I've been working night shifts this weekend and it's been local payday. It's fair to say I've had some "interesting" shifts. A couple of small problems arose with intoxicated patients. In amongst it all I liaised with two groups of Police Officers and gained insight into some views on self protection and Martial Arts.
Firstly we discussed CCTV as we have several cameras in work and Police were seeking the image of one suspect at large. Although the officers conceded that the UK does have the most CCTV cameras per person worldwide they aslo suggested that 90% of footage is useless due to a lack of clarity. There is more to the subject of course, but that is their perspective.
One the officers knows of my Martial Arts and that I'm pragmatically focussed. We discussed abuse that emergency services often receive. My colleague had received some verbal abuse from the family of one patient that the Police had brought us. The feeling of the Police is that this is not acceptable and we shouldn't just see it as part of the job. My personal concern isn't being the victim of abuse or assault but the implications to me should I need to physical act in self defence as part of my job. I feel that patients would react differently to me (5' 10" male 35 years old) becoming authoritive compared to my elder, matronly, female colleagues and I could find myself inadvertedly worsening a situation. I would rather take the bit of verbal abuse and carry on with my job than risk pouring petrol on the smouldering fire. The reason that I express all of this is the response of the officer who disagreed with me but all but commended me for taking this stance. He feels that people such as us, "highly trained Martial Artists," are never a problem to Police as we understand implications of action and know to control ourselves and our emotions. It was a ringing endorsement and so I felt I should share it here.