‘Concern for welfare’ calls can be a right pain in the arse. 99% of them are about people who can’t get through on the phone to someone and can’t be arsed to go round there & check they’re OK so they get the police to do it.
You get to the address & the subject answers the door wondering what all the fuss is about. They sometimes say they don’t actually want to speak with the person who made the call (the concern-or) so they didn’t answer the phone to them.
Alternatively there’s no reply, just an awful smell through the letter-box which can be accompanied by a rather large amount of flies behind the net curtains. These jobs are quite easy also, they just take a little longer to deal with and once you’ve broken in, if anything is suspicious you hand it over to some squad or other while you stand in the street avoiding domestics and other shite.
The ones which are the pain are where you don’t get any reply, there’s no signs of life inside and no strange smells. This leaves you with a quandry; do you break in & then have to justify it to the finance officer when she’s sorting out the claims for compensation from someone who was out shopping, or do you leave it and then appear on the front of the News of the World for failure to do anything to prevent the death of poor old Mrs Miggins who had been lying on the kitchen floor for 3 months before she expired due to your negligence?
We had one where we decided to break in. I was with my mate Jim, who used to be a teacher (and funnily enough still is having jacked the job in after about 12 years). Jim put the front door in causing a not inconsiderable amount of damage in the process, only to find it wasn’t actually the front door, but the lobby door leading to the front door within. So we had to put in one of the small panes of glass in the actual front door. On reaching inside for the door catch I found the door was double-locked and the key wasn’t in the lock.
Plan B called for the smashing of the window in what we took to be the kitchen door at the side of the house. The glass was covered by a dark sheet or curtain of some description so we couldn’t see into the kitchen. I smashed the window and knocked the glass out with my baton only to find that the item covering the inside of the glass wasn’t a curtain, it was the back of a rather large kitchen dresser which had been pushed up against the kitchen door years earlier since the occupant never used that door. We couldn’t shift it.
It was getting to the stage where there wasn’t a great deal of glass left on the house, nor letters left in the plan alphabet, but we went to the rear and smashed one of the 2 double-glazed windows. The old boy must have been watching those adverts or reading his crime prevention leaflets because he had dutifully removed all the keys from the double-glazed window locks meaning we had to smash in all the glass before being able to climb in through the hole we’d created.
As Jim was climbing through the window a rather bemused looking elderly gentleman appeared from the hallway adjusting the hearing aid he appeared to be fitting to his ear to the sight of two hairy-arsed coppers entering, billy burglar style, through his living room window.
We’d managed to cause about a grand’s worth of damage to find out he’d left his hearing aid on the coffee table. I don’t think he was very placated when Jim said; “Still, at least you’re OK, that’s the main thing, eh?”