Sunday, 28 December 2008
Good will to all men
Busy night judging by the number of bods in custody, I spoke to a mate on the other team as I took the vehicle over, he looked completely shattered. No one had a break (as usual on nights) and they were live dealing with constant calls from early car at 6pm until we came in the following morning for 7am. There were only a couple of calls outstanding, a couple of drunks on buses refusing to get off, shop alarms going off, so we cleared them up and headed back in for briefing. They had quite a few people in custody considering it was the night before Christmas Eve.
The next couple of hours were lots of calls to alarm activations then we had the first ‘proper’ job of the morning; executing a court order to seize travel documents of a three year old whose mother was threatening to remove from the country permanently. A Judge in the high court has seen enough intelligence to determine that a child is at risk of abduction and has seen fit to order the Police to execute the court order “as a matter of extreme urgency” to seize all and any documents related to travel, but has not provided us with the intelligence pack and has only authorised a power of arrest if the officers have reasonable ground for suspecting that any person has not complied with the order.
There is no power of entry or power of search, and no information as to exactly which travel documents we are to seize. Short of someone slamming the door in our faces, we can’t really do anything other than ask ever so nicely if they wouldn’t mind handing the bits over, as we don’t know what we’re looking for.
I call the court up to check exactly which documents we are supposed to be seizing and ask a couple of reasonable questions - does the child have a passport? Where has the intel come from that the child is at the address? Is there intel that a flight has been booked or other travel arrangements have been made? The answer from the court is they don’t know anything. Not very helpful. We get no joy at the address, or with any agency related to travel documents as Christmas Eve is a discretionary day for civil servants, and they all appear to have taken it off. It’s not as if a suspected child abduction is anything serious anyway. We manage to find some other addresses as well as the court issued one and check each of them. No luck, to be honest the mother has probably taken the child already.
We all contributed to putting a buffet together so each crew on our team can get some food and we can at least experience a modicum of festive cheer in between calls to shoplifters, arguments, dippings, people getting drunk and fighting etc.
Later on we get the best example of instant karma I’ve seen for a while. A bloke trying to shoplift sprints away from security, decides to cross one of our main roads to lose them, and promptly gets gobbled up by a taxi. Thankfully the taxi driver and his passengers were unharmed, and after LAS checked the guy over and confirmed he only had minor injuries he got nicked. It turned out he was also wanted on a warrant for burglary. The warrant wasn’t backed for bail meaning we couldn’t release him and had to keep him in custody to put him for the first available court hearing.
Unfortunately for him, the first court wasn’t until the 26th. Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha. Merry Christmas.
So much for expecting to have a nice chilled day. As I walked down the corridor to get the car I walk past the front office and see a mountain of exhibits scattered around the place, loads of seized clothing and a couple of the nightshift guys sitting on the floor cataloguing everything. One of them looks up and see’s my rather puzzled face “R&B night” he says. I shake my head and ask “how many injured?” without looking up again he says “four separate GBH’s that we dealt with, one’s in a really bad way, there are a couple of scenes as well. It went pretty tits up when the clubs kicked out”.
I was surprised it was only four then his colleague said “there were a few other ABH’s but they didn’t want to know (didn’t want to make a crime complaint to Police) and LAS dealt with them”
The hospital and scene guards took up most of the morning and tied up pretty much everyone, then as yesterday there were lots of alarm calls, a couple of building searches, a couple of domestics (one was quite nasty apparently) and then lots of driving and walking around deserted side streets looking for people to search, if appropriate, obviously. We had some good vehicle stops and searches and got some good intel although we didn’t get as many bodies in compared to a normal dayshift.
We did manage to actually get a bit more proactive patrolling done than usual and the visitors with nothing else to do did seem to appreciate seeing lots of Police officers around to take photos with. Considering some Christmas days that I've spent at work, it wasn't actually that bad really.
We’re standing in the back yard listening to the radio and it seems that every cock and his mate has decided to visit our patch and cause mayhem for the families out shopping and the shop staff trying eagerly to sell them everything possible. It got so bad during the day a Section 60 was authorised in the hope that some aggressive searching and Policing would discourage most of them to bugger off somewhere else. A couple of vehicles come back in for a quick handover and after the usual pleasantries and friendly insults we chuck our kit in the back and head out.
Despite having extra people on, plain clothes units out targeting steaming teams (thieves who swamp an area enmasse to cause mayhem and steal as much as possible) there are calls coming out all over the place for Police assistance to stores and from other units requesting back up. We get a couple of urgent assistance calls which ended up in several people arrested from different jobs, we also had a couple of officers injured at each one. With the majority of shops closing, the calls dropped off a bit but those who came up just to cause trouble just went to other parts and carried on. Group robberies, assaults, steaming off licences etc carried on for a bit and for the first few hours of the shift was a case of blues to a call, jumping out, throwing whomever in the van and then blatting off to the next.
It was stupid.
After the shoppers went home the calls eased off a bit as the pubs started filling up and we managed to get a brew in, it then went pear shaped again as the pubs kicked out and the clubs started filling up. We had quite a few pub fight calls with doorstaff requesting support, “innocent people assaulted by doorstaff” and units requesting backup after queue fights and ejections got continually out of hand. As the drink and Christmas cheer really got going we had a couple of nasty GBH’s and a few ABH’s involving some of the most unpleasant casualties I’ve met in a while who started the fights but failed to get the first punch in and then tied up desperately busy ambulance crews.
Another ‘victim’ was found in a bleeding heap outside a hotel, fortunately for him the first crew on scene had already dealt with him earlier on after seeing him and a couple of mates square up to a group of blokes, they circulated the description of the suspects who were picked up not far away. I can’t go into too much detail, but they had very stupidly linked themselves to the attack on the victim and we were literally in stitches as we got them out of the van.
We then spent the remainder of the shift ‘encouraging’ drunks to grow up and go home, such as the idiot who decided to step in front of the car and shake his cock at us whilst we were on blues, until he realised we were the Police and not an Ambulance, and that we were neither impressed, nor amused.
All in all, it was a rather busy and somewhat unpleasant blur, and reinforced my view on a couple of things -
1) I hate drunk people.
2) I should have booked it all off.