Friday, 25 May 2018

Helicopters and foot in mouth syndrome.

It's confession time again. It's good for the soul

There are a number of things in life that I looked forward to trying, but having tried them realised they were not quite what I expected.  Some were actually unsettling and made me quite nervous.    And here I am referring to the "absolutely reasonable and natural" nervous, not the "post trauma re-wired brain anxiety" nervous.

One such is helicopters, choppers, whirly birds, petrol pigeons or diesel dodos.

Actually I had quite enjoyed my first helicopter flight, in a beast that looked like the love child of a goldfish bowl and a budget Meccano set called a "Wasp".  That was quite fun, as long as you didn't think too much about having only one engine.  I also enjoyed being dunked in the "dunker"; a mock up of a helicopter fuselage that gets dropped into a great big swimming pool and spun round so it's upside down.  You get to fiddle with a complicated seat belt, watch some bubbles and find your way out with everything back to front and inverted.  All this while wearing overalls and those rather naff looking plastic helmets that outward bound types seem to like.  It reminded me of the first time I rescued a black rubber brick whilst wearing my pajamas.

However, there followed a series of less than positive experiences.  These included looking for a lost helicopter in a very big sea, (another ship found it and rescued everyone), watching a Lynx helicopter slide gracefully off a ship's flight deck into a pretty lumpy sea and several times feeling very travel sick in the back of helicopters.  To my mind, it felt felt like being in the back of a support group van, with smaller seats, your worldly possessions on your lap, no windows, deafening noise and an overwhelming smell of diesel all the while being driven at high speed round a roller coaster track.

Another thing is that I tend to say something I later regret whenever a helicopter flight is involved.  Some minor example are, "That's no problem, of course I will sit wedged in the back here behind all this kit whilst you sit by the only exit - and window", "No, that strap is just fine, not too tight at all", "Why does your navigation system look like an old model car Satnav tie wrapped to your instrument panel", "Should that dial really have all those cracks in it?".

My best, or worst and certainly most insulting string of words cam out during a "ride along" helicopter flight in an American police helicopter.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

To save a life.

I looked for a picture I could use to open this blog entry. To grab your attention. To draw you into reading it. I found the perfect one.  It is a picture of a young person who must be about 13 or 14.  They are sitting up straight, with neatly brushed hair, clean and ironed clothes and a cheeky smile on their lips.  It looks like a professionally taken photo.  Maybe a family portrait or a school photo. I won't use it though.

You see, I was looking for an attention grabbing car smash type picture. I wanted a picture that would encourage us to think about how shocking and wasteful road traffic collisions are. But I came across this picture which had been shared by this young person's family, a family that will never see them again.  But I simply can't bring myself to use such a beautiful picture, or any of the others of mangled car wreckage. I will just have to make do with writing about what I want to share with you today.

What I want to share is this.  I want to publicly say thank you to a team of police officers and police staff whose work has saved more lives in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly than any other team I know.  They go out there and to do their job every day despite facing criticism, ridicule and anger.

And this team doesn't face ridicule and anger from traumatised victims or drunken idiots.  Police everywhere are used to and expect to take abuse like that once in a while.  These heroes face it every day and rise above it.  The abuse comes from that strangely inclusive group to which many of us belong; motorists.

Thank you to the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership.  Life savers, every one.

Here I have to also admit that the first thoughts to pass through my mind when I see a fixed speed camera or a white police van with a camera window are usually ill considered and not very charitable.  It worried me that I thought like that, especially as I know a couple of people who work in the safety camera partnership and they are really good people.  So I asked one of them if they would help me write a short entry in support of what they do.  And this is some of what I have learnt.

Driving too fast kills more people on our roads than anything else we do in cars, lorries, vans, buses or on motorcycles.

The fixed cameras and the mobile cameras are where they are for a reason; usually because more than one terrible thing has happened.  We also see how fast people are driving and count up the terrible things that happen after the cameras are there.  We drive slower and less people die.  Those in the know call it "cluster route analysis".

Often the people that live somewhere ask for the safety cameras and like them being there.

Police don't just pick a site and away we go setting up cameras willy-nilly.  We talk to lots of other people and decide together where they should go; people like Cornwall Council, Schools, Parish and Town Councils and the Highways Authority.

There are, I am told by a source who has proved reliable in the past, more miles of road in Cornwall than there are in Belgium.  I'm not about to get out a measuring wheel to prove the point one way or the other, but I hope it's true.

