July 26th, 2012

Moments of serendipity

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I was reading something about complaints about police recently, can’t remember what it was, it might have been about the numbers of complaints we get.

I had very few complaints in my 30 years. I was never disciplined and all complaints against me were found in my favour.

Some years ago I got a call to a block of flats, an elderly gentleman had been assaulted by the paper boy after an altercation on the doorstep when the chap had not been satisified with the way the local paper had been screwed up into his letterbox. I got the impression that the old boy was having a go at the lad who, for whatever reason, had enough, punched him in the mouth and walked off.

When I arrived I was met by someone who was not the typical vulnerable old boy you might think whilst on route to a report of an elderly male who’d been bested by a teenager.

For a start he was around 6’1 tall, he had a choice turn of phrase, a handlebar moustache and was quite large in stature, not fat but wll built with a large chest which he puffed out at every opportunity. He said he was an ex-para and there were mementos around his flat which suggested this might be true. He was around 70, as I recall.

The paper boy had split the man’s lip. I took a statement and left, promising I would do what I could to trace the lad and bring him to justice.

A phonecall to the local newspaper distributor revealed the address of the lad who was arrested 15 minutes after I left the chap’s flat. I then spent the next four hours in custody interviewing the lad and sorting out the various reports and papers, fingerprinting & photographing, etc etc.

When I got back to the nick having taken the hapless teenager and his mother home, I was told that Mr Para had made an official complaint that I had not updated him on what progress I was making with his case.

The reason I hadn’t was obvious; I’d been dealing with the offender since leaving the victim’s house. Needless to say the¬†complaint¬†went nowhere, but it was registered in that year’s stats.

Some months later I had a¬†strange¬†sense of karma¬†regarding¬†the old man. I was out shopping one afternoon when I happened to go into my local branch of John ¬†Menzies. Who should I spy behind the chocolate display rapidly trying t force a really expensive box of chocolates into a plain ‘elderly person’s’ shopping bag, but Mr Para.

They say what goes around comes around.

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4 comments

  1. annette says:

    It certainly does! LOL

    July 27th, 2012 at 07:13

  2. Brontosaurus says:

    We had an old boy in my town who knew every police officer and regularly wandered around the town with a shopping bag. If you bumped into him you knew you would be in for five minutes of ear bashing. The youth of today should be sent on national service. Criminals should be flogged. Etc. Etc. Then he was caught shoplifting. Hardly ever saw him after that and he never accosted us in the street ever again.

    July 27th, 2012 at 10:32

  3. Ted says:

    I had a complaint that I hadn’t taken action on an OAP’s complaint. He was complaining about street football. Actually it was 2 seven year olds in a car park. They weren’t even being noisy. I asked the old guy what it was that was actually annoying him. Were the boys shouting? No it was the sound of their feet hitting the ball. This guy lived 3 floors up. He must have had bat senses to even hear it. I told him politely – no offense no police action. I didn’t even speak to the boys.

    He complained and my inspector had to attend and placate him.

    July 27th, 2012 at 17:19

  4. Alison says:

    My 12 year old daughter was abducted by a 21 year old, she managed to lock herself in a toilet to ring me, I rang my local police, and was simply told I’d have to go and fetch her!!! Bearing in mind this man had taken her 2 hours drive away, she was crying alone in a toilet. Eventually I got untouched with the staff at the macdonnalds, (where she was hiding in the toilet) the staff there were excellent, I explained my husband was on his way to fetch her, and the situation. 2 hours later there local police turned up (if the staff hadn’t kept my daughter with them, he could of taken her anywhere!) he was arrested, charged and we went to court. But even now after 4 years I’m still angry at how my local police reacted.

    Rant over

    August 4th, 2012 at 07:12

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