Saturday, 22 December 2007

Zrobic Loda

Last night, I was at a call to a private premises. Without giving too much away, there was alcohol involved. And although there was one mother, there were as many dads as there were kids - and most called the dad/husband figures by their first name.

I had kindly left my partner to talk to the very drunk, half dressed behemoth that was supposedly the female victim of this call. She reminded me very much of one of Terry Pratchett's female trolls.

I was outside the flat, letting the wind play with the collar of my gortex jacket and idly wondering how long I would wait outside before the cold drove me back to the flat with the abusive drunken female troll.

Approximately until Hell froze over, if you were wondering.

As any member of any uniformed service will testify, if you stand still long enough you will get a crowd. For some reason, the less interesting the activity you are doing, the more likely it is you will get a large and dedicated following. In my case, it was of a group of young lads.

Area: "What's happening, lads?"
Lad 1: "Have you got a light, mate?"
Area: "No."
Lad 2: "Has someone been killed?"
Area: (sotto voice) "Not yet."
Lad 2: "Huh?"
Area: "Nothing".
Lad 3: "Have you ever shot anyone?"
Area: "Only for asking stupid questions."

This went on for a while - The boys were happy whilst distracted, and I realised that I could use as much sarcasm as I liked without causing offence.
However, something inside of me felt I should take the initiative.

Area: "So what do you want Father Christmas to bring you this year?"
Lad 1: "A Blowjob."
Area: "Ah... right..."

You and me both mate, you and me both...

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Police Bible

From the Police Bible comes this passage.

In the beginning was The Plan. Then came the Assumptions. The Assumptions were without form. The Plan was completely without substance and darkness was upon the face of the Policemen, and they spoke amongst themselves, saying "It is a crock of shit and it stinketh".

And the Policemen went unto their sergeants saying, "It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof," and the sergeants went unto their Inspectors saying, "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

The Inspectors then went unto the Chief Inspectors saying "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide it's strength." The Chief Inspectors spoke amongst themselves, saying to one another, "It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."

The Chief Inspectors then went to their Superintendants saying, "It promotes growth and it is very powerful."

The Superintendants went unto the Borough Commander and said "This new Plan will actively promote growth and efficiency of the Force and in weak areas in particular"

The Borough Commander looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good and the Plan became Policy. This is how shit happens: so sayeth the Poor Bloody Copper.

This is doing the rounds at the moment...

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Units To My Location

No, I’m not taking the piss out of you.
Yes, I can arrest you.
No, I don’t need a warrant.
Really, I can arrest you.
No, you don’t need to take your shoes off. Really.
Ok, let me rephrase that. DON’T take your shoes off.
Honestly – oh, right. Well, put them back on again. The socks stay on. THE SOCKS STAY ON!

Oh for the love of God. Take your feet away from me. I really don’t want to search there.
No, your shirt can stay on. I don’t care. Tattoos don’t interest me. Not even that one. Or that one. Who is Cindy anyway? Ah, sorry to hear that.

Right, now keep still. I mean it, don’t mess around here. You don’t want to be cuffed? Fine, so the police car is behind you, why don’t you climb in and I’ll chauffeur you to the Police station?

No, that is not your right. Or that. I hate to tell you, COPS may be good to watch, but it isn’t filmed here. It’s filmed in The States.
No, the United States... you know, America.
What do you mean, “so?” Well, they have different laws – look, it doesn’t matter why I stopped you. You’re drunk. And you’re wanted. And those tablets are NOT aspirin.

Do I have anything better to do? Well, yes, I could be spending this time in a hot tub with a beautiful blonde girl outside a villa by the sea in the Med, with a bottle of champagne cooling nearby. Failing that, YOU are my project for this evening.

No, not in that way. Perhaps that was the wrong choice of words.

Yes, that’s true, I’d have to get the blonde girl first. And the rest of it.
No, that’s very kind, but I’d prefer to try and find a girl to spend my time with myself.

