• What You Measure is What You Get.

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    I know enough to know that at 04.00am it gets dark out on the streets. It has done this for the last twenty odd years, to my knowledge and will probably continue for the forseeable future. At some stage in this ‘future’ I shall retire and probably won’t give a damn if it still gets dark at 04.00am. Until then I shall be out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows because someone, somewhere will be doing stuff they shouldn’t and then, well then I will introduce myself. In the meanwhile I shall try to remain sane and remember why I joined in the first place and try to ignore all the people who piss me off by making the job more complicated than it should be.
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    Any opinions contained in posts are mine and mine alone. Many of them will not be those of any Police Force, Police Organisation or Police Service around this country. The opinions are based on many years of working within the field of practical operational Police work and reflect the desire to do things with the minimum of interference by way of duplication for the benefit of others who themselves do not do the same job. I recognise that we all perform a wide range of roles and this is essential to make the system work. If you don’t like what you see remember you are only one click on the mouse away from leaving. I accept no responsibility for the comments left by others.
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I’ve seen fear.

Its dark, its a little way before 04.00am, gentle but persistent rain had dusted the ground and in the orange of the street lights, it gives an eerie yellowy type of glow. From my hiding place in a garden I can see all along one road into the trading estate. Along the only other road into the estate I can clearly see a road junction, the only other way out and back to civilisation. I have been there for 30 minutes because my companion started to sniff the air. No I, most definately, had not farted. So there had to be someone about somewhere.

It was then I heard the familiar crash…..tinkle, tinkle of a window going in, somewhere closeby.

I inform comms and ask for some units to come, silent approach, if they are not committed. I make my way quietly out of the garden towards where the crash……tinkle, tinkle was heard. I am walking into the wind and almost immediately my comrade begins to whine which gives me the nod that we are close. Around the first building and I see some pallets leant against a wall underneath a small open window, the jagged outline of the broken glass and the shards of debris on the ground nearby. I creep to a corner position where I’ve got two sides of the building covered and update comms. I can still clearly see the window. I can now hear banging coming from inside. I ask for a keyholder but we have no detail card for the premises and no alarm activation from the alarm company. Then bingo……one of the units calls up, they have contact details from a burglary there only a week or so before. These are given to comms and only minutes later we hear that the keyholder is on their way.

The keyholder arrives and as we enter leaving the others outside, the audible springs into life. This must have one hell of a delay. Just shows how old some of these really are.

I’m trying to watch my comrade as he searches. He finds an axe, a rather large and uninviting screwdriver, an open briefcase full of keys and the usual misc papers. These are left around in an office close to the point of entry. As we enter a large dark room, at the farthest point, only lit by the orange glow through the windows from outside, itis immediately apparant that my comrade has got the smell of something interesting on his mind. His intention is to locate the source of this interest. His breathing changes, the subtle sniffs change into snorts, his mood and focus increase and the state of arousal heightens as this hunt closes in on the prey. He becomes excited and frantically begins to scratch at a closed door, whining and then breaks into a bark, the type of bark that means just about only one thing. I shout to identify us and offer an opportunity to exit what lies behind the door. Nothing.

I open the door, shout another challenge to who ever lies within and see that the door leads to a tardis of another room larger than I had imagined. Darkness within. I release my comrade and as he heads into the darkness I illuminate with my torch at the same time that I hear a different, intimidating growl and bark that shows me that my comrade has located our prey. In my torchlight the focus is not on me but on my comrade, only feet away from a cowering burglar who suddenly wishes that he had taken up an alternative night time livelyhood. At the moment anything would be better than this. Sometimes the working conditions are not all they are cracked up to be.

I shout at him to do exactly as I say but he appears like a rabbit in the headlights. A rabbit in the headlights of an impressive set of canine dentistry which are waiting for a signal, the signal.

There is genuine fear, genuine compliance, eventually when I speak in the language he understands and a genuine desire to do whatever it takes to leave with all the parts he came in with. Apart from, perhaps, a little DNA that would corroborate this presence. That might be useful. But at the moment, that moment, the elation is ours and ours alone. The eyes of the burglar tell the only story you need to know. Response are elated as he is a target, there is no shortage of volunteers to supply the taxi ride towards incarceration. Even the wet patch on the seat illuminates the misery of the weather. The nights brings the warm glow of a success that motivates everyone and reminds us of exactly why we joined in the first place. To provide this sort of service. Itis the criminals who should be incarcerated, not us incarcerated within beaurocracy and paperwork prisons. As he is being led away we get the call from the alarm company. Confirmed alarm actuation at the premises.

There is little or no fear in being arrested or taken to a cell for hours, days or however long it takes. There is little or no fear in the legal processes that take place. There is little or no fear in the paltry and derisory sentences that burglars receive if and when they are convicted.

But for a short moment, only a brief moment, I can say that I’ve seen genuine fear.


7 Responses

  1. The memories of the sight of your comrade in an enclosed room, early hours, will probably live with him far longer than anything the system can give out.

  2. All too often we find ourselves closing the proverbial barn door after the horse (or should it be donkey?) has bolted.
    There is no better feeling than catching the bastards at it. Red handed. Bang to rights.
    Nice one.

  3. Great post and what a great job!
    Like you say it’s why every front line officer is still front line.
    We live for these jobs and put up with the crap jobs to wait for them.

  4. That’s why they’re man’s best friend. Only wish mine was as smart…

    Pass the Bonio!

  5. the last time I was able to slot up somewhere and just wait for the inevitable billy burglar was so long ago its disturbing. There really is no high like sneakliy catching someone bang at it and seeing the look on their face for one brief moment that just says “fuck…….”

  6. Ahhh, quality. I’d love to be a handler. Sadly the last time the job came up there were 95 applicants for 1 job and I didn’t get it. It’s like dead man’s boots to get in.

    But I love seeing you guys turn up, or even skulking about with us on night shifts.

    Added you to my sidebar, but only out of jealousy you understand.

  7. You luck bugger. Where I work being a handler comes second to everything else. We would love to be able to target an area like you did, but are expected to give tickets out etc when not doing what we’ve trained for..handling our dogs!

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