Things you know if you had a police officer for a parent

You’re still too scared to break the law


Being the child of a police officer wasn’t years of house arrest and overprotective rules. There was a lot of Police, Camera, Action and reruns of The Bill – but there was some real excitement too. These are some of the other things children of police officers will understand.

Every fancy dress costume you had involved a pretend police uniform

There are a lot of pictures of me as a child with toy police cars, plastic hats and wearing a little costume. Clip-on ties and pretending to handcuff people were a big part of your world, and I wanted to dress up as my dad at all given opportunities. It’s almost like you’d expect me to have grown up to be a policeman myself – instead of becoming a journalist which is basically the opposite.

You feel comfortable inside a police car

The back of a police car isn’t somewhere to fear: a place to sit, shivering, after breaking the law and getting dragged away in chains. It was just normal to get an occasional lift from school or to a friend’s house when it was convenient. Though you’d ask what all the buttons do and try not to think how many criminals had been in the back already that day.

You have never really been worried about police being around

Probably because we see them as normal people, not intimidating keepers of the peace, the guys who bust drug dealers and apparently hand out parking tickets for fun. You can talk to them on a night out because they’re just like us, apart from they’re wearing a uniform.

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I had all the gear

You get an overwhelming sense of guilt whenever you do something wrong

Even in adult life, this is worse than someone who went to Catholic school or Pip from Great Expectations. You’ve been raised to have a moral compass is so fixed that you’ll never drop litter or fail to stop at a stop sign. The guilt trip would be too awful.

All the police in your town know you

Even if you wanted to break the law, you couldn’t. Other cops not only know you – they know you by name. That’s daunting.

There are some pretty horrific stories and you’re used to hearing them

Every police officer has seen some shit, and this will always filter down to their children – even if they don’t explicitly tell you. Just not while we’re eating tea, alright?

Nights were just a part of life

You didn’t get to spend all of Christmas or New Year’s Eve with Mum or Dad, but that’s something you accepted. Somebody had to be out there catching criminals and solving crimes.

When you inevitably work nights or stay in the office late as you get older, at least it’s never as bad. You’re not on the street being spat at by criminals.

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This was your ride

Your parents were overprotective

Maybe it’s something to do with them knowing all the drug dealers in your town because they’ve locked them up more than once. All three of them if you happen to be from a small town.

They saw enough kids “go off the rails” to make sure you didn’t.

You hate the Home Secretary, and the Tories

Whoever she was, Theresa May or Jacqui Smith – she was the devil. Making cuts, reducing the number of vehicles on the roads so ten officers have to share a car. You heard it most nights. Chances are your police parent voted Tory in the election, but will now talk to you at length about how David Cameron stabbed them in the back.

You probably did work experience at the police station

I didn’t fill out my form early enough and spent my year 10 work experience with the police. It was quite eventful. We went to burglaries, watched a man break down in court and even had to attend a death.

There’s a photo of you inside a cell

And looking terrified, like you’ve just been shut away for life. If you don’t remember, ask Mum. She’ll have several and they pretty much define “incriminating photograph” out of context.