"Auditors" Police, security guards etc

I've just got in from work, supping on a monster G&T and not sure whether to be angry or to be happy.

I received a call at midday from the police constable who had left his card on my doormat. I was quickly grabbing a sandwich (in the office today) and asked him to call back after 4 on my office number (mobile phones are not generally permitted in the office). He confirmed it was to close an inquiry down. I had a chance to chat to my solicitor mate again, who stressed that i should find out as much as possible.

He rang me back at 4.30, identified himself and confirmed that I was not under caution. Here is an semi-verbatim account based on scribbled notes - pausing between each statement to write down the gist of what was said (our calls are recorded and I advised him of that, but I have to make a formal request via CDO for the recording). He apologised for the delay, was friendly and polite, as was I.

" We received a report of someone acting suspiciously with surveillance equipment around the market square, who was aggressive to a security officer and a member of our force when approached. However, after detailed investigation, we will not be taking the matter forward. As I am sure you appreciate, we have to take these reports seriously."

"Can I ask who reported this?"

"I'm afraid I can't say."

"Was it a member of the public?"

"Erm, no."

"Was it the Safer Streets security guard"

[pause] "I really can't say."

"Why did you think it was me?"

"You were identified by a member of our Force driving a car out of The Lanes car park. From the vehicle registration number, we determined your home address."

"Really? CCTV?"

"No, one of our staff saw you."

"Was it the PCSO?"

"Erm, yes."

"In what way was I acting suspiciously?"

"You were reported to have surveillance equipment and were taking photos of buildings which have CCTV cameras on them. And of the market stalls, where there are people."

"I had a 65 year old German film camera, which looks like any other old camera. Most mobile phones can massively outperform my camera. Why was it thought I had surveillance equipment - and when did it become suspicious to take photos of 18th and 19th century buildings - or of people in public?"

"Well, we've reviewed the incident and we are satisfied that it was not suspicious."

"Tell me about the alleged aggression."

"We've reviewed body-worn camera footage and satisfied that there was a misunderstanding."

"You mean when the PCSO accused me of being an Auditor and a Terrorist?"

"We have had a number of incidents recently where members of the public have filmed our staff in an invasive and threatening manner. As I said, this incident has been investigated and we have identified learnings." [A term I absolutely detest]

"Why did the security guard and the PCSO try to stop me filming in public when I wasn't even filming them? Your own Force website has a statement about photography in public."

"Yes, you're right, but they were right to challenge you in the current climate. As I said, learnings have been identified. Regarding the activities of security guard, that's a matter for the Council."

That's the guts of it. I didn't get an apology, but it seems that the security guard from the 'Safer Streets Initiative' reported me to the PCSO after I ignored him when he told me photography in public was not allowed. The PCSO then bigged up the incident after I snubbed her very aggressive challenge, stating that I was acting suspiciously and using 'surveillance equipment' (whatever that is). To add a cherry of the cake, she then accused me of being aggressive (which was clearly not backed up by the body cam). She then must have followed me for the better part of an hour, to see me get in my car (in a multi-story car park some distance from the market square) and leave.

Added to that, the police then visited my house to follow up enquiries - but it must have been before they had reviewed CCTV and the bodycam. I'm really not sure whether to be relieved or angry that a huge amount of police time (and my angst) was wasted unnecessarily because of an over-zealous, lying and frankly bitchy PCSO. I will follow up with a complaint to the P&CC and to the Borough Council about the security guard (who is, I've learned, 'accredited' by the Constabulary to deal with parking, litter and excess noise issues).

I can't fault the Constable who investigated the incident and spoke with me. He was professional, courteous and (I sense) a bit embarrassed by the activities of the PCSO - and the Force - which were wholly disproportionate.

Could be worse one photographer got arrested as plod felt threatened because the photographer was too tall

Being too tall in a public place is a bit scary for plod
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
That's the spirit. There's only one language those scum understand, eh?
To be honest, it's unlikely your average "Auditor" would truly understand anything.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Actually, I think they understand their audience rather well.
Considering the amoeba-like button mashing mongs who get a kick from watching bellends harassing the Police, you're probably correct...
 
Considering the amoeba-like button mashing mongs who get a kick from watching bellends harassing the Police, you're probably correct...

Could you explain how the Police are being harassed?
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Could you explain how the Police are being harassed?
Fair point; "harrassed" is my hyperbole. Police are having their time wasted having to deal with cnuts with cameras acting in provocative ways which guarantee that Police have to respond.
 
Fair point; "harrassed" is my hyperbole. Police are having their time wasted having to deal with cnuts with cameras acting in provocative ways which guarantee that Police have to respond.

It’s obviously a regularly occurring situation that has got the attention of some police, information and videos on Police Service websites demonstrates this. You’d like to think those very same constabularies have provide guidance/training for their officers to act commensurate with the advice given on the website. The rest need to catch up.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
It’s obviously a regularly occurring situation that has got the attention of some police, information and videos on Police Service websites demonstrates this. You’d like to think those very same constabularies have provide guidance/training for their officers to act commensurate with the advice given on the website. The rest need to catch up.
And no doubt they will. That doesn't alter the fact that cnuts with cameras produce nothing positive, they waste the scarce policing resources in order to make dull repetitive videos which apparently appeal to those who wish the forces of law and order ill for whatever reason.
 
