I really love my job sometimes.
I was on one of the main radio channels, the one which covers the motorway. It can be really boring but it can be extremely intense at times.
We had a pursuit start up. A marked unit is following a car, does a check on the number plate which shows it to be one nicked two days before from the adjoining county, and one which has been involved in some of those scummy burglaries I refer to from time to time.
Most pursuits last a few minutes before either the car crashes into another motorist who then sues the police for ‘causing’ it to happen, or it is lost, never to be seen again. Occasionally you get a pursuit which goes on for a good while. These are the ones which end up on some TV programme somewhere with Jamie Theakston spouting forth in serious monotones about this ‘perp on a one way ticket to jail’, or is that Sheriff John Bunning?
Anyway, as the control you are really the conduit of all the communication which goes on, a hub between all the police resources both on the ground & in the air in the case where the helicopter is deployed.
It’s great when the chopper arrives on scene & the pursuit is still going on because pound to a pinch of something unsavoury, once the chopper is above the car ain’t going to lose us.
So the scene was set, down the motorway, one or two traffic cars behind it. There’s me trying to get other units to head them off at the pass, as it were. It goes off the motorway and through the countryside. Then it goes into a different force area, but coppers being coppers don’t want anyone else to have all the fun so we keep the pursuit control until it heads back into our force area, by which time I’ve managed to gather the troops together at a motorway junction and sure enough, bright-spark-scumbag heads back onto the motorway.
Even better for the old excitement stakes is the helicopter has it’s TV downlink on and I’m watching it all on the screens (as is everyone else – normal work does tend to slow down when there’s a good chase going on). It’s like something out of a training manual when the Tactical Pursuit & Containment tactics work like a dream and the bandit car is brought to a safe halt at the side of the motorway. Two scumbags are nicked. They will probably get bail & do a runner, but that doesn’t dampen our spirits for a good result.
It’s a great feeling. I guess, deep down, that’s what the job is all about; nicking bad people. I don’t do that anymore, my circumstances have changed & my role doesn’t involve face-to-face contact with shite any more (well outside the job, anyway). It’s a kind of vicarious excitement these days, a real feeling of ‘go on son’ when you’re playing your little part in the great scheme of things. It’s made all the better when everyone in the control room who is either watching it on the screens, listening to it on the radio, or just reading the updated logs all cheers & claps at the end when the car comes to a halt & you see those little heat sources gathering round two guys prone on the floor.
You can’t beat it.