Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tits and Blood

Made you read on, didn’t it?

That’s the point. If I called it “Flat caps and Barbours”, you might not have got this far. But, no, you’ve proved them right. You’ve been programmed to respond to sex and violence, so you’re still here.

Policing and the media in this country are like a marriage made in Vegas. A union consummated after a vodka-laced night out and some mention of a wager. Most days it’s like the morning after. A pulsing head, vague recollections of the re-appearance of Elvis and a nagging ‘what have I done’ feeling after you closely examine your bed-fellow in the cold light of day.

The media is now considered a useful tool in our fight against crime. So much so that even our Small Corner of the Throbbing Metropolis employs a press officer.

Fat lot of good it did us at the Pro-Hunt demo.

I know the demo isn’t actually ‘news’ anymore. It just demonstrates my point quite well.

The media knew it wasn’t all going to be sweetness and light, with well-heeled gentry-folk shouting “BOO-HISS” at anyone with a cheesy grin and a red tie seen wandering around Westminster. They were there in force.

All the dailies and Sundays were represented. Every rolling news channel had cameras up in high vantage points. Some enterprising person had even hired a helicopter to film from.

I had a reasonable vantage point too. It was like South Central LA (with plummy accents and without the guns). Judging from the language directed at me personally. I think I must look like an MP who was about to vote in favour of the ban.

There were thousands of people there demonstrating about an issue they felt strongly about.

Despite this, what do we all remember from the media coverage?

That’s right. A ROCK STAR’S son running aimlessly around the chamber. A BLOKE IN TIGHTS falling on his backside. A man who had a BLOODY head injury being tended to by a POLICE OFFICER. EXPLOSIONS caused by thunder-flashes. An ATTRACTIVE YOUNG LADY showing her BREASTS beneath a banner (she was very popular).

Any one of the above makes an average ‘news’ story. To have them all at the same time is a media wet dream.

Important issues anyone?

Nah, Tits and Blood that’s what sells.

Monday, May 30, 2005

How Are The Goldfish?

Every police officer is familiar with the type of call.

“Disturbance in private premises”.

They come in various combinations of words. However the control room dress it up, it’s a domestic.

They’re almost always an ‘I’ call so the lights and noise get switched on and you make your way to the (probably very familiar) address. Thinking idly along the way about what’s going to greet you when you arrive.

Until recently this generally consisted of if any offences have occurred and if anyone wants anything done about them. Both were (and still are) big ifs. Nowadays, we still care about the first ‘if’. But, we don’t really care about the second one.

Even though you ‘still love him’, if he’s committed an offence he’s coming with us. Now, I know you actually have no plans to provide us with a statement. I know you don’t want to go to court. I know you will do everything you can to hinder any possible prosecution. I know that I’m running the risk of being assaulted by you for taking away the man who’s just punched you. In fact, I know I’m wasting everybody’s time.

I’m just not allowed to care any more. You see, I’ve been ‘trained’. I’ve had the day-long lecture.

I’ve been told the statistics. I’ve been told how crap we were before this day of enlightenment. I’ve been talked through the booklet. It has 27 pages. Every domestic has its own booklet. It is to make sure I ask the right questions and record them in the right places. This is so I can, later, laboriously transfer identical information onto a crime report.

Apparently, we hadn’t been getting the correct information and were woefully inadequate. In reality, all of the questions and ticky boxes are quite straightforward and any officer with a grain of common sense would have asked them anyway. That is, except for one question.

Now that I’ve got to your home, established an offence, offered you First Aid, listened to you scream at me, wrestled your significant other and put him in a van, listened to you screaming at me while I was wrestling/putting. I need to get to the crux of the matter.

You see, I’ve spotted them; you didn’t hide them quickly enough. I’ve been ‘trained’. I have a box to fill in, and it’s vital. I know it’s very personal and potentially upsetting. But, I NEED to know. I’ll just have to go for it……

“Has he ever harmed your goldfish?”

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Doctor, Doctor

“Who do the Police want to win the election?”

It’s not the best time to ask me. I mean, you’re holding a scalpel next to a very delicate part of my anatomy, causing me slight concern. I could tell the truth, and run the risk of being scarred for life. Or, I could answer like a politician.

As you look like a grown-up version of Tory-Boy, and I suspect you may have been the original model for him, option ‘A’ is out.

“It makes no difference to the Police. We work for the Queen, not the government”

You have the good grace to laugh. Immediately marking you out as a party activist. The scalpel moves away slightly. Emboldened I continue:

“Whoever promises to stop introducing masses of new laws will get my vote.”

This was expressed from a policing point of view. In reality I use the much more sophisticated blindfold and pin technique. It tends to cause a stir at the local OAP day centre once every 4 years. But, it’s fairly accurate.

“There are too many new laws then?”


This considered response was caused by you moving the scalpel out of my sight. It was a panic measure. I apologise for ruining the moment.

Slicing and dicing complete. I escape with everything still in the right place. I went home to mentally recover from the heated discussion. Give me an eighteen stone drunk to deal with any day. They’re pussy cats compared with your intrusive campaigning tactics.

I know that you went straight to your local Conservative Club and told anyone who would listen that “the ‘groundswell of opinion’ amongst Police officers was that there are too many new laws”.

I sat up all night watching the Dimbleby/Snow show in the hope that our reasoned debate was commented on by a political heavyweight.

Maybe next time.

All ramblings Copyright(c) 2005/2006 by Brian. Ask First.