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bensonby

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Cracking read Ben, the only thing missing was him issuing a commercial lien against the court and having it boarded up. I wonder if he still believes in the freeman on the land nonsense.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

Case has been adjourned for a month pending further psychiatric reports.

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From what you have been saying, I am not surprised! 

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  • 1 month later...

Update:

This one just keeps going on. He was given an interim hospital order for 3 months. We return for further sentencing in July, by which time he'd have been in custody for 14 months.

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I've also got another case with similarities: I got roped in because of my experience with this one. It's still sub-judice so I won't post any details: except to mention that I did my longest ever interview - 5 hours in duration!

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  • 1 month later...

I think this might be my final entry for quite a while. I am currently working on a unit where, for operational reasons, I won't be able to share many anecdotes. This write-up is from my last week on my SNT:

 

Rank: PC

Length of Service 6 1/2 years

Role SNT PC (Dedicated Ward Officer)

Shift 1800-0400 hours

 

We had been having a string of car break-ins recently in my area. The rest of the borough has recently seen a significant drop in car crime, indeed, the whole of the Met has seen a large reduction over the past 12 months: that made my recent rise in offences look even worse! I spent a few hours looking up when, where and how the offences were being committed. I soon noted that no-one had been arrested for any offences and there was no intelligence on any possible suspects. I used some mapping software to plot on a map where the offences where happening: I found that well over half of them where happening within a 200 metre radius of a local hostel for drug addicts - that was something of a start. I also found out that most of the offences were found by people first thing in the morning when they were going to work - i.e. that it was happening over night. A plan started to form in my head.

I called up the car pound and asked if they had any disclaimed cars available for the end of the week. They told me that they had two, I picked a mid-range car which was about 5 years old: something that would fit in in the area. I arranged for another PC to go and collect it on the approaching Friday afternoon. I spoke to my sergeant and asked him to change the team's shift from a late turn to a night shift: we were going to do an overnight "decoy car" job. The idea is that you leave a tempting target in a high-crime area and hope that someone takes the bait. You then step in and arrest them. This will hopefully lead to a successful prosecution and your local thief will be disrupted.

The sergeant signed off the job and warned everyone to be working a night shift, well, 1800-0400. I went for an explore within the hotspot area to try and identify a suitable place to park up the car. It needed to be overlooked, it needed to be in an area where we could detain the suspect where they to bite and it needed to be somewhere tempting. It didn't take long before I found a spot: it was badly lit, had no CCTV, and was only overlooked by a small warehouse which would be closed at the time. It also only had one way in and one way out - it was also on the route to the shops from the hostel I mentioned before. Perfect. We approached the owner of the warehouse and they couldn't have been more helpful: they let us have use of the top floor and also the roof. Officers could observe the location undetected, they also had access to a toilet, and tea and coffee making facilities - bonus! The sergeant paid them a visit to make sure all was in order and signed for the keys. The job was taking shape!

I drew up a briefing with maps and pictures and got some of the logistics sorted out - risk assessments, surveillance logs etc. I acquired a video camera in order to record evidence should it be required. I also obtained a Sat Nav and got on of the girls to bring in a handbag to stick on the front seat. I also made sure I had some loose change to leave in the cupholder - I find a significant number of car break ins happen when there is some change on display/ 

On the night in question I had arranged for one officer to collect the decoy car and drive to a local petrol station forecourt. I briefed the rest of the team - I had two pairs of officers each in an unmarked car: each car would be set up at opposite ends of the area in order to cut off the two potential escape routes. I had a third pair sitting in the Observation Post. We would all be linked up on a local radio channel. I completed the briefing and told everyone their role. The sergeant would be commanding on the ground but the plan was mine. It was about 1900 hours by the time everyone was ready to go: I popped into the "Grip and Pace Room" (where the borough is essentially run from) and let them know where we were and what we were doing: the last thing I wanted was for someone to spot us, get suspicious and call the police only for the response team to come down and blow our whole op!

With the unmarked cars heading to the location I walked down to the decoy car which was waiting at the petrol station. I met up with my colleague and set up the sat nav and laid out the rest of the bait in the car: I also used the time to stock up on sandwiches and sweets from the petrol station shop! We then took the car to the pre-arranged place. We left it there, and walked off as if we were passengers going to the nearby station. We then joined one of the unmarked cars which had been left for us by one of the officer in the Observation Post. The operation was now "live" and we communicated as such on our radio channel.

Then we waited.

 

And waited

 

And waited

 

And waited

 

And ate some goodies.

 

And waited

 

And waited

 

And waited.

 

The radio crackled to life: "we have two of our local beggars approaching"

 

I saw up straight in my seat, throwing my packet of crisps back into my bag.

 

"and they have walked straight past. Stand down."

I opened a sandwich.....and waited.

 

And waited

 

And waited.

 

Another local hostel resident walked past and actually stopped and looked into the car! Again, a burst of adrenaline and we rolled the car forwards.... "come on" I said, "nick it". It is a strange thing for a policeman to actually want a crime to take place.

 

The man walked on: "Stand down, he was paying quite a bit of interest, though" my colleague said on the radio "there is still quite a few people about going to and from the station. Maybe he was scoping it up for later". We tried to be optimistic.

We waited some more.

