Operation overkill

Friday late shift today and I’m on the van again. As we’re having our briefing we get turned out. There’s been an RTC motorbike V car. Neighbourhood officers have arrived and are dealing with it but they need a breath kit so we turn out to take them one. It’s only round the corner from the nick so we arrive in minutes and hand it over.

Then I’m called back in, it’s only half an hour into the shift. Apparently there’s a level 2 standby PSU requirement which I’m on. It’s news to me but thats our duties office for you and the standby has been activated which means our serial of one Sergeant and 7 constables has to bus up with our level 2 kit ready.

Myself and my partner are both on the PSU so we hand the van keys over to another crew. We kit up and when the others have arrived head over to a neighbouring division which has requested us. Apparently there’s been a demonstration outside a town hall and Silver command is concerned it could kick off.

Regular police readers will no doubt be familiar with the situation as it was complete and utter overkill. Never mind individual officers, there were more police PSU than there were demonstrators. Nevertheless we were kept in reserve long after we were needed, if we ever were in the first place, and I spent the rest of my shift shivering getting soaking wet stood outside the front doors to the town hall. It’s annoying as I could hear on my home radio channel the rest of our shift left behind on division running round like mad answering all the calls that kept coming in with much less staff, as we were busy guarding a locked town hall from no-one!

I hope the PSU isn’t on again tomorrow.

Surprisingly quiet weekend lates

So it’s Thursday and my relief are back in on a set of 4 lates over the weekend. We parade on and have our usual briefing and today the Sergeant teams me up on the sub divisional van with one of the other lads. This makes a change as I’m rarely rostered on ‘the van’ but it’s nice to work with a partner for a change instead of single crewed. We’ll be the first port of call to back up other units at jobs and we’ll do any prisoner transporting.

After briefing I check my emails from our days off to see if there’s anything needed answering urgently. I’ve got an enquiry about an RTC report I submitted and a few other bits and pieces to attend to. We then get a shout from CID. One of their officers is dealing with a street robbery from last night and he’s just interviewed one offender. A further offender has been named and he wants our assistance to go and arrest him.

The 3 of us jump in our van and make to the address. On arrival my partner backs the house and I hammer on the front door. There’s no answer to repeated knocking and shouting, the curtains are drawn and there’s no sign of movement so we’re about to leave when the door’s answered. It’s a female with a young baby. Straight away she’s trying to hurry us as she says she has to pick some other children up from school. We explain what we’re here for and ask if shes seen the male in question. She is his girlfriend but claims not to have seen him for a couple of days. Which is not what his brother (the male already arrested and at the station) has told CID on interview. She agrees we can search her house but is again trying to rush us. My partner and I go upstairs and check the bedrooms. In the childs bedroom there’s a fabric childs wardrobe and surprise surprise our man is found cowering inside it underneath all the clothes. The CID officer comes upstairs and says the magic words. We get him dressed and in the back of our van before we carry out a quick s.32 search which is negative. We use our discretion on the female. She could have been arrested for obstruct constable but she has a young child and several others to pick up from school. She’s not known to the police so we let her off with strong words of advice.

We get back to the nick, get the lad booked in then straight back out as we leave it with CID. Comms then shout us up and ask us to attend a burglary. It’s not a straight forward one though and appears to be a caravan broken into parked on a carpark of the local athletics track. As we get there it becomes a bit clearer. There’s a group of sub contractors working on road re-surfacing for the local council. They’re not from the area and spend months at a time all over the country on different jobs so they sleep in caravans while they’re away. 2 caravans are set up adjacent to each other and they’ve both been broken into while they were out working the roads. One via crowbaring the door, despite the victim putting extra dead locks on it, and the other smashing a side window. I take details for one crime and my partner takes the other. As they’re the victim’s primary place of residence while staying in the area it’s recorded as a burglary dwelling. From mine they’ve stole his TV, DVD player and some of his clothing. It’s not overlooked by any houses and there’s no CCTV in the area but we do find a McDonalds receipt on the floor by the side of one of the caravans which the victims state was definately not there that morning. On it is written a partial VRM, it looks like they parked up in the grill bays and the McDonalds staff wrote down half the Reg to identify the order to the correct vehicle. We also speak with a railway signal man as his box overlooks the caravans. He tells us earlier on he saw a white ford transit pull up but thought it was just the contractors returning and he didn’t see anything else. Due to this we return to the station to make some enquiries. I go to the intelligence officers and they conduct a check on the partial VRM using PNC to see if it matches any white Transit vans locally. The results throw up about 22 possibles, and I narrow it down to one as the registered keeper appears to be known to us. I go about putting some intelligence about this van on the system, asking for stop checks if it’s seen. There’s not enough to tie it into the burglary but a stop check may turn up some results in the furture if it’s used again for committing crime.

