Tag Archives: police

Long Tailed Tit - Rufford Abbey

Curses, Cars and Cameras

I’ve been seriously thinking of having a camera fitted in the car.

A friend of mine, a few years ago, was lectured by the police after he was reported for making threats, with accompanying foul-mouthed abuse, to a woman driver who was badly parked in his street (it was part of an on-going neighbour dispute, which divided the street – an ex-policeman on one side and everyone else on the other). He was told to make himself available at the station with a view to being charged or cautioned, and advised that he may need legal advice. So he asked the police if they wanted to view his camera footage of the incident or if he should just give it to his solicitor ready for the court appearance, as he hadn’t sworn or made any threats, merely asked if she could park a little further along where the street was wider. She was the one who was aggressive.

The police muttered, and said they would be back in touch. When they rang back they said the complainant had decided to withdraw her complaint and no further action would be taken. Sadly, no action was taken against her for lying or wasting police time.

A couple of days ago I was reminded of this when a friend showed me a film of his wife being side-swiped by a car that overtook her and pulled across before completing the manoeuvre. He got out of his car complaining it was her fault and is maintaining that story to the insurance company. The film shows it is completely his fault. She was even decelerating at the time, so he should have had more room, not less, to pass. They spent £300 on the camera system and it seems to be worthwhile.

They had it fitted after a freak accident when two pallets fell off a passing trailer and smashed into the car, one wedging itself in the windscreen and missing his wife by inches. As they couldn’t trace the other vehicle it resulted in a long and time-consuming insurance wrangle.

This is beginning to look like one pieces of modern technology that might be useful. It will also improve my language, as the audio is distressingly clear. My friend’s wife demonstrated this with impeccable diction on the clip I saw. It’s undoubtedly an accurate description of the other driver, but not the sort of language you would normally use in front of a judge.

Header picture is a long-tailed tit at Rufford Abbey. I mentioned them a short while ago.

Marsh Tit at Rufford Abbey

Blue Tits being acrobatic

Day 150

Californian Poppies

Today, I am going to rush through my 250 words and then get on with something else. I only realised this morning, with a shock, that it is the last day of May and I have submissions to make before midnight. Having been caught up at work this evening, then slept in front of the TV I find myself a little short on time.

This afternoon was interesting. We left work at 4.00 and locked the shop. My workmate exchanged a few words with an elderly gent and walked away. The man then came to me. I smiled in a warm and friendly manner, expecting some comment on our opening hours. Instead he said, “I need help, please can you help me?”

It was the start of a series of events that lasted for over an hour. That’s not long in terms of a lifetime, but it’s quit a long time to be involved in the problems of a complete stranger.

Wren

His problem was that he had been dropped off by a taxi driver. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going (apart from the fact it was a hospital). He had no money, no phone and no ID. All this came out in the course of our conversation. He wasn’t quite sure how old he was – late 80s – but the age and DOB he gave didn’t match up, and there was nobody at home we could ring because his partner was in hospital and was expecting him to visit. He was a touch confused, though he seemed o know his name and address, and had not shaved recently or had the benefit of clean clothes. This was not a man for whom things were going well, and in some respects, it was like looking in a mirror.

It was also a nudge into a memory that I don’t really like. About 40 years ago I saw a confused elderly man hit by a car as he tried to cross the M11 motorway near Cambridge. He went flying through the air, and when I attended the inquest the events of that afternoon had clearly placed a great strain on both the car driver and the wife of the deceased. I wasn’t going to let him wander off, but there wasn’t  a lot I could do to help him either.

Gannets

In the end I had to ring the police and wait until an officer turned up to attend to him. She was very friendly and efficient, and asked all the right questions and took him home, where she was going to check with the neighbours and see what was happening. I will probably hear no more about the story, and will always wonder how things turned out but, in the manner of these things, I suspect it is the start of a change in his life that will not be to his advantage. I hope he has a family and that they gather round to help.

And on that sombre note I will leave you and go to finish my submissions for the month. I am going to make the most of my brain while it is still working. Not sure what photographs I am going to post with this, I will try for something cheerful.

Yellow Flag Iris

Just Another Rant

After a painful day yesterday I am enjoying my day off today and am feeling quite sprightly. There’s a slight bittersweet quality about the pain free nature of the day because I achieved it by taking a double dose of paracetamol (which is a bad thing to do) and a double dose of ibuprofen (ditto). There’s some reason that I’m not supposed to take ibuprofen. The doctor did tell me, but I’ve forgotten. They have given me a gel to use, because I can have ibuprofen as a gel, just not as a tablet, unfortunately that has one major fault – it doesn’t actually work.

