‘Some 2000 years ago, on a crisp autumn evening, a group of friends got together.
They believed that this was the time of year when ghosts and ghouls descended upon Earth, and that the boundaries between the living and the deceased became blurred.
Halloween was born.
Here I am, 2000 years later, sat in the front of a Vivaro van kitted out head to toe in black – my choice of costume for the evening.
It’s the 31st of October, and just like 2000 years ago it appears as though the undead have once again risen from six feet under.
Packs of late night revellers emerge from the clubs before dragging themselves towards the nearest kebab van.
4 police officers huddle up together, surrounded by hordes of blood-stained millennials, as they pray that the rest of the evening will pass without another bust-up.
Halloween is always one of the busiest nights of the year, and tonight has been no exception. I’ve split up a fight between Primark’s version of The Joker and a very well fed Deadpool.
I’ve arrested a pirate for sexual assault and given a rather inebriated cowboy a direction to leave the city centre. It’s close to sub zero temperatures and some of the women look as if they are off for a week in Barbados.
Despite the frightful sights and sounds, our team of Police officers all are in relatively good spirits; sweets left over from home have been brought in and distributed around the van, ‘The Monster Mash’ is playing on the radio and the usual banter between colleagues is strong.
As far as Halloween goes, 2018 has so far been a success. There is just one unsettling element; the big, shiny, round moon that is sitting high in the sky, quietly observing the chaotic streets from above.
Now if you work in the emergency services you will know that like the word quiet a full moon can mean absolute carnage. As a result you have police officers checking their watches every 5 minutes counting down the minutes until we get the stand down.
Knowing that at any minute the big milky ball in the sky could summon its friend chaos upon the streets.
20 minutes to go. A street fight where no one is making any complaint. I let out a sigh of relief. 15 minutes to go. Two lads have falling out and are squaring up to each other and eventually kiss and make up. 10 minutes to go. An aggressive clubber being ejected sees sense and opts for a kebab and taxi.
5 minutes to go. Almost there. Oh no wait….CARNAGE.
10 people fighting in a pub. Bottles flying and reports of people being knocked unconscious and with head injuries. As we pull up the pub has turned into a Wild West saloon. We pour out of the van and into the midst of it.
Shouts of “MORE UNITS” and “CAPTOR CAPTOR” can be heard.
I grab hold of someone who’s swinging more than my girlfriend’s mood and take them to the sticky beer drenched floor. I look up and see high vizs grappling with the remainder of the clientele. More units’ rush in the door and finally the situation is semi controlled.
Leg restraints and spit hoods are applied and the drunken warriors are carried to the back of the Police vans.
Turns out the fight started because a member of one group stared a bit longer than he should have at one of the other groups’ girlfriend.
Now from speaking to my colleague who caught a glimpse of her she was most certainly not worth the criminal conviction for affray.
5 arrests later and several statements we were back at the station, two hours off late and feasting on the only sweets left (Purple violets of course) We try to remain positive but at the same time cursing our luck.
It’s been a long night and the team is knackered. It was going so well like so often it does. One of the worst and best aspects of the job is its uncertainty and the capability of it changing in an instant.
One minute you are sitting in a van of officers joking and planning your day off tomorrow, the next you are slapping the cuffs on Papa Smurf for trying to take a bite out of supermans face.
The moon has said its goodbyes and the refreshing sight of an autumn sun rises in the clear sky.
Despite being two hours off late and dying of tiredness there is one thing I must do before I leave for home.
Something I should’ve done a long time ago, something that tonight has taught me and I will never forget.
It flashes up on my computer screen. “Your annual leave for the 31st October 2019 has been approved”.
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