The world could use a little more kindness and a little less loneliness, and, for one elderly couple, police officers accomplished both.
Doris Thomson placed a call to her local constables at the Greater Manchester Police in England. The officers responded to the call promptly, assuming that either Doris or her husband, 95-year-old Fred Thomson, had fallen or injured themselves.
But that wasn’t the case. Doris and her husband, who is blind, were simply lonely and wanted to share a chat and, perhaps, a cup of tea with someone.
And the officers who responded firmly believe that their jobs aren’t just about fighting crime, but also about responding to the needs of the citizens they protect, with caring and kindness. So instead of arresting or even issuing a warning to the elderly couple, Police Constable Stu Ockwell and his colleague brewed a pot of tea for the elderly couple, sat down with them, and cured their loneliness with kindness.
“It was a nice change to have somebody to talk to,” Fred explained in an interview with ITV News. “I was very pleased to know there was help about and pleased to talk to them because sometimes you can be a bit isolated as you get older but they made me feel at home.”
Ockwell and the other police officer spent around half an hour with the elderly couple, drinking their tea, having their chat, and showing that a little bit of kindness can have a huge impact on others in the community. Fred Thomson even opened up and regaled the two police officers with tales of his past.
— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) November 10, 2015
“We spent half an hour with them, put on the kettle whilst Fred told us the stories of when he was in the war. He’s an amazing character and had us in fits of laughter and to me it made my day,” Ockwell said. Despite the fact that the call had nothing to do with a physical injury or medical emergency like he first assumed, the police officers believed that the visit was necessary. “The lady’s husband has gone blind and she struggles to look after him,” Ockwell said, according to the Manchester Evening News. “It was out of desperation, really. She isn’t very well herself.”
In fact, during the interview given by the husband, Mrs. Thomson was too frail to make even an appearance. The police officer said that Mr. and Mrs. Thomson do have “good support from neighbors and children, who visit every other day,” but that he believes Mrs. Thomson’s memory “appears to be fading a bit.”
He added, “What was clear is that, although it is hard, they just want to look after each other.” And, although he and his colleague faced some criticism for “wasting time” on something not deemed a “real incident,” Ockwell and his colleague stand by their decision.
“Sometimes people struggle, especially at this time of year. The help is there, we just went to comfort them.”
The department for which Ockwell and his colleague work made a joke about the sudden — and positive — spotlight focused on their police officers after this simple, but lovely, incident of human kindness, drawing a sharp contrast to the many stories of police misconduct.
After the recent media frenzy this week it would appear Police Brew-tality is acceptable afterall Morning everyone — GMP Middleton (@GMPMiddleton) November 14, 2015
This isn’t the first time that police officers have responded to calls that were not emergencies, but warranted kindness rather than punishment. Click here to read about the young man who called 911 over 4,000 times, and why local officers responded with a gift rather than handcuffs.
[Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]