We drive through the early hours to get to the station for the briefing. Everyone looks half asleep. Itis stupid o’clock and only Police, criminals and the eternally stupid are awake. Even the paper workers, bakers and posties are coming to terms with the new day with a cup of their favourite brew at home.
Inspector whoever gives everyone the brief on the objectives, gives out the call signs and teams for the visit. We have the methodology and then the health & safety and professionalism stuff. Deep down everyone knows we’ve got a far easier message to deliver. You deal in drugs then we will come knocking. Then we get the real nitty gritty from the team leader who has been putting the work in to set this up. We forget the bollock talk and get down to the job at hand. Intel, recent activity, etc etc etc. Now we know what we are really there for.
As a final, almost forgotton, thing, everyone suddenly realises that everything depends on me and my buddy who have the job of dealing with the things with teeth that our particular target has for his protection. These people do not have pets, they have animals as extensions of the persona they try to put on. We usually travel tooled up in pairs for this type of outing.
No matter how much intel on our target, how recent, very little seems to be known about their dogs. These we know are pitbull types and have bitten some of the punters. They were very pissed off about it.
So off we go, everyone expects the unexpected, the convoy hits the streets. Its deserted, the journey seems bizarre as the unknown goes through our heads and the expectation begins to weigh heavy. We get to the place we agree to meet for final checks. The coin is tossed, I call heads and lose. I get the dog catcher. I will need both hands, no shield, no anything, just a metal stick with a loop, my wits and reflexes.
We park at the agreed place, we don’t want our dogs to give us away. We come in on foot and meet our door team. The timing is perfect. We approach and our door team get out their special key. In goes the door and then the fun begins. We are confronted by your worst nightmare, the door team and the next line in are surprisingly absent. We have no doubt, this is our responsibility. This dog is bigger than we thought, its teeth are surprisingly white in the darkness and I am able to restrain and tighten the catcher, force the thing backwards into the back of the passage to allow the next wave in behind me to secure the various parts of the house. We have decided to contain the beast in a room temporarily. There are only two of us shouting. the cavalry cautiously arrives and make for their designated places.
Then, all of a sudden, it dawns on the next wave, there appear to be no doors. Even more suddenly they are aware that the dog handler and the beast are not out of the way behind a door but in the passage. The beast is pushed backwards, into the kitchen, towards the back door. My mate, the toss winner, opens the bolts and locks of the door and allows me out. I am able to secure the beast in a kennel after my mate gives it a cursery checkover.
Why is it that these people have more locks and security devices fitted than common sense dictates ? What if there was a fire ? It must be to stop burglars, surely ? No, thats what the CCTV at the door is for. They never saw this coming.
Within moments we are back inside the house and the next wave are over the moon.
We were in quick, too quick for the gear to be flushed. We got our man, his gear, several of his mates and some were wanted. “You can’t do this, you ain’t got no effing warrant”
Its like the panto season. “Oh yes we have”.
The beast has calmed down and is semi friendly. Its not the dog’s fault and we know this. We tell him so. There were supposed to be two. I return to the house and in the kitchen I find the second, cowering in a corner. Everyone has missed it. I coax it out and take it to the sanctuary of the kennel. We don’t like to hurt them. Sadly, its an unavoidable part of dealing with things the way we have to.
We reunite the dogs and they are now fine. At least the dogs are happy.
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