Why Did The Policeman Cross the Road?

By Stevyn Colgan

Not so much police intelligence as intelligent policing

Monday, 7 July 2014

13% - lucky for me!

Thank you so much for dribbling me over the 1/8th funded line in so short a time! Keep spreading the word m'lovelies!

Meanwhile, as a sort-of reward, here's a little extract from the first chapter. Tell me what you think :)


'There are many reasons why people choose to become police officers. For some it’s a sense of duty or the desire to contribute to a better society. For others it’s a legacy thing; following in a parent’s footsteps. Or maybe it’s simply the stability of a steady wage, or even the glamour and excitement.

I joined for a bet.

I don’t actually recall making the bet as I was celebrating my 18th birthday at the time and it’s all a bit of a beery haze in which swim fragments of memory: a desultory chat about my future career prospects with my homicide detective dad; a clacking typewriter; some congratulatory back-slapping and lewd song singing; lots of cheering and lots and lots of beer. All I know for certain is that I woke up the next morning with the worst hangover I’ve ever had and with the sinking feeling that I’d done something very stupid. And, searching through the pockets of my denim jacket, my worst fears were confirmed when I found a badly typewritten and ale-stained ‘contract’ stating that I’d accepted a £50 bet that I couldn’t survive six months as a cop. I’d signed it. Dad had signed it. And, ridiculously, it was also notarised and signed by two witnesses.

Of course, I tried to wriggle out of it by pointing out that it (probably) wasn’t legally binding and, even it was, I (definitely) hadn’t been of sound mind when I’d signed it. I didn’t want to be a cop, for goodness’ sake. I’d never wanted to be a cop. But Dad was unmoving, taunting me with barbs like: ‘Not man enough, eh?’ or ‘Well, it does take a certain kind of person to wear the uniform’ and ‘Cash or cheque will be fine’.

For a while, I quietly fumed. But, as the days passed, the idea started to put out roots. What else was I going to do for the next six months? I’d pretty much buggered up my education  – for reasons that will become clear in due course – and had earned myself a set of grades so low that snakes could slither over them. And all of my friends were about to starburst to polytechnics and universities around the country leaving me alone in Cornwall, the poorest county in the UK, where almost all work was seasonal and woefully paid. Back in 1979, the advice doled out by the careers officer at my school was, genuinely, ‘Get out of Cornwall.’

It just so happened that my two best friends were off to Middlesex Poly to study graphic design so, I thought to myself, what if I applied to join the Metropolitan Police and followed them to London? It would mean six months of partying with my best mates in a much more exciting city than I’d been used to. I’d have wages in my pocket. And I’d get to see gigs by all the bands I liked.  It seemed to be too good an opportunity to pass up.

So I applied. And I presumably said nothing too outrageous or controversial at my interview (or they were desperate) because I soon received a letter requesting that I report to Hendon Police College on the 18th of February for basic training.'


Want to know what happens next? You know what to do!



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