I was on YouTube this week doing some ‘research’ when I came across the following video done by the family of a girl who was killed together with a chauffeur by a drink-driver.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who think it’s acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while smashed. I stopped a car once just outside the High Street. The driver, even to the untrained eye, was either totally pissed or was trained monkey who could work the pedals but couldn’t see over the dashboard. The driver managed to pull the car to a halt after I pulled in front of him. I had to open the door as there were no reactions from the driver. When I did he just about fell out of the seat. He was one of the most drunken drivers I’ve seen in nearly 30 years.
Amazingly, he had driven from just off the top of the High Street – where he & his family had been enjoying a weekend camping at the annual Cub Scout meeting – to the estate at the bottom of the High street where he lived. A distance of no more than 1/2 a mile.
Even more amazingly, his wife, who was completely sober, was in the passenger seat and his two boys, both aged under 10 were in the rear. I didn’t know whether to be more annoyed at the wife for allowing her children in the same car as a completely steamed driver, or to feel sorry for someone who possibly didn’t have the courage or where-with-all to go against the wishes of a man willing to put the lives of his kids at risk.
The sad thing is that no matter how many people who see the following video, the ones likely to take note of the message it sends are the ones who don’t need to be told not to drink & drive.
If you’re a rufty-tufty who doesn’t like showing emotion, make sure you watch the vid on your own – to save embarrassment.
There are those jobs which fall into the "now why did you go & do that" category.
I went to a domestic. Phil was well known at the local nick. He had a list of precons which amounted to petty theft & a little minor violence, of the handbags at dawn variety, usually in the town centre after a few too many Stellas.
I got called to Phil’s house one night by his wife. It was something to do with him spending money on a pizza takeaway on his way home from the pub. The upshot was that he’d pushed his wife over, she’d fallen in the kitchen & cut her arm.
Phil is reasonably affable, most of the time. He suggested that we had better things to do with our time than deal with petty domestics which would be forgotten about in the morning. He’d happily fill out the forms with us so we could be on our way & he could catch Match of the Day.
I explained that he probably went a little too far this time & he’d have to set the video for the footy because he was going to be coming with me. He resigned himself to the free taxi ride down to the cells, with barely a nod & I walked him out to the car.
I had hold of his arm, as I did with all my prisoners. We got out into the street & were discussing the likely time-frame for the forthcoming proceedings when suddenly & without warning Phil punched me in the face. I was a little surprised & after explaining it wasn’t a good idea to do that sort of thing to a friendly policeman because they tend to be less friendly, he was cuffed. We continued the few yards left to the patrol car during which time he was further arrested for assault on police. I said, "What did you do that for, Phil?"
He simply replied, "Well as you nicked me for a poxy domestic I thought I might as well get nicked for something decent."
You can’t help some people. I got £50 compensation when he appeared at court.
Dave was one of those recruits you just know won’t make it through their probation.
He just didn’t look like a policeman. I don’t know what it was about him, he was almost 6 feet tall & had a reasonable stature. He had one of those vacant looks about him. When he smiled you wondered of he was a special needs kid on work experience. He seemed to spend half the time in a state of blissful ignorance, unincumbered by a grasp of what was going on around him.
There were those who said he’d never make a copper as long as he had a hole in his arse. They were right.
You just knew he’d been recruited on a Friday afternoon; the Human Resources folk at recruiting were obviously either drunk at the staff party or totally absent & the cleaner had signed his forms.
On his first week of independant patrol, Dave was walking up to people & asking what they were doing. He’d seen someone fill in a form with a name & address thereon and had thus asked everyone he met what their name & address were. The second person he stopped declined to provide the said details saying "What you gonna do about it then?" Dave knew exactly what he was going to do about it, and told him so, "I’m going to follow you home & see where you live." And he did. Four & a half miles he walked, right up to the multi-storey block of flats. The lad went inside shoving the door closed in Dave’s face. Dave didn’t know the entry code.
On another occasion Dave was sent down to the local pond with instructions to investigate some pretty serious crimes being perpetrated against the wildfowl of the town. Complaints had been received about the local Chinese restaurant whose recent increase in the availability of duck dishes seemed to correlate to a corresponding decline in the number of mallards. Dave’s job was to count the ducks. He walked to the pond, which was some way off his beat, at the start of the shift, counted the ducks & returned near to the end of his shift. For seven nights. Nobody had the heart to tell him it was a wind-up.
