Friday, September 2, 2011


A bit of a departure from the norm today. A few of you will know that I used to be a Police Officer in the UK. I left because I became disillusioned with how modern day policing was developing and being influenced by politics (it’s all about the statistics and not actually helping folks!). I remember pretty much of every minute of my 16 years of service. It was an amazing job with equal amount of job satisfaction, elation and sadness all rolled in to one. One of the very best things about the Police was the camaraderie of the officers. I spent 7 years on a specialist unit as a Police Marksman, where the camaraderie was the strongest, but only just against the normal everyday policing years.

That is the reason I am writing today. I have not long heard of the sad death of one of my old colleagues (through illness, nothing suspicious). He was a person with an amazing character. Whoever he worked with had a treat in store for them that duty. There really was no one else like Clint. He was a one off. In a kind of eulogy for him, I’m going to run through some of my experiences working alongside the fella. By the end of the post, you’ll see why he was so well loved and respected by his colleagues.

Clinton was an honest man, to say the least. In the six years I worked alongside him I only ever knew him to attend one social event with work colleagues. When asked if he would be attending a meet for drinks or any social event really, you would get the good natured reply of “Pikey (my nick), I see enough of you idiots all day long here at work. If you think I’m going to spend any of my hard earned personal time associating with you bunch of losers, you’re sadly mistaken”. Like I said, honest. And everyone loved him for that. With Clint you knew where you were and his comments were not made with nastiness, but in good humour with a wry grin. But he wasn’t joking completely. Like I said he only ever attended one event, and that was a wedding of his patrol partner. Ironically enough, his funeral was absolutely packed.

The first time I met Clinton was in my first days as a fresh faced bobby. At the start of a duty, you all gather around the ‘parade table’ and get given your duties for the day from the Duty Sergeant, in addition to any useful intelligence or current wanted persons. Back in the day, smoking was allowed in buildings in the UK and more often than not the parade room was awash with cigarette smoke during these meetings. Now being an extremely heavy smoker at the time, Clint had been banished to the local control room during this particular parade as the Sergeant was an anti-smoker. So, it fell to Clint to answer the phone, watch the CCTV cameras and man the local radio channel.

The Serg was busy briefing us on the latest in a spate of ram-raids we were getting on higher value clothing stores in the area, when the official Police radio lights up with Clints dulcet tones in somewhat of a panic. “They’re doing it! It’s happening! I’ve just seen ‘em reverse through the fuckin’ window!”. Of course once calmed down we managed to find out that ram-raiders had smashed the front of a Benetton store and were making their way off with lots of brightly coloured clothes in a sports car. It was just how he was. Clint would not have been out of place in the BBC cop show, the Thin Blue Line.

Another time I was crewed with Clint, and we had been seconded to a rather rural area to help monitor a rave party that was going on at a farmhouse in its grounds. In itself, not an issue, but intel had been passed of certain drug activity going on at the site and descriptions told us it was more than likely one of the more influential local dealers making an unexpected appearance (his lackies usually did the ground work). So, we were parked up in a lay-by, off this single file country road simply watching the traffic coming and going, making note of any suspicious activity. It was a warm night and Clint has his car window open and his arm hanging out whilst we were stationary. We’d only been there ten minutes when a van trying to get access through the gate, reversed in to our Police vehicle, and on to Clints arm, trapping it against the door (he was uninjured). As the van drove off, he jumped out of the Police car and started to chase it on foot, mud splashing from his feet as he pounded after the van. With me leaning out of the window I shouted him back, reminding him we would need the car for a pursuit.

What occurred next was perhaps one of the scariest and at the same time funniest things I have gone through. The van sped off in to the grounds of the farm, and because Clint had to run back to the car before we could pursue (I still wasn’t authorised to drive cop cars back then) we were a little behind. Now Clint was a great driver, very skilled (aside from when he was’ll see what I mean later). He needed all his skill as the little car was pushed to its limits trying to catch the van down muddy dirt tracks. The whole time Clint was deathly silent and I thought he may have lost it. As we sped through the final gateway to the field where the rave was and where the van had come to a halt, two ticket guys on the gate both had to leap in to the hedge to avoid the speeding cop car as it slewed through the gate at about 60 mph. We came up to the van and the driver (somewhat bemused – he obviously hadn’t seen us in the dark lane and thought he had hit a gate post or something) was confronted by Clint who whilst waving his arms around at the guy looked like he was raving himself (the music was blaring in the background). The only snippet of the conversation I caught was the driver apologising profusely, only to be rebuffed by Clintons shrill voice, whilst waving his arms around energetically (it really did look like he was raving) “SORRY? SORRY? LOOK AT ME FUCKIN’ CAR DOOR!”.

During one period of time, Clint had sustained an injury whilst on duty and was confined to the reception of the Police Station to answer public enquiries. Bad move by the bosses there. He’s not the most subtle of folks. Whilst in that capacity, I heard him speak to a member of the public reporting a possible gas leak, “Madam, please look at the badge on my shirt. It’s says Police, not British Gas. Goodbye”. Another time a distraught woman had come in to report her ex-boyfriend circulating to her friends and family, naked and explicit photos that he had taken when they were together. The lady handed Clint an envelope with some examples of the photos and was clearly embarrassed by the whole thing, but understood she was making the correct move to report it. Or so she thought. She hadn’t counted on Clinton. I’ll never forget her official complaint against him after he took a look at a photo of her lower regions whilst wearing panties, only to explain at her hirsute state, “You can see the fuckin’ spiders legs stickin’ out the side!”.

Another time I was with Clint was in a vehicle pursuit around a local town centre. After about 15 minutes of the chase Clint exclaimed rather proudly “He’s gone the wrong way down Frog Lane, I’ll cut him off at the entrance” (there was only one way in and out). He then enthusiastically reversed the car back the way we had come to cut off the felon. However, Clint although a very good driver could not reverse a car properly unless he had the drivers door slightly ajar, which is what he did this time, only to get it slightly wrong and completely ripped off the Police car door on a stationary Jaguar. I couldn’t believe it, especially when I got out to survey the damage and saw the small flags on the bonnet (hood, for my US buds). I must say, I did get a bit of perverse pleasure from radioing in “Control, Quebec Alpha 43. Police RTA, Frog Lane. It appears we have ripped off the drivers door whilst reversing.... into the Mayors Jaguar. 43 out”.

There are many many more stories concerning my old buddy Clinton. Too many to mention, but I shall always remember them very fondly indeed.

Clint, you were one in a million. Here’s to all the good times *raises glass*.

QuebecAlpha-43, out.


  1. Sorry to hear about Clint mate. I never met the guy but felt like I had after all the stories you told about him. He always sounded like such a character. :(

  2. My condolences for your loss Bro. Like Mere I feel as if I know Clint as well due to the stories & I remember with fondness you mimicing his voice & speech.

    May his Soul enjoy the blessings he's earned.

  3. Thanks guys. Aye, he was a star.

    One last story..we studied for the Traffic Officers exams together, and he arranged to come visit my house for a study session. My house was quite old fashioned. I hadn't decorated since I had moved in and it was like a 70's decor. It's also worth mentioning my mate lodged with me and he has long'll see why. Anyhow, he came, he went, and when I asked if he wanted to organise another, he said "Not at yours. I ain't going to that fuckin' hippy den again. All you need is a fuckin' set of bead curtains and a lava lamp and you're set." Heheh....and he didn't ever visit again...good ole Clinton.