How Policing Has Changed (17)

The photograph (courtesy of Deb Menzel) show’s H.M.P. Winson Green in Birmingham, commonly known to most West Midlands Police officers as simply ‘The Green’. A bit of its history is referred to in the little book ‘One In For D & D’. It was an institution that was visited many times by the authors either to deal with incidents of crime inside the prison or to investigate such things as sudden deaths. On one occasion Mike had to deal with the sad case of a man who died whilst working in the prison kitchens. He was only serving a short sentence. Tragically he was cutting through some frozen meat when the butchers knife went through a soft part and he finished up fatally stabbing himself. CID officers often visited serving prisoners to interview them about other offences which had not been admitted prior to sentence or ‘TIC’d’ – taken into consideration. The practice of ‘writing off’ offences admitted

under Home Office guidelines was common but no longer takes place. The one thing you learnt to do as a police officer inside the prison was to stay underneath the overhead walkways – otherwise you were likely to get some spit on your head!

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