A wise response officer is always armed to the teeth.
With a book, magazine or a portable gaming device.
They should also consider the value of a cheese sandwich or pork pie.
What use are they in the modern crimefighter’s toolbox I hear you ask. Surely we won’t be able to rid the Metropolis of murderers, rapists and robbers with the threat of a light snack or two? How will a well-thumbed lads mag help out at a domestic? Will a winner-takes-all challenge match on FIFA 08 really solve the decade long neighbour dispute? Much as I’d like to think so they won’t, but they do have other uses.
This may come as a shock to some of you who think we all go out with our Austrian strap-ons next to our Tasers and backed up with a wad of 124d’s should all else fail. I’m sorry to break the news to you, but sometimes real life isn’t like The Bill. Believe it or not.
The truth is that, when turning up for work, there really is only a 50-50 chance that I’ll be solving major crimes or otherwise assisting with our league position in the national statistics championships. With a superfluity of other important tasks to carry out, it’s a wonder we get to answer any calls at all.
Chief among those other jobs is the crime scene.
If your policing education has been taught by Tony, June and Reg, you’ll know that crime scenes are open for seconds and are always a hive of activity with paper-suited CSI’s performing complex tasks directed by important looking people wearing designer threads. TV tells us that the same thing happens in Las Vegas and Miami; with better clothes obviously.
Back in the real world, the woodentops get a much bigger part in proceedings. Who do you think does the important job of guarding it while the clever people get on with the rest of their lives? We wouldn’t want them to miss out on a good night’s kip would we? They might turn up with a wrinkled suit, and that just wouldn’t be cricket.
If a scene is outside you’d be amazed at the speed it can be dealt with, thanks to our weather. If it’s covered or inside then you’ll be equally amazed, and this where the entertainment aids are required. While all the clever people get on with arguing over who should be doing what and when, our needs are far simpler. The most important things we need to know about a scene are: Will we be exposed to the elements? Can we sit down? Is there a toilet? What are the probabilities of SFQs?
The best way to get everyone out of their houses and to get a bit of community spirit going is to break out the magic tape and make a crime scene. Word will quickly spread and it’ll soon be the focal point of the neighbourhood. Of course there will be the ghouls who’ve been seduced by the rolling news channels and will want a video record of the outside of a house where something may or may not have happened. Unless you’re going to offer me a beverage, please don’t interrupt my enjoyment of the latest Chris McNab training manual. Try to get my best side too if you can.
In these belt-tightening times, I’ve often been tempted to pick a random group of trees in the local park and cordon them off with some tape on my lunch break. Within half an hour, most of the local residents will have appeared to find out what’s going on and there will be a flood of offers of refreshments. Obviously I’ll have to pick a park in the posher part of town.
It increases the chances of a chocolate biscuit or two.