Tuesday, 8 January 2008
In Custody. Dealing with an arrest too boring to give the details of.
It was office hours, so there was a chance I may be able to hand over the arrest to a specialist investigation team - or failing that, a poor frustrated probationer who has been ordered to work on the Prisoner Processing Team.
It also meant that there were members of the Senior Management Team on duty. This means they can walk up to you whilst you are trying to negotiate with a drunken prisoner for his draw strings from his tracksuit bottoms, and ask you what you think of the current "divisional priorities." Or even ask you what they are.
I was attempting to write my notes, when an officer with silver and gold spread liberally on his shoulders approached me. A space cleared around me, as other coppers made good their escape. The custody sergeant started to type frantically and buried his head towards the computer screen.
I was on my own.
Senior Officer: "Hello there, er... what have you got in today?"
Area: "An arrest sir."
SO: "Ah good, with a detection I hope?"
Area: "No sir, I'm afraid not."
SO: "Ok, well there is a push on them at the moment, we are all being measured on our personal performance when it comes to getting arrests and detections."
(WE are not being measured on our personal performance for that. I am being measured on my personal performance.)
SO: "What's that on your shirt, on the radio loop?"
Area: "A tie pin sir, a charity one."
SO: "Well, that may be so, but you shouldn't wear it - any personal statement like that can cause offence to other groups."
Area: "It's an NSPCC tie pin sir - who will it cause offence to? Paedophiles? I thought we wanted to make their lives uncomfortable?"
Custody Sergeant (in emergency live saving mode): "Er, Area, can you get your prisoner out of the cell, I need to talk to him urgently. Now, Area."
The tie pin has gone now, but not for the guvnor - I broke it in a fight with a drunken wife of a man we'd arrested for beating her up, a week later.