The other, minor,  problem is that my knobbly fingers have an unsettling quality at the best of times. but when coated in a shiny gel they look like the sort of low-budget horror make-up associated with British TV of the 1960s.

I wasn’t actually going to talk about my delinquency regarding over the counter pain remedies, I was thinking of a piece on a social issue, or  something philosophical on writing. Somehow I just seem to find my level chatting about health, TV or sleeping. Not even talking about health really, my subject is mainly  unhealth, which probably isn’t a word. However, it stands in relation to unhealthy as health and healthy stand together, so it should be a word.

I haven’t been keeping up with drinking guidelines recently because I stopped drinking  thirty years ago. I just checked them up and see the Government suggests limiting alcohol consumption to six pints a week. Beer, that is. I was going to check it up in terms of vodka but you have to download an app to check that. Download an app? What is the world coming to? It’s bad enough that I had stop smoking and drinking, now they want me to clutter my life with apps. I really would rather be a drunkard with  a hacking cough than the sort of person who browses a mobile phone and uses apps. No wonder the world is in such a state.

Next thing you know we’ll have  a Police App. Been the victim of crime? Download our app and press a load of buttons. It won’t solve your problems with anti-social behaviour and it won’t catch burglars, so in that respect it will be just like the real police.  Oh yes, it’s that time again, voting for our local police commissioner. I will, as usual, be taking a stroll down to the polling booth to spoil my paper with the words “Why are we wasting money on this nonsense?”.

 

 

I Fell Asleep…

Sorry about missing last night. Around 10.30. knowing it was getting l;ate, I fell asleep in front of the TV and didn’t wake up until 12.30. I nearly did the same again tonight, but woke around 11.20.

I seem to be falling into bad habits.

We had our delivery from ASDA tonight. Once again I ordered celeriac and once again they failed to deliver. I’m beginning to get quite annoyed about this. I feel that celeriac is becoming an symbol of my separation from 21st century life. I mean, if you haven’t got any, how difficult can it be to strike it off the system? And if you have got some, why can’t I have it? It’s taking on an almost mythical status, as if Dan Brown is going to write a book about it, or as if ASDA are holding it back to feed their unicorns.

Celeriac and Unicorns – watch out for it in a bookshop near you next Christmas.

Meanwhile, it’s that time of year again. The time when the Poetry Society writes to me to tell me it’s time to submit my poems to the National Poetry Competition. As usual I will send two off – one costing £7 and the other free, because members of the Poetry Society get a free second poem. I never expect to win, but I do allow myself to dream about the life-changing consequences of being short-listed – the job offers, the paparazzi and the inevitable procession of invitations onto TV reality shows.

When the time comes I will accept invitations to do celebrity quiz shows and possibly the occasional documentary, but am going to avoid ones that include the risk of ridicule or eating the less attractive bits of Australian mammals.

I see they are filming I’m a Celebrity in Wales this year, which is likely to make it a very different sort of show, as kangaroo testicles are removed from the menu and the chances of young female participants showering in bikinis recede in direct proportion to the chances of hypothermia.

Having said that, I see that the show is at risk due to the new travel restrictions on travel to Wales.

Oh dear. It’s just past midnight – I seem to have missed posting for a second day.

I’m going to go to bed now and mull over the irony of police enforcing a travel ban, despite their reticence to take action over our burglary at the shop last year, or the general reluctance to take action over politicians breaking lockdown rules. Of course, when you read up on Dominic Cummings and his latest problem, you are left in no doubt that there is a two tier system in this country.

 

 

 

Coppers, Cats and Chancers

Today we had eight customers and only one bothered to ring for an appointment. Even he rang before we were open and insisted on coming in at 10 am, before we were really ready for customers.

I’m going to stop answering the phone before we are open.

One of the others wasn’t even wearing a mask. When I asked him to put one on he told me he had one in the car. So I put one on the counter for him, which he ignored. However, as he was moving towards the door as he asked questions we replied and let him back out.