I've just got in from work, supping on a monster G&T and not sure whether to be angry or to be happy.

I received a call at midday from the police constable who had left his card on my doormat. I was quickly grabbing a sandwich (in the office today) and asked him to call back after 4 on my office number (mobile phones are not generally permitted in the office). He confirmed it was to close an inquiry down. I had a chance to chat to my solicitor mate again, who stressed that i should find out as much as possible.

He rang me back at 4.30, identified himself and confirmed that I was not under caution. Here is an semi-verbatim account based on scribbled notes - pausing between each statement to write down the gist of what was said (our calls are recorded and I advised him of that, but I have to make a formal request via CDO for the recording). He apologised for the delay, was friendly and polite, as was I.

" We received a report of someone acting suspiciously with surveillance equipment around the market square, who was aggressive to a security officer and a member of our force when approached. However, after detailed investigation, we will not be taking the matter forward. As I am sure you appreciate, we have to take these reports seriously."

"Can I ask who reported this?"

"I'm afraid I can't say."

"Was it a member of the public?"

"Erm, no."

"Was it the Safer Streets security guard"

[pause] "I really can't say."

"Why did you think it was me?"

"You were identified by a member of our Force driving a car out of The Lanes car park. From the vehicle registration number, we determined your home address."

"Really? CCTV?"

"No, one of our staff saw you."

"Was it the PCSO?"

"Erm, yes."

"In what way was I acting suspiciously?"

"You were reported to have surveillance equipment and were taking photos of buildings which have CCTV cameras on them. And of the market stalls, where there are people."

"I had a 65 year old German film camera, which looks like any other old camera. Most mobile phones can massively outperform my camera. Why was it thought I had surveillance equipment - and when did it become suspicious to take photos of 18th and 19th century buildings - or of people in public?"

"Well, we've reviewed the incident and we are satisfied that it was not suspicious."

"Tell me about the alleged aggression."

"We've reviewed body-worn camera footage and satisfied that there was a misunderstanding."

"You mean when the PCSO accused me of being an Auditor and a Terrorist?"

"We have had a number of incidents recently where members of the public have filmed our staff in an invasive and threatening manner. As I said, this incident has been investigated and we have identified learnings." [A term I absolutely detest]

"Why did the security guard and the PCSO try to stop me filming in public when I wasn't even filming them? Your own Force website has a statement about photography in public."

"Yes, you're right, but they were right to challenge you in the current climate. As I said, learnings have been identified. Regarding the activities of security guard, that's a matter for the Council."

That's the guts of it. I didn't get an apology, but it seems that the security guard from the 'Safer Streets Initiative' reported me to the PCSO after I ignored him when he told me photography in public was not allowed. The PCSO then bigged up the incident after I snubbed her very aggressive challenge, stating that I was acting suspiciously and using 'surveillance equipment' (whatever that is). To add a cherry of the cake, she then accused me of being aggressive (which was clearly not backed up by the body cam). She then must have followed me for the better part of an hour, to see me get in my car (in a multi-story car park some distance from the market square) and leave.

Added to that, the police then visited my house to follow up enquiries - but it must have been before they had reviewed CCTV and the bodycam. I'm really not sure whether to be relieved or angry that a huge amount of police time (and my angst) was wasted unnecessarily because of an over-zealous, lying and frankly bitchy PCSO. I will follow up with a complaint to the P&CC and to the Borough Council about the security guard (who is, I've learned, 'accredited' by the Constabulary to deal with parking, litter and excess noise issues).

I can't fault the Constable who investigated the incident and spoke with me. He was professional, courteous and (I sense) a bit embarrassed by the activities of the PCSO - and the Force - which were wholly disproportionate.

Just out of interest, as you've been visiting local cities to me, can I ask which force and council?

I'd get it if you don't, but I'm being nosey.
 
And no doubt they will. That doesn't alter the fact that cnuts with cameras produce nothing positive, they waste the scarce policing resources in order to make dull repetitive videos which apparently appeal to those who wish the forces of law and order ill for whatever reason.

From the posted evidence, some forces are only too willing to waste their time on belligerent "bloke-with-camera-QRF" antics where one plod could have a word, and everyone could be on their way.

Subsequent proper allocation of resources could then take place as the offender is tracked via CCTV, ANPR and PNC to his home address and interviewed at 04:00 before he can switch on his camera.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
From the posted evidence, some forces are only too willing to waste their time on belligerent "bloke-with-camera-QRF" antics where one plod could have a word, and everyone could be on their way.

