Friday, August 26, 2005

Be afraid

Tim over at the Castle, links to Mr du Toit who brings us news that quite cordially gives me the willies.

A father and son were arrested after they were seen playing with toy guns.
Martin Pearson, 48, and his 14-year-old son, from Sheffield, were on a fishing trip in Scarborough when they bought a plastic pistol and a rifle from a seafront stall.
But they sparked an alert when a member of the public spotted them with the guns and told police. An armed response unit surrounded the pair before they were handcuffed and put in a van while sniffer dogs searched their car. The pair were arrested and taken to Scarborough police station and held for five-and-a-half hours while their fingerprints, photographs and DNA samples were taken before they were released on bail at 4.30am. Mr Pearson criticised the police for their treatment. He said: “They went way, way over the top.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “We say it over and over again, if you have got a toy gun, keep it to yourself.”

A few thoughts here.
5 1/2 hrs? To say,
"I am sorry sir, that is obviously a plastic toy, our mistake"
"No problem officer, I understand that you have a job to do",
"Take care sir, and enjoy your fishing trip".

Instead they are handcuffed, imprisoned, fingerprinted, had DNA samples taken and kept in to 4.30 am (it seems that they were haveing their play fight at 11pm, but so what).

Now about twenty years ago, a school friend and I were bimbling about some fields in Hampshire. We had with us a 10 bore ladies over and under and a .22 rifle. Yes we had been trained in the use of firearms, yes we did have permission to go rabbiting from the farmer. However a local, who neither of us recognised obviously phoned the plod.
A couple of landies turned up and armed officers poured out. We watched with mounting interest until an uniformed officer took out a load hailer and addressed us directly.
"Will the two men with weapons please put them down and walk towards the cars with their hands up?"
Having never been desribed as a man before I was flattered, until I realised that they were serious and they were real guns pointing at me.

However, when we got to the bottom of the hill, explained ourselves and shown the officer our weapons there was a certain degree of laughter, the concerned local was mollified and we were allowed back into the fields to blast away at the local fauna.
End of story.

Today we would be sent to Gitmo.


VH said...

Two songs pop into my mind (or what's left of it):
Are you going to Scarborough fair? (S&G)
Happiness is a wam gun (Beatles)

Anonymous said...


I loved your story !

We (my friends and I ) did a similar thing in Stockholm, where we are from. But we used explosives to blast our way through a sandpit. Amusing, at least until the Police showed up. They where friendly when they saw us, and just let us go when we explaind that we just used too much. A little less was O.K. they thought.

Gitmo and Chagos scares me. And I'm NOT a terrorist.

Anonymous said...

very interesting story. Sad to see the knee-jerk reactions in today's society - but what do you expect post Hungerford and Dunblane?