Detective Constable Dave Brecknock features in Episode Four of 24 Hours in Police Custody and deals with a suspected robbery in which a man is viciously assaulted. He has worked for Bedfordshire Police for more than two decades.
What you see on TV is only a tiny snapshot into what working for the police is really like.
In Copeland’s case, as shown in 24 Hours in Police Custody, the guy was nicked following a vicious attack, and decided to give us a ‘no comment’ interview.
His mum thought she was helping the situation by coming in to give a statement on his behalf, but working on the times of when the incident happened, there was no way she could have been there.
By the time we got him back into custody we had all the positive IDs of him we needed to get the charge.
Generally, I don’t feel for the offenders I dealt with while working as part of the robbery unit.
I process the work without emotion and try not to get personally involved.
That way, I can present the evidence in the best way to the Crown Prosecution Service.
When dealing with robbery and violent crime, their past shouldn’t have any bearing on why they did it.
In domestic-related or sexual offences, you may have to take into account the offender’s family history but for me, investigating a robbery is a sterile corridor –it’s about doing all I can to get the best service for the victim.
When it’s a violent crime you feel for the person who has been attacked. If you fail them, that’s the end of the road for them because there’s no sense of justice or compensation.
The only satisfaction they get is if their attacker is brought to justice.
If someone has been smashed in the face with a concrete block, you feel motivated to try and get that nasty offender locked away for the pain they’ve caused for the victim.
In some cases they feel fearful to even leave their front door.
Being a copper for more than 20 years – the job becomes your life. I think some people were born to do this job.
You are never off-duty . You’re always in the mindset of a police officer.
Even if you’re on a night out and see a fight take place or someone stealing from a shop, you step in.
You don’t try to put yourself in harm’s way, but that instinct to protect people instantly kicks in.
If you can just walk on by, you’re not truly a copper.