Friday, May 19, 2006

Another bag of shit job

The officer over at 200 Weeks lists the standard fare of jobs that any police officer is likely to get, and on being passed immediately say to his or her colleague "God, another shit job". He gives four good examples on his site, which are absolutely nothing new or unusual, and are recognised fare of the crap that we have to deal with. We can expect one a day, three if we've really annoyed the dispatcher! I'll add some of mine from my last set:

1 - "My neighbour keeps letting my dog piss on the street in front of my house"
2 - "My ex-boyfriend is telling our children that I caused our break up when he looks after them and trying to make them hate me"
3 - "My neighbour called me a slag so I punched her in self defence and she hit me back. I want her done"
4 - "I've been assaulted by bouncers who threw me out for no reason, I want them done."

Every single one of the last four jobs I was sent to, as part of a double crewed car. Now, I'll admit, I'm a risk taker. When I get sent to an obviously shit job, I'll do my best to deal with it as quickly as possible, without wasting our time taking a ridiculous crime report about a situation which SHOULD be dealt with simply by saying "Grow up" or "Take some responsibility for your actions." This is major risk-taking on my part, because I could get into real trouble with supervision if I didn't treat the above jobs in the following way:

1 - Consider criming matter as harassment if the 'victim' feels the neighbour is delibrately doing this to annoy them. Crime report. Statement. Arrest neighbour. Interview neighbour. Bail neighbour for CPS advice. Full file (for the unitinitiated, think of a full file as a file that will take about four hours to put together, if you are lucky and have all the info you need.)
2 - There were no offences that I could see in this one, but we got sent anyway as it had the 'domestic' tag. I was comfortable to easily write this one off, though I'm expecting the standard email asking me to justify why my name is on a log marked as domestic with no arrest. (This is standard course of practice at my station)
3 - Crime report for assault on 'victim'. Statement from 'victim'. Arrest neighbour. Hear obvious counter allegations. Arrest 'victim'. Put up with abuse from 'victim' for arresting 'victim'. Put up with abuse from custody sergeant for making arrests in this shit job. Interview 'victim'. Interview 'offender'. Tell custody sergeant result of interview, knowing before you start its going to be no further action. Release both no further action. Explain to 'victim' the procedure for making a complaint against me for arresting her.
4 - Crime report for assault. Take details of bouncers on the door (our station policy is not to arrest bouncers on door for any assault that would be charged as a Section 39 (minor) assault, but to interview and arrest at later date. Seize CCTV. Arrange for unit to visit 'victim' in morning when sober. 'Victim' visited, statement taken or more likely no compliant made as hes reflected on his actions and accepts that he wasn't kicked out 'for doing nothing'. Either way, that magic crime report has been taken, so arrest offender. Interview offender. No further action if no complaint. CPS advice if complaint, then no further action (unless independent evidence such as CCTV other witness available, in which case bail for full file).

My god, its taken about twnety hours just to write what I should have done, so God knows how long it would have actually taken to do that! Heres what I actually did.

1 - Wrote off job as "Caller is annoyed at neighbours dog urinating in public street. Explained no offences, but advice given to neighbour anyway."
2 - Wrote off job as "No offences disclosed. Domestic referral form to be completed as per policy."
3 - I would have explained to the victim that if she made a complaint she would also have to be arrested for her part, which would have doubtless made her decide not to complain, in which case I would have written the job off as "Verbal altercation between neighbours. No offences." (Theres the risk I was talking about, because as explained we did techinically have two or three offences). However, neighbour had told the operator over the phone the whole story, including the assault on her and the assault she committed, so I did this one by the book and followed the above route two. It took two officers five hours.
4 - Attended, spoke to 'victim' who had no injuries, but a torn shirt. He stormed over stating "That f*****g fat c**t there threw me out for no reason. Thats assault." I asked "Whats actually happened?", throwing in a section five warning (no swearing or get arrested). 'Victim' explains that he was asked to leave by bouncers. He told them to 'f**k off', because he 'Hadn't done nothing'. I resisted the tmptation to point out the double negative. They asked him again to leave, he refused again, so they 'grabbed me and they had to drag me out off there, which ripped my shirt, and they battered me' I explained to 'victim' that bouncers can ask you to leave the premises for any reason, and he should have left. I add I can see no injuries of any sort on him let alone any consistent with a 'battering' and that their actions were a lawful ejection.
Ended up writing off log as "No offences from club. Lawful ejection, no injuries to caller just a ripped shirt due to the fact that he refused to leave when asked. However, caller has been arrested for a section 5." (On explaining the above to the caller, it resulted in about three further warnings, me being called a c**t and the inevitable arrest after the "I'll f*****g sort it out myself then, you don't know who I know".

