Out on a limb.......
You were sat in the crew room with a witness, making conversation, you heard Pete, a fellow Special, on the radio:
'Assistance required........suspect making off......white male.......six foot four.......white hoody.....blue jeans, he's wearing only one trainer.....heading towards ASDA.......'
Pete was out of breath and trying his best to give a good description to the control room, you could hear in his voice that he was out of breath, a little scared, and that he knew that if he caught the suspect he would have trouble restraining him, you also knew that the he was shouting for assistance because he was 'Single Crewed'.
As you listened to the commentary you realised that other Officers were saying they were along way away from assisting, you also realised he was heading in your direction, towards the front of the Police Station. You knew no one else was in there except you, the Sgt and two other PCs were in custody, about eight miles away. You realised at that point that you would have to go and help out, you thought about the witness, and took her out into the foyer and asked her to wait there. You made your way out of the front door and started running down the street:
'He's running past Argos.........towards Coptill Lane.....onto Pretrail Road....I can't keep up with him....I've lost sight'
There was a long silence, you were about two hundred metres away from McDonalds, on your own and scared, when you saw him, you pressed the button:
'Bravo Whisky two three, I can see him, he's outside Mc Donalds, Pete he's outside Mc Donalds, facing Pretrail Road, turn around.......turn around'
You ran, as fast as you could, towards Pete, who was shouting and pointing at the man:
'Stay there.....don't move.....stay there......!'
Seconds later you and Pete had the male down, then you heard the sirens and saw the blue lights, back up had arrived, all be it a little too late.
Single Crewing is a bad idea, a very bad idea, one day someone will get seriously injured, and this incident and one other always comes to your mind when you think about it. What if you hadn't been able to leave the witness in the foyer, what if you had been too far away on foot to help Pete, and what if he had had to arrest the male on his own. When you knew Pete he wasn't a fighter, he certainly didn't like violence, actually he did whatever he could to avoid it, to even put hands on a suspect, and most of the Police Officers you have worked with, are exactly the same, they usually just want to get home on time.
You remember other Officers telling you, when you first joined up that you should not worry, because our gang is always bigger than their's and that back up is only a short distance away, now you know that that is not the case, back up can be far off, and when Officers are being Single Crewed more and more, someone is going to get seriously hurt, and it's going to upset the public at the breakfast table, but it will upset the familes of serving Police Officers a lot more, because let's face it, it's not a fucking game out there......
'Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.'