“Any units please, grade one fourteen Buttercup Close, distressed female on the line stating she’s been attacked by her son and threatened with a knife. Details still coming in. Any units acknowledge ?”
It’s quarter to flippin’ eight in the morning for goodness sake !! what is wrong with people these days ?? And off we go, lots of whoo-whoo’s, nee-nah’s and flashing lights, across town to Buttercup Close, the block of flats next to our favourite destination and number one hotspot, Primrose Gardens. Along with Lavender Rise and Marigold Copse they form the Meadow Grange estate. All named after garden plants apparently – straight over my head anyway (I thought Marigold’s were gloves ??)
As we screamed our way across town (although given the ageing state of our pandas, clattered would be a better adjective), I pondered to myself why we never moved the police station to Meadow Grange – after all, most of us spend the majority of our working day going back and forth from one or other of the tower blocks on the estate – it would save a fortune in vehicle running costs alone as most of our time is spent there anyway.
Most unusually, on our arrival at Buttercup Close, we were not met by the customary wailings of some drunk or drugged up screaming banshee, demanding that the respective offending he or she ‘be dun’, in fact things were most peaceful. This of course could be a double edged sword – either nothing at all has really happened, or we are about to walk into the silent realm of a major bloodbath, with body parts strewn everywhere like the outtakes from an old horror ‘B’ movie.
As luck would have it on this occasion, it was the former not the latter. Which was good, as I was still wolfing down the sausage sandwich I had purchased from the butty van on my way in to work this morning, The thought of being faced with a scene from the Bigtown Chainsaw Slaughterhouse Massacre was enough to make my sarnie consider regurgitating itself – and that would have been a waste of good food.
A quick knock on the door and it burst open to leave us faced with a red-faced, twenty-something year old female breaking the prior peace and tranquillity, shouting “Come in see what you can do with him”. Now I know we are not supposed to jump to conclusions but when you have a call relating to a male threatening his mom with a knife, there will be some sort of assumption that the offender will be a hormonally challenged doped up teenager or older, but this lady was not much beyond that age group herself. Clearly the calltakers had got something wrong.
But they hadn’t. We were led into the living room of the flat, climbing over the assorted junk and debris; toys, discarded takeaway boxes, bags of goodness knows what, on the way to be confronted by the scariest, most dangerous, lethal looking offender I’d faced since, well since my youngest gave me grief yesterday evening for not fixing the puncture on her bike.
The ‘son’ was eight years old. Yes, eight. Two police cars had driven, at high speed, a good 4 miles across town, through the beginning of rush-hour build up, plus an armed response vehicle was being deployed from Headquarters, for an eight year old child playing up. I’m sure, some young children can indeed by quite lively, but this young chap took one look at us and promptly burst into tears.
I glanced over to our backup who’d just entered the flat behind us “Don’t think we’re gonna need you here” I said to them “ohh and best you cancel the Armed Response as well”.
“See” screeched mum at her now blubbering mess of a child “you threaten me with a knife again and this lot will shoot you !” Well there you go, what a fine example of good parenting we find ourselves in the company of.
Between us, having consoled the sobbing child and reduced the volumic output from the mother, we sat both parties down to try and find out what on earth had been going on. I’m sure it won’t come as much of a surprise to most that we got far more sense out of the 8 year old !!! It quickly transpired that the route of all pain and suffering this morning was that the child didn’t want to go to school as mum hadn’t washed his favourite jumper. I kid you not.
The ensuing difference of views on the subject had resulted in the said eight year old having a child’s tantrum and throwing things at mum in the kitchen, one item of which just so happened to be a table knife and mum had grasped her opportunity to offload her inability to parent onto us; that fine free service that will always sort your life out for you.
Of course, there were no criminal offences here – we certainly weren’t going to be dragging the poor little fella off anywhere for chucking things at his mum, much so it happened, to the dismay of the lady in question who protested most strongly that ‘she can’t cope with the little b@$t@£d’ and made the obligatory threats to make a complaint about us because we ‘weren’t doin nuffin’.
There would be, of course, copious amounts of paperwork to complete after this job and just for good measure I stuck a report in to the local Social Services in the hope they might pay just the slightest bit of attention to the family, and possibly offer a little bit of assistance.
I was mightily wrong – a few days after the event I received an email from their office thanking me for the report but stating that ‘neither the family or address is known on Social Services systems therefore there is no known risk and matter will not be followed up’. Well if you lot can’t be bothered to follow up the reports we put in and actually go and visit the family to se if there is a problem you can help with, they never will be known to you will they ????
And you wondered why so many kids get killed in their own homes.