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View Full Version : Rail Police Compete against Airports for Stupidity


ORAC
21st Nov 2006, 05:20
I know they´re not real police, but I thought they were smarter than this...

The Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,171-2462834,00.html): MoD arms expert fumes at ‘farce’ of confiscated toolkit

It’s a Boy’s Own gift that will be stuffed into thousands of Christmas stockings, but a retired brigadier has discovered that the credit card-sized toolkit — complete with 5cm (2in) blade, compass, tweezers and toothpick — could put the recipients on the wrong side of the law.

Tom Foulkes, 56, who spent 35 years working for the Ministry of Defence developing real weapons, was arrested, locked up and had his fingerprints and DNA sample taken after the kit was discovered in his overnight bag by police.......

Evening Star
21st Nov 2006, 07:52
I know they´re not real police

British Transport Police are a legally constituted police force (albeit with a very strange 'patch') with real police powers including the power of arrest.

That said, there has been a lot of this going on of late, including some pretty serious harrassment of railway enthusiasts ... a sort of 'trainspotters are terrorists' type thinking.:ugh: It is a pretty poor show when a major railway magazine has to publish guidelines as to the law and what to do when the BTP and other jobsworths step over the line.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
21st Nov 2006, 08:58
To be fair to the BTP, many of the jobsworths that hassle railway enthusiasts at stations are employees of railway companies. Put a stupid person into uniform and you have a real terror weapon!

green granite
21st Nov 2006, 09:11
I agree with the guys wife, he should have insisted on his day in court and made these idiots look like the ridiculous fools they are.

Groundbased
21st Nov 2006, 12:56
I have a leatherman micra on my keyring. I suppose that is an offensive weapon as well now.

XXTSGR
21st Nov 2006, 13:17
I have a "Swissbit" mini penknife & USB memory stick. I don't carry it when flying, but presumably I am now barred from other forms of public transport, or walking down the street with it?

bigfatsweatysock
21st Nov 2006, 13:30
If you wrote a book about this sort of shyte 10 years ago people would have laughed and called it Orwellian nonsense.

The more this sort of rubbish goes on the less likely I am to use public transport. As it is I hate flying as a pax these days and only do so if there is no alternative.

It is getting to the point where any moron in a uniform can get away with murder (literally) by invoking the War Against Terror™ clause.

Wedge
21st Nov 2006, 13:32
Absolutely ridiculous, and see the other thread on the right to silence about making damaging admissions to the police.

He should never have admitted to the offence of carrying a 'bladed article' as it is quite clear that there is a perfectly reasonable and lawful excuse in this case; ie that it is for domestic and everyday purposes, as my Swiss Army knife is.

Shame on the Police for arresting and cautioning him. I hope he did waive his right to legal advice because no even reasonably competent brief would have advised him to admit to the offence in these circumstances. It just goes to show you should always exercise your right to a Solicitor before you talk to the Police. Funny how criminal defence lawyers are always universally unpopular until they're needed.

What a ludicrous waste of taxpayer's money and Police time.

GrumpyOldFart
21st Nov 2006, 13:40
all because I was carrying this useful little tool


As opposed to the useless little tool who arrested him.










Uh oh, look out. Here comes bjcc to defend the woodentop...

Wedge
21st Nov 2006, 13:45
Indeed Jerry, I wonder if the arresting officer could be prosecuted for 'Wasting Police Time' :hmm:

radeng
21st Nov 2006, 13:50
So what about carrying 'tools of your trade'?

Loose rivets
22nd Nov 2006, 05:53
I just couldn't post on this when I first read it, I felt a sense of despair for my country.

This man should have raised Hell, but I guess he was just so bewildered...a sense of unreality I would think. I have a notion that the caution can not easily be struck from records and these mindless little twerps marking the character of this man is unconscionable.

Mrs LR told me of an article in the Guardian I think it was, about the way people are being treated being borderline, and often actually, illegal a lot of the time. People's rights are being eroded to a greater extent every day, and it needs to be stopped.

We have had endless posts on the airport security farce, now it seems to be spreading to other uniformed imbeciles that have not the slightest ability to make decisions. We need to make a statement on a par with the poll-tax issue to get the attention of the law makers. But then, they'll probably be too busy in their endeavors to set a world record in the number of new laws they can make in one government term. How many is it? Far too many for people to take on board, let alone administer.

G-CPTN
22nd Nov 2006, 06:10
Is there no right of appeal?

