Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bail Warrants suck!

Right, so I came in for briefing for a late shift on day. I think it was like a 1400 hours start time back then. As with everything in the police it's been changed about 6 times in the last year so who bloody knows!

Anyway, the Sgt gives me a task for the evening. I have to go and locate a random woman Ms Happy Heifer and Arrest her on a "Bail Warrant" which is a bit of a misnomer really.. after all, if you are going to BAIL someone, why arrest them in the first place? Anyway, she'd not paid £600 of council tax or something. (So?)

So basically, a Bail Warrant, the idea is that you arrest the subject and instantly inform them (with lots of paperwork) that you are BAILING THEM to appear in "whichever court is specified" on a date to be worked out (several are usually given as examples).

I dutifully think rightio, that's straight forward (yer right) and pop out in my vehicle and toddle on around to Ms Happy Heifers house in an effort to get this straight forward and simple job over and done with at the beginning of the shift.

Surprise, surprise, no one is at home. I breath a sigh of relief and get ready to beat a hasty retreat when a neighbour (who's heard me bashing on the door in this block of flats) sticks their head out and says "Is everything a'right?" I have to try fairly hard to not say something like mind your own business, but I smile and say, oh yes, everything is fine, have you seen Ms Heifer today? and the neighbour says that she's probably visiting the fellow in flat 2 or is just down the road at some random persons address who they can't tell me because they've just seen her sitting on the step there.. but she's always there, apparently.

I thank the neighbour and make good my get-away, but for appearances sake I go and knock at number 2. No answer. I drive out and along the end of the close and back again looking like I am trying to find Ms Happy Heifer, but of course I've got NO IDEA what she looks like so it's pretty useless looking, but like I say, it's for appearances sake.

Shift was due to finish at around midnight I think. I know that night shift was starting at around 2200 hours but it could've been earlier, or later, never quite sure these days. Anyway I've gone back to Ms Happy Heifers address. It's around 2100 hours. I've been caught up doing proper policing like taking crime reports for thefts and burglaries.

I go in to the block of flats and knock on the door.. Happy herself comes to the door and instantly starts ranting at me!?!???
"Hold Up!" I start with as I ask her if perhaps she'd like to continue this in the privacy of her own flat instead of in the stairwell! She doesn't even stop ranting at me (and I've not said anything else just yet) but she's clearly on a roll here. I get in to the living room and ask her if she'd like to sit down and she refuses and goes on another rant about my telling her what to do in her own flat.... FFS Gimme a Break. This was supposed to be the easy job for the day! I've still got 2 burglaries to write up and a theft I'm thinking as she keeps on ranting.

So eventually she takes a break for a moment and I explain what I'm there for. She instantly starts off on one again. I calmly continue with my explanation that I'm NOT THERE to take her away, I'm only there to bail her to appear in BIG CITY MAGISTRATES COURT about 3 counties across because that's where she lived before. She doesn't care, she just starts sobbing and screaming and carrying on.. she starts going on about how I'm there to take her away and that she refused and so on.. My, my, what a crock.. talk about acting it up! It's not even for anything decent this bail warrant.
So now about 20 minutes have passed since I first arrived. The controllers are aware of where I am and have already checked on me once... I've got Happy Heifer to ring her best friend who's dutifully trotted over to assist her, or me, or both of us. So Ms Trotter arrives.

Ms Trotter comes in to the living room. Happy instantly looks a little better and starts on about how I'm here to arrest her and drag her away and put her in the cells for the night to go to court and that she can't go in the cells because of her back operation and how sick she's been and so on and so forth..
I ask Happy if she is willing to let me discuss her private matters with Ms Trotter, she indicates that she is and then starts screaming at me again.. Ms Trotter and I walk in to the hall where the screaming is slightly less and I explain the purpose of the Bail Warrant and that it's ONLY an arrest in order to say "YOU ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND XYZ COURT ON B DAY AT C TIME" and nothing more. Ms Trotter understands straight away that I am NOT the big bad nasty 6 foot storm trooper from the evil empire of the overlords on the deathstar that I have been made out to be.

Ms Trotter manages to get Happy Heifer up off the floor and on to the sofa. They chat and I simply stand back. Eventually Happy calms down and says to me "Ok, What's all of this that I have to do?" so I start off at the beginning saying all the bits that the form says I must read out (and I've explained that I HAVE to read it out) and she gets upset again and starts going off on a tangent. Ms Trotter works her magic as Happy is just sobbing and saying "Take me away, Take me away, I can't be in a cell, I'm in agony" over and over again.

About another 20 mins have passed and control room has checked on me for  3rd time. I've explained at one point that I may have to bring Happy in to the cells as she is not listening. Or alternatively to get someone else to come over and explain as clearly she doesn't want to listen to me. The controller manages to tell me (lucky I use an earpiece) that due to the screaming in the background she's getting me some backup...

Happy Heifer magically calms right down and apologises to me and asks me to read out what I've come for. She said that she understands that I don't want to take her away and so on.. Ms Trotter has explained everything magically (and read it out from the paperwork for her). I do my bit and read out all the spiel on the papers, say all the magic words, emphasise all the good bits about being liable to re-arrest etc for failing to appear and then we all happily sign on the dotted line....................

So, in total around 1 hour and 5 minutes have passed. It's now well after change of shift time. Eventually I am in a calm household, Happy Heifer apologises and states that she's on medication for her back problems after having an operation. She stated that she was upset and didn't listen to me. All seems fine and we part on good terms.
I walk out the door and as I do so I see the Area Car with the night turn officers for the patch pull up and look at me. I wonder on down and they tell me that they've decided that perhaps they should check on me... we thanks fellas!

A simple job? Yeah, The Sgt said "Just do this one for me Blogs, it's fairly straight forward. Just a bail warrant". No thanks! I'll avoid them from now on.

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