Life before

I have decided to write a blog about some of my life experiences, most of which moulded me into the woman I am today. My first is an experience from my days in the Police where I dealt with many cases involving Children. I will try hard to keep each case anonymous. If anybody reading this thinks they may have identified the incident or people involved PLEASE do not reveal any identities. I don’t want to have to deactivate my Twitter Account.

The irony of this blog is that, as I type it, I can hear “Children in Need” in the background on TV, illustrating that this is not a one off case. It was not the catalyst to write this blog as Mr M and I have been talking about it for several weeks, but again it just goes to show the fight goes on to protect all children all over the world from whatever danger they are facing.

Please give generously.

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In hindsight, life in Magnet Mansions was never normal. My children never knew if Mummy would be home to tuck them in or indeed give them breakfast. I relied heavily on Mr M and the Au Pair to pick up the slack. I love Mr M for that deeply, he is a brilliant Father and a wonderful Husband.

It was 8am. I had coffee in my hand and was trying hard to listen to my children tell me about their last two days. They were excited to see me and even though I was exhausted I was very pleased to see them. Then the kitchen suddenly filled with the dreaded sound of my Job mobile ringing. Both of my children knew I would have to leave. I cuddled them, gave them kisses and told them we would be on our Christmas Holiday soon.

I answered the phone and walked upstairs “Sorry Katie I know you did not finish till 2 am but “They” have been found, they’re alive but in bad shape. The Officers on scene are distressed and the Locals cannot deal. There is a car on its way to collect you and the Duty Officer will meet you there.” “How long have I got “ I replied “ Ten minutes max, sorry mate I dispatched the car before the Local Officers got to the scene. Call me back when you’re on route and I will update you “. “Well I have had a coffee so I guess you’re forgiven “. I replied.

I grabbed my stuff, turned out the fairy lights on the Christmas tree and left.

I was updated in the car as it drove me to the scene. “They” were 5 children. The eldest was aged 10 and they had come to notice over 200+ times. I had sat in Case Conferences where Agencies had promised to complete actions, but No Reply Repeated Knocking, had clearly taken on another meaning to them. All I really knew before arriving at the scene was that the Local Officers were distressed, which is always a bad sign. The 10yr old had gone to a  phone box in her dressing gown and called 999 to say they where home alone. The Parents/Carers had not yet been located and there was a Flagship that makes people run for the hills, there might be possible Mental Health issues.

I arrived at the scene. The car parked outside the house. It was a nice street with some lovely houses. As I gathered my things the Duty Officer walked towards me. I knew instantly he had kids, even though I had never seen him before, his look gave it away. To describe his look is difficult, he had an emptiness in his eyes, where you could tell that what he had seen would remain with him forever. He was desperate to understand. I knew his kids would have extra cuddles when he got home. I also knew if he ever saw me again the same look would drift over his face before he looked to the ground, collected his thoughts and then acknowledged me.

Briefly he told me the children were inside, they were fine but severely neglected. Social Services had just arrived. I asked why they had not been taken to Hospital but already knew the answer, no one had taken control.

As I walked towards the house I saw a young Officer clutching a wall, he had vomit on his shoes and a look that still killed me even though I had seen it so many times before. He had an expectation that I had a reason or an explanation for what he had witnessed. I opened my briefcase gave him some wet wipes to wipe his face and shoes and told him I would speak to him at the debrief.

The Social Worker stood at the front door “My colleague is upstairs, we are just waiting for our Managers to make a decision “ The smell hit me immediately, I could understand now why the Officer had vomited. I walked into the house with the Social Worker following me twittering away, she said “We are so sorry we never thought anyone lived here, we have been to look but we couldn’t believe anyone could actually live here !” I turned and asked “How did you know that?” Their reply made me very sad. “We looked through the letter box, it looked so bad we thought it had been trashed by squatters”. My first thought was “What the fuck am I fighting against, you or criminals? Are you one and the same? My reply was “I am here now let’s all calm down and deal with what we need to”.

The house was situated over three floors, to say trashed and filthy would be an understatement, so I won’t bother describing it. I walked into the lounge and that is when I saw “Them”, 5 children, 5 precious lives that looked empty, weak and filthy.

The 9 month old baby lay quite on a soiled mattress, in what once could be described as a white baby grow. The room was freezing, I scooped the baby up. It looked into my eyes and had a natural reflex to grab my shirt for comfort. An Officer in the corner of the room said, and I will never forget this in all my days “Careful “it” has lice, possible scabies “ At that moment I turned to the Social Worker and said “Hospital now, we will work out the rest from there “. Inside I was thinking “What am I battling against this time”. Had they fallen through the net, had the System fucked them over or was there just no love in this family?.

To be continued …

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About athousandhats

I fight for what I believe in and will stop at nothing to protect my family, friends and colleagues. I have a military and Police background and fight for the rights of Children . This blog is to help the wonderful world of twitter, to understand a little about me. My account is anonymous and I hope in reading this blog you will understand why .
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49 Responses to Life before

  1. louise says:

    very emotional reading .” to be continued” i know it will continue forever and that makes me very sad.. xxx

  2. Mrs Rural Sgt says:

    Brilliant writing Katie. I was waiting for the tears to flow… I NEED to read the rest, soon! Well done x

  3. Carol Brodie says:

    Wow very powerful; take my hat off to you, what a job. I await the next chapter with anticipation and trepidation.

