The rest of this, until just above the picture, is about my current work in child protection, so please don't read it if it will be upsetting.
My team is small (but, they inform me, perfectly formed). Honestly, it's frequently a very odd office - well, room - to work in. We're a bit squashed in, and frequently 3 or 4 people will be sitting at their desk, headphones on, notebooks out watching what would commonly be called pornography, but is in fact abuse. Until you've spent a whole day trying to note down every distinguishing feature on an offender and their surroundings whilst doing your best to ignore the actual content of the video you can't really understand how horrible parts of this job are.
On the one hand, it's a nice feeling to think you've 'saved' victims - albeit too late, obviously, for the ones you know about, and the ones you've saved before it happens, well, neither of you will ever know that. Because I'm under no allusion that without being caught these people would ever stop offending.
on the other hand, sending a body to a morgue for PM and having forensics hopefully give you a plateful of evidence will forever be easier and more pleasant all 'round than trying to interview a terrified 4 year old for evidence.
So, it's a job that is unbearable hard, but also incredibly worthwhile, and I'm still coming to terms with that, whereas most of the team are old hands and better at this than I am. Overseeing kids being removed from their parents/guardians, making decisions about informing completely unsuspecting parents about what's happened to their kid, explaining to wives (so far it's only been wives, although obviously won't always be) why we are arresting their husbands, and watching them realise their marriage has been full of lies, it's all...wearing. And wearying.
Which is why one of the things I'll be bringing back to my team is our 10am tea-break, where everyone who's in the office is welcome to gather around, with a brew and discuss whatever they want - from casework, to something that's made them cry, to how bad their suspect smelled when arrested - whatever, it's a time to share experiences and ideas, and it works really well. Brings everyone together, keeps everyone up on what other cases we have in.
On a far brighter note, both Mrs Holmes and John's parents and Nicky have all invited us for Christmas...or part of it, given work.
And here's a picture of the rugby we went to see. I believe if you look closely you can see SH, winning the trophy ;)
|NZ, doing the Haka at Namibia.|
Aaaaand....there was a great clamouring for another Upstanding Column (well, okay, one of you asked). So...have at it. As always, all information given is completely unfactual and entirely possibly wrong ;) the topic is anything, from recipes to romance, pet care to plumbing.