Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's Better by Bus

I found myself on the tail-end of small incident, riding back through Birchington on my way home this evening.

Another motorcyclist had stopped at the bus stop in the square and was surrounded by a group of local youths. Showing solidarity, as motorcyclists often do, I stopped alongside, with the rider of a third bike and it transpired, that the first motorcyclist was in fact an off-duty police officer.

Apparently, what had happened and I'll use allegedly at this point, is that the group of teenagers had been causing mayhem on the bus. The lady bus driver had told them to get-off and the oldest lad had abused and spat at her. Happily, the policeman had just happened to be passing and saw what occurred, with me following-up behind.

Unfortunately for the boys involved, they were "known" and the officer took their details and some witness statements from the bus passengers. But what was really saddening was how upset the driver, a pleasant middle-aged lady, was. This was Birchington of all places, not Brixton and one doesn't expect this kind of behaviour from local kids. No, I'm being naive, one does expect this kind of behaviour and much worse these days and the kids, well they didn't give a damn because they know they're untouchable but I will say that with three motocyclists drawing-up next to them, all of a sudden, they weren't so cocky.

But what if it had happened a few seconds later and the police officer had already passed. I wonder what I could have done? And there's the dilemma. You can try to intervene but in reality can do absolutely nothing. All that remains is a feeling of personal impotence and anger at this one expression of a juvenile society growing-up without boundaries.

And how will the bus driver feel tonight when she's finished her shift I wonder? Nobody should be expected to put-up with behaviour like this in their job or as passengers on a local bus.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bring back conductors.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

How about a few weeks in the convicted paedophile wing at Sheerness nick for the offensive louts!

Anonymous said...

In an ideal world these louts would be photographed and shamed on a site such as this. Sadly, this isn't an ideal world and yet again it all comes down to economics. Conductors cost money, as do police officers. I suppose those that don't mind being observed on CCTV cameras would say that they sould be installed on buses also. Isn't spitting an offence ? Why were the louts not arrested ? With TB on the rise, the obvious health risks, I would have thought this was a case of assault ? Probably too much paperwork for the police officer.

Anonymous said...

You intervene you get abuse.
You know you do anything you will get
prosecuted .
YOU CANT WIN

Anonymous said...

Whats up with you 9:52? The Police Officer was off-duty, Police Officers are allowed time to themselves and he was not obligated to do anything about it but he did. I'm a serving law enforcement officer (not Police) and three weeks a go I was on a days leave with my kids having a good time until I was called into work (on a days leave remember). Drop everything and go. The Police Officer could have turned a blind eye, I could have had my mobile turned off but no, we deal with the crap society wants to deny on and off duty. We work our backsides off without much complaint, I'd like to see private commerce be so flexible.

Anonymous said...

7:23, thats sick

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that a 'constable' is never off-duty in regard to witnessing a crime? He or she is obliged by law to intervene.

Poor, unruly and illegal behaviour by a minority of youngsters is a problem that impinges far more on other youngsters than on adults and we do the good kids an injustice by not acting severely against the lawless and objectionable minority.

The first thing we must remove is anonymity which the scroats hide behind. If John Smith aged 14 of 42, Scroat Terrace is reported in the newspapers and media(with picture) as having been cautioned for verbal abuse and spitting at a bus driver; then we ALL know about it; neighbours, schools, shop-keepers etc! There is no shame if there is anonymity but our liberal politicians do not understand this simple lesson known by our ancestors.

Anonymous said...

No 9:59 not liberal politicians. Labour!! Lets see our Gordon putting his money where his mouth is, rather than giving loads more labour spin. Law and Order and Immigration. Sort these and then we might vote for him. Fat chance we've got.

Anonymous said...

12.39 - If you don't like it, then don't do the job. Crime isn't committed on a 9 - 5 basis and surely, if you are a 'law enforcement officer' (not police) then you are trained to deal with this sort of thing. If you are not police, then what are you ? Have the Government created a secondary law enforcement agency that I haven't heard about ? You must be the only person who considers his 'law enforcement job' to be only applicaeble during work time - good job off duty nurses and doctors don't have the same attitude as you. Can you imagine an off duty nurse, paramedic, fire-fighter or doctor walking away from an incident because they were 'off duty' ? You are, quite obviously, in the wrong job mate.

Anonymous said...

12.39 if your day off was so important to you, why didn't you have your mobile switched off ? I think 9.52 makes a very valid point and if I have a crisis, I hope you aren't on duty as you sound as if you would respond begrudgingly. If it's your day off and you don't want to do overtime, then do what the rest of us do, switch off the mobile ! Easy really.