So that's it apart from to say I hereby pledge not to borrow a few miles per hours from the speed limit just because I am running late or because I can, or consider the speed limit as a target speed in all road conditions.  It would be great if you did too.



PS, I hope you enjoyed the read and please be kind to each other, and honest in what you do.

PPS, It kicked me right in the emotionals when I saw the picture of that young person.  My thoughts and prayers are with their family.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

And breath.

With my thanks to Leah: Yoga With Leah

After I worked my "back to the floor" shift, which I wrote about last time, I started to find my thoughts drifting back to the family my colleague and I visited.  I wonder if, and hope that they are safe and well.

But I am not the Officer in the Case (OIC) for the crime. I do not work in the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) and I am not a Safeguarding Officer (we just say Safeguarding Officer), so I won't be told and I won't go looking things up to check how they are getting on.  That would be a bad thing to do.

So for this particular job, as with so many other jobs we go to in The Job, there is the potential for unnecessary thoughts and worry.

Until my "wobble" (another thing I wrote about!) I thought I was one of those blokes who was immune to nasty events, who easily blocked out unwanted thoughts when they popped into my head and who simply decided not to worry about stuff.  In the end I did not so much admit to myself the reality, as was ambushed by it.  The reality was, and remains that I am not one of those blokes. I am not immune, can not stop unwanted thoughts and I do worry.

I also realised that it would be good for me to actually do something about the thoughts and worries that I know I will come after some jobs.  And it turns out that some of the stuff that would have been good for me to do, I had been avoiding.  I guess it was a mixture of misplaced machismo and distrust of everything I considered a bit "hippy".

Now I am learning how to do that stuff.  I know it by the name "Wellness".

It was after the recovery counselling and therapies I went through that our outstandingly good Force Medical Officer (FMO), "The Prof" suggested I might like to give it a go.

It would be wrong for me to try and describe the theories and practices I am trying to learn.  I would not do them justice.  Suffice to say I find myself listening to my own breathing, sensing my own body and accepting my thoughts and emotions from where ever they come.

And it came as a very welcome surprise when my education about this type of stuff was enhanced by a really rather terrific couple I met just a few days ago.

They are a friendly, clever and all round lovely married couple I met whilst on holiday.  The bloke is a six foot and a handful of inches tall, 250 pound (I used a calculator work out that is just over seventeen and a half stone) former professional football (the American kind) player and current personal trainer.  His other half is a Yoga instructor. I think that makes her a Yogi. She is very professional, incredibly capable and inspiring when leading a class.

If she ever finds herself in Cornwall (the English one) and we can persuade the College of Policing that Happy Baby is a valid "ground position defensive tactic"  I reckon she would do a cracking job leading one of our officer safety training sessions.

Now, another thing that struck a chord with me was when the former professional football player is also a personal trainer told me that he chooses to take one his wife's classes each week or so.  The class he specifically chooses is one that focuses on breathing and balance.  He tells me he calls it his "reset" time.

I really do wonder if I would have avoided my problems if I had made time for my own "reset" time alongside the more traditional exercises I was happy do.  There really is something to be said for looking after your mental and emotional health alongside burning calories and working on muscle groups.



PS - please drive safely, be kind and be honest.

PPS - I can't help thinking of Saturday morning cartoons from my childhood when I say Yogi in my head - Yogi, Yogi, Yogi, Yogi.............

PPPS - these guys are from Burlington, Ontario (the Canadian one), so it's a bit far to commute for a weekly class at the moment.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Back to the floor.

It was the thought of learning how to use a new piece of kit that was my final hurdle.

For some time, and especially since the burble of an Airwaves radio no longer sent a tickle of cortisol to my chest I have been planning my way back to the streets.  Or more accurately in the case of patrolling rural Cornwall, the streets and dual carriageways, single tracked grass growing country lanes and footpaths.

I had the good fortune to have a "very important meeting" with a colleague I was a Constable with in north Cornwall.  She is now the project officer for the new piece of kit I had to get my head round, and I was her local contact or "getting the message out there" for the users of the said piece of kit.  After the meeting I got a useful tutorial on the piece of kit, and finally had the confidence to switch from "training mode" to "live mode" and set up my very first "shift".  I had become an official user of the Devon and Cornwall MDT, the Mobile Data Terminal.