As I’m doing that my partner has broken off to speak with a female at the front desk. She’s reporting harassment from her ex partner’s new girlfriend. There’s nothing much in it, so he takes details and when I’ve finished wrestling with our intelligence system we go out to the ex partner’s new girlfriend’s address to warn her regarding her behaviour.

As we arrive there’s no reply so we leave and will try back again later.

The rest of the shift passes off uneventfully. We manage to make several more attempts at that address but she’s still not in so my partner contacts the victim and we’ll try again tomorrow. It’s only a short 8 hour shift today and by 9pm nights are in and we hand over to them.

The night after the shift before

So I’m sat here trying for the life of me to remember what I got up to on Sunday night, and I’m struggling!

One job sticks in mind though. I’m single crewed tonight and just about to get back into the station to do some updates when an immediate comes in. Disturbance at a pub in the next town, caller states group  of 8 males fighting so I whack the blues on and start making. The response unit isn’t far away and I can see the blue lights of the divisional van in my rear view mirror as they’re making it just behind me. It takes me only a couple of minutes and I arrive and let comms know I’m there. The response car is already on scene and another unit pulls up at the same time. 30 seconds later the van arrives as well so there’s plenty of us there.

There’s been some kind of disturbance, tempers and voices are raised. The lads from the response car are trying to speak with people outside so I enter the pub to try and find the landlord who should be able to tell us what the score is. I find him and he’s half cut which doesn’t help matters. The football’s been on all day and most of the punters and staff by the looks of it have been on it all day as well. Bar stools are upturned but again no one’s telling us anything. No one’s wanting to make any complaints so we set about clearing the pub and sending everyone on their way. As I’m trying to shepheard people outside there’s a shout and I can hear it kick off. I run outside and one of the lads has got someone pushed down over a pinic bench and he’s struggling with him. I charge over to try and help and someone else dives at me. I push this person back but there’s a lampost behind and he slams into that. Everyone else gets stuck in and together we get these two on the ground and try to get them cuffed up but their still fighting. Fortunately the dog handler has arrived and he’s got his dog out which is keeping everyone else back from us. I’ve no doubt they all would of piled in trying to stop their mates being arrested if he hadn’t been there. His dog is f*cking massive and it’s bark is deafening.

We eventually get both males cuffed and into the back of vans after they receive suitable advice. Only then I realise my mate who was struggling with the first male has been punched straight to the face several times as he was trying to break up a fight which is why he went to detain the first male. He’s got a cut over the bridge of his nose and no doubt a black eye tomorrow, the relief are entirely sympathetic and we tell him it won’t ruin his good looks. We bring one in for affray and the other for affray and the assault police.

Back at custody one of them is apologetic and admits to the custody sergeant he’s been an idiot. The other still wants to fight everyone and is taken straight to a cell. I’m sure I then go and do a few other jobs but they can’t have been that interesting as I can’t remember them. A set of busy nights mushes up your head and it all blurs into one. A good few days off before back on lates next weekend.

Some proper police work

Saturday night and I’m crewed with one of the lads who is a taser officer. It starts off pretty ‘Q’ and we get time to have our briefing, check our emails and catch up with any admin left over from yesterdays manic shift. I go out and get the vehicle sorted. We’re the ‘response unit’ tonight which means theoretically we’ll be the first to get sent to any immediate  jobs. Our car has an enforcer, ladders, stinger, RTC signs, crime scene kits, perry water rescue lines and plenty of evidence bags in the boot. In practice in just depends what we’re tied up with and who’s free at any given time.

The first job of the night has us both groaning when comms pass it over the air. We’re asked to attend an old peoples home to assist the ambulance. They’ve been called by a female suffering from alzhimers who’s now being aggressive towards them and has spat at them so they want police assistance. We start to make our way and just as we’re turning the corner comms shout us up again. Fortunately ambulance have sorted it and are cancelling us.

I’m driving tonight so I start to head to one of our estates. It’s been identified as the current burglary and car crime hotspot so we’ve been asked to patrol it as often as we can. But before we get anywhere near the first immediate of the night comes in. Suspects disturbed trying to force a back door. Caller is a terrifed 86 year old women who’s at the house on her own. We start making it as does half the division and the neighbourhood officers. One of our lads on team gets there first and confirms the break. He gets a decent description from the old lady who has clearly seen the offenders as they barged into her kitchen. We start to conduct an area search. Then one of the neighbourhood officers shouts up. He’s dealing with a break that happened just before we came on shift. Same MO, forced the back door and just grabbed whatever was on show. That address wasn’t too far from the home address of one of our divisional targets who enjoys that MO so their name is thrown into the mix.

