Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Don't be a stranger.

Imagine this happening in your town.

You go for a day  out with a friend, on the way home you decide to get some fish and chips. You spot 'something happening' and more Police than you've seen in years. It's all quite exciting, so you decide to take some pictures with your nice new camera so you can show the folks at home.

You are challenged by a Police Officer as follows:
“You are a stranger in *insert-town-name** and you are . . . . .”

“I am not a stranger in *
insert-town-name* I have been here two years.”

“Then tell me who you are I’ve never seen you before.”
This actually happened to Stephen Russell, in Kidlington, near Oxford. He recorded events until :-
the officer manhandled me and switched off my camera,
He had his pockets searched, was taken to the police station. You can read the whole story on Stephen Russell's own blog.

Stephen also explains, in a later post, how easy it was for him to be confused with a terrorist.

There is a report about this incident on Amateur Photographer, along with a discussion within their forum. The Oxford Times also carries a report and goes on to explain the why the Police were there in the first place :-
Police spokesman Daniel Donovan said officers were called to the High Street at about 4.15pm after a gang hurled a bottle at a woman passer-by. 
And what happened to the bottle throwers?
Officers arrived and the louts were told to move on.
Good job none of them had a camera!


Witterings From Witney said...

Mrs. R,

Kidlington, whilst a separate entity, is generally considered one of the arse-ends of Oxford and the attitude exhibited by TVP is about par for the course.

When a few months ago, I had a stall in Witney market place handing out political literature I was approached by a PCSO who asked if I had permission to be there. When I pointed out that I did not need permission as I was not selling anything but that I had informed the local district council, as a matter of courtesy, and had hand-delivered a copy of that letter to the police station, after checking I was informed that they (the police) had no trace of it. Politely informing the PCSO that it was hardly my fault if their filing system was crap, the PCSO then returned to say that the Sergeant had decided to allow me to remain. Having told the PCSO that a suggestion to the Sergeant that his best course of action was to file his permission where the sun don't shine ended a very pleasant conversation with quite an attractive, young PCSO,

TVP are very polite - but polite don't last long!

Mrs Rigby said...

Many years ago there were Rigbys living in that area, but they escaped!

What do you think is the future of the PCSOs, nationally?

Witterings From Witney said...

Can't see the point of them Mrs R. No power of arrest, paid less. Half a plod for half the cost, so to speak.

Mrs Rigby said...

When people talk of "half" an existing sort of person I have a bad habit of wondering which half.