Capital call to help in riot-torn areas

Pictured is Iain Macpherson
Pictured is Iain Macpherson

Brechin landward officer, PC Iain MacPherson, swapped the streets of Edzell and Glenesk for the streets of London recently to help MET officers following the rioting in London.

Iain was one of a number of experienced police officers from across Scotland, the only one from Brechin, who travelled to the capital.

“I was just at the end of my holidays when I get a phone call asking me to work in London,” explained Iain.

“I was there for a week so it meant that the people in Edzell would not have seen me for about a month.”

The group of experienced officers travelled to London to assist local officers with general police work as a lot of their staff were tied up with the riot enquiries.

“I have helped out in Edinburgh with the odd day here or there but this is the first time I have been deployed outwith Scotland,” said Iain.

“This is the biggest enquiry that the MET has ever had.

“We assisted in areas where some of the staff had worked weeks without a day off.

“We carried out general beat work where we went out with a local officer who would keep us right, as the law is slightly different in England than in Scotland.

“It was an amazing experience for that week. One day I was patrolling Westminister so I was walking past the likes of Downing Street.

“It was hard to get my head around the fact that I was working next to the likes of Buckingham Palace.

“We got stopped a lot by tourists asking for directions. Luckily I had my A-Z with me so that helped.

“I then worked in Peckham for a few days.

“During the riots Peckham police station was attacked so the windows were all still boarded up.

“When I was walking about in Peckham we were well received by the locals. It was only a few weeks after the riots so they were happy to see police out on foot.

“They would speak to us and when they found out I had a Scottish accent they were a bit intrigued as to why police were down from Scotland but they were delighted to see us.

“In Peckham most people thought it was terrible what had happened and that it was a very small minority of people who had made it happen.

“Generally people were absolutely shocked by it.

“It was a once in a career experience and hopefully it will not happen again.

“It was like working in a different world.

“The MET has about 33,000 officers whilst the whole of Scotland only has about 14,000.

“It was an unbelievable experience.

“The officer I was working with could not believe that I worked on my own 80% of the time and that my beat was about the size of greater London.

“It was good and we were well looked after. The public were very friendly towards us.

“However, if it was a toss up between Edzell and Glenesk or Peckham I know exactly where I would like to stay.”