Sat on a beach in Bali, I saw a tweet from Kingston Met Police offering the chance of riding along in a police response vehicle. A fast one.
I took that opportunity, I’d have paid for that.
Started with tazers being allocated to officers, every serial number of guns and cartridges noted. I was unaware each cartridge also contains a number of micro dots, so the discharge area and direction is able to be later investigated.
First call within moments of getting into the vehicle is a call to near Villiers Road. We were second on scene, and as a police observer I was allowed to ghost the police in their duties. This was a minor incident, but was quickly followed by another high priority call near Chessington. This was exciting as we had a convoy of three police cars to get there.
This is more difficult for a driver as the general numptiness of other road users increases as they don’t expect three cars. The front car worked to clear a path, and if necessary, to block side roads for the next two. That car was a highly trained pursuit driver and his car had more power than our cars. My driver was very competent and each of the drivers treated every obstacle as if they were the first there. No assumption that the first or second car had made members of the public aware. They got their man, but it was a false alarm and he continued his way.
Knife in Kingston.
The next call was a knife being brandished near the Uni in Kingston. Okay, this certainly got my blood pumping. I had to sit and wait in the car whilst a hard stop was performed. Basically a lot of forceful shouting to subdue the targets, quickly into handcuffs. During this, with four or five police vehicles blocking the road with their blue lights on, a lady jumped out of a car behind. “I need to get past to park my car, could you move?”. Seriously? I’ve read about these “but I only live there” moments when roadblocks are in force, but never thought I’d see such obvious naivety from the public.
One arrested and two allowed to continue their way.
What was most impressive was the time the officers took to explain why things were happening to those held. They were all very calm, as were the suspects. Pretty sure it’s not their first time in that position.
We had another, not high priority call, to an address in Victoria Rd.
As we started driving up St Marks Hill, I popped out Google maps and said that this is the wrong way. We needed to head back down past the station.
The banter started in the dining area back at the station. Our operator was suddenly brought to task over me pointing them in the right direction earlier. There will be a Kangaroo Court, potentially cakes at the end. Oops, sorry.
I got to ask some of the questions I’d been sent on Facebook, mostly joke ones from friends but they were really happy to hear them all. Well, I decided to leave out the one r.e. The Masons. You never know.