“Charlie Mike Four Two, Charlie Mike Four Two, can you make a Grade One please, Eighty Three Primrose Gardens, call from a female stating she’s been assaulted by her partner and he’s still there. I’ll get you some back-up.”
Off we go again; half way across town, making enough whoo whoo noises to wake the good people of Bigtown – yes I know its 8.30 in the morning but Jeremy Kyle doesn’t start for another hour so most of our happy population who haven’t already left for work will not be up yet – trust me.
Don’t get me wrong, domestic violence is a serious matter – something like 9.8 out of every 10 women murdered die at the hands of a current or ex partner and the police take it very, very, very seriously. The occupants of 83 Primrose Gardens, Bonnie and Wayne, do not however fall into that sort of risk category- most of us actually feel kinda sorry for them both. Each brought up in flats on Primrose Gardens by alcoholic / drug addicted single mums; no authority figure in their lives just a string of mum’s boyfriends coming and going; no role model to look up to or emulate; Bonnie pregnant at just gone fifteen and now, here we are, two years on with the pair of them housed by the council (now with two kids) in a one-bed eighth floor flat.
Sorry dear reader, did I not mention before; the delightful, picturesque sounding Primrose Gardens is not what you are imagining; a quaint cul-de-sac of immaculately kept red bricked semi’s and bungalows with a nice trimmed green common lawn to the front; a blaze of coloured flowers adorning every drive and joyous children playing tag amongst the trees. Go on Google Images and search for ‘run down derelict flats’ and if not Primrose Gardens that comes up, it will be something very similar. It’s grey (that’s all the concrete) except where it’s black (that’s the soot from the burned out cars). It’s the sort of place where the rats wipe their feet as they leave. And we expect people to live in these places and then wonder why they have no self respect or desire to improve themselves.
Big Pete is my backup, he’s covering Littleville today so that outs him a good 6 miles further away than I am. “Charlie Mike Four Two, don’t approach until your backup arrives, male at the address has warnings for firearms, we’re requesting an ARV”. Jesus, somebody save me !!!! When Wayne was eleven, someone rang up to say he was firing a BB Gun at a smashed up car in common area at the base of the flats – and based on that he’s now going to have two 6 foot gorilla’s with MP5 sub machine guns bearing down on him !!!
“Control from Four Two” I quickly interject “ARV won’t be necessary, I’ve known Wayne since he was a nipper, there won’t be a problem”. “Negative” came the reply “Duty Inspector says wait for ARV”. My personal radio starts beeping, it’s Big Pete calling me by point-to-point, a system that allows two officers to talk directly to each other without the conversation being heard by everyone else. “Captain” he says – that’s what they all call me on the shift (as in Captain Chaos from the Cannonball Run film – too young ??? ohh well) “Who’s the duty today, are they mad ?? Anyway ARV are coming from HQ so by the time they get here we’ll be in, out and have Wayne at his mom’s supping tea”. “I know” I replied “but it’ll be Frosty Jacks, not tea – be there in two minutes see you there”.
Pete arrives only a couple of minutes after me and off we trudge, up eight flights of stairs – you didn’t seriously think the lift would be working did you ?? – gasping as we hauled ourselves through the fire door from the stairwell onto the eighth floor balcony we were met by Bonnie screaming “I WANT HIM DONE I WANT HIM OUT”. “OK Bonnie” I said, “Calm down, what’s happened today”.
As if a switch had turned inside her, Bonnie instantly became as quiet as a mouse “Ohh hello Mr Chaos I didn’t know it was you coming, and you Mr Pete”. “What’s happened Bonnie” I asked in a dutifully concerned manner . “Mr Chaos Wayne’s been horrible to me, he says we’ve got to go on Jezza to see if the kids are his”. There was of course no assault but Bonnie knew exactly what she had to say to get us out double quick. Me and Pete looked at each other in that way that only coppers faced with a Jeremy Kyle incident can. Pete stayed with Bonnie to take down the all-important details; there will be reams of paperwork for this call of course …. in triplicate …. and subsequent emails from one of our ‘specialist departments (for that read people who have escaped the ferris wheel of actually going outside of a police station and working for a living) asking why the ‘offender’ hadn’t been arrested. Meanwhile, more concerned about not getting shot by a gun totting madman, I risked life and limb to venture into the domain of the firearm wielding maniac that the armed police were still on way to deal with.
“PC Chaos, she’s been a bitch to me” said Wayne as I entered the living room “Hi Wayne I said, where’s the bazooka hidden then ?”. “Huh ?” came the puzzled but not unexpected reply. “Just my joke” I said to Wayne. “Control from Four Two, stand down the ARV all in order here no weapons”. “Copy that cheers” came back the voice of one of the ARV guys “we were just loading the car to head over”. I had an issue at this point – me and Pete knew there was little to no chance of an ARV being needed at this job; but just say there was. We’ve been on duty since 07.00 – it’s now 08.45 and our response and firearms cover is still drinking tea some 30 miles away, and hasn’t even put their kit in their car yet, but that was going to have to wait for another day.
A quick chat with Wayne established they had been trying to hatch a plan on how Bonnie and he were going to make themselves a bit of cash on the side. After several no go ideas, Wayne had suggested he would try and get them on the Jeremy Kyle show and do one of those ‘I want a DNA test’ jobs. Apparently Wayne had been told by one of his mates who’d been on that they would get taken by limo from their home to some posh hotel to stay overnight, money to buy clothes to appear on the show in, then a limo ride home.
If I watched the show, I’m sure I would have been disheartened to think it wasn’t real and people made stories up just to get on it …..
Anyway, rules say we can’t leave the two parties in a domestic together just in case they kill each other once we go out the door and Wayne knew the drill “You gonna take me to me mams” he said, which is exactly what we did. Down eight flights of stairs, across a debris and burnt out car scattered paved area and up six flights of stairs in an adjacent tower block and to hear the sweet voice of Wayne’s mum scream at him “WHAT THE F**K HAVE YOU DONE NOW YOU STUPID B*****D”. And that was his mum. What chance does the lad have ?
With that we left, back to Bigtown nick to file a domestic incident report. I had, not for the first time, a sly chuckle to myself when I was relaying the details of Bonnie and Wayne’s two boys names for the report. Can you guess what they are ?? I’ll give you a clue, one starts with ‘J’, the other with ‘K’.