News today of another MP ‘apologising’ for something which many other people would be staring at the inside of a police interview room.
Tory MP Derek Conway "employed" his son as a researcher whilst he was a student at university. MPs are fully entitled to employ their spouses or other family members. I’m surprised that this is still the case given the depths of the murky waters many MPs have found themselves in when it comes to money and the lengths which people like Tony Blair have gone to to publicly decry ‘sleaze’. Privately their ethics appear to be somewhat different. I’m sure I’m not the only voter who was completely amazed by the recent revelations that Peter Hain, a man at the very forefront of government, still can’t follow the rules in relation to how they accept cash to fund their exploits, despite the very high profile publicity given to the same subject since his party came into power.
Conway’s son was employed as his father’s researcher at a sum of over £1000 a month, not bad for a 19-year-old student on a full-time degree course. He also received ‘bonuses’ totalling £10,000 & is said to have been paid in the region of £45,000 over three years, but the Standards and Privileges Committee found "no record" of what work he had done nor the hours he’d worked and said the £1,000-plus a month he was paid was too high. There is no evidence that the MP’s son actually carried out any work for his father & that he was overpaid for the position he was given. The MP has been told to repay £13,000 and faces a 10-day suspension from the House.
The committee’s assessment all but acuse the MP of criminal activity saying this arrangement was "at the least an improper use of parliamentary allowances" and "at worst, a serious diversion of public funds".
I expect that Mr Conway is currently counting his lucky stars rather than waiting for the early knock on the door from PC Bloggs of the Met Fraud Squad. He’s apologised to the House & accepted the committee’s assessment & recommendations.
A man feared his wife Peg wasn’t hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem.
The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
Here’s what you do,’ said the Doctor, ‘stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.’
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, ‘I’m about 40 feet away, let’s see what happens.’ Then in a normal tone he asks, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, ‘Peg, what’s for dinner?’
Still no response.
Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
Again he gets no response.
So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
Again there is no response.
So he walks right up behind her. ‘Peg, what’s for dinner?’
Get your hands on a piece of history, so says the blurb for the baseball caps on eBay.
My thanks to correspondent CO19 who left a couple of comments regarding my disappointment at the fact that the Police Federation chose white for it’s baseball caps for the March last Wednesday. Those of us who had to work have forgone the chance of owning one of these pieces of history but my disappointment has been assuaged as now I can get one from eBay!!
At the time of writing there are no less than 8 of these icons of police history available:
Have a piece of history – today 23/1/2008 sees the UK police March in London for their right to fair pay – these caps have been issued to all officers attending the march. There is massive media coverage of the event.
This one for sale is brand new, un worn and ready for dispatch to the highest bidder
I am prepared to send this outside of the UK, but international bidders MUST state their location and check with me for postage costs.
Spookily most of the adverts seem to be up for sale from different people but nearly all have the same photograph and text. I thought we police were a bit more imaginative than that. It must be an attempt to claw back some of the £200 the penny-pinching Home Secretary has kept from us.
If you want one, you’d better get in there fast – there are only 16,995 left.
Talking, as I was a few days ago, of low-life scum. There can be few lower than those whose own moral-code (if one can accuse them of actually having any morals, which you can’t) allows them to pillage from the most vulnerable people in our society.
These are the complete dregs of society who literally prey on people who have absolutely no means to protect or defend themselves. They are usually travellers, very often Irish, who scour the towns looking for elderly folk to rob. They have to be elderly so they can’t fight back, the older & weaker the better.
Jessie is 96 years old, she lives in sheltered accommodation which means there are people to pop in and take care of her needs but she maintains a degree of independence in her own bungalow. Like many older folk she sometimes has cash in her house, sometimes more than many of us would keep in our wallets or purses. No matter how many times the staff or her family tell her to keep it in a bank, you can bet she’ll maintain her independence by making her own decisions, for whatever reason, for keeping her money close to home.
Billie & Patrick know this. They know where Jessie lives because they’ve been there before. They know where all the old folks homes are gathered together. They used to knock on doors pretending to be from the Water Board. They’d tell Jessie & her ilk that the neighbours have problems with a water leak and they need to come in to check the water. While Billie supervises Jessie turning her taps on and off, Patrick is upstairs pulling the drawers apart, lifting up the mattress and stealing Jessie’s life-savings. It’s so easy. They can do several in an afternoon if they drive from one town to the next.
