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All in a day's work

PUBLISHED: 14:20 30 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 11 August 2010

STABBINGS, car crashes, breaking up fights, catching thieves and helping victims is all in a day s work for a police officer. In an ordinary 12 hour shift these men and women experience death, destruction and more often than not, abuse and disrespect. And

STABBINGS, car crashes, breaking up fights, catching thieves and helping victims is all in a day's work for a police officer.

In an ordinary 12 hour shift these men and women experience death, destruction and more often than not, abuse and disrespect.

And on Wednesday December 10 the POST had the chance to see first hand.

Riding in an emergency response car with PC Mark Yexley and PC Guyan Hettrachchi the first call of the day is someone stealing a car.

The joy-rider was spotted outside Sydney Russell School in Parsloes Avenue, hotwiring an old Astra.

Police arrive on the scene moments later but the thief and car have gone, the description given by the "informant", is noted.

The officers carry on their patrols, stopping any cars or pedestrians who look suspicious.

PC Yexley said: "After years in this job you get a feeling about who to stop.

"I always explain to them why I have stopped them though. I don't think it does the police any favours if people think they are being treated unfairly."

The officers were parked in Fanshawe Avenue when a trio of youths round the corner, see the squad car and walk the other way.

PC Yexley said: "This is a perfect example of just getting the wrong feeling from someone - why did they walk away from the car?

"It turned out that one of them is on parole for assault."

As it begins to get dark our car, KG4, is called to assist in a road traffic collision, in Becontree Avenue.

A Micra and BMW were in a smash, the Micra driver is unable to move, paramedics are already there.

Officers close off the road, clear away the two dented cars and take witness statements; the injured man is taken to hospital.

Then a call comes through that 15 youths are fighting outside shops on Rainham Road South.

Police arrive to find around 30 school kids swarming on the pavement.

They question the ringleader who has what looks like a rolling pin, the lad explains he was threatened after school and wanted to protect himself.

No-one was hurt and police begin to disperse the group.

Some teens get cheeky, shouting at officers and refusing to move, police need to use reasonable force - pushing the kids up the road.

Then PC Yexley and PC Hettrachchi are called to an attempted break-in at Ford Road.

The owners saw two men trying to kick their back door through. The thieves ran off when they realised the house was not empty.

PC Yexley said: "We get a lot of burglaries at this time of year, especially at night. People have got expensive Christmas presents in the house."

The final call of the evening is a report of a stabbing - sirens are switched on and the car hurtles to Ripple Road.

A youngster was knifed on a bus, the PC's have a lot of work to do - it is a very serious incident.

Someone goes with the victim, witness statements must be taken, the family have to be informed, CCTV footage must be found and the bus will have to be inspected as a crime scene by forensic specialists.

Luckily the teenager's injuries were not life-threatening, many others as these officers know, have not been so fortunate.


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