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thurdles

Situations dealt with off duty

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I know that putting yourself on duty is very rare but i'm just putting an open topic out to discuss when you guys have needed to and the situation surrounding it.

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Once in a fight to help a single crewed on duty uniformed officer. 4 off duty cops (including me) stepped in as it was a fight between three males.

Once to help two female officers detain a male subject.

Twice I've identified myself at serious multi vehicle RTCs more to just calm the injured parties down so I could give them first aid.

That's all in over eight years of being a SC/PC. I'd not get involved in petty little things personally.

Edited by mdon

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My first court appearance was for an off duty arrest.

dropping the kids off at their mum's one Friday night, hear an almighty crash, look across the road and a lad is running off from a shop laughing with the shop door having a huge bulls-eye smashed into the glass. I take off after him, grab him in the middle of an adjacent road, nick him and march him back to the road with the shop (I was alone when i nicked him so thought I'd be better off with a few people around) He starts kicking off so I put him on the ground. The crowd that's gathered around call it in, I tell them to give the control room my collar number and use the phrase 'non-compliant'. 2 mins later the traffic inspector who was just around the corner signposting the route for the Rallye Sunseeker that weekend turns up and bangs the cuffs on.

1 n'eer do well banged up, 1 grateful shop owner and 4 kids thinking dad's a super hero. Job's a good'un.

Guilty for Crim Damage and Sec 5 BOP

.

Edited by Derf
  • Like 4

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I've got involved off duty loads of times and I think nearly all of them have been on public transport. Lots of ticket disputes and drunks. I've assisted BTP officers a few times who were struggling with detainees. I had a role around with someone who was kicking off with railway staff. Someone pulled a knife on me on a train so I nicked him. Someone else tried to sell me drugs.

The only non public transport involvement was a PI RTC where I detained the driver for drink drive. I then got punched in the face for my trouble by a relative of the injured party who turned up and was going for the drunk driver.

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Once to deal with a woman collapsed but breathing. Her friends were panicking and unable to give emergency services the location. I stepped in identified myself (didn't show card just said I was a police officer) gave location got woman talking and did all the usual checks (was she on any medication, had she eaten / been sick / pulse rate / happened before / etc, etc.) relayed all of this info to emergency services who informed paramedics. They turned up and I left them to it. Drunk businessman insisted on shaking my hand :)

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I haven't had to yet, been in a year. The closest I've come is hearing an almighty commotion on the lower deck of a bus I was on, the driver slamming the brakes on and shouting "DO THAT AGAIN AND I'LL CALL THE POLICE!" I had just stood up to go downstairs to see what was going on and I heard the doors open and a group of kids ran out of the bus. So that was that.

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Had to stop traffic with my car when an old geezer got confused at a set of lights and started moving up the wrong carriageway. Luckily BTP were also passing-by in a marked van about 30 seconds later so we managed to turn him around and send him safely on his way.

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I revealed myself as a copper when dealing with a medical situation. It looked scarily like I was going to have deliver a baby in a car that was blocking traffic...

Edited by SierraLimaSierra

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I was behind two cars that collided at a merge in turn and then one of the drivers subsequently got out and tried dragging the other driver out of his car. I put him on the floor rather swiftly after he ignored my shouts for him to desist.

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Most recently on the way home came across a damage only RTC. Parties decided to stop in the middle of a busy multi-lane carriageway and argue the toss. Pulled the bike over at the side of the road. Waited for a break in traffic (light controlled section) then identified myself, got them to pull over safely and exchange details. Each trying to tell me what happened and get me to blame the other. Suspect it was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other.

Incident on a bus with school kids. One getting the other in a headlock and threatening him. Didn't show out, just removed the aggressor.

Male refusing to pay to get on bus, bus driver knew I was there and declared the fact I was a police officer so I didn't have much choice.

Saw a lone officer struggling with an aggressive male and helped get some cuffs on.

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I have come across a few over the years, I have no objection to assisting where I believe I can be of use, but I rarely show out, the main concern being the paperwork afterwards, which let's false it would probably make little difference. Better to be an anonymous MOP.

