He was just about to light the barbecue and had not even turned on the music when the gazebo suddenly started flapping wildly and the sound of chopper blades filled the air.He should have played ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ to make them feel at home…
Eight officers wearing camouflage trousers and body armour jumped out and demanded that the 'rave' to be shut down.Which puzzled Mr Poole, because the ‘rave’ was just him and 15 pals…
Mr Poole said: 'We were nowhere near anyone. We weren't even playing any music. What effectively the police did was come in and stop 15 people eating burgers.'Because it seems that, stung by the recent criticism of their inactions in other forces in dealing with raves, they have decided to go all-out, full-bore crackers on even the hint of a gathering.
Having surveilled the situation with the force ‘Airwolf’ though, realised it’s a tiny bunch of 30 year olds having a barbecue under the sort of teeny marquee you can pick up for a fiver in ASDA, you’d think they would realise their error and call off the dogs.
But oh no:
Four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter were involved in the swoop on Andrew Poole's gathering for his family and friends.Obviously, crime is almost unheard of in this rural paradise…
What sparked their interest?
The party was organised using the create an event facility on Facebook.Why? It clearly wasn’t a rave, as initially suspected.
Mr Poole, a coach driver, said he invited 17 family and friends and two had not even arrived by the time the helicopter was whirring overhead.
Mr Poole said: 'All of a sudden there was this noise in the sky. The thing then hovered over us for about 25 minutes, watching 15 people eat. They told us to take down the sound system and said everybody's got to leave.
What law were they breaking, then, other than – of course – ‘making the police look like a bunch of clueless, hysterical, tooled-up knobs’?
'It was 4pm and we hadn't even plugged the music in yet. We tried to reason with them but they were having none of it.'Oh, that was a mistake…
And of course, they are, even in the cold light of day, when everyone’s laughing at them, totally unrepentant:
Yesterday, police insisted they were right to end the party. 'We were extremely concerned how the event had been advertised on the internet as an all-night party,' a spokesman said.Somehow, I just knew the Internet would get the blame….
I suppose it depends whether the field was his, and if not whether he had the permission of the owner. If he had either of these I would have thought the police had nothing to stand on. If on the other hand he was effectively tresspassing on someone else's property then while the poilce response was over the top, as a farmer, I don't have a great deal of sympathy. I wouldn't want people just turning up on my fields thinking they could have parties willy-nilly.
Even acepting Sobers very valid points, one police cyclist would have been sufficient and a heck of a lot cheaper!
"If on the other hand he was effectively tresspassing on someone else's property then while the poilce response was over the top, as a farmer, I don't have a great deal of sympathy."
If you actually reported a party of fifteen men on one of your fields, would you expect to get that response, though?
Or would you expect to get put through to the 'Traveller Liaison Officer' to hear how little they could do about it, hands are tied, sorry...?
"...one police cyclist would have been sufficient and a heck of a lot cheaper!"
Probably wouldn't have passed a risk assessment in case he was floored with a well-aimed burnt sausage!
I would like to think that the police would send a chopper and the riot squad if I called them with travellers on my land, but I suspect their response would generally be more as you suggest.
I get illegal hare coursers and poachers and the police don't want to know about that either. Which given there's a good chance poachers are armed is a bit worrying.
"I get illegal hare coursers and poachers and the police don't want to know about that either. Which given there's a good chance poachers are armed is a bit worrying."
And particularly when they've trotted so many spokemen out to say what a growing crime it is (indeed, a 'national priority') and how they take it terribly seriously too...
Bollocks to all this namby-pamby "on-the-one-hand-this-on-the-other-hand-that," this is an instance where we not merely require the extension of the 2nd Amendment to UK citizens, but also its coverage to include ownership of such anti-Plod measures as the Mistral or FIM-92 Stinger.
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