After a quick check with the duty Sergeants in East Cornwall I joined an experienced, very capable and professional officer for a day shift.  And I am grateful to them and their team.  Hosting a slightly bruised and terribly out of date "boss" is probably not most coppers idea of an ideal shift.

Anyhow, with rank badges off I joined them for briefing.  In terms of numbers of officers working we were pretty well off.  Covering one market town, two small coastal towns, a handful of villages and a bucketful of hamlets and farms we had a Sergeant, three patrol Constables, one Neighbourhood Constable and a Police Community Support Officer. And me.

For the first time in the longest time I went through briefing as if I meant it, noting registration numbers and crime numbers, colours and types of vehicles, primary taskings, offender management plans, MISPERS by which I mean missing persons and then recent crimes.  My crew mate seemed much more relaxed than me.

The first task of the day was to do some door knocking around an address where a suspect for domestic assault was arrested the night before.  The partner did not want to give a statement and the children swore blind they had seen nothing; using almost exactly the same words. So at an hour when people were likely to be awake and actually feel inclined to let a copper into their house to take a statement we went door knocking.

My first customer was a chatty older lady who invited me into her sitting room and spoke over her loud TV to let me know her daughter could tell me all about it.  As is the way, I had to piece that together from a list of first names, explanations of friendships and relationships and graphic descriptions of who did what to whom whilst trying to work out what was hearsay and what she had actually seen, which was nothing at all.

We tried again but the victim herself still refused to tell us anything.  But my colleague got to have a private word with the kids whilst I talked to the victim.  We are doing what we can.

After a statement where I passively shared half a pack of cheap cigarettes, fumbled with my plug in keyboard and MDT I admitted ignorance and sought help from the local Constable to download the statement and get it to the officer from the Sexual Offences and Domestic Abuse Interview Team who was "dealing with" the arrested suspect. He was waiting in his cell.  Apart from making grammatical and spelling errors that would embarrass an eleven year old, and referring to my colleague as "my daughter" when talking to the witness I did OK.

Then it was to a "silent 999" we thought came from a remote house, which looked more like a mansion when we arrived.  It would have worked well as a location for a hammer house of horrors movie.  It turns out the owner was very understanding and the 999 call had actually been dialled in the pocket of a bloke at the Eden Project. That is nowhere near the mansion.  Go figure.

After that my crew mate drove us back though lanes not quite wide enough for our car to a roundabout to keep observations for a suspect car that had been on briefing and was circulated on our radio channel.  As an advanced driver who has completed some pretty technical courses I trusted her judgement on the right place be to be.  And it was.  After spotting a car of the right make, model and colour we followed and stopped it only to find an extremely polite older couple who may never before in their life have spoken to the police.  I do hope we left them with a positive customer experience.

We parked up again and joked about buses and such, then the actual suspect car drove past.  Well that was it.  We wiggled around the country lanes to close up on the subject vehicle, no lights or sirens.  It took an unnecessary right turn which was pretty much the give away he had seen us.  But he hadn't made of yet. So, with traffic light and plenty of places to stop we lit up the blues and twos and indicated for the car to pull over.  Guess what happened?

Anyway, after the car had sped off we stopped, switched off the lights, siren and applied the handbrake.  Lots of cars came to look for him, and one the Neighbourhood Constable very nearly stopped him until the naughty car pushed the police car out of the way. The tinker.

And so, after checking if anymore paperwork or forms were needed (Electronic PNB entries, Unifi Crimes to update, Storm logs to update, DASH forms, VIST forms, NCRF forms, use of force forms, Section 9 statements, COMPACT tasks to update, Unify UNIFI custody records, UNIFY Enquiry tasks to update or a bunch of stuff I couldn't remember the name of) I was assured by the Sergeant he would sort out anything I'd forgotten.

Gratefully I said my thank yous and went home to walk the dogs.

Next time I try some back to the floor training, I will try and remember how to be a Sergeant.



PS - there was a crash, someone was assaulted and a thief got away.  If only.

Monday, 19 March 2018

I still hear voices. Thank you.

"Ear worms".

What a great combination of words.

I know they are often used to refer to those catchy little ditties we hear on daytime radio shows, and which wiggle their way deep into our consciousness. And I am so sorry if "The Birdie Song" has unexpectedly popped in to your otherwise well ordered thoughts.

However, "ear worm" has a different connotation for me and quite possibly others too. I hear my ear worms on Airwave police radio speakers or the secret service style ear buds that I wedge in my ears.  I used to use chunky headsets with cotton covers that made my ear sweat.  Not anymore.

