I posted a couple of these a few years ago and got some decent reception, I thought it would be nice to write a couple more of my experiences more recently. I am approaching 5 years with Thames Valley at the time of writing this.
…Sometime in January 2021.
….The night is young. I tend to leave for work as late as possible. I recently moved so it is a bit of a trial and error to see how much time I can chip away at the commute before getting to work. 15 minutes is not too bad. The station has plenty of parking, certainly makes things easier. I do feel sorry for the officers who are not so fortunate to be able to park at the station in some of our sister stations. I used to cycle in a lot but these days I tend to prefer to drive. Nothing is more demoralizing then a long shift, sometimes overtime then having to face the realization you cycled in and it will be 40 minutes home.
I walk into the locker room and get kitted up; my locker looks something like something resembling a hoarder’s paradise. I should probably tidy it up at some point! On goes the DPV and belt. Our kit these days is a mix of Old/New issued vests, with some of us wearing newer issued MOLLE-type and some with the older DPV/kit belt. Eventually we will all match I expect…
I walk upstairs a short distance to the briefing room. It is a large room formerly occupied up until recently by a different team. The room has a large pull-down projector screen and an assortment of chairs in a COVID-19 friendly social distancing seating layout. I used to brief the team, but I tend to let that be done by the newbies these days to get some experience. Not to brag, but I once got an email informing me how well I briefed the team from an inspector sitting in on our briefing. (Rolling eyes emoji) Haha. There is an art to briefing appropriately without sentence by sentence. Short punchy sentences!
We are issued our callsigns/crewing’s for the night by the skipper. We get the arrest-car callsign which will be to hunt down some wanted persons. I am in a three-officer crewing in a caged vivaro. Not too bad. At least it is not a bed/scene/cell watch or a prisoner…. Could be worse!
One of my crewmates is a PC In her probation who was formerly a special Constable, and an actual Special Constable. Both are eager to crack on with the attempts. I am the driver.
Like any set goal, we spend a bit of time getting to know our quarry. Some of the faces have been outstanding for a while. We decide to travel out of area to a different LPA to do our first attempt and will swing by more local areas on outbound journey. We kit up the van with our kitbags. I have noticed that in the last year or so, a good chunk of PC’s have migrated to using MOLLE rucksacks (Myself included), they are easier to carry and are just as good as the old box-shaped kitbags that used to be popular years back. I do my vehicle checks and then we depart the station on our taskings.
Our first few attempts are negative. We arrive 40 minutes later at our most distant attempt. We disembark and the house is in darkness, with the distant sound of a barking dog the only sign of activity in a rural area a few miles from the nearest town. One of my crewmates tries the door. It is a peculiar premise, a flat above a shop, but it is not actually obvious where the front door is, whether the access is via the store or a separate entrance… We try for 10 minutes to get some attention. There is CCTV, it is probably likely the person will know what we were there for. We get no success, so we depart back to our home LPA, with a tactical diversion via McDonalds. Eat when you can!
We make our way back to our base-station to update taskings. Up until this stage, good portion of the night we have spend driving. An hour or so later we are dispatched to a domestic incident as a triple-crew. We make on immediate graded response and arrive 10 minutes later. It is a domestic incident involving a couple, one of whom is subject of a DVPO that he has allegedly breached. We go upstairs to speak to our caller; her ex-partner has just left the area but had allegedly assaulted her. We know he is not supposed to be there (and has breached his DVPO), so we take an initial account. Body-worn cameras are a great tool and allow you to focus on the person you are speaking to.
A few minutes later, we became aware that the suspect had returned to the location and was stood outside, heckling his partner. We hastily run downstairs to detain the suspect. He is known to us, talks a lot of tripe but normally will calm down and come quietly. Not tonight.
I speak to him and engage; he is quite agitated. Possibly under the influence of drugs. He is smoking and holding a plastic bag that I assume holds some of his living belongings. He is upset at his ex-partner (shouting and swearing) and is unhappy that he thinks POLICE do not listen to him. We make attempts to calm him down and let him finish his cigarette, he is not making any attempt to run but we position him with his back to the door, so he is contained. He begins to become more hostile. The signs are all there and he knows he is about to be arrested
The great thing when you have trust in your crewmates is you do not need to say anything to them, merely a cursory glance at each other and a slight motion will usually emphasize the point. It is time to get this chap under control, we are not going to be able to talk him down and we are going around in circles. Me and my SC crew mate each take an arm and I get the magic words. Your nicked….
He begins to tense up, I have seen this too many times before, and it is time to roll the dice once again. He is warned about tensing his arms, but he is not having any of it. He refuses to put his arms behind his back. I make the decision he needs to be on the floor to obtain full control of him. He does not like this. He is surprisingly strong for a chap who is shorter and skinnier. I suspect drugs have something to do with it. He is goading us with his alleged fighting experience and is trying to pull away and is shouting /screaming. I am struggling to get him on his front, I stumble and fall holding his arm, he begins to try and get up and run. His resistance is more than expected, our Special Constable crewmate who was on the other arm is also struggling to keep him down. My crewmate loses his grip and then deploys captor on him. I make a call for assistance. (I had not heard, but my PC colleague here also called for assistance) The chap stood up 2-3 times before I was able to get his arm in a pin position and he began to fatigue, but he was still aggressively resisting. We are rolling around in the mud. The only other option would be a distraction strike but fortunately he begins to tire and with one last heave he is on his front with my full body weight on his left arm. I am plastered in mud and resemble a mud wrestler. I am exhausted. With how we fell, I was the main driving force to get him down on the ground, a little one on one. The captor did not have any effect until much later. He was far too agitated/wired to pay any attention to it. We get his arms behind his back and finally have him under control. He is also arrested for resisting arrest. We were probably rolling around with him for 1-2 minutes.
The cavalry arrives and assist with moving him in to the cage. I am battered and bruised but can drive the vivaro. Although I do cringe at the amount of grunting, I was doing in the body-worn video later. My trousers are coated in mud.
We arrive back at the station; I depart to clean myself off and write my statement. I later learned he was a delight to deal with in custody and was positively bouncing off the walls as he was being booked in. There was a welcome party for him in the custody dock….
I spend the next 1-2 hours writing my statement and sorting other enquiries related to the matter. My knees are swollen and bloody, but relatively superficial. I book off relatively on time. I slept like a log!
Edited by Ironic