The most satisfying was two plain clothes officers chasing a male along a pavement towards me, I suspect pwits, as he got close to me, he accidentally hit my shoulder and my memory is 'getting fuzzy now', but I imagine you get the picture..before the PCs double locked, I was off about my business,

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A few times, with the most memorable being whilst I was on a date, unfortunately.

I'd popped into a Subway with my (now) other half to grab a quick bite, headed to the seats upstairs when I heard a disturbance by the tills downstairs. I told my partner to stay put upstairs and headed down, whereby I saw a male attempting to snatch cash from an open till, whilst wrestling over the counter with the lad at the till.

Cue a shouted "POLICE OFFICER STAY STILL" followed by a now disturbed male making off out the door. Went to rugby tackle him to no avail, he'd gotten out of the door and merged into a huge crowd of shoppers. Local force called, they took details for an attempt robbery crif- continued date!

Can't have had too poor an effect on the night, as I'm with her to this day :)

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A few times, every time has been rather positive in regards to the reception met by colleagues when they arrived. Various assaults, thefts and drunk in charge of a minor - as well as shooting up in plain sight (albeit I did wait for the uniformed officers in this circumstance)..

The last one however was an unfamiliar set of officers, the whole shift turned up (a 15 year old out his skull on cannabis late at night - obvious possession of controlled drugs / concern for welfare as I believed he was in danger). This is the only negative experience I've had, the Sgt seemed to be fishing to have me arrested! Took months to sort out, meetings, reports etc really made me feel despondent. I was ultimately told by the force trainers I had acted impeccably "well done" and they'd forward it to the chief super as an example of good policing!

Edited by Obsidian_Eclipse

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I dealt with a few bits, mostly anti social behaviour on the tube and a few medical emergencies (again, mostly on the tube). Directed traffic for a huge fire local to me for 20 minutes until units arrived, mainly because drivers couldn't see why it would be a bad thing to drive over a rather large bore hose fixed to a fire hydrant (the fire brigade were thankful of my efforts) - a few drivers got very upset with me telling them they weren't driving over it. Having my hi-viz with me (I'd returned home about 2 hours earlier from a duty) certainly helped.

I quite often find myself circling back or hanging around when I spot something suspicious, much to the annoyance of my other half. I never was much good at just walking by, and now I'm even worse (which is a good trait for a Constable, IMHO ;) ).

That said, I'm much less likely to get involved now than I was when I first started. My acid test is 'would I dial 999 for this?'. I believe if you forget the romantic notion that you can wave your warrant card and people will listen/behave and accept that, with very few disposal or tactical options off-duty, getting involved might very well result in you detaining/arresting someone then you're much more likely to make good off-duty decisions.

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I was ultimately told by the force trainers I had acted impeccably "well done" and they'd forward it to the chief super as an example of good policing!

I'm so glad that turned out well in the end. I can imagine how I would feel in that situation, I'd be close to packing the whole thing in!

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Relatively frequently actually. I always try and avoid getting directly involved and seek to call it in but the majority have been unavoidable (mainly thanks to rail staff) - I think my local force where my hometown is must be sick of me ringing in, just seem to attract stuff when I'm out and about which is bizarre as it's a small, quiet town.

Home:

- a domestic on a train pulling into my home station (middle of nowhere) where locals turned up on the blues because my call to them caught the tail end of the bloke's threat to fill me in - both ended up getting summonsed,

- Once when I didn't have a choice as I was attacked by a drunken idiot whilst walking home on xmas eve and had to put him on the floor.

- Kicked a drunk bloke off the train who'd locked himself in the toilets (on way home)

- Assisted local bobby who was wrestling with someone on a train platform (on way home, 5pm on a sunday afternoon)

London:

- 1x arrest for DND (tube) - male was offering out everyone in the carriage and the final straw was when he started trying to get into the driver's cab. Calmed down once I showed out (surprisingly) and was compliant until units turned up.

- 2x level crossing violations....normally would have rung it in but this one was so blatantly dangerous that I stopped both lads until units could get to me - I was actually convinced they were trying to top themselves.

And quite a few things rung in to various local forces including an elderly gentleman on a mobility scooter merrily making his way off the pavement, over the roundabout and up a dual carriageway in Colchester...

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I'm so glad that turned out well in the end. I can imagine how I would feel in that situation, I'd be close to packing the whole thing in!

