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Many years ago whilst engaged in traffic duty on my BSA 650cc Police motor cycle I encountered a near riot outside the Leicester City Football Club ground in Filbert Street Leicester. Always alert and determined to do my bit for law and order I carefully perused the crowd a lot of which were engaged in the usual taunts and grimaces which they hoped would entice the 'opposition' into some kind of retaliation. In other words they were looking for a fight. I stopped my bike and surveyed the scene for the 'necessary evidence' that would enable me to feel someone's collar! After a while I focussed my full attention on a youth of about twenty years of age who was just begging to be nicked......I parked my bike and strove dutifully towards him.....Yes....there he was mouthing obscenties and giving it Hell with his clenched fists at the opposition.....No question about it.....he was mine!!!! I gave it a few moments before striding determindely forward to feel his collar.......I remember with deep satisfacion the look of fear in his eyes as I told him I was arresting him for threatening behaviour and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace. Job done I flagged down one of the numerous black marias in the vicinity and bungled my prisoner inside with the arrangement for me to return to the station later when he would be charged..... About half an hour later when things had calmed down I went back to Charles Street nick and saw the charge sergeant and told him I was there to weigh off my prisoner who was duly brought to the charge desk. He was a much quieter person now than when I had first seen him. He stood there very subdued with his eyes to the ground as the charge sergeant began by asking him his name...... The lad never made any reply so patiently the charge sergeant repeated the question..... "Name!" Again the youth made no attempt to furnish the sergeant with any details and the charge sergeant who was not known for his patience leaned across the desk and grabbed the prisoner by his lapels pulling him forward to a position where their faces practically touched....He then reiterated his request in a somewhat forcefull manner!!!! Now I certainly would have furnished the necessary information of that I have no doubt but not my prisoner..... He just visibly sagged utterly dejected before raising his hand to his mouth pointing his finger before uttering one of several gutteral sounds...... The sergeant by now was visibly contemplating using the heavy charge book for its intended purpose of bringing it down on unco-operative prisoners heads when it suddenly dawned on him that all was not quite right...... The sergeant rummaged amongst the prisoner's property and after a few moments discovered a card amongst it which bore the inscription "Mission for the Deaf". By dilligent use of a mixture of lip reading and crude sign language he then determined that my prisoner who I had definitly heard shouting obscenities to all and sundry was in fact a mute. I can still hear the laughter which followed me as I crept out of the police station into the sanctuary of the station yard. I had hoped the ground would open up and swallow me hook line and bloody sinker!!!!

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