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RiledRifler
-17th June 2009, 09:53
Any further update on the fencer who was detained for carrying weapons to the London University Fencing competition on Saturday?

As far as I've heard, he was travelling to Euston on the tube and a fellow passenger asked what was in his bag.

At Euston, the passenger shouted across the platform that there was somebody in the carriage carrying a bag full of swords and the police descended on him.

They seem to have let the fencer off but not before giving him a lecture on knife crime which resulted in him missing check in.

hokers
-17th June 2009, 10:02
Some days I despair of the general public.

Dave_leicesterU
-17th June 2009, 11:03
im very glad no one stopped me with my tool kit thats all i can say! how insane is that? its sports equipment, not in anyway a weapon. it seems ridiculous that the police would try and cover there mistake by giving a lecture afterwards.

funkygibbon
-17th June 2009, 11:03
Sometimes the general stupidity of somefolk makes me want to harm myself.

Lee Spiers
-17th June 2009, 11:13
Any further update on the fencer who was detained for carrying weapons to the London University Fencing competition on Saturday?

As far as I've heard, he was travelling to Euston on the tube and a fellow passenger asked what was in his bag.

At Euston, the passenger shouted across the platform that there was somebody in the carriage carrying a bag full of swords and the police descended on him.

They seem to have let the fencer off but not before giving him a lecture on knife crime which resulted in him missing check in.


"fellow passenger" was obviously a dick. not plod's fault.

Captchris
-17th June 2009, 11:43
OOps! I'll have to be careful now. Everytime a kid asks me I tell them there's a dead body in mine!

Rob.Leicester
-17th June 2009, 12:22
I usually just say cricket kit.

Seems to work fine for me

Asprin
-17th June 2009, 12:46
I normally say its sports kit although people have thought it was a musical instrument - I don't know which one they thought it was in my LP wheelie bag.

Gav
-17th June 2009, 13:06
"facepalm".

The stupidity of this situation depresses me.

Australian
-17th June 2009, 13:24
As I understand it (from what others told me on the day) was that the fencer didn't help the situation by making a sarcastic comment to the police about knife crime whilst being questioned about what was in the bag. There was increased police presence on the tube as it was the trooping of the colour that day.

This may or not be true, just what i overhead at the competition.

Saxon
-17th June 2009, 14:26
Stupidity and arrogance are not the sole preserve of the "general public".

- When asked by some nosy a*se what's in the bag, do not say "swords".
- When questioned by Mr Plod, answer all questions truthfully, immediately and without sarcastic tone of voice.
- Do not make "jokes" to said Plod regarding weaponry of any kind.
- Do not act hard done by because people simply believed what you said.
- Plod does not want to waste his time with paperwork regarding some obstructive little jerk who thinks he's Barry Cryer.
- Plod generally wants an uneventful day, to get home without causing harm and without being harmed.
- If either of these seems likely, Plod is required to act first, and follow up afterwards.

You may be better, cleverer or funnier than anyone else inside your head, but if any of the above apply, it's neither Mr Public nor Mr Plod who are at fault.

Saxon
-17th June 2009, 14:28
...posted as one who was briefly detained riding through the Meadows area of Nottingham at 2am, in black, with black facepaint, with a selection of fake weaponry in his bag.

2 minutes and I was on my way again.

JulianRose
-17th June 2009, 14:59
that requires explanation. how can you leave it at that!!

D'Artignan
-17th June 2009, 15:14
Is that something you should really be admitting to in public Saxon?:whistle:

Lynne
-17th June 2009, 15:30
OOps! I'll have to be careful now. Everytime a kid asks me I tell them there's a dead body in mine!

Me too! The bodies of naughty children :whistle:

Baldric
-17th June 2009, 15:31
that requires explanation. how can you leave it at that!!

teenage mutant ninja hobbit?

Lynne
-17th June 2009, 15:37
Sealed knot?

Saxon
-17th June 2009, 15:40
Me too! The bodies of naughty children :whistle:

Yep. And the rust on the t-shirts is blood, but no, not mine.

Captchris
-17th June 2009, 16:27
Haha I totally agree with Saxon, although if adrenaline has taught me anything its fright, flight or frolic. Something tells me the first would be my immediate reaction in front of plod. {No matter if I'd done anything or not!} And I live behind a police station! (No, not in the cells before anyone says it!)

Captchris
-17th June 2009, 16:28
Oh, maybe Saxon cant tell anyone otherwise he'd have to kill us?

Saxon
-17th June 2009, 16:37
Part of my mis-spent youth, of which some of you will be aware.