As we’re searching one of the neighbourhood officers spots 2 lads matching the description and gives chase as they make off. The offenders go garden hopping and as we’ve got so many units available we get the area boxed off in no time. We’re confident we’ve got them contained so we call for the helicopter which turns out and a dog handler is rushing over as well. I’m stood on a road facing the line of houses on my side of the containment and just as the helicoptor arrives and starts it’s search one of the neighbourhood lads has collared one of the offenders trying to break out from the cordon. And who does it turn out to be? Our local target who was named earlier. Shortly after his mate is arrested as well, and it’s no surprise he’s also very well known. Both are taken into custody and the dog who’s arrived starts a search of the gardens for the outstanding property. We then start searching for some kind of vehicle as it’s unlikely they’ve both been wandering around on foot. Too much of a chance they’ll be seen and turned over. Comms give us so info that earlier in the night a motorbike was stolen from the same area of the division. Just as they’re passing that info I’m stood right next to the bloody thing! I check the ID using the chassis number and it’s confirmed as the outstanding  stolen. A good result for everyone involved, two target offenders arrested and a stolen motorbike recovered. Just goes to show what we’re capable of when we have numbers of officers on the ground free and available to attend. If this had happened on mid week nights when there’s only a couple of our shift avaiable then it would have been a very different story.We have to then wait around for half an hour while recovery arrives to take the bike. It’ll be checked forensically in the morning.

When it’s been picked up we manage to head over to the hotspot and spend a grand total of about 5 minutes there before we get sent to an immediate domestic. We start to make our way but then a second immediate comes in, a disturbance in the street and the informant thinks they’ve seen a knife. As my oppo has taser we cancel ourselves from the domestic and make the disturbance. Other units attend the domestic and others back us up as well. On arrival we find about 10-15 people in the street all screaming at each other. It’s spilled out a nearby pub and no ones telling us much at all. Clearly somethings gone on, there’s ripped T-shirts and a few bloody noses but, as these things always are, it’s chaos. As I’m trying to calm people down I hear a further commotion and there’s another fight kicked off in front of the pub so we run over and start separating everyone. I eventually manage to find out it’s because the landlady got assaulted when trying to eject someone. As I’m trying to take a few details some pissed up moron doesn’t like the fact his wife won’t let him into his car in the car park and starts to punch the windows. My oppo goes over to tell him to calm down and he launches at my mate. My mate manages to push him back and I run over to assist. Together we get him down on the floor and cuffed up. He’s arrested for public order. The van has arrived and we chuck him in the cage. By now there’s plenty of offices on scene and the Sergeant has arrived as well. The pub gets shut for the night and one of the other lads gets stuck with taking details from the landlady for the assault. Apparently it’s a known offender so we might have to assist with arrest attempts later.

We get back to custody and get our lad booked in before we both provide a statement detailing his actions. He’ll get charged in the morning when sober. When we’ve done that we manage to get back out and about. The rest of the night is relatively ‘Q’ compared to the friday. But just after 3am a suspects on call comes on. Someone’s breaking into a restaurant via a back window. We’re not too far away so we start making it as does some officers who are in plain clothes in a plain car. Our informant gives a description and CCTV manage to pick someone up matching it stood next to a taxi office on the same parade of shops. The plain clothes officers get there before us and confirm a smashed window at the back of the restaurant. They check the area and there’s no trace of the offender. The officers make enquiries with the taxi office who confirm they’ve taken a fare in the last couple of minutes matching the offenders description. We get the destination and race to try and intercept the taxi. I travel the most direct route to where we think they’re heading and as we get to a set of traffic lights there’s a taxi waiting at the red light. I pull out to check the signage on the side and it’s the right one, the same taxi firm. As the lights go to green I put the blues on and the taxi pulls straight over. I’ve already got my seatbelt off as I thought the suspect would run for it but he doesn’t move. He stays sat in the front passenger seat and as I approach him I see straight away who it is. Another of our well known offenders who only got released from prison 2 days ago. I’ve locked him up previously for shoplifting, he’s a heroin and crack cocaine user and seemed out of it. I arrest him on suspicion of burglary and during the s.32 search find loads of loose change in his pockets which I seize.

He’s taken to custody and I book him in. I then go about getting the file ready for handover. One of the other lads has met the owner of the resturant and gets a quick statement from him and also from the informant. Unusually he says nothings been taken from his place, he doesn’t keep any change on site in the tills. SOCO arrive and confirm although the windows been smashed no entry has been gained, it looks like the offender was disturbed. The dog handler has arrived and searches the area in case he has dropped anything. He finds another resturant that has been broken into and it looks like the change has probably come from there. We are unable to contact the owner so arrange board up and await a call in the morning. We get a statement from the victim, the informant, the taxi driver and all the officers involved and manage to put together a decent handover pack for earlies. All that will be left for them to do is speak with the owner of the other resturant and confirm whats been taken from there. That takes me through for the rest of the shift. I get away slightly late but you don’t mind for some proper police work.

Weekend Nights

I had a couple of rest days Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday 10th May I made my way, along with 32,000 other off duty cops, down to London for the police federation march. This was a great turnout and a good day was had by all. We made our point with the march past Parliment and Whitehall before numerous beverages were consumed. (Although not too many at £4.30 a pint!)

