Tuesday 9 September 2008

Essex Police - /golfclap

An innocent couple were dramatically arrested by armed police who thought they were about to hold up a bank with a gun.
The ‘gun’..? Turned out to be a wheelbrace that some passer-by took to be a gun and phoned police, who followed them for a while before stopping them outside a bank, presumably believing they were about to rob it.
Another witness, Robert West, said: “I’d just pulled on to Ness Road and was following the Peugeot south towards Campfield Road when two police cars, with just their lights flashing, hurtled past.

“The Peugeot pulled across the road, into a kerbside parking bay, and the police jumped out of their cars, guns in hand.”

A shop owner, who asked not to be named, said: “The first I knew about it was when I heard lots of screaming and shouting.

“There were at least two police cars and three or four armed officers, pointing their guns.”
Well, there’s another two innocents on the DNA database for no good reason at all, eh? Job well done, officers! Keep it up, there’s lots more people in the country to go.
The couple were led away, questioned and released without charge within half-an-hour of the incident.

Essex Police spokeswoman Helen Cook said: “A member of the public reported seeing a firearm.

“We sent the armed response unit there and a couple were stopped and questioned.

There was no firearm. It turned out they had a wheelbrace with them.”
Now, the newspaper may be paraphrasing for space, but note the complete lack of any apology there. Or embarrassment, for that matter.

Oh, well, I guess they’ve failed to live up to their values on this one, particularly the one that states ‘ safeguard the rights of all citizens, especially their fundamental human rights’.


Letters From A Tory said...

They must have been scared s***less when the police pointed their guns at them. Bit of compensation in order?

Anonymous said...

I'd hope so.

It's the only way they'll learn that it might be an idea to not go to Defcon 4 at the first sign of a possible 'gun' that turns out to be a wheelbrace, cucumber, umbrella or pointy stick...

Anonymous said...

Unless the couple in question make a formal complaint, that's the end of the matter. Rest assured, the gross overreaction will be repeated next time somebody makes some fatuous report to Essex Police. The only way to stop this kind of thing is to nail the senior police officer responsible and sack him (as if!). Mind you, since the police (the Met anyway) can effectively get away with murder, the consequences of a formal complaint which is upheld on this one would be a slap on the wrist for whoever is responsible followed by a congratulatory knees-up at a local hostelry.

Anonymous said...

So what would expect them to do Julia? A presumably well meaning member of the public has done their civic duty and called police when they believe they've seen someone with a firearm, said people then approach a bank, possibly loitering outside. Should we A) Send the best trained and equipped officers to deal with it as professionally as possible B) Ignore it, it probably isn't a gun and anyway the moneys insured isn't it? or C) Make snide comments on an internet forum and write into the Mail about how the police and the Brownshirts of the new century?

Anonymous said...

"A presumably well meaning member of the public has done their civic duty..."

Well, 'anon', what I'd expect is for them to weigh up the 'evidence' (member of the public sees gunlike object) and decide if what they are being told is credible.

And when it's found not to be credible, a bit of shame-faced apology - to the public and the poor sods who had the crap scared out of them - wouldn't come amiss, frankly.

Particularly when the record of armed officers isn't that good to start with, and certainly not coming a few days after one of these 'highly-trained professionals' left het gun in the loo at Starbucks!

Anonymous said...

And again you trot out the same old tripe Julia, you really should change the record you know. And shame on you for believing anything a newspaper says never mind one with such a track record on policing as the Mail, but then it suits your purpose to believe it doesn't it? Why would they print an apology was made? Would that suit their editorial position? Would it suit yours? Of course it wouldn't, you've made your wooly minded views clear on numerous occasions.
You're very quick to criticise when you have very little in the basis of facts, do you jump to conclusions so readily all the time?
In the Met there are nearly 8000 officers trained in the use of firearms, last year in the Met there were over 13,000 calls to the police alleging the possession or use of firearms for criminal purpose which resulted in nearly 4000 deployments i.e actual public facing actions, of armed officers which resulted in two police shotings. Not a bad average in my mind but I'm sure you won't agree.
But then as that wasn't reported in the Mail I'm not sure you'll believe me after all I'm not exactly that Holt Grail of reporting integrity.
Again and again you've proved to the (few) people who read your blog you've no idea how policing works, instead you come across as some kind of 'angry spinster of Tonbridge Wells' basing all your arguements on what you're read in papers like the Daily Mail refusing to listen to people who actually do the job you're criticising. Have a Horlicks, relax and put the computer away, you'll only do yourself an injury.