November 14th, 2011

This week we have been mostly…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

…acting as a taxi service for social workers who can’t be arsed.

Kiera is fifteen and in care. She’s in care because she doesn’t like being told what to do. She’s living in one of those care homes where staff are employed to live in for two weeks at a time and where the teenage residents get to do whatever the fuck they want without consequences. It’s an ordinary house in an ordinary street just like the one you don’t want next door to you.

When they put her in care the social workers decided to move her to a different town, twenty miles from her friends. This is so she can start afresh and not be subject to the bad influences which ’caused’ her to go off the rails. You know, those influences like never having any consequences.

Kiera doesn’t like being told what to do, so when they tell her to be back at the home by 9.30, she isn’t. Most nights.

Her carers all appear to be ethnic minority ladies with names like Honesty, Charity and Lovely.

Their role appears to be to call the police whenever Kiera doesn’t want to come home and then go to bed.

Everyone knows where Kiera is when she’s not at the home. She is back in her home town 20 miles away with her old mates. When she gets bored or when the alcohol has worn off her friends and they’ve gone home, Kiera calls 999 and says she’s a missing person and is standing by the railway station waiting for police.

Because it is the police’s fault if anything happens, the daily battle of wills between the two divisions involved, that where she lives and that where she frequents, ensues until it is decided whether one division will pop down the road, collect her and bring her all the way across the county to her home, or whether the division where she lives will send someone half way across the county to collect her. Or whether one will collect and meet the other half way and pass her on.

One thing is certain, Lovely will not get out of bed and drive across, neither will any of her colleagues in the out of hours emergency social services department (which seems to consist of someone on the end of the phone who gets woken up by the police several times a night but doesn’t actually do anything). Neither will Lovely employ the services of a taxi to collect her.

So this week we’ve been having a lottery each night for the time the Kiera call will come in. One night I got within three minutes and won first pick from the chocolates brought up by the front line shift a few days ago. So far we have collected her twice, the other division has collected her once, we’ve met half way once and spent one night telling the care home that as we know where she is, she isn’t missing and they should collect her themselves. This went on for over 4 hours between calls from the home, to the home, from Kiera and to Kiera and it all looked like it was going good and we had declined to have anything to do with collecting her until someone caved in and we collected her, again.

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  1. Hibbo says:

    How about, erm, NOT collecting her? Nah, far easier to chauffeur teenage chavs about than arrest nasty criminals I suppose.

    Well done on the sweepstake though 200!

    November 15th, 2011 at 07:49

  2. boy on a bike says:

    Can’t they walk?

    November 15th, 2011 at 10:36

  3. Buffy says:

    We had something very similar this week.

    Lad ended up about 100 miles from home, in a different county.
    No on free for a early morning trip to the sea side.

    The other force collected him and Social services got him a taxi.

    I think that down here at least, they are starting to get it. We are not acting as runaway kiddie taxi as much as we once did.

    I know of one officer who just took thier misper back to the nearest childrens home and left them to it.

    November 15th, 2011 at 10:41

  4. Tony F says:

    How about collecting them, then dropping them off in the Irish sea, or on Dartmoor?

    November 15th, 2011 at 15:51

  5. Lilly lady says:

    Again nicely nailed what actually goes on.

    Madness – yes

    Can we stop it – no (ACPO level don’t want the responsibility of giving us more leeway so push it down to Insp level who says ‘bugger you lot above, i’m not risking my pension with a cluster fcuk misper death, PC go and collect them!’)

    November 15th, 2011 at 20:39

  6. Mad Mick says:

    I read somewhere before that this was sort of dealt with as follows: Misper reported for the umpteenth time. Misper carers (i.e. guardians) identified as being unable/unwilling to take responsibility for misper. Misper taken into local police station under a Protection Order. Social Services called out. After this is done a couple of times our “partner agencies” (load of bollocks if ever there was) start to wise up and take a bit more responsibility.

    November 15th, 2011 at 20:44

  7. Blueknight says:

    I worked in a place that had three children’s homes, a MH Hospital with voluntary non voluntary patients and scores living in ‘care in the community’ hostels. We would have at least 6 Mispers a night.
    Kids chased all over town detained, brought back to the home, in through the front door then straight out of the back door.
    We did not actually put a Police Protection Order on anyone that was already in care, but it came close.

    November 15th, 2011 at 21:15

  8. Bof says:

    Where I work Social Services wil all at about 4pm on a Friday to say that they want to report a high risk missing person from one of their “care homes”. Its only on call back that we find they haven’t actually seen them for two months. Of course the call has nothing to do with the social worker having just realised they’ve dropped a bollock but what the hey, it’s Friday and we can pass it off onto plod! Of course the on-call social worker knows nothing of the case, so we can get no extra details over the weekend and nothing meaningful is done until the original caller can be reached on Monday. Can’t be arsed, your first line, says it all.

    November 16th, 2011 at 10:00

  9. Plodnomore says:

    Once a Police station stopped being classed as ‘a place of safety’for mispers, when I was tasked to collect some teenage scrote, instead of returning them to the home they had absconded from, I used to drop them off at the nearest Social Services office – even, or especially, if the misper was in a different town to their home. As Social Services WAS deemed to be a place of safety I maintained that it was in the child’s best interest. One Sgt gave me a b*ll*cking for doing this until the time she herself collected a misper and on the way to the home, which the misper did not want to return to, the child opened the car door at traffic lights and jumped out. The Sgt then seemed to follow my chain of thought. Funny that.

    November 16th, 2011 at 10:32

  10. a says:

    This ain’t a problem with Social Services, I have seen various departments in the police do it.

    Case #1 – Log accepted at 15:50hrs from a PPU terminal ‘request officers attend conduct safe and well check on xxxx who is victim of high risk dv. PPU officers attended at 15:00hrs to speak with her but got no response – this must be actioned ASAP, consideration given to forcing entry/employing the services of a spiritual medium/authorise telecoms to find her current location’

    Right, so you got no answer from someone you are clearly worried about so you thought the safest and most appropriate thing to do was to drive away, drive back to the station and put a log on so some poor woodentops have to go instead? Forgive me for thinking that you were still a police officer when you went into the PPU.

    November 18th, 2011 at 12:10

  11. Comms Girl says:

    plodnomore – that is a great idea. So great i might suggest it to the sgt or insp next time i take a call for one of the little cherubs.

    November 19th, 2011 at 23:22

  12. Leon says:

    That’s just rude…. calling up from the train station. At least our fifteen-year-old-frequent-flier had the decency to come to the nick and lift up the yellow phone outside – 5 times in 10 days.

    November 21st, 2011 at 16:16

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