November 25th, 2008

If you go down in the woods today…

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I don’t generally read the Daily Mail, honest.

Perhaps as I journey towards a grumpy old man I’m finding more in common with the Mail than I used to. I see the occasional copy at work, if I can concentrate during the wee small hours between the occasional PNC check, I read whatever is available. This usually amounts to the Sun, Mirror, Mail & Express. I don;’ know what it is about people who work in control rooms but why doesn’t anyone read the Telegraph & Times, it would make me feel so much more intellectual.

Anyway, back to the Mail, it does come up with stories with which I have some broad agreement.

A story this week had me nodding my head in shared-experience mode. It’s entitled ‘Mother and teenage daughter who stumbled on open air gay sex told to “use a different path” by police‘. It tells the story of a 44-year-old mother out walking her dogs with her teenage daughter when they happened upon that age-old quaint British sight of two half naked men having gay sex in a local beauty spot. After realising they’d been spotted, the men, naked from the waste down, carried on their exploits.

The woman was later advised to avoid the area in future if she didn’t want to stumble across naked men pleasuring each other on a public footpath.

The local police in Preston seem to be giving out mixed messages. Whilst a local senior officer said behaviour like this in public would not be tolerated, their Assistant Chief Constable, Mike Cunningham, has recently advised police to turn a blind eye to cottaging & dogging. Mr C is the ACPO lead on lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender issues. He believes that attending reports of illegal public sex alienates the gay community. Probably similar to arresting bank robbers alienates the criminal fraternity.

I can confirm that prior to Mr Cunningham’s official report into the matter, we were being advised in the control room that any reports of homosexual activity in public should not be dealt with by the sending of a police officer, but should be passed to the local team ‘for their information & development’ which may include getting local officers to patrol the area, putting up lighting or CCTV to ‘discourage’ such activity. And there was me thinking management teams were intent on easy arrests to get their figures up for morning prayers every day.

I’ve said this before & I’ll be saying it again – there are times when I wish the police would stick to savings lives, & preventing & detecting crime.

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