I realised by now, I was in trouble.

A statement I wrote of a relatively common event that caused me a little concern at the time and one that officers have to face every night somewhere in a village / town / city near you.  We simply ask this is not treated as an occupational hazard.  I have kept exactly as was the statement I read in court but have disguised the names of those involved.

Sgt Harry Trevithick TANGYE 13908 –

I am a police sergeant in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary currently stationed at Exeter Armed Response Unit at Middlemoor, Exeter.  I was working a night shift single crewed starting at 10.00pm on Saturday 22nd August 2015.  I carry weapons within ######## in the vehicle and I carry a Taser along with pepper spray and other protection equipment.  I have been in the police on front line duties working shifts for the past 25 years and I have been in the Armed response unit for the past 17 years or so.  I am an Operations Firearms Commander, a Firearms Tactics Advisor, I am a pursuit tactics advisor, an advanced driver, a VIP protection officer and back up driver, I am a senior investigating officer of serious and fatal road traffic collisions.

At 12.40am on the morning of Sunday 23rd August 2015 I was single crewed in Exeter when I received a call from control room asking me to attend the ######### where there was a disturbance reported.  This was next to ####### or is part of the same premises.

I arrived at the location 20 minutes later and as I drove into the car park, everything seemed very quiet.  I felt the incident that had been taking place had obviously finished but I could see some heads of some people over what looked like pallets towards a house.  I drove around and asked some people whether there had been a disturbance.  A young male in a dark T-Shirt and wavy hair told me there had been some trouble but it had all finished now.  I glanced around noting that everyone seemed quite drunk but also quite relaxed and there didn’t seem to be any issues.  I went over to the front door and asked someone who seemed to be quite sober whether I could speak to the owner.  This gentlemen was tall, about 35 to 40 years old and 5’9” tall, of slim build.  He may have been the DJ I understand later.  He offered me into the house and said the owner was at the rear of the house.

I asked if I they could be called or I could go in, just to make sure all was okay.  He, and some others stepped aside.  There was a very drunk male quite near me slurring his speech.  I cannot remember what he was saying but he drew attention to himself as the others seemed to be quiet and relaxed.  I walked into the lounge area and spoke to a woman who identified herself to me as the tenant of the house.  She was white European, about 5’9” tall of slim build wearing a beige woollen top or dress.  She had blonde hair and was in her 30’s.  She was quite well spoken and looked nervous.  She said, “WELL SOME OF THE PEOPLE HERE WON’T LEAVE AND I WANT THEM TO.”  Her face looked strained and she looked very stressed.

I quietly asked her which ones she wanted to leave, and she replied, pointing at the drunk youth who had been drawing attention to himself and some others around him.  ‘THEY ARE THE ONES, I NEED THEM TO LEAVE’ she said quietly.

With that, the drunk youth who I now know is called P######## dob ####### shouted in my face, “HEY COPPER, YOU ARE THE P###K WITH THE WHITE HAT AREN’T YOU?”.  He was white European, He had a red T-Shirt and was of medium build with black wavy hair in his 20’s.

I put my hands on each of his shoulders and turned him around so he was facing the door, and with both hands remaining there, walked him out saying, “AND YOU SIR, ARE NOW LEAVING”.

As he got outside the others around him were also outside around the door so my plan was to remain at the door stopping anyone coming in until some back up had arrived.  He remained outside for a few seconds and then obviously got a little courage in front of his friends and walked up to me and began continuing his aggressive manner. “YOU ARE THAT P##K WITH THE WHITE HAT AREN’T YOU, YOU F###ING C####”.

At this point I  told him he had to leave, and I took hold of him and firmly told him, “THAT, YOUNG MAN IS ENOUGH OF THAT BEHAVIOUR, YOU NEED TO LEAVE NOW OR WHEN THE VAN ARRIVES HERE, YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO BE ARRESTED FOR A PUBLIC ORDER OFFENCE”

I felt this was a reasonable appeal to him explaining the law and that it was not acceptable.  I was using my officers presence and communications skills as I felt it was clear that the more I allowed him to use this aggressive manner towards me, the more the others around him would gain confidence to join in.  Some of the youths around him were indeed starting to join in, saying, “HE CAN’T DO THAT, DON’T LET HIM PUSH YOU AROUND.”