Friday I was back in for a set of weekend nights and it was a busy one. We had our usual briefing continually interupted by comms who were desperate to get jobs out and off their screen. The first I got sent to was at the hospital. A female on one of the wards had phoned up and was reporting domestic issues with her husband. But she had been ranting at the call taker and her mental state was questioned. The hospital ward were contacted who confirmed the female was in for an unrelated medical matter but she was due a mental health assessment on Monday morning as she had appeared confused to the staff. I spoke with her and she had not long returned from a cruise around the Med with her husband. She wanted to tell me that her husband had been nasty to her by arguing with her and refusing to move his legs when she wanted to walk past him in their cabin. I informed her these were not really matters for the police but she was adament she wanted to make ‘a report.’ She was rambling and did appear confused. She thought the hospital were working together with her husband by keeping her in longer than they needed to. I took details from her for her husband and other family members and later on I put in a vulnerable person report. Other than that there’s no offences for the police.

Next to a report of vehicle interference, as I arrived SOCO have beat me to it and are outside with the victim already examining the car. It was an old ‘M’ reg Honda and the offenders had popped the passenger side lock and entered the vehicle. They’ve tried to get it started and smashed the covering around the ignition barrel. Luckily they haven’t got it going and fled empty handed. It’s looks like another negative line crime, no witnesses and no CCTV. I take a quick statement from the victim in case SOCO get any results back. They recovered a few fingerprints and took elimation prints from the victim in case they belong to them. If it comes back with a known offender we can go and speak with them.

From there it was the first domestic of the night. Up at the top end of the division immediate response to a drunk male kicking off and refusing to leave his girlfriends house. I arrive at the same time as the van. The male’s dad has arrived to take him away. There’s no offences and the lad is agreeing to go with his dad, he’s well pissed but sees sense and doesn’t want to be arrested. We get him in his dads car and away from the address. The female is thankful but doesn’t want to go through our domestic risk assessment paperwork. Result.

Next job of the night is a concern for welfare for a pissed bloke. Its technically on the other side of the division but I’m free and it’s come in as a priority (one hour to get there) so to meet the time I get sent. The guy is outside a pub and is about 80 yrs old! He’s absolutely rat arsed, can hardly stand up and he cant speak. I try to get his name but he can’t string a single word together. I go to search him to try and find some ID and joy of joys he’s pissed himself. Nobody in the pub knows his name or where he lives. There’s nothing I can do for him. Technically he’s commited an offence and I could arrest him for being drunk and incapable but our custody sergeants won’t except prisoners for this any more. They say if their that drunk they should be in hospital. So my only other option is to phone the guy an ambulance which is what I have to do. I don’t like wasting their time like this. Like me they’ve got far better things to be spending their time doing on a Friday night. As the crew arrive I apologise to them and explain the situation. They’re sound though and understand. The guy gets shipped off to hospital where he’ll sit it out til he sobers up.

It’s the second domestic of the night then. Priority call from a 14 yr old who says her sister is in the front garden arguing with her boyfriend. There’s a DV marker on the address which asks all calls to be treated as urgent as a female who lives there is at risk of abuse from her partner. I arrive and there’s confusion over who phoned the police, the 14yr old isn’t there and the occupant says she hasn’t been there all night. The occupant is the one who’s mentioned on the DV marker. She initially tells me to fuck off which is lovely. I do my best to get some details off her and it turns out she has been arguing with her ex but she won’t tell me anything else. She hasn’t been assaulted and clearly doesn’t want to speak with me so I get what I can and leave. I’ll probably get a snotty email from the DVU asking why my report isn’t more detailed but I can only work with what I’m given and can’t force people to tell me things.

I then get sent to another immediate response, males kicking at a door. I arrive shortly after the van and several other units. It looks like a house party has just kicked out but there’s no offences and no damage so I leave it with the other units.

CCTV shout up that one of the town centres is looking lively and they’re watching a group who keep squaring up to each other and have thrown a few punches. I start to make my way down to try and show a presence and stop anything happening before we have to start dealing with assaults. However as I’m on route CCTV call up again, they’re getting into taxis now and leaving the area. I keep going anyway in case anything else kicks of an offshoot of that group. But before I get there I get diverted.

A third domestic of the night. Male ex partner kicking at a females back door (ooh er) He was knocking on the front but she told him to fuck off so he climbed over into the rear alley and started on the back door. I arrive and in the kitchen can see him still stood in the back yard, he looks shocked to see me and runs off into the alley. The female can’t find the key to the back door and by the time she gets it open the males vanished into the night. I take details again and advise her to call us straight away if he returns. I stay in the area and have a good look round for him but he’s gone. No offences again but it’s going to be 3 domestic reports later when I get back to the station.

From there I get sent to what comes in as another domestic, an unwanted male at an address who the call taker has assumed will be the partner of the caller. As I get there both of them are drunk, and are still drinking. Fortunately they’re not partners and never have been. Just friends which, as it’s not a domestic, gives me loads more discretion on how to deal with it. The female states he has been shouting at her aggressively but now he’s calmed right down. She’s happy for him to stay in the address so I get that in my notebook and get her to sign it then I’m on my way.

