I’ve been very remiss and not published anything for the last few weeks. In my defence but I think I’ve used this one before, I have been very busy recently at work and at home. The vast bulk of these posts are done away from work and the last few weeks has seen my ‘spare’ time taken up with a hundred and one other priorities, it’s always priorities, how come everything is a priority? Besides this has been one of my more traumatic and frustrating posts as I have lost the content three times already!
Most of what I have being doing was influenced by the great weather we had recently (we did) and that weather is the common theme running through everything this week. The sun and warmth bring all sorts of issues for us in policing, very few of them anything positive I’m afraid. Open windows cause real problems for one reason and another and the migration of many local residents from the sofa to the garden often brings misery for their neighbours.
So I suppose the starting point this week is that relationship with our neighbours, particularly where the relationship has broken down. If it has gone beyond the quick chat -
“Do you mind not …., Your kids are ….. ” “Oh sorry I didn’t realise , I’ll sort it out.”
- then we’re already in difficult territory and there aren’t too many quick fixes; to be honest if there were I guess we wouldn’t be talking about it here. In a nutshell then, one of the more demanding problems we find ourselves confronted with in day-to-day policing are disputes between neighbours.
We get calls about disputes between Neighbours on a daily basis, sometimes from one party, sometimes from both sides and I guess I probably thought I had seen, heard or dealt with just about most things. We’ve had disputes over Fence Panels being removed, Fence Panels painted (pink in one case), trees which were Trimmed, Pruned, Cut Back, Topped, even Cut Down. Then there are all the noise issues, boundary disputes, parking and a hundred and one other things that can make life miserable for many neighbours. Every so often though along comes a surprise and a call the other night was a surprise. A frequent caller, both parties were actually regular callers, complaining about each other – we effectively were being used as their ‘leverage’ in their problems with each other. We’ve had calls complaining about just about anything and everything – vacuuming, drugs, singing, litter, parking, smells, friends, feeding birds, etc. but this was a new one – the neighbour was testing his Motorbike in the kitchen downstairs! On this occasion our call operator was able to confirm it as they could also hear the engine roaring! This was pushing it just a bit.
Trying to achieve some sort of solution to these issues is not easy and is not going to be solved in one go. In this particular case we already had the involvement of the local Neighbourhood Police Team and the Council who were working very hard to get some sort of compromise between both parties. There are Mediation services available for these sorts of issues but both sides have to agree to take part first of all. As is often the case in these circumstances though, getting compromises is very difficult when both parties feel they are doing noting wrong!
There are of course some neighbours who just wont ever get on but even then they often reach a point of ‘understanding’! As I said at the start, if the quick solution worked then we wouldn’t have reached the point that we have with some of these situations.
I’ve mentioned this before but a reminder never goes amiss, everything here is real, these are people’s real life situations and I in no way wish to demean those involved, merely to point out some of the situations we find ourselves confronted with. Its difficult at times writing about these problems and yes I know they may often seem odd but that is the nature of working in the Emergency Services, we deal with the odd! Everyday I look at some of the calls coming in to us and think ‘how did it get to this point, why the police?’
I know the weather has changed and the balmy days of summer are long forgotten now, there still remains though another significant Window Issue for us and if I don’t mention it now I may not get the opportunity to write about it again this year if I wait for the next bit of sunshine. Even with the current chill wind and driving rain blowing across the area some people continue to persist with their Open Door Policy to assist offenders. There is admittedly something pleasing about having a door or window open to allow the sounds of the birds or the smells of The Black Country to come wafting in (ok, I know, but it’s just to make a point!). It’s not a good idea though to head off to bed and leave the windows open downstairs or the doors open while you doze off in the garden. It does seem common sense but we still get reports of thefts from houses, even where offenders have just reached in an open window and helped themselves to bags, phones, wallets, food (yes food!), anything that’s lying around. Please just take a moment to consider what you have left open and where you will be. There is no need for Fort Knox type efforts, just a little thought can prevent the majority of crimes.
Leaving the country on holiday? Planning on coming back? Got something to hide? One person this week found out that just like the Mounties, Dudley Police Officers always get their Man. Ok, so it wasn’t a case of trudging on horseback across the Frozen North, more a matter of good investigative work and identification of the offender coupled with a healthy sprinkling of technology and co-operation across the country. As this man returned from a trip abroad he found that the long arm of the law (and the Police National Computer) extended to Heathrow Airport (it actually extends to all entry points, Air and Sea). His return to the UK from the sun was greeted by alarm bells and flashing lights. In reality its more a case of a discreet message on the computer screen – Seat 16A!!!! So following his trip to the sun he had his own personal taxi back to the West Midlands and into Custody and a lot of questions to answer.
An odd moment the other night; CCTV was ‘feeding’ through some footage of an incident as it unfolded in Dudley town centre. In the end fortunately it was nothing serious but in the corner of the screen I noticed someone moving about in the background, wasn’t too sure what she was doing but she was certainly acting very strange. A little while later the cameras caught up with her again, now walking down a street carrying what appeared to be every ‘stray’ box in Dudley. Clearly she had spent quite a bit of time gathering up a lot of boxes and I do mean a lot. She had gathered them all together and managed to carry them (with great difficulty) down the street. So why? Was I missing something? You’ll have noticed from previous posts that I’m fairly confident that I have a reasonable idea of whats going on across Dudley but gathering up all the boxes in the Town?
Ok I have to stop now or this will never get posted! If you want to see what we are up to on a daily basis across Dudley then you can follow our Twitter posts. If you want to comment on anything on here or our policing then please do use the comments section below and if you like what we are doing then, again, feel free to let others know, you can use the buttons below, or just tell them, thanks.