Friday, October 28, 2011

Picking the wrong fight

One of the things I've learned in the school of hard knocks that constitutes daily living for most of us, is to pick very carefully the fights I get into with authority and figures of authority. if I do choose to go up against them, I make damned sure of the ground I'm standing on and whilst I'm not averse to helping out a losing (if just) cause I also know that sooner or later a situation might arise when it's time to call it a day and cut your losses.
It's a lesson some people never seem to learn.
A private clamper accused of immobilising royal protection officers' unmarked cars acted "belligerently", a Hampshire court heard.
Gareth Andrews refused to removed the clamps despite the fact PC Mark Cox showed him his warrant card.
Mr Andrews, 39, of Privett Road, Fareham, denies wilfully obstructing a police constable in his duty.
The officers were protecting the Queen as she visited Portsmouth, the city's magistrates' court heard.
PC Cox told the court that because of Mr Andrews's "belligerence" he had no option but to arrest him.
The officers were both dressed in plain clothes during the operation on 25 May, having parked the cars at Gunwharf Quays marina.
Colin Shackel, prosecuting, told the court parking spaces allocated to the officers were temporarily being used by a delivery lorry so, after consulting security staff, they parked in adjacent spaces.
He said Mr Andrews had arrived and clamped the cars and refused to release them because he did not believe he was dealing with real police officers.
"By the time you have been shown a warrant card and security guards are involved, it would be clear to anyone that it was real officers who weren't just trying to avoid a clamping charge and had duties to perform," he said.
 Now sometimes it pays to take on the police/authorities when they are abusing their position to gain some sort of advantage either financially or through abusing their position, however trying to prevent the close support royal protection group by essentially immobilising their cars strikes me as a war you cannot possibly win.
I can only assume the years of abuse Gareth Andrews must have suffered as a clamper have inured him to what appears to be a suicidal tendency, not that I have much (if any) sympathy for a clampers seeing them as state/authority sponsored parasites operating on the fringe of legality and often enough taking advantage of those who were not aware of any restrictions on a parking space. That plus the fees they charge often enough amount to legalised blackmail. So all in all I'm fairly pleased the guy is getting his comeuppance.
Just a shame that the ordinary people in this country don't have similar means to make those who make our lives a misery a misery in turn.

3 annotations:

Anonymous said...

You're right. You won't win that one.

We don't allow clamping at all in this country so I don't know about private clamping companies. From what you say they seem to represent legalized mugging.

However,that's the law in your country so I can see why the bloke clamped the cars. They were illegally parked and the people in them were just dressed in suits.

Now, I personally don't understand why just because it's the Queen it should make any difference. No parking means no parking, sometimes for safety reasons, sometimes just because it's someone's property and they don't want any Tom, Dick or Elizabeth parking there.

But the bloke should have known that there is one rule for us and one for them... and that's the end of the story and he'd have been advised, once he saw who they were, to put his hands up.. You'll never win against people who think they are better than the rest of us, and have the authority to make things happen. Even though ironically, they are the ones who could afford to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

On the up side, it gives the police a taste of reality by demonstrating what some members of the public have to go through.
It, more importantly, shows up a flaw in their operational organisation, IF you think that royalty is worthy of special protection, where were the back-up vehicles, it's not only clamps that immobilise cars.

Anonymous said...

QE2 is officially a citizen of the EU... therefore not at liberty to break one of their diktats...