  4. Uniformresponse says:

    Mrs M I can’t even begin to put into words how good this blog is. My biggest mistake was reading this on the treadmill in the gym. It really is hard to fight the tears back & breathe with a lump in your throat.
    I can empathise with the officer outside and the duty officers emptiness having seen similar.
    Please continue blogging this a heart wrenching emotional journey I want to keep reading

    UR
    X

  5. Lia Stanton says:

    I had tears in my eyes reading this Katie x

  6. Thank you all so much for your feedback, I am so happy to share my experiences and am shocked at the response. Thank you x

    • Iboof says:

      It must help to get this out. Brought back some memories for me. Very well written and well done

      • Thank you very much for your feedback 🙂 It has been a journey to write but I have enjoyed it. Part 3 will be done by the end of the week. Are you on twitter ? Do I follow you please make yourself known. Thanks again x

  7. DIPS says:

    Tears rolling down my face. But glad you are sharing.
    Hoping those kids got their happy ending & will read next installment with interest. X

  8. Unbearably powerful. Well done.

  9. Mrs Plod says:

    Crazy to think that people live like that and treat their children that way! I was welling up reading it… Don’t even get me started on Social Workers!!!

  10. andrew says:

    Shocking, as a father I can’t believe what you have saw, never mind wrote. Moved to tears. I really hope all has or is turning out well for the 5 precious little ones, I hope to see it or read it soon.

  11. Ruby says:

    Brings tears to my eyes! I’d do an have done exactly what u did, baby children, scooped up an held because scabies lice whatever I’d rather have a cold shower n burn my clothes than just stand there, but I understand people react differently! My Sgt once said to me “you can’t impose ur own morals onto families” still tugs my heart but I try to make sure I do what’s right! One can only try! Thanks for putting into words what is sometimes kept from public eye until the inevitable happens !!!  #hope!

  12. graham barnes says:

    Can’t beleave this happens in the uk. Breaks my heart didn’t the neighbours think something was up ?

  13. Response Bobby says:

    A very good read Ms Magnet. You have talent also!

  14. Barry says:

    Sat here at work reading the blog..tears in my eyes and an aching pain in my heart knowing they are not alone and we as a society allow it to happen in some respects as we are to much ‘must keep them together at all costs culture’ ahem no not if keeping them together is harmful in the long term for the children then NO..the law must change(family law) all I hear is our hands are tied..well lets untie them…lets have medical/police and social workers making a joint decision on children not I am the professional I know best surely that culture must go if neglect is clear and consistant then i am sorry but removal is the only option, what sickens me is as a society we cannot stop people who neglect their children having more..that has to be morally wrong, how can anyone say that having them made infertile by the state for the protection of future children is wrong, if you neglect your children over a consistant time then surely that is something you must face unless we as a society are prepared to let unborn children be born into a world where we know they will be neglected by their parent?

    • A very powerful response! There are many reasons why family units fail and it is vital each case is treated as unique and the care package provided tailored to the family needs. Thank you for your wonderful feedback x

  15. Barry says:

    I understand that but if you have say woman A who has had all 3 children taken off her one by one because she is incapable of looking after them for whatever reason and each child was subject to neglect then allowing her to become pregnant as a state is in affect neglect as we know the end result how many times does it have to happen before the state are allowed to say enough is enough no more children will suffer or is it a case of , wait and see she might not do it this time, I do not think as a society that we should take those sorts of chances with children’s lives do you?

    I think we are good at mopping up but our prevention on all sorts of things from crime to abuse is woeful and thats the sorry thing because if we put more money into prevention the vast sums spent on rehab and protection might never ever be needed am i wrong here?

    • I understand the frustration in many cases. I would not like to be in a position to say who can and who can not have children. Many people have the capacity to change over their life times and develop bonds with their children at different stages of their lives. I fully agree that prevention always is better for everyone involved.

  16. faustb says:

    If prevention is the way why dont we as a society practice it? If I neglect any animal, and I am convicted and taken to court I am banned from keeping animals for a number of years we need the same legislation applied to parents convicted of neglect(banned for a number of years from having more children) not what we have now which is wait and see who does that help precisley?

    • There are babies that are removed at birth ! As I stated before each family is unique. I am not a Social worker and the care packages that are put in place are complex. As a society we should all protect children and that is why I wrote the blog to raise awareness. x

  17. faustb says:

    I know there are babies that are removed at birth, I have seen that on TV and read it elsewhere but surely the pregnancy should have been prevented in the first place, however I agree that is a mindfield and very difficult, I take in these cases the the potential mother is warned if they have children they will be removed from them for their own protection? I believe a change in legislation is needed here and realise that our hands are tied somewht due to being in Europe which I also want out of!!

