I will answer every question, but it might take me a while.

*Any opinions displayed here are those of the individual and may not represent those of the police, police organisation or governing body. *

Comments: 1963 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

crimson_05554 karma

Ever said 'ello ello, what's all this then?'

a_sword_and_an_oath690 karma

Yes and it brought me a great deal of satisfaction. I'd literally been waiting years for it

a_wandering_man130 karma

What about "You're fuckin' nicked, me old beauty!", a la Life Of Brian?

a_sword_and_an_oath180 karma

I shout "your nicked" as often as possible. But try and refrain from swearing... Unless they made me run. I hate running.

blackflag646 karma

Don't you ever get pissed off that you can't give a smack to some of the little cunts?

a_sword_and_an_oath66 karma

Frequently. But I'm Supposed to be a pacifist.

Caddy66629 karma

how about "Open up, its the pigs?" like Neil from the young ones

a_sword_and_an_oath62 karma

Nope not yet. But now you've mentioned it it'll happen by the end of the week.

Intruder31320 karma

Can you comment on the circumstances in which you got to say it?

a_sword_and_an_oath54 karma

Came across a car with 4 lads smoking weed. I was on foot Patrol at night. It made us all chuckle.

fireflydealership9 karma


a_sword_and_an_oath22 karma

Warnings all round.

icebrain629 karma

from /r/trees we love you!

a_sword_and_an_oath8 karma

I love you too stone man.

Bodizzled299 karma

Is it true there is a place on a mans head, that if you shoot it, it will blow up?

a_sword_and_an_oath43 karma

Didn't you listen to a thing I told you in class?

Hupso170 karma

What's your personal opinion of the British police not carrying weapons in normal situations?

a_sword_and_an_oath352 karma

Luckily we don't need them yet, however I would feel safer if I had an a option of a taser. I gun crime is on the up, but we have very few handgun crimes But I imagine in the future we will need to arm officers. Hopefully not in my lifetime.

Jimmylikebeans149 karma

Ever seen Hot Fuzz? and if so, ever reenacted anything from it?

a_sword_and_an_oath328 karma

I love hot fuzz. So much. The fence chasing hit is pretty realistic. As Danny of course. And I have chased a swan for the best part of an hour.

asistak52 karma

I noticed that you characterized yourself as a policeman. However, official vocab guideline states that men in the service are be referred to as officers.

a_sword_and_an_oath47 karma

Force of habit. Difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.

Kalesche30 karma

I hear that the paperwork is the most realistic bit in the movie. Care to comment?

a_sword_and_an_oath17 karma

True. But they realise this now and are trying to improve things. There will always be a lot of paperwork if you want to put bad guys away.

__LordSir__7 karma

Would you (or other policeman you know) mind if I made a reference or two to Hot Fuzz, when seeing you around?

a_sword_and_an_oath10 karma

Some guy said I was like the cops out of superbad. I loved it. I'm a movie geek, so anything like that is cool.

cuzzard121 karma

do you wear one of those hats that look like a boob?

a_sword_and_an_oath175 karma

Yep, actually quite comfortable. Not great in the sun though. I and the silver nipped keeps falling off.

sfwwest75 karma

Has a pregnant lady peed in it?

a_sword_and_an_oath160 karma

Nope. That's never been a real law. The just happened at the London County fair once.

crm1964118 karma

I am going to be in England for a couple weeks later this month. What is one thing foreigners, especially Americans, do there that they are shocked to find is illegal?

a_sword_and_an_oath308 karma

Drive on the right! Joke, normally the yanks are very respectful and ask first or ate very cautious. I suppose we can be strict with arresting people for public order offences. If you say anything, do anything, display any sign that is offensive, harassing, alarming or distressing it can be an offence under the public order act. A lot of tourists have a drink and then shout "freedom of speech' after they get arrested for a drunken tirade of abuse.

crm196452 karma

Thanks for answering. I actually am a little bit nervous about driving on the left but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. lol.

a_sword_and_an_oath26 karma

Don't panic man, when I travel abroad it takes a little while to adjust. Good luck.

kevinarnold42095 karma

Is there a law that you disagree with, but still have to enforce anyway? Do you usually give a warning or go by the book when you have to enforce said law?

a_sword_and_an_oath216 karma

Not really. We only give warnings for cannabis these days which I think is best. I've never liked arresting people for having a joint. But equally I think if people are stupid enough to break a law so obviously they deserve to get caught.

