November 29th, 2010

Fit for purpose

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Some years ago I nicked one of the local lads who was always in trouble. He would have been about 18. I can’t remember what I nicked him for on that particular occasion, but it was usually something to do with his drink & drug habit. He used to burgle people in his own road, he robbed his mother, he even beat her up to get her PIN number on more than one occasion.

She never pressed charges & whenever you nicked him & went round to tell her, her first question was usually, “what evidence have you got?”.

Anyway, he got nicked & put in the back of the car. At the last nick I worked at a major proportion of my time was single-crewed. We had to learn to police with our mouths rather than our muscles most of the time as backup was usually 20 minutes away.

I drove the 15 miles or so to custody & must have been in a benevolent mood because I let him out of the car for a smoke before we went into custody. He must have been waiting for his chance because suddenly he was on his toes like a bloody jack rabbit, straight out the rear yard & off across the road.

I ran as fast as I could but he was 18 & I was forty-something. Luckily for me he wasn’t the fittest teenager I ever nicked & his sprint lasted about 200 yards before he was completely ****ed. He found a parked car & ran round the other side just as I reached it. To be honest I was pretty puffed out by now. The way I policed didn’t involve sprinting; if they got away you just made an appointment with their dad & saw them later.

Anyway, the next minute or two was like something out of Benny Hill. I went one way round the car as did he. If I stopped & went the other way so did he. My assertion that he wouldn’t get away fell on deaf ears & we went round & round & back again until both of has had recovered a little & then he took off again, inexplicably back towards the police station.

He tried to jump the fence into the police station yard & that’s when I decided to go for broke & launched myself at him, rugby style.

I was around 16-17 stone & he didn’t get up for a while, which gave me enough time to recover my dignity before dragging him back to the cell block.

This episode has no relevance really & is not really cutting edge policing. I was simply reminded of it tonight when I took my sister’s dog for a walk & thought it might be a good idea to run it round the block.

Sitting on your arse in the control room for 8-10 hours a day does something to your fitness levels that I’m not too proud about. Still, January the first just round the corner, a good time for a new start.

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  1. Tony F says:

    Made me smile, Still and all, he didn’t get away, and you both got some exercise…. :-)

    November 30th, 2010 at 08:22

  2. simon says:

    Is there a Basic Fitness Test and annual fitness tests for Policemen ?

    November 30th, 2010 at 09:07

  3. Hogday says:

    200, thats why they gave us radios :)

    November 30th, 2010 at 09:58

  4. jaded says:

    There is an annual fitness test on my borough.It involves running to the doughnut shop and getting the fresh batch as they open before the public arrive.

    November 30th, 2010 at 12:30

  5. Young Bill says:


    Have you no pride? I can’t think of anything more embarrassing than calling up saying you have lost a prisoner. (Not that I haven’t done it!)


    For most police officers there are no fitness tests after basic training.

    November 30th, 2010 at 12:51

  6. Fee says:

    Thanks for the laugh, 200!

    November 30th, 2010 at 13:04

  7. 200 says:


    Young Bill hits the nail on the head. I come from the days when if you lost a prisoner you got stuck on. Only being caught shagging the superintendent’s daughter on the police station snooker table was a more heinous crime.

    It wasn’t so much that I was unfit, more that I wasn’t built for sprinting. It’s like when you’re fighting with someone, with all that furious & unusual activity two minutes is a really long time.

    November 30th, 2010 at 13:55

  8. Jaded says:

    Did you pot the pink or the brown?

    November 30th, 2010 at 16:32

  9. Civ_In_The_City says:

    In papers it said you only need 30 mins brisk walking a day to improve health. Yeh, maybe when spring comes around.

    Several of the stations in my area used to have gyms, I think all have now been either refurbished as offices or are just full of desks and computers with various fitness equipment pushed to one end. Does this confirm there is no need for fitness but there is more crime to investigate?

    Last time I looked there was still a bar and snooker table on the upper floor of my nearest station. And a corridor for a skittle alley.

    November 30th, 2010 at 20:23

  10. Hogday says:

    200/Young Bill, yes, in my day, whgich sounds like 200′s day, the loss of a prisoner was usually a fine of 2 days pay – something that would likely raise an eyebrow in a modern day police canteen chat.I didn’t appreciate your fitness to weight ratio ;) something I’ve never had to worry about – come to think of it, that’s probably why, as a Met Cadet, they always sent ME after the running lag if there wasn’t a police dog handy :)

    December 1st, 2010 at 09:15

  11. Hogday says:

    PS, 200, in my last decade, superintendents caught shagging on their office tables or anywhere else around their division, was rewarded by a pip to go with the crown.

    December 1st, 2010 at 09:21

  12. SHIJURO... says:

    I worried about this problem for a while too. So, to go with a new pattern, I bought a bike and used it to get to work…

    It worked. My fitness is fine now.


    Of course, the job changed my pattern!

    Now I have to stay fit outside of work…


    December 3rd, 2010 at 14:11

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