Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Page Thirty Four - Bump in the Night (Copcast #149)
The weekend seems to start on Thursday evening, at least as far as the drinking public is concerned. From Thursday Night Duty through until Sunday Early Turn most uniform patrol officers can expect to be dealing with their fair share of drunken revellers and the problems that go with them.
There is always the usual smattering of fights with the injured joining those that have over-imbibed down at the Casualty Department of local hospital. There will also be a number of rubbish bins thrown through the glass panels of bus shelters and passengers throwing up their kebabs in mini-cabs. Amidst all this carnage at about 2am one Friday morning, George and his operator were driving very slowly through the pedestrian area of the Town Centre Shopping Precinct. They were on a regular tour looking for anyone that may have drunk too much in the local bars and clubs and collapsed, presenting opportunist thieves with an irresistible and unconscious target.
“What’s that?” asked George as his headlights picked up movement on the ground ahead of him. Something very pale was reflecting in the glare of the lights as it bobbed up and down vigorously pretty much in the middle of the pedestrian area. A face suddenly appeared in the lights, then another and it quickly emerged that a young and almost naked woman was sitting astride a young man who was lying flat on his back on the ground directly beneath a CCTV camera mounted on a tall pole.
Flicking the car’s blue lights on for a second so that the couple would know who they were, George stopped the car. He and his operator walked toward the couple who were now standing and struggling to gather their clothes. Taking the position that, as driver, he got the choice of whom he was going to speak to, George beckoned the woman over to him. Clutching the man’s jacket around her in a vain attempt to regain some modesty, she had difficulty suppressing a fit of giggles as she explained herself and gave George her details.
While he checked her identity with the Control Room over the radio, the woman explained that she had just finished work and it had suddenly seemed like a good idea to embark on an intimate romp with her boyfriend in a deserted public place. She also complained that she didn’t see how they were doing any harm.
Before letting the two go on their way, George pointed out the obvious, that the mostly naked young woman would have appeared to be an open invitation to any of the drunken males on their way home, especially those that had failed to pick a partner during the night’s drinking and dancing. He pointed out that he could just as easily have been attending the scene of her gang rape as having simply interrupted the couple and sent them on their way.
About a week later, George’s team met at a local bar after an Early Turn to celebrate the transfer of one of their colleagues. When George’s turn came to buy a round of drinks he asked the barmaid why he recognised her. She blushed a furious shade of red and then George remembered. “I’m really sorry,” he said, “I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on!”