Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Page Eleven - CID Rowing Team (Copcast #126)

It is a running joke in most nicks that the detectives in the Criminal Investigation Department or CID are not fighting the same war on crime as the wooden tops are and that they regularly try to row themselves out of taking on work. The reality is they are fighting the same battle but in different ways, the uniformed response officers deal with the here and now, running from one call to the next while the detectives handle everything that needs more in depth investigation and usually have a huge heap of outstanding cases to cope with.

Last week however George had a run in with CID. It wasn't pleasant and left him feeling a little heavy in heart and disillusioned with his colleagues in suits.

He attended a street robbery where a 78 year old woman was standing at a bus stop when a young lad grabbed her handbag off her shoulder. The old girl was made of stern stuff and tried to pull it back so the young lad then had to fight for the handbag. He tugged, she fell, he ran. The thief was grabbed by a member of the public who had witnessed the incident, but he got away after assaulting the good samaritan.

A robbery in the UK is defined as a theft where force was used or threatened against anyone at the time of the theft and in order to carry out the theft, but not just to escape.

After a search of the area was carried out the suspect was picked up by another unit while George took care of the victim who was suffering from a sore and swollen knee and thumb. He took her home since it was nearby and organised for an ambulance crew to see her and they in turn took her to hospital to check out the possible fractures. While they waited for the ambulance to arrive George had taken details of the incident and got the lady's statement along with some initial photos of her injuries. He also made sure by radio that CID knew about the robbery.

Back at the police station the evidence was added to the prisoner handover package for CID then just as he was going off duty a detective approached him in the locker room.

"Are you sure this is a robbery?" asked the detective, "Yes. Force was used to steal the bag" replied George.

"Was the force used on the bag strap or victim?"

The conversation continued as a heated argument over the definition of robbery and whether this case should be investigated by CID as a robbery or by uniform as a theft. The grey area was whether the thief had used force to snatch the bag or if he had used it against the victim to make her release the bag. The detective also complained that a number of initial enquiries at the scene hadn't been carried out by the uniformed officers and that the victim's statement wasn't very good, to which George retorted that he had advised them at the time, by radio, which they are supposed to monitor constantly and they could easily have aranged those things without leaving their office.

George left for home, very angry, he felt CID were trying to duck out of investigating a case that warranted their attention, just because they were already overburdened with work.

The following day George's skipper called him into his office and he guessed he was going to be 're-educated'. To George's surprise he wasn't, the skipper agreed with the sentiment but not the way he had spoken to CID and reminded him that they are under a huge amount of pressure themselves even if it doesn't involve tearing about answering calls day after day. He was warned to have more respect and not to let his emotions get the better of him. George grinned and took it on the chin, suspecting that the suits and lids will never see eye to eye.

The suspect was bailed for further enquiries and there is a chance he will be charged with robbery when he returns in a month's time while the victim is recovering at home with bruising but no fractures. So all in all a good job in the end … right?

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