Duty – an old fashioned word

The comment from Grateful in my last post set me thinking about some of the reasons people give for being in the police and some of the qualities – if I can call them that – that are a prerequisite of being a cop. Grateful pointed out how the police had responded to an incident with professionalism and without judging any of the parties involved. I guess what they did was to carry out their duty without fear or favour. When you start to unpick that old fashioned clich√© you see how that works in practice. For example I helped to police a demonstration against the war in Iraq a while ago. Marching alongside older people and young families, as well as the usual smattering of grubby anarchists, I found myself feeling that, inside, my views and feelings were such that I could just have easily have been out of uniform joining in the procession; but I didn’t, neither did I give any hint of my views or opinions even when goaded by the black flag waving types who assumed that I was only one step away from being a member of the third Reich: without fear or favour.

On another occasion I dealt with the victim of a vicious assault; this was different because the people who attacked him were members of his own community who felt that the law and judiciary had failed them. He was an alleged paedophile who, in the absence of forensic evidence and faced with a victim too young to give a detailed account had, as they say, got off with it. A community had decided that they would ensure that he did not get off with it and taken the matter into their own hands. No matter how distasteful or abhorrent his alleged crimes I still had to simply see a man who was suffering horrific injuries: without fear of favour.

Interestingly, it is often people who feel that they deserve being favoured who try to influence the way in which we do our job; a number of my colleagues have dealt with incidents involving celebrities – premiership footballers or soap stars – and been faced with “do you know who I am?..” and taken great pleasure in responding “No…should I?”

There is a world of difference – at least in today’s world – between some poor lonely chap far from home becoming the victim of the theft of his wallet out of his back trouser pocket by a young lady positioned in front so as to – ahem- reach into his pocket unnoticed; and the same thing happening to a premiership footballer – sigh – we could make a fortune…damned sense of duty!

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April 29, 2007. crime, life, philosophy, police, Prostitutes, sex, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Why am I awake?….

…You might well ask. I should be asleep; I need to sleep; but next door have a man with a pneumatic drill in their garden digging up the patio. I don’t know how these serial killers get away with it – burying bodies beneath patios – the amount of noise they make must surely draw the attention of every night-working Police Officer for miles. I think what I shall do is spend an hour or so browsing the internet, reading a book and then go back to bed; I’ll leave a note for mum to tell her I will be up later, the joys of still living at home; I don’t know how people with kids do it.

The week, so far, has been quiet – nothing out of the ordinary, the usual range of domestic disputes, a couple of short car pursuits – not alas, involving the car I was in, but we did get to chase one of the offenders on foot after the vehicle was abandoned a couple of streets from us; the fool simply ran in the wrong direction straight towards us.

We did have an inconvenient tussle last night. We went to make our contribution to the city’s night time economy by getting a chicken tikka on nan bread from our favourite kebab shop. The cops are always welcome at the Sajan and get discount; this works well because the discount encourages cops to buy their food there, which means the kebab shop has a greater than average police presence during the night.

While waiting for our kebab we heard a loud bang and a female voice shouting and swearing a short distance up the street. Running out of the shop we saw what looked like a wild woman flinging herself at a man wearing a business suit. She was wearing a very short skirt, no tights and one ridiculously high heeled shoe (the other seemingly lost in the tussle, she hadn’t had the sense nor opportunity to realise that she would have found the whole business of attacking the man easier without both shoes), her top was bright pink and, what has been described unkindly in the media recently, as a muffin top: a ‘muffin’ of fat flesh, revealed by the cropped top, hanging over the waste band of her skirt. The side window of the shiny red BMW beside the couple was smashed and the conversation we heard was as follows:

“Get off you mad bitch, you are getting no more off me, f*** off while you can the law’s here now.”
“Slimy two faced bastard you owe me twenty quid.”

I grabbed the female’s arms from behind but she objected and tried to head butt me with the back of her head, as she did this she lost her balance and slipped off her remaining shoe causing both of us to fall to the floor. I fortunately landed on top and managed to pin her arms before cuffing her. Realising she was beaten she did what many of our regular customers do: asked for a spare cigarette and asked whether she would get bail.

After shouting up for a van and placing her safely in the back we spoke to the, very reticent, man. He claimed to not know the woman who had attacked him, she had obviously mistaken him for someone else; he added that he felt sorry for her as she was clearly mentally ill and out of the goodness of his heart did not want to press charges for the broken car window.

He declined to provide his personal details, so we PNC checked his car to make sure it wasn’t a supect or stolen vehicle – it wasn’t, in fact it was from a very respectable part of town – we then let him get on his way.

At the nick, as expected,¬† it transpired that she was a ‘working girl’ and he was a client who had short changed her. We charged her with a public order offence and bailed her to attend court in a week or so. We will be the only witnesses to the incident; she will, in all likelihood, plead guilty, get fined and have to have more shags to pay the fine.

By the time we had finished sorting the prisoner out it was too late to go back for the kebab so I ate two packets of cheese and onion crisps, a Mars bar and a Kit Kat (chunky) from the all night garage.

March 14, 2007. anti-social behaviour, life, night duty, police, Prostitutes, sex, Uncategorized. 1 comment.