A Sense of Perspective

“Okay, slow down — Is anybody hurt?” I ask the man who is standing in the kitchen, holding an enormous meat cleaver.

“No! Nobody!” he replies, wild-eyed.

“Right, well, can you put the knife down please?”

He looks at me, eyeing me up from top to toe. I’m worried I may have to react quickly, but I can tell he is more afraid than angry. I put both my hands up in front of me, showing him my empty palms. Pete mirrors my movement next to me, but he also takes a small step back, just to ensure he stays outside the man’s reach. Continue reading

There’s a first time for everything

“Never assume anything” Syd echoed my sentiment from seconds before, and looked out of the window.

Syd is a member of the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary, or a ‘special’ as they tend to be called. They are the voluntary police force, that many people seem to confuse with Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s). The main difference between them is that specials don’t get paid. Also, unlike PCSO’s, they have the same powers as myself, and have been sworn in, warranted by the queen to do arrests, talk sternly to inebriated teenagers, wag your finger at people failing to wear seat belts, heroically rescuing kittens out of trees, and so on and so forth. Continue reading

The iPad Thief

“What the fuuuuuuuuu…”, Simon wails, as his torch is spinning away into the darkness, creating a rapidly changing, ghoulish shadow-play on the walls, as the light from his torch is blocked by all sorts of rubbish on the floor.

“Aaaaaaaaaah”, he shouts. In the light of my own torch, I can see him grabbing his already injured arm, and I see his assailant as well; the Turk Tracy had warned us about.

I reach up to my radio and press the orange button next to my antenna. Continue reading

Stopping and Searching

“We’ve had a report of a group of six youths fighting with knives in Guy Street Park, descriptions to follow.”, the familiar voice of the CAD operator crackles on the radio. “We have one IC3 male, around five foot five, wearing a black hoodie and a red baseball cap”. The CAD operator is relaying from the 999 call in progress. “We also have an IC3 male, skinny, around six feet tall, wearing a dark track-suit with a large NIKE logo, and an IC1 male wearing jeans and a red sweater. Several knives have been seen. More descriptions to follow.”

“Show Bravo Alpha one-zero-one”, the skipper transmits on his radio, signifying that we intend to respond to the call. “We’re a Blunt serial, one plus two plus six”. He has just told the CAD desk that we’re the unit tasked to combat knife crime on the borough tonight, and that there’s seven of us; an inspector, two sergeants, and four PCs. Continue reading

Ambushed in the Riots

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

“Jog on, douchebag”

“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.

Continue reading

“So, when was the last time you shot anyone?”

Not long ago, I was in the United States on a short holiday. We ended up in Chicago, in a rather, well, ‘authentic’ pizza place. In the corner, there was a table of Chicago’s Finest.

I’ve always been a little curious about how real-life policing happens in the colonies, so I asked if I could join them for a bit. “Uhm… Yeah”, one of them said, seemingly unsure. I could see his brain spinning into action in attempt to tell me to eff off in a manner becoming of a Man in Blue, Chicago-style.

“It’s OK, I’m a cop back in London”, I said. They seemed relieved, asked me to join them, bought me a donut (!!) and we got down to the business of comparing notes.

Continue reading