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  #16  
Old 26th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

Keith - it's hard to discuss this sort of topic without it becoming political. Issues like this are deeply political, it's the nature of the beast.

As for my own thoughts - I agree with John (Zuiko) to a large extent. We don't have the police numbers we used to have. OTOH - some of it is probably down to priority and motivation; in other words the police leadership. I'm sure appropriate numbers could be found if it was seen as a priority.
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  #17  
Old 27th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Keith - it's hard to discuss this sort of topic without it becoming political. Issues like this are deeply political, it's the nature of the beast.

As for my own thoughts - I agree with John (Zuiko) to a large extent. We don't have the police numbers we used to have. OTOH - some of it is probably down to priority and motivation; in other words the police leadership. I'm sure appropriate numbers could be found if it was seen as a priority.
I agree with your sentiments, and also with John, but I was thinking about the implications for us photographers; politics have gone mad in this country over the last few years IMV, and if I hear the B-word any more, I'll scream! Of course, you can view cuts in a political context, but they are a fact, whereas politics is about propaganda, lies and deceptions. (One of the dictionary definitions of a politician is 'someone who uses lies and deceit to achieve his or her ends'!)

In this area, there are literally thousands and thousands of houses being built now. Some towns are doubling or near doubling in size; yet there is no proportional increase in infrastructure, or services - including the police and ambulanceand the fire service. Indeed, if anything, all have been cut, and more cuts are in the pipeline. All that is happening is that problems are ignored, and will worsen over time. That isn't being political, it's simple common sense.

I contribute to a political magazine and also help the editor with it. Believe you me, I get enough exposure to all that it implies doing that, without adding to it here!

We can of course debate the political aspects, but that merely leads to people getting antagonistic and these days, often very bad tempered rants and ill feeling. I would hope that we don't want to go down that road! I'd rather leave politics to those paid to indulge in it!
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Old 27th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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ISO, If you would care to read my original post, you will notice that I did not mention cuts. As I discussed to John (Zuiko) above, I don't think cuts were the issue with the Cromer incident.

We have lost a lot of police in Norfolk. They used to even patrol our village, generally by car or motor cycle, when we came here 31 years ago, at least twice a week. We haven't seen a police patrol here for at least seven or eight years now. In our local town, and the police HQ is there, you don't often see them walking the streets. If you look at the Norfolk Police website, there are only 5 officers listed for Cromer, which is a sizable town. I don't believe that's enough, and I'm sure most residents here would agree with me. Cyber crime is labour intensive, and has mushroomed in recent years; and the police can't be stuck in front of computer screens at the same time as about in the community. When they are patrolling two streets, people talk to them, report things, give them snippets of information. When they aren't on the streets, it simply doesn't happen.
Err - So why are they not there?????
CUTS, or is it just easier for the 'Authorities' to blame some other condition???
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  #19  
Old 28th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

The police only do the easy stuff now - driving around with number plate recognition apparatus, catching motorists. But sometimes they have to go through with the inconvenience of getting out of their cars to man a radar trap.

Jim
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Old 28th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

I was watching one of the endless "Police Interceptors" programs on the electric fishtank a few nights ago. In one incident, our heros picked up a transit van being driven dangerously and chased it for many miles at ridiculous mph. Eventually it turned down a cul-de-sac and screeched to a halt. The two occupants legged it, the passenger over a field and the driver into an adjacent travellers' camp. The passenger was caught but absolutely no attempt was made to find the driver. At the end of the program, the narrator stated no charges were brought.

I make no comment!
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  #21  
Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
Police on the streets? Now there's a novel idea!

Jim
Perhaps you and I live too much in the past Jim.