He had a silver Afghani wedding belt and a broken gold Rolex to sell. I looked the wedding belt up on Wikipedia, there’s a lot about Afghan jewellery but not much about the belts. It’s not really our sort of stuff.

photo of british shorthair cat sitting on grass field

Photo by Kirsten Bu00fchne on Pexels.com

We also try to avoid copy Rolex watches, whether broken or not. (If you’d seen him it wouldn’t have entered your mind that it was likely to be genuine either). There are a lot of narrow-faced chancers in our line, and the aura of mendacity lay heavy around him.

Chances are that if it’s a copy it isn’t gold either.

If, by any remote possibility, it is real it’s most likely stolen, and we don’t want that either.

I once bought a stolen item and it can get complicated. It was even more complicated because it was a police helmet and it had disappeared after being knocked of the wearers head in a scuffle in slab square.

It’s not unusual for used police helmets to come on the market, so it didn’t ring any alarm bells at the time. If you search “police helmets” on eBay there are 53 traditional British police helmets on the first two pages alone. That suggests there are about 300 helmets up for sale from the 600 items that come up on the search.

Such was my defence…

man in officer s uniform black standing during parade

Photo by Marianna on Pexels.com

I took the pictures from the Pexels site by searching for British Police. It turned up one useful photo of a British policeman and quite a few of cats – I think they are British Blues.

 

A Bonus Moaning Day

I lost the list of postcodes I was going to do, and it’s getting late. As no plan of mine ever survives contact with reality for more than a week, this is about what I expected.

I’m not going to give in to stress and attempt the impossible, so I’m going to relate a story instead.

We had a visitor today, who introduced himself as a police Detective Sergeant. This was a pleasant surprise as we thought they’d forgotten all about us.

This air of positivity was soon dispelled when he told us he wanted access to our cameras and asked if they covered the other side of the road. The owner said no, they didn’t cover the other side of the road and the detective as good as called him a liar, saying he could see from our monitor that it did.

The owner explained that although they could show the other side of the road they couldn’t show the detail required for police evidence needs, as had been pointed out to us last week.

Actually, it seems, they are good enough when the police say they are good enough. It’s only when they don’t want to take action that the cameras become unusable.

It ended with the detective telling us that he didn’t appreciate the hostility and reminding us that he was a human being.

To be honest, if you walk into a shop with boarded up windows, where the owner was told in the last seven days that his crime won’t be investigated because CID is too busy to look at the case, you are unlikely to be welcomed like a long-lost brother (1).

If you then demand access to CCTV footage from cameras that were judged to be inadequate last week and tell the owner that they are adequate this week because you are investigating a serious crime, you are not going to be reducing tension.

I agree that he is a human being, and shouldn’t be met with hostility because of poor management and political interference, but as you can see from this pay scale, he’s a human being that is paid quite well, particularly as his job description seems to exclude catching people who rob coin shops. He will also be getting paid the same this year as he was paid last year, whereas the shop owner is looking at a bill of over £15,000 for lost stock, lost trade and extra security.

Anyway, end of rant. He got the footage he needed because we always try to help the police. This is, I think, the fourth time we’ve let them have footage – it’s just a shame they aren’t there for us in the same way.

Finally, a lighter end to the rant.

We’d been joking a few days ago that people in Nottingham would be getting fake Kew Gardens 50p pieces in their change after we had a box of them stolen. And sure enough, someone brought one in today. We can’t prove it’s one of ours, but it’s marked “Copy” like ours and it’s a bit of a coincidence that it cropped up in change locally.

I couldn’t find any photos suitable for “theft” or “police” so I went for a Robin.

 

(1) To be greeted like a long-lost brother you need to bring biscuits.

The Mood Begins to Lift

The day started badly when Julia went out to the car this morning, and found that the windows  were all down. It’s happened once before – and with other cars. I always think it’s something to do with the automatic locking, though I never quite work out how it happens. Fortunately it was a dry night and nothing was taken.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like electric windows. I didn’t want them, I didn’t ask for them, I just bought a Volkswagen about 20 years ago and found that I had no window winders, just buttons. Over the years I spent several hundred pounds on repairs and ended up with three windows held shut with blocks of wood as the car eventually ended up being worth less than the cost of repairing a window motor.

Fortunately, the rest of the day was better and I was even able to look at novelty sporrans on-line. Even better, I was able to marvel at the irony that it’s a vegan taxidermist who is hollowing out many of the animals for the new wave of sporrans. If I’d merely seen the words I’d have assumed she was mounting prize vegetables for proud owners.