Sometimes they don’t bother with any pretence, as soon as Jessie opens the door they just barge in, knocking her out of the way, if she falls who cares. They might demand to know where the cash is or they might just go ahead and search until they find it, ignoring the screams, the pleading and the sobs from a helpless 96-year-old.
They call them ‘distraction burglars’ because they distract the householder with some story to gain their trust.
Billie & Patrick have changed their M.O. of late. They’re not saying they’re from the Water Board any more; their current tack is to say they are police officers, they don’t wear uniforms, they don’t look like police officers, they certainly don’t act like police officers but try telling that to a 84-year-old man who is being held down in their chair by the throat by Billie while Patrick is emptying all the drawers.
I defy anyone not to be filled with hatred & utter contempt for Billie, Patrick and their like, anyone, that is, who has ever spoken with someone in the very last years of their lives ravaged by this low-life scum.
This post won’t endear me to the PCSO-slagging brigade, so if you’re one of them, look away now.
PCSO Hussain is worth his weight in gold, at least he was this week.
I’m on lates and it’s been a busy week so far. On a good day we have half-a-dozen police units to deploy. If there’s a major incident on the go you might lose two of those for scene guarding or running enquiries/little follow-on jobs. The division has arrest targets. If the targets are down then they’re expected to go out and do arrest enquiries from the list of current wanted people. You could lose two units to arrest enquiries, most of which will be negative. Of the two units left, one might have a pre-arranged interview to conduct while the other might need to do urgent paperwork.
The above has happened more than one day this week. This leaves us with zero units to deal with all the jobs which are still on the box from the early turn, and the day before and the day before and probably the day before that as well. And that’s not to even mention all the new jobs which will come in over the next ten hours. This usually means that most of the jobs go ignored & only the new immediates get assigned. I end up ringing back the same people I rang back yesterday apologising for not being able to send someone round, yet again.
PCSO Hussein helps me out. He spends the next 8 hours going from job to job. Most of them are low level disorder by the youths who are let loose to terrorise the neighbourhoods by parents who don’t give a toss. "Any unit free for kids chucking stones at the old folks flats?" is usually met by a response from PCSO Hussein along the lines of "If you can’t find anyone for that we’ll do it after our current job". He (and his two colleagues) take most of the jobs which come in during the shift. These are jobs which many police patrols don’t like doing because there’s not enough excitement in them, they can’t use their blues & twos, and there is no recordable result. Unfortunately, telling a bunch of semi-drunken, illiterate yobs to fuck off somewhere else doesn’t tick any boxes in the ‘sanctioned detections’ stats, unless they can talk the job up to include a Secction 5 Public Order act fixed penalty ticket, which they can’t in most cases.
PCSO Hussein knows most of the yobs, he’s also met their parents over the last couple of years. Some of the kids take the piss out of him, I’m sure, but a lot don’t and at least he gets jobs off the box, which is all the control room supervisors care about. He also takes the time to go and speak with the victim. A lot of police officers don’t bother, they don’t like taking the flak for failing to solve a problem which society has neglected to solve, sometimes they drive off and when asked if they’ve seen the informant or victim they say they’re now miles away and would we mind ringing them to give them the bad news. If we’ve got time I do but only because I’ve been there and I know the feeling. (of the officer). PCSO Hussein visits his informants or victims without being asked.
It’s not until I’m getting to the end of the shift that I realise PCSO Hussein hasn’t had a break all shift. It’s not just the PCs who are running about.
PCSO Hussein won’t get any thanks or recognition for his efforts, certainly off the rest of the shift and probably from anyone who hasn’t seen what he’s been doing for the last 8 hours or more. I’ll send an email to his supervisor though. I appreciate his assistance today, and I might need it again in the near future.
I missed all the fun & games in London today. I’ve been on lates so I missed most of the news reports as well, from what I saw it didn’t actually look like much fun or games, but I did spot a few people I know.
I could have done with a free baseball cap, but who chose white? It’s the sort of colour you can only ever wear on a march for police pay or decorating. 17,000 baseball caps which nobody can ever wear again, no wonder the subscriptions for the federation have gone up again.
Good luck to everyone marching tomorrow, I hope there are tons & tons of us out there.