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Originally Posted by Clockwork Donkey View Post
I was watching one of the endless "Police Interceptors" programs on the electric fishtank a few nights ago. In one incident, our heros picked up a transit van being driven dangerously and chased it for many miles at ridiculous mph. Eventually it turned down a cul-de-sac and screeched to a halt. The two occupants legged it, the passenger over a field and the driver into an adjacent travellers' camp. The passenger was caught but absolutely no attempt was made to find the driver. At the end of the program, the narrator stated no charges were brought.

I make no comment!
Am I the only member to spot a common denominator here?

Or are we to afraid to confront the uncomfortable truths in this PC obsessed world?
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  #22  
Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Err - So why are they not there?????
CUTS, or is it just easier for the 'Authorities' to blame some other condition???
Cuts both in police numbers and also budgetary, are undoubtedly part of the reason. But I think there are other reasons too. Over a thirty year period, I had dealings with two different Whitehall departments. At one time, their civil servants were helpful and fairly pragmatic; that has all changed. To be blunt, the main motivation that I perceived in recent years was "what is best for my career?" I suspect that similar motivation affects other public services (as indeed it does private industry). Another reason is the rise of accountants. They will always tell you why you can't/shouldn't do things; how there is no money, and so on. Very good at telling you where it went wrong, but never how to avoid it going wrong in the future. We used to have a notice up on the wall: "There's never enough money to do it right, but always enough to do it twice." Typical situation: I had to do a lot of AutoCAD drawings at work for a period - using a mouse. I started getting trouble with my right wrist. Told my boss, and said, "I need a stylus tablet for this." The response"? "No budget". It went on, and my wrist became really painful. I tried again. "How much is a stylus tablet?" Wacom Bamboo is about 60 said I. "Can't afford it." Not very long after, i was diagnosed with tenosynovitis; I had to have a painful operation, and spend three weeks off work.

That mentality is endemic in this country, and has been for a very long time. On the outbreak of war in 1914, Churchill, our esteemed First Lord of the Admiralty refused to purchase shore guns for Scapa Flow, at a cost of 5000, despite spending millions on Dreadnoughts. What happened? A U-boat sailed in unmolested, sailed around for an hour or two, and left. Fortunately the fleet was at sea. The guns mysteriously appeared. Fast forward to 1939. Same again - lack of shore defences. What happened? A U-boat sailed in, had its pick of targets, and sank the Royal Oak, with the loss of 800-odd lives. The defences mysteriously materialized.

Same with police, fire brigade, ambulances, you name it. We can always do everything with nothing - until the worst happens. Then we firefight our way out of trouble until it's all forgotten again. You can always "save" money, but so often you end up spending many times as much in the longer run. And we are doing this with exceptional aplomb at the moment.
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  #23  
Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Well, John, I thought by asking specific questions, it would avoid a political debate. Not to worry. I do agree with you generally about cuts; you can't buy with ten quid what you can buy with twenty, and you can't get as much work done when you employ ten people as when you employ twenty. But some of our political masters seem to think that people have an infinite capacity to do more, more, more with less, less, less.
This has been happening in the private sector for years; driven almost entirely by cost cutting and the desire to improve the bottom line. It is nearly thirty years since I last worked for a large corporate, but even then staff who retired or went elsewhere were never replaced, except in certain departments such as Marquetry (marketing) and bean counting where they were all golden girls and boys.

The same thing is now happening in the public sector, and is clearly just as unpopular there as in the private sector. The only difference is that we hear much more about it from the public sector, and of course public servants are better placed to make their displeasure felt by those who pay their salaries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
I agree with your sentiments, and also with John, but I was thinking about the implications for us photographers; politics have gone mad in this country over the last few years IMV, and if I hear the B-word any more, I'll scream! Of course, you can view cuts in a political context, but they are a fact, whereas politics is about propaganda, lies and deceptions. (One of the dictionary definitions of a politician is 'someone who uses lies and deceit to achieve his or her ends'!)

