Monday, 30 April 2012

Damn It!

Longrider beat me to the perfect title for this little bit of Met Police wuckfittery:
An officer took exception as he passed the Scream gallery in Bruton Street on a bus. He alerted colleagues and two uniformed officers from Harrow arrived to demand the work be removed.
And why?
Jag Mehta, sales director at the gallery owned by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s sons Tyrone and Jamie, said: “We asked them what the problem was and they said it suggested we condoned bestiality, which they said was an arrestable offence.
The show, Metamorphosis, had been running for a month and was really well received.”
But surely, once they pointed out that this was an old piece of Greek myth, it would satisfy our artistically-challenged constabulary?
But the explanation that the picture was based on a legend that had inspired countless generations of artists failed to cut the mustard with the police, she said. “They didn’t know anything about the myth. They stood there and didn’t leave until we took the piece down.
They asked us whether we had had complaints and we said quite the contrary. Lots of people were intrigued by it.”
*sigh*
She admitted she did not know what they would have done, had the officers arrived before the exhibition was over. “I guess it would have been a discussion with the artist and the owners to see whether we changed the work in the show.
"I don’t know the law. I would like to think we wouldn’t have shied away from it but it’s difficult to say.”
As Misanthrope Girl points out, this is down to the utter stupidity of the UK's extreme pornography law meeting the target-driven culture of the modern police farce.

We have, of course, been here before, with this particular myth. It seems NickM is right, a classical education (or just a bit of common sense) isn't required to be a police officer any more.

/golfclap to those ignorant, idiotic, bullying officers.

I guess there's some Law of Policing, that when one of them does something useful on his day off, their colleagues have to do something boneheadedly stupid, to realign the cosmic balance....

18 comments:

Captain Haddock said...

Two things about this story trouble me ..

Firstly, if the original officer saw something which his colleagues later allege amounted to an "arrestable offence", why did he not deal with the matter, there & then, himself ?

Secondly, having just consulted my rather battered London A-Z, I note that Mayfair (where the alleged "offence" was first seen & Harrow (from whence the attending officers came) are nowhere near each other ..

Woman on a Raft said...

My theory is that these were not officers but PCSOs, and that they had been dispatched for a giggle under the Left Handed Screwdrivers and Glass Hammers Act 1433.

Unfortunately, nobody foresaw that as it was Ronnie Wood's nippers, this would inevitably wind up in the papers. A silly joke to play at a time when the police are claiming to be under extreme pressure.

Captain Haddock said...

Even if your theory is correct WOAR (and I've seen some cracking wind-ups in my time at sea) ..

And the fact that the incident wasn't recorded as a "crime" might well suggest the interference of PCSO's .. I still can't figure out the connection between premises in Mayfair & police from Harrow ..

Don't they have telephones ?

Woman on a Raft said...

They are playing Mornington Crescent.

Harrow>>>Mayfair is a strong opening hand but to be in with a chance of winning, the Harrow lads and lassies will have to score at least one round including the new Olympic venues.

As they are currently in huff by the Snow Hill Mob (who like to think they are a bit special as they are near a cathedral) Harrow cannot complete this by using a ground-plan equivalent (as in i.e. the Barbican) and are stuck until the gondolas have been attached.

The first day that sky way is open, it will be so full of PCSOs that it will look like a breeding herd on a migratory path.

ranter said...

As with Captain H. I too could not understand why officers from Harrow nick would be dealing. I then thought, Harrow Road nick in W9 - but that too is nowhere near Mayfair and is no longer a proper nick.
As for wind-ups in the Old Bill - forget it these days - remember there has been extensive recruitment from the 'permanently aggrieved and easily offended community' and recruits were, when there was still a Hendon Training School, warned about their rights if they felt they were being 'bullied' - which of course is simply not tolerated. No more popping down to Thames foreshore to collect water samples for the FBI/Interpol re either the Kennedy Assassination / Roberto Calvi murder, no more getting the new probby to drop off a letter to the all night chemist, having been told to wait for a reply - the note saying 'can i have a pack of 3 Durex, I'm too embarrassed to ask out loud'; or to the reception at A&E with a note that read 'I need help I think i'm a policeman' - oh no - thank goodness those days have gone.
As to why the original 'officer' was so offended is beyond me - in my day there'd have been a gaggle of wooden tops having a 'gander' (see what I did there) at this crazy picture of a swan shagging a naked woman and area cars from all over North London would have been cruising past. I just cannot get over the stupidity of the whole thing if there is anything at all accurate about what happened. To me - it seems a load of nonsense - I cannot imagine two uniformed officers 'standing there until it was taken down' - surely any self respecting gallery owner would have told them to get a senior officer down and relish the publicity that was to come his/her way.

ranter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tatty said...

