Previously, on The Bill…
Area had spotted likely lads in a car.
The car had not stopped for him.
Area had tried to keep his calm whilst the chase continued.
The likely lads had bailed out.
The story continues…
I leapt out of the car, adrenalin properly kicking in. I actually quite enjoy foot pursuits sometimes, as I’m relatively fit (compared to some coppers), and am reasonable at running.
It’s also one of the times I feel like a proper policeman, a running uniformed Police Officer actually gets noticed and people get out of the way for them.
Unfortunately I knew this could be a problem. It was night time and I was in an area I didn’t know. I started to run after the driver, and shouted up on the radio. Our poor borough controllers, who had not been aware of the chase as I was chasing on the mainset were treated to an overexcited PC shouting “Chasing suspects on foot, I think it’s Dowling Woods, I went shooting here once I think.” I’m never one to miss a chance to talk about inanities.
Our control came back, “Er… received. That’s not on our ground is it? …(long pause on an open carrier)… Er, the controller thinks it may not be even on Met ground.”
Great. Just what I didn’t want to hear. You can’t sigh when running at full pelt, but I made a valiant attempt at it and started coughing.
So… Scary chase? Check. No back up? Check. Out of our area? Check. Unsure of precise location? Check. Possibly out of my force area? Check. As long as my radio holds out, I should at least be able to keep containment until dogs or local units arrive.
You can see the punchline coming, can’t you?
The radio in my hand tailed out into a fuzz of static and silence – the old met radios weren’t designed to be used off borough. I had no way of stopping and changing channel, wasn’t even sure if I had the best channels in the set or what would be the closest met district. The suspect stopped and turned to look as he ducked under a tree. I threw my radio at him.
Possibly not the best move of the night, even I will admit.
The suspect ducked under the tree and I stumbled after him – I couldn’t work out how it had managed to be a dry day yet my boots and trousers were getting covered in mud. My arse, realising that it had been kept out of the action so far, decided to join in and went down to have a look at the mud as I clambered down an incline. Twice. At least I was vaguely camouflaged, being now semi covered in mud. I fumbled on my belt as I ran, and then the real humiliation started – I had to call 999 on my mobile phone. And explain that I was lost. With no radio. And yes, I am on duty, not off duty.
Dramatically, the suspect fell over an unseen obstacle in front of me, and as the woman on the end of the line was still talking I hung up and jumped on top of him. He didn’t even try and fight, and I cuffed him feeling pretty pleased with myself. I went to pick up my radio to inform them I had one detained, then realised I hadn’t got my radio. Sigh. Back to the mobile phone and the wonderful 999 system. I explained the situation, and they found the linked CADs (calls created), then came the killer. “Do you still need units to assist?” Er, no, not exactly. “Are there suspects outstanding?” No idea, I’ve got mine. “Why have you called back?” Er, I’m lost. I can’t find my car…
The final insult? Getting back to the vehicles, minus radio, phone out of battery, missing parts of ripped uniform covered in mud from head to toe after my chase, my frequent falls and the subsequent dramatic leap on to the suspect.
And being made to sit in the back of the cage with the prisoner in the station van as no one would let me in the car with them.
The things I do for this blog.