You have to help yourself first……
There is a saying that I was reminded of today….
you can’t teach a pig, it doesn’t work and the pig just gets annoyed
How many times do we deal with domestic incidents where they say ‘I don’t want him/her back, I’m frightened/don’t love them/had enough’.
We do get sucked in to the tears and upset, we give so much sympathy, and feel sorry for them, knowing that they don’t want anything else to do with them, we bust a gut to make sure that harassment warnings are given, or bail conditions to stay away, or even remand them as the injured party say they are scared/intimidated/suicidal etc etc. This includes parents, spouses, partners, family members.
Now I am not saying this is all the people wipe deal with, but in my experience it generally takes up hours and hours of our time, you feel empathy for them and really want to help, and the next thing, the person they are frightened/scared/intimidated of are now back at the address.
I do know how difficult it is for parents to ring up and have their son/daughter arrested, or partners or other family members, and I understand it’s devastating, but if you don’t want the police to take action then don’t ring us. I get so annoyed that officers go above and beyond the call of duty, really put themselves out for nothing to come of it.
It is particularly hard for the new officers, as they see the emotions, they see the tears, they do feel sorry for them, only for that to be almost thrown back at them.
One recent example is a 16 year old son had trashed the house after not getting his own way, his mother gives him more than she earns which he uses for cannabis, he has assaulted her, his brothers and others, and has a severe temper.
The mother was so upset and said she didn’t feel her life was her own and felt ‘suicidal’. Dad said there was no way he was coming back to the house. The boy was arrested and charged with criminal damage and had stringent bail conditions not to go to the house. He was placed at Grandparents until court. The next morning I was informed that mother had him back in the house and the bail conditions were dropped. I cannot tell you just how frustrated that I was, how the officers felt, and felt they had be ‘done over’.
Another example, officers attended a domestic between husband and wife, she was in tears after he assaulted her, the officer was very sympathetic, and being young in service really took the incident to heart, and then they got back after he was released the next day. The officer was upset, so I had to have a chat to say that this really is quite normal and not to take it to heart.
In an ideal world families shouldn’t have police involved and should be able to sort out issues without us, and I am sure that if parents, partners and others were stronger and were stricter with their children we may not have these issues. If people were able to be more sensible and didn’t have the ‘she said/he said’ and other people didn’t interfere then perhaps we wouldn’t have so many issues. But this is not an ideal world and people wonder why Police officers can be cynical, well it’s because we have heard it all before, many many times. The same addresses, the same families, the same children, who will grow up and follow in their family footsteps as their parents – will there anyone who will change the situation?
While people are carrying on getting us involved in things that we shouldn’t necessarily be involved in there will be officers who work hard to do the best for those who call us.
There are always genuine domestic issues which won’t be solved without police intervention, and ones that will need help and we will feel true empathy for them, but for some I just know there will be no helping them.