It will be interesting to see if rent-a-mob turn up and try to spoil the party, but I’m sure if they do we’ll be able to hold our own. It will be the biggest collection of professional witnesses for some time. Rest assurred that I’ll be back at HQ helping my colleagues to meet government targets.
In a shock statement tonight the Home Office announced that absolutely no-one has been able to find out the name, date of birth, bank account details and inside leg measurement of over 3 people in Accrington Stanley.
Head of Public Disclosure for Keeper of Records, Josiah Freebie said, "We are shocked and appalled that such widely available data as a person’s personal information has not been released to anyone, anywhere. We have strict policies & procedures which ensure that all secret information is released to as wide an audience as possible and sadly, on this occasion, procedures failed."
Freebie explained that the blunder which kept several people’s information secret was a one-in-a-million mistake. "We would normally dump our computers at council tips making sure they still contained all the secret data, this is done by fish-wives and neighbourhood watch co-ordinators so that if the computers are not located straight away, the information will be spread by word-of-mouth within a day or two anyway. Failing that we leave all department laptops in view in unlocked vehicles. We also make several hundred copies of everything and send it all over the world to email addresses chosen at random by a monkey. Failing those proecdures we have a fail-safe where Miss Jones from typing will photocopy everything and chuck it out the window of her Citreon Saxo on the way home."
Explaining how the personal information of several residents has remained secret and not released to anyone who wanted it, the Data Protection Registrar, Plankton Worsthorp said "It appears that some idiot encrypted the data using a shareware programme from the Internet. This was a clear breach of our guidelines and to exacerbate matters, they then stored the information on a security-hardened computer system to which only the Queen has access. The fact that it was then kept in a dark room at a top secret nuclear bunker only served to make matters worse. Clearly, the colour of underpants worn by Mr A. G. Greenhouse and his neighbours should have been released into the public domain almost as soon as it was known and for that we apologise."
The Home Secretary, Jacqui Spliff’s Press & PR secretary said, "Ms Spliff is well aware of the security retention issues but was unable to do anything about it due to being otherwise engaged on minisiterial matters at the El Greco Kebab House Take Away Food Emporium".
Now that I’m on the home straight leading to the last fence before the finish line (retirement), I often find myself dreaming about what’ll happen next year. I’ll be 50-ish with at least 25 years of working life in me and not the bloody faintest idea what to do with it. Well that’s not strictly true, I have loads of ideas what to do with the next 25 years, it’s just that all of them will still require me to pay for a mortgage, children going through university & everything else so I’ll need a job, of some description.
The trouble is what does 30 years as a police officer qualify you for? There must be loads of things but when I try to narrow it down what is there? I know mates who have gone into security, joined a private investigation team, worked for the Highways Authority & the council. I know someone who turned his hand to tree surgery, several who are courier drivers, a couple who deliver very expensive cars from one part of the country to the next. Someone delivers & collects caravans, one churns out works of wooden furniture from his garage. There is theguy who now runs a pest control business, at least 2 electricians & one training to be a plumber. Quite a few stay on in the job in one form or another. I know a chief’s driver, officers who have returned as civvy driving instructors, quite a few police comms ops return the next day as a civvy comms ops.
Me? I’m not sure I want to do any of those things. The trouble is it’s a big scarey world out there. When all you’ve done for the majority of your working life is police work in some strange way’s it’s a safe world, you have a regular job. As long as you don’t nick anything or post stupid things on the Internet (doh!) they can’t kick you out so it’s a pretty regular wage. You don’t have to worry about the bosses shipping everything to Poland or China, you don’t need to worry about people not buying your cars any more. Out there in the real world there’s a whole lot of variables I’m not used to.
I’ve got a year or so to think about it & plan.
Maybe I can just sell the kids and move to the coast.
This is the face of the latest peice of scum-sucking low life to hit the news – Nicholas Hague.
Hague’s handiwork can be see in the photograph below. You might need some assistance to work out that the battered face is that of a 60-year-old female, Susan Collins, after Hague kicked her to the ground and repeatedly stamped on her face when she declined to give him a cigarette in Warrington. The victim is still in a wheelchair, is blind in one eye and 4 metal plates were used to reconstruct her face.
Susan was put on a life support machine as a result of this pond-life’s actions.
Hague had received an 18-month jail term in 2005 after admitting helping another man kick a 31-year-old man to death in Warrington in 2004.
Excuse me, did I read that right? This man got 18 months for helping to kick to death another person? 18 months? Is someone having a laugh?
