When I Joined

I joined 'The Job', in April 89,
I reflect, and look back, to a bygone time,
Trained for 14 sunny weeks at Bruche,
A defining time that ended my youth,

Rent Allowance, Dental costs and Prescriptions, 
Benefits we lost despite protestations, 
We earned £10,500 a year,
Some Nicks had a bar where you could get a late beer,

Each Division had a canteen, where you could get your Refs,
To protect ourselves, we had wooden 'staffs',
We didn't have body armour, CS or Tazers,
We had woolen trousers, and tunics, like blazers,


The ashtrays in CID were stolen from pubs, 
We had an LIO, which is now called a HUB,
The intelligence system was Lever Arch Files,
And a card index system that must have stretched miles,

All statements and files were handwritten by you,
Checked by the Sergeant, you hoped it'd get through, 
Mistakes were highlighted, by a thick red line, 
Not bullying... Development, you got it right next time,

No grievance procedure, you just did as you were told,
We went out walking, in the rain and the cold,
We went out 'as a Relief' on Thursday before nights
For a beer and a laugh, and to put the wrongs, right,

We'd walk, with our legs, around our beat,
We had brew stops, we'd visit, to rest our feet,
Probationers went out, and got wet, in the rain,
4 quick changeovers, scrambled your brain,

You always knew, that your scrote was a thief,
If he kicked off on arrest and demanded a 'Brief',
We gave evidence in trials, every month at Crown Court,
Each division had it's own back office support,

And every Division has its own Chief Super',
Fingerprints were taken, with ink, on paper,
No High Vis jackets or mobile phones,
No Air Support, Helicopters or drones,

Every Division had its own shift pattern,
And don't even think of going out with no hat on,
Your application for Leave, may well get refused,
The Division had five computers that we couldn't use,

Every Relief..., was self-sufficient, 
Our own Traffic, Dogs, Custody and Comms' contingent,
Dedicated Comms' staff who once worked the same streets,
And knew the Division, and the people you'd meet,

The Bosses wore white, 
The Bobbies, blue shirts,
The ladies were 'Police Women',
Issued with handbags and skirts,

The girls got a 'sexist' allowance for tights,
We had D Reg Mini Metros, and you hear this right,
Panda Cars didn't have "blues" or "twos",
We pressed our pants and we bulled our shoes,

If you locked up, you stayed on, and completed the task,
A request to come in late?... You dare not ask,
But your overtime was paid, no 'half hour for the Queen',
If the 'Bail Bunny' said no, then your prisoner 'stayed in',

So, if you finished at 3, you'd be back on at 7,
You could get your head down when you had Refs at eleven,
Standards were important, there's no denying,
Whenever you finished, your shirt needed ironing,

A crime with no prisoner, came back every time,
The DCI Question... 'Where's the evidence of crime?'
A window smashed, a burglar around?
Minor Damage report, value £24,

RTCs were RTAs,
Giros, reported, stolen on Thursdays,
On every shift, we had plenty of Cops, 
No need for cardboard cut-outs in the shops,

Every locker... had been forced at some time,
People got arrested for committing a crime,
No Necessity for arrest? "You're nicked, mate",
Interviews were handwritten on 808s,

You weren't a 'Student Officer', you were 'in your Probation',
We had cops parading on at every station, 
Your Sergeant or Inspector would 'show you a visit',
Secondments secured to the Plain Clothes Unit,

A prosecution file, might just be a 330,
To check Insurance or Licence, we'd issue a HORTi,
A Summons Green Card, Fail To Produce at the scene,
Blow in the bag until the crystals turn green.

A community centre that was once Cheetham Nick,
Grey Mare Lane is a film set, Plant Hill, derelict,
Collyhurst is demolished, Chester House too,
Memories of a time, when I worked with you.

© Copyright 2019  J R Easton.

All Rights Reserved