As the bike shop owner was reading out the description, we were going through a red light, sirens blaring. Kim suddenly made a squeaking sound, and pointed at the intersection we had just gone through. I slammed on the brakes, and looked. True enough, there he was. Bright red T-shirt with a white logo on the front, and a bike that was gleaming in the bright midday August sun.
Due to the riots, our shift patterns have been completely out of whack. Usually, we work six days on, four days off, but that was suspended as soon as mask-clad hoodlums started roaming the streets. Things got extra-tense for a while, when a rumour was spreading that the army was mobilising to help ‘sort out the mess’, but I have to admit I was a little bit doubtful about the veracity of that particular rumour – I’ve never done any military service (believe it or not, I’m quite a fervent pacifist and a bit of a leftie to boot), but I think the military is a strange choice, when we have a small army of police with guns who they’ve kept hidden in our police stations whilst the riots were kicking off as worst. It was weird – walking into the café at our police station station, you’d have thought you’d have walked into a war; except the war was raging outside, and the only people with weapons that are actually scary were sitting in the café, playing cards, reading books, and looking utterly bored. Meanwhile. people with sticks and shields were trying to calm people with stones and petrol bombs. Continue reading
There was glass everywhere. I could feel it sticking into my shoulders where it had gotten caught under my Met-Vest. It was gnawing into my sides. My eye felt… Odd… but there wasn’t time to find out whether I’d been hit by a shard of glass there as well.
The briefing for the late shift was nothing out of the ordinary, much in the same way that strolling to work and finding Elvis in a tap-dancing competition with Chairman Mao, accompanied by the cast of Glee playing “Do you really want to hurt me” on assorted items of kitchen equipment while wearing nothing but tu-tus and sunglasses, is nothing out of the ordinary.
Only a few days before, in Tottenham, police officers had shot a suspected gang leader in a minicab, and the afternoon briefing was chocker-block with chatter. The Metropolitan Police intel branch was red-hot with tips received via telephone, found on internet forums and social networking sites, and the vast amount of information received from Members of the Public (MoPs) being filed by Met officers on the streets and in front offices all over London. Continue reading
“Uhmm, I don’t really know how to put this, officer. Last night, I was walking up the street with my Xbox 360, and then a Ninja came and punched me in the face. He stole my Xbox!”
“Why were you walking around with a Xbox on a Friday night?”. The fellow is about fifteen seconds into his statement.
Already, the officer taking the statement is desperately wishing he’d have stayed in the cafe for another five minutes, just so he wouldn’t have to deal with this particular madman.
“Well, I was coming home from a company Christmas party. I was dressed in my Gi.”
“What’s a Gi?” Continue reading
“Mate, if you don’t get back in your car and shut the hell up, I’m nicking you for breach of the peace”. I’m trying to stay as calm as I can, as my face is about an inch away from his.
He’s tall, athletically built, and for the first time in a very, very long time, I’m finding myself wishing that someone would take a swing at me. There’s nothing I’d rather do right now than to take this belligerent yuppie cunt to the ground in handcuffs.
“I want him out of here”, the woman screeches, as she’s reaching over my shoulder, fingers curled into a claw, and her impressively long nails slashing, musketeer-style, through the air in the direction of her partner.
“Shut it, you f*cking whore”, he barks back, and makes a break for it, trying to get at her with his hands balled into red-knuckled fists.
“GET BACK”, I scream at the top of my lungs, as I’m slowly shuffling backwards, away from the man facing me on the 7-th floor landing in the council estate.
Behind me is the stairway I just came up. To the right of me is a low black railing and a 70-foot drop. In front of me is a Customer. He seems dazed, confused, and absolutely furious. Something has happened to him, and he sobs, shouts, mumbles, drools, spits, and shouts some more. The words “Elise” and “I’m going to fucking kill him” keep being repeated. Continue reading