Someone asked me in another thread to tell some funny stories about life as a policeman and I said it was a difficult thing to do. I’ve given it some thought and to be honest it isn’t easy. People have said to me in the past that I must have seen some funny things out on the beat or in custody units, but I can’t really remember too many obvious ones.
Of course, there’s lots of dark humour but funny stuff, not really. Most of the stuff you have to deal with on the streets is quite sad and often involves people in distress, whilst custody unit work is mostly being sworn at and abused whilst cleaning up the remains of someone’s kebab that they’ve regurgitated onto the cell floor. There’s not much humour in that.
I suppose the funniest stuff happens at court. I honestly never knew how the JPs and Judges kept straight faces with some of the excuses that people came up with. ‘The dog ate my homework’ has nothing on some of the outrageous and ludicrous excuses they are presented with.
The sort of funny things I remember are seeing a police colleague sitting waiting to go into court wearing a pair of dark blue furry carpet slippers with his uniform. He had his boots with him in a bag but they had given him such bad blisters he’d had to drive to court in a pair of slippers. He decided that he was going to take a chance and leave the fluffy slippers on when he went in to give his evidence, and he did. And you know what? Nobody noticed. I suppose it’s not as if people look at someone’s feet, but it left us all laughing our heads off that he got away with it.
The other story that involves me was one day when we were at the magistrates court and the JPs decided that they wanted to finish the case and would sit on into the early evening, which they occasionally did as long as there were no civilian witnesses involved. Anyway the case finished about 6.30pm and immediately the JPs and the clerk dashed out of the back door into the staff area and let the defendant and the solicitors go out the back door into the staff car park.
I was one of three officers and we were ushered out into the small main waiting area and we heard the courtroom door locked behind us by the usher who told us to close the front door on the way out. If we’d headed straight for the door we’d have probably been okay because we could have alerted someone by shouting, but one of my colleagues said he needed the loo before we left and we waited for him. But he returned about a minute later cursing that the toilet had been locked.
Lo and behold, the front door was locked too and despite several loud shouts, everyone had rapidly disappeared and we were stuck in the little waiting area. At least there were seats, but no drinks, no food and no toilets. There weren’t even any windows because they were all in the side rooms which were shut. We radioed through and explained what had happened but the control room had no contact number for the caretaker and the only person who they could get hold of was the out of hours key holder who lived in flipping Watford!
We were told ‘he’ll be there in an hour or so’. And so we had no option but to sit tight and wait, and wait and wait. All highly amusing to our colleagues when we were finally released.