I don’t want to fall out of the habit of updating this blog, so I thought I’d mention something that just struck me, about the police caution, which if Wikipedia can be relied upon, is approximately

‘You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but I must warn you that if you fail to mention any fact which you rely on in your defence in court, your failure to take this opportunity to mention it may be treated in court as supporting any relevant evidence against you. If you do wish to say anything, what you say may be given in evidence.’

The problem is, as we have seen from the Andrew Mitchell ‘pleb’ affair, what happens if the police, as they seem to do most of the time, are unable to recollect  what a suspect has said accurately, if at all?

My solution to this – and I think at this point it really would fix more problems than it creates – would be for police to record all interactions with people who have been cautioned, if not the public in general. Who can doubt that they would then be far more careful about sticking to the letter of the law? The only practical drawback is that they would likely stay away from the public altogether, but that’s an indictment of poor training, if anything.

A wired up society may be the only defence we have now from sliding into tyranny.


I’m looking at this story, ‘Wilderness Centre squatters evicted in dawn police move’, and that bit where a policeman says, “Squatting is a civil matter but officers accompanied bailiffs acting on behalf of the judge to ensure there was no breach of the peace and no disruption to the local community” reminded me about how much the police will use the excuse of breach of the peace, and/or disruption. This is when they don’t claim that a member of a partnership has committed theft of property of the same partnership by picking up a copy of financial details from a table and moving it five feet, then reading it.

If that sounds a little cryptic, I’m talking about a scene that was quite out of ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ at the Barton & Tredworth Neighbourhood Partnership AGM on Wednesday evening, when that action was described as ‘disruptive’. Now, it may have been slightly rude (though not quite as rude as a chairman, in fact two chairmen, giving reports about the past year without once mentioning the dismissal of the secretary, yours truly, and still failing to thank me for all my hard work over the past couple of years), but it clearly wasn’t theft, any more than I would feel inclined to dial 101 if one of my children took a bag of crisps to eat without asking. Only the police tried to argue that it was, mind.

Furthermore, the partnership has procedures it can apply in the event of disruption, if it feels that is happening. True, the final sanction is that ‘the individual should be requested to leave the meeting’, and it doesn’t cover what should happen if that individual refuses to do so, but in those circumstances, a responsible chair has two options; close the meeting or wind their head back in and continue with the meeting. Not to suspend the meeting temporarily and let two police officers make up justifications for arrest as they go along.

This is what I suffered because the acting chair, Philip Lowery, lost control of the meeting, and PC Matt Puttock (2134) decided he could arrest me over the ‘bag of crisps’, or was it for wishing to remain at the meeting, after the partnership papers had been forcibly taken off me, again, a partnership member?. The effects of having my head banged on a hard floor several times don’t show up so well in a photograph, but those of having the same policeman, Phil Hopkins (2142), then stand on my arm [kneel, as I now know in hindsight], as I was still pinned to the floor by PC Puttock and PC Damian Lea (8), do.

A great day in the history of the partnership, and Barton & Tredworth Community police. Other abuses of authority are available. If you have any information about them, feel free to relate them here, quoting incident number, 1-800-JACKBOOT.

For the record, given the proximity of local council elections, also present at this meeting were county councillor for Barton & Tredworth, Sonia Friend (Labour), city councillor for the ward, Sajid Patel (Conservative), and his colleague, candidate Nasreen Akhtar, who doesn’t actually live in the ward, and, not being elected yet, had no grounds to be at this meeting. Well, that’s what some people think. I’m inclined to think that as she hosts a radio show for GFM, just round the block, she squeaks in, but I’m the sort of person who would say, someone wants to read a document, let ’em read it…

Footnote: although the way Nasreen Akhtar ducked behind Saj Patel, when I turned my camera phone towards the loudmouth Mo Patel, suggests she might be equally inclined to duck issues as a councillor…

‘Arrest’ at the AGM

I mean, other people must be able to read their articles and appreciate just how devoid of journalistic merit most of them – OK, let’s say ‘many of them’ – are?

