Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Nothing Comes For Free

PC Costos Mutch was left wondering whether the free bus travel available to Police Officers was all it was cracked up to be last week when a fellow passenger considered it decidedly unfair of the bus driver to expect him to have change of a twenty pound note in his pocket at 06.30h in the morning. Remonstrating loudly with the driver - who refused to allow him to travel until such time as change was available - he caused PC Mutch, one of the Force's more mature officers, to weigh the odds of his winning a tussle against the strapping young bricklayer. In the event another passenger provided change for the hapless brickie who sat quietly muttering and cursing to himself.

Leaving the bus at his destination the still sulking tradesman could not resist a parting shot at the driver as he disembarked. The affronted driver stood from his seat and declared to the full bus that he had been threatened and needed the help of the Police Officer sat at the back, at whom he helpfully pointed. All heads turned as Costos left his belongings, drew himself to his full height and marched to the front of the bus.

The bellicose brickie, now even angrier, squared up for a confrontation; Costos feeling vulnerable without his usual police accoutrements, took a conciliatory stance and, using the gravitas that comes naturally with maturity, encouraged the man to leave the bus for a chat

Barely had the men set foot on the curb when the driver, clearly feeling relieved of his burden and any responsibility for the situation, drove off leaving PC Mutch to deal with the younger angry man alone and with his belongings sailing off into the cool morning light.

After glancing at each other for a couple of moments, neither sure what to make of this unexpected turn, the bricklayer spoke first:
"What are you going to do now then?"
"Buggered if I know, get another bus I suppose" replied PC Mutch sulkily losing interest in any confrontation,
"What a tosser he was" said the brickie; PC Mutch feeling that he ought to retain at least some semblance of authority, replied,
"That's as well be, young man, but you were out of order kicking off like that"
The young man expressed the opinion that he considered Police Officers to be only slightly higher than tosser bus drivers in the great scheme of things but, given that they were both victims of this particular tosser bus driver, was prepared to leave it at that, accept the advice, and part on matey terms.

PC Mutch departed to find another bus and, somehow retrieve his possessions. Boarding the next bus to town, he uttered a paraphrase of those immortal words: follow that bus.

Arriving in town in time to see the original bus disgorging its passengers PC Mutch was alarmed to recognise his swish - and nearly new - shoulder bag slung jauntily over the shoulder of a small Polish plumber. On being challenged
the plumber, who bore a striking resemblance to one of the Mario Bros. made great show of returning the bag and seemed mighty relieved to be able to repatriate it to its owner. Accepting the kind plumber's broken English account of his having taken care of the bag following the public transport fracas PC Mutch strode onwards to share a few choice words of advice with the bus driver about how to support a Police Officer when called upon to execute his duty in this manner; this done he harrumphed off to his regular station-bound police duty to reflect on whether free transport was worth it and to wonder about the merit of pedal cycles.

Safe in the office he reached into his bag to put his salad in the office fridge but
found it necessary to re-evaluate the motives of the helpful Polish Plumber when he found a Tesco bag containing Polish sausage sandwiches, a peach and an Aero bar. Not one to let sleeping dogs lie he rested the sandwiches on the office radiator all day and then repeated the process at home that evening intending to return the sandwiches to the thieving tradesman the following day; but to this day the plumber has not boarded the bus again - all PC Mutch got was funny looks at the strong unpleasant garlic odour that surrounded him on his bus journey the following day.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Red face after radio confession

After a quiet period for the Weasley twins it appears they are back on form following a recent radio stunt perpetrated by George Weasley. Finding himself on duty one evening with a naïve colleague from a different shift working overtime, Weasley abused the police radio airwaves in an audacious coup that left the unnamed colleague red faced and this correspondent breathless and not a little curious.

The police Airwave radio system allows all officers on one channel, or talkgroup, to hear each other’s transmissions – the advantages are obvious; this feature though provided Weasley with another opportunity for mischief. Engaging his innocent colleague in conversation, Weasley skilfully steered the chat to the topic of their colleagues, or more specifically their female colleagues and their various merits. Having given a full and frank assessment of a certain officer’s plus points Weasley enticed the unsuspecting officer into carrying out a similar assessment, in ignorance of the fact that shortly prior to the question: “What do you think of Sarah Didsbury?” he had depressed the transmit button on his personal radio ensuring that the whole police division listened with rapt attention to a, frankly, flattering and heart rendingly honest, assessment of the subject officers bodily attributes.

Didsbury is reported to be “intrigued to learn the intentions implied by the Airwave profession of adoration” and is reported to be waiting, in a manner befitting a lady, for further communication.

To add to the intrigue it seems, according to sources close to the Weasley prankster’s victim, that he feels Weasley might just have done him a favour, by forcing into the open something he lacked the courage to say in a more conventional manner.

The punch line to this latest prank, however, was delivered by Chief Inspector Julie Warne in whose eyes Weasley’s card is well and truly marked. Weasley is reported to have paled when Chief Inspector Warnes Airwave intervention:

“Radio discipline at all times please…” was followed up by searching questions of the evening’s duty roster.

(Crofty's Note: The picture is called A Delicate Embarrassment)

Local officer in burger shame

Community Beat Officer Ron McDonald took the long walk of shame to the end of the third floor corridor this week after disgracing himself on television. Summoned to Chief Superintendent John Toblerones’s office, McDonald was made to explain how he was to be seen in the background of a news shot, caught by a local TV crew, apparently munching a double cheeseburger when he was meant to be stood guarding the murder scene. Sources whose office is close to that of Toblerone’s report hearing expostulations that included the words ‘professional’, ‘helmet’ and ‘out of my sight’. Sources in the lower corridors of White Horse Road police station report hearing, shortly after the meeting, muttered protestations that included the words ‘****ing media’ from departing McDonald, who was seen to be clutching a piece of paper: reportedly an action plan for future development that is to include a publicity project on his community beat in liaison with the Force’s Press and Media Unit.

Custody drama for PC in CS spray arrest

PC Jack Schmitt was covering his blushes after getting more than he bargained for following the successful detention of a street robber recently. During the arrest of the baseball bat wielding thug, Schmitt discharged the contents of his CS spray canister enabling him to grapple the thief to the floor.

Booking the prisoner in at the custody office Schmitt had an urgent need to attend to a call of nature so, with the custody officer’s blessing, used the facilities of the adjacent detention room. The inhuman wail that emanated moments later put prisoners in nearby cells in fear of torture; but the agonies of PC Schmitt were not the result of inhuman treatment but of his own failure to wash his hands that were covered in the remains of the discharged CS spray canister.

During training to use CS spray, officers are taught that the spray forms crystals as it reaches its target causing streaming eyes and nose. The solution to these symptoms is to turn and face the prevailing wind where the crystals are blown away. There are no witnesses to report how Schmitt dealt with his own exposure…but there were plenty of suggestions.

Locker stunt backfires on wisecrack kids

PCs George and Fred Weasley were reported to be in hiding yesterday when their latest prank backfired. The two notorious practical jokers were the victims of some clever double-dealing by an, as yet, unidentified colleague. In the latest of a spate of ‘locker stunts’ the two moved the locker of a colleague from its position in the male locker room and replaced it upside down in the farthest and most inaccessible location in the room. Sources close to the Weasleys state that they identified the locker by the pictures of high performance motorcycles stuck to the front, what they didn’t know was that their plot had been discovered and the pictures removed to the locker door of another officer. The locker they targeted for their stunt in fact belonged to Sergeant Claude Van-Man who has been recently promoted to White Horse Road Police Station after spending the previous five years serving with the Force’s Tactical Support Unit (TSU). The TSU specialise in dealing with violent situations and public order incidents, they train for hours on end to make themselves proficient in self defence techniques giving them them physiques of well-muscled athletes (phwoaar!). Sergeant Van-Man was a natural for the unit following his previous career in the Parachute Regiment of Her Majesty’s Forces. Sources close to Van-Man describe him as serious minded, a trait typical of TSU officers; less kind descriptions of the unit’s members range from humourless to Robo-Cops.

Chief Inspector Julie Warne is reportedly aware of the Weasleys' misdemeanours; she is reported to have been uncharacteristically philosophical about this breach of the code of conduct saying:

“I don’t see the need for senior officers to become involved at this stage. I’m confident that Sergeant Van-Man is more than capable of dealing with this minor discipline matter in a fitting manner.”

The Weasleys are, to date, still nervously unavailable for comment.