My son was pulled over for an alleged 65 in a 30mph zone. The police officer arranged to see him at home. My son was very nervous as he is just about to start his Army recruit training.
A single police officer parked outside my house in a marked vehicle, which was embarrassing. My son asked for his dad, my ex-husband to sit with him. The police officer was a massive, threatening man and very military in his style. He was curt but polite with me, and sat down at my kitchen table with my son and my ex. The officer told me that he would be using “blunt and coarse language” with my son.
My son asked me to leave, but I recorded the conversation on my phone, through the door, which wasn’t difficult. The officer was incredibly rude and loud. One of the more repeatable things that he said to my son was: “I am fed up of scraping dickheads like you off the road with a shovel, and into a bag.”
About the only swear word that he did not use was the C word. The officer told my ex-husband that he would not write my son up for dangerous driving as my son had “passed the attitude test”, and he was not prepared to damage my son’s military career. My ex is also ex-Army.
I want to complain about this officer, even though my son does not want me to do so. The officer’s language and behaviour were outrageous. My son knows that what he did was wrong, but he wants to let sleeping dogs lie. However, I did not bring my son up to be shouted and sworn at. Should I ignore my son and make the complaint?
Leave it alone. The police officer exercised his discretion. 65mph in a 30 is double the speed limit and is usually a dangerous driving charge, which would stop your son joining the Army, or at the very least significantly delay it. I have listened to the audio, and I can promise you that your son will hear a lot worse than what the police officer said to him during his first two days of basic training. The police officer certainly spoke fluent NCO. You do not get to be that effective at swearing without at least two stripes on your arm.
So If you Ignore your son’s wishes, and my advice, what happens?
The officer may be disciplined by the Police’s own Professional Standards Department for his ingenious use of the English language, but the message got home to your son. The police officer may well be able to say that in his discretion he thought the best way to talk to a young lad was to be brutally blunt to him as to the consequences of his actions. That could well fall within his range of discretion.
Even If the PSD take the view that the use of language was excessive, the most likely thing that would happen to this officer would be that he would have to go on a half-day training course, so that he does not upset somebody else’s mother. However, there is a very significant drawback to your son. If you complain about the officer, the complaint will go to the Constable’s Sergeant, who may well decide that writing up your boy for dangerous driving is the correct thing to do.
So the officer, who in my opinion did some good, old-fashioned coppering may have a half-day at a swearing re-education camp on his disciplinary record, but your son’s military career might well be ended. So tread carefully. If it were my son, I would be pleased that the police officer took the time and trouble to deliver a truly spectacular bollocking, rather than just nick my son for dangerous driving.
Your son does not want you to do this, because it could really mess up his life, and as I am sure his dad and your ex-husband has said to him, he will hear a lot worse when he is going through his recruit training. Honestly, just leave it alone.
Fast Bikes May 2019