Some days when its like this, the middle of my rest days, Mrs Lima and all my mates are at work and its pouring with rain I sit in front of the box I get bored and start flicking the channels. I usually get to about channel 121 and I pause briefly. You can usually guarantee that there will be one of the following programs: Street wars/Car wars/Street crime UK 4/ Cameraman running after fat coppers UK 7/ Drunken domestics in the street UK15/ Chavs on the run UK 19 or similar.
For a moment I watch with some interest, remembering the anticipation with which I applied to join the ‘FORCE’. I remember the excitement of my first shift, thinking when do the chases start? Ah well maybe they start on day two, bit too much to expect on the first day.
The thing is with these shows is that they don’t really reflect real life policing. These programs show a highly concentrated, over hyped, highly edited version of policing. I wonder how many hours the camera men have to follow the coppers around to get an half hour show? Even then some of the footage is very mundane.
I’m not saying I never get foot chases or pursuits but if a camera man had been following me around for the last two years they wouldn’t even fill up a half hour program. I actually work in a very busy part of a large city, it just doesn’t happen like it does on TV.
To anyone not yet in the police and thinking about joining please remember. For every five minutes of excitement there are months of paperwork and dealing with trivial squabbles amongst the underclass.
What also winds me up is you may see someone driving a stolen car like a loon, putting dozens of lives at risk for miles and miles, or a drunk spitting, swearing and attacking police officers, then at the end of the program, while every one has got up to put the kettle on and whilst being drowned out by the theme tune you will hear Jamie Theakston say either the following: The male arrested in the stolen car who drove across three counties whilst high on drugs and failed to stop for police was given a referral order. Or no charges were brought against the drunk woman who bit off a bouncers ear and spat in the police officers face
Here’s just one example of the infamous Pat and Carl.