Community Reporter on night patrol

May 17th 2014 | Curtis Monks – Young Community Reporter

My first ever night shift with the police force was awesome.

If I am honest, I was a little unsure of what to expect when I first walked into the station. My first initial thoughts as the young community reporter were that it was going to be a massive experience, which it certainly turned out to be. My first night out with them was a 5-3 night shift, which I arrived to join them about 21:45.

When I arrived at the station the officers were all gearing up and getting ready to go out in the van. This meant putting on the stab vests and reflective jackets so they were prepared for the evening. Some officers were working on the earlier job of the death of a diver who was found in St. Catherine’s Breakwater, but the rest of the shift were all raring to go. 

Van Small

We all jumped into the police van and then Sergeant Chris Thomas radioed in to the station the numbers of each police officer. Within seconds we were called for a ’code 1’ at about 22:20 in which we had a blue light run from the police station to FB fields. Inspector Andy Bisson was driving. When arriving there with speed, we found an unconscious teenager who was lying in the middle of the road. The officers checked if the boy was okay and found that he was actually conscious, just highly intoxicated. The ambulance and paramedics arrived soon after to treat him. 

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With the officers finding a burnt phone book and paramedics revealing burn marks on the boy, the two were quickly linked together and was then classed as an assault. His friends around him were also highly intoxicated and were arrested due to them underage drinking and they were suspects given what had happened. The whole thing surprised me a little as getting to the scene was extremely fast, but when we arrived, things seemed to slow down and time caught up from the mad rush. The Honorary Police were at the scene before us and did a great job of keeping things in hand.

The officers I was with then took one of the drunk and disorderly boys (he was very upset and complaining that he felt sick) back to the van and put him in the back. It was nice to see the officers looking after him as he was clearly upset with what had happened, but they kept talking to him to make him feel safe and not alone. We took him back to the station in which he was unloaded and taken to custody at about 22:55 and then stripped of his clothing for evidence. 

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Some of the officers stayed behind to bag the clothes and do some paperwork from the incident, but without wasting time it was time to go back out in the van with the other officers.

Shortly after at about 23:10, we were called to an incident outside at the Waterfront in which a man was causing trouble with another man and they were in serious arguments, looking like it would break out in a fight if the police weren’t called. I thought the officers dealt with the situation extremely professionally, which lead to the people just going home without anything kicking off.


When this incident had been sorted out, it was time to go back to the station to pick up some of the officers who had been left behind when sorting out the earlier incident of the drunken teenager. With the van full with officers again, we were ready for anything to happen. With no major incidents during the next hour, we drove around town and made sure that no fights or anything was going on. There was the odd call of people arguing in which we responded to, but nothing on the scale of what we first had. 

Just before we were about to go out in town on foot, we caught an extremely drunk man who certainly had too much to drink. We were driving through town in which we spotted him tumbling over and falling on the floor, almost refusing to wake up. Of course we couldn’t just leave him here, so we managed to escort him to the back of the van and take him back to the station. 

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At about 01:45 we parked the van up and all went on foot to patrol around town. Due it to being a Saturday night, town was hugely busy and meant that all the officers split up in pairs around the clubbing side of town. I was paired up with PC Amanda Ingram and Sergeant Chris Thomas who were always on the look out for anything that was going on and making sure everything was in order. Despite witnessing a few arguments and fallings out with people, everything seemed to be ok. The fast food shops shut their doors at 2:30 due to the law and people started to go home and filtered out of town. As it approached 2:50 we had a call to go back to the van and then drove back to the station.

This was the end of a long night for me.

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I have to admit the night was a great experience. Was it what I was expecting? Well I wasn’t too sure what I was putting myself in for, but being thrown into the deep end with the blue light run right at the start definitely woke me up. The officers all worked together extremely well and were professional in the way they handled situations. At the end of the night we had 4 prisoners, which I was told was quite a small number as the week before they had 12.

In a few months time I hope to be revisiting this shift at a different time of year to see how things are different and to see if any other incidents arrive. I hugely enjoyed the night, taking in so much of how the force works. I can’t wait to do it again!


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