There we go then, 2012 is pretty much out the way. The Queen ‘Jubileed’, the Olympics were brilliant and to top it all off, the world didn’t come to an end.
As is the tradition at this time of year, I thought I’d take a sporadic look back at what were a few of the highlights from the past twelve months.
They are, in no particular order, as follows:
Arrest of the year:
Responding to a report of an assault back in July, we suspected our suspect was hiding in a nearby house as a bike matching the description of the one he was riding was parked right outside.
The occupant let us in and I thought I heard something from a bedroom upstairs so went to investigate but found it empty, other than the cloth covering of one of the wardrobes flapping gently.
On closer inspection I noticed a pair of feet sticking out and so gave our wardrobe monster a few minutes to think he was invisible whilst I motioned for my partner to join me before pulling back the covering and saying “Come along sir, we’d probably best go sort this out at the station”.
Best tweet of the year:
Okay, maybe I can’t narrow it down to one specific tweet as I like to think they’re all of the same quality (interpret that as you like!), but being able to use social media as a part of my role continues to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the job and this year I’ve been able to reach more people than ever.
The feedback continues to be positive and I think some of the best memories of the year coming from the tweeting and blogging have resulted from meeting several of my lovely followers face to face.
It’s always nice to put a face to a name and I think it’s a valuable reminder that whilst we spend our time dealing with Walsall’s worst 1%, the other 99% are a thoroughly lovely bunch who I am proud to be serving.
Doughnut of the year:
We police officers eat foods other than doughnuts. Honest, we do.
This said, they’re obviously an important ‘food group’ and there’s nothing better for topping up the sugar levels towards the end of a long shift than a glazed, preferably cream filled, fried doughnut.
As a tradition officers bring in cakes when there’s a birthday, sometime around August one of the lads on my shift won the Sports Club lottery and so treated us to a pack of Sainsbury’s finest doughnuts. Delicious was not the word!
Sporting achievement of the year:
Contrary to the impression you might get from the above paragraph and occasional mentions of Creme Eggs on my Twitter feed, I do like to do my best to keep fit.
Whilst I was proud that I completed the Birmingham Half Marathon in under an hour and a half, I think the Walsall Police Walking Club’s attempt on the Yorkshire Three Peaks was probably the better effort as we worked together to achieve it.
It was back in May and pretty warm but we made it round in one piece, no one died and as I wrote at the time, that’s my benchmark for success so a success it was.
Charity event of the year:
When not out arresting folk, many officers dabble in charity fund-raising and subject themselves to various ordeals all in the name of raising a few pennies for their chosen cause.
You may remember I’d mentioned PC Emma Smith’s fund-raising efforts for the sailors of her son’s navy squadron back in October, as so many local people got behind the campaign I think it’s got to be one of the highlights of the year for me.
Through a dedicated campaign of badgering local businesses, she amassed a hoard of goods to be sent out to Afghan for 857 Squadron which included shower gels, a DAB radio and also a healthy donation for their welfare fund.
Overall highlight of the year:
The best week and a half of the year for me was probably spent down in London helping out at the big sports day.
It was fantastic to be involved, especially as the enthusiasm of everyone in the capital made for a delightful atmosphere in which to police and I’m confident that over the next thirty years or so there’ll be few opportunities that’ll come close to matching the chance to work at the Olympics.
I’d say the best part of the trip was the few hours we spent on Westminster Bridge for the torch relay – being right at the centre of the capital in front of Big Ben and surrounded by tourists may be wearing for officers who do it all the time but for us Brummies it was a novel, memorable experience.
Now as I’ve written about before, 2013 is going to see some pretty big changes for us police here in Walsall. We’ll be going through a structural ‘rejiggle’ at the end of January and as part of it I’ll be leaving my response team and concentrating on investigation.
I’m really looking forward to the move and the chance to pick up some new skills, the blogs and tweets will be continuing and so I’ll be sharing the new role with you and will be available to answer any questions you may have.
I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and will enjoy a happy new year!