Warning signs flash merrily when the headline ‘Boy racers rev up again in Cheltenham’ hoves into view. It’ll be about cruisers, of course, and people have complained before that ‘boy racers’ is a lazy journalist’s phrase which doesn’t describe the behaviour of the vast majority of cruisers, who annoy residents more by being parked up in one place than ‘racing’ anywhere.

Then the report goes on to inform us that the council want to designate the Kingsditch Retail Park as an ‘accident hotspot’, citing three motoring accidents which, shady as my knowledge of what vehicles cruisers like to invest their money in, don’t seem to involve cruisers at all. And the Cheltenham Cruiser Working Group, consisting of ‘police, Cheltenham Borough Council, Highways, residents and parish councillors’, doesn’t appear to include any… cruisers. Perhaps if it did, the problems this working group appear to face wouldn’t have persisted as long as they have. What is it, getting on for five years now? More?

I’d like a closer look at the (parish) council’s data, before buying into any notions that cruisers are a bigger problem on our roads than a lot of other silly buggers who somehow managed to bluff their way through a driving test.

However, a year back, maybe two, there would have been dozens of responses to this story, from both sides of the equation, and varying in degrees of knowledge. Now it seems most people have just given up challenging the drivel the Cheltenham newsroom produces. If anyone out there uses Facebook, and wants an outlet for their criticisms that TIG can’t censor, or just wants to comment on a story that TiG has inexplicably denied responses to, this is worth a shot: Bring Back The REAL Citizen.

For the comment below, posted under this article, I now see that ‘Sorry… Your Account has been Disabled’

by Tony_J

Friday, June 24 2011, 10:47AM

“Not PC Crown again, by any chance? A fellow who has a habit of overstepping his authority and then denying any suggestion of impropriety…”

Which prevented me from posting this…

It will be his word against the officer’s as for what wording was used, Alfredo, and believe me, the latter’s count for more, even against all four of the family members. Only filming the encounter would count for anything. Complaining to the police authority is a waste of time. I know exactly which city centre beat officer behaves this way, having had experience of his dishonestly, but TiG don’t like names being named. Happy enough with this one, TiG? Or was that just another case of a post temporarily vanishing?

I can imagine it going down something like in the clip below. I almost felt sorry for the officers involved, because the bloke filming *was* a bit full of himself, but you could see they came over with every intention of cowing him, wanted to nail him that much harder when he stood up to them, and were totally unprepared to have their complete lack of *any* grasp of the laws concerned challenged:

I do have more evidence of Stephen Crown’s dishonesty. Although I ripped up the warning order he thrust at me on my doorstep a year or so ago, I kept the pieces, and when I assembled them again, I realised that he only filled it out half-way. So the ‘man’ who didn’t block me from closing my door with his foot, and therefore had no reason to worry about the digital camera I then took out of my pocket, somehow had a reason to not finish his paperwork.

We know, sadly, that while it would be comforting to think that all police officers are honest, responsible upholders of the law, a grubby minority commit all kinds of felonies, from fraud to assault, and the police authority will bend over backward to protect them. Good to know ‘Matty’ Holmes can always be relied upon to shield the rotten apples, too.


Reply to TiG’s email:

I haven’t broken any of your rules in the first place. Prove otherwise or re-instate my account.

Bearing false witness against somebody is still a criminal offence, isn’t it?

Cheers, Joe Kilker


From: reportabuse@thisiscomments.co.uk
Sent: 24/06/2011 11:15:08 GMT Daylight Time
Subj: content removed from This is Gloucestershire

Unfortunately we have had to remove a comment you have posted on an article headlined Welsh family questioned under anti-terror laws on Gloucester day trip because it breached our rules, which state that users must not post comments which are defamatory, false or misleading.

This is the comment which was removed:

Not PC Crown again, by any chance? A fellow who has a habit of overstepping his authority and then denying any suggestion of impropriety…

As you have already received two warnings from us for breaking our rules on previous occasions, you have been suspended from commenting on the site for a month. If we are made aware that you have contravened our rules again, you can expect to be banned permanently from submitting comments to the site.

Note: of the two previous warnings, one was for repeating a councillor’s claim that the people who bought the Colwell Centre from Gloucestershire County Council were ‘shadowy’, or words very much to that effect, and the other was for noting that various ‘individuals’ who spoke up for councillor Usman Bhaimia shared similar grammatical querks. These are both pathetic justifications for warns.