None of the above
22nd Nov 2006, 17:49
The letter referred to in the article is reproduced here:

The Times November 18, 2006

Terror alert

Sir, Last week, a security scanner at the Waterloo Eurostar terminal detected a credit-card-sized toolkit in my overnight case as I set out for Paris on business. This handy item comprises a compass, magnifying glass, bottle opener, screw driver, toothpick, tweezers and 5cm knife blade. It has often proved invaluable on my travels around the world. However, according to the British Transport Police it is classified as an “offensive weapon” contrary to “Section 1 of PCA 1953”. I was immediately arrested, bundled into the cage of a police van and taken to Tottenham Court Road custody centre.
My former rank seems to have been the only thing that saved me from being handcuffed. After nearly four hours of processing and questioning I cheerfully admitted the “offence” in order to terminate this tedious ordeal, get back to Waterloo and resume my journey to Paris. Having signed the necessary forms, I was released on caution. A shortage of police transport left my arresting officers stranded at Tottenham Court Road, so I hailed a cab and gave them a lift back to Waterloo at my own expense.
Is such a toolkit really an “offensive weapon”? Is its possession by a middle-aged retired Army officer really an arrestable offence? Was my detention a good use of police time? Has any of this made London a safer place?
I am prepared to believe that the police were acting properly, but the civil libertarian in me remains dismayed. The best I can hope is that other travellers will learn from my experience.

TOM FOULKES
Brigadier (Retired)
Fleet, Hants

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,59-2458474.html

................and today this letter appeared:

The Times November 22, 2006

A sorry affair

Sir, Brigadier Tom Foulkes is surprisingly restrained in his description of the disgraceful treatment meted out to him by the Transport Police at Waterloo (letter, Nov 18, report, Nov 21). Either the Home Office’s idea of an offensive weapon is so prescriptive that common sense cannot be applied (the ban on flight crews carrying contact lens fluid comes to mind), or some of the staff administering security measures are idiots.
This episode seems to have been an example of heavyhanded and bloody-minded officiousness causing embarrassment and inconvenience to a distinguished ex-soldier. It was a gross waste of resources and contributed nothing to the fight against terrorism.
Perhaps the Home Secretary could take time out from trying to frighten the living daylights out of us to pen a letter of apology to the brigadier.

MICHAEL BADGER
Chichester

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,59-2464584.html


Is there nobody with a grain of common sense left in the Kingdom?

con-pilot
22nd Nov 2006, 18:32
Sadly you are not alone in this madness.

Eighty-six year old Joe Foss stood in the America West Airlines security line at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. It was Jan. 11, and the retired Marine general and former governor of South Dakota was on his way to speak at a National Rifle Association meeting in Arlington, Va.

In his jacket pocket were three items: A dummy bullet with a hole drilled through the casing so that it could be attached to a key chain, a commemorative inscribed fingernail file, and the Medal of Honor he had received in 1943 from President Franklin D. Roosevelt after shooting down 26 enemy planes in the Pacific.

This was not your everyday pocket litter, but then, Joe is not your everyday kind of guy.

It seems the security folks had a problem with all three items. The "bullet," security officials proclaimed, was ammunition. The nail file with its Medal of Honor inscription was an "obvious" deadly weapon. And the Medal of Honor itself: Well, they had no idea what it was, and apparently were unwilling to read the inscription on the back of the medal. They saw the general/governor as a threat, dressed as he was in a western outfit, complete with boots and 10-gallon hat, and traveling on a one-way first-class ticket.

Foss explained to the security personnel that he normally didn't travel with these things (except the dummy bullet on his key chain), but that he would be visiting West Point to give a presentation and show his Medal of Honor to the cadets. In response, they made him remove his belt, tie, and boots, and subjected him to a thorough pat-down search after his pacemaker activated the gate metal detector.

When it was all over 45 minutes later, he had gone through the "take off your boots" routine three times, guards removed a pack of safety razor blades from his luggage, and security personnel confiscated his dummy bullet and commemorative fingernail file. Reluctantly, they allowed him to retain his Medal of Honor since they were hard-pressed to determine how he might actually use it as a weapon. Clearly, they still had no idea what the medal was all about.

General Foss was pretty good-natured about the whole thing. America West would not acknowledge that he had been their passenger, and the FAA indicated that nail files and razor blades were not allowed on planes.


General and Governor Joe Foss has pasted from us now. A true hero.

brickhistory
22nd Nov 2006, 18:39
General and Governor Joe Foss has pasted from us now. A true hero.

Gen Foss was also an accomplished test pilot following WWII. A true hero, indeed.

Also, common sense being overridden by severe stupidity seems to be a universal affliction. Pity...............

flybhx
22nd Nov 2006, 20:11
I think we need to direct our thoughts to those in the higher reaches of the Government whos blinkered following of Dubyas paranoia and the inability to be able to make a decision of their own percolates down to the poor minions who are given no discretion at all in the performance of their tasks.

