January 29th, 2007
When I started the job as a mere teenager I had three ambitions. That’s apart from the standard ones like helping those less able to help themselves & giving something back to society, you know, the bullshit they expect you to come out with to the chief constable on your passing out parade (they don’t have these any more, do they?).
Firstly, I wanted to drive fast cars, or at least drive normal cars fast. I wanted to save someone’s life and I wanted to deliver a baby.
I managed the first after a few years & got my police advanced driver qualifications which I’ve had for over half my career to date. [OLD SWEAT MODE]I did it in the days when an advanced course was an advanced course and not like now when they hand passes out with the rations. [/OLD SWEAT MODE] There really is nothing like the adrenalin of a high speed job. I’ll miss that the most when I take up my new post.
I managed the second, sort of.
I was parked up at the edge of the town centre on a sunny Saturday morning. There was a sudden panicked knock on my patrol car window. A chap had evidently collapsed in the street not 100yards from where I was parked.
I couldn’t find a pulse or any trace of breathing. A crowd had gathered. I started mouth-to-mouth.
I didn’t have a mouthguard at the time and as the first breath worked its way down his tubes I could hear a sickly, liquidy gargling type of noise from deep within his throat. I pulled away from his face to take a second breath when I got a nice blow-back effect as the vomit which had gathered in his oesophegus made for the path of least resistance which happened to be straight into my mouth.
My immediate reaction was ‘fuck this for a game of soldiers, let the bastard die’. I mean, there are lengths you will go to and no further. Chewing on another man’s vomit is probably beyond those limits.
So his lips are all covered in sand-coloured puke, I’m kneeling amongst a crowd of about 25 people all expecting me to perform some kind of miracle akin to raising Lazarus & not a single doctor or nurse among them.
So I did what anyone after a certificate from the Society for the Preservation of Life would do; I wiped the residue of vomit from my face with the back of my hand, turned him on his side and fished out the rest of the puke with my fingers, rolled onto his back again, wiped his face with my hanky which I laid out over his mouth – hey, I know it was of no bloody use whatsoever in the prevention of the oral transfer of spew but it made me feel better – and carried on mouth to mouth alternating with chest compressions (no, nobody volunteered to assist).
When you are in such a situation as I now found myself two things happen. Firstly, you find yourself strangely wondering why you hadn’t put in for annual leave or sick leave, or any leave and secondly you transfer into a parallel space-time continuum. This is one in which time is stretched. An ambulance, which takes 6 minutes to arrive, feels like it’s actually taking 25 minutes.
A few minutes of mouth-to-mouth and chest pumping is somewhat tiring on the system. I don’t feel that knackered after sex, mind you, sex obviously doesn’t usually last as long as 6 minutes.
The ambo eventually arrived & after the administration of electric shock treatment & oxygen the paramedic tells me that I’ll probably survive & I release the crew to work on my prostrate friend.
They worked on him for a good 40 minutes in the back of the ambo. They were there so long I was surprised nobody had jacked it up and had the wheels away. I don’t think I’ve seen an ambo crew working on someone for so long at the roadside. Apparently I’d done some good as, to my delight, they got him going and we shot off to the local A & E on blues and twos.
For another 36 hours. But at least it was enough time for me to locate his family and bring them to the hospital so they could say goodbye.
I think most police officers go through their careers never having to do mouth-to-mouth and all that malarkey. By some strange quirk of fate I’ve done it 3 times. The other two didn’t make it as far as an ambulance and the wife was present during the second attempt I made to revive her husband who’d had a heart attack at the wheel.
So that leaves delivering a baby.
I guess I’ll have to forgo that ambition, unless I can persuade one of the girls in the control room to oblige…
January 27th, 2007
Home Secretary John Reid has been caught out this week in a classic ‘Doh!’ moment.
The continuing prison population problem has necessitated him writing to every judge in the country to remind them (plead with the, more like) that they don’t need to send everyone to prison.
A blind man in a darkened room could see that the letter was specifically and only designed to get judges to stop sending naughty people to prison because the government’s mismanagaement of the prison system over the last ten years has once again made sure there isn’t actually any room in a prison to send someone.
The various government mouthpieces denied this was the case, of course, much like my daughter wiping sugar from her lips whilst denying she’d raided the cookie jar. Do they really think we’re stupid??
When asked why the letter had been sent if it wasn’t designed to get judges to stop imprisoning people, Geoff Hoon , on BBC’s Question Time said it didn’t hurt to remind judges from time to time about the powers open to them, as if otherwise supposedly intelligent and competent professionals had suddenly completely forgotten their role & responsibilities.
