Archive for May 1st, 2006

May 1st, 2006

Foot in Mouth Disease

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

If you’re tall enough, you might notice police cars often have numbers on the roof. There may even be 2 numbers and a shape. This is so people in tall buildings and tv film crews can identify specific vehicles when they are making their complaints…”it was the pair in that traffic car with 546 on the roof, they’re the ones wot dun it”. It might also assist police air support units identifying individual units.

If there are two numbers on the roof one will be the force number. This is a 2 figure number individual to each specific force, so all vehicles in Greater Manchester might have 22 (they don’t actually have “22” I’m using that as an example) & in Thames Valley all cars will have 09, for example.

Imagine the scene following a fairly long police pursuit down various main roads and motorways which ends up in the neghbouring force area. Numerous traffic, firearms and dog vehicles, all wandering about, not knowing street names, all looking for several youths who have decamped from the stolen car which has crashed into a lamppost.

The helicopter eye in the sky is trying to make some sense of who is down below and doing what, they receive a call on the radio from one of the units who thinks the thieves may be in a garden beside his police vehicle.

“Yes, unit who thinks he may have sight of these offenders, can you give us your roof number so we can identify which unit you are, over.”

“Xray-Two-Three to Air Support, roof number is 36, repeat, 36, over”

“Air Support to Xray-Two-Three, you numpty that’s your force number, all vehicles have got 36 on the roof.”

And the rank of the numpty in question?… yes, an inspector. We really ought to keep senior officers out of real police work.