Discipline and standards of behaviour must be maintained. Transgressions, where behaviour falls below what is expected, will be dealt with quickly, firmly and appropriate to the circumstances.
The two officers knew this to be the overriding objective of the chief superintendent as he considered the case before him.
They had been on duty, in uniform and in a police vehicle with responsibility for supporting other officers engaged in protecting the small cluster of buildings containing over 260 rooms in Downing Street that are homes to the Prime Minister, The Chancellor of the Exchequer and The Government Chief Whip. At 4am, on the last legs of what was a very quiet night shift, the car pulled up to check on the outer perimeter protection teams. A few words and maybe a joke or two were exchanged, a cigarette smoked and then they were off. But this time it was different.
As the 3.5 litre V8 automatic Rover saloon car gurgled across the gravelled expanse of Horse Guards Parade a devil whispered in the ear of the driver - and he listened. He gunned the motor and the car quickly picked up speed, small stones scattering and clattering on the belly pan of the dark blue police car. Swinging the wheel over to the left as he squeezed the accelerator, the car drifted into a graceful arc that left a large "J" mark on the gravel. With minimal effort he straightened the slide, picked up more speed and repeated the move in the opposite direction, this time leaving another big "J", but a reverse image of the first one. The car was then slipped into reverse and similar manoeuvres were conducted as it danced its waltz, strictly come backwards, across the hallowed expanse that is better known as the place where the Brigade of Guards perform Trooping The Colour every June. As the dust settled, they were gone. The audience that was treated to that disply of finest, Hendon-trained, vehicle control was a small select group consisting of 3 officers of the Metropolitan Police "A" Division, who were delighted at the spectacle - and the rudely awakened Chancellor of the Exchequer - who was not.
The Chancellor was a very popular man with the police at Number 10. He had an outstanding war record and was very friendly, with a light and personable style. Justice would be swift, firm and appropriate to the circumstances, just how The Chancellor would have expected it, after all he was a former wartime RAF pilot who doubtless knew a bit about high jinx in the officers mess. The two officers in the
Area Car were soon to be enlightened as to their fate later that day by a wake up
call to come in and stand before the divisional chief superintendent who, under
such circumstances, had no respect for 8 hours sleep after a night shift. They didn't expect to be paid overtime either. They knew their boss very well. Sentence was passed. Case closed. They were just grateful to be alive.
The following night the shift paraded at 2145hrs as they always did, but this time there were two extras. The two officers who thought they were deploying to the front door of Number 10 Downing Street were re-assigned to other duties, much to their delight. The two `extras`, thereafter known as "The Horseguards Two", took up position on the famous doorstep - and would do so every night, uncomplaining, for the next three weeks. No Police Federation (union) reps were involved, no complaints, no politicking, no media, no messing. "Quickly, firmly and appropriate to the circumstances" End of.