Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Monday, May 30, 2005

How Are The Goldfish?

Every police officer is familiar with the type of call.

“Disturbance in private premises”.

They come in various combinations of words. However the control room dress it up, it’s a domestic.

They’re almost always an ‘I’ call so the lights and noise get switched on and you make your way to the (probably very familiar) address. Thinking idly along the way about what’s going to greet you when you arrive.

Until recently this generally consisted of if any offences have occurred and if anyone wants anything done about them. Both were (and still are) big ifs. Nowadays, we still care about the first ‘if’. But, we don’t really care about the second one.

Even though you ‘still love him’, if he’s committed an offence he’s coming with us. Now, I know you actually have no plans to provide us with a statement. I know you don’t want to go to court. I know you will do everything you can to hinder any possible prosecution. I know that I’m running the risk of being assaulted by you for taking away the man who’s just punched you. In fact, I know I’m wasting everybody’s time.

I’m just not allowed to care any more. You see, I’ve been ‘trained’. I’ve had the day-long lecture.

I’ve been told the statistics. I’ve been told how crap we were before this day of enlightenment. I’ve been talked through the booklet. It has 27 pages. Every domestic has its own booklet. It is to make sure I ask the right questions and record them in the right places. This is so I can, later, laboriously transfer identical information onto a crime report.

Apparently, we hadn’t been getting the correct information and were woefully inadequate. In reality, all of the questions and ticky boxes are quite straightforward and any officer with a grain of common sense would have asked them anyway. That is, except for one question.

Now that I’ve got to your home, established an offence, offered you First Aid, listened to you scream at me, wrestled your significant other and put him in a van, listened to you screaming at me while I was wrestling/putting. I need to get to the crux of the matter.

You see, I’ve spotted them; you didn’t hide them quickly enough. I’ve been ‘trained’. I have a box to fill in, and it’s vital. I know it’s very personal and potentially upsetting. But, I NEED to know. I’ll just have to go for it……

“Has he ever harmed your goldfish?”


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