I was using Section 3 of the criminal law Act which permits me to use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, and indeed Common Law also.  At this time I was using open hands, and then taking hold of him and very much guiding him away using primary control skills.  No force was required but he then came back again and I had to repeat this which is when he grabbed hold of me with his hands and pulled me towards him calling me a ‘F####ING C###’.  I grappled with him as he had progressed from using active resistance by pulling away, and pushing to using aggressive and assaultive resistance, by trying to pull me to the ground.  I realised by now I was in trouble.

There was a lot of men, approximately 10, fuelled with alcohol and I realised for just a few times in my career that these people could, and knew, that they could do what they liked to me and I was unlikely to know who had done what.  It was dark, and the ground was slippery with mud.  I realised that rather him take me to the ground and me be defenceless, I would use my defensive and offensive skills by using a take down on him.  He was strong and I tried to use a leg swipe to trip him up, but couldn’t get my leg far enough around so I kicked him in the shin as a distraction and whilst he had me pinned close to him, the only manoeuvre I could use was to get my arm over his head and pull him over my hip by wrapping my arm around his neck.

He went over my hip and hit the ground and I was pulled on top of him.  I tried to reach for my radio but I couldn’t free my hand from trying to restrain him on the ground.  He was shouting at me saying “I’M GOING TO F####ING KILL YOU” or words to that effect.

I was too busy expecting a kick from behind to my head as the crowd of about 10 youths were now shouting and trying to pull me away.  I was in great fear for my safety at this stage and I was extremely relieved to find PC ##### the dog handler arrive and shout at the youths to get back.  At this point, another youth who I now understand his name is L####, dob ###### clamped his body around the head of P### who I was trying to handcuff but he was obstructing me from doing so saying to P### ‘DON’T WORRY MATE, I’M NOT GOING TO LEAVE YOU’

I repeatedly told L### he was obstructing a police officer in the lawful execution of his duty, but he continued, repeating he wasn’t going to let go of him.  This caused major problems to me and PC #### as we couldn’t safely detain P### whilst L#### was stopping us by obstructing us.

Whilst this was going on, a very large man in build but quite short in height that I now know as S###### DOB #### was becoming more and more aggressive towards me shouting at the top of his voice, looking directly down at me and aggressively gesticulating to me, saying, “I’VE GOING TO F###ING DO YOUR FACE, LET HIM GO OR I’LL F### YOUR FACE RIGHT UP”  He repeated this numerous times and I really felt we were in problems as we were trying to prevent L#### and P#### from assaulting us or getting away, and fearing for the baying crowd behind us from assaulting us.  I felt very vulnerable.

With the assistance of PC ###, I managed to get the hand cuffs on P### but he was trying to bring his knees up to strike me, so he was still a handful.  I constantly felt people grabbing me and trying to pull me away, and I was waiting for a kick to my head.  I had my hand on my Taser in my pouch on several occasions but I knew that if I was to use it or threaten to use it, it could easily be taken off me and used against myself so I decided to risk not using it.  The same went for my pepper spray which again I decided was not safe to use.

I was aware that an urgent assistance call had been put up.  I did press my urgent assistance button but I was aware that I may not have pressed it long enough for it to activate.  I later found it hadn’t so I was pleased that PC ### had done so.  My radio was hanging off my QRV vest, and my ear piece was hanging around me so I had little idea whether help was on the way.  I was very grateful for PC ### being there to assist me.

At about 1.10am that day with other officers arriving to assist,  I shouted to P#### that he was under arrest for assaulting police and  to L#### that he was under arrest for obstructing police in the lawful execution of their duty.  I cautioned them and P#### replied, “YOU F###ING DICK, I’M GOING TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU LIVE, I’M GOING TO BURN YOUR F###ING HOUSE DOWN YOU F###ING C###”.   I informed them they were arrested in order to prevent any further injury to themselves or others.

Other units soon arrived and helped control people.  In the aftermath with officers taking control of my prisoners, I found the large male S#### still shouting threats saying he was going to ‘Do Me’ so I informed him I was arresting him for Section 4 of the public order act.  I cautioned him and informed him that I was arresting him to prevent any further injury to myself or another.  He replied, “OK, OK”.  I then spent the next 10 minutes with him whilst other officers arrived to maintain some order.  At this time he became very apologetic saying this wasn’t necessary.  I loosened his cuffs and double locked them to make them more comfortable for him as well as putting his hands in front of him.

A couple of minutes later, I informed them they were all arrested for Affray and that they were still under caution and the same conditions applied.