Just giving some context to the fact that when you are in the right, know it, but don't make overt and arrogant show of it, odds are you will generally be met with reason, even in what might be considered extreme circumstances.

lisward
-17th June 2009, 17:12
My umbrella is sharper than the fencing sword @@

Cloudy
-17th June 2009, 17:46
Stupidity and arrogance are not the sole preserve of the "general public".

- When asked by some nosy a*se what's in the bag, do not say "swords".

That's the bit that gets me. I've been asked 'what's in the bag' on public transport often enough (occasionally by the conductor) to just say 'fencing kit'. It's never caused me any problems. If you don't mention weaponry, no one will think of weaponry.

dferg
-17th June 2009, 21:13
I was once asked by a bus driver as i was about to get on. His tone was unwelcoming to say the least. I answered as politely as I could "fencing kit, I'm on my way home from training". He visibly relaxed and said, "OK, on you get." Having had a long day, saying something sarcastic was very tempting, but I'm glad I didn't. I was left wondering what he thought it was, I know a number of people have asked if I have guns in my bag (guitar style LP bag), so that may have been it.

Common sense applies, if it's someone I know well I may say Swords" and grin in an evil manner before immediately qualifying the statement. If it was a formal question from plod, I would make sure they could see my hands and say something like "sports gear, I'm a fencer, I'm going training and it's my kit"

To be honest, the screwdrivers, T-bar allen key, test weight etc in my tool kit would worry a sensible person more!

Captchris
-18th June 2009, 11:10
My umbrella is sharper than the fencing sword @@

Tipped with Ricin?

Edimum
-18th June 2009, 12:23
And my knitting needles!!

Nick_C
-18th June 2009, 17:17
Stupidity and arrogance are not the sole preserve of the "general public".

- When asked by some nosy a*se what's in the bag, do not say "swords".
- When questioned by Mr Plod, answer all questions truthfully, immediately and without sarcastic tone of voice.
- Do not make "jokes" to said Plod regarding weaponry of any kind.
- Do not act hard done by because people simply believed what you said.
- Plod does not want to waste his time with paperwork regarding some obstructive little jerk who thinks he's Barry Cryer.
- Plod generally wants an uneventful day, to get home without causing harm and without being harmed.
- If either of these seems likely, Plod is required to act first, and follow up afterwards.

You may be better, cleverer or funnier than anyone else inside your head, but if any of the above apply, it's neither Mr Public nor Mr Plod who are at fault.

I just thought this was prudent repeating this in case the fencer in question skipped over it the first time.

If you're on the tube at 8am (tube/plane/train etc) do not be tw@t to the rest of the people around you. People get stopped by the police on the tube for carrying a rucksack. Now think about what you look like, ie scruffy student in tracky bottoms and carrying a 30kilo bag. It's not totally unreasonable for people to want to know that you haven't got a large bomb.

fencingmaster
-18th June 2009, 22:27
you have been warned..........

Dalesman
-20th June 2009, 22:16
The next time I go to help a poor old lady fixing her sticking door with my chisels (sharp of course) and plane will I need a police escort as the chisels are more than 3" long :eek: or do I give up helping people in fear of being arreseted?

fencingmaster
-21st June 2009, 16:27
"Put down that pen. Step back from the platform and keep your hands raised!"

Tilting at Windmills
-21st June 2009, 17:35
As I understand it (from what others told me on the day) was that the fencer didn't help the situation by making a sarcastic comment to the police about knife crime whilst being questioned about what was in the bag. There was increased police presence on the tube as it was the trooping of the colour that day.


Stupidity and arrogance are not the sole preserve of the "general public".

- When asked by some nosy a*se what's in the bag, do not say "swords".
- When questioned by Mr Plod, answer all questions truthfully, immediately and without sarcastic tone of voice.
- Do not make "jokes" to said Plod regarding weaponry of any kind.
- Do not act hard done by because people simply believed what you said.
- Plod does not want to waste his time with paperwork regarding some obstructive little jerk who thinks he's Barry Cryer.
- Plod generally wants an uneventful day, to get home without causing harm and without being harmed.
- If either of these seems likely, Plod is required to act first, and follow up afterwards.

You may be better, cleverer or funnier than anyone else inside your head, but if any of the above apply, it's neither Mr Public nor Mr Plod who are at fault.


Just giving some context to the fact that when you are in the right, know it, but don't make overt and arrogant show of it, odds are you will generally be met with reason, even in what might be considered extreme circumstances.


If you're on the tube at 8am (tube/plane/train etc) do not be tw@t to the rest of the people around you. People get stopped by the police on the tube for carrying a rucksack. Now think about what you look like, ie scruffy student in tracky bottoms and carrying a 30kilo bag. It's not totally unreasonable for people to want to know that you haven't got a large bomb.

