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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

 

Under cover Volume 1

Normally speaking we get notified if our local CID have a little party organised for any visiting bad guys. CCTV give us a ‘Leave well alone’ message, but sometimes the system breaks down for one of three reasons;

The CCTV operator on duty is far too important to let us mere Parking Enforcers know what’s going on.
CID haven’t bothered to / forgotten to let anybody else in on their big secret.
Everybody is just so busy and can’t be arsed.

On all of the above, we lowly Civil Enforcement functionaries slip below the radar. We’re just not worth bothering with.

We’re not telepathic and if that thar ve-hickle is on a no loading restriction with no one about, one of us, in blissful ignorance, will meander across and slap one on the windscreen. Sometimes we stop just in time because we spot the Police issue radio in the dash, but not very often. Sometimes we slap one on just to be bloody minded because no one can be bothered to let us know what’s going on. The Police don’t need to give us chapter and verse and break cover, just a simple ‘Vehicle exempt’ message via CCTV will do.

Notwithstanding; I have had the dubious pleasure of booking the odd undercover Police car – If no-one tells me because I’m only a snotty nosed jobsworth of a Parking Enforcer – then they can bloody well take the consequences. Even if the ticket does get cancelled later at the request of the local Police Inspector.

Like this one; I’m heading back to base along Cross Street for end of shift. One of the other guys is heading back along the other side of the road and gives me a wave. Directly ahead of me is a Maroon Ford perched saucily on double yellows. “Got him. I’ll do this one.” I called over the road. My oppo signals that he’s heard me and carries on checking out the Disabled bays on his side of the street. As usual I run a quick check of the lines and signs to make sure all is bookable before doing the evil deed. Now I pride myself on being observant, but there was nothing to indicate this was a Police vehicle. I did all the usual checks peering through the windows, no special radio, no Police type equipment sitting on the seats, nothing. Then I waited the mandatory five minutes in case someone dashed out in high dudgeon and move off the restriction. Okay fine, that’s what this will cost you, a fine, and on the windscreen it went.

Fifteen minutes later I’m changing out of uniform and Senior Supervisor wanders in to the changing room.
“Which one of you clever buggers nicked a copper then?” Is Benny’s opening remark. We all shake our heads. Nick a Copper? Don’t be daft.
“Maroon Ford on Cross Street?” Benny isn’t what you might call subtle.
“That was one of mine.” I spoke up.
“Well you’ve pissed off the local CID. They were doing a drugs bust.” He grins with that awful wide shit eating smirk of his to say that one of us is in for a shouting at and it’s not him.
“So? How was I to know?” I respond. “No one tells us anything.”
“Dear me William, didn’t you see their radio?” He always calls me ‘William’ when he’s enjoying winding me up. Bastard.
“Come on Benny, I looked and it was just a bog standard dash. No Police issue radio, no nothing. How the fuck am I supposed to know it was CID?” I protested.
“All right, I’m sure our beloved leader will see it your way.” Benny teases.
“Right.” Bollocks to you too.

As things turned out Senior Manager decided not to berate me as CID had left one of their vehicles on a restriction without letting anybody know it was them. For a change I was not up shit creek without a paddle. There’s a novelty.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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