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Upholding Law and Disorder: Police Tales From The Front Line

Upholding Law and Disorder: Police Tales From The Front Line

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Upholding Law and Disorder: Police Tales From The Front Line

valutazioni:
3/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
328 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781311367884
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Neurotic, excitable, unpredictable, potentially dangerous - and that's just the police officers!

Drunk drivers, feral children, drug barons, violent prisoners, dying junkies, wild gypsies, gun-toting gangsters, angry taxpayers, budget cuts and delusional senior officers - PC Surname and the rest of 'A Shift' do battle against them all.

Jump in for a ride along as they go about their everyday jobs, fighting crime and protecting the public in this hilariously accurate portrayal of modern policing!

The second book from PC Surname, serving police constable and author of the Amazon best seller 'I Pay Your Wages! A Beginners Guide to the Police Service'

"A brilliant read from start to finish - written with humour, compassion, and a sharp insight into the public and other animals. "Scrotes" beware - PC Surname is on the case."

"I don't normally read books but I couldn't put this down, only took me 5 days to read it, very witty and funny. A jolly good read from start to finish. Cheers PC surname for bringing the enjoyment back to reading."

"I think any serving police officer can pick up this book and relate the characters in it to any briefing room on any team they have ever been in! Really enjoyed reading it and a must have for anyone who enjoyed reading "Wasting Police Time" and the like."

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781311367884
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

I am serving police Constable in a UK police force and have been for a few years. I also enjoy writing in my spare time and wanted to write a book that people around the country could enjoy. People are fascinated by the police. This is why the TV listings are full of drama series and "fly-on-the-wall" documentaries, not to mention all the cop movies on the big screen. Like so many I also enjoy these shows, BUT I still watch them and think "that's not what I do at work!". So I decided to write a beginners guide to what serving police officers REALLY do, every day and night in the UK. My book is intended to give an interesting, light hearted, insightful but - most importantly - accurate portrayal of what my colleagues and I do on the streets of the UK. If you are interested in a police career this publication is for you. Thank you for taking the time to check out this page and I hope you enjoy the book!

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Upholding Law and Disorder - PC Surname

Upholding Law and Disorder: Police Tales From The Front Line

Smashwords Edition

Copyright PC Surname 2013

All rights reserved. Under UK copyright law no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written authorization of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

www.facebook.com/pcsurname

www.pcsurname.blogspot.co.uk

Glossary: Throughout this book, when police terminology, jargon or slang is used, a brief explanation will be given in italic brackets succeeding it. For a more comprehensive explanation, as well as to find other such words/phrases, please refer to the glossary at the back of this book.

Upholding Law and Disorder: Police Tales from the Front Line

For M, J, M and mum & dad.

About the author:

I am a serving police officer in an English force. With many years’ experience, I work as a front line response officer, performing the same role as the characters in this book.

Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to be a cop – I blame too much TV as an impressionable youth. After A levels and brief careers in finance and sales, several years ago I realised my dream and started employment with my local constabulary. With basic training completed I hit the streets in my shiny new uniform, primed to fight crime, serve the public and ready to start making a difference. My whole career so far has been spent on the front line.

‘The Job’ has changed - even in my relatively short service time - and not for the better. Police funding cuts, blame/claim culture, misguided governments, pay freezes, social decay, litigation and bureaucracy: all have made the job more challenging. But, despite all this - and despite the humorous cynicism found throughout this book - I still love my job and - even more so - what it stands for. I am proud be one of the few who go where others fear to tread; who make a stand against injustice and protect the public; who sacrifice their own welfare for the benefit of others. The British police are revered the world over, often imitated but never truly replicated; and this is testimony to our hard working, brave, selfless officers who go above and beyond to protect people like you every day.

Outside of the day (and night) job I am an amateur author and ‘self-published’ – this means I do not have the backing of a publishing house so all writing, editing, most proofing and marketing of the books is down to me. I write in my spare time as a hobby and this is my second book.

Please look for me on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pcsurname

I also write a blog which you can read for free at:

www.pcsurname.blogspot.com

Foreword:

What do you think the front line police officers of the UK do every day?

Adrenaline charged foot chases over back garden fences? High speed pursuits along high streets and up pavements?  Smashing in doors and executing drug warrants? Wrestling with armed and dangerous villains? Bringing murders, rapists and lowest of the low to justice?

