Meet Police Constable Luke Kennett. PC Kennett has been a response officer with Bedfordshire Police for 14 years, after joining in 2001. It’s a job he’s wanted to do since he was young, motivated by other family members who were in the police.
In this post, he talks about just one of the thousands of shifts he has done during his time as a bobby on the beat.
Over the years there have been massive changes to frontline policing; most of them for the better.
I am often asked by people; “What do you want to specialise in?” I often think about this and my answer still remains the same. Response policing is a speciality.
I come into work each day, I turn my radio on, get a set of car keys and the next 10 hours are unpredictable, challenging, stressful but rewarding.
That is why I love response work. You hear your call sign come over the radio from the control room and that’s it, the wonder of what you are going to be attending.
This call for me is an immediate possible break-in progress. My body is tired – I started my shift at 9pm and have been in the town all night dealing with the night-time economy.
It’s now 6am and I’m due to be finishing in an hour.
I’m mentally fatigued but now I’m on my way to this emergency call and my senses are on full alert as I blue light my way there.
I arrive and go to the flat where I’m faced with an abusive male who is well known to me. He lives at the flat and has not broken in. He is with his partner and she confirms she is ok.
We go to leave, sit in the police car and as we are about to drive off a neighbour approaches us. She shows us mobile phone footage with the male assaulting the female.
The situation has now changed. This is not something we can leave. We need to protect the victim.
Back we go to the house. We can hear an argument taking place inside. Lots of screaming and shouting. Nobody will come to the door now.
I call for back up – I know the offender and I know he will not come with me quietly. I look at my watch and see the time is now 6.30am. I should be going home in 30 minutes and getting into bed.
But 14 years’ experience has taught me I don’t have a finish time. I go home when my work is finished.
Still no answer. I have no choice left. I kick the bottom panel of the door out and we crawl though.
The offender immediately jumps up. He is in my face, struggling, and I can’t get the handcuffs on him. He kicks out, striking me on my leg, which makes me drop to one knee from the pain.
We manage to get the handcuffs on him and he’s soon in custody.
9am. I have finished. I’m shattered and my bed is well and truly calling.
Today I see this as just a normal day in the office for a patrol officer.
Late finishes, violent incidents, helping victims of crime, and being the first contact from Bedfordshire Police.
We all do this time and time again.
When I wake up, I will dust myself off and start all over again.
That is the life of a frontline officer and that is why I love my job.