...The things you say and do when you’ve stopped a car whilst single crewed and are waiting desperately for back up to arrive to help you deal with the four, known, violent occupants.

Or is it just me?

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The A Team

Team mates: Just a list of some of the regular characters that pop up on Police teams. Some are inter-changeable, and I have met people that have been many of them.

It is not exhaustive, not least because there are so many characters; and besides, everyone knows the “brand new probationer officer/pre retirement officer” comparisons. And the brown nosers, the lazy officers, and the vast majority of reasonably hard working people that make up a team.

Tired: Tired is, well, always tired. He (it is always a he) will be late for early turn so regularly that most of the relief will a) know his phone number off by heart, and b) know the route to his front door in a police car when going to give him a “friendly wake up call.” Tired will be late to training days, team meetings, and even late turns... and even manage to be late for night duties sometimes. He suffers from Sticky Mattress Syndrome. Annoyingly, he will usually be up for overtime, all the time, despite the fact his suffering team may want to actually go home. As they need to be up on time for work.

Angry: Angry is angry at everyone, and everything he comes across. This will include: our kit, our cars, other coppers, victims, witnesses, suspects, the calls, the sergeants, the senior management, the quality of tea in the canteen, the smoking ban, any department he has not worked on, any department he has worked on...
This will be made even more annoying as he will seethe constantly and simply moan at anyone close at hand. And tell you what he thinks about everyone else. You can be safe in the knowledge that when he is not posted with you, he will be just as scathing about you. Comes alive in public order situations. Possibly unhinged.

Chipper : Chipper has the morale of someone on very strong anti depressants, and will generally be less than thirty seconds away from a smile, or probably a cackle. Usually a female officer. Chipper will take any and every call and still have the time for a joke with her partner. And a cackle. Often speaks a little too loudly, and laughs after very unfunny jokes. Is the kind of person that holds the team together when morale is at rock bottom. Can be very tiring to work with. Completely unhinged.

Bitter: Bitter is not old enough in service to be accepting about things yet. He or she applied for the area car course, but “don’t give a shit the guvnor gave it to someone else, only did it to make more paperwork for him.” Or failed the sergeants exam, but “only did it for a day out and to prove how easy it was.” Or got passed over to be Acting Sergeant, but “would have refused it anyway, there’s no way I’d want to brown nose like that.” Bitter thinks the job owes him. Unhinged.

Overtime Bandit: Exactly that. They will take calls after handover time, even when there are plenty of units from the next shift available and with cars. Will volunteer for any crappy duty on any crappy posting, but only if money is involved. Otherwise, forget it. Often has an impressive car/flat/collection of new technology and an even more impressive credit card bill.

Home Boy: Tells everybody about his girlfriend/relationship troubles/family history/sexual exploits/financial problems. Just say “no” to any question of his.

Psycho: Possibly ex-military, but not necessarily. Starts the day by looking at pictures inside of his locker, of his “calm place.” Do not interrupt this. Do not try and see said pictures. Do not try and ask him about his calm place. This procedure is not negotiable. Sometimes freezes in conversations and goes misty eyed. Can silence most sober suspects with a "look." Less strong supervisors often fear to tell him anything, although he will unfailingly carry out an order. Icy calm in crazy situations. No fear. Often spends down time staring at nothing muttering to himself. Do not try and have a personal conversation with him. It will not work. Will occasionally be posted with Home Boy by a Duties Sergeant with a wicked sense of humour. Unhinged.

Old Sweat. Never has a pen. Has done everything, ever, in Police work. Will never be surprised at anything. Often underestimated by younger officers, as will stand back in most situations. Never gets griefy crime reports assigned to them. Knows how to “cuff” a job. Capable of surprising everyone in the team with huge displays of compassion and competence when really needed. An endangered species, unlikely to have anything close to a successful personal life, and not much better on a social life, after a long career spent doing earlies, lates and nights. Unhinged.

