Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The Boys in Blue

Now I said yesterday that I would return to the police, a subject that I am sure will run and run on this blog. For the record, I'm not anti police. Far from it. We need them. They do a lot of good stuff. They sometimes face danger on our behalf. (But let's be honest, not every day).

No, today's observation is how consumed by purile 'easy option' pointless political correctness they have become. A story to illustrate:

Mrs C and I were driving back to 'Cragsbury Towers' in leafy Sussex after a good Xmas party. It was 0130 hrs in the AM. I was driving. I am a non-drinker. Anyhow, we pulled up at some lights near to where we live. This junction is in the middle of nowhere. No people. No houses. No nothing. Being a law abiding ranter, I waited for the lights to change. But it was late and we wanted to get home. So just a smidge before the lights began to change, I eased off the brake and began to ever so slowly inch forward. Now remember, no one in sight, no noise, empty roads, no other cars. Except the police car that pulled behind me just as I was inching forward. Anyway, as green came, I pulled away. Not fast, just pulled away. Blue lights.

Plod - "Are you aware you have just broken the law, sir."
MC - "Really officer. How?"
Plod - "You crossed the white line."
MC - "What white line?"
Plod - "That one there. At the lights. I have you on camera if you want to dispute it."
MC - "Well spotted officer. I wasn't suggesting that I was going to dispute it. I just can't believe that with all the crime there is in the UK these days that this particular crime is so important."
Plod - "Who is that in the car with you, sir?"
MC - "My wife."
Plod - "Well you have just endangered her life, sir."
MC - "Officer, in the 2 or 3 minutes we have been chatting, I haven't noticed another car pass by. Have you? So I think Mrs C is going to make it through the night."
Plod - "Have you been drinking, sir."
MC - "No. I don't drink."
Plod - "Would you mind if I breathalysed you?"
MC - "Not at all."

(Test done. 100% negative.)

Plod - "Well sir, I am going to let you off with a caution."
MC - "Very kind, officer."
Plod - "Would you mind just signing this form giving me consent to show you some pictures which you may find shocking." (The evening was looking up at last.)
MC - "How shocking are we talking here? Is it porn?"
Pold - "No sir. They are images of car accidents to show you the consequences of your law breaking this evening."

(Picture shown - one car bashed up sitting in the middle of a road junction. No blood. No gore. In fact no people in the shot.)

Now the point of my little story, putting aside the fact the nice thoughtful policeman was merely looking for an excuse to breathalyse me and picked on the most pathetic reason in the world, is this: I needed to sign a form to be shown a picture of a smashed up car? Now this may seem small and innocuous, but think it through:

1. Some moron had to come up with the idea of showing pictures to motorists, as if that will change anyone's behaviour. It's a cop out. Either this law is worth enforcing or it's not. Don't waste my time showing me wanky pictures if you are not going to do me.

2. A meeting was no doubt held to discuss this idea.

3. A decision was made that this was a worthwhile idea. Laughable.

4. A committee was formed to run a competitive tender from various suppliers to provide the pictures. Several pitch meetings were held. A supplier was selected.

5. Various photo shoots were done. Different pictures. Different times of day/night. Different parts of the country because no doubt some tosser on the committee will have said 'these picture must not be London-centric. They must show a regional representation.' So the photo team will have been sent round the country, put up at nice hotels, been given a per diem etc.

6. The committee will have reviewed the pictures and selected the winning shots. A booklet will have been produced. Many meetings had.

7. ACPO will have been consulted so that the booklet could be standardised across all 43 territorial police forces in the UK. Changes made ('I think we need more pictures giving a flavour of the North East. Too many of these photos are obviously set in the South East' - or some such crap).

8. A re-shoot. A revised booklet.

9. Then - the best bit - 'Should we not have a legal disclaimer here in case someone finds these pictures of crashed cars disturbing?'

10. Lawyers consulted. 'My strong advice to the the committee is that we tone down one or two of these images. And we have a form for people to sign to give their consent. After all, we don't want to be legally responsible for all the roadside heart attacks these shocking pictures may give rise to.'

11. Consent form designed. Three drafts after legal advice. Two further committee meetings.

12. Said forms and booklets are printed. Distributed around 43 police forces. Training courses for every traffic cop in the country in 'The New Roadside Caution Procedure as amended 2007'.

Can you imagine how much money you and I have paid for all this totally unnecessary bollocks? It must run into hundreds of thousands, if not millions. And this loony shit is happening in every public sector building near you, every day of the year.

I'm so glad I pay my taxes.

1 comment:

Not a sheep said...

Good spot and nicely written, I enjoyed.