How many times do stories have to appear like this before someone in the judicial system will sit up and take note and dish out some proper sentences. If this man had been given anything like the kind of sentence most reasonable people would expect for assisting in a murder, he wouldn’t have been on the streets to do almost the same thing to an innocent 60-year old woman.
As if the original sentence wasn’t joke enough, as a result of this unprovoked attack on a woman, the judge jailed him indefinitely for GBH recommending he serve at least 3 1/2 years!
I think it’s about time people started sueing judges and defence solicitors for actions which ultimately allow scum like Hague to go out and do it again.
Ok, so I’m taking the lazy way out for this blog by posting an update on yesterday’s entries.
I see the facebook story on the now world-famous "Polcol-gate" story. More websites have picked up the story today and it was even on the TV News tonight. Meanwhile, more of the original photos have been removed and the group membership has shot up by over 200 today.
The comments make me die. You can always rely on certain sections of the great British public to show their intelligence:
Jamie Magictorch says "You dumb stupid pigs – You think your a law unto your own! – I hope top pigs shit on you big time! – FUCK THE POLICE"
Graham Medland writes "LUKS LIEK THE FILTHVE BIN SRSLY MERK’D!!!!!LOL11!!ON!E!!!!!"
Jay Martin adds "LMAO..U LOT R FUCKED!!! HEADLINE NEWS I FUCKIN LOVE IT FUCK U ALL YOU PRICKS!!!"
Jaggy Panesar says "WAT FUCKEN DICKHEAD DA PO PO ARE!!!!! FUCKEN TWATS"
Tarik Khaldi says "Now now people lets not all jump on the fuck the police wagon just because they are scummy, lieing, worthless pieces of shit there is still no need to join the crowed. lol hahaha"
For me, Chris Humphries sums it up when he says "your just a load of mugs, and fancy putting it on facebook. say’s alot about the inteligent’s of the police in our cities and town’s."
Apparently, the idea is that coppers (& others) can post photos of police vehicles involved in road traffic accidents. Indeed, there are photos of crashed police vehicles (& ambulances) but not the same ones that appear in the Sun’s article today. Maybe some have been removed, maybe the Sun made the whole thing up, who knows. People can comment on the photos and there appear to be some less than, er, wise comments made, whether by police or others I’ve no idea, but I suspect if genuine officers have posted anything then the Rubber Heel Squad will be rubbing their hands in excited anticipation.
Kate Bailey, a visitor to the site says "This is disgraceful. The Police are supposed to be role models, and a positive influence on youngsters and everyone else. Its really funny harming innocent bystanders (NOT!) who do you people think you are. I am another one who hopes you all get what you deserve. Absolutely disgusting."
Martin Hancock is even more erudite, "bunch a priks the police, ma 2 best pals died in car crash ya cunts" I’m not sure if Martin Hancock is an anti-police commentator or chief superintendent in the Met’s Professional Standard’s Department.
Apparently the Met aren’t happy, "Use of social networking websites 17.01.08 Following coverage in today’s Sun newspaper of MPS officers allegedly inappropriately using the internet social network site of Facebook.com I would like to reiterate that the MPS expects nothing but the highest standards from all staff. There is now an ongoing investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards into officers said to be part of a group entitled ‘Yes I have had a Polcol’. ( = Police car collision.)"
Coppers should realise that they aren’t allowed to say anything, anywhere and should do what all good bloggers do and keep everything anonymous.
I don’t normally have much time to read books. I’m either working, or wasting time trying to think up subjects for blog posts in a crazy effort to continue posting one post every single day. (It seemed like such a good idea at the time).
I tend to do most of my reading on the bog. It’s the only place I can shut myself away from the madness of family life. I even go in there for a bit of peace & a read when I don’t have any natural ‘ablutions’ to perform, which is strange because even then I still remove the keks, maybe it’s some kind of comfort, a yearning for the safety & security of my mother’s womb; the feeling of bare arse on plastic.
So what have I been indulging in recently? I’m glad you asked.
You can’t be in this job longer than a few minutes to feel deluged by politically correct policies & practices. So it’s nice to go back to the ‘old days’ now & again. If you want a good laugh & feel like sticking a finger up at the nearest Diversity Officer, take a look at ‘Horses Arse’ by Charlie Owen. It’s subtitled ‘Life on Mars meets The Sweeney‘ & tells tales of the goings on in the late 70s in a fictional town with a fictional cast with not a scent of political correctness in site. Charlie Owen was a real copper who served 30 years & I have no doubt that some of the stories are based on real life. Apparently, the Daily Record said "It’s rude, crude & grittier than the M8 on an icy day…".
