Monday, May 14, 2007

I smell the blood of an Englishman

Finally, I have a working computer and phone line again, and have got some time do put something on here. The perpetual rain is doing a very effective job at persuading me to remain inside too.

There's been all sorts happening over the last weeks across the country. I might delve into them another time, but for now a couple of "highlights" from the month.

I was most upset the other night. For the first time I can remember I lost a foot chase. Why? Bleedin shoelaces came undone. At one point I considered just kicking the boot off but then I thought I'm running round stairwells at night in an unfamiliar estate, probably not best. I don't think I'd have seen it again. I said quite rude things to the offending shoelace as I was yanking it back together again. I nearly always double knot the things, I just forgot this time so of course sod's law kicks in.

A couple of weeks back I met Robert. Robert has one of those personality disorders that are determined untreatable and so he is kicked out of the hospitals to which we frequently send him under S136 Mental Health Act. Robert decided the other day to cut his wrists. Now we quite often get calls like this, and get there to find small cuts, not very deep. Robert was a tad different. With a stanley knife blade he had gouged right through his wrist. 3 times.
He was sat in his kitchen when we got there with his despairing friend. The kitchen was a reasonable size, with a white tiled floor. Blood covered every single tile. It was on the sideboards where he had sat. It was down the cupboards. A completely soaked towel was in the middle of the floor. Spots were on the wall from when he'd moved his arm. I've seen lots of blood before, but this was something else. You wouldn't have thought blood smells, but I tell you it does.

A single flourescent tube illuminated this scene, highlighting the contrast between red and white.

Robert was at his home. Robert did not want to go to hospital. We have no power to do anything. We only have powers to section people if they're in a public place. The old trick of arresting them to prevent a breach of the peace, followed by de-arresting them once outside and sectioning them instead isn't an option these days. We also have the issue that he doesn't even want to leave the kitchen. The floor is a wet slippy congealed nightmare. We do not want to fight this man. He's no small fry either. But there's no way we can leave him there. He's still conscious, blood steadily dripping through his hands, telling us it was an accident and he'll get it sorted in the morning.

We all know he'll be dead by the morning. The bandage he did let the ambulance service put on he has torn off.

So, we negotiate. We patiently build rapport and trust. His friend tries too, but nothing. He just sits on the sideboard, oblivious to the blood everywhere, telling us he's fine. Half an hour of patient persuasion leads nowhere. Eventually, Robert starts getting impatient and smashes a cup. The group of armoured PC's outside brace, wondering if I'm going to order them all in or order them all out.

A Pc comes in with a shield, telling him not to be so stupid in a manner you would tell off a child, which with all the circumstances seemed mighty surreal. But Robert responds, saying sorry. The gentle persuasion has failed and so its time to try the more forceful approach. Myself and the Pc tell him that he's coming to hospital right now. Hallelujah, Robert agrees. I quickly signal for everyone outside to quickly hide, knowing if he sees all the armour waiting it'd freak him out. We walk out and go down the several flights of stairs, everyone quietly following. Blood is still flowing down his hands, to the extent that as we turn and turn round the stairwells, there are spots and spots of blood all over the floor before we even get there.

Finally, three floors down Robert goes down in a heap, succumbing to the blood loss. I quickly grab his arm and get the ambulance service to put one, then two and finally three dressings on it. Robert starts coming round. Straight away he tries to fight us, swearing at us to leave him alone. I've had enough by now and am not in the mood for negotiation. I take a tight hold of his arm and shoulder, a Pc grabs the other side and we march him down the stairs, holding him as he collapses again. He's a hefty git and we can't carry him, we just wait for him to come round again, stop him fighting us, and march him on again.

Finally, we reach the bottom. He collapses once more as the ambulance driver runs off to get his rig. Once again, once he revives he flails out at us, seriously pissed off. We can't handcuff him because of his wrist. We hoik him into the ambulance. I throw my car keys at someone and we're off to the hospital on blues. I'm standing, holding his wrist up high to a) stop him hitting me with it and b) to stop him losing yet more blood. The other Pc is holding his other arm. The paramedic is trying do something, but we're all struggling with him and our balance as the ambulance dodges in and out of traffic

We get to the hospital and see the open mouthed reaction of the staff when we struggle in with him. We take him down to a cubicle from where he kicks off again. We end up pinning him to the ground. A doctor gets a sedative and administers it. Finally, he calms down. He goes to a mattress on the floor and lets the nurses start cleaning him up. The floor where he was pinned down looks like some something out of Dawn of the Dead. I take the chance to grab some water and take a look at myself.

I am covered in his blood. Top to bottom- boot, trouser, vest and shirt. Thoughts of HIV and Hepatitus cross my mind and I go and clear myself up, hoping that little nick on my arm has healed properly. The other skipper is going through all the details with the ambulance and hospital staff.

I feel justified in nominating someone not covered in his blood to do the write up. I head back to our nick, feeling quite nauseated now by the constant smell of blood from my own clothes.