Smudger Snippets: Observations

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I suppose it's because I have so much time on my hands these days, that all these memories come flooding back to me.


As many of you already know both my wife and I are disabled, so tend to spend a lot of time watching TV, as we don't get out much. With us both being at home most of the time we tend to end up watching a lot of repeats, especially on the Crime channel as that is one of our favourites. Most of the programs are set in the USA but there is the odd program about crimes carried out in Britain. The difference between them is quite amazing really, although the result is always the same with the bad guys being caught in the end.

There was one program that we saw recently about people that go missing, and although the procedure was much the same between the American and British police forces, there were some noticeable differences. They filmed the local police and FBI agents along with some civilian volunteers searching this open country area, using riders on horses and 4 by 4 bike riders and others on foot, all searching for a body that was thought to have been dumped in that area.

Yet they were all in single file all following each other, it's no wonder they never found the body!? When I was on the mountain rescue team many years ago, we always searched in a long horizontal line which would cover a large area at a time. It was a cold case file program which was reopened some five years later, and after another search the body was found, it's just a pity they missed it on the first search!

Another observation we have made while watching these crime programs is the language the police forces use, which seems to be deliberately highly technical just to annoy the public. For example they use the word projectile instead of bullet; and we apprehended the suspect as he was making his escape though an exit at the rear of the building which we had under surveillance for some time.
Which simply means, we caught him at the back door of a building we were watching at the time!

It's the same with all the police forces on both sides of the Atlantic. Most of you will be familiar with this language if you have ever been pulled over by the police while driving, or if you have witnessed something and they are taking down your statement.

I came into contact quite a lot with the police when I was in the ambulance service, and I often wondered if that language was ever taught to them during their training, as I know for a fact that we never learned anything like that during ours.

And another thing, why does it take eight police cars to chase a speeder or a driver refusing to stop? I only ask because it can look like a Key-Stone Cop chase, when viewed on TV. And every car only has one policeman in it, and they are all trying their level best to be one that gets the "arrest", especially when the chase comes to the end.

While on the subject of cops on TV, why is it that when they arrive at a crime scene, they stomp all over it looking for the bad guy, or perpetrator as they like to call them, another word in their very own dictionary. Then why do they bother putting up that Yellow Tape with, "No Entry- Crime Scene Do Not Cross" on it, as when all the detectives and CSI mob, (crime scene investigators) arrive they just lift it up and walk under it?

Also, why do all the police and ambulance folk leave their Blues flashing after they have arrived at the scene, it makes the whole area look like a mobile disco! There also seems to be no limit as to when they are allowed to use their Blues and Twos (lights and sirens) as they are used even when the ambulance is taking the deceased to the morgue! As do the detectives when they arrive at the scene in their unmarked cars, with those strobe lights that are built into the front grills and sun visors of them. Why, what's the rush, the bad guy has long gone, and the deceased is going nowhere, so why rush to get there?

We left our blue lights on at a traffic accident we once attended, for safety reasons, as there was a lot of passing traffic, and when we returned to the ambulance with our casualty, the battery had gone flat! We were only gone for around 15 minutes.

There seems to be a lot of differences between the emergency departments in America and here in the UK, or is it that Mk2 and I watch too much TV?

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