November 17th, 2007

Those were the Days

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Whatever happened to those good old fashioned sergeants? Are there any left? You know the ones, they knew everything and if they didn’t know it they bullshitted so well you thought they knew it. They let you get on with your job without interfering, they knew how to manage people and get good results from them, when it had nothing to do with filling in PDRs or sending emails.

I used to have a great one back in th day. He was a Scot. He retired some time ago, someone said they saw him a couple of weeks ago. He must be in his hundreds ‘cos he looked like he was past retiring age when I knew him 25 or more years ago.

I remember one day as a fresh-faced young probationer I found someone in possssion of cannabis. This was in the days before it was mandatory to have the stuff, when most people you stop-searched didn’t have any and it was considered a nice little arrest.

I brought him to the cell block (we didn’t have "custody suites" in them days. I outlines the circumstances to said Sgt and proudly handed over a small cube of cannabis resin. "Follow me, laddy" was his response. He was talking to me not the prisoner. I duly followed him out of the office, through the radio room, down the corridor to the toilets, whereupon the evidence of my crime was promptly flushed down the loo. We walked back to the charge room where the Sgt told my man to pick up his stuff from the desk. The quizzical felon followed the Sgt out of the charge room down the corridor to the back door. The Sgt then opened the door and looking the chap straight in the eye said "No fuck off and don’t let me catch you in my charge room again."

On another occasion I stopped a car which was all over the road. A subsequent breath test revealed the driver to be potentially over the limit – it was the old plastic bag & yellow crystals job back then. I duly nicked the fellar on suspicion of drink driving and conveyed him to the nick (we always ‘convey’ we never ‘take’ someone).

Sergeant Scotsman was the custody sergeant. The driver hobbled into the room, this was partly due to the fact that he was drunk and partly due to the fact that he had a false leg. After outlining the circumstances to he Sgt he asked the detainee what was wrong with him. After a short explanation about losing his leg, I forget how. The Sgt led the man to the rear corridor, you can guess what’s coming. He held open the door and said "Now fuck off & don’t let me catch you in my cell block again".

He then turned to me and said "Now then young 200, we don’t arrest cripples in this town," and went back to his daily Mirror.

I don’t think he’d go down very well with the folk who count the detections these days.

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4 comments

  1. Reactively Proactive says:

    If he were working today and released people who were ‘under the doctor’ and ‘got depression’ he would have a very quiet life!!!

    November 17th, 2007 at 16:27

  2. tim says:

    “Why did you stop this gentleman?”
    “Because he drove that bit of road perfectly and only drunk drivers do that”
    “I think you’ll find he has just blown 33, show him the way home”

    November 18th, 2007 at 02:25

  3. Annette says:

    He reminds me of Dixon of Dock green!!
    He would do that too.

    November 18th, 2007 at 14:53

  4. whichendbites says:

    Now you’re talking. The old sergeants were like gods. They had the real power and dealt with everything going up and down the line. If you kept your sergeant happy your life was easy. they disliked lazy officers or those who made their life difficult. No-one, and I mean no-one would slag you off. If it was going to be done it was their job. Yet they would defend you against all comers.

    A lot of their respect and responsibility has been eroded by the corporate micro management of the statistical target driven culture that has grown over the years.

    If you wanted to know anything you always asked the sergeant. If they wanted to know anything they asked the career beat officers.
    Between the two they had just about everything sewn up.

    November 18th, 2007 at 23:22

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