Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Page Nine - Intelligence Unused (Copcast #124)
uA unit to deal please, 21 Sainsbury Avenue, concern for welfare, it’s graded as an emergency call" the radio crackled. George told his probationer to offer up for it since it seemed like a fairly straightforward job and something else for his portfolio. The probationer gave their call sign and they were assigned and committed. Whilst en-route George asked his probationer to obtain more details whilst he navigated through the traffic on blues and twos.
The update came through, "Child Abuse Team has had a call from a neighbour of number 21 who wishes to remain anonymous. States the 13 year old boy is being assaulted". The probationer asked if there were any previous calls to the address or warning markers. “Only a couple of domestics”, replied the controller.
They arrived and informed control then walked to the door. Listening to the door they heard nothing, no shouting or crying. They knocked and heard movement inside; "Who the eff is it?" came the reply. "Police!" George shouted.
The door opened and there stood a man with long wild blonde hair, no shirt and his chest covered in self-harm marks. His torso positively rippled with muscle. George’s heart sank; it was Charlie Lane, local drug dealer and general pain in the neck. Charlie had PNC warning markers for (and in no particular order): Mental Health, Suicidal, Weapons, Firearms, Drugs, Violent towards Police, Escaper, Cage Fighter and all round Grade-A psycho with little regard for the chief constable and his band of merry men.
The radio crackled again, "Is that someone going to 21 Sainsbury Avenue? That’s Charlie Lane’s address" called a concerned colleague. "He’s got warning markers you know". George thanked the officer and silently cursed the controller for doing such a poor job with the intelligence. Charlie wanted to know what they wanted. The probationer, completely oblivious to the radio traffic, tried talking to Charlie who wasn't listening; he just wanted them to foxtrot oscar.
George said to Charlie "Look, we’ve been called to check the welfare of a young lad living here, there are reports he’s been assaulted. We need to check him out". Charlie replied "Eff off" and tried to shut the door but somehow and without any conscious effort, George’s right foot had found its way in the door, stopping it from shutting. Charlie looked down at him and he felt his stomach tighten. "What the eff are you doing?" he demanded. Actually he said much more than that, but you get the drift.
"Whoa, easy tiger, let me check the kids and the we’ll go ". Charlie told them that with the help of the police all but one of his kids had been taken into care only two days previously. George thought “Nice work control, that little nugget of intel should have come from you, not him”. Eventually they persuaded Charlie to let them see the remaining lad, muttering something about a section 17 power of entry to preserve life. Charlie actually growled and called for his son, who came to the door, Charlie kissed him on the side of the head. They chatted to the lad and checked him for any signs of injury; he seemed fine and wandered off, at which point Charlie then lost it. He was very keen to show how much he worked out and asked if they wanted to come in and check the rest of the house, just for fun. They politely declined and left.
They reported to the Inspector and informed him that it appeared to be a malicious call from a neighbour, intent on causing Charlie and the police problems. George had checked the son and he appeared fine. The Inspector agreed with how they’d dealt with the incident.
George chalked this incident up as a perfect example of not only the importance of gathering intelligence, but also how dangerous it can be to not pass it on to the people that need it. In some cases it can literally be a matter of life or death.