Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Page Twenty Seven - Kung Fu Panda (Copcast #142)

Years ago a lot of effort was put into teaching new police officers a variety of holds, grabs and takedowns. Some of these holds were so complex that a degree in human anatomy was required to implement them, as was a fair degree of luck when trying to apply them to your quarry. George still remembers those late nights in the gym at Training School, practising an array of thumb-locks, arm holds and handcuff takedowns prior to the practical assessments the next day.

There is no doubt that some of these skills have proved to be effective during his service but he still has to suppress a grin when he sees two or three bobbies piled on top of a struggling prisoner. He’s not laughing at them, it's just that the reality of restraining someone is to get them on the floor at the earliest opportunity and to keep the sharp bitey bits from your soft fleshy parts and he’s never a textbook thumb lock.

The most effective way to implement this is to execute a front or rear leg sweep followed by the ‘Kung Fu Panda’ static restraint method otherwise described as sitting on the suspect. Once this method of restraint has been applied, the prisoner can be handcuffed, limb strapped and will be firmly under no illusion that he had been detained. There is little room for complex thumb locks in this real world, so much so that someone at the Training School has finally realised this and most of those holds are no longer taught.

Recently George was on duty with a probationer, Sam was a mere slip of a girl and just 19 years old but loved to get ‘stuck in’. It was late evening and they were called to a disturbance in the street. Reports were coming in of a male trying to attack vehicles with a tree branch in the middle of the road.

Sure enough upon arrival they saw a number of cars trying to turn around and a man screaming at the top of his voice. "I want to ascend" he was shouting, along with threats to kill himself. George and Sam ran over to the man who had fortunately discarded his hefty tree branch by leaving it on the roof of a stationary vehicle, it's driver clearly intent on not getting out.

George grabbed hold of the man by his collar and started to drag him to the side of the road, as there were far too many moving vehicles in it for his liking. Reasoning with him was not an option.

His probationer was trying to force the man’s right arm up his back to gain control, but this wasn't working. They eventually dragged him to side of the police car where George forced him against the boot. He was shouting at him to calm down, but the man responded by throwing a punch George’s way, which he successfully dodged.

With size and sanity on his side George executed a text-book-perfect front leg sweep taking the violent and disturbed man to the floor. He struggled and kept shouting to be let go, so that he could 'ascend' to a higher place. The only place to go in George’s mind was a cell or a Secure Psychiatric Assessment Unit.

The man continued to struggle then tried spit at Sam. The only way to deal with this guy was to get his face closer to the pavement, which meant George having to place his full body weight on the thrashing prisoner whilst holding him in a half nelson. This gave his probationer an opportunity to secure him in limb restraints. A few minutes later the male, successfully subdued and restrained, was helped into the rear of a caged van that took him to hospital having been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The whole incident had only lasted a few minutes but both George and his probationer were exhausted. It just goes to show that when it all kicks off the rules and ju-jitsu type nose holds go out the window.

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