October 27th, 2009

Quiet Nights

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

So it’s 5.30 in the morning & I’ve been at work for over 7 hours. As usual, I’m single crewed & the way the desks are laid out I don’t have anyone to talk to except the disembodied voices on the end of the radio, & there’s less of them since 50% of them are in custody. It’s been so quiet that the boys & girls in blue have been able to try some early morning door-knocks for people who are wanted. They’ve been successful on one of them, wanted for an old undetected theft, the officers have been surprised to find him not only at home, but willing to answer the door to someone who invariably wears a uniform when the doorbell goes at 4.30 in the morning. Mug. Everyone else just rolls over & ignores us – if they’ve got any sense.
50% of the shift seems quite a lot but it’s only 50% of 4 vehicles policing the town & all the surrounding villages.

I’m wishing one of the other two would just spot a vehicle & do a check on it over the radio; sleep tempts me & my eyelids are doing impressions of the York weights I have lying unused in my shed until I can find the impetus to pick them up.

Sounds in the room are muted. Only the sound of computer keys being rapidly pressed from various directions, the occasional “go ahead, over,” sometimes policing is slow & tedious, it’s not all fast cars & blue suits.

The next town has a fight on the go, another is dealing with a high-risk missing person. It’s the 3rd time this month he’s gone missing, we’ll run around checking addresses, searching the parks where the kids who stay out too long hang out. She’ll turn up in her own time when she gets fed up or her mates’ parents refuse to feed her again.

The clock on the wall doesn’t seem to work, it does, it just seems to be in a different space-time continuum. I can’t help checking it out even though I know the more I look at it the slower it will go.

I stand up & rock from side to side trying to get some kind of circulation to kick in & keep me awake. Sarah over on T Division is reading some trashy celeb mag, as usual. Dave is into nodding dog mode. Two or three others are typing on their keyboards.

The next hour & a half eventually slips past. I’ve managed to stay awake which is more than can be said for one or two of the others. Funny how being really quiet can affect the whole force sometimes.

One the way to the car park there are several comments from different people waking up for the journey home. ‘Bloody hell, that dragged.’

It does, sometimes.

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  1. CmdKeen says:

    You could always mention the q word out loud during the shift!

    But then it would all go to hell and you don’t want that either!
    I had a Sgt on his last shift at the station, spent the whole evening wandering around saying how quiet it was, 10 minutes before the end of shift 2 stabbing calls come in for a town with 6 cops on.
    Tired may be dull but it can beat the alternative…

    October 28th, 2009 at 01:16

  2. copper bottom says:

    on lates yesterday- we had two missing people- both vulnerable, 2 old persons trapped in their homes, three violent domestics – one chap went on to attempt suicide by chucking himself off a bridge (big stress- road closures- force neg) … a number of anti-social behave type logs- and two complaints against the police…

    to be dealt with by 9- officers -1 sarge and an insp.

    doc has given me tablets for my excess stomach acid and told me i am on the way to get an ulcer…


    October 28th, 2009 at 12:58

  3. PC A HUNN says:

    As my Old Dad used to say “when your marching your not fighting”.

    Let the Q times roll.

    October 28th, 2009 at 15:09

  4. Tony F says:

    When on Guard duty, I always preferred to be bored rigid, rather than the alternative….

    October 28th, 2009 at 18:22

  5. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Things are a bit quiet for me too. At least the commute to work is a pleasure during half-term holidays.

    A force not a million miles from my own has partly privatised some of its back-office departments. Staff there are starting to see the effects of a ‘commercial’ approach to staffing and workloads.

    Anyone/thing not fully occupied on ‘business’ for the full 8 hours is considered to be wasteful. Which means no time to learn new things, or teach stuff to upcoming staff, or speak to colleagues up the office, or god forbid, in another department.

    This ‘system’ can only end one way, demotivated staff, unskilled staff, and a poorer standard of work for the ‘client’.

    Saving money though, so it`s not all bad! …

    … unless the business your client is engaged in is something important, life-threatening situations, vulnerable people, traffic accidents. That sort of thing …

    October 28th, 2009 at 21:45

  6. Tony F says:


    Understanding the cost of everything and the value of nowt…Nulabour et al….

    October 29th, 2009 at 22:14

  7. copper bottom says:

    spot on tonyf…

    I had a really boring night except for the idiot and dad that came in after a ‘good night’ on the pop…

    his face looked like someone had done a flamenco on it…

    i sent him to hosp…

    October 31st, 2009 at 17:16

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