Archive for March 3rd, 2011

March 3rd, 2011

Like the corner of my mind

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

When I was on the streets, I was a member of the International Police Association, an international brotherhood of officers in almost every part of the world. It’s a bit like the Masons without the funny handshakes & odd trousers; you can go to any country in the world & find friendship through mutual membership.

I was fortunate enough to go on many visits to foreign climes & experience many systems of policing. Whilst undoubtedly the focus of membership was on the social side & the chance to share a few beers with brothers & sisters across Europe & beyond, there was the educational side. I have patrolled, in uniform, the streets of many nations.

I remember on one occasion in the old city of Warsaw, an amazing place completely rebuilt after the war using original plans of buildings often hundreds of years old. I was with a Polish officer as we walked along a set of tram stops. A guy came up to me  who turned out to be from England. Ignoring the Polish officer & speaking directly to be, dressed as a traditional British bobby, without batting an eyelid he asked me which tram he needed to catch to get to the Mostowski Palace. It was like he fully expected a British copper to be patrolling the streets if every nation in Europe.

I learned that policing in Poland is pretty much like Policing Britain, except we don’t have to remove the sub-machine guns from the boot of the car every time we go to grub. We had a meeting with the local police chief at the British Embassy country club. We had a meal, much vodka was drunk & as was the tradition, after the meal we exchanged gifts & mementos. He sent his driver out to the car to collect some gifts from Poland to the UK only to find his police car had been nicked, I kid you not.