sonic777 wrote: ...
ALWAYS have a name and address memorised to give to the police when you are stopped (for anything) ...
Of course that's a lot better than making one up impromptu:
'OK, Ken, so what's your second name?'
A jolly good wheeze
- and it reminds me of my distant youth when football hooliganism was all the rage. Both Leeds and Man U had outfits that carried all before them - and good soccer teams as well.
Whenever these two met there was inevitably real trouble which carried on far beyond the ground. Loads of arrests and the system was often close to collapse through sheer weight of numbers. Stiffing (giving false details) was common and and it even reached the stage of people giving the details of somebody else they knew was at the match. Even if the local police did a physical check of the address given, somebody would say that the person lived there and was at the match. When the warrant for non-appearance was executed, the person whose identity had been borrowed would not match the polaroid pic. A jolly good japes.
Anyway, around 1980 time, after crowd trouble at Old Trafford, some spoilsport
decided that they would have to play an FA Cup Tie at a neutral ground, a big distance from home. They ended up somewhere like Plymouth (although what the West Country had done to deserve that I don't know.) Next bit of fun was when a big group of travelling 'fans' descended on a motorway service area Bristol way, en route to the big match. A couple of young women facing thirty tough guys intent on wrecking the cafeteria early on a Saturday morning - all very funny. Motorway police turn up - initially outnumbered of course - grab one and get his details. Here's the really funny bit: he'd memorised the borrowed name and address so well that when they checked, he was wanted at Leeds for failing to turn up at court last time he used that gag.
(It's a bit like remembering passwords.)
Instead of being able to watch thebig match - or at least smash up a pub outside, he was bouncing about on the wooden seats in the Back of the Holbeck van
. Back at Leeds Bridewell ( in those days the appalling cells under the Town Hall) it was much too late for the Saturday court so it's wait till Monday. Bearing in mind that this comedian was wearing his Man U togs, there was the question of his safety in the communal holding cell*. Of course, as any 'insider' knows, being kept separate would risk others jumping to the conclusion that he was a so-called 'nonce'. Time may fly, but not at Leeds Bridewell sitting on the 'long form' on a Sunday, especially if nobody will give you a fag. And he did end up in a cell on his own.
Come Monday morning and it's so predictable to hear the stipendiary magistrate AKA The Stipe, sounding off. 'In addition to the trouble you have caused the police blah, blah, not only were you too much of a coward to face the consequences of your deplorable actions blah, blah, but you risked an innocent man (Innocent? I should coco) losing his liberty for what you had done blah blah. In the meantime, it inevitably turned out that he was wanted in Manchester in his real name and the CID in Zomerzett or wherever decided that they'd like a chat about the service area. So off he went to 18 Gloucester Terrace (postal address of the Big House) for the Three Bears diet, while they decided who could have the next turn.
Things changed a bit in 1984. The spoilsports passed the Police And Criminal Evidence Act (now 'as amended'), which means you can be locked up for anything, including RLJing, if you are suspected of stiffing.
They also set up the Crown Prosecution Service, another bunch of miseries who decided that stiffing amounted to attempting to pervert the course of justice - a common-law misdemeanour - ie an offence thought up by the judges themselves, with unlimited punishment. So anybody wanting to join in the fun would do well to find a solicitor ( a real one that is) and almost certainly a learned friend with fancy dress.
The trouble is, all good things come to an end, and they ration all these pranks. You retire after 30 years.....
* A couple of years ago I was chatting with a Big Issue seller and he told be had had a good hiding on Leeds train station, just for selling the edition with David Beckham on the cover