Subsequent proper allocation of resources could then take place as the offender is tracked via CCTV, ANPR and PNC to his home address and interviewed at 04:00 before he can switch on his camera.
You'd be an idiot if you actually believed that.
 

wild_moose

War Hero
And no doubt they will. That doesn't alter the fact that cnuts with cameras produce nothing positive, they waste the scarce policing resources in order to make dull repetitive videos which apparently appeal to those who wish the forces of law and order ill for whatever reason.

You're joking aren't you? Andy Trotter, then Chief Constable of BTP representing ACPO, appeared on BBC TV 12 years ago - how much time do they need to catch up? I know the police have a reputation as not being a learning organisation but surely after 12 years they could have got the message that filming in public is a perfectly legal.

IMO the police are as guilty of wasting their time as these auditors - leave them be, their videos will be so boring nobody will watch then they'll stop.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
You're joking aren't you? Andy Trotter, then Chief Constable of BTP representing ACPO, appeared on BBC TV 12 years ago - how much time do they need to catch up? I know the police have a reputation as not being a learning organisation but surely after 12 years they could have got the message that filming in public is a perfectly legal.

IMO the police are as guilty of wasting their time as these auditors - leave them be, their videos will be so boring nobody will watch then they'll stop.
They seem to know the legalities of filming in public on the 'Police,Camera.Scrote...' type shows everytime a n'er-do-well kicks off about being filmed, they point out that the cameraman has every right to film in a public place and are quite happy to defend him doing so. Video is here to stay in all out lives, whichever side of the camera you're on.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
OK, so where are all the videos of these 04:00 raids then? What's that - you can't find any?

You need to do your own research, mate.
If you think you are going to goad me into ploughing through God knows how many hours of the recordings of cnuts with cameras to "prove" something I haven't even stipulated, you're not only dumber than a chunky, you're probably off your face on smack. Nice try, but no.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
You're joking aren't you? Andy Trotter, then Chief Constable of BTP representing ACPO, appeared on BBC TV 12 years ago - how much time do they need to catch up? I know the police have a reputation as not being a learning organisation but surely after 12 years they could have got the message that filming in public is a perfectly legal.

IMO the police are as guilty of wasting their time as these auditors - leave them be, their videos will be so boring nobody will watch then they'll stop.
Filming in public is legal. So is being a cnut as long as you don't endanger others; that doesn't mean it's a laudable act.

Cnuts with cameras (AKA "Auditors") are relatively recent developments in UK which appears to have leached over here from the US where quite a lot of that sort of thing is posted on Youface etc. I've seen a couple of clips of Yank bellends doing open carry of semi auto rifles in cities "asserting their constitutional rights", with US plod delivering similar looks of banal disdain whilst having their time wasted (by some cousin-fcuking Cletus who is but dimly aware that recording himself being interviewed and then maced by a slightly bemused cop is about to become the highpoint of his whole life).

One can only imagine the dim lightbulb which flashed above "Auditor" AB's bald and slightly pointy head when he first clicked on his semen-encrusted laptop and saw Cletus braying to Deputy Schwarzenhilfiger about the seventy third Amendment whilst being zip-tied to a pickup truck, and realised he'd found his calling. No more wnaking the loneliness away, from now on he'd be a yooman rights activist and internet hero!

Unfortunately if the Police find some prat filming a potential target (police station, hospital, army camp etc) then they need to question the reason for his actions. This is the hook allowing the cnut with a camera to confect a conflict by refusing to cooperate and "asserting his rights", when the whole reason for him doing so is to enable filming of that conflict.

Some coppers and security guards aren't very nimble on their mental toes when dealing with said cnuts, I think it's fair to say. That doesn't mean that cnuts with cameras are in the right. They're not in the right; they're cnuts.

I heard some arse on Jeremy Vine today who's pulled off a similar "look at meeee" act of cnutery by demanding to pay for his petrol with a (legal tender) rare £100 commemorative coin. Tesco wage slave refused and Plod was called to sort it; because he was being a cnut and the responding copper had probably had a nightmare shift, he was arrested, and he ended up getting £5K in compensation. The cnut has previous form for this sort of thing, but instead of being told to fcuk off and get a life he's got £5K in compensation and has been interviewed on national radio You could virtually hear the nasal twanging nobody's hardon as he prattled on endlessly. I was unamazed that Vine didn't ask him "why are you being such a trouble maker?"

These "Auditors" are of exactly the same ilk: using their rights to gum up the works and make themselves the centre of a large mess, in exactly the same manner as the Insulate Britain bellends. It's just a matter of scale; they're all attention seeking, trouble making scum, who would benefit from a damn good ignoring. Sadly, they're just clever enough to make themselves impossible to ignore.

I don't know what the answer is, but I know it isn't to legitimise these attention seeking parasites, by pretending they have a point..
 
If you think you are going to goad me into ploughing through God knows how many hours of the recordings of cnuts with cameras to "prove" something I haven't even stipulated, you're not only dumber than a chunky, you're probably off your face on smack. Nice try, but no.

Hey, you're the one asserting that citizen journalists are trying to overwhelm the forces of law and order with YouTube videos, then windmilling at everyone who disagrees with you.
 
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