Wednesday, 31 January 2007

My Computer's Fixed!

It's been a few weeks since me last post, but now my computer's fixed and I don't have to time share my mate's clapped out old lap top. So, quick update.

We installed a covert camera at Nana Moon's house. This took ages to get authorised because, even though we were putting it in a private residential address with the owner's permission I had to justify it in case we infringed somebody's right to privacy. Still, it was worth it because a couple of weeks later the scum bag came back and we got a cracking photo of him going into her house.

The next day we went and locked him up and he was good enough to get dressed in the same clothes and do his hair exactly the same way as in the photo. Now, how's that for the public cooperating with the Police? Partnership in action! Unfortunately CID were slightly less cooperative, but eventually they huffed and puffed their way into interview with him and now we're just waiting to hear what CPS have got to say about charging him.

I still have no staff to help lock up the other criminals though, and we've just been plodding along from one shift to the next doing our best. I've been told that I'll be getting some more staff at the end of March, but I won't hold my breath...

That said, everyone's still really chirpy around the nick. I'm lucky to work with a great bunch of people who genuinely care about what they do, even if there is the odd moan and gripe about some of the things people report to us.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Back To Work

So, couple of days off after New Years Eve then back on earlies.

I'm a skipper (sergeant) on a squad of six or seven officers which, if everyone was at work, would be just enough to Police our area relatively effectively. Unfortunately I've had one officer transferred to a Safer Neighbourhood Team (more about them some other time), one on an interviewing course, one on a secondment to a prisoner handling unit, one on leave and one off sick.

Which left me and two PC's to try and Police our patch. Except for Thursday. When one of those I had left was taken to another part of the county to assist with the arrest of a potentially violent and armed man.

So, two Police officers to Police almost 500 square miles of a mainly urban part of the county (with some rather pleasant green bits thrown in for good measure).

I had a bit of a rant for ten minutes and then we just got on with it. And it was actually quite refreshing. Normally I have to have a bit of a stress about getting through all the jobs waiting to be allocated. But this week I knew I didn't have the staff so we just dealt with one job at a time and it was all rather nice. (particularly as I could leave the station and go and have fun without getting told off!)

Only one real job of note. Our divisional analysts decided that the peak time for burglaries in a specific part of our division was between 12pm and 2pm on Thursdays. So one of them with a plain clothes Police officer had decided to have a drive around that area. Blow me, a burglary in progress gets reported and the whole world goes to it. All the officers from the bigger station down the road, traffic, dog section, armed response, helicoptor and me and my buddy. We got containment on the area and everyone was having a good search round. After about 20 minutes a few of the officers had started to leave to go back to what they were doing before the job came in so there was only about four cars left looking for the burglar.

The same burglar who broke cover and sprinted off down the road straight into the arms of the plain clothes officer! (you have to understand, this never happens. It's like having all your Christmas' and birthdays at once).

How did we know it was him? Well, his car was parked next to the attacked premises. He roughly matched the description from the witness and was sprinting away from the attacked premises. Oh, and the witness also stated that the offender wore socks on his hands (to hide fingerprints. Obviously watches The Bill). When the chap was stopped we lifted up the bottoms of his jeans and he had no socks on. Now, I'm no Inspector Morse but.......

Unfortunately we also dealt with a 92 year old lady (the sweetest person you've ever met. Like Nanna Moon off Eastenders but nicer) who had been taken for hundreds of pounds by a guy who'd tricked her into thinking she needed building work done. It was really good, though, to see how the Police Service reacted with her getting help from all different sides. We've still not caught him but there's a couple of things in place to help; I'll post if we get him. And for anyone who thinks the Police don't care, I lost count of how many times the word "scum" got used when people were talking about this job.

So, all in all a good set of shifts. After the bonkers New Years Eve I needed something like this to remind me why I love my job so much.