'It was a bit over the top, to say the least.’Yes. Yes, it clearly was...
Picture the scene:
Good neighbour Patricia Cook was only too happy to look after her friend’s house and garden while she was away on holiday.A more charming scene you could hardly wish for. And yet...
The 67-year-old and her daughter Louise dutifully visited to water the plants and pick up windfall apples.
Less than ten minutes later two police cars with flashing lights raced up, and three officers climbed the garden fence.Ah. If only that fence had been 15ft instead of 7ft, she'd have been quite undisturbed in her nefarious garden-watering caper...
Mrs Cook said: ‘I had the watering can and Louise had picked up about four apples, when this voice from the other side of the fence asked us what we were up to.
‘I asked, “What do you mean?” At this point, I wasn’t sure who it was. Next minute these police officers were scaling the fence with Taser guns, the whole lot.’
‘I showed them the letter my friend gave me to explain what we were doing there.Because you might think you were free to go water your neighbour's garden any time you pleased, Mrs Cook!
‘But they still insisted on taking down all our personal details – our names, dates of birth and addresses. I was very angry. Why should I be on their records when I’ve done nothing wrong?’
What, do you think you live in a free country, or something? Nein! Papiere, bitte!Mrs Cook being of the generation that would probably have had a laugh and a joke with the police (and left it at that) if they'd only had the nous to apologise and act sheepish, I guess police PR training drops the ball. Again.
Mrs Cook has now sent a strong letter of complaint to Hertfordshire Police.
She said: ‘It’s such a waste of time and public money – the taxpayers are paying for this.
I didn’t even get a “sorry”.
And the 'Mail' has more anti-police stories. Again.
The good Inspector keeps telling us we 'get the policing we deserve'. So, I think it's only fitting the police get the press they deserve, eh?
Inspector Gadget does keep telling us that and he is right but what he shouldn't do - but does (along with a couple of regular posters who clearly don't go out much) is whinge about the bad press which he really knows is absolutely justified 90% of the time. This particular story sums up the modern day front line constable. Poor training, low recruitment standards (And people used to say officers recruited in the huge drive in the 1970's were below standard) and obsession with health & safety, equality and diversity, the removal of the wonderful powers of discretion & common sense led by a powerful, overly politicised self interested elite. Every time a Gadget commenter says 'Daily Wail' I think 'twat'. The DM isn't having a pop at front line officers but the loony left health & Safety obsessed, diversity driven bollocks that makes officers such as Hertfordshire's finest from this article the total and utter wankers that they are. AND GAdget wants people like this ARMED! A great shame because we do know that there are very hard working, committed and brave men and women out there doing what we want them to do but there's an awful lot of tossers, especially the mob over the rank of Chief Inspector - now that lot need culling - the money saved would be enormous - enough to pay Ali Dizaei out....AGAIN!
"‘I showed them the letter"
Mrs Cook should thank whatever Deity she believes or doesn't believe in that she had the foresight to get written permission otherwise she'd probably still be in ICU with major cardiac problems due to the multiple tazerings....and perhaps even GSW.
"A R M E D P O L I C E!! PUT DOWN THE APPLE AND STEP AWAY FROM THE ZIMMER FRAME."
Dear oh dear Julia,if you are going to use the Daily Mail as a reference for your anti-police agenda then get better stories than this one.
Firstly somebody must have called the police to say the venue was being burgled.So two cars get sent.Not unusual.
Secondly they at no time pointed their tazers at the old lady.They just happened to be wearing them on their belt,completely standard for that force.
Thirdly if we stop and question anyone we have to take down their details.A law bought in by the last government to make sure we can be moaned at for stopping to many minorities.
Fourthly if the police hadn't attended then the person that phoned would be in the Daily Mail complaining that the "police didn't respond,cut their gold-plated pensions".
I am imagining Melvin and his gang cracking their knuckles and salivating over the keyboard after reading this reply.
(PS Am I the only PC out there who reads this blog-I need help!)
"I am imagining Melvin and his gang cracking their knuckles and salivating over the keyboard after reading this reply."
No not really, you raised fairly fair points. I think even the most vitriolic of us know that a lot of the problems with the police are infact system errors or due to the ludicrous laws passed by Blair et al and the procedures imposed on the Farce (Like the one where someone accused of rape can refuse to have a 'intimate' samples taken but not a DNA sample).
That said though, this was a classic of OTT policing...
"(PS Am I the only PC out there who reads this blog-I need help!)"
