Tuesday, March 10, 2009

999 - previous calls

I had put my baby in the push-chair. Had to go back to the kitchen to clean my hands. Looked across the road and saw the side door to my neighbour's house flapping about.

Strange. I knew they were away. I had been given the keys to go water the plants and did once. Why was the door open?

I wheeled baby over, unlocked the door and stepped into their house to the scene I want to but cannot forget.

My Brazilian neighbour (now a court interpreter) is the most meticulous housekeeper. She even irons her underwear. Everything has its own place.

What I saw was dirty footprints on the carpet, drawers left open, some garden tools and the door still flapping about. Clearly someone had broken in.

I locked the door, got the baby back into the house and phoned 999. I was hyperventilating. The police operator kept telling me, "Calm down, calm down. Take a deep breath."

I was so angry, so cross, that someone had broken into my neighbour's house while it was 'in my care'. How is she going to feel when she comes back to this mess?

I then phoned another young mum (we met at a 'baby group') who wisely said, "Make yourself a cup of sweet tea." I didn't know sweet tea had such a calming effect.

The police did come and questioned me and secured the house. The scene of crime people came and dusted for finger prints. A couple of days later we arranged for a baby-sitter to come to keep an eye on our baby while husband and I went over to clean up. We positioned a cupboard door in her hall way such that we could stick up a note to warn her of what happened before she saw the main mess.

They could have phoned, but didn't. We also didn't want to spoil their holiday. So they found out when they came back. We quickly arranged to have a security alarm installed in our home. The picture of my friend's home all messed up -- violated -- made me want to puke.

Then she had so much trouble claiming insurance, etc. Such hassle.

A few years ago while my son (probably five years then, I think) was at a drama class I went to the nearby shopping precinct to do some shopping as I needed food. I saw what appeared to be a 'pack' of teenagers hounding another young, very scared looking teenager.

A pack of about 15 youths (at least) were following this young man. They had their shoulders hunched, making menacing sounds and scenes from Lord of the Flies came to mind.

When I stepped into M&S I saw that they had begun to run after this chap. I feared for his life and whipped out my phone and called 999. I watched from the safety of M&S and then the quarry ran into a shop opposite. He must have asked for help as someone quickly locked the doors and kept the other baying youths outside.

I was on the phone describing what I saw to the operator. I do not remember what the outcome of that call was. I cannot believe young people can behave like that. But clearly they do.

I had to finish my shopping and get on with life. I trust that the young man was safe and given some protection by someone.

Then the next 999 call was at the same shopping precinct. A punch-up, and some blood. Everyone thought everyone else would call the police. But nobody did. So I did. (See earlier post.)

Maybe my phone number is black-listed now!

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