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Monday, July 25, 2005

My Brush with the Law - It's official I'm suspicious

Why I wouldn't make a good terrorist

I was going to blog tonight about the increased police presence I noticed today. From Bank where I change onto the Docklands Light Railway right through to my quiet home station (whose name I can't mention right now - but anyone who knows me or has been reading my blog long enough knows where I live).

So this morning, I'd been happily snapping pictures of five policemen and a sniffer dog at Bank whereas the most I'd ever seen before were two. Right through to this evening with two policemen at my home station.

You've probably gathered that I don't have a camera phone and use a normal digital camera and it's pretty hard to take pictures surreptitiously with it. So I'd been hovering remarkably suspciously round my station trying to take pictures of the two bobbies there this evening. Rather than cut my losses, after I'd taken a few from a distance, I decided to stand just outside the station and flick through them on playback. Even when the two police moved much nearer to me, I decided to stay put, thinking I would look even more suspicious if I moved off quickly. Wrong!

They went back into the station just inside the doors and I thought - cool - I'm much nearer now I'll take some more close ups. Bad move.

One of the policemen came over to me:

"Why are you taking pictures of us?" he said.

"For my website," I replied feebly.

"What's it about?"

"Travelling on the London Underground, do you want the URL?" (ever the publicist)

"No, no, I believe you, why do you do that?"

At that moment in time, I was beginning to ask myself the very same question - "It's just something I've been doing for years as a hobby" - which also sounded pretty feeble.

"Do you mind if I see the pictures, as you must understand at the moment it does look a bit suspicious you taking pictures of us." You mean you managed to see through my amazingly nonchalant stance.

So, I showed him and fortunately got to the stage where I'd taken pictures of the Evening Standard headlines so that I didn't look like I was some policeman picture snapping nutter/maniac/terrorist.

"Well can I ask you to delete them and not put them on your website. At the moment it's not a good idea for people to get an idea of our movements. The ones of The Standard are OK"

"No probs" I said and deleted them in front of him.

"I'm going to have to take your name and address as well. And your date of birth".

Thank Christ I'm a reasonably law abiding citizen with a clean driving licence, a full TV licence and fully paid up poll tax, car tax, etc, etc.

"Do you have any ID?" Showed him my driving licence and with a "Please don't take any more pictures of us", I was free to go.

The things I do for this blog.

BTW the pictures were pretty rubbish anyway, but the one at Bank, I quite like with the sniffer dog in the middle, and he didn't say I couldn't put those up. It's a bit blurry, cos there's no flash and I was in a rush.

Police at Bank Station with sniffer dog


So if my house gets raided in the middle of the night and my computer empounded you'll know why.


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