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.
I’m peering through the gloom of the open window on the ground floor into the lounge area of the bungalow. There is an old woman sitting in the corner of the room looking scared. A younger man, her son of 45 years is sitting opposite, with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and his other hand on a large axe which is resting on his lap. The TV is flickering in the corner of the room but no one is looking at it. The faces say a stalemate has descended upon the room. Everyone has played their cards and the next move is over to us.
Policing. Of course we beat prisoners up in the cells, and plant evidence on people. Don’t we? It’s what I am regularly accused of when I arrest a young lad who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. ‘Yeah, I know a mate who was beaten up’. It is always the mate or a friend of a mate, and no doubt they believe it. And in reality, when I joined the police in 1990, I wasn’t sure until the day I went down to Custody for the first time, whether Police did beat prisoners up or not. I soon realised, that Police don’t have the energy and had far too much paper work to do.