I’m eagerly awaiting a letter from some government department or other to remind me to make sure my arsehole points towards the ground next time I go for a walk, just in case I’ve forgotten.
January 25th, 2007
It’s with a deep sense of pride that I can report on the selfless deeds of some of my fellow citizens.
It seems the Dunkirk Spirit is alive and well so let’s put aside for a moment all the talk of the chavs and the underclass and the ‘me,me,me’ society which prevails in our modern times.
I talk of course of that happy band of brothers and sisters who, while the majority sat on their arses at home watching events unfold, without a moment’s thought for their own safety, bravely mounted the pebbly beraches at Branscombe in Devon to assist in what must surely be South Devon’s worst disaster of 2007.
As the disaster of the partial sinking of the MSC Napoli unfolded hordes of willing volunteers headed towards the danger while everyone else just looked on.
It seems that the RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology must have called in all their favours as almost every single member rallied round to assist in averting what could have become one of Britains worst eco-disasters this century.
"I’m doing it for the birdies" a solemn faced volunteer said to reporters as he carried off 200 packs of sodden nappies. "If we don’t remove these toxic trainers from the vicinity", said another "god knows what damage they’d do stuck down the throat of a baby guillemot."
Sweating and panting almost to the point of exhaustion, John Shite took a moment’s break to talk to to me. "Well, it’s taken me 15 hours but I’ve got that bloody BMW bike up the cliff. These things are lethal to the inshore marine life, I mean, do you know how many hundred years these things take to rot away?"
Jade Slapper, who had travelled all the way from Essex was only too happy to assist. "Well, when Darren said all this detritus was lying around the beach I was only too happy to help. We’ve been here 2 days now and managed to fill 3 transits with Nike trainers and a few windscreens. You gotta remove them, if the sun shines through those brand new glass windscreens they could set fires and fings, I mean, it’s dangerous to leave ’em there, innit".
We counted about 200 of the volunteers working day and night to clear the beach and bring it back into some kind of safe environment for the flora and fauna.
One member of the team wasn’t happy that so many others were willing to sit at home and watch it on their TVs. "Well, we could do with a few more people down here, like. There’s about 20 more containers we haven’t even broken into yet and if it takes 12 men to get a BMW off the beach we could be here for another 3 weeks."
We spoke to a group who had travelled all the way from Liverpool as they took a break from removing wheels off their mate’s trannies. I asked where all the dangerous items were going to be disposed. "Yeah, no, you can’t just stick it in a landfill, like, irresponsible. Recycling, that’s the answer. Personally I’ve recycled almost 2 tons of goodies, I mean, rubbish on eBay."
The great British public, gotta admire ’em!
January 24th, 2007
Time for a major change methinks.
I’ve been offered the ‘opportunity’ to live out the rest of my days in the force control room. I’m seriously thinking about taking the job.
I’ve done in excess of 25 years ‘on the street’. The whole of that time has been on full shifts & the vast majority, with the exception of a small stint on traffic, has been on what we used to call ‘section’ or front-line response or whatever the current buzzword for bottom of the pile is these days.
There will be those, I guess, who will say I’ll be selling my soul to the devil, or selling-out my fellow workers or taking the easy way out, but I do feel genuinely that I’ve played my part and served my time. There aren’t many people still on the streets on shift after nearly 30 years.
So the factors to weigh up in my decision to leave the front line & go over to the dark side are;
- no rain
- no paperwork
- no court appearances, wasted or otherwise
- leave work on time
- no enforced overtime
- no being spat at, pinched, kicked or otherwise abused (except on the phone)
- no injuries (except paper cuts)
- work at the same place every day
- no complaints (OK fewer complaints – everyone gets complained about)
- grub break most days
- Getting to drive really fast
- team cameraderie
- that’s it
I mean, come on, it’s a no brainer, surely….you wouldn’t blame me.
January 23rd, 2007
Is Celebrity Big Brother the biggest waste of space on the planet? (or does that title go to the Home Office?)
I have never watched it due to the fact that I actually have a life, despite appearances. I suppose it’s unfair for me to comment on whether the behaviour ‘in da house’ last week was racist or not &, to be honest, I couldn’t give a flying f***.
There must be a few folk down Hertfordshire Police way rubbing their hands. Wouldn’t you like to get that gig? I mean, they could write you off from arsehole to breakfast time while you travel the length and bredth of the land taking 30,000 meaningless witness statements.