Get it before someone bans it.
My other bogside reading is ‘The Rules of Modern Policing‘ by DCI Gene Hunt. Yes, that’s the fictional DCI of ‘Life on Mars‘ fame. The book contains his insights & advice on police, policing, crime & society & villains takes over where the series left off. It contains such helpful assistance as "Blaggers go out & take whatever they want rather than work to earn it. But that’s OK – once you know what they want you can plan ahead, can’t you? Say you’re dealing with a gang of bank robbers…You don’t start keeping your eye on florists, do you? Stake out the banks!" Describing his Ford Cortina, Hunt says "There is no better car for pursuit either; I push the pedal on this and the vibration alone could make a nun cum. This thing has thicker carpets than your front room and more wood than Sherwood Forest."
If you can’t wait until the erstwhile DCI re-appears on the screens later this year, grab a copy of his bible, you know it makes sense.
There are some times in the control room when, as my old training school drill sergeant used to say, you don’t know whether your backside is drilled, bored or countersunk.
You come in on a night shift expecting the usual fare of jobs left over that the late shift never got round to doing, drunken fights, the occasional RTC, etc, only to find there’s a rape on the go, officers doing scene guards on that, plus all the other stuff. Then twenty minutes into the shift you get a murder & while that’s on the go someone decides to drive into a tree & is likely to die.
This presents you with several problems, most of which are to do with the fact that you only have one pair of ears, one mouth & one keyboard with associated set of fingers to operate it.
One of these jobs alone is enough to keep you fully as entertained as a blue-arsed fly but putting all three together means you will be running around, as my old drill sergeant also used to say, from arsehole to breakfast time.
You become an information sponge. Everything everyone does, when & why, needs to be documented. there are two of you to do this. Everyone wants a major piece of you.
There are so many calls to make on the telephone. People have to be informed, updated, advised & updated again. Different departments are contacted. Outside bodies are consulted, medical examiners, councils, maybe utility companies, friends & family. Everyone involved wants to know the ins & outs of a cat’s arse about every facet of the job. This is fine if you’ve been on the case since the start but a nightmare if you’ve taken over the job halfway through on a change of shift.
While you’re doing all this people are still beating each other up, receiving threatening text messages & having domestics, nothing stops for a major incident or three.
People don’t always understand why you don’t answer their questions straight away & your favourite phrase is "stand by".
You try your best, after all, your sole role is to help. It’s difficult, hectic, frustrating, stressful but sometimes really interesting. It can be really satisfying knowing you’ve played your part especially when the OIC ((Officer in the Case)) gives you a call later to thank you for all your help.
John lives in a caravan or two with his Mrs and six kids.
He stays on a variety of verges throughout the area at different times of the year. His stays last between a couple of weeks & three or four months. He has access to a variety of vehicles, usually different each time he visits us.
You always know John is in the area because reports of diesel theft increase overnight. The shoplifting at the Co-op increases three-fold. The offenders are always described as teenagers or boys aged eight to ten, all with ginger hair. That’s by the teenage part-time statff at the Co-op, the regular more staff just call them "John’s boys".
John always promises to clear up the inevitable mess he & his family always leave. There is always rubbish. Crates, car parts, drums & containers, nappies. It’s usually close enough to the caravan to be obvious but far enough away for John to deny it ever has anything to do with him or his own. Often John will turn up with a scrapped car & leave it 30 yards down the verge from the caravans. The fairies will mysteriously fill it floor to ceiling with the detritous of his everyday life. He always promises to dispose of the car & contents while simultaneously denying it has anything to do with him. He never actually does. When the car is full it’s usually time to move on.
All the kids get arrested at some stage. Nothing much ever happens to them, there are no consequences and so they continue the only way they know how and get arrested again; they’re not very good at it.
John says he’s too disabled to work. I have no idea whether he gets and free cash from the state though I’m fairly sure his family gets free cash from the residents of the nearby towns; the crime reports tell me that.
Occasionally, John gets a visit from someone who isn’t dressed in uniform. It’s usually the ladies from the Education Department making sure John knows his kids will be welcome at the local school during his stay. They never go.