Even though I was not able to press my emergency urgent assistance button on my radio, I attempted to.  I have only pressed this twice in my 25 year career.  I felt this was a situation where myself and PC #### were likely to receive major injuries, and I was extremely grateful for other officers arrival.  It was obvious there was no respect for the police at all, and it was obvious there was no hesitation of laying hands on and trying to free their colleague and to threaten and assault police officers.  This, unfortunately seems to be more and more common.

My uniform is a mess!  I have mud everywhere and have received some slight cuts to my shins and knees which will soon heal.  I feel battered black and blue and will no doubt ache in the morning however have no significant injuries.

I am aware of at least two other males who were a constant threat to me and PC ####. They were threatening and trying to pull us off their friends.  I cannot really describe these.

********************************************************************

Mr S### and Mr P### were fined.  Mr L### was given a conditional discharge.  I attended court on 5 separate occasions which meant officers were brought in to cover my night shifts from their rest days.  This is common and causes even more stress to resources.

twitter @DC_ARVSgt

 

 

We need you, but we don’t want you

“Where Si, where is he?” I repeated as I screamed the car into the dark car park. A man who’d been sent to prison for 10 years for a horrific assault with a knife on his wife was out again, and he had smashed a glass fish tank over her head this time.  She was in a bad way and he was on the run with a 12″ kitchen knife.  He’s been seen by CCTV entering the car park but it’s dark, very dark, and my headlights are scanning across the car park.  Adrenalin surges through my veins as Si and I prepare ourselves.  I mumble under my breath and Si turns his head towards me.  “He’s going to fight mate” I said, “He has a lot to get away for.”

My partner was Simon that night, and we had just been authorised for a firearms incident. The man had a knife on him.  He had used one 10 years previously on the same woman, so we knew he was capable of using it. Okay we had Glock 17’s in holsters but against knives it’s often very useful to have the AEP (Baton Gun) available from the car safe.  This is a less lethal option which means we can try to knock an armed suspect off their feet from a distance. That would not only prevent the man from getting away to do more harm, it would also stop him being shot if he’s still wielding the knife in front of us.

“There!” Si shouts urgently from the passenger’s side, “There, Harry, there!”  I’m searching through the gloom and can see, through the darkness quite a distance ahead, a trainer catching the glow from the street light.  I speed towards the man.  Si updates the Comms room and we close in.  I throw the BMW past the suspect who is sprinting for an alleyway.   My only option is to get ahead and cut him off.

I pull up sharply ahead, and shout, “You ready, Si?”  It’s not an ideal scenario – the suspect is now physically close – but if he makes it to the alleyway we could lose him, and that would be a disaster.   If he runs for Simon with the knife there will be no time to be sure that a taser will hit both barbs at a good spread through thin enough clothing.  No time either to level aim and shoot a Baton Gun. Only enough time for a reflex shot with the H&K G36 Carbine rifle strapped across Simon’s chest. Batons and Tasers fail too often.  It’s not a precise science and I won’t risk my life or my colleague’s hoping they will be effective when someone is rushing me with a knife.

Si, jumps out and challenges, “ARMED POLICE, STAND STILL”.  The suspect darts to the side and Si gives chase.  Si doesn’t see the knife and so he doesn’t shoot.  I jump out of the car and sprint after him towards the alley.  We are wearing a lot of heavy gear and this race has to end soon or we will lose it.  From running at full speed the man suddenly slows, throwing his hands up in surrender, “Okay, Okay”.

He was arrested, we found the kitchen knife in his belt, and he went back to prison for a long time.  The woman lived, but barely.  And after we had booked this chap in we went back to work; a road traffic collision and a noisy group of youths I believe.

Now having dealt with numerous incidents just like this, and having levelled the red dot sights of my rifle at a man carrying a gun who had just carjacked a car salesman, I know all too well how these incidents could so easily have turned out differently.  So far I have been very fortunate.  The man with the gun stared at me… Was it death by cop?  Was he going to level it at me in the hope I end things for him?  Or was he going to try to get a reputation in prison for shooting a Police Officer?  As my red dot in my sites danced around his chest, echoing the rise and fall of my deep breathing, and the police helicopter above relayed everything back to the comms room, I knew I couldn’t let my colleague down. I must follow the simple rules.  Simple but deadly.  If he raises that gun at me or my colleague, then I shoot…  He dropped the gun, and went back to prison for 10 years.

