Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Page Forty - Dipped Copper (Copcast #155)
It was mid-December when George’s team celebrated Christmas together by gathering at a pub before going on to a restaurant. They chose one of the small rural towns on the edge of their constabulary where there was a pleasant little inn only two or three doors away from the local police station.
The mood of the team was extremely buoyant, not only were they celebrating the beginning of the festive season and looking forward to all the excesses and fun of Christmas with their families, but also a recent successful operation. As the result of hours of scanning CCTV recordings, surveillance operations, statement taking and an enormous amount of written work, the team had managed to arrest, charge and convict a prolific local pickpocket. The sentence had been announced that day and the dipper had begun a custodial term that would see him behind bars through Christmas and well into the New Year.
Everyone was in high spirits and congratulating themselves on their eagle-eyed detective prowess and boasting about their highly developed policing skills, when their Duty Officer, Inspector Brigstock, joined them. Mr Brigstock was keen to show off his latest acquisition that he told everyone was an early Christmas to himself, a brand new iPhone which at that time had finally just been released in the UK. Having spent several minutes guiding his audience through the myriad of functions available on the device while being at great pains to prove to the assembled team that he wasn’t the technological dullard that many had accused him of being in the past.
Following the demonstration the drinking began in earnest then on to the meal where the gathering continued to revel in their recent success. Some of George’s colleagues went so far as to suggest that any thieves around the Kenton area would think twice before daring to pick anyone’s pockets while the top team were on the plot. After three or four hours consuming copious amounts of food and beer, George and a couple of the others decided it was time to make their way to their respective homes.
“Hold on boys,” cried Inspector Brigstock, laughing aloud, “I’ll call a cab for you on my new iPhone, wait while I find the blessed thing.” He then fumbled through his pockets, then patted them down, then searched his pockets again, a look of dismay spreading over his face.
“Bloody hell, it’s been nicked. Some bugger’s picked my pockets and had my blasted phone away,” he howled. There was silence from the team.
George had to bite on his tongue to prevent him from making the obvious comment that had just entered his thoughts, despite the disruptive effects of the alcohol he had consumed. He realised the irony of the situation, that not only had his Senior Officer been the victim of a pickpocket but also that he had been surrounded by police officers that had been congratulating themselves for their thief-taking abilities and only two doors away from a police station.