Tuesday 31 October 2017

Sometimes I love this job!

Talk about a varied job.  In a single shift, whilst I have been sat at my comfy desk bravely picking my way through the mysteries and perils of Excel spreadsheets (who knew COUNTIF could do that!) and Power Point Presentations, my colleagues have been calming angry motorists, investigating sexual offences, interviewing bullies who have threatened their neighbours, searching for missing people and, well just being the police.  And when we are just being the police we get up to all sorts of stuff.

I really wanted to tell you about some of the stuff I have been neglecting to share with the fans of this blog, both of you. (Thanks Dad).  So armed with a cheap plastic pen and a bunch of sticky notes (sadly not Post-it notes, but a non branded generic sticky") I interrupted those colleagues I could find in the station to find out what interesting stuff they had been dealing with.

It turns out it was this lot.
I don't mean to suggest everyone had been dealing with snakes.  Just two of them.  Two officers that is, and three incidents each with their own snake. The first officer was on foot patrol when he saw a small crowd blocking traffic on what is a pretty busy thoroughfare. As he approached he was saw a "four foot long red and white snake curled up in the middle of the road" and was immediately elected by the crowd as snake catcher in chief.  As he put it, "It must have been my snake catcher uniform that gave it away".  The said officer tried to drag the snake out of the road by the tail. Apparently it tried to bite him. In the end a local "snake enthusiast" came to the rescue by wrapping the said snake around his arm and promising to look after the snake until it's true home was discovered.  I don't know if the snake is still there, or if wrapping strange snakes around your arm is a common practice amongst snake enthusiasts.  It certainly is not amongst police officers.

The other officer went to two serpent related incidents in the same week, totally unrelated incidents too.  The first was to a California King snake in the garden of a house on the outskirts of a small market town.  California King is a great sounding name for a very snaky looking snake of unknown provinence, especially one that had wrapped itself around a lady's flower pot.  It didn't look at all friendly so the lady did the obvious thing.  Again, the best snake catcher the lady could think of was the police.

And it was just a couple of days after that the same officer was called upon to exercise his snake catching skills once more.  This time it was to catch a Corn Snake.  I really don't know, or want to know much about Corn Snakes.  Having had a very brief peek at Wikipedia they look like the sort of animal people should avoid, unless you are Bear Grylls in which case they would probably make a handy mid morning snack.  Anyway, my mental image of the Great Corn Snake Chase is set to the theme tune from Benny Hill and involves a single file, police lead team of intrepid locals snaking through the village after the snake.  Sadly the reality was less amusing and the officer happened to have a dog pole (the sort that allows you to keep outside of biting range whilst placing a rope loop around the dog's neck) which did the job just fine.

I also managed to jot down some tales about mysterious whit rabbits, stubborn sheep, angry horses and indestructible deer,

I'll keep them for another time.



PS - please take care when driving, be kind and leave other's stuff alone.


Wednesday 4 October 2017

Bang Bang

Thanks to the Police Federation October Newsletter for the phot.
Guns, it's all about guns again.  As I mentioned before there are people I respect and like who are keen on their guns.   I don't really get it, but I didn't grow up hunting and carrying a gun.  I don't envy my colleagues who carry them.  I get it that we can't uninvent, take away, make safe or ignore the guns that are out there.  Whilst unarmed, apart from cuffs and a stick, I have twice gone after armed robbers who still had their guns.  One of whom I had watched loose off a bunch of rounds into the roof of the bar he was robbing.  I really do not know what I would have done if I had caught up with either of them.  I get it that the robbers themselves would have ultimately decided whether they would kill, so it's true that it's the person and not the gun that chooses violence.  But I am absolutely sure most people like me know the brutality, loss and evil as well as the efficiency with which they are dispensed if the person decides on violence is magnified and enabled by a gun.
The horror, tragedy and suffering that we have just seen one person unleash in Las Vegas was so wrong.  I do not know those who suffered or their families, but I still hold them in my thoughts and wish them peace.  Professionally I respect the first responders who went to the scene.  I wonder how we, I, would have managed the incident.  It really did make me think about how I feel toward carrying a firearm.
Then I saw the article in the Police Federation newsletter from which I borrowed the picture above.  The title of this article made me sit up and feel a little worried that we, the Old Bill, The Job, The Bobbies had decided it was time to go for it.  The title was:

"Member survey shows increased support for routine arming"

But I felt calmer when I read the following.

“Despite the atrocities seen this year, a terror threat that only goes up, never down, and prolonged pressure heaped on officers, they still hold on to the principle of policing by consent, with two thirds of officers not wishing to be routinely armed if given the choice.”

Thankfully the decision on how we arm the police is not solely up to the police federation or the police themselves.  I am sure you will be asked what you think too.  So whilst the headlines are instantly pushing bad news into our faces, and you are seeing more specialist firearms officers out and about, I don't think you will see the likes of me routinely armed any time soon.  But then again, that is just my own, individual, unofficial, gunphobic opinion.

There, just wanted to get that off my chest.  I now need to concentrate on something closer to home for a while.

Yours ever,


May your driving be smooth, your kindness strong and your materialism honest.