G-CPTN
22nd Nov 2006, 20:20
Remind me again - how many IS a brazillion?






http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/jokes/bljokebushbrazilian.htm

brickhistory
22nd Nov 2006, 20:22
I think we need to direct our thoughts to those in the higher reaches of the Government whos blinkered following of Dubyas paranoia and the inability to be able to make a decision of their own percolates down to the poor minions who are given no discretion at all in the performance of their tasks.

17 posts to get to it being GWB's fault? Standards on JB are slipping.....


BTP: " 'Ello, get me the White House..."
GWB: "Hey, this is George..."
BTP: "Right, George, we've got another one. Some poofta brigadier with a dangerous credit card-sized WMD."
GWB: "Well, shoot, there lil British fella, lock 'em up. Y'all don't need my permission for that."

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
22nd Nov 2006, 20:54
Funny how criminal defence lawyers are always universally unpopular until they're neededactually they're only unpopular when they defend actual criminals . . .

Wedge
22nd Nov 2006, 22:41
So ....... when we undertake our duty to represent a suspect or defendant we're supposed to know from the start whether they're guilty or not ...... :hmm:

There are so many good answers to the 'How can you represent a guilty person' chestnut that it's not even worth regurgitating them.

G-CPTN
22nd Nov 2006, 23:09
'How can you represent a guilty person' chestnut
The ability to lie convincingly might help.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
22nd Nov 2006, 23:23
So ....... when we undertake our duty to represent a suspect or defendant we're supposed to know from the start whether they're guilty or not ...... :hmm:



no but you might try to not be reeled in quite so quickly :}

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/onan_the_clumsy/ThatsSomeGoodFishing.jpg my fishing picture's gone :{

cymruflier
23rd Nov 2006, 12:40
My gradfather gave me my first pocket knife in 1960 - never been without one since. It.s the only way I gan get into some sadwhich packsl

Spend a lot of time on boats - to forget your knife could mean death.

None of the above
20th Feb 2007, 14:45
I am indebted to Her Majesty's Times of 19th Feb 2007

WATERLOO A retired brigadier who gained a criminal record for carrying a pocket knife as he tried to board the Eurostar has received an apology — and has got his set back.
In November The Times reported how Tom Foulkes, 56, a former Army Estates manager and now director-general of the Institution of Civil Engineers, had his fingerprints and DNA taken when British Transport Police discovered a credit card-sized multi-tool in his luggage. He was arrested and charged with possessing an offensive weapon and agreed to accept a caution in order to continue his journey. Now he says his faith in justice has been restored after an apology from Ian Johnston, Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, and an assurance that his record would be wiped. Mr Foulkes said that the Times story had helped to highlight the ridiculousness of his arrest.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1404707.ece

BlooMoo
20th Feb 2007, 20:33
So ....... when we undertake our duty to represent a suspect or defendant we're supposed to know from the start whether they're guilty or not ......

From the start? No that would be unfair. However, in my experience, round about the middle seems pretty reasonable in most cases (not all I grant you, but most)

However, the prosecution threshold (for unreasonably pressing on to trial) seems these days to be ridiculous, as it seems to be at the very end (verdict), and even then, if the verdict goes against the prosecution and it's sufficiently high profile then the politicians start to wade in to defend them...

Damned if you do and damned if you don't maybe.
BM:(

Saintsman
20th Feb 2007, 21:19
I'm sure that these airport security people etc do not command high salaries. Therefore (in the main) you are not going to get the most intelligent person taking up these jobs. When you are near the bottom of the social scale you cannot blame them for making the most of their 'powers'. They have rules which are black and white. Nothing grey, where common sense can be applied. If they have been shat on most of their lives they are going to have a good go at giving some back. Rules are rules after all.

Its probably the only satisfaction they are going to get in their working lives.

eal401
21st Feb 2007, 06:37
A shortage of police transport left my arresting officers stranded at Tottenham Court Road, so I hailed a cab and gave them a lift back to Waterloo at my own expense.

He deserves a medal just for that action.

Those low life scum deserve nothing more than the dole queue. :yuk:

Krystal n chips
21st Feb 2007, 07:08
eal401-----er, maybe you would care to express your less than perceptive "low life scum" assessment to a BTP Officer who has just scraped the remains of a kid of the track---or the front of the train ? . Take a cam corder with you please---just so we can all enjoy the happy riposte of course. :}

James 1077
21st Feb 2007, 10:58
Totally agree - the Low Life Scum comment should be applied to all the police officers who prance around their stations doing bugger all and ignoring any sort of crime unless someone happens to be driving faster than an artificially low speed limit.