BTW, if I could post, I would tell mummyhare that it’s the ‘FFS’ that is being censored, not ‘FF’. FFS, TiG…

Well overdue for another update:
I didn’t re-register after having my account disabled for the ‘crimes’ above, but I had tried to during the re-vamp, when it seemed the old account wasn’t valid anymore, as ‘TrollhunterX’. So after TiGs action above, I tried my Starredark address and it worked!

I got a couple of days out of that before they canned it, with the claim that I ‘re-registered a day after being suspended for a month for breaching our rules on several occasions, including twice posting defamatory comments and discussing the removal of content.’

I know that TiG will turn a deaf ear to a technical argument about exactly when I registered as ‘TrollhunterX’, and one of the ‘defamatory’ comments was that the local Labour party made ‘inaccurate or at best misleading statements’. Really offensive stuff like that. They are currently ignoring my last email, and also ignoring comments which, whether spoken in earnest or jest, are far more abusive than anything I have written. I’m thinking of the ‘Beat the Burglar’ story, featuring posts by ‘Colin_Minge’ (TiG’s software is crazy keen to asterisk words like ‘arse’, even if they’re part of an acceptable, larger word, but user-names are a free-for-all. ‘Matty’ Holmes won’t accept my suggestion that it’s his staff, not the concept of ‘reactive moderation’ which will ensure good behaviour.

Which brings me to something someone (Poppy P?) said on the boards. The email I did get about my awful behaviour was entitled ‘content removed from This is Leicestershire’. Obviously the person tasked with judging the suitability of content wasn’t even a TiG staffer, if they even live in this country. Is this why the moderation, and filtering of language, is so bizarre?

…well arguably. At about the worst time for me, the computer with all my files on it ceased to boot up properly two weeks back, and news came back from the repair shop that the hard drive was completely fried. It still hasn’t come back yet, preventing me from typing up the partnership’s minutes, or engaging in any extended email conversations before I can load up AOL again and start a new PFC. What irks also is that the breakdown happened just before I received the news by post that my appeal against the judgement of the IPCC, via Charlie Laporte of the Gloucestershire Constabulary, that an inspector, Carole Ajinkya, had acted properly in regard to my complaint about a police driver, had been upheld. It’s really not much of a victory, because all it means is that she’ll be advised to follow procedure on complaints in the future. The fact that she, and the constabulary, ignored two whole years of me asking for news of progress, and that Charlie Laporte’s own Professional Standards Department failed to follow up two promises to investigate even after the IPCC were involved, won’t figure at all.

But, barring a possible ‘post mortem’ when I can type out the report on my own keyboard, I should move on. There’s other stuff afoot, like the Barton & Tredworth Community Trust’s AGM, which Carol Francis advised a month or so back that she planned to hold in February. No invitation or agenda has come through the post yet (though it may just be that the meeting takes place at the very end of January, despite all meetings usually being on the second Tuesday of the month), and of course it won’t be advertised by Shaun Moore on the website (which is a bad joke now), so I’m going to have to keep pressing them for information. It may be this AGM, if it even happens, that sees the BTCT disbanding, because its mismanagement has become too self-evident now.

Cheltenham cabbie accused of sexually assaulting teenage student

When any report of sexual assault, to say nothing of rape, immediately creates a presupposition in the reader’s mind that the accused is guilty, it’s important to note that in the above report (which TiG, as per usual, has not permitted commentary on), it is the word of one person, the taxi driver, against the word of another, his 18-year old fair. The article doesn’t include any evidence to corroborate either story, and in the absence of such evidence, a guilty verdict should never have been reached. That probably means that such evidence has not been reported (typical TiG).

As it stands, though, the story illustrates the serious consequences of any individual being prepared to lie shamelessly to serve their own selfish ends, often for the most trivial of reasons. Lying is socially acceptable now, it seems, even to people who have trumpeted their morals publicly and loudly. Why is it tolerated so? Beats me.

Now who will sack the judge who bought that fairytale about Pamela Somerville falling to the floor after losing her grip on the doorframe…

Mark Andrews Sacked

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