He was given an unmarked car, a spreadsheet detailing the crime hot-spots and a partner from the burglary squad, Tony who had about 22 years of service and would find it hard running to the toilet let alone after a rather limber 15 year old youth who can shimmy over fences like a cat. Their brief was to drive around the hot-spots and 'stop check' anyone who looked like they are up to no good. They were also informed by the Duty Officer that if they actually arrested someone on suspicion of burglary then the Command Team would love them.
About halfway through the shift, Tone was spotting from the passenger side of the vehicle and the only stops they'd had were a paperboy and a couple of youths on their way into school. It was turning into a long day.
As the car turned into an estate, George spotted two youths wearing dark hoodies walk down an alley that cut through a row of terraced houses. Now in George's book if they were wearing hoodies, particularly dark ones, the only thing that was missing was a confession. He shouted at Tone “There!” at the same time pointing towards the direction of the alleyway. Both youths were now out of sight.
“Whah?” replied Tone, his conversation with himself about detections suddenly cut short.
“Two white lads wearing hoodies, down that alley" barked George. Tone said they were probably just more kids on there way to school but George told him that something didn’t feel right. Tone groaned as George then came up with a cunning plan. “You go down the alley, I'll drive to the other side and make my way round to you”. Surprisingly Tone got out of the vehicle, brushed off the sandwich crumbs and made his way to the alleyway while George scooted off to the far end of the block of terraced houses.
At this point George was thinking of bringing in more units, perhaps a dog van to secure the area and even maybe the force helicopter, he wanted to shout into the radio "Suspects on" or "Suspects making off" but remembered that these kids hadn’t actually done anything yet and he really didn’t want to get too much of a ribbing if it was all for nothing.
George got out of the car and made his way to the right hand side of the block trying to raise Tone on the radio but there was no answer. He had no idea if he had the youths, or if he was lying in a crumpled heap having been happy slapped. George climbed a 6 foot garden fence and peered over the top, “Tone” he hissed. Nothing.
A couple of minutes of searching passed and then he heard an almighty racket accompanied by the top of Tone’s head appearing over the fence about 100 yards away. A triumphant Tone got to the top of the fence and gave a big grin and a thumbs up looking pretty pleased with himself, he obviously hadn’t done anything quite so physical for a while.
There was a loud crack, a yelp and a howl and lots of wood being thrown up in the air. Thinking Tone had been assaulted George ran to his location and found him nursing the back of his leg and a split in his trousers. The fence was wrecked, it obviously couldn't take much weight, particularly Tone’s. After checking out the properties, establishing that all was in order he helped a limping and cursing Tone get to their unmarked Vauxhall Vectra.
During the drive back Tony was very quiet and almost grumpy, George felt awkward and a little guilty. Tony now had to face the embarrassment of walking into the police station with a split pair of trousers and George didn't relish the thought of writing a duty report justifying the fence damage to the Inspector who would no doubt want an inquisition into how the damage occurred.
On the way back to the police station they spotted the two lads again, this time in company with their mums and en-route to the local junior school. Oh the excitement and glamour of plain clothes work.