I wanted to write about ear worms because this week is the first week for a long time when part of my daily routine will not involve swallowing a bitter tasting Sertraline pill.  I was rather concerned that the "not real" voices I used to hear in the dark old days would come back.  They haven't.

And the mere sound of chatter on an Airwave police radio that had started to make my chest chill with anxiety, well that has returned to an almost comforting noise.  It makes me feel part of something, again.

The familiar voices that make the chatter have returned to being my ear worms; ear worms I understand and know how to live with.  No matter what I am doing, If I hear Airwaves chatter it touches my ear drum and gets instantaneously conducted to whichever part of my consciousness and unconsciousness that is trying to keep track of where everyone is, what they are doing, what nasties are out there and what I should be doing etc etc etc.

So, I still hear voices, but they are technologically as opposed to psychologically conjured out of thin air. That's good.

And now to say thank you; thank you to a really rather amazing group of people.  These are the people who are there with you during every painstakingly dull moment of a long shift, working with you in every rushed and confused journey to an incident when information is flying around like a flock of startled birds, whose spirit is alongside you every time it has well and truly hit the fan and they are working magic to make sure you are not the only one it is flying towards.  Some people call them "Gold".

These are the Radio Dispatch Officers(1) and Control Room Staff who spend their shifts in one of the most incredibly high stake, multi screen, non-role playing strategy "games" I have ever seen.  And do you know the most amazing thing?  Well, actually there are two amazing things.  The first is that they sound phenomenally calm and controlled under the inhuman levels of stress.  The second is that they keep doing it; keep coming in to work; keep guiding "the blue line" to where it is needed and doing their very best to keep those on the line as safe as they can be.



PS - the snow makes the little winding lanes even more slippery, and also makes it even more important to look after each other and each other's property.

(1) - the computer calls them Resource Deployment Officers, but what does the computer know!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Show me yours first.

I really don't know why I didn't mention these guys earlier.  Well, actually I do know.  It's because I didn't realize they were out there when I wrote the piece from which the paragraph below is an extract.

That is not to say I had never read something about them, been briefed about them or seen some cunningly crafted awareness raising materials. After all they have been around since 2010. But if I had, it hadn't stuck.

Hopefully you will have more luck.

These guys are the "Internet Watch Foundation" or IWF for those in the know, and they have a logo that reminds me of the telly programmes Panorama and Joe 90.

The Internet Watch Foundation will do their very best to get rid of pictures and videos that have ended up on the internet, and which really should not be there.  They will help young people who have had live streams recorded, shared pictures and sent videos of themselves with their kit off  or getting "explicit".  If you, or someone you might know want to get hold of them, they are here Internet Watch Foundation
I didn't know that texting a naked selfie would end up on the internet forever.  This applies to text messages and all your other tech.  If you haven't gone "kit off" then probably best you don't.  Every text, video chat or photo on any app can be recovered. People will show and share photos and videos, you know they will.  They will still exist on the internet when you find someone you want to get serious with.  They will be there when you go to university.  They will still be there when you apply get the message.  If you have already gone kit off, you will be fine but you may want some help if your photos are shared. We can help.  Oh and if you think about sharing, texting or forwarding something to your besties or mates - that is a criminal offence.
And just so you know, these people also work incredibly hard to bring down the live streams, the shared pictures and videos of child abuse, often of the vilest sort.  So I'd like to say "thank you" to anyone who works or volunteers there and happens to read this.
PS.  When I was small(er) I was told that driving a car is safe until you forget that it's not, that it's never ok to fight just because you are angry and that I should leave other people's stuff alone.  © My Dad

PPS. If you Google IWF and find yourself looking at people lifting up really heavy looking stuff, you are on the wrong page.

PPS. If you are under 25 and sometimes think the pre-internet generation don't get it, find one of them and ask them what the title makes them think of; honestly.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Harsh words.


"Critica" by Julio Ruelas (1870 - 1907) – Painter (Mexican)Born in Zacatecas.

A discussion, a debate, a lecturing, a telling off, a vent; criticism.  There is, absolutely rightly a lot directed at the police.  I like being in a country where we can do that.  I also like to think that we, the police are professional and thick skinned enough to pick out and adopt the pearls of wisdom from the criticism with good grace. It's how we have grown in to the UK's police forces we are today.  But it can sometimes feel as if there are no pearls; just moans and venting surrounding even more "directions and recommendations" that show a less than brilliant grasp what we face in the situations we are called on to deal with.  It can start to feel like being the employee of a mildly abusive employer who likes to publicly criticize your best efforts.  Perhaps my skin has just been worn a bit thin, and as in so many other situations I have been distracted by the language used.

