A woman has told how she was left “stunned” when her boss was contacted by vice squad officers after her car was seen in Bradford’s red light area.Luckily, it happens to be a family business:
Anne-Marie Carroll, 45, who is a member of the Bradford Catholic Players, was on her way to the group’s rehearsal rooms in Rebecca Street, driving alone in a company car, which was noted by officers investigating kerb crawling.
A letter was then sent by the Bradford District Vice Team to the Carroll Cleaning Company in Halifax, where she works as a sales director.
Her twin brother, Nicholas, the company’s managing director, opened the letter, which said the details of the circumstances in which Miss Carroll was seen would be kept on record unless she objected, and that she should speak to officers so they could confirm she had not committed an offence.Yeah, we need to see that one again, I think:
"...that she should speak to officers so they could confirm she had not committed an offence."Welcome to Third World Policing tactics - you are automatically guilty until you prove to the police that you have a reason for being where you were at the time.
It's been a long time since I read any 'Judge Dredd', but I don't think even he had the balls to demand that from the unfortunate citizens of Mega-City One, did he? And even Nazi efficiency didn't extend to the sending of letters - when they rocked up to demand 'Papieren, bitte!', at least they did it in person...
Naturally, Miss Carroll- probably never having thought about this before, is understandably bewildered and furious:
Miss Carroll said: “I was stunned.Sorry to disappoint you, Miss Carroll, but they clearly seem to believe they can, because no-one is reining them in, and what they are allowed to get away with, they will continue to do. Especially when it's driven by the poisonous legacy of Harman and Baird.
“For years and years we have always attended the rehearsal rooms at Rebecca Street without problems.
“The fact I’m a woman on my own, it beggars belief.
“My concern is with innocent people who, like me, drive company cars, a letter will go to their employers.
“It casts aspersions immediately and once that aspersion has been cast there would always be that cast of doubt as to what they were doing.
“Unless I am prosecuted I do not think they have any right at all to hold my details on file.
“I am a law-abiding citizen and I think it is an absolute outrage. They can’t do this to people.”
Still, now that the light of publicity has been shone on them, and they've realised that their tactic have the potential to cause embarrassment for innocent people, they'll call a halt, right?
Supt Williams said: “We make no apology for the robust way in that we tackle the issue of kerb crawling in Bradford.The arrogance is breathtaking, isn't it?
“This particular tactic to target the men who solicit women has been used for a number of years in the city and with notable success.
“The letters are sent out following detailed observations of a vehicle’s movements and the registered owner is contacted whether it is an individual or a business.
“In circumstances where the drivers are found to have legitimate reason for their activity, they are immediately removed from our records.”
Still, as a commenter points out, this swings both ways:
"bredandbuttered, Heaton says...He's got a point.
But its human nature to think the worst.
When I see a policeman I assume there's a possibilty that he's a racist thug."
As 'Going Fast, Getting Nowhere' asks, just what is the point of the police? Is it now about punishment, rather than prevention?
And as DumbJon points out, where are the civil liberties crowd when this sort of thing is going on right under their noses?