Friday, June 02, 2006
Something in the water?
Last night I swear there must have been something in the water, because there were more fights than usual in the town centre.
For some, a good night out is not complete if it is not accompanied by a punch-up, for any reason whatsoever. This perhaps stems from Industrial Britain, when thousands flocked from the farms to the cities for employment, overpopulation crippled the water supply, and the general populace resorted to drinking ale more than water, which was far cheaper to produce; cleaner and safer, as the heating of the hops killed bacteria, which was endemic in the water supply. The raucous and near-perpetual state of drunkenness enjoyed by the people of that time, with the oft violent atmosphere brought about by the circumstances people found themselves in, has perhaps been the breeding ground for generational inheritance of this predisposition towards violence as a nominal objective when intoxicated. I have no sources to prove my theory, so feel free to disprove it!
Anyway, within the space of an hour there were seven or eight reported fights, half of which turned out to be the usual phantoms. For the remainder we managed to neatly circumvent the force assault policy, send the parties on their separate ways and result if as 'no offences'.
Sadly in one particular incident, a MoP (member of the public, or in this case a NoB, an idiot) was unhappy with how we resulted a taxi fare dispute in which both parties alleged the other had demanded a mobile phone with threats. His unhappiness was manifested by every cliche about the police under the sun and threats to "come and get us all". I don't see why he was so upset, we merely adopted Standard Operating Procedure and told everyone involved that it was a civil dispute to be sorted out amongst themselves. As a form of pithy, drunken protest, he decided to stand in front of our van and prevent us from leaving the scene. Not in the best of moods, I alighted and shoved him on to the pavement. He ran back and stood in front of the van again. Were it not for CCTV and potential witnessess, I had half a mind to transfer him into the nearby canal. Instead I settled for arresting him for obstruction and taking him a reasonable distance away. I tried to spin him around so he could face me for one of my lectures, but as he was drunk, he lost his balance and fell to the floor. This was not what I intended, but a fortunate bonus nonetheless. He was then dearrested (because, of course, the grounds for arrest were no more). That seemed to do it. I might get a complaint for some of what I said to him - by the time an incivility complaint is actioned I'll be long gone!
Next two idiots were fighting in the corridor of a tacky hotel. We separated them and used our area's tactic of sheer numbers to overpower. I arrested one of the men involved, as I was due off later than the others. He kept slipping in and out of consciousness. Concerned that he may have taken something else other than his body weight in spirits, I asked a question to that effect, otherwise he'd be leaving in an ambulance rather than a van. No reply. Needed to know before bringing him in, so slapped him hard across the face with the back of my palm. That woke him, then whilst repeating the question he fell asleep again. The same palm slap didn't work, so in a scene reminiscient of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, he was slapped across the cheek with one of my force-issue leather gloves several times. This time it worked and he snapped back awake, to mumble something incomprehensible. His mate threw up all over one of my colleague's boots. Delightful. Somehow the glove tactic seemed to get around the nick very quickly. Not Home Office approved, but fully justifiable nonetheless. Better than risking him becoming ill en route to custody because we didn't know he'd taken something.
Finished just as two confirmed thieves-ons came in. I always miss the good jobs and get lumbered with the low-level drunken shite. Does my head in sometimes!
As an amusing aside, we were reading through the major incident list for the force, and saw a log titled "Attempted Suicide - May Prove", with the text of the (not particularly interesting) job below it. My colleague exclaimed: "I know that person"!
Me: "Who, the attempted victim?"
Colleague: "No, May Prove! She's on our area. Sure I've seen her before"
I looked blankly at him for a second, then it clicked what he was on about, and I had to slowly explain that "May Prove" is a tactful, shorthand way of saying "May Prove Fatal", not the name of the person involved!
Finally, we've got ten whole knives in our amnesty bin. So clearly that's the end of knife crime in our area. And my Gerber is going nowhere near that thankyou very much!
(c) Bow Street Runner. None of the material contained in this post, or this blog as a whole, may be reproduced without the express and written permission of Bow Street Runner. All rights reserved.
Brilliant, I know how you feel.
Like your comment about the knife amnesty, I mean, it's not like they can just go to Wilko's and bye more knives is it.
The 3000 drunks that the Clubs turned out on to the streets at closing time lined up for takeaways, noisy discussions and fights over girls/blokes, soccer, pushing into the takeaway queue, etc.
I could not afford to have my troops tied up for hours with arrests for public order, criminal damage, offences against the person, TDA (twoc?), etc.
So. Transportation seemed the answer. Load the troublemakers into the van together with approximately 50% of the Officers who would required to spend time at the Station processing them after arrest. The van would then be driven a few miles onto the moor before my officers would eject the malcontents from the van to fend for themselves.
There were a few complaints to the Superintendent but he was made of the right stuff; indeed upon my arrival at his station complete with new and blindingly shiny stripes, I was told by him that he wanted no telephone calls from year-round residents complaining of rowdyism in the depths of the summer nights.
Yes, I know. But it worked.
Links to this post: