Monday, 24 January 2011

Am I Special - well I was once!

Hello travelling chums,

Tonight I have been reminiscing about when I was a Special (or Speckle to those who know me better!)  I have spent most of the evening thinking and digressing about the many hours of duty time that I did, the long days, the longer nights and the life experience that I gained and which I think has helped me to appreciate the good and bad bits of life - at 29 I can say hand on heart that I have lived and I have made a difference to somebody's life.

So I thought it would be nice to share some of those experiences - both good and bad with you, some of you will know where I am coming from as you will have experienced the same or similar scenarios, and some of you will never experience anything close.  It won't make you less of a person and it doesn't make me better than you - it just helps to get into my head for 5 mins, perhaps even 10!

So at the age of 22 I decide I want to live life and experience it to the full but I have a job at the police station which I love and a lot of spare time on my hands.  I come up with the hair brained idea of becoming a Speckle!!  So one day I call for an application pack and I apply- I don't discuss it with anybody as the conversations from family and boyfriend all revolve around the 'danger' issue and I impulsively strike while the iron was hot - that is me, little Miss Impulsive!  So I join and I manage to scrounge a lift to Maidstone every weekend for about 8 weeks to do the training - being little Miss Competitive too I have to be top of the class and teacher's pet (always have been, always will be!) so I study hard and I pass the tests with 100%.  I have made it, I am now a Speckle.  I am a crime fighter, a hobby bobby, call me what you will but do NOT call me a Plastic Policeman, they are PCSOs - always have been, always will be.  As I fondly state to anyone who wants to ask, I have the same training as a Regular, I have the same kit and I do the same jobs but I don't get paid, I do it for love - love of the job and the adrenaline rush when a call comes in and you have no idea what you will get to when you reach the other end, and most of all, love of the feeling that I am actually doing something that will help somebody else, somebody who needs you and relies on you to do a good job and help them - there is no greater reward than that - helping somebody in need because you can.

So I start doing fetes and carnivals, they are bread and butter basics for Speckles - or used to be anyway but there is always something happening.  And then there are the shifts when you are with other Speckles and then there are shifts when you go out with the Regulars - here are a selection of my favourite memories.

I went out one day shift with a Regular officer - it was a Sunday and it was very Q - you never say the full Q word as I found out as it is a jinx!  If you don't know what it is - 5 letters and means the opposite of loud!  So it was Q.  We washed the car and we went for breakfast at the Beano cafe in Westgate, you never know when you will get refs  soo you take the opportunity when you can.  We then leave and a call comes in - DV.  Domestic Violence.  I hate those calls like no other, sudden death anyday over a DV.  We take the call and we head to Margate.  We enter a flat - myslef and my male colleague.  The sight we are met with is horrific.  Drugs paraphenalia EVERYWHERE.  Children walking around half clothed and crying, trying to avoid stepping on used needles.  The information we are given is that after a heated arguement, the male had left the property and run off after assaulting his partner.  He needs to be found as he was potentially armed with a weapon so my male colleague gives chase through the exit that the male went.  I was alone in the property with  the victim, her children, her friend and her friend's children.  I start taking details instinctively, descriptions, what happened and why, I update the details over the radio and listen to the commentary of the chase in progress.  About 10 minutes after a Dog Section Officer arrives, he had been called as my male colleague was concerned that I was at the property on my own, there was intelligence that the occupants were potentially violent.  He comes in and looks at me - asks if I am ok and I say yes, I give a run down of the details and it is at this point that I actually take stock of my surroundings, not only are there knives on nearly every surface but there is a claw hammer wedged in the kitchen door where she had tried to hide from her partner and he was so determined to get to her that he treid to smash the kitchen door in.  Shock is not a word that I link to that day - when I left the property and got back into the patrol car after the suspect had been apprehended I was shaking so much that I couldn't use my swipe card to get back into the station.  The thing that annoyed me most was the victim who left the property to stay with friends, was advised not to go back and to let things calm down - she didn't.  The next day she was in a coma as the hammer lodged in the door became lodged in her head - they never take the advice.

From a bad shift to a funny one!  I went out on duty with a fellow Speckle and we were just going around the Thanet area picking up any calls that came in which the Regulars weren't too interested in taking.  I requested that we take a call for anti social behaviour on the St Peters estate as I had been to the address the previous week for a similar matter and I thought it would re-assure the lady if she saw a familiar face.  So we request the call to the surprise of the resourcer.  We attend and sort the matter and the lady was really happy that I remembered her and came back to help her, words  of advice given, youngsters suitably admonished and we were away.  We head back to the station as there was a request for a female officer to conduct a personal search in custody and my colleague says that he will deal with a call for more anti social behaviour - this time in the form of a noise complaint from an old people's home in Birchington, an easy call to deal with on his own.  So I am dropped at Margate and conduct the search - hmm, a systematic procedure to locate voids, I remember that definition well and there are some things you don't want to remember.  Especially when Vicky Pollard is asking if you enjoy touching her up - yes love, I can think of nothing better to do with my time than fondle your boobs!  I then hear on the radio an update to the call that my collegue had attended, he is requesting a talkthough with me and requests my assistance with the call.  He motors back to Margate and  I am collected and we travel back to Birchington.  He is unusually quiet in the car and I am concerned but he doesn't say much.  We attend the address and there is an almighty racket, TV and Radio up to full volume.  We bang on the door, I say We - it is the Royal We - I bang on the door and my collegaue hides around the corner, the old man comes to the door and tells us in no uncertain terms to Fuck Off.  Lovely.  I bang on the door again and call to the gentleman who states he can't hear me and will phone the Police if I don't go away - 'I am the Police' I state, oh why didn't you say?! Well actually I did!  He wants to see my warrant card so I hold it close to the letter box and he tries to grab it but can't quite reach.  I look at my collegaue who is looking really sheepish now and I twig, this is the same thing that happened to him apart from his warrant card went through the door!  Oh dear!  After 25 minutes of negotiation we manage to get the warrant card back and the TV and Radio are turned down. We then result the call and I am surprised to hear the resourcer laughing their heads off as they twigged that my colleague had told them over the radio that he needed his colleaugue to go with him as the old man was abusive and they had images of the 'colleague' being a burly officer rather than a female!  It was even better when I informed of the warrant card escapade!

Another time when the resourcers had a chuckle was when 3 of us Speckles were out on a Saturday night in St Peters.  There was a call to the Skate Park relating to a group of youths generally being a nuisance so we drive over and as soon as we pull up the 5 youngsters did a starburst over the wall and into the field.  Myself and my 2 male collegaues exit the car and try to give me a leg up over the wall but I am laughing too much and can't get my leg over - no rude comments please!  So they eventually get one of them over, the other gets back in the car and drives round one side of the field and I decide to give chase round the building as I know the area well and there is a wooded area behind the park.  So I make my way up the steep embankment and I get to the top - unbeknownst to me it is now used as a fly tipping ground and when I get to the top I promptly go A over T and land in a heap of broken glass, barbed wire and old tires at the bottom.  My hand is cut to shreds by the broken glass and I have hit my head on a 4 by 2 pice of steel, needless to say I am not a happy bunny!  I gather my wits about me and stand up carefully, blood pouring down my arm and I am not ashamed to admit I swore LOUDLY!  However partway through my potty mouth tirade, a tiny white face appears, looks at me and shouts ' Run, Police'  I look, laugh and say I am the Fucking Police, I suggest you stand by the car and don't move!  Then another face and another and another appears, I have all 5 of them in front of me looking aghast.  I was dishevelled, muddy and bloody and my head throbbed like a good'un.  I must have given them the scariest look as I yelled at them to stand by the car and I wasn't in the mood for any messing about.  They all slunk off like puppies told off for weeing on the rug. I collected my thoughts and tried to radio my colleaugues as I needed help - I was losing blood and feeling quite queasy and there was no chance that the kids would still be by the car if they had any sense, they would have legged it.  I got no reponse on my radio so I called the control room and requested a talk through with my colleagues but they couldn't contact them.  I made my way carefully and slowly back to the patrol car and what greeted me - 5 young men standing in a line!  The silly sods were waiting for me - I must have given them one hell of a look!  I radio'd back to control and informed them that I had five in custody, they wanted me to confirm where my colleagues were and I informed them that they were probably still in the field chasing the five youths.  Yes, I can confirm five in custody.  Eventually my two collegaues returned and were greeted by me taking the details of the 5 youths, still with blood pouring down my arm and now the world was spinning.  They took over and searched the youths who were let go with a severe bollocking from me for making off from police and minus some alcohol and fags which were seized as they were all under age. My colleagues tried to recover the situation by updating control but they already knew that the lone femal officeer had apprehended 5 alone whilst my colleagues were doing what?  Turns out they were making dog noises to try and make it sound like they were tracking the kids down,   funny now I look back on it but at the time I was furious as they had changed their radio channels and not updated anybody.  I got driven back to custody where I then spent 30 minutes being patched up by the Custody Sergeant, he put a plaster of my hand and everything!

So that's some of my tales, I have more to share but these shall do for now, other tales involve traffic accidents, missing persons, dead bodies, sudden deaths, burglary, theft from shops and a hell of a lot more weird and wonderful scenarios like fights on train platforms and topless modelling on Margate Sands.  As I say, I have experienced a lot and that may be why not a lot phases me now but it adds to the great diversity of life experience.

Hope to see you again soon, stay safe x

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