I think some people, cops included, don't understand why we volunteer or even that we have powers off duty. Theres been done specials who have been inexperienced who have cause more issues acting in good faith, I am not infallible myself, but after near on 10 years a special and many years in security before that ( without the privileges of baton, cs, stab vest and radio ) you learn how to talk to people without necessarily getting hands on, even persuading drunk or dangerous people to do what you need them to. Yes there is always the whatifs but its my call as much as any other cop. No one wants a liability or gung ho warrior but I'm neither of those, it's about keeping a head and reading people. We always hear about putting ourselves on duty in exceptional circumstances yet exceptional often mean there's a risk. i wouldnt advocate anyone put themselves in harm's way over someone sticking a toaster down their pants in asda, if my gut told me something was seriously amiss with someone's behaviour then yes I would hold back and 'just' 999 it and be a witness, it's knowing when to step back and when to step forward and never becoming even for a second complacent.

Off duty is potentially foolish.. but so's zipping down tarmac at 70mph 2ft off the ground with a glorified piece of elastic to keep you safe. It's knowing what's happening around you that makes the difference, no matter how well skilled.

Edited by Obsidian_Eclipse
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I think some people, cops included, don't understand why we volunteer or even that we have powers off duty. Theres been done specials who have been inexperienced who have cause more issues acting in good faith, I am not infallible myself, but after near on 10 years a special and many years in security before that ( without the privileges of baton, cs, stab vest and radio ) you learn how to talk to people without necessarily getting hands on, even persuading drunk or dangerous people to do what you need them to. Yes there is always the whatifs but its my call as much as any other cop. No one wants a liability or gung ho warrior but I'm neither of those, it's about keeping a head and reading people. We always hear about putting ourselves on duty in exceptional circumstances yet exceptional often mean there's a risk. i wouldnt advocate anyone put themselves in harm's way over someone sticking a toaster down their pants in asda, if my gut told me something was seriously amiss with someone's behaviour then yes I would hold back and 'just' 999 it and be a witness, it's knowing when to step back and when to step forward and never becoming even for a second complacent. Off duty is potentially foolish.. but so's zipping down tarmac at 70mph 2ft off the ground with a glorified piece of elastic to keep you safe. It's knowing what's happening around you that makes the difference, no matter how well skilled.

What a great reply!

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What do people make to 'flashing' your warrant card at people on mobile phones whilst driving?

I'd do it, but then again I ride a motorbike so can't. I regularly have a go at people on their phone whilst driving though.

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I'd do it, but then again I ride a motorbike so can't. I regularly have a go at people on their phone whilst driving though.

That could get messy.

It's funny as how I've got more experienced, my desire for getting involved off duty has declined considerably.

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That could get messy.

It's funny as how I've got more experienced, my desire for getting involved off duty has declined considerably.

Exactly my experience there, I don't feel the need to save the world like I once did! Add to that that I honestly don't think the force would back me up in many (if any) situations off duty - much like when on-duty really!

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Only once. Was behind a suspected drink driver on my way home from shift. He then crashed into a taxi at red lights and tried to get away. His window was down so I reached in and grabbed his keys. Luckily as I was already on the phone to 9's at the time of the crash, the nearest unit was only seconds away.

He ended up blowing 120 something in custody.

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I've done a few from RTC's (One really serious with everyone properly flapping - having a police officer telling people what to do really helped) to helping out uniformed officers rolling round on the floor with a detainee fighting back.

Most comical one related to this was driving down a motorway and a truck dropped what looked like a washing machine in a box off the back and it had come to rest in lane 1 right next to an off ramp. I couldn't stop safely from where I was so phoned 999 to get a unit towards and basically said 'Hi, I'm off duty special etc etc. There is a box laying in lane 1 at this location that is a danger etc etc'. The call handler kind of paused a bit and sounded a bit dubious so I continued by saying, 'It is a really big box that could do some real damage if a car hits it'. Call handler then went through a few other details and then said 'So was it dead or alive?' A short conversation ensued where it emerged that the call handler thought I had called 999 to report a fox laying in the road! We had a chuckle about it on the phone and they sent a unit out to move it, and when I checked the incident report at the police station it was marked down as an initial 'Animals' incident!

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