This is an extract from an open letter one of our Chief Officers wrote when working their last tour of duty in the police. 
“I need to share with you that I have found myself frustrated, angry and disappointed when I see and read others, at a local and national level, being too quick to criticise policing without first taking the time to understand and engage with those delivering the service. These detractors and critics would do well to remember that much more is achieved with a smile, politeness and appreciation than is achieved through criticism and sharp words. It is easy to criticise others when you do not tread the same footprints and experience the same challenges as those you choose to attack.
The balance to this is of course the public confidence we enjoy, our local communities are not aligned to the national newspapers views or those within the regulation or inspection regimes. They have a much more intimate relationship with us and it is our public that we need to invest our energies focussing on serving and building relationships with them. In the villages, towns and cities of Devon and Cornwall we enjoy great support and people who believe in us and want us to succeed. This is, and always has been, the bedrock of British policing and I am grateful to have shared this most special profession and my journey within it with all of you.”
Thanks for the letter Boss.

I have not picked out examples of the headlines, the every day sniping and ridicule officers face. You will have seen them.  I have found my best way to deal with them is to stop reading them, or just change the channel (I'm not allowed to throw bricks through the telly screen).

But I will share this link, just for balance: Thanks Russell for the video.
PS – And as ever, I ask that you please take care on our roads, be considerate of others and honest in all things.”

Monday, 22 January 2018

Would you believe it!


Whilst I am still in the mood to “swing the lamp” I thought I would share just one more story from days gone by.


This one is not mine but my colleague swears up and down that it is true.  It all happened in a distant police force where many of the officers still have British accents but the weather is much warmer.


“The Incident”


A frighteningly keen officer whom we shall call “Rich Tea” was on foot patrol one night.  It was a dark warm night and it was in that part of town where the street lights and made up roads give way to darkness and dirt tracks.  Rich Tea saw two men, dressed in flip flops and colourful shirts turn down a deserted, dead end side road. He decided to follow them.  (I interrupted the original story teller here to see if our hero had anything more than a radio and if it was in the days before stab vests were worn. He did and it was.) The two men stopped a short distance ahead and Rich Tea hid in the bushes to keep observations on the pair.  After a muffled conversation, the exchange of something and some fist bumping and back slapping they went and got into a nearby car.


As the car turned and started to head out of the side road our man stepped out of the shadows and with a crisp number one stop sign brought the car to a standstill.  Rich Tea walked round to the driver’s door, opened it, smelt alcohol and then told the driver to get out of the car because he was being arrested on suspicion of driving a car whilst incapable through alcohol.  I was surprised for the second time in the story to hear that the driver, and his friend did actually get out of the car.


Events followed the natural course of things.  The driver and his friend started to beat the living daylights out of Rich Tea.  Just before Rich Tea fell into unconsciousness he heard a conversation about whether to cut his eyes out to stop him identifying his attackers at a later date.


Apparently a passing taxi driver stopped to help; help Rich Tea that is, not the two attackers.  He persuaded the two that the sorry looking bundle on the floor had had enough and that they should leave.  They did.


Rich tea woke the next day still with his eyes in his sockets.


“The Investigation”


The two were known to the taxi driver and quickly located and arrested. There was no forensic evidence tying them to the scene. No knife was found but one of them had a decent stash of drugs in his car.  But with an eye witness and a damming collection of previous convictions they were remanded in custody by the police and at the bail hearing.  Simples.


“The Collapse”


A trial date was set.  Rich Tea’s bumps and lumps started to heal and he felt confident.


The taxi driver withdrew his statement.  Rich Tea’s bruises had started to fade and he felt less confident. 


On the day of the trial Rich Tea discovered the defendants had secured the services of a defence barrister known as “The Beast”.  Rich Tea was the picture of health and was nervous.


Rich Tea took to the stand and the prosecution guided him through a re-telling of his story, sparing none of the colourful details.  Then The Beast stood.


The exchange between The Beast and Rich Tea, I am told went like this.


“Officer, do you consider yourself a professional member of the police service?”


“Yes your honour”. (Slightly insulted expression.)


