What is it in human nature that makes us all nosey bastards?
You know when you’re out there dealing with something which usually involves someone’s misery and the world and his wife wants to stop and stare. It doesn’t matter what it is, we all want to know everyone else’s business. I guess it’s not unique to policing but it if it is it usually has other consequences.
You’re trying to maintain a cordon to protect a crime scene and every second passerby just needs to know what’s happened and why they can’t go down that road.
You’re shutting off a junction and every third motorists comes up to you and parks their motor in the most dangerous spot before asking if the road’s closed, or they’ll abandon their car in the middle of the roundabout and stroll over asking what’s happened and how long will they be invonvenienced.
If you ever get an accident, or should I say ‘collision’ on the motorway, pound to a penny there will be one on the opposite carriageway because some dumb-arse who can’t keep his eye on the traffic in front is trying to ogle what’s happened on the other side of the road before sending his Volvo shotting up the arse of the car in front, and it’s usually not just 1, how often does the RTC on the opposite carriageway involve several vehicles on an ostensibly clear & free-running section? (the answer, in case you’ve never actually seen anything like this is – lots).
I had a sergeant who had a rather unorthodox way of dealing with these morbid onlookers.
We had a fatality on a railway line, it was actually at the station. There was a pedestrian walkway over the station and people gathered to have a gander. We had, by then, collected up all the body parts from various parts of the station and placed them with the main torso section under a blanket on the railway line. I remember than at arm had flown up onto the platform and it appeared that the hand had grabbed hold of one of the timetable signs and was lying wrapped around the sign’s stand.
The sergeant, fed up with all the onlookers, leaned over the blanket-covered remains and shouted up to the gallery, "You want a look then?" and, like a conjurer removing a table cloth from underneath a complete dinner service, revealed the gory remains. "There you are, then" he shouted up.
It was strange how quick the overbridge cleared.