Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Custard Sergeant

Had the joys of being in custody recently.

Some skippers enjoy custody. I don't.

To be fair, I can understand why some enjoy it. It is a role where you know exactly what your job is, there is considerable responsibility, and you are the boss. Anything that happens in the custody suite happens with your consent. Immaterial of rank, you still get permission from the custody skipper if you want to do anything in the cell block.

To me, I hate the fact I'm staring at the same walls for the entire shift and sat at a desk 98% of the time. Its the precise thing I joined the police to get away from. Occasionally you get interesting prisoners- after all, no matter what the offence or offender everyone goes through the custody office- whether a first time shoplifter or a murderer still covered in his victims blood having been chased all over town. But most of the time I'm counting down the hours.

Anyway some time spent in there is inevitable.

Following on from earlier posts it isn't unknown for police officers to turn a blind eye to some drunken antics that could be recorded as crime- mostly low level stuff- the odd taking a leak in corner, squaring up and posturing business that is normally dealt with a word in your ear like.

One thing that is not ever knowingly ignored is drink drive. If that little light goes red on the roadside, you're coming in. No word of warning, park it and get a taxi, you're coming in.

Had a classic in the other weekend.

Posh girl leaving club with her utterly inebriated boyfriend who turned out not to be her husband. Get in their bling shiny 4x4 and promptly reverse it straight into the taxi rank. Taxi men and club manager aren't the happiest with this and manage to stop her and call us.

Two PCs turn up. She messes about with the breathalyser until on the last chance (i.e. "if you don't do this properly this time, you're arrested for failing to provide) and surprise surprise the machine thinks for all of half a second before going straight to red.

She gets brought in before me. At this stage for her its all just such a terrible inconvenience. I start off the myriad forms with the same questions repeated about 6 times. These forms have been developed as a result of various people getting their high paid lawyers to blag them off a drink drive as a result of some poxy technicality like they had mouthwash in the preceding hour- anything to just make the breath machine not 100% accurate and so inadmissible, even if they were completely bladdered and were 3 times over the limit.

Anyway, I surmise this plunging neckline in front of me is going to have a high paid lawyer so I make extra sure everything is precisely by the book.

And she's more than double the limit. Oh dear oh dear.

This is where the fun begins. I have to wait for her to be sober so I can charge her with the offence. Police doctor advises 3 maybe 4 hours. This has the added benefit of ensuring she isn't released still too drunk to drive. Hopefully the Range Rover will have a nice clamp on it by the time she gets out.

I tell Posh Totty she's spending time in the cell to sober up, knowing precisely what reaction it will get. I am not disappointed. Cue one hysterical crying fit "I caaaaaaaaaaaan't go in the cell, pleeeeeeeeease". Unfortunately for her I am not one for bending to her every whim unlike what she is probably used to, and one of the female detention officers escorts the streaked mascara to the cell "with pleasure, sarge".

Am I wrong for taking some kind of guilty amusement out of this??