I suppose I don't really do traffic stuff, I tend to give verbal warnings for things like seat belts. Anything dangerous though, I'll write up.

talina736 karma

Wow you give warnings for seatbelt offences there? You sure are nice. I live in Australia and a girl I know was booked and almost lost her license because a cop THOUGHT she didn't have a seatbelt on, even though she did. Basically she was driving behind a highway patrol car, and in his rear view mirror he saw her scratch her shoulder, which he interpreted as her quickly putting on her seatbelt (but it was on the whole time). So he pulled her over and wrote her a ticket, then started shouting and verbally abusing her when she denied having done anything wrong. Then he got so angry he wrote up 4 more infractions, one for each of her tyres, which weren't even bald, just because he thought they were running low. Poor girl was traumatised for life.

a_sword_and_an_oath30 karma


StuPac8584 karma

Is racism still a thing in the force? You don't hear too much about it these days?

a_sword_and_an_oath234 karma

I've only ever seen two racist officers and both got the sack. Those people are scum as far as I'm concerned. Most of us are Ok. But we are a southern force I hear rumours it's worse up north

a_sword_and_an_oath59 karma

I've only ever seen two racist officers and both got the sack. Those people are scum as far as I'm concerned. Most of us are Ok. But we are a southern force I hear rumours it's worse up north

perche80 karma

What is "a sword and an oath" a reference to?

a_sword_and_an_oath316 karma

The reason I joined the police is because when I started karate I had to swear an oath to protect those less able to defend themselves. (I joined a samurai Buddhist school of karate.) I used to collect samurai swords, recondition them and sell them on. But I had one I loved, and have been working on for years.

I went through a lot of problems as a kid and was homeless for a while. The day I applies to join the police all I had in the world, my mum had thrown out. All I saved was my guitar, my sword and a small bag of clothes. It strick me as I was standing in the dark that all I really had was a sword and an oath.

SoupUser75 karma

That's pretty cool.

a_sword_and_an_oath71 karma

Thanks man. A tough time in my life. But I'm a better cop for it.

nyanpi42 karma

As someone who has lived in Japan for the past 8 years... WTF is a "samurai Buddhist school of karate"?

a_sword_and_an_oath53 karma

Sorry I dumbed it down Massively. My sensai taught karate within the framework of yamamoto musashi 's samurai teachings. He was also a devout Buddhist and would teach buddha' s teachings after class. He was a pacifist and so am I.

OrestesM73 karma

What's the difference between the hats you guys wear? Mainly the peaked cap and the helmets? I see you guys wearing both and I don't know why you have different hats!

a_sword_and_an_oath159 karma

The peaked flat caps were introduced when cars became part of policing. Any officer in a vehicle. Would wear it (not whilst in the actual vehicle) for general duties. For foot duties only a sergeant or above may wear it. Constables wear the custodian helmet. (the one that looks like a boob)

karmerhater18 karma

I read somewhere that the helmets cover the eyebrows because it hides expressions of fear, and seems more intimidating,

a_sword_and_an_oath39 karma

I believe that's what I was told years and years ago. Also it forces you to raise your chin and correct your posture to something befitting an officer.

feureau10 karma

the one that looks like a boob

Has it been worn like one?

a_sword_and_an_oath37 karma

Yes. When bored.

polyvisual54 karma

How would you handcuff a one-armed suspect?

a_sword_and_an_oath67 karma

To a belt loop, belt or ankle.

Narppa50 karma

Should marijuana in the UK be 1. Legalised 2. Decriminalised 3. Moved back to a class C drug 4. kept in its B classification.

a_sword_and_an_oath102 karma

Legalise it but make it illegal to smoke in public. The damage is from the illegal trade not the user's.

KennyLog-in45 karma

OP has verified with the mods.

a_sword_and_an_oath40 karma

Took me a while. Sorry team

iamnotdanethomas42 karma

How do you deal with a situation where a criminal has a gun?

