difference on a grand scale, but I’ll make a difference to an individual by doing each job properly each time it comes round, whether or not it complies with what I'm told I must do.

This sums it up nicely, a police officer who still has his own mind, long may we survive.

My social experiment from my last post has concluded and the positive outweighed the negative.


Thursday, 9 July 2009

The STD's of the blogging world.

I have heard that canestan, liberally applied along with a tablet if necessary, can take away all annoyances. I have done this regularly and now have a very smeared laptop screen which sometimes makes it illegible. The tablet has made my DVD drive now inoperable.

In spite of this some people just continue to cause an irritation, Now Metcounty has left one of his irritations appears to have latched onto me, direct quote:
Anonymous Pete said...

CUNTstable Stupid ... or whatever it is you call yourself, on a noe-to-one I would say that I would come away thinking that I have shit harder things than you.

You gutless wanker.

Thank you, he didn't even post it on a recent item, just kind of sneaked it in on one that no-one would be reading anymore.

Constructive criticism is always welcome and will be answered accordingly. However amateurish, boorish comments will be ridiculed, scoffed at and if they present spelling mistakes openly published to highlight what a dickhead the person is.

Thanks Pete, it took me a week or so to find this comment and when you challenged me to a noe-to-one (spelt as per comment) with you, I couldn't help but chuckle. By the way do you think you are the first to change my name to that? It is so well used it actually makes you look like one if you choose to look further than the end of your nose and read other blogs.

All in all Pete, thank you for a chuckle and I really can't wait for the next installment.

For those who doubt me check out comment 27 on the post highlighted.