But over my 20 or so years on front line armed response policing, in which I have been an operational firearms commander, a tactics advisor, and completed a Post Incident Management course, I have known of several shootings and known the officers involved very well.  None of them had an easy ride post incident and it still continues today.  They were all pretty much dragged through the mill.  The result is that the IPCC are not trusted by armed police officers.  It is felt by most there is a hunger to feed when a police shooting occurs.  A hunger to ensure the families of the deceased feel satisfied with the investigation, no matter how unreasonable their demands are.  Politics enters.  Threats of riots are common.  

I don’t feel safe anymore.  I will do as I always have done.  I only have to satisfy myself, knowing I had no alternative and that my actions were proportionate, reasonable and necessary. But these judgements are not a precise science and if you play by the sword as a criminal, you may just die by the sword one day. However hard I have tried to do my job to the very best of my ability the moment after a shooting is going to be filled with trauma.  The IPCC are suggesting that officers be separated after a shooting until after they have given their accounts.  This may sound reasonable but I want you to imagine what it’s like after a shooting.

The gun goes off.  There is a momentary silence as both officers can’t quite believe what has happened.  The officers glance at each other and the man falls to the ground.  He’s not motionless like on a cop film. He’s kicking and thrashing about.  The officers sprint up to him with their advanced medic pack ripping it open.  One has the scissors, cutting up the sleeves and body of the shirt to reveal the man’s chest.  One tries to push celox gauze – a clotting agent in a bandage – into the wound which is pumping blood.  They struggle with him to stop him moving so they can treat him, but he’s fighting.  He soon becomes weak.  Another officer opens the defibrillator pack.  The male is motionless now, his eyes fixed.  The officers are slipping on fluid. They think it is rain from the road but it is blood. They are pumping on the man’s chest, defib pads applied, and the machine is speaking demands in clear slow robotic tones… “Stand clear of patient” The officers lean back on their haunches… their faces are drained, their eyes wide and black and they are covered in blood as they stare at each other.

They are in a room at the police station 15 miles away.  The procedures are in place and the IPCC has been called.  Local investigation teams are controlling the scene and containing  any evidence.  The officer’s weapon that was fired is left in situ.  There are two principal officers and from staring at each other back on that street, they are now separated, alone in a room in the police station, sitting with only a faceless chaperone.  They are in a daze.  The world swirls around their heads.  

One is looked at by the medic.  One sits and waits in another room.  His chaperone doesn’t know what to say or indeed what he can say.  He offers a drink of coffee.  A minute feels like an hour.  Nothing.  Something smells.  He glances down and sees the heavy congealed blood on his vest.  The spare magazine still in its pouch, the silver bullets smeared with blood.  He checks himself over quickly.  He is covered, even his hair; he must have put his hands through it.  He feels dirty.  He feels disgusting.  He wants to shower and get this stuff off his face.  He thinks of his wife and his little girl.  How did it come to this?  Hours go by.  He cannot talk.  The IPCC have to travel some distance.  They can delegate urgent work but the waits are always hours and hours.  The officers sits on in silence.  He looks at his smart phone, stupidly views what is on it.  “Police shoot unarmed grandad of two”.  A doting picture of his victim stares up at him with two children on his lap.  “What have I done?  Those poor kids, Christ, I’m going to jail, how did this all happen?”

An investigator comes into the room with a piece of paper.  “We need you to write down exactly what happened”.  They leave.

It will be months before the truth comes out.  Months to show how the grandad of two attempted to kill him with a machete whilst under a drug induced psychotic episode.  It’s old news by then and very little of this detail makes it into the media.  Months of teasing for his daughter in the school playground.  Months of wondering if he’s going to jail.  Immense pressure on his marriage.  Months of hearing the subjects family being apologised to.  Months of self-doubt.

Armed Response Officers are volunteers.  Quite for how much longer, I don’t know.

Harry Tangye

twitter @DC_ARVSgt

 

 

In the Summertime, when the weather is fine…

What is it which makes policing so different to other occupations?  What makes that something which runs through your veins and sends excitement through every pore when it’s most unexpected.  It’s the feeling of wondering into the dark on your own with just your wits and your uniform as your primary protection shield.  It’s the fact that you are one tiny part of a huge support network that will come rushing to your aid when called for, and that support is something that not only you know, but they out there know.

