Thursday, 14 June 2012

The truth, in all its gory

I could never understand the flap some of my old colleagues in the police used to get into when they were waiting to give evidence in a case where they had to use force in order to effect the arrest or to defend themself in so doing. The fact is that the act of making an arrest is an assault in itself, however low down that scale it happens to be.

Over the years I spent in the job I arrested more people than I can put a face or name to. A very few of those people were actually innocent, my arrest being based on the reasonable suspicion I had at the time. I was always happy to let an innocent person go free as soon as all the facts were known. "Fitting people up" was something I never did and, hand on heart, my conscience is clear in that respect. I never put an innocent person before the courts.

As far as hitting someone, well I did that a fair number of times as well. I was always happy to say so and to explain why. On one occasion in a magistrates court in the county force I also worked in, a defence solicitor got in early with the bit about how I had used excessive force on his client. He told the court in a faux-shocked manner, that I had punched his client full in the face and went on to put it to me thus, "Officer, I put it to you that you punched my client in the face".  I was happy to correct him and explained to the magistrates that in fact I'd actually punched his client twice, very hard, once in the solar plexus and once on the jaw in a left-right combination. I went on to tell them that this was all I could do to supress his violent behaviour towards me in what was a fast moving situation, that had I more time I would probably have drawn my baton and that the defendant was fortunate I didn't have that option otherwise he could well have received a more serious injury.

Telling the truth means you haven't got to try so hard to remember.


TonyF said...

Harsh but fair.

In Spamland, you could have used lethal force. he should have been grateful for a couple of punches!

CI-Roller Dude said...

I had a lot of suspects trip when they were trying to either run away or attack me. They never could figure out how they lost the fight with gravity... until I explained what a "leg sweep take down" was.
Usually was one solid "thump" of them hitting the ground really hard, having the wind knocked out of them, then me applying handcuffs. Not too tight- just right.
I learned early that punching one in the face can hurt your hands.

Quartermaster said...

Our Hog and violent man? Tell me it ain't so!

The last fight I had was while I was in Germany. The kid was 3 inches taller than me, outweighed me by 20 pounds and had more reach (I was quite small for my age but had plenty of fight. Kinda like a Jack Russell Terrorist, eh?). I won somehow, but that night my hands hurt something terrible. Oh they hurt. And this was long before Ibuprofen was available and aspirin was really weak stuff for the kind of pain I had.

powdergirl said...

I agree. I'm basically too mentally lazy to lie (well maybe a wee white one now and again). My memory for fiction is like the proverbial sieve. There is a proverb about sieves, right?
Also, you would have made a fabulous Queen, I can see it now... wait. Nope, we 'd have to crown the Missus and you could be her consort.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

Interesting points, HD. A number of years back I used to work for a computer company in the UK and the Met were one of our big clients. We had an onsite support team based with the Met and a few days each month I would be sent along to help the team out with some specialised stuff. I was at Marylebone Street police station on one occasion and I had just had lunch in the police canteen with one of our onsite team who was a very casual dresser and had a punk hair style. To say the least, you would never have guessed he was a professional worker let alone an upright citizen.
After lunch we made our way back downstairs and entered the underground car park via the custody area. We were chatting as we walked across the underground car park to the computer room. Next thing we knew, I was pinned up against a parked car and my colleague had been spun around, had his chops slapped and brought to the ground and now lay there while 2 coppers were shouting at him and one copper was telling me not to move. It turned out they thought he was a prisoner trying to escape custody. I don't know what or who they thought I was. Anyway, it quickly got sorted out because he had a permanent Met ID badge and I had my temporary ID. But the coppers never gave us an apology. Instead, all they said to my scruffy colleague was something like "Well what did you expect when you come to work dressed like that?" I have to say, once we were safely ensconced on our dungeon like computer room I found it quite funny and it gave me a good tale to tell when down the pub with my mates. Even my scruffy oppo begrudgingly foiund it a little funny and admitted he deserved it. Neither of us would ever have thought about complaining about our treatment because we could see how we played a part in bringing about that situation. These days, I think because people have become a lot less likely to take responsibility for their actions and subsequent reactions, we have a generation of people who now think they have the authorities by the balls and they are untouchable.
So I wonder if this is why so many police officers get anxious before a court appearance?

I used to sneer when I'd hear my old great uncle say "God help you lot if there's ever another war". But really, I've got to say it, God help the self entitled whiners of today's generation if there's another war :)

Hogdayafternoon said...

TonyF: `Hard...but fair` reminded me of Doug and Dinsdale Piranha!

CI-RD: So true. The Met police cadet corps had boxing as compulsory. I too learnt to avoid punching solid bone. My ex SF trainers in the tac team taught us the value of the open hand.

QM: It was purely defensive! I am a devout paci'fist - up to a point.

PG: Hi there! A tactical, hi morals fib is ok.

Dave: I had a few mates at Marylebone Lane - the nick was so old that they used to parade in what was the old coal shed.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

Hi HD - I actually meant Marylebone Police station (on Seymour St, I think) not Marylebone Street. Too many years on the clock, unfortunately!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

As long as you don't exceed the Force Option Continuum.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Hi Scott, just watched Trooping of the Colour and a re-run of an incident from the days when The Queen used to arrive on horseback. A a nutter in the crowd discharged 6 rounds from a blank firing pistol, spooking more than just her horse. We would have restrained the crap out of him, using the minimum of force required, before conveying him to St. Thomas's Hospital casualty department, for treatment.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Like in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon? DOG PILE ON THE RABBIT! DOG PILE ON THE RABBIT!

Quartermaster said...

Hog, I saw what you did there. You ain't foolin' me.

The nutter was prolly luck to get to hospital with merely a wrenched back and neck. Purely accidentally, of course.

Hogdayafternoon said...

QM; He'd have also been charged with resisting arrest.

Scott: :))