Last job of the night is to a disturbance. It’s on the other side of the division but they’ve run out of resources so  I make my way on yet another immediate response. It turns out to be a rowdy house party. The caller is Mr Anon refuses details but I strongly suspect he’s a very pissed off neighbour. It’s now 4.45 am and the music is still blaring out. There’s about 15 people in the flat so when some of the other lads arrive we go in and clear everyone out, sending them on their way. To be fair they all seem like usually decent kids, there’s no abuse and they all do what their asked with no questions.

I head back to the station and thankfully there’s not many more jobs that come in. None that require immediate police attention anyway. It takes me the rest of the night to complete my updates on our various computer systems and I get off around 15 minutes after 7am.

 

Why do we bother?

Another quick post today as I’m really running behind now. This includes bank holiday Monday and Tuesday 8th May.

On bank holidays we have to operate with minimum staffing levels as we get paid double time and the SMT don’t want to fork out too much cash. Never mind that most people are off work and out getting pissed so it can be one of our busiest times.

So predictably on the Monday we were run ragged with the 5 officers we had on our half of the division picking up job after job. The first I got sent to was a domestic. The female was reporting an assault several days ago, on the log it said she had just plucked up the courage to phone us and report it, hence the delay. I arrive and begin to take details and initially gave her the benefit of the doubt. But after a few minutes I began to feel she’s not that interested. Police readers will know what I mean. I could just tell I was going to spend hours on the job only for her to retract days later.

I pressed into her that while it was my job to take statements, record a crime and investigate it I could only do that with her support. I needed her to be sure she would follow the job through to court if it came to it. She assured me she would. She’s had it with him and she says she deserves to be treated better. So I crack on and get a detailed account from her. It transpires there’s a criminal damage to her car as well as the assault by her ex partner. She’s got some bruises on her arm so its an actual bodily harm. It takes a good two hours to get the statement and record the two crimes and then I go off to make arrest attempts, there’s several addresses for the offender, one on the other side of the division.

Every time I get close I get diverted by an immediate response job that can’t be allocated due to the lack of staff so I break off. Nothing notable from any of the other jobs I attend and I eventually make it to the address but by that time nobodys in. It’s only an 8 hour shift for the bank holiday so by the time I try another couple of addresses and get back to the station to file the paperwork thats it for the day.

Tuesday 8th May I come back in and find lates and nights have tried a few more attempts for the offender from yesterday. They’ve been unsucessful so my Sergeant askes me to continue with it. When I spoke with the female she had moved into her son’s home. She felt her ex would either be still staying in their family home or with his new girlfriend.

The first address I go back to is the family home. And lo behold who’s coming out the front door? My victim from yesterday and she shouts at someone inside. I strongly suspect its her ex but he doesn’t come out the house. She tells me she’s back with him, despite what she told me yesterday. She’s sorry but she loves him and she’s got to think of the kids. It’s the same sorry story I’ve heard hundreds of times before. Despite me spending hours on it and other offices wasting their time making arrest attempts when they could be assisting other people she’s not bothered and wants me to leave her alone. This is why cops get disillusioned with the job. We’ve made our best efforts and spent loads of time on it but can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. If, in the future, they have a massive argument and one of them picks up a knife, stabs and kills the other I know who’s fault it’ll be. Anyway I let her know my thoughts and drive off as I can’t prove he’s in the house.

The rest of the day is uneventful and I finish work not in the best of moods.

Saturday morning

Saturday mornings normally mean tidying up from Friday night and today was no exception. We came on shift to our command and control screens full of outstanding jobs that needed attending. As soon as we finished briefing control were shouting up individual officers and allocating jobs. They hate having full screens and will sometimes do anything to clear them. Thankfully our regular operators are usually pretty good and understanding.

Myself and another member of the shift were allocated a handover by the Sergeant so straight away thats two resources down from our already low number for control to work with. Nights had a decent job and had locked up 3 of our priority offenders for several robberies that happened in a short space of time. We were tasked with 2 house searches for the outstanding property and some BMX bikes that witnessed had described. The first house was a shit hole. And thats being kind. I’m talking the type of house where if you’ve never seen it you would never believe how some people can live their lives. It’s not seen a hoover in years, theres food down the side of the sofa, stains everywhere, lager spilt all over and just left, the cans tossed on the floor. Shits overflowing in the toilet and dog shit left on the kitchen floor. The smell is horrific, a mixture of grease from the kitchen, BO and the dog and human shit left lying around. To top it all when I looked in the freezer there’s a dead rat in the bottom drawer. The occupant matter of factly tells me it was her pet who died last week. The mind boggles. Anyway we don’t find anything and I can’t get out of there quick enough.

