Thursday 18 March 2010

Rude Awakening

A few days ago I was on patrol with a colleague who had recently joined our team.
Whilst cruising around one of our many sink estates, looking for a wanted male, a call to a pub fight came out - it was closing time so not an unusual call to get.
"Any unit Bravo X-ray sector to a disturbance at the Hare and Billet Pub, Brixley Road. Informant states twenty plus fighting with weapons, on an I-Immediate grade."

As the units started to answer up, I called up and accepted the call as well. We weren't far, and I turned to my oppo and said "I wouldn't worry, that place is always calling in fights. Every time they mention knives or serious injuries or gangs, just to get us there quicker."
I pootled at a reasonable clip down the hill leading to Brixley Road, and pulled left at the junction by it. Blues and Rear reds left on to show other units where we were as much as fend off traffic.

My partner called up on the radio and showed us on scene - as he did, a bottle came sailing over the pub wall and landed on the bonnet with a thud.
As soon as we opened the car doors, we could hear the shouting and "sounds of disturbance" that the sealed windows, chattering radio, sirens, and heater on full had hidden. I leant in the car and pushed the horn of it, activating the two-tone sirens again. I wanted the people fighting to know the Police were here, and hopefully stop... I also called up on the radio and asked for an eta for back up units.

As I did, I saw my colleague disappearing into the pub.

Muttering aspersions about his parent's marital status when he was born, I followed. I drew my baton and racked it, adrenalin completely failing to overcome the very real and well placed fear that had taken hold. As I got to the door way I was greeted by the edifying sight of my colleague coming back towards me, sharpish. "I didn't think it would be as bad as it sounded," he breathlessly said.
"And it's as bad as it sounded."
As he talked, a pint glass hit the ground and rolled towards us. Followed by what appeared to be a chair leg, this time thrown with more conviction. Reacting simultaneously, we made our way back to our car to wait for more units to arrive

A borough's worth of Police units, and two public order carriers later, peace was restored.
In the wonderful way of drunken scraps like this, no allegations were made. The pub was trashed, there were bloodied and bruised people with ripped clothing scattered about, and numerous people handcuffed after showing aggression. But of course no one saw anything, no one knew who had started it, no one wanting to give details.

Fast forward to Custody an hour later, and a group of four Custody Sergeants getting very pissed off with large group of people being booked in for being Drunk and Disorderly...

A rude awakening for myself for thinking the call was LOB. A rude awakening for my colleague for thinking he was invincible.
And a rude awakening for the pub landlord for allowing the booking from a well known section of the community, known for their attitudes towards drinking and fighting.


crowlord said...

I'm guessing they like "Dawgs"

Rach said...

What a waste of your time all those resources for no one to be stay safe out there..xx

Anonymous said...

Along similar lines, a call came out on the radio that sounded totally implausible. We got there and it was not only plausible but possibly worse than the caller had reported.

Worst possible thing to say is "sounds like LOB"!

What's that cliche? Prepare for the worst, hope for the best?

Metcountymounty said...

Let me guess, a) a Tarmac convention, b) a wedding or c)just a bunch of pissed up Stills?

Anonymous said...

remember me and a colleague rushing in to a pub after 1 few lads, red mist was seen, and subsequently red buttons were pressed..

we've all done it

Old BE said...

What on Earth is a Tarmac? A Still?

I have never been in a pub when it kicks off, I must start going to some less nice ones for the full experience!

JuliaM said...

Tarmac = what you might get a tiny bit of if you agree to let those charming young chaps who just knocked pave your driveway. Along with a ton of sand and builder's waste underneath.

Still = means of production of memory-loss juice for members of our peripatetic community

Hogdayafternoon said...

I think a `still` meant, `still a TGB`. Our Insp got so jarred off with a licencee in
Deptford, whose pub clientele were famed for such brawling, that when the final straw call came in, he rounded up as many of us as he could, attended in force, and the place was totalled because of all the struggling and brawling we had to contend with. A very expensive message was delivered that night.

Old BE said...

Crikey I wouldn't want to be up against the great Hogday! Remind me to be always on your side whatever that side may be :-)

Stressed Out Cop said...

Was this on a Sunday ?? traditional drinking night out for some ..

TonyF said...

A quick response would have been a couple of stun grenades, a smoke and flash and maybe some CS...

Metcountymounty said...

Hogday, score one for you!!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Cheers Metcounty. I too suffered the indignity of the `thought police`.

Hogdayafternoon said...

PS @ Blue: I was a Cadet at the time, hence I wasn't allowed in, sworn to secrecy and was entrusted to guard the door. One of the most awesome displays I'd ever witnessed.

Old BE said...

I've just re-read this post.

"And a rude awakening for the pub landlord for allowing the booking from a well known section of the community, known for their attitudes towards drinking and fighting."

It would surely be unlawful to refuse a booking on the grounds that the booker was from a certain background, no matter how well-founded the fear might have been. So you can't blame the landlord directly.

@Hogday, Deptford is now rather trendy and full of art students and other Bohemian types. Parts of Deptford have re-named themselves Greewich and are up-and-coming areas for young professional types. In the minds of the estate agents anyway...

Metcountymounty said...

BE, the landlord can refuse anyone, they don't have to give a reason. It's the landlords fault, he didn't have to take the booking, it's a risk that it might kick off but TGB's do pay well when they have a piss up and he would have known the risk versus reward.

"gunner" said...

had a place kie that some years in my town, on elliot street, called, interestingly "the harmony room". after some years the cops got tired of the weekly saturday mini riots and called in the pumper truck from central fire station, just down the street, to give everyone a high pressure bath. things did quiet down after that. now a days there's an indian restaurant there where you can get a good curry, and its quiet and peaceful

"gunner" said...

oops! sorry, read as "a place like that some years ago..."

Gazza said...

Awesome post and how so true.
Glad to know we're not alone.

Police role play said...


I like to read about your experiences.
Thanks for posting.

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