Monday, 23 January 2017

The case of the missing Panda




Many years ago I was a policeman in the now long gone Birmingham City Police. I worked in the City Centre ( I may recount how I got to be there at some point).
Most police officers walked and a few unfortunates had to drive the several Panda Cars. Being a driver was not popular as you got all the rubbish jobs. Any way I won't go into details here about that.

I was designated driver for one of these Austin 1100 Pandas one afternoon shift. It was a fairly quiet shift and after refreshments I decided to park up and go for a walk. Later I went into the police station and booked off after a quiet shift. I was due two days off and went upstairs to my room where I lived and got changed.

Two days later I was back on shift. During the briefing the Sergeant asked if anyone had any knowledge about the Panda Car and gave a call sign. I started to blush and felt in my tunic pocket feeling the familiar shape of the keys for said car. I had parked it up in a quiet side street and eventually walked back to the police station booking off and taking two days leave.

I decided to say nothing and when allocated a beat diverted (risky as being off your beat area was a discipline offence in those days) to find the missing panda. It was still there and unbelievably un-blemished. Now should I come clean or risk returning it to the yard and say nothing. I decided to do the right thing and return it without saying anything.

Nothing further was ever said although I am pretty sure the sergeant knew as it wouldn't take much effort to work out who was last allocated it.

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