Monday, 15 February 2010

You Scratch My Back......

"Watch your back" is a well worn phrase and had several hidden meanings in my former life. A few times during my 30 years in uniform I encountered people who clearly intended me serious harm. It wasn't an everyday occurrance, in fact the reverse was true. The attached video footage jogged my mind and prompted this short post. It was on BluTube, PoliceOne.com. There are two occasions that remain burnt into my memory; the first was when I was arresting a man on Trafalgar Square for making threats whilst armed with a knife. He very nearly got the better of me - OK, lets be totally frank here, he had got the better of me and I was `greying out` due to a choke hold he managed to put on me. My former judo instructor would have killed me for allowing this to happen. Suddenly my vision returned and I found myself coughing and gasping myself back into a reasonable condition to get back into the ring. It was then I realised that a very large and powerful black man had got hold of my prisoner and was bending his arms into all sorts of horrible shapes, as a large crowd of onlookers, the same ones who had watched my original struggle, continued to gawp. My rescuer was a hot dog seller, known to us as "Stretch" who I had arrested the previous week for footway obstruction, a common offence in the West End in my early days. I quickly regained control of the situation and the arrest was completed. The bloke was eventually sent down for 3 months, thanks to Mr Barraclough, the chief magistrate at Marlborough Street Court, but not before failing to answer his bail and making threats to me by telephoning my section house (single officers quarters). Nasty bastard, but it was not unexpected as we tended to deal with nasty bastards a lot of the time. Stretch told me that he liked me as I always spoke to him and treated him right. The only other example that had a real impact on me was an internal matter. I saw the guilty party wriggle, lie, threaten and use senior officer `friends` to avoid capture and, in so doing, try to inflict `serious harm` on me. What I saw from that little band of brothers and their `old boys club at the top`left a bad taste that has yet to fully fade. Give me the scum on the streets anyday.
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7 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Three cheers for Stretch!

Hogday said...

He may be still out there, for all I know. Although the last time I was down, there was not a sign of those old, steaming, `salmonella emporia`. How street-meat has changed!

Blue Eyes said...

Maybe because Westminster's Finest are getting better at sweeping the hot dog sellers away! I haven't been "out" in the West End for a long time, but back in the day when I used to spend more of my life than I care to admit waiting for buses in Trafalgar Square the air was always a fine mix of fried food, cheap perfume and vomit.

dickiebo said...

My first arrest - whilst 'learning beats'! Bill Jeans at Oxford Circus. Footway Obstruction. 'Selling ties from a suitcase your Worship!'
PS. "Can you come back in an hour guv? I'll be packed up and ready!!!!!!!"

Hogday said...

Dickiebo: How hilarious! That is just how it was. The hour was used to make enough to pay the £25 fine he knew was coming his way. Only the 3 card tricksters would put up a fight and run - that is if you were good enough to get close enough.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I have had a few "bad guys" come to my aid because I always treated them right.

I could go in a bar (you call a pub) and take out an asshole by myself because I knew I had enough "friends" in there to help me if I needed.

My opinion is, anybody who attacks a cop should get an "ass whoppin"

Hogday said...

CI-RD: That sounds like my own philosophy writ large. If they're reasonable, so am I. If they raise a fist, I draw a stick......thats now called the `force continuum` but in my early days was called `the way it is`. I'd settle for the middle ground and call it `Co-operation, or hospitalisation`.