So there I was driving the patrol car through one of the towns on a night shift. I saw a vehicle on the opposite side of the road coming towards me; a VW Golf. Ahead of the Golf was another car.
The other car had pulled to a halt & was signalling to turn right. It had to give way to me as it was going to cross in front of me, so it was waiting.
The Golf was rapidly approaching the stationary car from behind, as it got up to the car it swerved at the last minute, in a futile effort to avoid crashing into it. The Golf collided with the rear offside of the waiting car then bounced off it, drove round it & continued on it’s way.
I quickly turned round whilst radioing in what I’d seen & asking for another unit to check out the victim’s car. A short pursuit then ensued during which it was obvious that the driver of the Golf was drunk; it wasn’t a very high speed follow & the Golf was swerving all over the place.
The Golf, which just had the driver on board, turned into a cul-de-sac & pulled up. I jumped out of the police car leaving my probationer in my wake, ran up to the car & pulled open the door.
The first thing you notice is the smell of stale alcohol. This confirms what you already know due to the manner of driving. You also note the driver’s apparent inability to runaway.
The next & most surprising thing was that the driver was someone I had grown up with who lived in my street in a town about 20 miles away.
When you join the job one of the initial thoughts & discussions is what would you do if you had to nick a mate? I have bumped into various people from my pre-police days in a number of different situations; for instance I’d seen old mates outside night clubs & enjoyed a bit of banter with them. I’d dealt with an ex-teacher’s burglary, but I’d never needed to nick anyone.
My ex-neighbour was OK about it. I suppose he took the philosophical approach, he’d been bang out of order & been caught. Although I’d known him for the entirety of his 25 years on the planet (I am just a few years older), I had a job to do. He paid the fines & did the disqualification, although I heard rumour he breached it several times, usually when visiting his mother.
I don’t think his mother took the same approach. She’s not spoken to my mother since that event, they’ve lived in the same block for 48 years & this arrest was 15 years ago. I was chatting to my mother the other day & she said did I know that Margaret had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. In a scurrilous moment I said. "She might forget that she doesn’t like you, if you’re lucky."