I get a call to help out. In the front office of the police station we have a young mother, a Social Worker and a lady from a women's hostel. The young mother and her boyfriend have had a row and he has taken their 13 month old daughter to his mothers address nearby and says he is keeping her. They want the police to go and seize the child and hand her to the mother.
I ask some pertinent questions. I am nice and polite and want to create a good impression with these partners. The lady from the hostel is rude and ignorant. She clearly hates men and loathes the police, so I have no chance. The Social Worker is polite but naive in the extreme.
I explain that we have no power to just go and seize this child. The lady from the hostel has the simple view that the child belongs with its mother and no man is fit to be looking after her. Clearly not been on the police Diversity Course. Perhaps we could offer her a space and build relationships?
I know the lad who is the father. He has been in a bit of trouble but he is not bad and I know I can talk to him. I tell them that the Social Worker and I will go and visit dad, while mum and hostel lady can park up nearby and we will see how we get on. I go to the door with the Social Worker, it is answered by the lad. The Social Worker immediately says. " We've come to take Kylie (not real name) away." The lad says. "You can fuck off." And slams the door shut. I suggest to the Social Worker that perhaps that was not the best opening line. I will speak to the lad alone. I knock again, get invited in, The lad is their with his mum. The child is fine and being well looked after. After a cup of tea and a chat he agrees that he cannot look after the child. He has work in the morning and it would be best to hand her over to her mother. I call Social Worker in and child is taken to mum. Sorted. Hostel lady is still scowling.
I quite like working with partners generally, but many of them are ignorant, useless, bigoted and rude. If I behaved like that I have no doubt they would make an official complaint about me. The police tend to accept this behaviour from partners as if we are in some way deserving of it. I didn't complain about these people. Perhaps I should have?
The opinions and views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of the Utopian Police Force nor the City of Utopia.
The stories I tell here are all true but my purpose is not technical accuracy. My purpose is to illustrate the nature of policing in an educational and entertaining way.
I have tried to respect the privacy of the citizens of the city and to relate specific facts without identifying individuals. I believe I succeed in this but if you do recognize yourself and believe others will too, please contact me and I shall rectify it.