Officer, I salute you
The Grime of Crime
Having signed the Official Secrets Act I can’t talk about my crime investigation work with the Police, but I can talk about the courage and humanity I've witnessed behind it.
There are a few things I now know that when I see a Police Officer I give a mental salute of respect and thanks.
Naively, I used to take the Police for granted; they were something we paid for in our taxes that gave speeding tickets and kept the streets safe. But I didn’t comprehend quite how safe. They are the thin blue human line, the wall that holds back a host of evil seeping into our protected ‘bubble’ of a life.
I used to live in my own little bubble - a struggling single mum, rushing to work, paying the bills, driving within the speed limit, trying to be a good citizen, having the odd moan about taxes and the rising crime rates in the area. Little did I know!
I've now peered over the other side of that wall, worked amongst them and realised how much is held back from us. How much we are protected, how much worse it could be and how much we have to be grateful for. They are worth every penny and more.
The world they face on the other side of that wall is dark and these brave Officers, often with young families of their own, face it 24/7 on our behalf. Relatively unarmed, courageous men and women walk into potentially dangerous, emotionally crippling, risk critical situations every minute of every day, year in year out.
They start their shift never knowing what they’ll be facing from one minute to the next. A call comes in from a distressed civilian and they’re off… to everything from saving puppies and walking old ladies across the street, to picking up body parts at road traffic incidents, suicides, terrorist attacks and murders.
From dealing with drunks, drug addicts, trafficking, domestic violence, organised crime gangs and mental health issues, to sifting through the paraphernalia of paedophiles, killers and rapists (some images never leave you). From breaking news to loved ones, sourcing evidence and liaising with CPS to dealing with the massive intricate paperwork of getting a file to court and justice for the victim.
They are tough and caring, often going out of their way to help others, managing to keep calm when being spat at, kicked, abused and criticised by certain members of the public - who are often first in line to dial the 9's when they or their loved ones need help.
Governments, listen up - protecting our loved ones, homes and freedom is paramount.
We need more of Officers on the streets, more funding, not cuts as has been the short-sighted trend of late.
Cuts enable criminals and disable society.
The wall needs to be strengthened, not weakened.
Officers... I salute you, thank you.