‘Get here asap, Doctor Bealard. We’ll have a patrol car at the Bar Lane layby past the Five-Way Island, and escort you to the site under a blue light. But make it there fast, Doc. It sounds pretty desperate from the scene.’
‘Bar Lane layby? the west side of the Island? I should be there in ten minutes – car’s all ready. Leaving now.’
I touched Record, and did a swift log, ‘10.30 p.m. Called out to attend a Road Traffic Collision on the motorway – A big, serious one, from the officer’s description. Two lorries, perhaps three cars. The controller’s stressing how serious it is, four casualties they know of already, one critical, and probably more trapped in a vehicle underneath an artic. All foam-blanketed because fuel’s leaking.’ Touch the red button to sign off – I like to have my own log of incidents, as well as their recordings.
Hi ho – I’m on rota till midnight, but it’s only the second call-out this week. Quick check the bags are in my car. The First Call Doctor is already out at a house fire out of area, so it’s me.
It’s going through my mind as I’m driving off – drips, saline, full bloods… splints, braces, pain-killers… So vital to get to them quickly… And get some sleep before I have to be back on the road in the morning. Long day tomorrow.
Well, we were sitting there in the Underhill layby while the Green Wagon Nightcafe was closing up. Keeping an eye on the truckers for any erratic or suspicious behaviour – boozers or smugglers, our main targets. Boring, boring, boring. ‘Aye aye, Sarge, we’ve got one coming up the rear. He’s doing well over forty.’
‘Let’s have him,’ Sarge says, and I flick the blue on and he swings her out. This feller’s going to keep going. ‘Think you can outrun us, huh? Belt up tight, PC.’ And he pedalled it, screwed her across the carriageway and cut this guy up. Lights everywhere and we’re waving and he decides to pull up before we get to the Five Ways…
‘Offence Number Two, Sarge,’ I mention. ‘Halting a vehicle on the carriageway in a dangerous or unsafe manner.’
He’s just sitting there when we get out and order him out. He never moved. ‘So, he’s being awkward, is he?’ Sarge says, ‘Cover him while I go close.’
So we both had our tasers out and ready, and Sarge goes in, ordering him out and against the vehicle. So out he gets, all mouth and attitude, waving his hands round and shouting the odds and won’t shut his face. ‘Shut up, you old git. Sir.’ I ordered him.
‘Do as ordered. Turn and put your hands on the car.’ Sarge ordered him again. We don’t do three repeats.
But he kept protesting, ‘But I have to be at Five Ways—’
‘He sounds drunk to me, Constable.’
‘You’re in no kind of calm mood to be safe on the Queen’s Highway,’ I told him.
‘Listen to me—’
‘No. You listen to us, Sir.’
‘But I’m needed—’
‘Shut up and get against the vehicle.’
‘I’ve been called—'
I went in closer, taser pointed and ready. That’d calm him down. Quell him if he tried to make a dash for it, or attacked the sergeant.
He says, ‘Calm down yourself, young man; it’s you who’s getting aeriated, not me,’ Still waving his arms round. He moved. Going to reach into the car. Or going for the sergeant. So I’m shouting my warning at him to calm down, and Sarge lets him have it with his taze; so I do as well, to make sure. He’s screaming and on the floor and jerking all round and we kept’em on just a few seconds longer, to make sure he stayed down. ‘Huh, Calling you “Young Man”, eh, Amanda? His eyesight’s not too good, eh? Book him for that as well.’
‘Dump his car on the grass and leave it here. Get him in the back and down the nick – Lord Street Station’ll be fine for one night. Central’s busy. He can pay a visit to the magistrate at nine in the morning. Add resisting arrest to the count.’
And finally on the Midday News… A doctor who was due to be awarded the George Cross at Buckingham Palace this morning appears to have been kidnapped on his way to an emergency callout last night. Dr John Bealard was to have been given the honour in recognition of his conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.
On four occasions he has risked his life treating the injured in hazardous situations. Over the past three years, these have included being under fire from the gunmen who took hostages at the London siege last summer; treating three people trapped in the Islington block of flats inferno; and aiding injured shoppers who had taken refuge in the Dog and Partridge public house during the East End riots two years ago.
Since moving to the Midlands, he was also inside the Waldene Textiles factory after the first collapse during demolition work, treating a work crew. He was the only survivor of the subsequent complete collapse of the factory. Aged seventy-one, he has also been known for his outspoken views on a number of issues.
He is thought to have been forced off the road and kidnapped whilst travelling to a major traffic incident on the motorway, in which five people are known to have died at the scene. His car has been found, looted of his medical bags which contained vital drugs and medical equipment.
The queen has asked to be kept informed of progress. More of this for our Midlands viewers in your local news after this broadcast.
‘Amanda?’ He looked up, still dozy, ‘Get back here in bed. We got ages yet before anybody misses us.’ He glanced across the sparse room that was provided at the Central Police HQ for officers requiring an overnighter. Amanda looks bloody good, he thought. She’d look better back in here.
‘Sarge? I just had a call from Western Division about last night. They were expecting the emergency doctor to meet them at the Bar Lane layby for that motorway pile up. They’re not happy about him – three people died at the scene when he might well have saved’em.’ She sniffed and tried to pull her bra on one-handed. ‘We were the other side of the Five-Ways Island till about twenty-three hundred hours, and I said we didn’t see anything suspicious – no crash or forcing off the road.’
‘No, nothing like that, Amanda, my dear little WPC,’ Sergeant Faibla sat up, pushing the bed covers away, ‘it was just that old trouble-causer we dropped off at Lord Street nick at midnight. The one who was speeding and mouthing off. Had to taze him quiet, didn’t we? I expect they’ll have called the local on-call doctor out for him this morning.’
‘Yeah, looked a bit sicky, dinne?’
‘I’ve no idea, I let you and PC Jackson deal with him once we got there. Walked didn’t he? That’s fit enough. Okay, so he didn’t exactly walk,’ Sergeant Faibla conceded, ‘but he was breathing, wasn’t he?’
Amanda was still struggling to untangle her black tights, paying as much attention as she usually did to anything that wasn’t in bed. ‘Recharged your T26, have you, Sarge?’
‘I love it when you talk dirty like that, Girl.’
‘Think we should go round and fill in the paperwork on him, when we get dressed, eh?’
‘Maybe. In a bit. Stick the telly on, Amanda; see if there’s anything on the news…’