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Thursday, April 07, 2005


Winding up and down

Working the early evening shift for another couple of days this week before I get another day off. This afternoon I nicked a dodgy looking BMW with darkened windows and shiny extras parked on ‘no loading’ double yellows. Driver not seen, no permits of any sort, so booked and sorted in less than five minutes. Nice easy ticket, bang to rights, lets see him worm his way off that one.

So what, I hear people say, just another booking, right? Not according to your friend and mine, PC49, who passed by in his rinky dinky little squad car just as I was walking round the corner of the next street. He pulls up, waves me over with a grin and says; “You know whose car you just nicked?”
“Bloke who’s just got a parking ticket for being in the wrong place?” I hazarded.
“Yeah, right.” His evil grin got wider as he related his version of exactly who the BMW belonged to. From what he told me the guy was a regular item on the Drug Squad’s ‘My Favourites’ list with an alleged habit of dealing abruptly with problem customers in an unfriendly manner. Not proven of course, but that I should be aware that he was under surveillance and not to get in the way.
“So you’re telling me I shouldn’t have booked him?” I asked. Tell you the truth I’m more concerned about my Manager finding out that I’d passed by a car in clear contravention than the wrath of some small time drug lord. These guys aren’t dumb and tend to settle parking fines quickly out of petty cash. Leaving incriminating bootmarks all over traffic wardens draws unwelcome attention to their activities and is thus bad for business is my reasoning. What’s sixty quid to one of them? – loose change that’s what.
“No.” was the response. “Just don’t get in the way.”
“Well I’ve booked him now, so that’s that. Can I borrow your spare set of body armour?” I asked. At this, PC49 winds up his window and drives off, leaving his grin fading behind him like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. What’s he up to?

Suspicious chap that I have become, I made a point of short cutting across another part of my beat to get back to the restriction I’d just booked the BMW on. On my way there my footsteps took me past one residential street where I saw the very same BMW, boot (trunk) open, owner unloading computer workstation into house with help of one of the residents. Resident recognises me as one of the people who allow him to park somewhere near his own house at night and gives me a friendly nod. Owner of BMW, a slightly tubby guy in his mid twenties with keyboard pallor scowls but says nothing as I walk past. Just as I’m going out of earshot I can hear whining litany of complaint about Traffic Wardens from BMW owner. So it was all a wind up! Who said our Police were wonderful? Grr.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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