Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Every dog has it's Day

The other day, I was walking in town with my 7 year-old daughter and my girlfriend. I was holding their hands, my little one was eating an ice-cream and my girl was telling me something about something. The sun was shining, I had my shorts on, I had some money in my pocket, I was content. I had my sunglasses on, luckily.

I saw him and his mate before they saw me. Sunglasses are good for that. It was hot and everyone else was wearing thin clothes in pastel or bright colours. These two weren't. I spotted them a mile away, instantly recognising that short, rat-like scuffle they all seem to have. The tall one was wearing a dark tracksuit, stock Adidas, baseball cap down low, unshaven, pale, skinny but mean looking. I knew him, he knew me. We had spent some time together a few months ago when I knocked him off for some satnav thefts from cars. I did him a good turn back then, wrote the file up in his favour and he had a page of tic's as well. I showed him some respect, like I do with all of the criminals I come into contact with and he responded positively to that, like nearly all of them do.

The smaller one was in fake Lacoste. Fat crocodile on his chest and his clothes looked raunchy like they hadn't seen the Persil for a year or so. He had a black cap on, pulled low to the brow, moody Nike shox, bent over on the sides from the wear and tear to the dealers' house and back. His eyes were hooded, black and lifeless like he had no soul. He had a tattoo on his neck peeping over the top of his 200 degree shellsuit top. I knew this one too. This one was one of only three criminals in the last twelve years I have met, who didn't respond positively to being shown some respect. This boy was a dual-user. A smack-head who loved the crack but could never have enough money to pay for it so spent most of his day being angry and paranoid.

I looked away towards a shop, keeping them in my peripheral vision, looking out the left corner of my eye, through the darkness of my shades. My girl knows the score. She isn't in the old bill but she knows the score.
"clocked it?" she says, looking in the same shop as me.
" yeah man, I clocked it...just look away"
"he's seen you...the tall one...he's telling the other one you're old bill."
I look directly at them, but by looking at their reflection in the shop window I'm staring into. They are looking back at me, waiting for me to spin, looking for trouble, provoking a reaction. They see me as weak and vulnerable because I am with my family who I love. Make no mistake about it, they are so fuckin wrong about that.

Okay. Drama over. I didn't spin and they walk away, casually looking back at me, unsure as to whether I actually saw them or not. This didn't give me any satisfaction because I wanted to take my shades off and stare that short fucker dead square in the eye until he looked away or started something. So what do I do? Smile at my kid and give her a kiss. Give my girl a knowing look and a wry smile and continue on our mission, to buy a present for a new addition to our extended family.

Bottom of town half an hour later. Full face-on round a corner. The tall one looking me straight in the eye. "alright Ant?" I say, as we walk by each other. He forgets the respect I once showed him and the respect I continue to show him by remembering his name and greeting him in the street like that, by ignoring me. Just stares at me like I'm a piece of shit because he's with his little fuckin mate. I walk on, looking over my shoulder, fixing big lad with a stare that none of us want to break. "fucking pig" says the shorter one. Loud enough for my little girl to turn round and look.
"daddy did that man say a naughty word at you?..."
"come on kid..turn around...he wasn't swearing at daddy, he's just a baddie who isn't as clever as you...and you're only seven"
"really?" she says.

Shades are back on. I'm waiting outside a shop with no air-con. Again I clock them before they do me. To the right this time. I am standing still leaning against a post, arms round my little girls shoulders. They have to walk past me this time. I try and look straight but I can feel my daughter looking at them, her hand grips my hand tighter and her chest goes tense and hard. I turn my face in their direction, 8 feet away, target acquisition time. The short one is scowling at my daughter, not blinking, aggressive, menacing eyes trained on my 7 year-old. He sees me look at him and looks up at me as he gets to within a foot of my front. I can feel the adrenaline begin to fill my body. I get that invincible power which shuts off the peripheral vision. I feel anger. Yeah, just do it, go on, just make one quick movement and I will snap you in half.

"You fuckin pussy" says shorty as he walks by. His head conveniently turned slightly away looking to Ant on his right, just in case anyone else heard him, so he can deny it on interview. He then makes a fist and starts smacking it into his other hand in large motor movements, bold as brass, like a bad actor. I can't quite hear what it is he is saying, but it is loud and obscene because the nice folk walking around him look at him in disgust and fear. They don't know it is intended for me.

