‘Whoever did this must at least have burned their hands,’ says DS Roberts as he inspects the remains of the brand new axe. The steel has been shattered by the jolt as it went through the cable.
‘It landed 30 yards from the pole,’ observes DC Staples. ‘Do you think they knew it was connected to the National Grid?’
Roberts slides the remains of the axe into a bag. ‘They do now,’ he says. ‘There must have been a gang of them to move best part of 2 ton of cable and if one of them is injured they’re bound to turn up in Casualty some time soon. Get on to the hospitals, Jim.’
Staples gives a thumbs-up and heads towards his radio. ‘Er, are the phones back on?’ he asks. Roberts rubs the back of his head. ‘Shit, I forgot. You’ll have to drive over to ‘K’ division and use their facilities. I’ll let you know as soon as the power is back on.’
‘Righto.’ Jim Staples is happy to leave the chaos behind. He gets into his new Datsun 180B and heads off into the sunshine. Blue tinted windows down, the stereo radio up loud, he sings along to the music. Jim is a contented soul. At 28 he has made his mark as a Met beat copper and transferred to the Isle of Sheppey as a newly anointed detective. With his lovely wife of a year, Louise, his new bungalow and a baby on the way, life could not be better.
At 6ft 2ins, blond and blue eyed, Jim loves to turn heads as he strides confidently about his new Manor. Athletic and ambitious, he sees himself as something of an intellectual, someone who is going places.
However, he won’t be going far today. The bridge leading onto the mainland is stuck in the up position on account of someone having hacked through the new cable which was being installed from the roundabout.