Using Your Christmas Initiative
I am glad to see that we kicked off Christmas with an alcohol-befuddled rape, a famous footballer thrown in no less (just to complete the jolly Yuletide picture). We've also had the added bonus this year of a series of data loss scandals - more to look forwards to in the new year, methinks.
But none of this appears on the radar of the SMT in Blandmore. Instead, they are once again looking at our crime and detection figures. That, and the deteriorating crisis with resourcing. Despite 364 days warning, Christmas has once again crept up on us and areas are putting out less than minimum staffing levels across the board.
Fortunately, the SMT has found a way to tackle both problems at once. A series of officers have been brought in on double-bubble (short notice overtime pays double), with the sole purpose of COVERING the Senior Management Team's ARSE. They haven't actually been told what they're supposed to be doing, and it's a shame no one knows they are there, and to be quite frank a lot of them are reportedly just sitting around the office... but the point is that the SMT have DONE SOMETHING about the problem.
Of course, 25th December itself is fairly relaxed. Policing becomes a fire brigade affair on Christmas Day. We don't leave the office for anything that doesn't involve life, death or free mince pies. So for all those bobbies sitting wistfully in Blandmore nick, wishing they were at home with their families and risking discipline by logging onto my blog, here's a happy Christmas story to keep you going.
It's Christmas Day, back when I was a bright young thing, new in the job, with my cynicism laid out before me. I get called to a missing person. The gentleman's family are most distraught, as they have not seen their grandfather since midnight on Christmas Eve. They haven't wanted to bother us until they were sure he wasn't coming back on his own, but temperatures are now well below freezing.
- "Can I take a description of your grandfather?" I ask
- "Of course, officer. He's an elderly man, with silvery hair."
- "He's a big guy, fat."
- "And what was he wearing?"
- "Black boots and a great red overcoat with furry cuffs."
- "Uh huh, anything else you can tell me about him?"
- "Well, he had a great bushy white beard."
- "Right. Well I'll go and have a drive around for him."
I reassure the family I will look for their dear relative and leave the address, getting straight on the radio to pass the description to all officers. It is only when the controller chokes me off with laughter that I look back at the description I have recorded. I chalk one up to experience and wend my way back to the police station.
Much later that night I am sharing a coffee in the Wild Bean Cafe with the rest of my team, when we see a confused gentleman trying to put coins in the petrol pumps. He is elderly, with grey hair and a beard, wearing a maroon fur-lined overcoat and big black walking boots.
We all stare at each other. I go out, gently escort the man away from the petrol pumps and return him home to his grateful family.
The moral of the story? Nothing is too far-fetched to happen to the police.
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