October 28th, 2007

Nights

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Night shifts can be a hit & miss affair; either deadly boring or very busy/exciting/dangerous.

At my last nick I used to work single crewed a lot of the time. That was single crewed as in the only officer on the shift covering 4 small towns and a couple of dozen villages. The nearest backup was 12 minutes away & that was an blues & twos if a unit happened to be on the side of their town nearest to me. 

When you’re struggling with an unhappy chappy, 12 minutes is a bloody long time. Even professional boxers only go at it for 3 minutes without a break. You can’t say to chummy, "Timeout, take a seat while someone brings on the oranges & we’ll resume in 60 seconds". That’s when you really get to appreciate the sweet music of approaching sirens, help at last, providing they know where you are.

I once chased a car thief int an unfamiliar estate. I caught up with him at precisely the same time as I realised I hadn’t got a clue what the street was called, or what street it was off. Trying to explain where I had turned left, then right, then across the green, left & right & straight on past the phonebox while rolling around the ground with a 6’3 skinhead who doesn’t like the thought of free board & lodgings for the night, is not a pursuit I’d recommend. In these circumstances I have found just shouting for help until someone opens a window to tell me to be fucking keep the noise down, has worked & the disturbed resident has actually phoned the police.

I wouldn’t recommend that course of action on every estate though. There are some where the residents are more likely to come out & join in giving you a kicking.

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2 comments

  1. Richard says:

    12 minutes ! Try where I work – 20-25 minutes away to the next nick sometimes and I am the only PC at my sub station covering a vast rural area. If I’m lucky then there might be someone 15 minutes away.

    October 28th, 2007 at 23:50

  2. Reactively Proactive says:

    I don’t envy any of you working in those conditions. We are normally single crewed, but if i request urgent assistance I know there will be somebody from some team or other with me in under 5 mins tops. Patrol is strapped and we often struggle covering the calls, but if one of us is in the sh*t people come out of the woodwork very quickly (well, until about 3:00am – it becomes harder then but everything is stll dropped by your own team to come to help you)

    October 30th, 2007 at 02:59

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