Yesterday I went out with the local police in their patrol car, from about 4pm to 2 in the morning.
It was a bit of a fact finding mission as to what they do and how they do it, as they have involved eight of us ,the ordinary citizens into their work by appointing us as their independent advisory group.
So I thought I would learn more about their work in my area, before criticising or advising.
So you apply for their “ride along” scheme, and then they do all kind of checks on you! CRB and something called NPC, (national police computer), to see that you have not done anything, which might, in their eyes be objectionable. They obviously did not find anything that I might have done very objectionable, so I was allowed to go.
Being a Friday evening we were busy from the start. Women dialling 999 because they feared that the boy friend has disappeared with the baby ,after an argument, and men asking for assistance, because their ex-wife has dumped dead sheep at their door step, and cut off the electricity ! Or “domestics” as the police call them. Though when you arrive and talk to both parties then story is usually quite different and neither party is blameless.
I realised for the first time that the police are social workers as well as marriage guidance counsellors.
Our town is a reasonable and a sedate place. But the snaking queues outside the night clubs and bars was indicative that they know how to enjoy themselves. Not many brawls or aggression but arguments and quite a few drinkers who looked very young to be drinking.
What struck me most was that when there are so few resources, should the police be spending time on these? We want them to catch burgulars and stop serious crime. But as ordinary citizens we still want them when our domestic troubles spill over, and we can not resolve them.
So given that there are fewer men available, how and where will you deploy them and what priorities will you set them?
I have moaned about police being not available like anyone, but after spending time with them I was at a loss in my mind as to where they should be concentrating their efforts?
I wonder what you feel?