In this area, there are literally thousands and thousands of houses being built now. Some towns are doubling or near doubling in size; yet there is no proportional increase in infrastructure, or services - including the police and ambulanceand the fire service. Indeed, if anything, all have been cut, and more cuts are in the pipeline. All that is happening is that problems are ignored, and will worsen over time. That isn't being political, it's simple common sense.

I contribute to a political magazine and also help the editor with it. Believe you me, I get enough exposure to all that it implies doing that, without adding to it here!

We can of course debate the political aspects, but that merely leads to people getting antagonistic and these days, often very bad tempered rants and ill feeling. I would hope that we don't want to go down that road! I'd rather leave politics to those paid to indulge in it!

One of the reasons for the present housing shortage is not so much immigration and population growth as the number of single-parent and separated families; thus requiring separate dwellings for the parents (and off spring) concerned.

Indeed, there is a newish development near us known locally as 'Divorcee Corner' which is inhabited almost entirely by divorced and separated parents and (on occasions) their visiting offspring.

And of course with access arrangements to children each house must be large enough to accommodate all possible permutations of parents, 'partners' and offspring.

However, reverting to the original subject and questions, I would agree with others that safety must always be the number one priority, especially in a situation where it seems that the authorities are unwilling to intervene owing to misplaced concerns about political correctness.

Personally I would want to be as far away from these people as possible, perhaps taking safe refuge inside a Waitrose store or Waterstones; but if caught unaware I would probably try to sneak a few shots, or some video if I thought it was safe to do so.

One would expect to become a target if seen using a camera, although I suspect many 'travellers' would actually revel in the idea that their thuggish behaviour was being uploaded to Snapchat, Instagram Facebook or whatever, safe in the knowledge that political correctness gone mad means that they are very unlikely to face any kind of justice.

As for handing over photographs and video, I am sure this can be done in such a way that the 'witness' is not identified, and is not put at any personal risk.

However, I would urge caution if relying on insurance to cover the cost of damaged or stolen equipment. When travellers wrecked cars and damaged property in our village (see post #3), insurers were very reluctant to pay out as they maintained that the loss was caused by 'civil unrest' and 'riot'; the risks of which are specifically excluded from most insurance policies along with war, acts of God, usurped power and kindred risks.

Equally, the police were very careful NOT to use any of these terms in their crime reports, as the government of the day would then be responsible in law; although I am doubtful that they would cough up unless pressed very hard.

Certain politicians should bear this in mind when trying to stir up civil unrest for political purposes.

With regard to police numbers; the event I refer to occurred around 2006, under a previous government, at a time when out local MP was also the PM, and long before it was fashionable to talk about food banks or 'government cuts', even though both existed.

Durham Constabulary was able to fund a whole battalion of police to protect Myrobella House without any additional government grant, so there were literally dozens of coppers just three miles away.

Interestingly, Trimdon Grange, Trimdon Colliery and Trimdon Village were reckoned to be about the safest places in the country to live at the time owing to the strong police presence there. Of course that all changed after 2007, but it had nothing to do with government cuts.
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  #24  
Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
Cuts both in police numbers and also budgetary, are undoubtedly part of the reason. But I think there are other reasons too. Over a thirty year period, I had dealings with two different Whitehall departments. At one time, their civil servants were helpful and fairly pragmatic; that has all changed. To be blunt, the main motivation that I perceived in recent years was "what is best for my career?" I suspect that similar motivation affects other public services (as indeed it does private industry). Another reason is the rise of accountants. They will always tell you why you can't/shouldn't do things; how there is no money, and so on. Very good at telling you where it went wrong, but never how to avoid it going wrong in the future. We used to have a notice up on the wall: "There's never enough money to do it right, but always enough to do it twice." Typical situation: I had to do a lot of AutoCAD drawings at work for a period - using a mouse. I started getting trouble with my right wrist. Told my boss, and said, "I need a stylus tablet for this." The response"? "No budget". It went on, and my wrist became really painful. I tried again. "How much is a stylus tablet?" Wacom Bamboo is about 60 said I. "Can't afford it." Not very long after, i was diagnosed with tenosynovitis; I had to have a painful operation, and spend three weeks off work.

