Thursday, 3 January 2008
There are certain customers that all coppers know well, people that for some reason or another you have ended up dealing with more than anyone else on your relief. After a while, however reluctantly you end up taking a sort of ownership over them.
Kate is one of those people. I have been to my fair share of domestics at her address, rumbled in the streets with her drunken husband, dragged her out of bars and been to her "suicide attempts" that are nothing of the sort.
The flip side is that Kate, and her husband Jack both recognise me. On and off duty. I bumped into them in the supermarket a while back, which was unnerving.
I don't live in the manor I work in, and they had no reason to be there, but they were in my local supermarket. Both smiled and nodded, and stupidly I nodded back. Even more stupidly, on a reflex, I said "alright?"
So she told me. In great depth. Her relationship problems in full, with Jack besides her, grinning inanely.
Kate leant towards me, slyly. "I'm going to court against him next week."
I glanced at Jack, who smiled and nodded again. "Will you give evidence against him this time?"
Kate straightened up, with a satisfied look on her face: "Probably not."
Last week I was at Kate's house again. Jack had a large knife, and had decided to redecorate the living room with it.
Kate was chatting happily to another officer, whilst three of us stood outside the living room where Jack waited with his commando knife.
I edged the door open slightly. "Evening Jack."
I tried to take in as much as possible. Jack was sitting in the far corner, in an armchair with a large bowie knife on his lap, surrounded by beer cans. I figured with his semi prone position and the alcohol he had obviously consumed, I would have time to get the door shut if he went for me.
I opened the door wider.
"Hello offisher." Jack didn't look at me.
"How did court go, Jack?"
"Things not going well with you and Kate at the moment, Jack?"
My eyes took in the smashed mirror, the slashed curtains, the ripped sofas, the broken pictures and glasses on the floor.
Of course, this meant nothing. Any of those things could have been damaged at any point in the last seix months.
"Jack, how about you put down the knife mate, it'll make this whole evening a lot simpler."
Jack looked at me for the first time, and he blearily tried to focus on me. I tried again: "Jack, put the knife down now!"
Jack looked hurt, and put the knife on the floor, then kicked it over to my feet. "You didn't have to shout."
As a calm and downcast Jack was led down the stairs of the block, I went to speak to Kate. She smiled tiredly at me. "Hello love. What's he been nicked for now?"
I stared at her. "You called us, Kate."
Kate paused, then shrugged. "Oh."
I attempted to gain a foothold of reality in the sheer cliff face of insanity that we were climbing together.
"Kate, do you want to make any allegations against Jack?"
Kate giggled, then burped. "No. Why would I?"
I paused, knowing that introducing any complex ideas at this stage would not be of any help. Sarcasm control to 'off.' "Kate, you called the Police. Jack had a knife, he was smashing up your flat. He's in handcuffs now in the meat wagon. What do you want to happen?"
"I'd like another drink."
Breach of The Peace it is then.