Archive for October 4th, 2007

October 4th, 2007

Smoke & Mirrors

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

The general public, gotta love ’em, eh?

I had an incident recently which occurred off duty. I’m not one to normally get too involved but there are times when you see something you just can’t ignore.

One evening I was coming home from the cinema, walking along a quiet residential street when I happened upon that quaint old English village scene of a group of hoodies trying to chop down a young tree with an axe. There were 4 lads and 2 girls all aged 14-16, the tallest of whom was setting about the base of the tree with youthful vigour.

I shouted at them and walked over enquiring as to the current pursuits of said hoodied band whereupon the 16-year old lad with the carving tool fronted me up exalting something about me attending to matters of a diverse nature including sex & travel.

15 seconds later the youth in question was in a good old fashioned hammer-lock & bar (I don’t think they teach this anymore but always worked for me) and his axe was safely within my own grasp.

Two of Master Hoody’s chums didn’t take too kindly to their pal being detained and approached with some menace in their eyes, this was quickly allayed with a well aimed kick and a reading of their fortune to which they backed off and spouted forth poetry of a rather adult nature, from a respectable distance.

I happened perchance to have left my mobile on charge within my domicile, so, knowing the local shops were but a short walk round the next block I cajoled my erstwhile lumberjack to tarry a while as I dragged him towards the phonebox there but to speak with some like-minded individuals via the fine 999 service.

Enter Joe Soap, or rather enter he not, but that he call 999 from his own phone within the safety of his own walls to report that a middle-aged male with an axe was currently assaulting an innocent youth.

Oh the pleasant sound of sirens was not too long in coming and fortunately for me my explanation of events to attending boys in blue was rather nearer the truth than the ‘witness’, lest I find myself incarcerated within the bare and dank walls of some old English gaol.

It reminds me of a photo I once saw on an exercise for public order training. It was an infamous black & white photograph of a riot in London where a Met officer is kicking out at a protestor, it may have been one lying on the ground, I can’t recall now. I remember it being printed in the papers at the time. We were shown a sequence of photos including those immediately before and after the kick which revealed that the officer wasn’t kicking out but he had been struck by a missile thrown from the crowd and was in the process of falling backwards, as he fell his foot lifted off the floor. The single frame, shown out of context gave the impression the officer was aiming a kick at someone. The wider context showed this not to be the case.

I wonder how many cases have been won and lost because a wtiness wasn’t questioned on whether they saw or revealed the whole event.