Not trying to be a combative at all, as an American I have just always wondered this! :)

a_sword_and_an_oath105 karma

Nope, it's a fair question. The majority of time a firearms unit gets called in the first instance. There have been a few times when I've been faced with a gun. First tactic is to negotiate, second is to run a and find cover, keeps observed until firearms arrive. The last is to fight. They don't teach how to disarm so you go with your gut. The last time there was a shooting we all ran into the parking lot, we're faced with a gang with huns and we used the moment the of surprise to punch everyone in sight until we had control.

laddergoat8991 karma

and we used the moment the of surprise to punch everyone in sight until we had control.

You tough mother fuckers.

a_sword_and_an_oath68 karma

Nope, scared shitless. Survival mode kicked in.

laddergoat8958 karma

Tough survival motherfuckers.

a_sword_and_an_oath59 karma

You crack me up and warm My heart.

mobomelter11 karma

So when you say firearms unit do you mean that there is a unit that does have guns that comes out? (I guess something like SWAT team in the USA)

a_sword_and_an_oath13 karma

Yeah pretty much.

krevency7 karma

Oh, for a second I thought your typo was serious and you were punching Huns. I was thinking, man England is weird.

a_sword_and_an_oath9 karma

It still is weird

eladku39 karma

In my country most of the population don't think highly on the police and generally don't have a lot of respect toward them.

What do you think can change that?


a_sword_and_an_oath104 karma

Change of culture. Here we suffered from the corruption of the 80's and 90's in the police. It took a huge legislative overhaul. A new culture of public service, anti corruption and diversity. and finally retiring the old school people, only hiring cops who want to dot he right thing.

boxsteam37 karma

alright mate.

I would love to know the effect "24-drinking" had on the nation with regards to public behaviour and the quantity of arrests.

a_sword_and_an_oath37 karma

Honestly, it didn't happen where I work. I wish I could tell you what happened nationally but that information was collected in a study and I don't really know what happened. It made some places a night are to work, like Brighton and Manchester, but I only hear that from pals working there.

ziptime36 karma

Do you know if any of your traffic police colleagues play "vehicle snooker" or is it a myth? i.e. Pull over a red car, then a colour corresponding to snooker ball colours and try to get a high "break".

a_sword_and_an_oath56 karma

Totally true.

They_took_it35 karma

Is being a police officer anything like this?

a_sword_and_an_oath14 karma

Hah a little bit in some areas, our pcso is really good.

KarricZX34 karma

Have you ever agreed with a person you've had to arrest? for example, at politcal rallys and demonstrations things can get very heated and quickly escalate. I attended one demonstration in london a few years back, and one minute it was all peaceful and there were small groups singing together in Trafalgar square, the next minute hundreds of riot police with shields and batons swarmed everyone from all angles, yet any police officer i personally spoke to that night apologised for what was going on and stated they're just doing what they had to even though some of them agreed with the things the demonstration was about. Others werent so lucky though, as i saw 3 police officers beat up an innocent man just cause he happened to be standing in between them and some violent youths throwing bottles.

a_sword_and_an_oath76 karma

Yeah I've totally agreed with some people. I'm also a riot officer and we have protesters who are basically racist and then antifascist protectors. The second group are reasonable but overstep the mark and get upset that they are being arrested. I have to explain that even though the other guys are scum, they didn't go too far.

Sorry you had to see you bad policing like that. It reflects on all of us badly.

ShaniquaAndWot5 karma

EDL and UAF? lol

a_sword_and_an_oath7 karma


medianbailey31 karma

When ever I am lost, I always ask police officers where the best pub is, and I always find my way to a good pub. How do officers have an excellent knowledge of pubs in the area? are you specially trained?

Also kudos to the UK police for always being so nice to lost people :)

a_sword_and_an_oath113 karma

As a police officer we take time to involve ourselves in training, we love you the public so much has that we give up our own time on Friday nights, spending hours to find good pubs.

You're welcome.

