It’s 01:30am on a cold rainy Wednesday morning, I’m single crewed which is often a too familiar feeling. I hear that one line every police officer dreads “I got an immediate just come in, come back with call sign”. Its a violent domestic.
The hair stands up on the back of my neck when I realise I am the closest officer to the address and the nearest unit is at least 10 minutes away. Blue lights on, listening to control feed through information, multiple punches thrown towards the partner the neighbour claims. Markers (warning signs) for the offender at the address include assault police, weapons, conceals, mental health and violent. You may be sat there wondering how on earth someone with these markers even exists but as any officer will tell you, these are now all too common.
2 minutes has passed, I’m nearing the location and ask control for an ETA on the other unit attending.. 9 minutes they said. I don’t carry a firearm and I do not carry a taser, all I have is my standard issue captor spray and extendable baton. I arrive at the scene to hear screaming and shouting inside the address with glass being smashed. I bang on the door loudly and shout Police in the hope that this will stop the attack and someone opens the door. In the back of my head all I can think is, what if he comes to the door with a knife? What if he takes her hostage? What if he doesn’t answer the door and I can’t force it open.
30 seconds passes and I decided I am going to force my way into the property, I kick the door in after 3 attempts, the victim lay crying face covered in blood on the kitchen floor. The offender is in the living room looking ready to have a good fight with me, he isn’t coming quietly. My back up is still over 5 minutes away after I press my emergency button. Now for those of you who wonder, why press the emergency button? I am on my own with no specialist equipment, I have a casualty with unknown injuries on the floor bleeding in the kitchen and a male intent on fighting me in the living room.
I spray the male with my captor to try and give myself the upper hand, I decided to not draw my baton as it would add a weapon to the mix which is already 50/50. After a long struggle I finally manage to get the male onto the floor in a lock and hold on for dear life, I honestly thought if I lose this lock, he is going to kill me.
I can hear the sound of sirens is in the distance and it is a relief, it is another single crewed officer who is going to help me place this male in cuffs as quickly as possible so that we can see to the victim. Medical assistance has been requested but at this point I don’t have an ETA, they are just as stretched and short staffed as we are.
Now let me ask you, as a member of the public, are you happy with what you have just read? Why should that poor woman have to lay on the floor scared for her life, seeing just one officer arrive and have to worry that if I don’t stop this monster then she may have to suffer even more. Why am I singled crewed going into dangerous situations just trying to save innocent people? I have a family, I have children.
This night could’ve ended very badly both for myself and the victim. What will it take for the public to realise that single crewed officers pose a risk to both the safety of the officers but also the safety of you. I will always put myself between you and harms way, I would put my life on the line for you. So please read this and pass the message on, we need your help in raising awareness.
I am your lifeline.