No. I know of one or two who 'lurk' and there are no doubt more but the two I know won't post/comment for reasons known only to them and Internal Affairs. I get the occasional email from him giving me deeper insight to some of the things you've said here and telling me I'm being unfair.
Blimey, just think what might have happened had the ladies been caught up on ladders cleaning the windows...
if you are going to use the Daily Mail as a reference for your anti-police agenda then get better stories than this one
I agree with Shinar that your explanation of the why and the how gives the story a useful additional dimension.
That said, it's worth considering what makes this tale Daily-Mail-worthy. From the 'good neighbour's' perspective the incident can't have been much fun.
Once the position was clear to the police officers, an explanation, an expression of regret at having caused alarm or just a bit of good humour might have done much to defuse the situation and kept this out of the paper.
Incidentally, WPC Jaded (aka McJaded) might be a police officer though she sounds more like one of Ernst Röhm's people.
I believe one of the Mail's recent stories was a court case in Italy that didn't happen, or at least didn't proceed as planned.
So, in the spirit of the Fail's ability to report: it was probably a young man, not an old woman who was there to steal apples and watering cans, only one policeman turned up, no blue lights, and all rights were fully addressed.
Other than that, spot on.
Look, for those who worked in the media we know half of what's reported never happened or is twisted to some ludicrous degree to sell the product. 'Nothing much happened' is the one headline they will never print.
Hello Mick,I looked up your reference as I had never heard of Ernst Rohm-I am quite right wing but not that far!
As for WPC Jaded and McJaded-that is Melvin having a little joke and impersonating me.I think he secretly wanted to be a police officer but failed the entrance exam.We chase each other on several other (mainly police) blogs.I have decided to treat him like an elderly eccentric Uncle that you only see at Xmas when he's dribbling and farting at the dinner table.
"This particular story sums up the modern day front line constable. Poor training, low recruitment standards..."
There's no indication that these were new officers, though. They could well have been, but equally, they may not...
"Secondly they at no time pointed their tazers at the old lady.They just happened to be wearing them on their belt..."
Oh, I know. But as Ranter pointed out, the Great British Public clearly isn't happy with them being armed with these. So I think you can rule out routine arming with real guns in my lifetime!
"Thirdly if we stop and question anyone we have to take down their details.A law bought in by the last government to make sure we can be moaned at for stopping to many minorities."
Indeed. And yet another thing that doesn't sit well with the public.
"Blimey, just think what might have happened had the ladies been caught up on ladders cleaning the windows..."
Well, we know they wouldn't have climbed up after them.. ;)
"Once the position was clear to the police officers, an explanation, an expression of regret at having caused alarm or just a bit of good humour might have done much to defuse the situation..."
The bottom line is that this should have been a fairly routine 'engagement' between police and public. It should have left Mrs Cook & her daughter feeling reassured and even more supportive of the police for their prompt response to someone's concerns but it didn't. There was no need to do the whole 'stop & search' thing at all. Who was going to know? It would have been obvious to anyone what was going on, a bit of banter, a 'wish I had neighbours like you' sort and away leaving Mrs Cook and daughter saying how nice the officers were, aren't they getting younger blah, blah, blah. But no, they were left feeling as if they were guilty of something, the complaint should be investigated and some words of advice given at informal resolution. Like magistrates hiding behind sentencing guidelines, oft mocked over at Gadget's place, and rightly so as we have seen from the recent riot sentencing furore where magistrates disregarded these the police should not hide behind 'stop & search' requirements. Police officers, constables, still have discretion, the newer generation are just not told about it and many others have forgotten how to use it. A great shame.
OK I accept some of your points but once again you have only heard one side of the story.I doubt for a second that the old lady was searched.Had I dealt with this I would have been polite and cheeky to the neighbour as that is my style.We are not all the same as we are not robots.
I also accept that the standard of recruiting has fallen.There are two reasons for this-general education standards has fallen across the country in all fields and we are reflecting this trend.And secondly the elephant in the room-dumbing down to let more "diverse" people in.
In my opinion we should be raising standards as there is a large pool of recruits to choose from these days.When I joined in the 80's it was bloody hard.When I went for my interview I was one of 36 in my group.They only took 6.(Yes Melvin I was shocked as well)
"And secondly the elephant in the room-dumbing down to let more "diverse" people in."
Ahhh yes, the socalled "Police Academy" effect...
Something that really doesn't get enough air time in the MSM.
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