I've done some of that.

Finding and returning lost adolescents to despairing parents? Arresting the same petty shoplifters time and time again? Giving relationship advice to squabbling couples? Removing drug riddled nuisances from shopping centres? Waiting around for hours at the hospital with prisoners and their fictitious illnesses? Fighting with abusive drunks on a Friday and Saturday night?

I've done lots of that.

Does any profession on earth conjure up such emotion and interest? Revered as heroes by some, loathed and mistrusted by others in equal measure. Whether fan or foe of the law keepers, everyone has an opinion on what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. Whether they are portrayed as silver screen stars, or corrupt tabloid monsters, the general public are fascinated by police officers and the unique, as well as vital role they play in our world. Society places trust in its police service and in return holds it to high account, expecting too much in return from the officers they demand be superhuman and greater than themselves - to be honest, courageous, relentless, dependable and selfless. We endeavour to please yet have the same flaws as anyone else.

The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.’

Sir Robert Peel

This book is about a team of front line response police officers and what we really do day in, day out, 365 days a year on the streets of the UK. I think you’ll find it’s not at all like on the TV! For legal reasons I must stress that none of this is real, the people and places in it are fictitious, it never happened, I don’t work for your local police force, I made it all up and in fact even I don’t exist!

I hope you enjoy it,

PC Surname

Parade On

Monday, 11th March 2013

It is just before 7am and the rain outside beats an irregular rhythm on the sky-light above. The cold, malevolent eyes scowling back at me from the walls do nothing to lighten the ambience. I find myself once again sipping on a terrible tasting coffee from the machine in the canteen in a desperate attempt to inject some caffeine into my blood stream and prise open my eyelids for the ten hours ahead. The night shift have handed over car keys before quickly exiting to go to a well-deserved world of slumber, so now the safety of the town and its population are entrusted to the five of us as we wait for the briefing to start.

Our merry band is ‘A Shift’. At our peak we number eight police Constables and a Sergeant; however rarely do we ever boast such a contingent due to secondments, court appearances, the occasional annual leave allowance, injuries, maternity leave, not to mention one member who has been off sick for six months through ‘stress’. We are a response team - the front line of police, at the beck and call of anyone capable of dialling 999; and they do call, some over and over again!

So what did everyone get up to on their rest days? Smithy asks openly to all in the room. There are incoherent mumbles from most, who are also as motivated as I.

I went out with that girl from the control room, boasts a smug looking Dominic Fakenham.

Which one, Peggy? Smithy screws up his face

Peggy?! She’s 60 years old! Dom goes on, No, the new one with the sexy voice - Kathie.

Sure you did, Dom, scoffs Smithy rolling his eyes disbelievingly.

I did! I took her to the cinema.

Sure, Dom.

I did, Smithy!

Fakenham has a very short fuse, and doesn’t Smithy know it as he loves nothing more than to light it, sit back and watch his colleague explode. Those two have never got on; ever since Fakenham was a Special Constable, Smithy has always taken great pleasure in winding him up until his face turns red and that vein bulges out of his forehead. Despite being in the zombie like state I always find myself in at the start of ‘Early’ shifts, even I crack a smirk as I can see Fakenham already biting at Smithy’s goading.

Dom turns to me for support: You believe me, don’t you?

Yeah, Dom, of course, mate, I sleepily reply.

I don’t believe him though; everyone knows Kathie is seeing Jake Rawlings from the Roads Policing Unit. Young Dominic has always had an over active imagination if truth be told and annoys most of us on a regular basis, but none more so than Smithy. He didn’t help himself turning up for his first day on shift with two sets of handcuffs, combat trousers, a non-standard issue ‘tac vest’, £300 boots, a torch the size of a thermos flask and enough worthless kit bought off the internet to shame a SAS special operative. Fakenham is the newest member of the team having only been with us for three months as a ‘Regular’ constable – a full time paid officer, rather than the over enthusiastic police volunteer (or ‘hobby bobby’) he once was. He still has a few months left of his Student Officer probationary period and if he gets to his confirmation date I stand to win £10 off of Smithy.

What about you, Surname, did you get up to much? Smithy lays off Fakenham (albeit only for a short time I am sure).

