The Coppers Wife Series – Part 3

13 Sep

I introduce my second guest blogger for ‘The Coppers Wife Series’ – @PeelersWife

I’m always asked how I came to live in Northern Ireland being an English woman.
Depending on who is asking the question I have many answers…

Like many people growing up in the seventies and the eighties, Northern Ireland
was a place that was always depicted as a grim looking country. It regularly
made the national news with stories of people being murdered either for
belonging to the Security Forces or Paramilitary Organisations or just innocent
bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Regardless of who they were, the conflict in Northern Ireland killed thousands
of people – many more than were killed in 9/11 attacks; and in a country with a
population of less than 1.5 million people.

There has supposedly been a paramilitary ceasefire since 1998 but even now, in
2011, there are active republican terrorist organisations that are targeting
Police Officers and members of Security Forces over here. They gather
information by many ways, but for one reason only and that is to kill them.

In the last year over 30 families of Police Officers have been forced to move
from their homes. This means children’s lives being suddenly uprooted because
their Mummy or Daddy works for the PSNI. Yet regardless of this threat Police
Officers and Support Staff turn up to work daily trying to do their best,
protecting the communities of Northern Ireland.

Unlike the stories shown on the news watched by millions in the rest of the UK,
Northern Ireland is a really beautiful country; on the odd occasion when the sun
shines it can be breath-takingly beautiful. The majority of the people too are
very warm and friendly, even though it’s rare to meet someone that has not been
touched by the Troubles. Most people just want peace for Northern Ireland and
not to return to the turbulent and violent past.

Living here we have become anaesthetised to security alerts. People just wait
patiently by the tape for ATO (the army bomb disposal teams) to get a move on.
Regardless of this we all just get on with our lives.

I’ve been married to Mr Plod for 19 years. When I met him he was a cadet at
Sandhurst training to go in the Royal Irish Rangers. He left the army at the end
of 1993 and he then joined the West Yorkshire Police at the start of 1994.

In 2003 he saw an advert placed by the PSNI wanting experienced Detectives. He
applied, was successful and the journey of living here began early 2004.

Calling it a journey is the best way for me to describe it.

There have been many positives but by God we’ve had some lows. For instance our
child was beaten up at School by a group not long after we had moved here. Six
hours I sat with my child in casualty with a broken hand not knowing anyone and
Mr Plod not being able to leave work because he was working on a “job”.

I have to say I hated him for that and for months our marriage was tested. I
really wanted to go home then. You can always guarantee when “a job” is on
something happens at home and he cannot get home. When he’s home nothing ever
happens; maybe that is why it’s called Murphy’s Law?

I am proud of Mr Plod, though, even if sometimes I am tempted to kill him
myself. His job inevitably has a tremendous presence in our lives. Because of
the role he’s in his phone goes off at all hours of the day and night; normally
when we are at the check out at the supermarket or when he is with me at the
Doctor’s.
Every morning he gets on his knees, regardless of the weather, and looks under
the car to check for a car bomb. His personal protection weapon is never far
away and even sleeps next to us on the bedside table. It has one 9mm bullet in
the chamber and 17 in the magazine so it’s ready. I’ve got used to that pistol
being with us; it’s another part of my life that I have become accustomed to.
Him carrying a gun does not bother me; I actually find it comforting, but I can
understand why it would seem disturbing to some.

We try not to have any daily or weekly routines. When we are in the car,
especially at traffic lights, I see him watching through the mirrors behind him
and he always keeps the car in gear.

When you are reading this please don’t feel pity for us because we are not
alone. This is the life of many security force families over here. Our loved
ones do this job because they believe in it. We do have a great time and have
great friends and all of us in my family have received opportunities we may not
have had, if we had stayed in Yorkshire.

Do I want to come home? If given the chance I would, and I know Plod would too,
just because our child is leaving home and moving back to England.

One thing I’ve learned though no matter how bad things get tomorrow can always
be better.
I could not imagine being anything than a peelers wife and I am happy to support
him.
I really hope I’ve given you a brief insight to being a Peeler’s wife in
Northern Ireland. I would like to say the main thing that I miss is my identity.
I find it frustrating always having to hide who I am and I how I came to live
here. To be honest it has become a part of my life but it doesn’t stop me
supporting Mr Plod as a wife. I will always be proud of him…

I would like to take this opportunity to thank friends, PSNI colleagues, PSNI
Federation and the PSNI Benevolent Fund for all of the support we received
earlier this year when we as a family were forced to move from our home.

Author: Peelers Wife

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8 Responses to “The Coppers Wife Series – Part 3”

  1. @alphatreblesix September 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Lovely piece Mrs P, hats off to you all, Idon’t know how you do it.
    Paul

    • Mrs P September 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

      antidepressants lol

  2. Sgt John De-Hayes (@ResponseSgtWMP) September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Mrs Plod

    The stuff you’ve written about is known to a lot of police officers, even if we don’t experience it ourselves every day. We know the sacrifices that PSNI officers make, both in terms of their personal lives and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice.

    This is why, when the Chairman of The Police Federation of Northern Ireland spoke at Conference earlier this year, he was given a standing ovation. Not for him personally, but for all of those who serve.

    Mr Plod is a very lucky man to have your support and I’m privileged to know you.

    • Mrs P September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Aww John that is so sweet! I really appreciate your friendship too. You are always there for me, your’e a great friend xxx

  3. Dips September 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Nice writing flower. I didn’t realise how much PSNI intruded into your daily lives.
    X

    • Mrs P September 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      thanks, Dippy it does. More than it did when I was a West Yorkshire Bobbie’s wife. If Plod was still at Leeds I’d proudly put my picture and proper name on twitter.
      I hope I have not made it sound too bad though because I do have a nice life. xx

  4. Das Beard (@Das_Beard) September 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Nice post, Wifey. Have said it before and will say it again: the real policing is done in Northern Ireland.

    • @peelerswife September 25, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      thank you Beardy xxxx

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