One odd thing I found out during my interviews with policemen: whenever they go abroad, on holidays, they take a couple of badges with them. Why? To swap them with the policemen they meet in Rome, Barcelona, Oslo or wherever they go. They visit a local police office, dressed in civilian clothes, introduce themselves and swap.
Many policemen I’ve met have lots of these badges, but the one that is always missing is the most coveted of all: Bobby’s badge, the badge of a London policeman. London policemen aren’t allowed to give away these little treasures, the reason being they belong to Her Majesty…
Funny lot, these British. And I also encountered another form of unwillingness, as they refused to grant me an interview. They simply emailed: ‘Sorry, but we are not able to assist you. It may be worth contacting one of the other UK police forces to see if they can.’
But my project is about people in their respective capitals… so no, and that is why in this Youropean-series is missing only two interviews: one with the Paris police and one in London.