Thursday, 22 November 2007
Gotham City PD
See, the problem I have is that I still enjoy policing. And of course, the system is not set up to encourage us to do much policing, let alone enjoy it.
I hear regularly that frontline police officers are lazy and just want to spend their time in the office. This winds me up every time; there are so many office jobs throughout the police with departments creating work for other departments to fulfil a government quota. If I (or pretty much any other officer on my relief) wanted to sit inside behind a computer all day, I could pretty much guarantee we could be in an office job within two months, at the outside.
Because of this, the vast majority of officers who work on response teams and other front line work are there because they actually want to go out and do policing; I imagine this is the same situation throughout the UK.
The oft-repeated complaints about paperwork are well known outside the police now, and it is true that if I deal with a non crime domestic incident it will take me two hours to complete the assorted paperwork and reports.
But there are other things as well... like the lack of cars and resources for a shift. It is a regular occurrence to sit in the yard at shift changeover time with no cars to take out, as the previous shift is still dealing with their incidents. We’ll hear call after call put out (some of them outstanding from the last shift) and we can’t get to them. Our nick is based nowhere near civilisation, so walking to the calls is out of the question unfortunately.
And the stingy beggars in the helicopter won’t give us lifts.
Whatever, it’s the lighter moments that give us relief and let us enjoy the job a bit more. Things I have seen recently in no particular order:
1 – An eighteen stone man mountain of a copper delighting the rest of the team by showing that he can dance, well, and doing so with an elderly lady in her back garden to apologise for running through it looking for a burglary suspect. In the light of the helicopter spotlight, naturally.
2 – A young female PC arm wrestling a male custody sergeant and winning, to his obvious and understandable embarrassment.
3 – A couple of ARV lads swanning around and impressing the ladies at a well known tea spot, before swaggering back to the car and falling spectacularly over in the “waste” that a kind dog walker had left behind. Obviously, none of the watching officers from our team, the neighbouring borough, and British Transport Police laughed, as that would have been unsporting.
4 – A full serial of kitted up public order lads about to storm their way into an address, having to knock at the neighbour’s door one by one to use the toilet as they’d been called out of refs and had been waiting ages... and her checking each and every one of their boots to make sure that they weren’t too dirty.
5 – Area getting his chance to practise his rousing speech for when the revolution comes. Searching a block of flats, I found a way onto the roof. In the pouring rain, in the middle of the night, I realised that my chance had come. I made my way to the edge, and started to shout inspiring messages to the troops below. Thunder cracked, and I realised that fate was smiling on me, as I raised my torch above my head to call the batmobile from its lair...
My Inspector was very understanding really, and I believe him when he said that the reason he put me on a constant suicide watch guard in custody afterwards was to give myself a chance to dry off. The prisoner I was guarding was very encouraging about my plans for the revolution, and the PC I relieved from the post had kindly left a half cold and half drunk mug of tea for me.
I don’t like tea.