I’ll never fathom out the interest in a bunch of has-beens, or worse, never-beens with little or no redeeming features sitting on their fat arses slagging off each other. If I wanted to listen to such shite I’d volunteer for the next call at work, and the next, and the next.
I went to a job where four white lads were kicking seven bells out of an asian lad in the town centre on a saturday afternoon. Guess how many of the people standing by watching until the police arrived actually witnessed the incident? Exactly, none!
Over 30,000 people complain about some meaningless drivel on the TV. God the UK public sure know their priorities.
January 22nd, 2007
Well, it seems that at least one of my New Years’ resolutions fell at the first fence – posting more regularly on here!
I honestly don’t know where some of the other police bloggers find the time. I mean, don’t these people have lives? They can’t all work in the Control Room.
The demands of working full shifts, finding excuses not to do various pressing DIY jobs around the house and trying to avoid the family take up more time than enough already.
Still, I’ll try and do my best to keep it updated as much as possible despite nashki77’s comments.
Mind you, I am limited to making entries when the wife and kids are out or asleep given that not even my wife knows I run this blog, let alone any friends or colleagues.
January 10th, 2007
PC John Waterman of Norfolk Police got himself in the shit this week after one of the cases he was dealing with appeared in the papers and on the TV.
Two ‘jobless foreign nationals’ were caught vandalising parked cars in Norwich. They were arrested and confessed to several similar offences. The naughty people received a police caution, thus making sure that all 10 victims received their due recompense and were happy with the judicial process, not.
In a letter to one victim the officer described the reason not to prosecute as based on the fact that they were foreign nationals with no income and that prosecuting wouldn’t be in the public interest. Everyone else in Norfolk Police (senior management & public relations people) recoilled in horror at this grave misreading of the circumstances and queued up on the TV and in the press to berate the officer saying that these factors should never be considered when deciding who to prosecute and pointing out that the force had detected 10 crimes even though only two were initially reported. They appeared to forget to mention anything about how the victims felt over the decision to caution.
The answer to all the problems this case raised? Exactly, to send the officer on a ‘diversity’ course, which they have promised to do.
I’ve posted previously on the value if such courses. I can’t help thinking that Norfolk Police would be better served by sending the officer not on a diversity course, but on a course all the other senior officers must attend – the one where they learn not to tell the truth to the public.
January 9th, 2007
Ruth Kelly is in the news this week. She’s sent one of her children to a 15 grand a year private school ‘on professional advice’ because he has ‘special needs’. That’s the same Ruth Kelly who was the Labour Education Minister. That’s the same Ruth Kelly who, as part of the government, was responsible for closing some 91 special needs schools in their bid to create an even better education system (nothing to do with saving money). This is another government minister sending their kids to a private school; if it’s OK for Big Tony, it’s no wonder Mz Kelly and Abbott et al are following suit.
So the minister responsible for education realises that the state education system is of no use to her child and only a private school can provide for their needs. Her supporters including Tony Blair support her right to ‘do the best’ for their children. Sadly, the vast majority of other parents with children of equal or more severe special needs can’t afford £15,000 to get their kids into a better system nor can they avoid the endless hoop-jumping it takes t get a child statemented for extra support as Kelly can.
If this isn’t an example of a confession of mismanagement & failure by a government, I don’t know what is. (And I’m a Labour supporter!)
January 8th, 2007
So they topped Saddam Hussein while I was away.
I noticed Gordon Brown jumping on the bandwagon condemning the circumstances around his drop. Apparently someone videoed the vent on their mobile and some people were heard calling him a few names. This, of course, is cause for world approbrium to be heaped upon those responsible for topping that particular piece of scum.
It’s a shame so many people weren’t so quick to condemn when Saddam was murdering little five-year olds and leaving their bodies to tor in the streets of Iraq. It’s no surprise really that government ministers are among those who have no sense of proportion.
January 5th, 2007
I’ve never been off at Christmas, at least not for the whole Xmas period. After over 25 years of working them I decided to take a break this year.
So I had a festive season which wasn’t full of drunks and people hitting and swearing at each other.
Back in the day it used to be that come Christmas you either worked Xmas Day or Boxing Day (unless your shift was lucky enough to be rest days for both). The single officers were expected to volunteer to take the Xmas Day so the married ones could have time with their other halves. Then when I got married it was the done thing to volunteer to work Xmas Day so the ones with kids could have the day off. Then when I had kids I didn’t have any choice and had to work them both, mostly. I’ve probably had maybe 8 Christmas Days off in over 25 years.
The trouble with having leave is you don’t want to come back. Still, only two or three more to go.