Local Police procedures are facing a big shake up after Harold’s PC Anita Flegg attended a half-day briefing on powers of arrest.
“I joined the service in 1996 but had never even heard of the 1984 Police & Criminal Evidence Act” explained Flegg “It was just one of those ‘wrong timing’ things, I suppose. A few colleagues already in the job might have had some training but as I heard it, in the 80s most of them were too busy calculating shift bonuses from their miners’ strike gigs. We newbie coppers completely missed out on any such training.”
“In any event, Hillsborough and Stephen Lawrence were much more current when I came aboard. So as a result there was a great emphasis on acquiring and honing essential new skills. ‘Creative writing’, ‘comparing notebooks’, ‘making things up’ and ‘taking bungs from the media & from suspects’ families’. And to be fair I can’t complain, those skills have stood me in good stead. Although the bottom’s fallen out of what we call the Murdoch Holiday Fund scheme of late.”
PC Flegg recounts how, as a serving Officer, most of her knowledge of the law had come from canteen banter and TV detective shows like ‘Lewis’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’. “Colleagues were swapping stories after last week’s briefing and they were just as shocked as me. Apparently, the 1984 Act is something called ‘legislation’ which for some odd reason affects what the Police can and can’t do.”
“For instance, say there’s a country house weekend party near Harold and one of the guests dies in suspicious circumstances. Guess what? We can’t tell them all to stay on there for a few days. And get this, Police Officers aren’t supposed to date, much less shag suspects. Or even witnesses! Unbelievable.”
“Anyway, I can’t stop. I’ve got to nip back to the Police Station and degrease the steps down to the cells.”