Eccentric: Eccentric reads a paper half the team haven’t heard of, listens to music no one has heard of, and goes to places no one else would want to. They will have a slightly mysterious past, that gets harder to make sense of the more you know about it. Unlikely to speak in short, concise sentences. Will prevaricate around the bush whenever possible. Is generally liked/tolerated on the relief, but doesn’t have many close friends within it. Will have a love hate relationship with each and every supervisor he or she works with. Will put in official requests for things like time off for “a bi-annual virgin sacrifice” in order to worry Duties. This works wonders when annual leave is needed in a rush. Suspected of being unhinged.

Please add more, the better ones I will add to this post.

I am not going to go on about our pay, except to ask one thing: Jacqui Smith, the best recruiting officer that overseas Police forces have ever had?

Monday, 3 December 2007

Soldier, Sailor...

I thought, like Jerry Springer, I’d try something controversial.

So, lets talk about Soldiers. I love dealing with soldiers at work, for a number of reasons. None of them are reasons that perhaps will ever be taught in Hendon, but hey ho.

I’d also like to say that it is definitely a minority of soldiers that we come into contact with. When we do, most of them are drunken, very young and homesick lads with too much booze in them who just react with their fists. If this is against locals, then we come down on them, hard. If it’s SOS (Squaddie On Squaddie) we’re there just to nick anyone still standing afterwards.

Now, dealing with squaddies is an art into itself. It’s not all plain sailing, you have to remember that you are in effect dealing with a group of well trained, fit, tough, battle hardened and capable men. Who have been drinking and feel no pain. Oh, and like coppers, when they say to each other “I’d take a bullet for you,” they actually mean it.

But if you keep this in mind, and turn up mob handed, and employ some simple tactics, as a copper you should be ok. One of the tactics is to let them fight it out first, so they’re nicely tired out. Wait until you’ve got numerical superiority. And with fighting, drunk squaddies, don’t try and talk to them. They’ve already made the decision to fight, and so the only way you’re going to be cuffing them is with force.

Oh, and before you draw your CS spray, try and remember that they are probably more likely to be able to cope with CS than any street copper is.

But there are many advantages. Firstly, my paperwork will be minimal. Once I’ve got the soldier safely tucked away within the confines of the local cells, I pick up the phone and call the Royal Military Police. If they can deal, then that’s the end of our involvement. Oh, and PACE doesn’t apply to them the same as it does to us.

Another thing, is that unlike the usual scrote that I drag in, the soldiers actually fear the consequences of their actions once they’ve sobered up. The justice administered by the RMP and the Company Sergeant Major afterwards is more immediate, harder and probably more effective and long lasting than anything that the civil courts hand out.

And if they’ve been brought in for Assault Police, or Resist Arrest (common), then the chances are you will get an apology if you show sufficient respect to the RMP lads who turn up. There’s something a lot more satisfying than seeing a baseball capped youth sneering in court at you – and that is seeing a contrite and hungover soldier being marched double time to you by two RMPs, brought to a halt, stood to attention, and made to apologise for his behaviour.

But the thing that I genuinely like, is that soldiers are in some respects like old school villains. Once they’ve sobered up, they’ll call the Custody Sergeants “Sarn’t,” they’ll ruefully smile and be quite happy that they got clobbered by a couple of PCs whilst being dragged in; they were fighting, and got fought with. Most expect nothing less.

This is something I would love to see from drunken members of public – the acceptance that if they offer violence to police and public, they will receive it in response.

Continuing on a military theme, I have discovered a blogger that I would like to draw to your attention, a female US Marine – someone doing a job that is a bitch to get into, a drag to do well in, and hard to stay with, no matter what sex, age, colour or religion your are. A regular commenter on this blog, “Gunner,” is an ex-marine, I hope he at least enjoys it. If you like it, leave a comment for her and tell her how you found her! The blog is HERE