My little girl looks up at me with huge blue eyes. She is looking for reassurance. I smile at her, pick her up and squeeze her tight. She knows her dad is invincible. My better half walks out of the shop. "some bloody backup you are...." I say. "Eh?" is the reply.

When I see that Ant again, I know he will apologise for this. I know that he regrets it because I saw it in his eyes that day. I won't forgive him though because he betrayed me as a man. He had his chance and broke his unspoken bloke-promise. Fool.

I had to try extremely hard first thing yesterday morning not to go and pay shorty a visit. I had it in my mind that I wanted to talk to him about what was and was not acceptable behaviour between cops and robbers off duty. I wanted to walk up to his shitty fuckin flat, alone, and knock his door, in his own back yard and tell him how it is. I found myself thinking, deep in the Sunday night into the early hours of Monday going over and over what I was going to do. If the kid said one wrong word, I was going to fuckin bang him out there and then and it would be worth it because I WOULD NOT LOSE FACE and be BULLIED.

In the end, I came to work and had 4 in the traps waiting for me to deal with so that was my masterplan up the Swanee. Whats that I hear? Fate? Nah...luck, on his part...thats what it was.

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. I' think I'm having it now though because this idiot has nothing. He lives in a rat-infested flat with nothing but some dirty clothes and some dirty needles for company. He scrats around the detritis of life just looking for his next bag of smack. When he's not doing that, he's thieving. Every dog has it's day.

I, on the other hand, am the king of the world.

I want to know what you would have done?

I don't know if I would have done it the same way, but I definitely would not provoke anyone to attack me in the vicinity of my girlfriend's kids. You did the right thing. Also, isn't an off duty cop allowed to carry a concealed weapon in London? (I assume London, maybe wrong). I have a concealed carry permit here in the states, which I do occasionally use, and I'm only a civvy!
I'd like to think I'd do exactly the same thing. As you rightly indicated 'what goes around, comes around' meaning both dirt balls are sooner or later going to find themselves locked up again. Fortunately for us, scum like that can't help themselves.
Cometh the day when they do find themselves locked up, my experience tells me that they all look for an easier ride. Whether it's a fag, a leg stretch in the excercise yard or even being fed on time. I'd make sure the custody sergeant is informed of what 'special treatment' the tossers deserve.
Spot on,
AS they say the world revolves around and they will be back in you grubby little hands, begging for a smoke before an interview..

and you will sick every little charge right down to littering and conduct in a police station on that 54' sheet.

Happy days.
Just found your blog after a tip off ;-) It'll be added to my "must read" list!!

Keep outwitting the scumbags, you know you'll get the opportunity to "advise" them of appropriate behaviour in the presence of a 7 year old at some point in the near future.
I had the exact same happen to me - was out shopping when I hear this voice behind me say, "Oi, you're the copper who nicked me the other night aint ya" Turn around and prepare for a clenched fist coming at me but instead he says "S'alrite mate, I know you're only doing your job."
Turn up to a job a few weeks later and matey boy's there kicking off and needs nicking, he turns around and says, "Nah, this copper, 'is alrite, I'll go wiv him!"

I like your blog and have added you to my sidebar.
Next time hand him a tenner and thank him for the tip off he gave you last week. Should work wonders with him and his mates.
To the last poster, yep that works. Or if thy're pulled for a motoring offence when they're in the car with their mates, take them out of the car and back to yours, chat for a bit and let them off. And watch the "what did you tell him" look in their faces.

incidents like the one you describe are why I have reservations about carrying my firearm whilst off duty. I don't know if I'd want it to hand when the blood was up like that...
Thats a reason to not live in the distric you police
Something similar happened to me. Its amazing how their attitude changes when you arrest them in their own house at 7am on a Sunday morning. Only thing worse than a hangover is a hangover and a charge sheet!!
as a retired Detective,Police self defence Instructor and 6 feet 7 20 stone rugby player I commend you for your patience,but having had similar incidents over the years since retiring i'm free now of police regs so rest assured they would have said sorry!!! the secret is "no witnesses". I think you will understand what i'm saying.
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