On The Beat with Insepctor Jim Tyner
The things people say... Actually most experienced criminals don’t say a word when they’ve been arrested.
They know they have a right to remain silent and they exercise that right.
There is, however, one well used and often repeated phrase when someone has been arrested: that two word efficacious phrase where the second word is ‘off’.
I was looking through my notes from some of my arrests in my early days as a constable and thought I would share with you a small number of the wide variety of comments made by people at the time of their arrest.
It can be quite revealing and provide an insight into people’s minds:
‘You’re not really arresting me for this?’ is the common reaction of many a drink driver. This is closely followed by ‘But I’ve only had two beers’ (it’s always two beers). However my favourite was ‘I honestly haven’t had a drink’ which came from a drink driver who blew 131 (the legal limit is 35).
‘We’ll see what the Inspector has to say about this’ said another drink-driver. Actually, the Inspector said ‘Well done’ when he heard.
‘Yeah, I suppose you’ve got to, haven’t you?’ was the reply from a man I had just arrested for a fraud. I’m glad we agreed on that, then.
‘There’s not a lot I can say about it, this time’ responded a burglar caught red-handed.
‘It’s not my night’ sighed the dejected young man who was finally arrested having ignored several warnings about his threatening behavior.
‘You’re filth, filth, filth. What are you going to do?’ was closely followed by ‘Ouch’ as the belligerent drunk who had pulled away from me fell backwards into a thorn bush.
‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It’s only a couple of bottles of wine’ responded the man arrested for stealing from a shop. This dismissive attitude is very common among shoplifters.
‘Ooh noo, I’m nay goin’ tae go back tae Scotland’ replied the dejected Scotsman who had just been arrested for failing to appear at a court in Fort William.
‘Take me to the ****ing monastery’ shouted a very loud well-known dancing drunk in Ayscoughfee Gardens one day. I’m still not sure where he thought he was. The cell I took him to wasn’t a monastic one.
‘If I’d been able to find reverse you wouldn’t have caught me. Still, you win some, you lose some. This one I’d lost before I’d started’ replied the hapless man caught in the driver’s seat of a stolen van.
‘You’re not going to believe this, someone just threw it out the window,’ said the young man caught holding a charity collection box outside a pub.
He was right... I didn’t believe it.
‘Well, what do they expect, leaving the door wide open like that’ claimed the burglar I caught helping himself from a town-centre shop’s stock-room in broad daylight. He had a point.
‘I didn’t steal it, I just took it for a ride... last week...and kept it’ explained a cycle thief.
‘Yeah, yeah. I know all that. But you’re out of order for smashing my car’ responded the very angry shoplifter with a boot full of stolen booze, who had tried to drive off from me, so I had had to use my baton to break his car window and arrest him. As though somehow him acting illegally was my fault.
‘You’re a **** Mr Tyner, you love giving me grief’ responded a very perceptive man who had just been arrested for stealing a handbag from a car. He also came out with the dismissive ‘It’s only a bloomin bike’ when caught on a stolen pushbike.
On another occasion he asked the brilliant and almost philosophical ‘Why is it always you? Why is it always me?’ when I arrested him for a burglary.
He wasn’t above simple denial, though, and responded ‘I ain’t done no burglary’ when I arrested him in his kitchen, which was full of goods stolen from another burglary.
Anyone who watches the ‘fly on the wall’ police documentaries like ‘Police Interceptors’ will know that there are certain other comments that regularly feature when someone is arrested. We hear them time and again. If you read my responses, see if you can guess their questions:
‘No, I don’t know who you are.’
‘No, I don’t care that you know the chief constable. So do I.’
‘Yes, you do pay my wages Mrs Tyner and I thank you.’
‘Yes I do have something better to do, but I’m not doing it right this minute.’
‘Yes, I do arrest real criminals.’
‘Yes, you will be allowed to make a phone call.’
‘Yes, you will probably never do it again. But you did do it this time.’
‘No, we can’t talk about it. That moment has passed.’
‘Yes, you will see me in court. That’s rather the point.’
‘Yes, I really love my job.’
And yes, I really have had people say ‘It’s a fair cop, guv’nor’.