A collection of paintings by former Cambridge School of Art Masters graduate, Caroline Jaine is being exhibited at ARU’s police training facility at an undisclosed location in London.
Each painting is drawn from a real life phone call made to the police during 2021, when the artist worked as an Emergency Call Handler for Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Caroline says that her paintings are multilayered stories and reflect how differently members of the public read things as “suspicious”. She is delighted that her paintings will be enjoyed by new police recruits and those teaching the police.
Caroline has been an artist in residence at the Humanitarian Centre, and worked as a commercial studio painter for a well known artist. Several of her paintings are in the UK Government Art Collection. In her previous careers she has worked in journalism, spent 14 years as a British Diplomat and was a visiting International Relations lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, London Metropolitan University, and SOAS specialising in conflict and communications. She no longer works for Avon & Somerset Police, but continues her police career with another police force, in a different role.
“Car Jumper” – a female caller reported that she could see a group of youths outside on the street. They were filming one of the group jumping over cars. ASB Nuisance?
“Three Hoodies” – the only thing this male caller could say about the suspicious characters lurking at the end of his street was “well, they were wearing hoodies…so I’m guessing they have drugs?”
“Footprint” – a caller reporting a large muddy footprint on her front door. Someone had clearly kicked it. Would we be sending CSI to take forensics? Although part of an ongoing neighbourhood dispute, expectations needed to be managed.
“Just practicing” – a distressed elderly man reporting youths were ”jumping around all over the place, off bins and benches.” One of them could be heard in the background saying, “we are just practicing. At least we aren’t dealing drugs.”
“We are not curtain twitchers” – a very long call with two male informants talking on speaker phone. They had been watching a black Range Rover that had been parked outside their wealthy neighbour’s house all day. They were able to describe the suspicious driver of the car in great detail, as well as their neighbour’s impressive handbag collection and how she had made her money from foreign dentistry.
“No longer at scene” – a female caller was sitting enjoying a summer drink in a wine bar, when a street-drinker started to shout and become aggressive towards passers by. He pushed someone, so the incident was up for an immediate response on a Public Order coding. The caller was asked to stay on the line, so we had eyes-on the scene. During the call, the intoxicated male cart-wheeled away down the middle of the street.
“Nuisance” – a report of harassment and stalking by a member of the public against the custodian of a small “spiritual” museum. They were reported to be currently “on scene”. When asked what they were doing and whether the caller felt in danger, the caller said, “Well; they are currently playing a flute. The same as they do every day.”