Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Wanted On Warrant

I'm back in the days of the good old Proactive Unit in Dystopia - a sergeant who had the luxury of patrolling with his officers and laying hands on criminals. We're tasked with arresting a Billy Burglar whose DNA has come back on a docket for an aggravated burglary. It was quite a nasty burglary too. Billy was found in the living room by the elderly victim and delivered a hit to the victim's head with a cosh. That wasn't the nasty bit, however. This elderly gentleman was a veteran of the Kenyan War against the Mau Mau. A hard nut, who later recounted the stories of the battles he fought. The veteran, after being hit, responded with a crack on Billy's head with his walking stick. Billy's blood was everywhere - a SOCO's dream - and he was soon marked as a wanted man.

We'd gone to Billy's address on two prior occassions. The first was at the usual warrant-enquiry time of 6 am. It's a good time to catch a Billy. Either they're in a drug induced sleep after spending the night burglarising homes to pay for their crack cocaine, or they're resting ready to wake at 10am in order to burglarise houses when decent people are at work. This time, there was no reply to our repeated knocking and gentle pushes against his door. I looked at his pre-pay electricity metre and saw that there was about 68 pence left. I lodged this in my memory in the knowledge we'd try again the following day.

Second try - again there is no response from Billy's address. We try to look through the curtains, but can't see a thing. I know Billy's inside. I can feel it. As we're leaving, I remember the electricity metre reading. I open the box and lo and behold, it now has over £20 in credit. Billy is in there, but without our seeing signs of life to suggest he is, we decide against forcing the door to search the premises. If he's not there, he'll know we're onto him and may go underground at a friend's address. We'd also have to spend at least an hour waiting for the boarding-up services to arrive, and we've other ne'er-do-wells to catch that day.

This requires a bit of cunning. Billy thinks he's smart, but he's not. We've dealt with many such low-lifes as him before, and we've caught the lot of them. Back at the station we resort to a tried and tested technique...

One of my officers puts on the luminous Royal Mail jacket and blue baseball cap, and grabs a clip board. He's attached an envelope to it. The plan is self-evident. He'll knock on Billy's door, Billy will see the trademark jacket, will ask what he wants, then open the door to sign for the letter. At that point we'll have our man.

This is what happens, it all goes exactly to plan. My officers handcuff Billy in his hallway and I go outside to radio for a van to take him back to the station. Suddenly I hear Billy shouting and screaming. What the hell is he trying to do? He's handcuffed. There's no way he can escape. I go inside and start calming Billy down.

"What the hell's wrong with you Billy?"

"Your f*cking officer, he's taking the p*ss".

I look at my officer who is in fits of laughter.

"What's going on?"

"Sarge, he asked what's inside the letter, so I showed him."

I see the scrumpled piece of paper on the floor and pick it up. I open it to read what my officer has written.

"You're nicked!"

Hobbesllian Footnote: I feel the need to point out that I severley chastised the officer for displaying his wholly unprofessional attitude towards Billy Burglar. It is imperative that we respect the rights of individuals who break into people's homes and are quite prepared to assault the elderly residents, having no regard to the injury this may cause.
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  1. That story and this one:


    have quite made my day! Thank you.

  2. For further satisfaction, read Constable Confused's most recent post, 'Just to Re-assure Those who Worry'

  3. Absolutely brilliant. Give that man an extra biscuit.

  4. Guv,

    I've gotta tell ya, your footnote had an almost sarcastic tone to it - as if you didn't actually mean it!?

    Well done to the septuagenarian pugilist; while it made me smile I'm not sure it can make up for all the countless other poor old duffers who get cheated and burgled out of their hard-earned cash by young scumbags.

  5. A long, long time ago one of our smaller forces was having a problem with an armed robber who used to say nothing to the cashiers - just hand over a note demanding the £££. When he was eventually tracked down he was fishing. A team snuck up on him and dropped their own note over his shoulder saying a similar thing. Not quite as nice as your one, though!!

  6. The footnote accurately describes the messages that flowed from my last PHQ via the DBEM system (Death By E Mail aka RAW - Read, and Weep). This shite used to just go to supervisors to pass on, until they twigged that most of us kept it from the troops for the sake of our collective sanity.

  7. ROFL


  8. R/T - I must admit I sanitised it for the well-being of the readers.

    Hog Day - You can see that I've learnt from the same messages sent by the same people telling us the same thing as when you served, can't you? The only chastisement I actually gave the officer was for putting my name at the bottom of the letter, done so any complaint would be levelled at me. Either way, it was funny.

  9. Just a plug really...if you haven't done so already, I HIGHLY recommend reading Bastard Old Holborn's blog. It's nothing short of genius, and written in a manner I only wish I could express myself in. I'm also indebted to him for advsing his readers to look at my blog, and for giving me the courage to continue blogging. He's also funny as hell. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself!

  10. Spooky. We had a postmen's jacket and bag which one of us would wear on a search warrant.
    They always opened the door for the postman, but as soon as they did, the rest of the team would barge in.
    Or a double bluff, get a uniform Officer to knock, they don't expect tht.

  11. Now look here Mr H, the officer in that picture is wearing non regulation body armour - either that or she's from the marine unit and has accidentally inflated her Mae West - and where are her identifying numbers?? Dammit man, think of the shame...remember You Tube.

  12. Are you sure you want to recommend old holborns blog? He advocates readers giving Police S5 'f*** off' to the Police in his Weds July 1st post.

  13. Was seduced here by the picture, and was in fits reading this and the previous post. Great stuff. Encore ad nauseam please.

  14. Cogigator - I had a read of Holborn's post. What he actually said was that if officers ask for your name you should say 'fuck'. Should the sender of that message be a very attractive lady then this could be construed as a rather flattering invite. One that I would find difficult to refuse or take offence from.

  15. Hog Day - I've no idea how that photo arrived on this posting. It would seem that my wife is attempting to sabotage my good reputation (that was a photo of my wife by the way). Still, it brought in an extra 1,000 readers, but has now been replaced with the original photo.

  16. I think that the note inside the envelope is very much the sort of thing that I would do.


  17. A funny story.. .I am glad you respected his rights!