We’re back in the UK after three passport checks within our exit and entry points – two areas described as ‘secure’. I have been at a loss to understand how it is that so many people manage to enter the UK illegally – but it’s clear to me that we concentrate too many of our resources on triple-checking and logging the movements of those of us born and bred in the country.
(Update – They were so busy harrassing British passport-holders that they forgot to look under this coach..).
And to be fair, the country is so hard-pressed and cash-strapped that policing illegal immigration is inevitably low priority when having to deal with the alarming rise in public order offences..
Pride of place belongs to Newport Police on the Isle of Wight – take a bow, lads, for a truly monumental torturing of the Public Order Act to achieve this result. A passing 32-year-old man of Chinese origin had claimed he was subjected to racial abuse when he overheard a pub singer singing ‘Kung fu Fighting’, Carl Douglas’ old hit. The pub singer, Simon Ledger, was arrested and bailed on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986. For those of you unfamiliar with the Act, Section 4a states:
A person is guilty if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he
a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
Just to be on the safe side, I think I might take ‘Ahab the A-rab’ out of my own pub set for the time being…
And then we come to the heroic tale of the Hitler moustache. ‘When I were a lad’ (apologies to genuine Yorkshiremen but I’m proud of my quarter Yorkshire heritage), this is the sort of thing that passed for humour amongst the kids in my village. Now it is deemed to cause “harassment, alarm and distress” to the soft, southern Councillor whose photographic image was so cruelly defaced. Is this sort of thing really within the intended scope of the Public Order Act?
As if complaining to the police wasn’t bad enough, four brave boys (and, maybe, girls) in blue were despatched to the hamlet three times to conduct house-to-house enquiries of the 20 residents. Un-something-believable!
It turns out that this particular police
force service has form when it comes to wasting police time. They were also responsible for this tale of derring do that I reported on a little time ago..
Finally for now – and in the recent history section – Thames Valley Police
force service provides us with this little gem:
Last year, it was claimed that a police force sent a van full of officers to oversee a calendar model posing in the street in her underwear. Thames Valley Police said that they were acting on a tip-off that Rebecca Hill planned to walk naked down the street.
I bet they were…