I have absolutely no idea about how the fencer in question reacted*, but I find the above comments both depressing and ignorant.

The notion that 'plod' - I'm going to go with 'cops' - will treat you reasonably if YOU act with reason etc... is far-removed from the reality. The cops will treat you however they feel like at that moment in time. Could be good could be bad.

The notion that if you are scruffy and carrying a bag then you are somehow fair game is equally misinformed. You won't get stopped for carrying a rucksack on the tube either - you may be subject to a routine stop during which your rucksack will be searched.

Basically, if you're behaving sociably and 'within the law' you should expect not to be fingered by the public, but if you are, should expect not to get a grilling or ticking off from the cops. Despite how some behave, fencers are members of the public, and cops are public servants.

Saying this, given the rather limited demographic diversity of the UK fencing community I shouldn't be surprised to read such tripe...

* If he was out of order then bad play for him - my comments are then directed at the generalisations.

Foilling Around
-21st June 2009, 19:07
TaW - what a load of twaddle your previous posting is.

If you read the whole posting you will see that the police were acting on a "tip off" from a member of the public who asked the fencer what in his bag and was told it was swords. Assuming that is what the fencer said then he is, at best, silly. He them appears to have got lippy with the police and been given a lecture. What did he expect! (This of course is all hearsay and so not admissible in court!!)

Contrary to your opinion, you generally get the responses from people in this life that you deserve from you actions. And that includes from the police. If you act like a lippy numpty you will get treated like one, if you act like a responsible citizen, you will get treated like one.

Of course there are exceptions and not all police officers (if you think of them as "cops", "plod" or "p*gs" then you are not thinking with respect so you will problably not be treated with respect) are perfect, particularly when they are under pressure. They make mistakes, they get into bad moods and some of them act on their prejudices.

Yes, I am male, middle aged, middle class and white, but I also approach the police in a manner which makes it obvious that I respect them and the job they do.

True police officers are public servants, but with that goes a responsibility to society in general, not just to the individual. Sometimes the safety of society involves the the inconvenience of the few (As Mr Spock said "the needs of the many outwight the needs of the one"). A certain amount of sterotyping and profiling is necessary for them to do their job to protect society. If you know anything about Isaac Asimov, you can think about it as akin to the Laws of Robotics.

Whatever your gender, age, social class or ethnicity you stand a better chance of getting a positive response if you give off a positive aura. If you then get back a negative response THEN you have the right to complain and I would support you 100% (Note that I would not support you 110% - which is the current vogue - as I consider it to be statistically impossible unless you refer it to some base value from which you can measure 100%)

Rant over.

Tilting at Windmills
-21st June 2009, 21:15
Contrary to your opinion, you generally get the responses from people in this life that you deserve from you actions. And that includes from the police. If you act like a lippy numpty you will get treated like one, if you act like a responsible citizen, you will get treated like one.
That would be experience rather than opinion.


Yes, I am male, middle aged, middle class and white, but I also approach the police in a manner which makes it obvious that I respect them and the job they do.
Which explains your opinion.

As I said I don't know how the fencer involved behaved - perhaps you do outside of what has been posted here.

Carrying fencing gear shouldn't make you a target for stop and search. Nuff said.

Gangsta G
-22nd June 2009, 11:21
I usually just say cricket kit.

Seems to work fine for meThe irony being that I would much rather be hit over the head with a fencing sword than a cricket bat!

dferg
-23rd June 2009, 09:18
TaW, I have to say that you seem to be the one making generalisations. First about the demographic of UK fencers, and then with your assumptions of the opinion forming process of that percieved demographic.

Police officers come in many types, some are good guys, some are not. Some are good guys having a bad day some are, it has to be said, not so good even at the best of times. I've dealt with both kinds and everytrhing in between. I've been stopped and harrased and I've also been dealt with politely and fairly.

I still maintain that you should try and be reasonable. If someone is confrontational with you, you won't defuse the situation by responding in kind. Starting by being resonable (or claiming the moral high ground if you prefer) gives you more options and will usually decrease the chances of things going sideways. Otherwise you may as well just skip the prelimineries, slap them with your glove and demand satisfation [note for the hard of thinking: this is not a serious suggestion]. Remember, it is always easier to escalate to attitude than to climb down from it.

Gav
-24th June 2009, 10:30
Carrying fencing gear shouldn't make you a target for stop and search. Nuff said.

Which is true, and also why Stop and Search is such a controversial power.


The irony being that I would much rather be hit over the head with a fencing sword than a cricket bat!