“Officer, I know it is your force’s policy that you carry your pocket notebook at all times when on duty.  Do you adhere to that policy?”


“Yes your honour.” (Straight answer to a straight question.)


“Officer, let me take you back to the events of that night.  You have given an extremely detailed account in your testimony haven’t you?”


“Yes your honour”. (Slight tenseness in the answer.)


“And you say in your statement that this was because you referred to your notes whilst writing that statement. Further, here you say made those notes of the incident at the “first available opportunity”.  As a professional officer who carries his notebook I am guessing you made those notes in your pocket notebook? Did you?”


(Pause and a “weighing up my options” look.)


“Officer, to have that much detail in a statement you must have taken notes. Did you record those notes in your pocket note book?”


“Yes your honour”. (An expression of intense concentration.)


Rich Tea can be seen to sink up to his chest in the evidence box in the manner of a bad mime artist doing the comedy elevator move.


“Have you still got that notebook?”


(Rich Tea can be seen by the whole court, chin level with the top of the witness box, to be reaching for something in his back pocket whilst keeping his eyes fixed directly ahead).


“Ummmm, no your honour.”


Rapidly following this answer Rich Tea pointed with his left hand at something in front of him, exclaiming “What’s that?”  At the same moment he threw a police issue pocket notebook behind him out of the witness box.


“Officer, why have you thrown your notebook away?”


“I haven’t.”


“Yes you have officer, the whole court room saw you.”


“No I haven’t”.


The Beast didn’t get to ask any more questions. Rich Tea, in a magnificently John Cleese turn of events swooned in the witness box and collapsed dramatically on the floor.  He could not be roused from his “feint” until well clear of the courtroom.


The case was dismissed.


I did not find out what happened to Rich Tea.



PS - please drive safely, be kind, respect property.

PPS - there was an armed robbery in Truro a few days ago.  Our thoughts and support go out to those affected.  Baddies have been caught.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Well that was Christmas.

They are petering out now; the "How was your Christmas?" and "Happy New Year and all that" greetings from colleagues and friends.   I am not sure how I feel about that.

Part of me is definitely disappointed to be leaving behind the jolly, self indulgent days with people I love.

Part of me is relieved to be leaving behind the jolly, self indulgent days with people I love.

And I have to admit that yet another part of me feels disappointed that I didn't spend a more challenging Christmas with my other family, trying to keep the peace and help people.

There were just over 2200 crimes and some truly awful traffic accidents in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in December.  I know of two officers recently assaulted and injured on duty.  There were probably more scuffs and scrapes that went unreported.  One of the officers described the incident to a friend as "...a little hairy.  He didn't want to accompany us to our en suite facilities...".  I admire the humour the officer showed; nice one.

So just in case you are like me and have mixed feelings about last Christmas, or are pretty sure you had a pants Christmas, here is a little collection of the "police humour" from colleagues in the dim and very distant past that has made me stifle inappropriate sniggers.

To "Danny", a former boxer and regular beggar who cut off his toes on one foot to maximize the sympathy donations to his methylated spirits fundraising campaign.  A colleague retrieved one size 10 left boot and one size 6 right boot from lost property going in the bin and popped them in Danny's collecting cap.

To the suicidal drunk on the wrong side of the safety barriers and threatening to jump off a bridge, an opening line of, "If you're there to paint the bridge, I hate to break it to you but you forgot your brush."

To the prisoner being driven to custody and threatening to burn down an officer's house with his family inside, the officer said, "Sorry mate, it's an igloo. That's where I live.".  The prisoner replied, "I know where that is, it's on the Piccadilly line."

My tutor constable to me after I pulled most of a long deceased person out of the Grand Union Canal, "You do know it's the probationer that has to do the mouth to mouth don't you."  He relented after the look of horror on my face.  The tinker.

My colleague who at a National Front march in East London that had started chanting "Kill the pig, kill the pig" who marched straight up the shaven headed, five foot tall, 16 stone cheer leader wearing 16 hole Doc Martin boots.  My colleague stepped in front of the cheer leader and faced the chanting crowd, spread his arms and said over his shoulder, "Ma'am, I'll try and protect you but it sounds like the crowd wants to kill you."

So, keep smiling and may we all keep a sense of humour through 2018.



PS - My New Year's Resolution is to encourage safe driving, kindness to each other and respect for property.

PPS - All of the above ended relatively well, all things considered.