Julia found a bag of watches today as we continued tidying. It’s a mystery why I placed my two everyday watches in a bag with two broken watches (gardening is hard on watches). It’s even more of a mystery how they ended up in a box in the dining room.

I suspect that Julia’s definition of “tidying” has had a hand in this. She thinks that simply moving my stuff round and hiding things has some sort of benefit. I don’t.

It’s been a stressful few days.

We’ve discovered four boxes of VHS tapes which I thought had all gone years ago, eight bags of books (frankly, I’d rather give the kids away), a box of continuous computer paper (for a type of printer I haven’t used for 20 years) and the thick end of a hundred rounds of shotgun ammunition which I’d forgotten about.

That’s a long story, revolving around moving to town, giving up shooting, then giving up re-enacting, then having children. And, above all, being disorganised, with a bad memory.

I hadn’t realised that most local police stations no longer have a counter service. It took three attempts to find one that was open, but it went smoothly enough after that.

Finally there was the £30 in copper I had managed to accumulate. It cost me ten percent, using the machine in the supermarket, but the remaining £27 paid for the groceries, and it was a lot easier than counting it all out into bags for the bank and making a special journey.

And that’s about it for today.

 

Catching Up

I got home last night to find two letters. One was from South Yorkshire Constabulary telling me that I am to have penalty points and a fine for my speeding offence, so I don’t know why they even bothered to mention the safe driving course in their original letter.

I’m extremely annoyed with myself, as I’ve been up and down that stretch of road hundreds of times with no problem. I’ve travelled hundreds of thousands of miles for business and, except for a bit of bother in 1977, I’ve had a clean driving record. A moment’s lack of attention and it’s cost me £100, three points and, no doubt, hassle with the insurance company.

I may well have to write to the Chief Constable and express my disappointment at not being allowed to go on the course.

After opening that letter I opened one from my bank. They say they haven’t heard from me and will start to restrict my access to my money if I don’t contact them to renew my contact details.

So, I rang, and it’s possible I was a little brusque. The original person who took my call palmed me off on somebody else who clearly didn’t want to hear from me, didn’t know what was going on and was happy to confirm that after a telephone call I’d made last month had provided all the information currently being demanded. I may have to issue a sharp rebuke to head office.

Of course, I never actually get round to writing any of these letters…

Finally, we went to visit Julia’s niece in hospital. She has just had a baby and I am now a great-uncle. This is a description of our relationship, not the quality of my uncleship, as I’m a very mediocre uncle at best.

At least the day ended on a high. Babies are very uplifting, particularly when you can give them back and go home.

Today’s photograph is from our Wednesday visit to Carsington Water, which I still need to write about, so the title of his post might be a trifle optimistic.

We appear in the Local Paper…

Yes, we’re in the paper, though there is more coverage, including pictures of all the staff, online.

You’ll never guess what I’m doing on the video clip. That’s right, I’m sorting shillings.

It’s my day off today. so I took Julia to lunch at Pizza Hut for the all you can eat buffet. I’m capable (as you may guess from the unflattering pictures in the link) of eating quite a bit of pizza. I also had a bowl of salad to keep things healthy. Tonight we are dining on soup.

Anyway, while we were there a lady with a child sat on the table behind us. She also ordered the buffet, then, when asked what the child would like, said just an extra plate. I suppose it was worth a try. The waitress politely pointed out the range of items on the menu specifically for children.

When last seen, the lady was on her third plate of pasta and the child was carrying his second bowl of ice cream back from the ice cream machine.

I’m constantly amazed at what people do with the buffet offer. We once saw another family group pile their plates with pizza slices and ask for a doggy bag. They were most annoyed to be told that it didn’t work that way with the buffet and they had to eat it or leave it.

It takes all sorts…

Back at home I had two letters, one told me I’d passed the blood test from yesterday and don’t need to go back for three weeks.

The other was from Rotherham. I nearly threw it away unopened, as I often do with letters that come from unknown sources. They are usually of no importance and, so far, no harm has ever resulted from this practice. However, I did open it this time, and found it was from the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Constabulary.

“That’s nice,” I thought, “he’s writing to me to thank me for all the safe and careful driving I’ve done in my years of driving through South Yorkshire.”

But I was wrong.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Some people have no sense of gratitude.

Nottingham Post in the morning, Police Gazette by the afternoon.

Ah well!