That mentality is endemic in this country, and has been for a very long time. On the outbreak of war in 1914, Churchill, our esteemed First Lord of the Admiralty refused to purchase shore guns for Scapa Flow, at a cost of 5000, despite spending millions on Dreadnoughts. What happened? A U-boat sailed in unmolested, sailed around for an hour or two, and left. Fortunately the fleet was at sea. The guns mysteriously appeared. Fast forward to 1939. Same again - lack of shore defences. What happened? A U-boat sailed in, had its pick of targets, and sank the Royal Oak, with the loss of 800-odd lives. The defences mysteriously materialized.

Same with police, fire brigade, ambulances, you name it. We can always do everything with nothing - until the worst happens. Then we firefight our way out of trouble until it's all forgotten again. You can always "save" money, but so often you end up spending many times as much in the longer run. And we are doing this with exceptional aplomb at the moment.
But that is exactly the same as the private sector.

You can show them how to save pounds by spending pennies, but they are far more interested in saving the pennies.

Anyhow, the pounds come out of a different budget, so the money can always be found when it is really needed.

Some years ago I visited a Naval dockyard in Scotland. I won't say which one, but it is near to a railway bridge ("The Bridge") well known to photographers.

Anyhow, I was fascinated to see a good number of traditional wooden naval launches scattered amongst the minesweepers and destroyers in the sheds there; all being rebuilt in best quality teak and mahogany with new brass and bronze fittings, literally from the last copper nail upwards!

I was pleased to see that this old boatbuilding tradition was still being kept alive, but I was also surprised that it wasn't cheaper and most effective to build new craft in GRP.

It was explained to me that admiralty launches were very much a status symbol amongst the admirals; rather like company cars, so they were keen to preserve as many of them as possible, and at any cost, whether they were needed or not. However, capital expenditure vouchers for new vessels are very strictly controlled, making it virtually impossible to commission new craft of any size, whereas refit and maintenance budgets are unlimited.
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  #25  
Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Another reason is the rise of accountants. They will always tell you why you can't/shouldn't do things; how there is no money, and so on.
Probably 50 years ago I read an article where the writer had worked in a factory on old 'lease lend' machines, which needed replacing. When times were difficult the management attitude was that 'we can't afford to replace them'. When times improved the attitude was 'they're doing fine and don't need replacing'!

Jim
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Old 29th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Probably 50 years ago I read an article where the writer had worked in a factory on old 'lease lend' machines, which needed replacing. When times were difficult the management attitude was that 'we can't afford to replace them'. When times improved the attitude was 'they're doing fine and don't need replacing'!

Jim
Nothing has changed on that score!

However, there is always money for reorganisation in both the public and private sectors.
"We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning
to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later
in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing;
and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress
while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization
."


Gaius Petronius Arbiter, 27-66 AD
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Old 30th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

I think you Trumped there, Nigel. There is no evidence that Petronius wrote that quote.
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Old 30th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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I think you Trumped there, Nigel. There is no evidence that Petronius wrote that quote.
The quote is attributed to Petronius, but I would agree that there is considerable doubt about its authenticity.

Contrary to my children's claims I was not around in 66 AD so I am unable to say for sure, but the point made in the quote remains perfectly valid.
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Old 30th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

The quote is used in any organisation of greater than one person. Often quoted by the junior person in the team.
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Old 30th August 2017
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Re: Cromer

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post

Am I the only member to spot a common denominator here?

Or are we to afraid to confront the uncomfortable truths in this PC obsessed world?
I think you've hit the nail again, Nigel. Calling reinforcements (which would almost certainly be needed) to raid a "travellers" camp is probably perceived as not the best use of resources by the police, who would no doubt be accused of prejudice and harassment in any case.
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