To apply the phrase only to British Transport Police is just wrong.

eal401
21st Feb 2007, 11:26
er, maybe you would care to express your less than perceptive "low life scum" assessment to a BTP Officer who has just scraped the remains of a kid of the track---or the front of the train ? . Take a cam corder with you please---just so we can all enjoy the happy riposte of course.
If this had anything to do with the common-sense light persons in question, I would respond accordingly.

However, it doesn't.

BellEndBob
21st Feb 2007, 11:41
So, Brigadier gets arrested, tries to use his former rank to get off, then admits the charge, then gives a lift to the police who arrested him AND THEN writes to a newspaper to complain.

My only shock and horror at this story is that this chump ever made it past 2nd Lt

Maybe he should actually join the BTP.

Bluesteel705
21st Feb 2007, 15:57
Eal401 & Saintsman
May I suggest you spend a day as a police observer and see some of the more 'regular' customers that have to be dealt with, before you decide who is unintelligent, lowlife scum?

But then I'm sure you could switch between breaking up mass brawls and then telling a mother her 4 year old son was killed by a drunk driver in the same shift with no problem at all.

However it would seem that your obviously better people and far too valuable to society to risk your life protecting it.

As long as they are there when you need them next eh? :ok:

:ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

Saintsman
21st Feb 2007, 18:11
Bluesteel,

I suggest you re-read my thread and maybe you will discover it was not about Policemen. Maybe it was a bit of thread creep but it was still in context with some of the earlier threads. It was also an observation not an insult.

Grainger
21st Feb 2007, 22:16
K'n'C, Bluesteel if the individuals concerned had really spent their shift doing those things they would I'm sure have had a little bit more perspective. Are you really trying to tell me that someone who's just broken up a brawl, dealt with a body on the line and consoled a grieving mother - after going through all that, they're going to waste their own time hassling someone over a swiss smegging card ?

Doesn't add up, does it ?

James 1077
21st Feb 2007, 22:58
Bluesteel

" As long as they are there when you need them next eh?"

Where? Sorry, I can't see them - nope not here. When was the last time you saw a policeman who wasn't waving a radar gun?

Did they turn up when someone nicked the radio out of my car? Nope - that was the "telephone investigation unit".

Did they turn up when someone tried to mug me for my mobile? Nope - "would you like a crime reference number?"

Did they turn up when someone stole a bag out of my motorcycle? Nope - "would you like a crime reference number?"

Met Police = Bunch of tax wasting layabouts.

Krystal n chips
22nd Feb 2007, 05:46
Grainger-----I think the point here is the fact that, whilst clearly brawls, recovering bodies etc are a facet of a Police officers life, clearly these events do not occur on each and every shift. However, the salient point is that they do occur and thus have to be dealt with as and when. Hence the reference to "low life scum" is, frankly, denegratory to say the least when the overall role of the Police is viewed in context. Like any organisation, the Police can screw matters up----as many threads on here have noted---however---the description offered in the post and quoted above is, as I say, totally unwarranted.

Grainger
22nd Feb 2007, 06:54
But the comment wasn't aimed at the "overall role of the police when viewed in context", was it ?

It was aimed at one set of individuals who saw fit to waste police time over a handy multi-tool. What did they think he was going to do ? Threaten to tighten those tiny screws in people's spectacle frames ? Take this train to Cuba, or I'll tweeze you ?

ShyTorque
22nd Feb 2007, 09:23
Grainger,

Funny! :ok:

But better be careful, that's threatening talk these days, GCHQ are probably listening in. :ugh:

I was going to include "holding one's eye to the magnifying glass device, and making it look huge and scary", but I might get arrested. :hmm:

panda-k-bear
22nd Feb 2007, 11:57
Quite right too - he could have hijacked the train with that little kit! Look at what havoc he could have wreaked! He could have driven the train into a skyscra... Oh, erm, maybe not.

Well, he could have hijacked it and demanded the train be diverted to Tripoli... oh, erm, that's not going to work either, is it?

Who on Earth let the lunatics run the asylum? :rolleyes: Where do they recruit these people who are supposed to be responsible for our safety and yet have such little common sense? :rolleyes:

Is this the future?

Krystal n chips
22nd Feb 2007, 16:37
grainger------fair enough, not "the most erudite of persons" ;) I agree, but far from deserving the comment made about them. I did, though, get the impression the remark was addressed to the BTP per se.

I have been known to be wrong of course----albeit rarely ;) :E