31 Dec 2011

New Years isnt Harassing

As it seems that this Saturdays post had fallen on New Years Eve, as with last week, it would be wrong not to post a story about this time of year. This time it's a domestic situation with a twist.

A couple of years ago I was lucky to be working a night shift on a New Years. Unlike my previous post about the nightmare of a New Years Night turn this one was busy but due to a heavy, If not monsoon like, rain storm it seemed the majority of people stayed in the comfort and warmth of their own home rather then brave the wet and rainy outside for a trip to the club.

Happy New Year

This post is mainly about a couple, well now ex-couple, we will call them Mr. and Mrs. X. The night started at 10pm and my sergeant said "Can you head out to this domestic we still have on the box before the wheels fall off" I read the incident report which was from Mrs. X stating that she had split up from Mr. X in bad circumstances about 9 months previously and had called us because at 9.47pm she received a text message saying nothing more than "I am sending out my Happy New Year messages now to beat the rush so Happy New Year and I hope you are spending your New Year with loved ones, Love Mr. X" I thought to myself, Good idea getting the messages in early but my feelings were swiftly altered when it said after this that Mrs. X was reporting this as she has not spoken to her ex since the break up until he sent her a merry Christmas text message and now has sent this one and feels although she is being harassed by text.

I think I gave my colleague a heart attack as I yelled "What the! Have you read this bollocks?" We arrived at the address some 30 minutes later as I had to get my New Year messages in early and beat the rush. We spoke with Mrs. X and I asked her why this was harassing her to which she stated "We haven't seen each other is 9 months so I think he has ulterior motives" to which I replied a little to sarcastically "What other than sending you a message he seems to have sent everyone?" I wasn't having any of it so I advised her to change her number and not give it to him which would definitely rectify this situation and also advised her on the use of pressing three 9's on the phone and surprisingly it's been a year since then and we are yet to be called back to her address.

24 Dec 2011

Theres snow place like home

With tomorrow being Christmas Day it's only right that I blog about something with a seasonal vibe so this blog will be about a funny time I had in last years Christmas time snow. It is very rare that police officers are grounded at police stations but last year we had so much snow where I am over a short period that most of it turned to ice. We were told only to attend incidents that were real emergencies. This was a great idea apart from as soon as I started I was sent out to try and drag a police car out as a colleague managed to get stuck in a road with cars on either side. When we arrived, I started to spread some salt along the whole road and yes!! I fell over, enjoy it, have a laugh, now let's continue. We managed to get the car out of the snow and the driver was slowly moving away as I yelled "dont stop, see you back at the nick!" The down side was I had stopped my car to yell this out the window.

Police Christmas

I got back in my car and began to drive and realised I was stuck. Out came the grit again and I gritted the entire section go road which had a camber so as I started to move I began to slide sideways almost into a parked car. It was at this point that I kept out of the car in a fashion that would be best suited to some action movie, ran around the car and pushed against it to stop it hitting the parked cars. I dont know if it helped or whether I was just imagining myself as some big strong bear like creature powerful enough to push a car, but it worked, my colleague drove and put myself between the patrol car and the parked cars and we made it back.

After his I decided that the only option was to take out a 4x4, only thing is we didn't have a 4x4 at our nick so I chose the next best thing, a Transit Van. This worked well, more weight, no ABS. This meant that 4 of us were going everywhere from our nick as there were no other suitable vehicles. The only issue was that we weren't attending any jobs as nobody was calling us we were just going around pulling cars out of the snow. It was like one big jolly ride along! And one final thing to remember is if your car is rear wheel drive (BMW, MERC) then don't drive it in the snow as you won't make it home!!