Continue reading In the Summertime, when the weather is fine…

The world as we know it

Sitting at home contemplating life and the universe, and everything has suddenly come clear to me.  I have solved the meaning of life and not a drop of alcohol has been drunk, only copious amounts of coffee from a new machine that kicks out caffeine drinks two to the dozen by means of hateful non recyclable plastic capsules.  That’s a battle with my conscience  I am going to have to tussle with later.

Continue reading The world as we know it

Learn2Live – It certainly isn’t boring

The theater is dark, the lights go down and they have little idea what they are in store for. 2000 students, of the age to start driving or just started driving.   A few mobile phones are flickering whilst Snapchats are read, and whatsapps are contributed to… and then silence.  The projection screen comes up with a short film where some teenagers get into a car and start driving.  Statistically a lethal cocktail with inexperienced and confident young people.  There’s an innocent distraction in the car and it ends up crashing. The scene shows the occupants unconscious with a little blood, but mainly steam from the engine and the music that had been playing in the car is now silenced.  The darkness envelopes the car before a scream joins the atmospheric scene.  You can feel the panic, and you can then see the blue lights of a police car approaching.

Continue reading Learn2Live – It certainly isn’t boring

Break a window or stab a police dog? The law says it’s the same

Storm is a 3 year old German Shepherd Police dog, who his owner Jim adores.  They have  spent those 3 hard years nurturing each other through 13 initial weeks hard training and numerous courses and training sessions since.  They are always at each others side, can wholeheartedly trust each other, and will gladly put themselves in harms way to protect the other from evil.  The bond, is unequivocal.

It’s a Saturday afternoon, and Jim is steering his Police Ford Focus Estate through the back streets towards the report of the burglary.  It’s been called in by a neighbour and it sounds like a good one.  A man in his late teens has been seen dropping down from a flat roof at the rear of a rather affluent looking detached house which backs on to some fields.  He’s been seen running with a small clutch of items towards the  hedge of the rear garden when the witness sensibly decides to give up the view in priority for phoning the police.

Continue reading Break a window or stab a police dog? The law says it’s the same

Spit Hoods / Guards. To use or not to use, that is the question… or is it?

This is a true account…

I’m single crewed coming off the motorway at the end of a late shift.  The radio operator says, “You are wanted on channel 181”

I flick across channels sitting at the main Junction 30 of the M5 Motorway and introduce myself to the new operator.  “You are wanted at Exeter Custody.  They have a situation there where they may need a taser”

I have  a glock 9mm and a G36 semi automatic and a baton gun, all safely secured, but I also have Taser and Pepper spray.  A little array of delights, each suited for a particular incident which may arise, constantly assessed and re assessed to ensure I choose the correct option in a split second of decision making.  I blue light it to custody and press the intercom button.  The door immediately opens which highlights their haste.  Scanning the monitors the custody Sergeant points to one which has a pink glow to it.  “Strange, didn’t know you had a chill out room?”  I say.

“We don’t” he replied, “That’s blood.  He’s poured water all over his cell floor and cut his wrists”.

I know the detained person.  Very violent and suffering from an extreme mental health issue.  This man had been holding a street ransome climbing on to roofs and throwing slate tiles like frisbees for 100’s of meters around.  He is now lying completely naked in a foetal position against the wall with his back to the centre of the room.

“Slashed his wrists?” I ask?  It is clear I am wondering who messed up with this one.

“He managed to smash his toilet and used the sharp edge of the bowl.  That’s where all the water has come from.  We are calling some public order officers in but it’s taking time.”

My other armed response unit is now with me.  We all go down to the cell with a detention officer.  “It’s hard to tell how bad his cut is with that water and blood, and he’s been still for too long for my liking.  Guess there’s no time to wait!”

I nod to the detention officer and he cracks the door open.  I move in immediately finding the floor extremely slippery.  My taser packed safely away because of the water.  I call out to him, but there’s no movement, and no answer.  I move closer and see his pale body looking drained of blood.  I hasten my step and touch his torso to feel the temperature. His head facing the wall still and still no response.  I tug at his side and I feel a smack of something in my face and mouth, no time to react but step back and fall over, he’s span around and is fighting.  I am grabbing at him to get a grip of him somehow but he’s like a wet fish at the bottom of the boat writhing about and he is too slippery, my only hope is to work him towards the door where my colleagues can help me control him.  Now we have him outside in the dry corridor, we are constantly fearful of positional asphyxia where we know we will be up for manslaughter, so no weight on his chest or his back, but it is still impossible to control his slippery torso especially when you are thinking not only for the moment but for the inquest further down the road.  He had huge strength and was tossing us about like rag dolls, and I was beginning to think we had lost this one.

