Apologies for not posting last week.
I was tied up at the largest street festival in Europe. It’s something I look forward to every year, not as much as my electricity bill, but not far off. Try as I might, I can’t avoid either of them, until I get some solar panels fitted I suppose.
I especially enjoy getting there ridiculously early. That increases my chances of bumping into an actual resident. They’re the ones making sure their minions have correctly fixed the Florida hurricane style protection to their multi-million pound pads. Just before they flee the area until the middle of the week, by which time they hope the council will have removed the urine and faeces from their doorsteps. I guess they’re just party poopers.
With everything removable removed and everything breakable covered up it’s time to turn the streets over to swarms of jolly officers and even jollier crowd barrier operatives. We’re always there hours before anyone else being very diligent. I really like it when successive ranks of supervisors make their decisions on just how and where we should be standing/walking when there is no-one else there but departing residents and super keen Japanese tourists with their Nikons on overdrive.
Doing ‘pulse’ patrols up and down two hundred yards of deserted road at 8am with six colleagues is just exercise, it’s not policing. I know you can get your runner to write something in your decision log that might get you noticed by whoever you’re sucking up to this month, but wouldn’t it be more productive to leave us at the feeding centre playing contract for an extra hour or two?
When the noise gets going the senior officers generally retreat somewhere to strategise and make important decisions, like how many biscuits. When I say ‘noise’ it’s a little bit hard to describe, but I can feel and see my shirt moving with the bass that gets pumped out from the dozens of ‘floats’. Even this loses its novelty effect after the third scruffy articulated lorry populated by a sweaty, deaf collection of whistle blowers lumbers past. It’s not quite the Hastings Town Show. There are less Victoria sponges and unusually large butternut squashes for a start.
It’s at around this time when we need to use our honed policing skills to deal with the marauding groups of disaffected youths getting into the party mood. So long as it fits into our mission, vision and values and is commensurate to the event we are dealing with of course. Suffice to say, if you’re struggling for cannabis detections your worries are over. Public order fanatics will get their fill too. So long as it’s not a foot outside the route of course, in which case it’ll be unrelated to the event. Yeah right.
This year some colleagues got to show their prowess at the brick & bottle quickstep. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a bit like Morris dancing only with less handbells. I’m sure Bruno, Arlene and Len would have given them a ten and Craig would probably have knocked one out over the strapping men in uniforms.
I missed all that. Instead, I got to meet the real heroes of the event. Chris, Rebecca and Christine may have been flaunting their medals in front of a flag waving Bozza. But, they were nowhere to be seen when the 302 portaloos needed emptying were they?
No they weren’t, but I met the men who were.
We didn’t shake hands.