Police Action

When Sir David McNee, who headed the crack London Metropolitan Police Force, addressed the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, he gave an example of British police humor by quoting the following parody of a Metropolitan Police examination question.

"You are on patrol when an explosion occurs on the next street. Upon investigation you find a large hole and an overturned van lying nearby. Inside the van there is a strong smell of alcohol. Both occupants, a man and a woman, are injured.

"You know he is an unlicensed driver and his passenger is the wife of your inspector. A motorist stops to offer assistance, and you recognize him as a felon wanted for armed robbery. Suddenly, another man runs out of a nearby house shouting that his wife is expecting a baby and that the shock of the explosion has brought the birth imminent. At that moment, you hear someone crying for help, having been blown into an adjacent canal by the explosion. He cannot swim. Describe in a few words what you would do."

Sir David then said that one of his bright young officers was alleged to have given this problem some thought. The officer picked up his pen and wrote: "Remove uniform and mingle with crowd."