Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Lights! Camera! Fence Police!

A couple who painted their side of a garden fence have been fined £80 for 'criminal damage'.
Fined? By a court? Surely even the dimmest magistrate would be hard pushed to…

Oh:
They were fined after a neighbour complained to the police that it was actually her fence, and flecks of green paint had splashed onto her side - which was brown.
Yes, they complained about flecks of pant, and instead of telling them it was a civil matter, or just laughing and putting the phone down, the police actually turned up…!
Officers visited Kay Balsdon, 47, and her 29-year-old partner Chris Bates - and they were threatened with prosecution if they refused to accept the on-the-spot fine.
/facepalm

Does this count towards a target, or something? Is there a Stray Paint Splash Task Force somewhere?
Mrs Balsdon said: 'When the police turned up at my door I thought it was a prank. I just couldn't believe it - I was expecting Jeremy Beadle to pop out at any moment.'
I can quite understand why. Though I suspect even Beadle might find that scenario just that bit too far fetched…
Mr Bates a postman, said: 'I'm amazed that there was such a waste of police time over something so petty. '
Me too. Particularly as this sort of thing is usually something they complain about.

Still, it seems more sensible heads have had a change of opinion:
Hampshire Police said it had decided to refund the fine.
Oh, it has ‘decided’, has it? When? When the ‘Mail’ got hold of the story?
A spokesman said: 'The officers gave this a lot of consideration and decided that this was the best way to deal with it. However, we have now reviewed the case and the fine will be rescinded and refunded.'
I’m frankly surprised that the officers in the Hampshire force are of such poor quality that this sort of thing takes up ‘a lot of consideration’…

11 comments:

Timdog said...

"Flecks of pant"? Wow, exploding underwear covers fence! Definitely one for the courts.

Sorry. Mind you though, actually only mildly more ridiculous than the actual story and the police's reaction!

Anonymous said...

How ineffably spiffing of Hampshire Police - just think they could have spent that "fine income" ('cos income is what it is) on probably four copies of "How not to act like a brain dead dummy for Dummies" and left them lying around the canteen for the force members to read, oh hang on, they don't read the instructions on not arresting photographers for having a loaded camera and pointing it at people and things with the intention of taking a photograph; spouting made up on the spot "laws" to justify it, do they, as acknowledged by no less than the Met Commissioner recently ... so yeah, giving it back was probably for the best ...

Mummylonglegs said...

Trust me JuliaM, this kind of thing takes up a lot of time and consideration amongst the forces of Hampshire, that's why their plod are always very busy when it comes to calls of murder, assault, theft etc.

Mummy x

John R said...

Since we all went PC (pun intended) and stopped recruiting big burly, ex-soldiers who could actually think for themeselves to become coppers to walk the beat in our towns and instead went for a police service containing a well balanced mix of genders, weights, heights, sexual preferences, racial backgrounds and disabilities - highly proficient at ticking boxes but with the square root of buggerall common sense - cases like this have become a regular feature of life.

The fix? Sack everyone in the police who doesnt actually do any old-fashioed policing. On his blog Inspector Gadget has a fine list of jobs that should go....it'll make you weep.

Joe Public said...

"'The officers gave this a lot of consideration and decided that this was the best way to deal with it."

No doubt because it was one more step towards achieving his Crime Detection Target that month.

Anonymous said...

Police answered this complaint because they easily take a fence.

Greencoat said...

Beadle's not about.

blueknight said...

John R is right. The sad truth is that after 13 yrs of Nulabor's control and emasculation of the Police, the vast majority of Officers know nothing different. In the minority are the Officers who are ex services or have some other real life experiences.

JuliaM said...

""Flecks of pant"? Wow, exploding underwear covers fence! Definitely one for the courts."

D'oh! That's the peril of relying on the spellchecker! ;)

"...just think they could have spent that "fine income" ('cos income is what it is) on probably four copies of "How not to act like a brain dead dummy for Dummies" and left them lying around the canteen..."

Sounds as though they'd need to be the version with pictures...

"...this kind of thing takes up a lot of time and consideration amongst the forces of Hampshire, that's why their plod are always very busy when it comes to calls of murder, assault, theft etc."

Indeed. And no-one wants to make a judgement call and decide 'No, we won't attend, this is bogus'. Just in case...

"The fix? Sack everyone in the police who doesnt actually do any old-fashioed policing. On his blog Inspector Gadget has a fine list of jobs that should go....it'll make you weep."

Oh, yes, I saw that. It was hard to make out just what some of them did, from the titles...

"Police answered this complaint because they easily take a fence."

Heh! Perhaps they were disappointed not to see a chap handling stolen good when they got there?

"In the minority are the Officers who are ex services or have some other real life experiences."

Then we can expect this sort of thing to increase? Scary thought!

Blognor Regis said...

But it wasn't their fence to paint. Anyone who's ever looked up anything about boundary disputes knows this. The fence owner, the person upon whose property the fence is, owns both sides. If you paint "your" side without the owner's permission then that's no different to graffiti really. Ignorance is no defence after all. If you want the fence a different colour you'll have to erect your own on your property.

This is exactly the sort of selective lawbreaking, it's doesn't apply to me, etc, that the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire was on about.

JuliaM said...

"This is exactly the sort of selective lawbreaking, it's doesn't apply to me, etc, that the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire was on about."

Maybe, but as with most property related crimes, it should be considered a civil matter, and thus ignored by the police.