Thursday 18 September 2008
Things That Have Annoyed Me Recently (Part 1)
As per the title. Yesterday I was driving around during the day, dealing with the usual calls and rubbish and dreaming of international rockstardom.
It was a lovely day, sunny with a hint of early Autumn cool - perfect weather for foot patrol. By some miracle the I-Immediate calls had tailed off for a while, and by an even greater miracle, our control room had given me a brief respite from sending crappy "non" calls to my MDT (Mobile Data Terminl - on board computer).
I parked the car up in one of the town centres we cover, and decided it was too good an opportunity to miss. "Come on mate, grab your hat" I said to my oppo, and withstanding his bemused looks followed by an almost sullen acceptance, climbed out of the car for a bit of foot patrol.
It was wonderful; no MDT bleeping at me, no rattle of a knackered diesel engine fighting against the constrains of gravity, no mainset blatting away with circulations in the background. The sun was out and I had my hat on, and everything was, for just this moment, OK with the world. I walked through one of our markets and chatted to a couple of stall holders, had a photo taken with a very lost tourist, let a couple of children try on my hat. Basically, for a short time I felt like a proper Policeman again.
Then the radio crackled - "999BX from BX, receiving?"
Area: "Go ahead."
BX: "I've sent a call down to your MDT a couple of times, and you're not accepting it. It's an S call from CID to pick up some CCTV. Why aren't you accepting it?"
Area: "I'm not in the car BX."
BX: "Received... why not? Do you want me to create a CAD?"
Area: "Negative, I'm just doing some foot patrol."
BX: "Er... received. We had you posted to a car."
Area: "Yes, that's correct, I'm in a car - I've just popped out to do some foot patrol."
BX: "999 from BX, that's received, you need to stay by your car so we can send you calls over."
A pause, as I walked back to the car to accept the call. The Radio crackled again. "999 from BX1"
Area: "Go ahead Sir"
Inspector: "Come and see me when you get a minute please."
Long story short, I was later given a rollocking by the Duty Officer for not being with the car and going out on foot patrol. Surely that is what the radio is for?
I'm fully aware that my job is to respond to calls for assistance, but surely proactive patrolling is part of it as well? And getting out on foot and meeting the public is as nice for me as it is for the public sometimes.
Ho hum. Thanks Guvnor. That'll teach the probationer with me never to do anything as stupid as to get out of the car and actually talk to people he meets again.