The people of Leamington Spa were shocked to discover the local Wetherspoon’s blocked off with police cars and armed police officers.
Everyone wondered what was going on. Was the pub a target for terrorism? Had a burglary happened? Did a bar fight between several people who’d had too much to drink go way out of hand?
The answer, in fact, was none of these. Charlie Berkeley, Assistant Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police, was having a 44th birthday get together with his closest friends and wanted to be sure a similar incident to the one that happened at his colleague Stuart Kennedy’s party didn’t happen again*.
“Are you sure the added security outside is necessary?” Harvey Nichols, Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, asked.
“Yeah. I don’t want my night out at the pub with my mates ruined by some maniac.” Charlie Berkeley said.
“That was an isolated incident.” Stuart Kennedy, Chief Constable for Warwickshire Police, said. “Besides, Patrick O’Brien had personal beef with me. You didn’t come onto the scene until long after he’d started therapy with Dr Scamander Trout.”
“I’m not worried about Patrick O’Brien, he’s in prison after all.” Charlie said. “I just want to be prepared in case someone else attacks us.”
“Who on earth would attack us tonight?” Harvey asked.
“I don’t know…. ISKP?” Charlie replied.
“Why would ISKP mount an attack on a territorial British police force in a pub in a town in the Midlands?” Stuart asked.
“Again, I don’t know. But it’s best to be prepared.” Charlie said.
Stuart and Harvey sighed angrily.
“I think we should call them off.” Stuart said. “They’re putting everyone else on edge and they probably have better things to do with their evening.”
“And allow any mad man to come in here and attack us? No way.” Patrick said.
“The pub is loosing custom because no one wants to go in.” Harvey said.
“People are coming in.” Charlie said.
“Yes. But not as many as they would have got if the pub wasn’t barricaded by Police.” Stuart said.
“Well, it’s nice to sort of have the pub to ourselves, isn’t it?” Charlie said.
Stuart and Harvey did not respond, they just sighed.
“I’m going to tell them to go home.” Stuart said before getting up to talk to the officers outside.
“Oh great, now we have no peace at all.” Charlie said after the pub became packed with people following the withdrawal of the police outside.
“At least people feel comfortable coming in now.” Harvey said.
“They won’t if a terrorist attack happens.” Charlie said.
“Charlie, a terrorist attack isn’t going to happen.” Stuart said. “The incident at my birthday party was a rare case.”
“Well, we’ll see about that.” Charlie said before taking a sip of his beer.
A few hours of drinking and chatting later, and after Harvey and Stuart had given Charlie their gifts (two West End theatre tickets for him and his wife from Harvey and a £200 Harrods gift voucher from Stuart) the three men left the pub and walked home.
“Well, what did we tell you?” Stuart asked.
“We were just lucky, that’s all.” Charlie said. “I still think I was right to make sure we had back up.”
“Well, all that matters is that you had a nice night out for your birthday.” Harvey said.
“I certainly did.” Charlie said.
Soon it was time for Stuart, Harvey, and Charlie to part ways for the night.
“Well, goodnight gentlemen.” Stuart said. “See you tomorrow at the Justice Centre.”
“If we’re not hungover.” Harvey said.
“You better not be,” Stuart said. “But if you are I’m sure we can have a gentler day tomorrow.”
“If no major crimes are reported.” Charlie said.
“No.” Stuart said.
“Goodnight, guys,” Harvey said.
Then the three men in charge of keeping Warwickshire safe parted ways and walked into the night, ready for another day of crime fighting in the morning.
*See Drama at the Chief Constable’s Birthday Gathering.