The government who introduce a 'Common Sense' or 'Return of Discretion' bill to allow the police to actually use common sense will win my vote, and the vote of almost every serving police officer for life.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Acting like animals?

A post from Cough The Lot has made me want to put a quick plug in for something I believe in. I know this is opening me up for a possible flaming on the comments, but I believe in animal testing, and in the considerable advancements made to science by it.

I also think that Laurie Pycroft, who set up Pro Test is a very brave individual who earns my respect 100 times over. He doesn't deserve the death threats he inevitably got for puting across his point of view. Animal testing saves lives.

Please remember the usual blurb - these are my personal views and are not the views of the police as a whole.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fighting Talk

Another Constable tells a tale of abuse from a prisoner that every single officer will be well aware of. In fact, its likely that we've all locked up a prisoner who read from pretty much the same script as his.

The threats Another Constable got are standard fare. To say that you don't get annoyed by prisoner like this would be a lie - of course you do. It would take a very strange person to honestly say that they could take the amount of abuse he describes without any emotion. You just don't let it get to you though, and its really not worth flaring up over it, or shouting back. Now, the truly professional officer would of course sit back, ignore it and take it, however I have to admit that there are things I've overheard in my time which not only shut up the abusive prisoner, but made me smile too. I'm not in any way condoning them as good practice(!), but for amusements sake heres some of them:

1) A prisoner locked up on a Friday/Saturday night, mouthing off, general abuse. PC reading out list of property to the custody sergeant for the custody record. "Two condoms sarge, expiry date 2002."

2) A Scottish prisoner with a particulary thick accent, screaming "I'll f*****g f**k ya, ya c**t, I'll f**k ya mum, c**t etc." In the first small pause while he catches his breath, the arresting officer says "Don't worry mate, we'll get you an interpreter as soon as we get to the cell block."

3) A prisoner brought back in on a van, offering abuse to his arresting officer the whole way, most of it centred around the fact the officer is overweight. On arrival at the cellblock, after being put into the cell, the prisoner shouts "How the f**k did you get so fat you p***k?". Officer replies "Every time your girlfriend has sex with me, she brings me a Mars bar."

4) Two prisoners in a van arrested after a football match for public order offences. One has APAC tatooed on his knuckles. The other has four dots tatooed on his. An officer asks "What does that stand for?" pointing to the APAC. The prisoner snarls back "All Police Are C***s". The officer politely replies "Ah, I see, I see." The officer turns to the second male and point to the four dots. "What does that stand for?". The male snarls back "All Police Are C***s". Officer replies "Oh I see, its just that you can't spell is it?"

5) Prisoner in van yelling at arresting officer "You f*****g like me or summat? You put these handcuffs on cause you wanna f**k me? Come on then, f**k me! F**k me up the arse! You know you want to! S**g my arse, you know you're gay!" Officer "Yeah I am actually." Prisoner falls silent then murmurs "Don't f**k me" before remaining silent for entire of trip back.

6) Prisoner place into caged van handcuffed to rear. Shouts out on way back "I can f*****g get out of these handcuffs no problem." Officer shouts back "Don't be silly, no you can't." When rear van cage opened at nick, sheepish prisoner waddles out and into the nick in a crouching position, arms firmly stuck behind his knees. He'd tried to step through the cuffs, got them past his bum but wasn't flexible enough to get them past his feet, or back to where they were :)

As I said, I'm not advocating any of these 'tactics' as useful in any way, or to be used. But they made me smile :)