Onto the next house which is still a mess but a million miles better in comparison. We don’t find any of the stolen property but I seize a BMX which a witness described one of the offenders as using and is very distinctive. The occupant aint too happy but tough. Back to the station and we’ve got to record the searches with the custody office. Up to the CID who are carrying on enquires.  I take a photo of the bike, book it into the property system and knock up a quick statement regarding my involvement. I leave it with the CID lads who all look stressed. They’ve got 3 separate robberies to investigate and interview the offenders for and numerous further witnesses to speak to. I’ll leave it with them.

From there I call up control and let them know I’m back available again. I get allocated a theft from motor vehicle. I get there and unfortunately there’s not much I can do except just record a crime. It happened overnight. Offender has come along and smashed the drivers side window of a work van and nicked his work handheld PDA and a satnav. Both were left in full view on the dashboard which is asking for trouble. There’s several other work vans on the street and none of them have been touched. The street isn’t covered by CCTV and no ones witnessed it so all I can do is give them the crime number and some words of advice for the future. I speak with the company who’s van it is and briefly I think we may be in luck as there’s a suggestion a tracker might be on the work PDA. But when they check its been installed on the models their employees use in Europe but not yet over here in the UK. Oh well.

I then manage to grab something to eat before a flurry of immediate response jobs. It’s weird how it can work. You can be having a really Q day and then get four or five immediates in a couple of minutes. The first is up to the top of the division for a domestic, ex partner banging on the door and refusing to leave. I make my way up there along with the van crew. On arrival ex partner is still there waiting for us. I take details from her then go and see the caller. The gist of the dispute is he is refusing to pay for the kids he has by her and she ain’t too happy about this. I advise her that if the informal arangement between the two of them isn’t working she needs to get in touch with the CSA and go through them.  She’s advised not to come back to the address banging on the door and is sent on her way.

Next its an immediate with a 3rd party caller. Someone has been walking past a house and thought they could hear signs of a large disturbance coming from inside so we get sent to check it out. On arrival the house in question has got a bloke inside doing some DIY. The banging and crashing was him demolishing a kitchen!

As we were getting to the bottom of that other units were being sent to 2 other immediates that came in around the same time. I offered to back up but wasn’t required. I got back to the station and did my reports for the domestic and that saw me through to the end of the day.

Ahh domestics

In a completely unscientific survey just going off my experience I reckon domestics constitute at least 60-70% of every single job we go to. This includes domestic assaults, threatening text messages, phone calls,  harassment, ex partner being abusive over facebook, parents having problems with son/daughter, siblings fighting etc etc bloody etc.

I was on lates Mon, Tues, Wednesday and as it’s my day off and the sun’s shining I’m not going to spend ages inside on the computer so I’ll whack it all together on this one post. On Monday I believe some kind of big football match was taking place? This meant extra staff on so we were struggling with vehicles and I was teamed up with a good friend. We never get to work together so it was a refreshing change. We could go to jobs while blabbing away to each other and generally putting the world to rights. Our first was criminal damage to a car. We get there and the victim now says it was done by a friend of hers who she knows well and he has apologised and agreed to pay for the damage in full. It was only a small dent to the drivers door. Excellent news- almost no writing for me. Quick entry in my PNB confirming this. ‘sign here, thank you very much’ and we’re on our way. Next to the first domestic of the day. Immediate response mother and daughter fighting. It’s a few miles away but we still get there first. The van arrives just after us but we tell them to cancel as there’s nothing in it. Mum and daughter have got into a slanging match as daughter isn’t happy mum is having her ex partner round to the house. There’s been no violence they’re just both yelling at each other and instead of sorting it out like the adults they are the daughter called us to do it for them. We take details for our billion page (feels like it) domestic report just in case these two one day decide to kill each other and send the daughter on her way, she goes to calm down at her dads for a few hours. That’l be 20-25 minutes of writing at the station later but for now it can wait.

Bit of down time before another immediate response domestic. Again of the other side of the division. I’m sure they do this on purpose. Mother having problems with son this time. On our arrival mum comes out the front door and screams ‘he’s going out the back’ We run through the side gate to see our man half way up the fence and over into the field at the back of the house. We sprint to the fence and with a running jump I manage to pull myself up onto the top. I can see the lad sprinting away,  he’s already a good 50-100 metres across the field. I give it up as a bad job. I’m wearing big combat boots, heavy trousers, body armour, belt kit including cuffs, baton, spray, medical pouch, all sorts of forms and paperwork and with the best will in the world I ain’t gonna catch a 19yr old lad wearing shorts, T-shirt and trainers who’s had a big head start no matter how fit I am. I go back to the vehicle to try and cut him off at the other side of the field, my mate speaks to mum to see what, if any, offences we have. Long story short we don’t catch the lad and he’s assaulted his mum. Common assault but it’s a nasty one. He’s treating his mum like shit having his mates round drinking at all times and when she trys to stand up to him he spits in her face and tells her to fuck off. We check his intel and try several addresses for him with no success. This ties us up for most of the rest of the shift chasing round after this idiot and thats it for the day.