Compare and contrast the original article "in the window" with Misanthrope Girls "in the gallery". Small difference...major point.

If it was indeed displayed openly to the public...in the window facing out onto the street and not behind closed but inviting doors... then really not seeing the problem here.

Obscenity Laws apply to public decency and the majority offending thereof...which the police are obliged to uphold... and not to an individuals personal taste or opinion.

I think that point has been missed though it's not surprising given the innumerable "offences" some people DO expect police to deal with whether covered by law or not.

Woman on a Raft said...

For info: this is a picture of the gallery window with the work on display.

http://www.screamlondon.com/assets/Exhibitions/76/catalog/_resampled/SetRatioSize595500-Santini-15.jpg

swanseajock said...

Please, please, please don't lump all cops in with the buffoons who did this. it is only news because outragious actions are reported and (rightly) ridiculed. This was 2 out of 140,000 officers inEngland and Wales. There will always be stories such as this, but the majority do a good job, and actually try and help the public. And as has been previously stated, the police are recruited frfom the public, so are in truth a reflection of the public in Britain, whether you like it or not

jaded said...

I suppose this story was slightly balanced-well 99% the buffoons and 1% the good egg.It's a start...

I can't defend the London PC's so I wont try.I'm sure Melvin and his mates are rubbing their hands with glee in anticipation of what they are going to post here later.

Several points-I think they probably were from Harrow RD police station.It's not that far and it's on the same borough,strangely enough still open 24 hours.
Also when I was at Hendon I think classical studies were week 4, between murder and rape.Not my strongest suit though.

FILL YOUR BOOTS CHAPS,it's a free lunch.

Kevin said...

The problem, swanseajock, is that retards like these two are never (or *seem* never) to get a bollocking and made to apologise in person to the person they've been retarded at.

A salt and battered said...

The probability of dodging every World famous interpretation of Leda and the Swan in the course of a normal education, must be infinitesimal.

Yup, plod-types are something else.

FrankC said...

I thought (probably foolishly) that any offense, such as swearing, had to be complained of by a member of the public, 'cos coppers are hard enough to take it (not being sworn at, just hearing it).
Off duty cop on a bus is not an ordinary MOP and therefore should not have been offended.

JuliaM said...

"...I note that Mayfair (where the alleged "offence" was first seen & Harrow (from whence the attending officers came) are nowhere near each other .."

No, that's baffled a lot of people!

"My theory is that these were not officers but PCSOs.."

When I was reading the first few paras, I was expecting it to turn out to be the case, frankly.

"They are playing Mornington Crescent."

:D

"As to why the original 'officer' was so offended is beyond me - in my day there'd have been a gaggle of wooden tops having a 'gander' (see what I did there) at this crazy picture..."

Is it target culture, perhaps?

JuliaM said...

"If it was indeed displayed openly to the public...in the window facing out onto the street and not behind closed but inviting doors... then really not seeing the problem here."

Really? In today's world of police marching on 10th May over 'cuts to the front line'? You really can't see the absurdity (leaving aside the classical part)?

" it is only news because outragious actions are reported and (rightly) ridiculed. "

Yes, they are ridiculed. But are there any consequences? If not, we'll see more of this, as Kevin points out.

"I thought (probably foolishly) that any offense, such as swearing, had to be complained of by a member of the public, 'cos coppers are hard enough to take it (not being sworn at, just hearing it)."

Good point! Didn't that just get announced due to a court case? I remember Insp Gadget's commenters were in a froth about it.

Tatty said...

Julia - "Really? In today's world of police marching on 10th May over 'cuts to the front line'? You really can't see the absurdity (leaving aside the classical part)?"

Really. The bottom line is the law was broken here whether we agree with that particular law or not. There appears to be a need for someone to complain before action is taken about anything. That's wrong. A slippery slope none of us should wish for whereby a police officer could end up witnessing a murder but do nothing because no one reported it.

Public opinion and political pressures influencing which laws police are supposed to uphold is what has got us and them into the shambolic mess of inconsistency that policing...and law and order as a whole... is today.

They either uphold the law..every law... or they don't. If we expect them to do their jobs each and every time then logic and sheer logistics dictates that more officers must be deployed. Lines in the sand must be re-drawn.

That's just my opinion Julia...you don't have to agree :)

jaded said...

Melvin,in all the posts where we have been sniping at each other this one made me laugh out loud-the first time ever!!
What a pompous arse you must be.Do you think "normal" peoples education include the classics?.I'm sure at Huddersfield grammar in the 1930s (when I assume you were educated)I can imagine a young Melvin in short trousers running through the quadrangle to get to his Latin classes,followed by a severe thrashing for being a fag by a Flashman type character.
Correct me if i'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

stet.