When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have a Tea Break

Ah, those Englishmen. Gotta have their tea, even if they just got a call “See the woman, possible suicide.”

After the wild tea parties were over, the woman was found.


Worse, the tea came from that suspicious Colonial tea vendor, Mickey D’s. What manner of Londoners were these strange rozzers?

Two police officers who went to McDonald’s to buy a cup of tea before responding to a suicide call have been allowed to keep their jobs.

Well, you really don’t want to have the tea after the call, do you? (And especially the biscuits… especially after some of the riper suicides).

PC Gavin Bateman and Tony Stephenson had received a call, graded ‘significant’ by the Met, shortly after midnight on April 16.

But rather than head straight to the home of a woman in Poplar, east London, deemed vulnerable by the London Ambulance Service, they waited 24 minutes before heading there.

Instead, the pair drove to the local fast food restaurant to pick up some refreshments and complete ‘administrative tasks’ before continuing with the call, a misconduct panel heard.

But by the time they reached the woman’s house, almost 40 minutes after a friend had called 999 when she received a suicidal text from the woman, the 22-year-old was found dead.

Yet today a Metropolitan Police disciplinary hearing gave the two police officers written warnings after they admitted misconduct but denied gross misconduct.

Amy Clarke, representing the Met, told the hearing: ‘The call was graded ‘S’, meaning significant, the more significant grading is ‘I’ which means the officer has to attend immediately.

‘PC Stephenson confirmed to the contact centre that they had accepted that call and that they were en route, that was at 00.03.

‘The CAD (dispatch system) went through to the vehicle so the officers could read the details which said ‘police requested for psychotic illness, significant risk to herself or others.

OK, so we get this deep in the story before we learn the two accused cops weren’t told it was an explicit suicide threat, but rather that it was a Crazy Lady call.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a Crazy Lady, copper or not, ought to know that fortifying oneself with the caffeinated beverage of choice beforehand is probably a good idea, and in most cases you will be facing an unpleasant but not life-consequential experience.

‘The officers decided not to proceed straight to the address and went to a nearby McDonald’s where they purchased refreshments before driving to a roundabout where they drank their drinks.

‘At 12.37 the officer’s left and went to [the woman’s] address.

via Police officers stopped at McDonald’s instead of helping suicidal woman | Metro News.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the officers didn’t kill her. Loon killed her self. It is quite difficult to keep a determined suicide from whacking him- or herself; it’s still worth trying, but the failure here is not the officers’. We think the verdict of “negligence deserving reprimand, not gross neg demanding firing” is just about right.

One last thing: if you get a text from a suicidal friend, maybe you’d better not count on Teh Authoritah to go to the friend’s aid.

12 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have a Tea Break

  1. TRX

    > Crazy Lady

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s “robbery in progress” or “possible littering.” You get the call, you GO THERE. You make your snack stop afterward.

    Granted that’s a tough job requirement, but it’s one that lots of people without badges have to abide by in order to keep their jobs. Of course, they don’t have a warrant card and union that lets them screw off on their employers’ time…

  2. BAP45

    Went on a ride along with some nearby pd once. It’s amazing how many times they get these types of calls from the same people. Even in the same day. They literally know them on a first name basis sometimes. I wonder if this was one of those. If they had gotten previous calls for this lady before that could have been a part of it too.

  3. Eric

    People without badges don’t abide by anything these days. To err is to get paid anyway. Freedom is free. And so is disability, social security and welfare for those in their 20s and no one even thinks that is a crime.

    I was not standing up for taking a coffee/tea break when you get a call, but if it was just a crazy woman well, you will be there a long time and get nothing done as a rule, and will go by to see her often whenever she goes off… or he. It is the nature of psychotropics and humanity these days… and no one is going to do it but the cops

    The call was apparently misidentified as life threatening… not an excuse, but I doubt you would put down your cell phone while on the clock to get work done that comes to your desk where you work, in order to be proficient and get the work out chop chop :p

    No one does, sadly.

  4. redc1c4

    call me old fashioned, but, the way i see it, if you collect a pay check to perform a task, you do things the way you’re supposed to do them, every single time.

    if you don’t like following the rules, get a different j*b.

  5. Billybob

    Well now, I have been to a thousand of these. I have also seen staffing so low they pull you off hot calls to go to hotter calls, for ten hours straight, then mandate you to work 4 hours overtime. Politicians in city management don’t care.
    You take the nuts in for 3 day mandatory evaluation and the overworked psyche Drs. Ask you to give them a return ride home.
    Then one day you get the call and they use the responding guy as their way out, not caring he has to live with that. Stop and get your tea damnit.

  6. John M.

    What has Old Blighty become that a bloke can’t get a cuppa without a rebuke anymore? And what’s become of it that the only cuppa was at a McDonalds?

    -John M.

    1. C.Harris

      Well since McDs over here seem fully intent on rebranding themselves as 24/7 coffee shops that also just happen to sell the odd burger, its really not surprising that’s where the bobbies go for late night tea. IIRC I know ambulance crews regularly use McDs car parks when waiting for a call out as they tend to be very close to main roads and at certain times at the weekend where all the trouble happens anyway.

  7. Cap'n Mike

    Usually the dispatchers make the call sound more serious than it turns out to be. For some reason they did the opposite in this case.

    Im a big fan of tea by the way. I prefer it over coffee.
    Tough to get a proper cup when out and about though.
    The water has to be boiling (not just hot) and it has to steep for 6 minutes before the milk and sugar get added.
    The British Government actually commissioned a study to figure that out.
    Two competing standards emerged believe it or not.

    One from the Royal Society of Chemistry

    …and one from the British Standards Institution, which actualy won an Ig Nobel prize for trivial achievements in scientific research.

    Any day now I expect to hear the two groups have gone at it in a bloodbath reminicent of the Twin Peaks restaurant shootout a couple of years ago. ;)

    Tea is taken very seriously over there.

    1. bloke_from_ohio

      My taste in tea is decidedly colonial, but reasonably good tea is simple if you make it by the cup or mug. It is just hot water and some leaves. Purists may scoff, but you can get decent tea bags individually wrapped and a half dozen or more fit in a shirt pocket. Hot water can be acquired all over the place in urban environments. A microwave safe mug will save you from relying on supplies of foam cups and let you exploit office break rooms or kitchenettes. A metal mug will let you do the same in the wild (assuming you have or can acquire water).

  8. Cap'n Mike

    I’m on the move all day, and the drive through places I frequent insist on putting the milk in the cup, then dropping in the tea bag, then pouring in the water. (They tell me it is a legal thing or some such nonsense). This keeps the Tea from steeping properly and tastes terrible. I could go inside, have them pour hot (not boiling) water into a cup with a tea bag and wait the 6 minutes for it to steep, then ask for a cup with some milk in it to pour it into the tea, but Im lazy and end up just getting coffee at the drive through. At home I make it the proper way.
    I am obviously a stickler :)

  9. Cap'n Mike

    I dated a girl that made Tea in the microwave.
    That relationship didn’t last long.

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