By about 2300 hours nothing much had happened and I was feeling sleepy. I get on well with my colleague though so we had had an entertaining chat for most of the evening. I can think of more unpleasant things to do at work - but this was getting a bit boring. I can't really understand why people thing a career in surveillance is a glamorous job - each to their own I suppose.

 

We weren't really listening to the main borough radio channel: we had one radio tuned to that channel just in case but it was turned down pretty low. At about 2330 hours I heard my sergeant's voice on the channel though: "hang on, that's the skipper, turn it up" I said. He was in the other unmarked car: he was putting up for a call! I must admit my first reaction was annoyance. "He's showing out, he's blowing the job!" I like my skipper - but he can sometimes have a bit of a short attention span. It turned out the call was literally opposite his position - "fair enough" I remarked "you can't just let something go if it is in front of you". I called up: "do you want us with you sarge?"

"yes, on the hurry-up please"

We drove off down towards him - I couldn't really make out what the call was, some kind of disturbance in a pub. I remarked to my colleague that going to a pub-call in plain clothes isn't all that wise.

We were with them in about a minute. The suspect had been pointed out by the landlord and the skipper and another PC had him stopped. I walked over and made sure they were ok. A response unit had also arrived and everyone just seemed to be milling about and no-one had actually spoken to the informant save to have the suspect pointed out. I went over and identified myself and asked what had happened. The manager said that the man in question had entered the rear of the pub, gone past several doors marked "private" and once reaching the office had demanded money off of a staff member and threatened to assault them. He had then pushed two members of staff out of the way to make good his escape leaving empty handed. Well, "that sounds like an attempted robbery to me". I walked over to the suspect who was loudly protesting his innocence and who was getting more and more agitated by the second. When I reached him I immediately got out my handcuffs and said: "I'm arresting you for attempted robbery" and simultaneously applied a handcuff. He immediately pulled away hard and started shouting threats. He was a strong bloke and immediately several of us had to go hands on: he wasn't going to co-operate and was now being threatening so he was taken to the ground. As he did so something rather unexpected happened: my handcuffs failed. The ratchet that swings around failed and the handcuff opened. I was left standing there holding a pair of handcuffs and no prisoner! Thankfully it happened at a time when we had more than enough officers on scene. I dread to think what would have happened if I had been alone!

He was soon brought under control and I finished off telling him the grounds for arrest and so on. A van was soon on scene and he was placed in the cage. I tried to get some details from him but he wouldn't talk to me. Never mind - we can sort that back at the nick.

The skipper was sorting out who was going to take statements etc so I left them all too it and we headed back. The operation was formerly called off.

Back at custody the suspect seems to have calmed down - he isn't shouting abuse anymore and actually says to me: "It's alright mate, I'm not going to do anything stupid". When we get to the cage before we can approach the custody desk he repeats this and said: "It's all verbals really, I'm alright".

Soon we got in front of the custody sergeant and I explain why he is there - the skipper asks if the handcuffs can come off and I tell him that although he was resistant on the street he seems to have calmed down now. He directs I take off the handcuffs. I continue with the booking in procedure for a couple of minutes and then, without warning the bloke takes a step back and punches me with a right hook straight in the face.

I stagger back a few steps but regain my balance. The man's face is now in an ugly snarl and he has adopted a boxer's post with his fists out in front of him. I'm in shock but my first thought is to draw my baton. I can't, it's stashed inside my coat, I won't have time. The DDO who is a slight young woman had run around the desk by this point and then bear-hugged the man before I had a chance to react. With that I charge into him pushing him over a bench against the wall. Before I know it the custody sergeant and a couple of other PCs are on top of us bundling him to the ground. I suddenly feel very dizzy and take a couple of steps back. Another gaoler grabs me around the shoulders and sits me on the floor. I am literally seeing stars.

The man is bundled off into a cell and I pick myself up. I'm alright. I only think my pride is hurt. The custody sergeant insists on calling an ambulance though: I protest, but I am overruled by the sergeant and the inspector who was also sitting there and saw the whole thing.

They come down a short while later and I apologise for wasting their time. I've only got a bruised face and ego. They agree that it wasn't' really neccesary that they came  - they seem to appreciate having a sober patient, however at this time on a Friday night.

I go up to my office and complete the paperwork. Word seems to have got around quite fast as several people from across the nick seek me out and have come to see how I am. It's always a nice touch: I do wonder if they are just coming for a nosy look in case I have a spectacular wound though!

The return of work for the day is one in for attempted robbery/burglary. Not a bad result - but no car criminals though. I found out the following day that the man was a prolific burglar who was wanted on a recall to prison. He was charged with burglary and assault on me. He later went guilty at court and was remanded in custody to go to Crown Court for sentencing. He remained violent in custody the whole time and had to be interviewed in handcuffs and wouldn't come out of his cell to be charged. Nice chap all round!

 

I replaced my handcuffs.

 

 

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  • 6 years later...

Respect. I'm a response sergeant, I have never seen my inspector at an incident. He asks me to bronze everything. 

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22 hours ago, bensonby said:

other

Great post, thank you Inspector.

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Thank you for sharing. It certainly can't be easy recalling such an horrendous day.

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  • Global Moderators

A fantastic and well-rounded post showing the trials and tribulations of the job. Rarely if ever do we get to hear from the likes or Inspector or above. 

Sorry to hear that it was such a horrendous day for yourself and your team! However from the sounds of it your team are in good hands, with you at the helm. 

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