Normally when you see someone doing something naughty you always think “if only there was a policeman here” who would then nab the naughty person and give them a good talking to.
Well I hate to spoil that fantasy scene for you as the police don’t do talking to any more. If you are unlucky enough to have broken one the laws that the chief police officer has decided needs to meets its targets that day then you are more likely to be locked up than spoken to.
Another thing that spoils that fantasy scene is that there is never enough police as they are usually behind a desk writing up the 10 dozen reports for the shop lifter they just arrested so that the police can prove that they are meeting their targets.
Well that fantasy just come true.
For me it came true for me many years ago when I saw a boy racer overtake a unmarked police car using dangerous driving and immediately got stopped and had a good talking to.
For the Queen it came true last week.
The Queen was in Portsmouth visiting some friends and seeing their yacht. As always she had some Royal Protection Officers with her. So whilst she was having lunch they were waiting in their cars … when they got clamped.
Though politicians have one the lowest public approval rating currently, car clampers are still below them. So a normal human reaction at seeing a clamper do their work is to wish the worst on the clamper.
In this real life fantasy scene the worst did happen. The clamper got arrested for obstructing the police and also for not displaying his clamping badge. Even though the police asked for the clamp to be removed, the clamper allegedly told them: “Rules are rules – pay the fine and I’ll let you go or you’ll be towed away” as a jobsworth is supposed to say.
The clamping firm in question, Shoal Enforcement, has previous for atrocious customer care according to newspaper reports in Portsmouth. Not surprising then that even when a policeman shows his warrant card the clamper refuses to release the car. And when have you seen a clamper correctly displaying their badge as set out by the Private Security Industry Act? Never according to Watchdog.
Shoal do say that the clamper would have removed the clamps when the royal protection officers confirmed they were on duty which according to Shoal they did not do. Niether were the police in the car at the time nor did they identify themselves as royal protection officers – as if they would to a criminal (well that’s what most people think clampers are). Shoal also claim that their enforcement officer was displaying his license.
Also bear in mind that Shoal will have a contract to patrol the private car park used by the police and that not even police have a legal right to park in private car parks without authorisation unless necessary for them to carry out their duties.
But have a bit of Schadenfreude as Gareth Andrews, 37, of Fareham, Hampshire appears at South and South East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court in Portsmouth next Friday.