Tonight at work Kaylie hurt her foot, and I had to get out of bed to take her to A&E at the Royal. This is never a place to relish attending at 2am on a Saturday night, but given that there was zero chance of a non-blue-light ambulance, and no money to pay for a taxi, it didn’t leave much choice. Who knows what you’re supposed to do if you don’t have a car.
As we set off, I considered the possibility and resulting irony of the police pulling us over whilst we undertaking a journey that would arguably be a better use of public resources than arbitary stop-and-checks.
Lo-and-behold, after a remarkably quick stay in the hospital, we were followed first by a police van, which then pulled away to reveal (what I can only gather was) a traffic car. Once they had sat right behind us for a while, they inevitably put on the blue lights, and after working out that we weren’t actually drunk/stoned/whatever the hell else, they went on their way.
This is about the fifth time I’ve been stopped in the past year or so for driving through the City Centre at night. On this particular occasion I was not speeding, my insurance, tax, and MOT are all properly registered and up-to-date, and there was no discernible reason for suspicion other than the fact that I have an old Corsa.
I am not going to wheel out the predictable ripostes about how they have better things to do, as I understand that there must be some sort of provision given to dealing with all sorts of crime, regardless of however ‘minor’ they appear, in order to uphold the rule of law.
However, what I do take issue with is the tactics of the police. Instead of simply following me based on the age of my car, it would have been nice if they had stopped the taxi driver in front who apparently didn’t need to use his indicators, and drove down High Street at 5mph.
Instead of tracking me down the roads outside my house, they could have taken the time to stop the transit van (also in full view of them), which had half of its brake lights flickering, and the other half not lit up at all.
Hell, maybe if they had time after all of that they could sit outside Argyle Street where the boy racers hurtle out of a darkened alleyway at speed every weekend, almost knocking unwitting pedestrians down, and shouting abuse out of their blacked-out windows as they do so.
This isn’t a protest at a pro-active police force who have simply crossed into my path in their legitimate patrols, but instead one at an inefficient and biased use of ‘profiling’. Let’s call it what it really is: discrimination. The test of ‘suspicion’ when applied to traffic policing is ridiculous, and I dare say that after having a police car trail you about less than a metre behind your bumper, anybody is bound to be thrown off their usual stride.
It is clear that if you want to break the law and remain under the radar, you should buy a new, middle-of-the road family car. Criminals only drive Corsas.