Tuesday and good news. The morning team have caught the lad from yesterday. Cue lots of stick from them about tidying up our jobs! It gets handed to the interview teams and he denies it. CPS decide to charge with assault anyway and he’s given bail conditions not to go near his mum or her house. A decent result, I’ll just have to wait the enivitable court date. The rest of the day is taken up with domestics, but not ‘proper’ ones. First to a male who wants me to return his car. Its a sorry tale. They split up 2 weeks ago. 8 months ago they bought a car. Both put to for a deposit. They registered it in her step dads name. He pays the finance. She pays the insurance, he’s not insured on it and when she left she took the car, but he doesn’t know where she’s gone to and he wants the car. I speak to both parties over the phone, again I’m only really involved because they can’t sort out their own differences and try to come to a solution. In the end the male who called us is going to speak with his ex partners step dad and thinks that will resolve things. Quite why he couldn’t do that before calling me I don’t know. At the end of a day if they don’t get it sorted its a civil matter anyway.

Next to a woman who’s received a phone call from her sister’s ex partner. Yep, that’s it, a phone call. Nothing threatening, no harassment he just called her and now she wants to see the police. These calls should be screened out at source by experienced police officers working in call handling and the person told it’s not a police matter right from the word go. That used to be the case but in the name of change and progress it doesn’t happen anymore and I have to go and see her now the jobs been created. I go, take details and tell her we’ll record the incident on our systems but there’s been no offences. She seems to be happy with that.

Next I back up to a few more domestics. Partners fighting with children in the house and after that to an ex partner banging at the door. I don’t deal with these as other units got there before me and they get the joys of the paperwork. I grab something to eat and while checking the outstanding jobs on the screen notice the hospital are reporting a concern for welfare of a patient who’s absconded. This happens several times a shift but this time the female in question is pissed (nothing new there) and has a badly broken arm. The hospital have done an xray and decided she needs an operation to save the arm but the woman got fed up waiting and walked out. I take the job and after enquiries with taxi firms find where she got dropped off. The taxi firm only knew the road and not the address so I dig out a phone number for a family member and get the house number. As I’m almost there an emergency button activation goes off from two neighbourhood lads in the town centre. They’ve locked 2 up for fighting in McDonalds and now they’re kicking off. I spin round, whack the blues on and give it a tickle. Everyone is running to it as they always do. As I’m almost there we get updated they’ve used spray on one and got him in the van but the other is making off. CCTV get him briefly before he goes off camera then I see him running into a church yard. As I’m foot down towards him one of the CID cars comes shooting out a junction and I have to anchor on to avoid hitting them. We both enter the church yard at the same time and I see the lad darting through a hedge towards a dual carriageway. I jump out and give it legs with the CID lads seconds behind. We’re running down the embankment towards the road but then another unit pull up on the dual carriageway with everything going and the lad thinks about turning round to get back past us and I can see he’s caught in two minds.  A combination of me, the unit who’s just arrived and the CID lads dive on him and get him cuffed up. Both him and his mate from the original assault are taken into custody. I resume back up to find the lady from the hospital.

When I get there I can’t get through the communal door so I call the council who turn out the on call key holder. We get into the flat and the lady is clearly drunk but just sat in her lounge in the pitch black. Her arm looks horrific, it’s almost black from shoulder to wrist. I call up for an ambulance who arrive a bit after and take the lady back to hospital. That’s everything for today, quick write up for the hospital absconder then I’m off home.

Wednesday was yet more domestics. Nothing out of the ordinary and no chance to lock anyone up. Just verbal arguments and people refusing to leave. Then we got a report from the ambulance of a male hanging. We got there and the bloke is alive, just. He’s drunk and tried to hang himself from the back of his bedroom door but the coat hanger he attached himself to snapped. His family were in the house and came running as soon as they heard the bang. He got taken up to hospital and I followed up in case things went pete tong. All was ok in the end and that was about it for that shift. Another 2 days off now before a long set of weekend earlies.

Thursday 26th April

Last one of the 4 tonight and the first job I got sent to around half 10 lasted most of the shift.

It came in as a simple domestic. Family having problems with their 16 year old son who has kicked off and caused damage to a kitchen window. I got there and spoke with dad who showed me the damage. Son has smacked the outside of the window and put through the the outer pane, fortunately the inner pane is still intact.

I start taking details and a disturbing picture emerges. The son had never come to the attention of the police prior to 3 weeks ago. Then he assaulted his father and was eventually given a restorative justice disposal by the officers who attended (he apologised) He has also assaulted his brother which wasn’t reported to the police, he has threatened to stab family members with a screwdriver, he has picked up other weapons and threatened the family, including his mother. He dropped out of school years ago, his parents have recently discovered he is smoking cannabis and he has caused numerous amounts of damage all around the home.