Yes. I even pointed this out to people during the Sword Ban debacle. And it was aknoweledged. Still; the police want a 2 week 'cooling off' period on all bladed purchases - even cutlery.

dferg
-24th June 2009, 12:35
Which is true, and also why Stop and Search is such a controversial power.

Ironically the one time I was stopped and harrased, I was carrying my fencing kit, but the police showed little interest in what was in my bag until I asked one of them to hold it for me while I signed their little notebook, and then it was just because the weight caught him by surprise. I think I was actually stopped under the "looking a bit different in a public place" legislation, specifically the section on being male and having long hair. :)




Yes. I even pointed this out to people during the Sword Ban debacle. And it was aknoweledged. Still; the police want a 2 week 'cooling off' period on all bladed purchases - even cutlery.

Well, that's knee jerk politics for you, never mind if the new laws actually do anything to solve the problem, we have have to be seen to be running around and making a noise.

TLove
-25th June 2009, 10:04
The notion that 'plod' - I'm going to go with 'cops' - will treat you reasonably if YOU act with reason etc... is far-removed from the reality. The cops will treat you however they feel like at that moment in time. Could be good could be bad.

...

Basically, if you're behaving sociably and 'within the law' you should expect not to be fingered by the public, but if you are, should expect not to get a grilling or ticking off from the cops. Despite how some behave, fencers are members of the public, and cops are public servants.


And yet, having been stopped by the police several times; several times for carrying oddly shaped bags full of swords, and a couple of times for actually doing something illegal on the motorbike - I have always found them to be polite and reasonable.

Unusually for me, I'm not being cynical about the whole matter, but in my experience they will treat you exactly how you treat them... and they will make your life difficult if you try and be clever!

Carrying fencing gear should not make you a target for stop and search, true. Carrying an oddly shaped bag with indeterminable contents should however. Although it's terribly unfair, the police are trained to target certain demographics (e.g. people who carry large suspiciously shaped bags). This is due to the fact there's not enough police to search everybody.

coach carson
-28th June 2009, 12:40
I can't see many facts about the nature of the exchange between the individual and the police. There is quite a gulf between an arrest, a stop or a stop and search. I doubt that the attitude of either the fencer or the cop had much to do with the initial exchange, unless some of you are suggesting that if a member of the public tells a police officer that someone is carrying offensive weapons, that the police should do nothing about it.

Just for the record, fencing equipment is sports equipment until such times as any of it (not just the sword) is used or intended to be used to cause harm. At that point, it becomes of interest to the police (R v Ohlson refers).

So I have no problem with a police officer, whatever their colour or sex, establishing on behalf of the greater public, that what is being carried in that odd shaped bag is for sporting rather than any other purpose.

Twohat
-29th June 2009, 12:52
OOps! I'll have to be careful now. Everytime a kid asks me I tell them there's a dead body in mine!

Daughter was once on a railway platform with her Jumbo wheely bag, and was asked "Wotcher got in the bag then?" by a stranger who was paying more attention to her than she wanted.

She drew herself up to her full height (which is considerable), looked him in the eye and said, straight-faced, "Its my little sister. She asked too many questions . . ."

Fortunately, her train arrived then.

Captchris
-29th June 2009, 12:54
Pmsl!

adam2z
-29th June 2009, 18:30
Perhaps everyone, and Saxon in particular, should take into account that there is not a single statement in this thread that isn't hearsay.

The only thing we actually know is that a fencer missed the tournament registration because he was unjustly stopped and searched.

cesh_fencing
-29th June 2009, 19:16
there is not a single statement in this thread that isn't hearsay.

The only thing we actually know is that a fencer missed the tournament registration because he was unjustly stopped and searched.

But it is just hearsay/personal opinion that the stop and search was unjust.

I would prefer the police to react and query someone with a big, strange shaped bag on the tube/a bus after a member of public has raised concerns, rather than ignore that person and something terrible happen. Who would everyone then have a go at, yes the policeman who ignored the concerned member of the public.

I have been stopped in the past and simply explained why I had the bag/equipment and where I was going and the police did not delay me for more than about 60 seconds, as I was being co-operative (this was on my way to Westminster school with me walking just in front of the houses of Parliament).. I am sure if I had been lippy they would rightly suspect something could have been wrong and would have delayed me more to make sure all was above board.

General simple rule, when dealing with police, treat them how you want them to treat you. If you are difficult, they will often copy you and make your life a living hell; if you speak to them with respect, they will do in return (unless you are very unlucky).

I guess it is the same with referees in fencing; if you are nice to them they will probably be nice to you in return. If you shout and scream and make their day uncomfortable, you really deserve what you get in return (though the best referees should be above this obviously).