Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Punk in Drublic

It was a dark, stormy night, and all good people were in bed. Naughty people were out to play though, and causing us to get wet repeatedly. Non Police readers may remember the days of school uniform getting wet and the trousers drying against your skin, a lovely feeling... We have the same type of trousers in the Police.

We took a call off our division, to assist an area that had run out of units to send, a request from the London Ambulance Service for our assistance with a drunk patient. When we turned up on scene it turned out that the division we had been sent to assist had in fact mustered up two units to attend, who arrived on scene at the same time as us, but hey ho.

LAS quickly explained that they had been called to two drunk females, who had become abusive.

Both girls were easy to spot - fifty feet up the road, staggering about in dirty t-shirts, soaking wet, with one of them shouting "Filth! Filth! Filth!" repeatedly. LAS stated that she may have taken more than just alcohol.

We approached the girl shouting, to have a word. Six coppers, and she did not want us anywhere near us. Her face snarled up in hate, and she let out a barrage of abuse. As one of the local officers approached her, she hit him in the chest and pushed him into the road.

Ah. I could sense that a subtle approach was going to be needed here.

Another copper pushed the girl away, and tried to talk to her. She stormed off about ten paces, then just as quickly turned back, and pushed at the first officer she saw and swung a fist at the next. As she did this she kept up a barrage of abuse, screaming like a banshee "Cunts, you fucking cunts, fuck off!"

Her friend did the "leave it Shelly, it's not worth it" routine, but to no avail.

I think we could safely assume she did not want LAS assistance.

The barrage of abuse kept up, some of it quite inventive. She kept pushing the two closest officers, who kept cool and kept marching her up the road until her friend grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away.

The thing is - how have we come to this? How have we come to the point where you can get away with shouting "Cunt" repeatedly at a Police Officer without any punishment? In the met we are told that a Police Officer can NOT be a victim of minor public order offences, which in effect means that it's open season to abuse coppers, unless there are other members of public around to be offended. CPS will not even run with a public order offence against a copper in my division. Apparently it's our jobs to be abused.

Assault Police? Well, no... Although the pushing and shoving, and the misguided punch fell into this category, again, CPS drop so many assault police charges, we all knew that there was no way they'd run with an assault police by a small built girl against six, burly, male coppers.

Besides, I could hear on the radio that all our units were getting tucked up, and it was looking again like my car would be the only one on the streets covering a population of well over a quarter of a million. The neighbouring division's radio was screaming out as well, with top graded calls stacking up.

As we all walked back to the cars, there was no satisfied smile, no feeling of jobs well done; shamefaced again at being unable to fight back against the idiots on the streets, knowing that we had done the right thing for keeping us available to try and keep a lid on the incidents that were coming out, but also knowing that the right thing was far from the way it should be.


deborah parr said...

I'm afraid if she had been my mate she would have got a good slapping from me. I wonder do they really mean it against the police, or is it a "men in general" thing, or an "I hate the world" thing?

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what alcohol can do to people. Area, can you change the colours please!?! My eyes hurt!

Area Trace No Search said...

Sorry, I'm experimenting with which colour is most soothing for me after a set of night duties.

At the moment it's this one, unless any expert bloggers can advise otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the situation described is one all to common for any serving officer, and LAS crew.
The CPS, or criminal protection service, don't seem to have any interest in prosecuting for anything other than higher level crime. Hence why CPS in London have recently been exposed as the worst for prosecuing/offering no evidence in cases.

Dan said...

It drives me nuts that the police - no, ANYONE of the emergency services - get so much abuse from the public. My dad was a copper in Essex (Classy!) and I'd hear all about the crap he use to receive...

But to eff and blind at the police with no come-uppance... Wow...

You guys and girls do a great job. Hopefully the arse headed are the minority :)

Kalessin said...

Good grief. My eyes hurt. I thought we discussed this before? ;)

If you must use a black background, use a grey text instead of white, so the contrast isn't so painful.

Ex-RUC said...

In my old days it was also not an offence to swear at a police officer. As a result I always listed people within earshot in my statement. A coachload of Old Dears usually did the trick, provided not used too often!

blueknight said...

There is a stated case involving the infamous Nicolas Hoogstraten who was stopped for speeding and told the Officer to F** off. It went to appeal and it was decided that a Police Officer is a passenger, if not a resident and CAN be annoyed, therefore it is obscene language even if no one else hears it.
The old Public Order Act(1936)required the conduct to be likely to provoke a Breach of the Peace, which was not really likely if the aggrieved was a Police Officer, but the 'new' 1986 act has been in for over 20 years.
Incidentally before PACE, the anti soial offences of drunk and disorderly, obscene language, obstruction of the highway, setting fire to a firework and obstructing a Police Officer (while making an arrest) were all 'found committing' instant arrest offences and a 'situation' could be stopped before it started with a couple of well aimed arrests

Anonymous said...

In my eyes, swearing/pushing/shoving et al a police officer should be viewed as a very serious offence but then that leads to paperwork. I'm not a police officer nor have I ever wanted to be one and yes, I have been in trouble with the police whilst drunk. Maybe if i'd been presented with a harsher punishment I would have thought twice about it. That's not to say whenever I get drunk I abuse the police nor am I an asbo kid or chav.

cogidubnus said...

Perhaps (born 1953) I come from a slightly more disciplined (or self-disciplined - or both?) generation, but even, (in my youth I hasten to add), pissed out of my skull, I'd never have even considered abusing a police fact, probably because I was polite, I can recall on a couple of occasions, a friendly copper, helping me towards home...

Anonymous said...

I've got to disagree with you on this one,the first swearword and one warning she would have got away with,then I'm afraid she would have been scooped,no question about it.

"gunner" said...

on this side of the pond she'd have gotten cuffed and stuffed the first time she put a hand on the officer, and the language would have gotten her a few hours in the drunk tank on "custodial hold" until sober at the least. "assault on a police officer" is no joke here and can be very broadly interpeted as any "touching" of an officer in an aggressive manner.

Anonymous said...

Just read the PCSOs blog which leads you to a list off offences against them. One stated a man was sentenced to 14 months in nick for merely threatening a PCSO with a hammer. It's nice to see you're now all on a level playing field (hate those cliches but couldn't think of any other way of putting it - sorry!)

Dave H. said...

She was only having an epileptic fit. You might have been all over the news for arresting her.

Your patience with this customer was heroic. Whoever tells you such abuse is part of the job deserves to receive it too. I didn't even know insulting an officer had ceased to be a crime. What a bizarre change in attitudes has taken place.

Shame you can't go off duty for a few seconds, in order to be offended.

Soon we'll be told it's not an offence to try and stab a PC, provided they're wearing a vest.

(I agree with the other comments on the colour scheme. Is it called Migraine?)

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