(picture dragged screaming from here)
An enterprising lunatic in Hungerford decided it would be fun to be towed behind a vehicle while standing on a snowboard. It's not my idea of fun but he wasn't asking me to do it. He did it himself. Well, it's his skeleton and he can rearrange it any way he wants.
This stunt was filmed and put on YouTube (the entertainment police have since removed it) and apparently showed both the car and the snowboarder bumping into parked vehicles as they progressed.
Now, that's got to be covered by criminal damage, vandalism, leaving the scene of an accident, and more. Plenty of scope to censure the crazed boarder there. The damage to other vehicles is barely mentioned. What has the Righteous in a tizzy is this:
Sergeant Andy Bone said: "It cannot be stressed enough that this was an irresponsible stunt.
State the obvious, please. We might have missed it ourselves.
"The high street is the main road through Hungerford, conditions were poor and the risk to the public and other road users was clearly not considered by those involved.
Nope. That's how our wonderful eccentrics act. The risks to public perception of the police when they arrest trainspotters as terrorists is another example of not considering consequences. Going to practise what you preach?
"If there had been an accident as a result of this, it would have entailed unnecessary strain on the resources of the emergency services.
But there wasn't. Nobody was hurt. Would they have been okay if they had filled out a risk assessment form first? Doing new things, especially bizarre things, involves risk. Smoking involves risk. Crossing the street involves risk. We calculate the risks and decide whether what we plan to do is worth that risk. It's a normal human being thing. You wouldn't understand, Sergeant Bone.
Oh, and there's this thing the emergency services were set up for. What was it again? Oh yes. Emergencies. Including accidents.
"We have a duty to protect the public, and behaviour which endangers pedestrians and other motorists will not be tolerated.
That last line is the most chilling of all. Anything they decide might be a danger to anyone at all under any circumstance, ever, will not be tolerated.
Say those last words again. Will. Not. Be. Tolerated.
I've mentioned them recently in a post about Mary Moneypot MEP. She used those same words to refer to TV sitcoms she doesn't like. They do seem to come up rather often, don't they?
Sergeant Bone thinks that his duty to protect the public involves stopping the public doing things that involve any risk at all. He has made no mention of damage to vehicles, for which he could, perfectly correctly, arrest the diver and snowboarder. His focus is on preventing the public behaving in any odd way at all. His duty is to keep us in line.
But hey, I'm always posting tales of misery and despair. So let's take the last part of the article and all have a really good laugh.
"There were people watching and taking photos. If anyone has photos or a video of the incident I would like them to contact me, and they will be treated as witnesses."
Only until the 16th, Sarge. After that they will be treated as suspects and you know it. Make the most of those public-spirited photographers. In nine days, you'll have banned and criminalised them.
Ah, irresponsible actions with no thought for the consequences. On the one hand, one snowboarder. On the other, the entire machinery of the police force and the total fabric of government.
I say we keep the snowboarder and throw the rest away.