Skegness is like Miami Vice…… only with socks, rain and tattoos

I grew up on a diet of exciting American cop shows like Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice, while our own home grown TV offered up all the excitement of Inspector Morse gurning over a pint of Dancing Dog real ale. So I guess that although I always wanted to be a cop I actually wanted to be an American cop. I knew I couldn’t be of course, I don’t look American, and I don’t sound American. I haven’t got a cool cop name like Baretta, McGarrett, or Dirty Harry. Dirty Harry – cool as anything isn’t it? Dirty Alf? Not quite got the same ring to it!

I had to settle for joining the blighty ‘boys in blue’ and got stationed at Skegness. Skegness is on the coast and so a bit like Miami Vice only….. with socks, persistent rain and fairly aggressive tattoos (not all spelled correctly).

Don’t get me wrong – I had my moments but it wasn’t quite like those exciting American TV cop shows I’d grown to love. The Californian Highway Patrol had Harley Davidsons – we had Hondas and push bikes. Our American counterparts also know how to sort the bad guys out, they’ve got chain gangs – we’ve got litter pickers on community service helping out the Big Society. They’ve got ‘three strikes and you’re out’ – we’ve got three strikes and we’re going to start counting your strikes soon if you’re not careful.

The US cops also seemed to have a stronger work ethic. When they get suspended they’d put their gun and gold shield on the Lieutenant’s desk and then go out and solve the murder in their own time. I’m not prepared to do that – if I get suspended I’ll just stop at home and watch Ready Steady Cook. If they want me to investigate a murder I want time and a half!

Then of course there’s that dangerous last week in the job, you know the one where the veteran cop gets drawn into that big case and gets shot two days before he was due to retire. I wasn’t risking that one and put a sickie in. That’s one I’ve got over Dirty Harry – he never rang in with gastroenteritis.

Article published in The Scotsman  – 11th August 2014

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