Friday, 25 July 2008

Wasting ambulance time

We hear a lot about wasting police time, hell just read David Copperfields marvellous book. Coppers' heads were nodding all round the country, including mine. I have never been so drunk that an ambulance has been called for me, I have never got an ambulance when a lift or a taxi has sufficed and I've sure as hell never hoax called any of the emergency services. Not like some of the people you read about here.

But in my professionnal life, I barely go a day without wasting their time. Our instructions are basically if someone we come into contact with is intoxicated/injured/ill in any way, call the ambulance. It covers my arse or should I say the arse of the MPS.

I come across drunks, whether called by members of the public, the ambulance or come across them direct. I then have to make a decision as to whether there's a chance if I leave them they're going to choke on their own vomit or they're going to waddle off happily and recover. Generally my rule is, if they can stand and insult me, they're probably the latter. I try and avoid calling the ambulance in this instance but when it comes to arresting a drunkard who's not being violent or disorderly, or palming them off to the ambulance to deal with them, the choice is simple. And I hate doing that. I wish they'd just wander off and be adult for a change.

Some people are assaulted and even though I can't SEE any injuries it doesn't mean they've got any. But sometimes, especially when heads are involved, we're more inclined to call the ambo. Arse covering you see. At least they're qualified to make the decision as to this person's condition.

If someone tells me they're ill or they feel a bit faint, I'm not going to refer them to their GP, what if its serious? Call the ambo down, they can sort that out, they've got the knowledge to refer them to their GP.

Now its not just us who are involved in arse covering. Take this example for the chain of arses being covered. A man is brought into custody who is of the age where he should be fit and well, has no previous medical history to speak of. He 'collapses', I don't think it's genuine, but we call an ambulance. Police arse covered. The ambulance turns up and they think he's faking, he can't tolerate an intubator which is a tell tale sign, but they can't get him to stop playing, so they decide to take him to hospital. Ambo arse covered. He's booked in at A&E and the handovers given. The nursing staff and doctor think he's putting it on, but they can't get enough consciousness to turf him out, so they admit him for obs overnight. Hospital arse covered. Of course the people who are with him throughout this whole chain of events are.... us! So chummy still wins cos he's wasted a lot of our time. But that I don't mind, we're used to our time being wasted. What I don't like is an ambulance with a crew of two men/women who can resucitate people from cardiac arrest dealing with my faking prisoner before taking up a bed in a hospital next to people with real medical issues who could be my dad or mum.

Now before I get a load of abuse from my best friends dressed in green I'd just like to point out that this isn't how it should be and I HATE calling the ambulance for people who don't deserve them. But at the end of the day, we all work for accountable organisations and this is the world we live in. Plus we get to see our best mates the ambulance service on a more regular basis :-)

Monday, 14 July 2008

Proactive policing and Gene Hunt

It's very rare these days to get any proactive policing done on a response team. Stops, arrests and searches are usually generated by calls and when you're not answering them you're writing up previous ones or eating. The only time you do get a chance is late on a night duty ie after 3am, when most of the criminals are finally in bed and you're left too shattered to keep driving around in circles watching milkmen and coppers going in for early turn!

Sometimes you do get a good night with minimal calls and a keen colleague. The festive season is one of these times. Brad and I went on a mission with a breathalyser in the glovebox and a new lease of life. We stopped about 18 cars and bagged them....with a negative result. The last one I stopped was a transit three up with no lights on. Alarm bells were ringing. Sure enough the driver staggered out to us and refused to blow into the machine. His mates were bigger than the two of us and they were interfering. A call for another unit was made.

He was nicked for failing to provide and after a long charade of unconsciousness that the ambulance couldn't even disprove we ended up in the local A&E. He was chucked out by the doctors after a couple of hours for feigning it. But not after his blood was diluted substantially by an IV. Anyway, back to the nick and we managed to get two satisfactory breaths out of him in the machine. He was over, still.

I've had a spate of proactive arrests recently some of which have been for "non-sexy" stuff that is still none-the-less illegal. I get some stick and everyone on the team thinks I'm made for traffic with some of the arrests I bring in but hey, might as well earn my money.

It's nice to do a bit of "old-fashioned policing", trying to find criminals before they commit crimes, rather than after. A lot of the time recently we're getting s60s put in place, which basically means for a period of 24hrs (extendable to 48) we can search anyone with no grounds (preferably in a group) to make sure they're not carrying weapons when serious violence is anticipated. I'd love to say I contribute to preventing knife crime in teenagers but I'm afraid searching everyone in a hoodie and finding nothing doesn't make much difference. Without actually imposing stiffer sentences these youths are not going to be deterred. I always look at the "rapp sheet" for people I arrest and some of these people have 20 or more convictions for kindred offences before they get put inside. Even then, they get short terms.

My last arrest had been convicted of various immigration offences, and he was fined £10.00 for each of them. That £40 bill will show him!

Apparently the police aren't doing enough to keep the public safe, not to mention only having four cars out last saturday night, the courts are doing a lot to keep the public in danger....

Oh and about Gene Hunt. He used to leave comments on this blog but he hasn't been around in a while.Whatever happened to him?

A nice change

Well not much going on near Tyler, I've been away and on assignments involving very little police work for two months or so. I'm sure something will inspire me to put pen to paper in the near future.

On this particular recent assignment I was dealing with crowds, the nice sort. Of course this means giving directions to the same place repeatedly which is fine, but tedious. After an extremely long shift of cutting fown my directions from "Madam, the place you require is about ten minutes walk on your left hand side" to "That way" a lady walked up to me and I was just about to rattle off the pre-recorded message when she said "Thanks for keeping us safe"

I was gobsmacked.

My colleagues on response teams around the country will know what I mean....