RealLifeSuperstar29 karma

What is the weirdest call you have responded to?

a_sword_and_an_oath62 karma

Invisible magicians burgling a guys house. You can imagine my thoughts when I got that call.

deusmachina22 karma

Did you catch the magicians? I'm guessing not, as they were invisible and all. Pretty crafty of them.

a_sword_and_an_oath154 karma

You won't believe this. My colleague who was older and much wiser, faked arresting them, had A fake fight in the house and hauled them off to the car. The guy was so happy. That particular officer is my own personal hero.

deusmachina14 karma

Ha, that's awesome! But now we run the risk that there's a real pack of invisible magician thieves running amok about the country.

a_sword_and_an_oath7 karma

I have set up a squad with my buddy as the head. Don't worry, he's all over it.

purify228 karma

I have a few questions!

  1. I've noticed that a lot of English people seem to think that we have similar laws to the US, case in point freedom of speech. My question here is to what extent do we actually have 'freedom of speech' in the UK? I'm aware we don't have it like the Yanks do but I'm unclear on what the exceptions are.

  2. If someone gets arrested in England and gets processed (fingerprints, mugshot etc) but isn't charged, for what period of time do the police keep that information?

  3. Do you ever get the feeling that there are a lot of people that take an immediate disliking to you just because you're a cop? Where I live people have a negative view of the police even though personally I find it unfair that they have a negative view of the people who are ultimately protecting them.

Thank you for the AMA and your work!

a_sword_and_an_oath37 karma

Freedom of speech is definitely by the human rights act. We have it up to the point you commit an offence. All rights are qualified rights who have mean you have then and can easily exercise them as far as legally possible. Where the police and state can put controls or preventative measures on you. Except the freedom To worship and believe which is absolute. If you think about it even the right to life is not absolute a cop can legally shoot you in certain circumstances.

They stay on forever unless you apply to have them taken off.

Yes some people just hate the uniform. Sometimes they have been abused by the police but the majority of the time they refuse to see how their own actions affect situations a blame none else.

But our job is to break down barriers. I try to end every Contact with a handshake.

sirscoffer23 karma


a_sword_and_an_oath89 karma

I don't mind if I'm not busy. I quite often photobomb tourists

Miannie24 karma

You are a hero

a_sword_and_an_oath18 karma

Nope. But there are a lot out there. But thank you.

drplump23 karma


a_sword_and_an_oath42 karma

So stiff I can barely talk. I have a flourishing Constables moustache.

peskythevillageidiot22 karma

Is a pregnant lady actually allowed to urinate in your hat?

a_sword_and_an_oath55 karma

Nope. It's never been true

ClassicDreamer21 karma

what is the most dangerous situation you've ever been in?

a_sword_and_an_oath50 karma

  1. Heard a bang, ran round a corner, looking down a barrel of a gun.

  2. Chased a dealer over a fence, fell into a brick wall, broke 2 ribs, caught up with him had a fight where I couldn't breath at all.

3.cornered two suspects after a foot chase and had a fight next to a busy road where they tried to push me into traffic.

All we're solved with the application of a very good right hook then left cross.

Mrnotthepd21 karma

Do you think criminals are more likely to fight you because you are unarmed?

a_sword_and_an_oath29 karma

Yes. To be honest. The level of unnarmed violence towards officers has steadily gone up over the years

MaceOfBass7 karma

Of all the AMAs I have ever read, yours is by far my favorite. You seem to have such a great spirit about you. A thanks, for all you do, from across the pond.

a_sword_and_an_oath9 karma

Thank you so much. I kind of felt I had to do this. So people see it from our point of view. And that we aren't all bad.

teh_aviator15 karma

Ever had to deal with a riot?

a_sword_and_an_oath37 karma

Yeah. London riots, as well as some local ones on a smaller scale. Both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. The most physically challenging things I've ever done.

TheLastTrial14 karma

Ever had to stop in the middle of a nice cup of tea to fight crime?

a_sword_and_an_oath41 karma

Yes many a times. I was once attacked mid kebab.

akkahwoop11 karma

Did you like 'Life on Mars'?

a_sword_and_an_oath14 karma

Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Here hunt is a bit of a hero.

Tea2theBag10 karma

Hey. Brit here. First let me just thank you for doing what you do. Don't really get the chance to say that to the police. So thanks mate.

I always want to ask this question but it's never appropriate for face to face. I will understand if you do not wish to answer if it's not something to share.

