Q – Haven’t you got anything better to do?
A – At this point in time Sir, No.
Q – Why don’t you arrest some Murderers and rapists instead of picking on innocent motorists such as myself?
A – If you know of where any are Sir, I will get on to it straight away, however there are far more people killed through Road Collisions every year than there are murdered, so where do you think my time is best spent at the moment?
Q – It’s up to me whether I wear a seat belt isn’t it?
A – Well, no Sir, because instead of entering the casualty unit as an outpatient because some lemming drove into the front of your car, you are now in intensive care for 6 weeks. That’s expensive, and the tax payer is stretching to put dinner on the table at the moment, let alone for unnecessary medical care which could have been avoided.
Q – I’m okay, I’m a good driver, never had an accident in my life
A – Hopefully you haven’t seen many in your rear view mirror Sir. And remember that it can happen at any time and even though your life is full of very important things with work and deadlines, they suddenly become very unimportant when you are fighting for your life, disabled and cannot work ever again, or even dead, when your family are destroyed because they have lost the one they love.
Q – What’s this 6″ Nail got to do with anything?
A – We’ll come to that…
Okay, I sometimes am a little bit more diplomatic than this, however not much. I have been to between 150 and 200 fatal Road Traffic Collisions over my 25 years of policing, most of those, attending road accidents most days. I remember going to 11 fatals in just 8 weeks. Things are a little better now and strangely, serious injuries tend to go up when fatals go down. The reason of course is because of improved traffic networks, and the safety systems in vehicles, you are usually injured instead of dead thus the statistics. This is good news, although still pretty harsh. So now I support and assist where I can with great people such as Learn 2 Live and The Honest Truth which doesn’t preach, but gets into the hearts of young people in particular to change the whole social acceptance of bad driving and giving brilliant tips to avoid getting into dangerous situations.
The main reason I came out from behind the very confidential, anonymous cloud of Armed Response and blow my cover, is because I thought for my last 5 years of policing I could maybe do a tiny bit to go towards preventing fatal road traffic collisions which is my passion. People tend to believe it won’t happen to them, that it happens to others, but it does and it can. Note the death of two drivers in Formula one recently, those being Jules Bianchi and Maria de Villota. Incredibly safe cars with the latest technology, the safest tracks and the best skills, but it happens, and it can to anyone anywhere, but you can reduce your chances. Sometimes, you just have to give someone a ticket, as education won’t work on some people, but most of the time, education is King. The humble Seatbelt, is a no brainer.
I was asked to do a short talking heads video by Learn2Live and I did one, and thanks to people like Phillip Schofield who retweeted it just after X Factor, (His very kind brother Tim is a friend of mine!) it went sort of silly and currently runs at about 35,000 hits on youtube. I therefore had to make a decision and although my firearms colleagues think I am crazy, it is what I have chosen to do. And if it means that some of the public realise that Police in general are generally well meaning, pretty hard working and not all racist homophobic bigots, then bonus.
So my role in Devon and Cornwall is Armed Response, and particularly fatal and serious injury collisions, and everything between of course. I have always been on the front line, working full shifts, looking after a Section of Armed Response, who have seen things that would give you nightmares for years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the best inventions I have come up with for convincing motorists to drive more safely however, is currently going through the Patent office. It sort of looks like a 6 inch nail coming out of the centre of the steering wheel. Yes, that would slow people down a bit.