• Aug 28, 2009
England is a very strange place. Not only do they like having a royal family, but they talk like this: "Oi. Buncha southy Londoners are suddenly stroppy over the constable's wonky plan to nick exposed swag from their unlocked cars. Kind of a bollocks plan, innit?" Naturally the coppers are chuffed about the whole thing, claiming they're just teaching gadges that couldn't be arsed to lock their cars a lesson.

In other words, in an area of South London called Richmond, police have taken to opening unlocked cars and removing valuable items like laptops and cells phones. They think they are doing nothing wrong and teaching careless people a lesson. Of course, because of British common law they apparently aren't doing anything wrong at all. Said police supervisor Jim Davis, "Technically we are entering the vehicle but we are not committing a crime. It's a common law duty to protect (people's) property."

Aside from, oh, you know, the police locking the unlocked vehicles, we have mixed feelings about this particular program. On the one hand, they are taking pre-stolen goods right out of the criminals' mouths. On the other, no jury (in Texas) would ever convict you for shooting someone taking property from your car. Seems to us like a lorra lorra gert plonker method to sort out the wheat from the chavs.

[Source: BBC | Image: Chris Jackson/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      So a car owner happens to return to his unlocked car and sees a "person" removing his property from the car. The car owner physically attacks the "perp" who then advises he is a police officer. What crime if any has been committed here?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Obviously you for assaulting a police officer. Try explaining to a judge that you didnt understand what the large hat, protective vest and the letters POLICE meant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "On the other, no jury (in Texas) would ever convict you for shooting someone taking property from your car."
      it's funny, because it's true.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe that only applies after 6pm, however.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Speaking as a Englishman, I'd first like to say that your parody of the way English people talk.... was hilarious.

      Secondly, EPIC fail by the British Police - what a waste of time that could be better spent, oh I dunno, TRYING TO CATCH PEOPLE WHO HAVE STOLEN STUFF FROM PEOPLES' CARS?

      To address the issue of kicking seven shades of poo out of a plain-clothes copper and then getting in trouble because he's a Policeman. Well, in Britain we aren't allowed to blow people's heads off with quite the same freedom as you Yanks - if, for example, you smashed a burgular in the face with your cricket bat (me ol' china, guv'nor) you'd most likely get done for assault or, if you killed him, manslaughter. I doubt it would make a massive amount of difference if it was a Policeman. You'd be in trouble either way.

      NHS RULES! WOOOOOO!
        • 5 Years Ago
        FThom - I'm sure you quite unaware but Scotland, and England/Wales have different legal systems.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, but penalty for manslaughter is UK is like serving at a soup kitchen for a month of Sundays. Because blowing up a jetliner with 270 people is a couple of years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So what if said burglar in your house just happened to fall flat on their face, really really hard? Maybe they were running, try to escape in a dark house that they were unfamiliar with because....well they just broke into it. If the burglar insists you smacked them in the face with a bat, just insist they hit a table leg or something.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That prince is one dumb lookin' sumbitch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you referring to the police issue protective eyewear he's wearing at this exercise or more in general?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jonny, I find your diction, tone and writing style in piece particularly demeaning.

      "England is a very strange place. Not only do they like having a royal family, but they talk like this: "Oi. Buncha southy Londoners are suddenly stroppy over the constable's wonky plan to nick exposed swag from their unlocked cars. Kind of a bollocks plan, innit?"

      Given that you're entrusted to cover auto news, you come off sounding more condescending than not. And why do you constantly begin your stories with "yeah, so, like, you know, etc."? And if not, then you interject your opinions to begin your story.

      And now you've resorted to making fun out of the way the English talk. :-/

      Nice topic, but please try to be less biased when you write. That's what the comment section is for. ;-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right, because you lymies don't make fun of Yankees and people from every other place you've colonized (colonised) over the last few centuries.

        Were you also going to "have a go" at Johnny's last name? :P

      • 5 Years Ago
      What an awful idea. Officers should not be opening peoples cars and going into them. Who cares if the idiot left it unlocked. Maybe there is a problem with his doors actuator and cannot lock it. These cops to find something better to do with their time, seriously!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thing is, 99% of the time police have absolutely nothing to do. They are the construction flag holders of society. The more nothing they do the better off society is. They have so much paperwork because without it they would become criminals who steal things from unlocked cars out of boredom. Oh, wait....
      • 5 Years Ago
      terrible idea
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they don't try to mug me. Seeing that here in USofAmerica I am legally carrying two loaded pistols that will stop those shenanigans in their tracks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At the University of Maryland, campus police will note valuables left in cars, write down the car's license tag, and send the owner a postcard saying "we saw x in your car at y time and place; be more careful in the future." That's sort of a less drastic way of accomplishing the same ends, but I'll bet anyone who's lost a laptop to the police will lock his doors in the future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Still sounds like unreasonable search. What if there are drugs or guns? They'd seize em and end up arresting the owner....but wouldn't they wouldn't be able to demonstrate probable cause for performing the search...and it would be thrown out of court. If there are any murderers around that area they could just leave the body in a bag in the backseat waiting for one of these illegal searches and when they're arrested get all the evidence declared inadmissible and walk away free.

        Think about the precedents that sets. If someone's house door is unlocked can the officer go in and do an "inventory" (search) of all the valuables in your home? What if someone didn't have a firewall on their computer, do you think it'd be ok if someone from the government searched your computer and then emailed you a list of what they found? If I was someone who had their car searched like that I'd $ue arguing they abused my constitutional rights against illegal searches and seizures. I
      • 5 Years Ago
      That the UK police should suppose a right to enter property without permission is almost beyond belief, except...

      ...except that nothing surprises me in the most heavily camera-controlled, and generally authoritarian country, in the so-called free world.

      ps. Richmond's south-west London, really, and is generally a tad more upmarket than 'Saaf' Lunnun, which is more Clapham n Balham innit?
      katatonics
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gah! My comment disappeared again!
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