Archive for February 6th, 2010

February 6th, 2010

That age-old dilemma

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

One of the perennial questions that crops up when you’re applying to be a copper is what would you do if you had to nick a mate or a family member?

It’s one of those questions you think you know the answer to but hope it will never happen. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling going to a drunken knife-wielding shoplifter who’s kicking off only to arrive at Asda to find it’s your own gran.

Some years ago I was on patrol with a probationer. We were driving through the town minding our own business when we saw a car heading towards us, it swerved into our lane &n collided with the car ahead of us. It did no more than reverse off the victim’s front offside wing & continue its journey. It was around midnight so the instant thought was either the driver was drunk or the motor was nicked.

The circumstances were such that we could tell the victim was unlikely to be injured, so shouting for him to remain & that we or another patrol would be back soon, I swung the patrol car round & high-tailed it after the suspect vehicle.

It didn’t take long to catch him up & it was pretty apparent he was pissed. We followed him for a mile or so, blue lights & headlamps flashing to no avail until he pulled into a cul-de-sac – in which he happened to live.

Fearing a decamp, I jumped out of my patrol car & ran to the driver’s door wrenching it open. I had nothing to fear; the driver was so drunk he could barely stand.

I grabbed him by the shoulder to pull him out of the car when it suddenly hit me. I knew the driver & I knew him really well.

It was Dave, the lad I had grown up with, who lived next door. It was all the more surprising since we were many miles from our home town, unbeknown to either of us I had been posted there Dave had moved there.

Dave was born in the house when I was two or three & we grew up as next door neighbours. His parents were Aunty Margaret & Uncle Peter; all our close neighbours were known as aunty or uncle, none of this kids calling adults by their first names lark back then.

Dave & I played football, his dad took us fishing, my dad took us sailing. I moved away when I joined the police & Dave went off to do engineering like his dad.

So here we were in a dark cul-de-sac, me an officer of he law & him an attempted fugitive from it.

He looked up around the time I was double checking it was actually Dave. “Hello , 200, I think Ive been a bit naughty.” I think my reply went on the lines of “Dave, what the fuck are you doing?”

I called the probationer over & directed him to say the magic words & we put Dave in the patrol car &  carted him off to jail (well, the local nick).
Dave didn’t appear to hold any grudges & openly admitted it was his own sorry fault. It hadn’t been his first brush with the law he was lucky not to get a custodial.

His mum didn’t take it very well, which was really awkward for my folks. Aunty Margaret blanked them whenever she saw my folks, uncle Peter would only speak to them when Margaret wasnt present.

Whenever I go see the family, I get the same treatment, to this day & the event was in the early 90s. They’ve lived next to each other for nearly 50 years & no longer speak because of an incident that even dave moved on from, very sad.

I saw Dave last week when I visited my parents. He was coming out of his folks’ house with his kids as I was coming out of mine, with mine. We had a good old chat & caught up with what we were both doing. The funny thing is that we both live in the same town but have never bumped into each other.

His parents never came out.