In short every warning signal we are trained to look for was there in one way or another, this lad was starting to go off the rails big time. So I arrested him for the damage and he was taken to the custody office by another member of the team. I stayed behind and took statements from both the parents. The one from his mum was a long one as I needed to get as much details as possible to assist the interview team who would pick the job up in the morning.

From there it was back to the nick and file build time. I recorded the crime and put together the first stages of the electronic file ready for handover. By now its the early hours of the morning and because no appropiate adult is readily available for an interview the lad is bedded down until morning.

When I had finished I managed to get out and about for a couple of hours but, unlike I predicted, this thursday was a pretty Q one. A fight came in about half 6 which is never appreciated but when we arrived it was a party that had gone on all night kicking out from a flat above a shop. We sent them their separate ways and went back to the nick to book off.

A rare weekend off for me before back in on lates Monday.

Daft drivers

Back single crewed tonight. First job was to the other side of the division as ‘the other side’ were strapped for resources. It came in as a disturbance but was a takeaway delivery driver having problems with a customer refusing to pay for £30 of chinese food in a small block of flats. As I arrived it was immediately clear what had happened, driver hands over food, male shuts communal door on him telling driver he’s just going inside for the money, male goes straight through the flats and out the back door, driver never sees him or his food again! The neighbours confirm the flat the order was placed from is unoccupied. It’s one of them, theres no CCTV and no-one else saw the male. I tell the driver to chalk it up to experience and in future don’t hand over the food until he’s got the money first. I ask him for some details as technically it’s a crime and needs recording but he’s not interested and wants to go get back to work. Now our comms operators are annoyed as it’s a “crime” with no report attached on the system. No doubt I’ll have an email from a shiny arse tomorrow asking me to submit one anyway.

Back to my side of the division and a bit of Q time before a suspects on to a car dealership. 2 males seen acting sus darting in and out of the cars on the forecourt. Several of us make our way and get the area boxed in. Premises is checked and there’s no trace of anyone. Comms recall the informant who lives on the corner of the junction. He’s now saying it’s the premises opposite the dealership but is being obstructive. He’s in bed and can’t be arsed to come and speak with us or pass the comms operators further info. Nevertheless we have a good look round and don’t find anything so it’s written off sus circs only.

Straight from that to an RTC. Single vehicle lost control into a wall. Informant reports the driver smells of alcohol so a couple of us go up, its on the outskirts of the division on a long straight section of road. We get there and the front of the car is completely mashed in. The nearside wheel is almost through the engine block into the passenger compartment. The airbags have gone off and I’m expecting someone somewhere with some nasty injuries. But the driver identifies himself to me, he’s out the car and casually sweeping up the debris out the road with a yard brush he’s got from somewhere, not a scratch on him. He’s clipped a junction sign which is trashed and had live wires poking out it and gone on to scrape along a brick wall for a couple of metres. He claims his tyre blew out. Traffic arrive, the driver’s bagged and he’s not been drinking. Judging from the damage he’s been going quite a bit faster than the 40mph limit but we’re never gonna prove that. I leave it with traffic to await the recovery as the car will be a write off.

From there to a theft of motor vehicle. Poor woman’s got an older model Punto and as she’s been inside the address minding her own business someone’s come along and helped themselves to her car. She’s still got the keys and there’s no sign of glass damage on the driveway so we’ve no idea how they got into the car and taken it. She’s not seen anything and there’s no CCTV on the street. It’s too late to start knocking on doors making enquiries with neighbours so I take a quick statement and submit a crime report. There’s no lines of enquiry until we recovery the car and have it forensically examined.

From there I go back to the nick and sort the paperwork while throwing some refs down my neck. Back out and about and it’s got to that time of the night where all the none priority jobs have been delayed for a visit in the morning. Anything we deal with now will be urgent or self generated. I patrol the burglary hotspot areas but there’s not a lot moving. Then I’m approaching a mini rounabout in the middle of an estate and a silver car shoots across it in front of me and disappears up the street to my left. The Punto I took a crime for earlier was silver so I thought it might be that. I catch up with it and it’s not the Punto. I follow it and it’s doing 40 in a 30 and almost clips a row of cars on the nearside. It stops on it’s own accord moments later and I speak with the driver. A female in her 30′s. She smells of drink so gets breath tested and fails. Arrested and back to the station for the intox procedure. After a bit of faffing about as the first intox maching had a hissy fit we had to use the back up machine. She provides a lowest reading of 58ugs. The second reading was higher so the alcohol in her system’s still going up.

Paperwork for that saw me through the rest of the night, the female was charged and released just before I retired from duty. She’s got kids to take to school and is in tears. I’ve little sympathy for her, it’s very simple if you’re drinking leave the car at home. I work hard to keep my car and wouldn’t want someone side swiping it when it’s parked up and driving off because they’re over the limit. Then home and in bed before the last shift on Thursday, it’ll be busier than the rest of the week, just because it always is!

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