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  19. your a woman with amazing strength

  20. Constable Goody says:

    Let me know when the next instalment is up. Waiting with abated breath !

  21. ExRNnowpolicestaff says:

    Oh eff! Thanks for writing that and for doing a job nobody should have to do. I hope that when you get time to finish the ‘story’ off it will have a better ending than the one that seems sadly to have happened already as far as lives that will need a lot of healing, and is most likely given the state of the social services provision on display.

  22. this is great piece, v sad – it’s hard to believe this can happen – what is that band called that say “are we human?” because sometimes I wonder…

  23. Reblogged this on © StretLaw™ 2011, 2012 and commented:
    StretLaw readers, take a look at this piece: this is great piece, v sad – it’s hard to believe this can happen – what is that band called that say “are we human?” because sometimes I wonder…

  24. e(special)ly unique says:

    I have seen similar and worse and experienced unbelievable naivety from social services edt but there are still tears rolling down my cheeks. So well written. Very powerful.

  25. Ampers says:

    You have a great style of writing, urgent, exciting…

    Ampers.

  26. @peekiecaz says:

    OMG, not much i can say to above honey, i just cant understand ppls reasoning, maybe thats cos i had a good upbringing and my kids although they witnessed DV and have issues of their own atm are ok, One became known to police and in care and the other through therapy atm, but to actually see this and know that ppl have to wade through this sht and deal with it, and thats not including the kids, as strong willed as I may be I couldn’t do it. This is one of the reasons above many why i am a staunch supporter of all our services. I await the next installment X

  27. barb ellis ______@ladyhunnybee says:

    Reading your blog,angers and sickens me to the core,that still today familys have to go though such hell,,been married to a police officer for 30 yrs I’m aware off such things ,,,I was had a mom who was a drinker we were never washed or had clean clothes ,I got told off day at school cause my smell upset the other children,,that was manys ago ,,and still children like those slip though the net ,,,,very very sad ,,good to a happy ending for the family just a pity after 74 calls no one heard there crys xx

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  30. @karensmate (Jacquline) says:

    What an amazing job you were doing. Just beggars belief that anyone could leave those poor wee souls in that state. Hope they have been rescued & given the love & care they deserve

  31. ray.packham@mac.com says:

    Excellent blog… on a harrowing subject, thats all i can really say…

  32. Chris Thomas says:

    Katie it’s impossible to give the true sense of a situation like that without having been in a similar situation…. I have worked in an inner city for a good few yrs and seen more than my fair share of stuff like u discribe but when it’s little kids it just rips u to bits inside! I never cease wonder how on earth people can do some of the things that they do to each other but when they do it to kids it takes ur breath away!! Great blog thanks!

  33. debradml says:

    Wow Katie I hadn’t read this one….phew unreal to read! Thank-you for sharing though. I help with my son here in Australia with Homeless Kids organisation to help kids living on the streets, my son got involved when he was in High School as the school organised it, was a real eye opener for them! Thank God for Angels like you xox

  34. gerryg says:

    Very powerful. As you know Katie, I am just Joe Public and supporter of our Police and other worthwhile organisations. Thank you for sharing with us what a lot of people would rather turn a blind eye to. Take care, Gerry

  35. jezabella07 says:

    I read this when you first put it just realised I can leave a comment so here is is: very powerful Katie the truth is theses people are passed over because the system doesn’t work I cried over this as well as this lot lucky for me I was sat at home ! And not in the gym as I read further down ( sorry I did laugh ) I await the sequel mrs magnet xxxx brilliant stuff

  36. jezabella07 says:

    I have already read this when you posted it like so many I shed some tears over this as the fact is these people are often passed over as the system does not work government cuts out pay to that and sadly this is the result . Lucky for me I wasn’t at the gym as I read further down ( that made me chuckle sorry !) I was sat at home needless to say brilliant stuff mrs magnet I await the sequel which will be just as brilliant xxx

  37. this is a very good blog a very good read and it pulled at my heart strings xxxxxxxx

  38. Mags says:

    I hardly have words, I feel heart broken, I’m a mother & I just don’t understand neglect, my 16 year old son is my baby & joy of my life. I’ll always want protect him even though he’s nearly 6ft tall. I’m pleased there are people like you to intervene but how do we stop it happening in the first place?

  39. I do agree with what many have written, and yes heartbreaking, but sadly much of the truth lies with the nation not the courts expert witnesses and the social workers, as a unpaid voice for justice for 40 years working at ground level with the people on mass I have worked in many different fields of life for the people , two years ago then in retirement it was a shock to learn of the corruption into what is “In a child’s best interest” two years later of researching into the child care it is a multibillion pound industry creating millions of jobs, as a voice for justice one has to produce the evidence to go forward to bring change, and for this I registered the charity
    http://www.childrenscreamingtobeheard.com The silent witnesses. Here lies the truth, to click onto the web page then click safe houses, and should people have witnessed as I have the kids from care who have run away to the streets from being abused by the care system many from the age of 5 then your tears will be a river.
    Maggie Tuttle

  40. Mark Hughes says:

    Words fail me to truly express how amazing this blog is, well done..

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