Not much really. Had a look at a few cars, test drove one, but still can’t decide what I want to get.

Can’t believe you’re finally getting rid of the Crapmobile!

Smithy has always had a soft spot for my old car ever since it broke down on the A1 on way to the Arsenal match in the pouring rain over four seasons ago. I’ve been toying with changing it for months as reliability has become an issue and its value now fluctuates depending on the volume of fuel it contains and how much tax is in the windscreen.

If you want some help I’ll come look round a few garages with you, the big man kindly offers.

I met Smithy at training school six years previously. Even then he was a cocky so-and-so and far too over confident. He’s put on a bit of muscle mass and gained a few tattoos since then, but his well-groomed and spiky ‘boy band’ hair cut has remained. Smithy and I quickly became friends whilst making jokes at the expense of the training instructors (much to their annoyance) and have remained so to this day. I’d like to think I have matured since those early years, but if anything Smithy has got worse. A good ‘thief-taker’ (high arresting officer), if he finally realises his dream and graduates to the Firearms Support Unit that he so craves I will miss him. Last time he got to the seventh week of the firearms training program, before he cocked up a ‘scenario’ again – this time by thumbling his side arm and dropping it on his size 12 boot - and got instantly binned off back to Division. Still, the first time he applied he got no further than the application and paper sift stage as literacy is not his strong point – in fact joined up handwriting is still a challenge for him. The two of us spent hours down the pub together the second time around to make sure his application was up to scratch. Some say Smithy is arrogant, crude, insensitive and paperwork shy at jobs. The latter is definitely true, but he has a more gentle side too.

So how far did you get with your imaginary girlfriend then? Smithy turns his tormenting back to Dom.

Piss off, Smithy! At least I’m not going bald!

Just as Smithy and Fakenham are about to come to verbal blows once again, Sergeant Duffy coughs from the door of the briefing room causing both to simmer down immediately and resort to casting angry gazes across the briefing table instead.

Right, shut up you lot, let’s get on with the briefing. PC Smith – stop bullying Fakenham or I’ll stick you on. Fakenham – stop making up stories about imaginary girls.

Sorry Sarge, they both mutter in unison.

We’ve got a lot to get through this morning, Sarge continues, and the Inspector wants to speak with us too.

Barely audible groans emanate from us all.

Sergeant Duffy is quite fearsome. With twenty five years’ service she is one of the most experienced and respected supervisors on any of the five Response teams. With a bite equally as effective as her terrifying bark, no PC wants to get on the wrong side of the Sergeant for fear of her ‘tearing them a new one’, to use a favoured phrase of hers!

Okay, the briefing has finally been updated, so let’s pay attention and make notes.

What proceeds is five minutes of Power Point slides featuring a rogue’s gallery made up of the local dregs of society and effluent of humanity, poor dental hygiene and all. In the nineteenth century an Italian chap called Cesare Lombroso theorised that criminals share certain physical characteristics and appear a certain way. He also popularised the notion of a ‘born criminal’ and that criminality was a hereditary disposition. This was called ‘anthropological criminology’. In short: if you look like a criminal and your dad was a criminal, then you probably are a criminal and will find it hard not to go on the rob from the Co-Op. Although not claiming to be an oil painting myself, it would seem that criminal behaviour and unattractiveness are often inexplicably linked. Lombroso’s theories have long since been defunct, but I still maintain he might have been on to something looking around at the posters of ‘nominals’ (regular ‘customers’ of the police) adorning the briefing room walls.

Before every tour of duty officers review the latest ‘police intelligence briefing’ (an oxymoron if ever I heard one) to keep abreast of the latest local gossip and who’s-who of the criminal underclass. Today we learn that a white Ford Transit van has been acting suspiciously around the Kingfisher Trading Park, the Chavington Manor estate has been hit hard again for burglaries, a spate of violent armed robberies are occurring in the county next door, ‘Sticky’ Vicky Bishop is wanted once more and that as a force we are under performing compared to two years ago (when we had nearly two hundred extra police officers on the streets, as well as a much large financial budget – this fact is inconsequential to the senior police officers at headquarters though).

