Friday, 4 September 2015

A Total Failure Of Common Sense…

A customer had seen the offending item - which was part of a £10 B&M Bargains police toy set which included a badge and handcuffs - lying on a table and dialled 999.
Failure no: 1. And shortly, failure no: 2…
Two officers carrying real firearms had arrived at Mr Legavicius's car wash in Moulton Chapel, Lincolnshire, on Bank Holiday Monday
Mr Legavicius, 32, explained the weapon was a toy but was stunned when officers told him they would still have to take it away for 'forensic testing'.

I just…

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!
The father-of-two said his son is still waiting for the red-tipped black plastic gun to be returned to him by police.
He added: 'I think this is a bit ridiculous. I thought it was a joke when I heard about it.
'We have done nothing wrong. If somebody had a gun why would they leave it out on a table at a car wash? It's crazy.
'I understand they have to check when a complaint. But they should just say: "sorry, it was a mistake".
Well, yes, that’s what would happen in any normal country. And maybe the police would have words with the idiot who rang them.

But this in England, and the pant-wetters are in full charge, so to justify their arrival, they have to do something. Even if that ‘something’ merely exacerbates the situation.
'I'm not sure how much damage a £10 B&M Bargains toy gun will cause,' said Mr Legavicius, who is originally from Lithuania and has lived in the UK for more than a decade.
'It was part of a police toy set, because he loves playing cops and robbers. 'He wanted to grow up to be a policeman but not anymore.'
Poor kid. One can’t help but wonder what a realistic police set for the UK cops would contain these days? I bet it wouldn’t be a badge, a gun and handcuffs….

The police, of course, in the face of a PR disaster, fall back on dumb insolence and reliance on ‘rules’:
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said RAPT officers carry sidearms as part of their standard kit.
She (Ed: Huh??) added: 'The premises were not raided, they were visited by two RAPT officers on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
'They were reasonably satisfied that the object was a replica or toy but it was seized as per standard procedure and booked in at Spalding Police Station.
'What happens next usually is that the people involved will be contacted and arrangements can be made to have the gun returned.
'Any incident which involves a report of firearms is taken very seriously and the safety of the public and officers are foremost consideration.'
Good god, why doesn’t someone simply say, in plain English, ‘We got this wrong, and we’re sorry. Here’s the obvious kid’s toy back, and a bunch of flowers for Mrs Legavicius.‘..?

Why this constant fallback on robotic quoting of ‘rules’, as if the police were simply mindless automations who…

Oh. Answered my own question, I guess.


Anonymous said...

I keep thinking "Men in Black" except the aliens have taken over and one day will shrug off their anthropoid exterior and emerge waving feelers.

MTG said...

Parliament never conferred plod with powers to seize harmless toys from children. That a plastic toy gun was harmless, would be quickly and reliably established by the average ten year old. The clues that a toy could neither detonate a chemical propellant within a robust gas-tight chamber, nor propel a round down an immensely strong bore, are manifestly obvious in the toy mechanisms, especially the plastic body, plastic barrel, plastic trigger and that giveaway bright orange plastic barrel tip. (That's the front to you, Jaded.)

So we are left to deduce that plod who choose to seize such toys (for lab testing) are overtly doing so without legal authority because of an intelligence handicap. Just remind me again...why are persons ill-equipped above the neck carrying real firearms and live rounds?

Anonymous said...


It is the problem with the tick box mentality that pervades public service now, it is how they avoid litigation by ambulance chasing bastards. The trouble is that it impacts on the rest of the public.

Out of interest could any of the serving or former serving officers comment on whether there would be any impact on the complainant if the gun was obviously a toy? I am thinking of potentially a malicious complaint?

Anonymous said...

Bunny, I retired some eight years ago so my knowledge is not current but if the call was made in good faith then there would be no comeback. Calls made in good faith where no offence has occurred happen all the time and can usually be resulted with a minimum of inconvenience. Proving a malicious complaint is slightly different, in my experience people making these allegations are usually that well known person 'anon'. A contactable informant might put a different complexion on how the call was dealt with. FYI most police call centres are not staffed by police officers but by civil staff. There will usually be a control room Inspector/Chief Inspector and a few other police officers depending on the size of the force. The call takers work to a script and it is now a fairly mechanical process, so for example, if someone alleges a firearm is present a huge drop down menu will be generated showing actions to be taken. You may say it is risk averse but as you said the ambulance chasers determine a lot of action these days. I won't comment on the seizure as I do not know what that individual forces policy is, all I will say if no one was sent there would be headlines such as 'Police fail to respond to firearms call'. For myself I'd probably result it as a no offences disclosed and drop a big hint to mum and dad that a lot of people don't like seeing anything that resembles a gun. However, as with all such incidents commentators can veer very close to Captain Hindsight territory.

JuliaM said...

"...and one day will shrug off their anthropoid exterior and emerge waving feelers."

Insects at least do things for logical reasons...

"Just remind me again...why are persons ill-equipped above the neck carrying real firearms and live rounds?"

It seems that the legislation and police procedures here (that leave them with no discretion) are the real culprits. As Bunny points out, the tick-box mentality now holds sway everywhere.

"Proving a malicious complaint is slightly different..."

And too much effort?

MTG said...

'...and police procedures here (that leave them with no discretion) are the real culprits.'
Nah. Those plod capable of writing procedural arrangements in decent English, must be credited with a little commonsense. From first principles, no regulated process for impounding the plastic toys of children exists other than that imagined by fools.