I Was There

I was there when it happened…

I was there when the old man held the knife to his own throat, wanting to end it all.

I was there when the unsuspecting family heard the news that their son wasn’t coming home.

It was me who told them.

I was there when the medics tried desperately – and hopelessly – to save the life of the domestic stabbing victim.

I was there when the red blanket was placed gently over the body of the innocent man lying in the middle of the road.

I was there when they cut the teenage suspect out of the car, his right leg snapped clean in half.

I was there in the Fish & Chip shop as the owner lay on the floor fighting for breath and life, shotgun wounds peppering his torso.

I was there in the front of the car, cradling the head of a colleague who had been mown down by the driver of a stolen Range Rover.

I thought he was going to die in my arms.

I was there when the snipers took up their positions on the rooftops.

I was there in Parliament Square when the protesters tried to storm the House.

I was there when the mourners wailed and sang hymns on the street where he fell.

I was there by the Away Fans when the bottle hit me in the face.

I was there in the hours before dawn, when the man with a meat cleaver was threatening chaos.

I was there outside Shepherd’s Bush Green Underground Station as the abandoned rucksack lay on the platform, giving off puffs of smoke.

I was there in the mortuary, staring at the body lying under unforgiving light.

I was there when we took the child into police protection.

I was there when the cordons went in.

I was there when the boredom set in.

I was there when my colleague broke down and wept, undone by the horror of it all.

I was there when they discovered the charred body in the burned out flat.

I was there when the suspect threw the punch.

But I didn’t see it coming.

I was there when the shout for Urgent Assistance was heard.

I was there on the 17th floor, talking to the stranger standing out on the window ledge.

I was there when the shots were fired.

I was there when the funeral cortege pulled up in front of the church.

I was there in the middle of winter; in the middle of the night; in the middle of the downpour; in the middle of the crowd; in the middle of the sadness; in the middle of nowhere; in the middle of the laughter; in the middle of the carnage; in the middle of the fight; in the middle of the banter; in the middle of the rescue; in the middle of it all.

I was there.

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20 thoughts on “I Was There

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  1. Like so many You are one of the unsung heroes who have to carry the burden of the job you do. Sometimes a thankless job, but You are there Morning, Afternoon and Night. Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring You are ALL there to deal with and see the things we dont. You are there to help us and protect us and for that there are not enough THANK YOU’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My initial thought was remind me to never go anywhere with you! Seriously my son is a policeman & it scares me to think it could also be my boy who was there. You all do a great job under the difficulties you all face with cutbacks & how cruel our world can be at times. I thank every single one of you. Keep up your hard dedicated work & stay safe 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As I’ve said elsewhere, excellent as usual John. Thankyou. I wonder if May, Winsor etc and esp. the hyper- critical Media would behave as they do if they had spent even one day ‘being there’? I think I know the answer to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What hard hitting, well written words…………………certainly makes you think. I proudly wore the uniform for 10 years and appreciate everything that the services do to keep us all safe – thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for being there. Thank you for choosing to be in a job to be there when many would not. Thank you for continuing to be there for the public and colleagues. Thank you for your efforts in trying to explain to many the real challenges of the job experienced by all officers & staff.

    My hope is that you had / have someone, some people who were or are there with you too.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is truly fabulous John. It will brought a familiar chill. What the rhythm did not allow was with the footballing reference, I was standing next to him at the Emirates on an exchange visit(!) and he insists he stepped in the way to stop me being hit by the said bottle! I am forever in your debt John!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As ever Sir, a Million Thank You’s will never be enough for what you and your Colleagues are and do. So appreciate you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you for being there.
    I am grateful for you and all your colleagues for all the work you do. Some people are too quick to criticise the police, and they fail to see all the good that you do. I pray for your safety every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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