17 Dec 2011

Out of our hands

There is a growing feeling in the public of disappointment in the police or anger at the police for not doing a good job of for cases not going to court. What people don't realise is that a large majority of cases that the police investigate are not decided upon by the police. We are now purely investigators, the decision makers are now CPS, Crown Prosecution Service are the decision makers in a majority of cases and that includes all domestic cases. When the police forces come under fire from the media about case decisions they do not drop CPS in it as they don't want to tarnish the relations as we are meant to be working together but when the boot is on the other foot CPS are quick to outline in public the police's failings.

I do feel that the understanding of what we do needs explaining as I feel that we as police bear a large amount of the disappointment with the legal system as we are the front line faces of it. I have had many cases where I disagreed with the decision given by CPS especially with significant incidents like assaults or domestics but I am a mere investigative PC and do not hold any powers, their decision is always final.

I always try to explain the situation to the members of the public I deal with to prevent any chance of a complaint against me because I have had a few complaints about court decisions which are that of the judge, not me!

10 Dec 2011

Surfing isn't all fun

I have been to many weird incidents that even when I describe the occurrences to people I can scaresly believe them myself. None more so than the time I was called to an incident whereby it was reported a person had fallen off a train between two stations. Firstly, I'm sure your asking "how does someone fall off a train between stations?" I did, and it seemed that the person calling 999 believed it to be someone who had missed the doors closing and as it was the last train jumped on the outside. Secondly, your probably thinking "Surely it wouldn't be much of an issue finding them?" Normally, No, but this was in the early hours of a winters weekend where we had received the largest snowfall seen in the area since records began!

A large part of the initial phase of the incident was completed on the way to getting to scene, mobilization of units to the train stations, asking, no pleading with the helicopter to lift, always a no. It seemed to dawn on me that we had ample units at the train stations as our Ford Focus skidded around over the ice on blue lights endevouring to get to the person before a freight train. Let me tell you now that this train line was not easy to access. It is a coastal line in the middle of marshland and farmers fields. I then decided to point my driver in the direction of a short cut to get to a farmers field that I knew the person would be near. When we arrived the line was 2 fields away, luckily all downhill. We ran across the first field wading knee deep in fresh powder and came to a gate, I was first to hop over and took one step and was up to my waist in snow. It seems the field which was level as I saw it had a raised road with drops either side. It was at this point we heard another unit say they had commandeered a train and were traveling slowly along the line searching for the person. We saw the train come slowly into view with lights aglow shortly followed by its breaks screeching and a voice over the radio to say "I think we may have run over him again"

It was at this stage we eventually made it to the track and ran towards the train which was about half a mile away at this stage. I could hear that the unit were on the track with the male who seemed to be screaming in a lot of pain and there was the issue of moving him against getting a doctor or something to him. I asked " Is helimed available" to which I got the reply "they won't lift" I asked "Search and Rescue?" same reply there too. We got to the train to find and incredibly drunk obnoxious twenty something with minor injuries and an appalling mouth on him. His friends on the carriage weren't much better, jeering him on taking photos and video. It turns out this was all a drunken prank. His mates dared him to 'train surf' which is basically holding onto the outside of a train whilst it moves. He fell off and it took 3 emergency services and nearly 3 helicopters, if the weather wasnt so bad, to help him. That should be worth a ticket for wasting police time!

3 Dec 2011

Dont get yourself in trouble

When I joined as a police officer the one thing I was told, as do all police officers, is that you are never off duty. This means that if you ever see a criminal offence you should intervene, circumstances permitting i.e you not carrying your 6 month old baby.

This works well as it means the police can never let things go even when off duty but sometimes it can make things worse. I can recall an incident of public order in our local town when a few drunk louts started a fight between each other. A full carrier of officers were sent, about 7 officers in total, to deal with them. Whilst trying to restrain the males a random passer by came over and began to try and pull people about. He was instantly planted to the floor as we're all the trouble makers an once we had control they were all handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police officer. It turned out the random passer by was a police constable that was fresh out of training college and was obeying his oath a little too much and was mistaken for a suspect. He was later de-arrested and given a verbal ear bashing about the use of his off duty powers!