This buffoon of the week winner is from about 7 years ago, and was a particularly interesting evening. I got overtime for getting involved off duty, (four hours double time minimum as long as you’ve done more than a few minutes work) which was nice, but to be fair, I earnt it.
After a long day, walking the dogs is the last thing before bedtime. My normal route is about 1/2 hour long, the home straight is pavement with the housing estate on one side and road on the other. Halfway up this section is a path into one side of the estate. Just as I passed this, I saw two guys running down towards me, one naked from the waist up. He looked like a partially shell-suited version of the pillsbury dough-boy, which wasn’t pretty, but sadly nothing unusual. There’s no dress code where I live.
They jogged up to me, I thought jogging was why they were there until one of them asked if I’d seen someone wheeling a motorbike, as theirs had just been nicked. I hadn’t seen anyone with a bike and said so. As there wasn’t much more I could add or do to help, at this point frankly I’d lost interest.
Until I saw one of them had a handgun.
It was held down by his leg with his index finger outside the trigger guard and parallel to the barrel. For those without the benefit of the relevant training, this is how professionals carry weapons when they’re loaded with a round in the chamber and the safety catch off. The only reason to carry a weapon in that state is you anticipate using it on someone in the near future, and don’t want to fumble it when the time comes. He also appeared calm and in control of himself, which again screams
It may sound silly, but the simplest of actions can be almost inpossible under stress. A former Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro, was kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists in 1978. He had 5 armed bodyguards in his motorcade, in the ambush every one of them died without getting a single round off. Some were found with their fingers clenched round the trigger, having forgotten the safety catch, some never even got that far.
So…Bob the doughboy meant business.
The thought process here took about a tenth of a second, to switch from dog walker to job. I didn’t feel scared, just incredibly alert. My ex SAS friend Bob won a medal in Bosnia for a surveillance job where he and 3 colleagues were compromised and had to shoot the way back to their helicopter extraction site through several hundred Bosnian Serb infantry, who weren’t noted for being nice to prisoners. He said he didn’t feel fear or panic, just focused and hyper alert, they knew what had to be done and the whole episode felt like he was on autopilot, the shakes kicked in later. Something to do with his glands producing adrenaline differently to other people, apparently. Having seen people who panicked under fire, who mostly lie very, very still afterwards rather than shake, Bob was happy for his glands to stay the way they were.
In my own sweet way, driving home at speed while my house was burning down felt similar, and so did this. They didn’t need to know I’d seen the gun and I needed to get on the phone sharpish
So, a tenth of a second later, I pretended not to have seen the gun, told them where I’d come from so they’d know not to waste time searching there, and watched them run off. As soon as they were out of sight, I called it in. Agreed where to meet the police, ditched the dogs at home and went back out. Soon enough, 3 ARV’s pulled up, I didn’t know my local force even HAD that many, after a quick chat with the ARV crews, off they went on an area search, and I went back home. I wasn’t too confident they’d be found, I didn’t see which house they came from and didn’t look at them for long.
About an hour later, the phone rang and it was the control room inspector, saying they’d been arrested and when could I come in to give my statement? As I was on £25 an hour at this point, it seemed rude not to go in straight away. He was chuckling, and when I asked why, the idiots had failed to find the offender, then ironically helped the police to find them by ringing in and saying their bike had been stolen.
They expected a response bobby coming round, they were surprised to open the door to the nasty end of several Heckler and Koch G-36 rifles being jammed in their faces and were soon doing the pavement starfish as if their lives depended on it. Which they actually did.
As only one of them actually possessed the pistol, first prize in that competition was a 3 year stretch and then deportation back to Poland, his accomplice got a suspended sentence and then booted out of his house by the council, who take a dim view of armed criminality.
For their sheer stupidity in effectively handing themselves in for a serious firearms offence, I cannot help but award them buffoon of the week status.