Having been suitably enlightened, we next await our fates for the day from Sergeant Duffy:

"There’s a cell watch on for some lunatic ‘Nights’ (the night shift) brought in (arrested); apparently he thinks he is the Messiah and was found wandering down the central reservation at 2am on his way to London to sell his story of peace and love to the national press. When officers’ suggested this might not be such a good idea, he became aggressive and tried to head-butt them. He’s awaiting a mental health assessment but hopefully that won’t be long, the Sergeant scans the reluctant row of officers before her. CJ, can you take that one for me please, I’ll get you relieved (released) a bit later this morning."

Police Constable Caz Jenkins exhales deeply but nods in agreement.

"Nigel and Smithy, you go single crewed today (work alone) whilst Surname and Dom you two are together and act as the IRV (Incident Response Vehicle)."

Well this morning has not improved greatly thus far.

Sarge, I’ve got an urgent file to do, can I have a couple of hours ‘unavailable’ please? Nigel enquires.

Nigel always has an urgent file to do I seem to recall.

"Nige, you’ve always got an urgent file to do!" points out the ever tactful Smithy.

Before Nigel can respond Inspector Warburton strides through the door into the briefing room. We all make a half-hearted attempt to rise to our feet, as is the traditional police custom when an officer of his rank or above enters a room. Inspector Warburton motions for us all to be seated.

Hi guys, opens the grey haired, bespectacled Inspector, just wanted a quick chat with you about a few things.

We all know what’s coming.

I had a meeting with the chaps at HQ last week about force performance, the guvnor continues. Now we all know you guys are working really hard... I sense there is a ‘but’ coming, "but we still need to be focused on our figures, there it is! Statistics show that Detection rates are down on the previous two years and we all need to do our bit to raise that back up again."

But sir, we’re rushed off our feet, they haven’t replaced the two officers we lost to Prisoner Handling just before Christmas, interrupts Nigel.

"I know, Nigel, but it’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter – maximising every opportunity to obtain ‘positive disposals’."

Although all front line officers feel the same as Nigel, this is clearly an argument that cannot be won. Instead we sit and smile sweetly at the guvnor as he does his corporate bit. An inoffensive and in all honestly likeable gent, the Inspector has his head in the grey coloured clouds that match his distinguished locks, but for the most part hides away in his office on the fourth floor and leaves us alone to get on with our work. We all nod away as he continues his speech banging on about Detections, customer focus and whatnot for the next few minutes before wishing us luck and telling us to stay safe out there and therefore bringing the briefing to a close

As we all filter out of the briefing room I make my way to the Report Room to check my emails, Smithy goes to make his first protein shake of the day, CJ trudges down to custody to meet her new best friend, Nigel flexes his fingers before commencing his oh-so-important file and a slightly tubby Fakenham waddles off into the station yard, remote keyfob in hand, waving his arm aloft like he’s appealing for offside, trying to locate our panda patrol car to do the routine vehicle checks and remove the takeaway wrappers from the footwells, left there by our predecessors.

Despite having been off work for only two days, I still have twenty eight unread emails to trawl through. Six are from other officers with CCTV stills attached enquiring if anyone can identify the offenders; I take a good gander but in truth the images are so grainy I wouldn’t even be able to identify my own mother if it was her stealing the ‘No. 7’ cosmetics from Boots, so those emails are quickly deleted. Three emails are from officers around the force who have had items of their kit ‘borrowed’ and are now appealing for their safe return (one of these unfortunates is actually Fakenham who has had his police Blackberry charger removed – my thoughts instantly turn to Smithy). One email is from the Sports/Social Club offering discounted tickets for We Will Rock You. Another email is requesting I call Mrs Globbins back (again) about the harassment I am investigating. Four emails are from senior officers I have never met advising me of changes in various procedures for the benefit of the officers and customers alike of our great organisation – or to put it another way: Westhamptonshire Constabulary is boldly reinventing the wheel and going back to the standard procedures that we did two years ago before some bright spark eager for promotion turned it all upside down in the first place with disastrous consequences. Twelve other emails seem irrelevant to me and I have no clue (so much the same as in relation to Mrs Globbins harassment) as to why I have received them; and the final email is from one of the Assistant Chief Constables reminding all officers about their personal responsibility to improve the force’s performance figures by ‘working smarter- not harder’ – easy to see where our Inspector got his hymn sheet from.