“Taser, taser, taser” I hear, and we jump back.  Simon fires the taser and our fighter is now arched and motionless.  I view where the barbs are and realise I can get a cuff on, then the other is safely applied, and now all four of us are panting huge gasps of air.

I can taste the metallic taste of blood in my mouth.  My mind goes back to my first encounter with him in the cell and realise he has hit me with a well aimed lump of phlegm.  I spit on the ground but I know it’s too late.  I feel disgusted, especially as I know this man has a lifestyle of drugs and poor health.  Still that’s for another time.  We don’t have spit hoods so we have to just ensure his head is turned the other way.  An ambulance arrives, his wrists are not too bad.  The water has made the blood look more than it actually is.  We cover him with a blanket but he’s obviously not too shy and kicks it off.  Simon gets in to the ambulance with him and later reports that he has been spat at full in the face again.  They get to the hospital, and Simon has held the blanket between him and the suspects face.  But as the doctor distracts Simon, he feels another blast of well aimed phlegm dripping down off his top lip over his mouth.  It’s ridiculous.

That man is now dead.  He died 18 months later from a drug over dose.  I wondered for a while whether I was infected with a disease that would effect the rest of my life and the relationship with my wife and children.  Simon did the same, until it happened again 3 months later.

It’s a no brainer to me and when people argue that it takes the dignity away from the suspect, then I say more than my dignity was taken that night.  I say that we police are feeling like punching bags right now with little judicial, national media or political back up.    I fear for the coming generation who have to do it all on much less money and prospects.

I propose, that without Mayor or other Political intervention, spit guards  are tried for all Forces as indeed some have them already, especially in Scotland.  The Met do not.  Not to be placed on every detained person, no cop wants that, but many politicians and public have jumped to the conclusion we do, and that it is some black hood which disorientates the wearer like some Daesh prisoner.  Nothing like this at all, they are in fact, a fine mesh which is perfectly breathable  and is a hood / guard which is placed over the head to stop any ‘further’ spitting for those that have previously spat and put on those that threaten or are believed to spit again as in this case.

It’s simple, and it’s common sense.

 

A traffic cop gives tickets out right? They also look into the eyes of the dead

A Beautiful Sunday morning in Devon.  I’m single crewed with guns in the safe and some traffic and Armed units out and about.  We are dual rolled in Devon and Cornwall.  Blessed with a lower crime rate than many but just as many fast roads so Traffic and Armed response go hand in hand.

10 o’clock and the scenery is passing much more quickly as I am on  my way to a collision between a car and a pedestrian.  It’s in a car park so can’t be too bad surely.  My armed response is there.  I strain at the radio to hear their tone of voice.  Hard as nails when they need to be, but soft as pussy cats when you bring in humanity, real people and families.

Continue reading A traffic cop gives tickets out right? They also look into the eyes of the dead

Lock them all away, and throw away the key

I’m sitting on a sofa in what could be my Grandmothers house from many years ago.  I study the dated decor  but notice the infinite cleanliness of the house which is the product of 50 years marriage.  I am sitting next to a very elderly lady with a perfectly formed perm.  She has pools of tears welling from warm but sad eyes which have seen 80 years of emotion.  Eyes which have witnessed love, happiness and tragedy.  Her dignity and pride is trying to keep back her tears because her late husbands memory has been taken from her in the night.  His war medals were lovingly polished and kept as the only memory she had of him, and they have now been snatched from her whilst she lay sleeping.  Each piece of metal he had proudly worn on remembrance days reminded them both of how he had put his life forward to defend his young soldier friends and his country,   those young men who died in front of him, those memories he would try to forget and could certainly never utter a word of.

Continue reading Lock them all away, and throw away the key

A Quite Unusual Routine

The heater is on, that annoying hum where you adjust the compromise of noise to the correct delivery of heat.  Just enough to keep you warm but not too much to make you over sleepy.   My Police partner Chris is driver today.  He and I haven’t said anything for a couple of minutes as the fatigue is setting in quite strongly now at 5.30 on this otherwise relatively quiet end to the night shift.  The dull glow from the Police dashboard display buttons illuminated, waiting to be pushed into life and throw their red and blue lights around the countryside surrounding the car.  Every push means a new emergency, means someone is in need of help, and they hope it will come soon.

Continue reading A Quite Unusual Routine