Cup of tea?

I was on late shift, 1400-2200, I got into the office slightly early as I needed to sort a few things out.

I only had one job to go to, which is unusually a quiet start to the shift. I knew I had to get some statements typed up and sent out for a couple of serious jobs I'd attended recently. One related to a murder investigation, the DC had asked me to complete it as soon as possible. The album of photographs had already been on my desk for three days.

I like looking at my photos in print. Although the photo lab had put one of my photos in on the wrong alignment. That bugs me. I like things to be right.

It only took me an hour or so to get the statements sorted and the albums exhibited for court.

I left the office for the burglary on another division. The bobby at the job had point to pointed (ptp) me for advice.

The airwave radios we use allow us to have a personal conversaion between two users. This avoids taking up space on the normal channel, the control room can continue to despatch officers to other jobs. This is known as point to point.

It turns out the offender had been disturbed by the occupants and had run through gardens to get away. In the panic and fence hopping, the offender had dropped his woolly hat.


The Forensic Science Service work very hard to abstract DNA from items such as hats for me, well, us.

I gave some advice to the officer about how to recover the hat and how to preserve any DNA for me.

When I got to the address, the officer had already moved off to the next job. I fingerprinted a number of the things, including the point of entry and the games console cases dropped in the garden.

I was stood in the kitchen when the occupant offerred me a cup of tea. I could see the state of the kitchen, it wasn't like my kitchen. "No thanks, I don't drink hot drinks" Which was a complete lie. A white one however.

I quickly became aware of very distinctive glove marks. Its always disappointing. I double check that the occupants havent worn gloves inside for any reason. I never stop fingerprinting straight away when I find glovemarks, for two reasons.

The first reason, there may be more than one offender, the second offender may not be wearing gloves. It happens, a lot.

The second reason, demonstrated very well by an Officer recently. When you are weaing gloves, performing certain tasks can become difficult. It only takes one slip of the mind, to whip a glove off and complete the task without the hassle of a glove.

At this particular address, the offenders weren't inside for very long and had touched very little. I found glovemarks on all the items they handled. I sealed the wolly hat up and left.

I was passed another job to photograph a poor old chap at the local hospital who had an argument with an axe. Well, the argument was with the person holding the axe, which was repeatedly struck on his head. Blade side.

He'd been on the ward for a couple of days.

I don't like hospitals. They are full of germs. The parking is a nightmare too. I found a large box which said, NO PARKING. I parked there. I checked in with Security, who confirmed that space was often used for the 'likes of you'. The likes of you? What did he mean by that? Smile and walk away CSI Guy.

I got to the ward and spoke with some lovely nurses on the ward reception desk. They had a little joke about my Hummer and CSI:NY. I made a joke about Holby City. They asked if I wanted a cup of tea. Two offers in one day.

Now, tea at the hospital was likely to be a good idea. it would probably be in a disposable cup, which hadn't been used before and was likely to be from a machine. It would also be made by a nurse, who wouldn't do anything untoward. I didn't have time though. Injury photographs take no time at all. I told them I'll come back for the tea another day.

I'll add that ward to the list of tea stops.

The gent with the head injuries was sleeping. The nurse woke him up to take his blood pressure reading so I got in straight after that. I took a number of photos, one of his head and shoulders, so when we look at the album in months to come, we know who it it. I then took a number of close up photos of the injuries with a scale. I used my macro lens.

I enjoy taking photos, they're normally not of stapled head wounds though.

I had another two burglaries to go to after the hospital. They were both next to each other in a block of flats.

I had heard of the estate before, I knew where it was but hadn't been there yet. It's on a different division to where I normally work. I parked outside and I wasn't impressed. It looked horrid.

I got my van from the back of the van and walked towards the front door. Beer cans littered the pathway outside, there was a used condom and a distinct smell of Cannabis coming from an address nearby.

This will be fun, I thought.

I knocked at the door which swung open, it had been broken in during the burgalry. I saw a figure approach the porch door through the marbled glass. The door was opened by an eighty year old female. She was a lovely person. Her flat was tidy, clean and had lots of photos of grandchildren. One showed a young lad with a vest and shorts on at a sports day.

She saw me look at it, and said "That's Tommy. he's twelve now. He won that race"

It looked like the offenders had picked the whole flat up, shook it and dropped it back down again. There were things everywhere. She had kept coins in coffee jars in the wardrobe. She had sorted the coins into denominations in each jar. She had placed a small amount of kitche towel in the bottom of each jar. One jar had been smashed, there was glass all over the bed.

She offerred me a cup of tea and a sandwich. She reminded me of my gran. Her flat was a mess, her valuables had gone and she was alone, yet she wasn't worried about that. She wanted to make sure I was looked after. I agreed to the cup of tea, with one sugar but politely declined the sandwich. I couldn't eat her food as well as drink her tea.

She told me that she had been burgled three times including this occassion. She had toughened to it. She said "Those buggers are lucky I wasn't here, I would have given them what for with my stick"

I laughed with her.

Good thing is I left with lots of fingerpints and some items for chemical treatment.


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