What is the worst thing you have seen/been to?

a_sword_and_an_oath11 karma

No I understand why your asking. And we'll done for the most appropriate forum. A. Few things really. The most emotion draining is when a young girl told me she was being molested. I hate when people Hurt kids. Suicides are most grotesque, especially under a train. Spousal abuse makes me angry as I hate bullies.

cgajkula10 karma

Weirdest experiance?

a_sword_and_an_oath19 karma

Arresting a blues brother whilst dressed as a pimp.

totallynotmyalterego6 karma

Could you elaborate on this story?

a_sword_and_an_oath6 karma

Yeah I was off duty at a fancy dress party with another cop. Two folks dresses as the blues brothers started drunkenly smashing windows. When uniform Turned up they didn't know what was going on.

The two cops were dressed as a pimp. And a hippy flower child.

yesterdayscat9 karma


a_sword_and_an_oath9 karma

In a lot of areas they are seen as a waste of money by officers. But in a few like mine they are valued. I promise.

eruptinganus8 karma

Have islamaphobic crimes been on the rise since the woolwich incident. Ive heard some pretty bad stories about stuff thats been happening to muslims lately. I mean my parents are scared of me going out of the house with a prayer hat still on.

a_sword_and_an_oath3 karma

Nationally yes a big rise. But n my area we have 3 mosques and only one issue so far. Hopefully no more

horrorshowmalchick8 karma

Out of interest, I once asked a police officer on the beat what my rights would be if I was arrested. I also asked at a front desk at a station. In both cases, they refused to tell me.

Why wouldn't they say, and do you think this sort of secrecy breeds trust in our police force?

a_sword_and_an_oath11 karma

They were both idiots. No reason at all to be like that. You have a right to have someone informed, or speak to them at your own cost. A right to legal rep, yours or a duty solicitor. A right tot read the codes of police practise.

Any of these rights can be delayed if vital to the investigation.

Blackcrusader8 karma

What do you think of any barristers you come across?

a_sword_and_an_oath13 karma

Most of them are bloody good at their jobs. It's lawyers and legal reps I generally have run ins with. 90 % are good. But as with all jobs, a few unprofessional, corrupt or just down right incompetent

a_sword_and_an_oath5 karma

Most of them are bloody good at their jobs. It's lawyers and legal reps I generally have run ins with. 90 % are good. But as with all jobs, a few unprofessional, corrupt or just down right incompetent

awan0018 karma

What is the most disturbing incident you have witnessed? And on the other hand, what was the funniest?

a_sword_and_an_oath18 karma

Witnessed ; probably domestic attempt murder I saw him stab her as I was running up. Funniest was when I saw a conga line of smurfs go through a firearms hostage stand off.

Willsturd7 karma

I live in California where gun laws are very strict yet we still have very high crime rate and gang violence. What is your opinion on citizens having the right to bear arms?

a_sword_and_an_oath19 karma

We have no need here, nor any historical imperative. There are plenty of non lethal defences available. Marker sprays and such like. With cctv, mobile phones etc. There is rarely a case to argue to bearing arms. Here. The crime Rate is just so low.

dgcaste7 karma

Do people have a hard time taking you seriously with the checkered taxi hat, or is that just us?

a_sword_and_an_oath12 karma

Nope. I give them other reasons not to take me seriously. People have got used to the taxi hat.

phaserrifle7 karma

Do you have any tips/advice for people who are looking to join?

a_sword_and_an_oath13 karma

Research the job thoroughly, be prepared to have zero social life, and it takes years to get in. Be prepared for an uphill struggle. I promise, it's worth it.

Mr_Insulin6 karma

What are your thoughts on the happenings in Woolwich a few weeks ago?

a_sword_and_an_oath10 karma

It was Terrible I hope those guys go to prison for life... Then die there of old age.

TheGreenGold5 karma

What was the most disgusting situation you've come across?

a_sword_and_an_oath14 karma

A guy had gangrene with maggots coming out of his legs and arse. He assaulted a nurse so I arrested him, and found the maggots during a search. Bleugh

iverson14445 karma


a_sword_and_an_oath18 karma

He is at large. Repeat the swan is still at large.

bdamn2 karma

What's your perfect Sunday?

a_sword_and_an_oath11 karma

Ahh... I'll deal with this one sergeant.