It’s too early in the morning to call Mrs Globbins back and, eager to blow away the remaining cobwebs, I inform PC Fakenham that we’re going out for a drive to ‘proactively patrol the hot-spot crime areas’ – or something like that.

Having already spent a few hours patrolling the highways & byways of the town, warning several rush hour motorists about their flagrant breaches of traffic law along the way, Fakenham and I are called on the radio by the dispatcher:

"...can you attend an RTC (Road Traffic Collision) on Church Street please, over...?"

Yes, yes, pass details, replies my colleague (although he has many peculiarities, a stutter isn’t one of them – police officers tend to say ‘yes’ twice on the radio so that those listening definitely hear it).

"Thanks, it’s a three vehicle RTC, believed to be ‘slight’ injury, ambulance are our informant (caller to police) and are on scene, the road is blocked, over..." the radio dispatcher informs us.

"That’s all copied (understood), show us on route, over..."

As details are sparse – they always are from the ambulance service – I switch on the blues and twos and head for Church Street, eager to find out what carnage awaits us.

Having carved our way through traffic my crew-mate and I quickly arrive at the scene and are greeted with the sight of two mildly mangled hatchbacks, a motorcycle on his side, a great big ambulance blocking traffic in all directions and three agitated motorists wildly gesticulating at each other. The soundtrack for this incident is several other frustrated motorists unhelpfully beeping their horns as they are halted in both directions.

I alight the panda and put on my police flat cap and high visibility jacket so that I do not get run over and become a statistic myself, before making my way over to the chaos. The first thing to do at any RTC is to establish what injuries have been sustained and ensure relevant treatment is made available. My first port of call is therefore with the paramedics:

Morning, how are you? I ask the familiar looking woman in the green uniform – the duel services of police officers and paramedics are often required at the same incidents, so we regularly tend to follow each other around.

Good thanks. That overdose we had last week pulled through. This surprises me as when I last saw him he looked distinctively grey and under the weather.

That’s good then, I suppose. What have we got here then?

Not much: the motorcyclist has pain in his right arm and leg but is refusing to go to hospital. The driver of the green car says he has whiplash but there’s nothing wrong with him as far as I can see.

Nice one. Are you guys done then?

Got a bit of paperwork to do first.

Okay, cheers, I say.

I report back the medical assessment to the control room via the radio. Meanwhile I can see the three RTC protagonists gathering around an uncomfortable looking PC Fakenham who is unsuccessfully attempting to illicit their details from them. It’s a steep learning curve being a new police officer, so in his best interests I decide to leave him to it as I pass further details through to the control room:

Control, have you got the vehicle details attached to the incident log, over...?

Negative, please pass them, over...

I inform Control of the registration numbers and await a response. After just a few moments the controller confirms the vehicle make & models, their registered owners and confirms all records are in order – except for the red Fiesta; apparently the Police National Computer (or PNC) shows no insurance is held on that particular vehicle. This may be because it is an uninsured vehicle – one of the reportedly 1.4 million on the roads of the UK – or maybe the insurance for the vehicle is legitimately held elsewhere. Either way some digging will need to take place.

Having allowed Fakenham to suffer enough, I make my way over to those involved to try and diffuse the evident emotion and get to the bottom of what has happened.

Fakenham turns to me with a look of bamboozlement and says: From what I can gather, the motorbike pulled out of this side road, the green car couldn’t stop in time and knocked the bike over, then the red car ploughed into the back of the green one. I’ve got everyone’s names and addresses.

Marvellous. Okay sir, can I borrow you first, motioning to the man wearing leather and holding the crash helmet.

Having taken the biker away from earshot of the others I ask him to give me his version of events:

I live just down that road, I was riding my bike up to the junction, it was all clear so I started to pull out, that idiot in the green car was going far too fast and didn’t see me! He hit the front of my bike and sent me sprawling across the road. He could have killed me! I hope you’re going to do something about him, he shouldn’t be on the road!

Are you injured? I ask.

My arm and leg hurt but I’ll live.

I note down the bikers account in my Pocket Note Book (PNB) and ask him to sign below.

The ambulance has finally moved out of the carriageway so priority now turns to getting the road open as quickly

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