Thursday, 17 September 2009

Getting Off On The Wrong Foot

I came across this video and it threw up a few interesting thoughts about interaction and getting off on the wrong foot. This post is not a criticism of the Police Community Support Officer who I think remains rather polite and puts his point of view across in a sensible way. It does not compare to the well viewed video of a PCSO being rude to a photographer in London. This lad saw it right to challenge somebody using the word shit repeatably in the presence of a young child and parent.

The situation escalates slightly into a discussion about the word shit after being told a ticket could be issued for disorderly conduct under the public order act. Obviously the members of the public involved see him as an authority figure who is being overbearing. Of course talk of issuing fines in this instance was not the way to resolution, but was a reaction to being told by the film maker to stop rebuking him from swearing. The end result being a credible score draw in my opinion, I know a few who would have let that get out of hand.

I was just wondering what the parent of the child would have thought. Maybe he was shocked by the use of the word shit in front of his kid. Would he have been aggrieved if the PCSO had not done anything and ignored the situation?

The comments on the YouTube video by cveitch are mixed either way, but I did like the one pointing out that the PCSO would probably say shit if he fell off his bike.


Dr Emil Schuffhauser of Vienna said...

Give zer poor Mensch die benefit of any doubt. Had he from his bike gefallen und uttered any vort to harm das environment, sincerity and dimness ver always likely to fuse into das grosse action of dem involuntary self annihilation.

Dandelion said...

Great video.

That PCSO appears to have realised how stupid and indefensible his behaviour was, so that's something.

And telling someone you're going to give them an 80 pound ticket for something so trivial, which anyone would agree was reasonable in the context, kind of does amount to threatening behaviour in a public place. Which I can't help thinking is an offence, by his own admission. Not to mention that he said the offending word quite happily himself, and as you point out, did not have any evidence that anyone was offended or threatened by the original utterance.

It looks to me like a certain contingent are rather too keen to find excuses to tell other people about their powers, even when the situation doesn't actually, in all reasonableness, warrant their involvement. And yes, that really does p--- off the average normal person, especially when it is done by someone too dim to get the irony of saying "just doing my job"...

I applaud the film-makers for standing their ground without humiliating him into making a further fool of himself, and bringing the law into any more disrepute.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Well let's put it in context. The film maker (mop) actually makes films about personal freedom and the state. See his archive on YouTube, just the kind of protest you have to admire even if you don't agree. They are rather entertaining - love the one where he and a wpc hug in T square. I think he preaches equality and humanity.

I think this is relevent to what I posted last week. This PCSO reacted in an almost automatic way. He managed to retrieve himself and the situation so stressed awards him cool status. He seems like a nice lad, don't you agree?

We don't know if the parent/child were offended, but he might have been so therefore he sought to challenge that conduct. Of course it was a trivial incident and never worthy of a ticket. Was he right to challenge ? I think so but went about it the wrong way by going in too high. If he said "please mind your language in front of that child", I think he would have been very correct indeed.

I also think the film maker would have reacted the same way, and personal freedom doesn't stretch to using even the shit word in front of one so young. His films are about getting reactions and asking questions about authority.

It is a great little film and a good learning aid.

Anonymous said...

Was it me or did the film maker contradict himself totally? He was talking about freedon of the individual yet not thinking about the freedom of the chap with his young son. Shouldn't he be allowed to take his child to the park without hearing disgusting language. We don't all bring our children up to have such a narrow vocabulary.

Tom said...

What a prentensious pair of pillocks the 'film makers' were.

Perhaps the PCSO, did not handle the situation as well as he could, but that conduct in front of my 5 year old granddaughter would have resulted in a confrontation between myself and the two pillocks.

What idiots describe synchronicty and Heisenburgs uncertainty principle as a profundity in the same breath.

I do not find the conduct of the PCSO as indefensible. I watched two grown pillocks discussing male and female genitals as if they were in a play ground. Brilliant, as they profess to be the self appointed guardians of the public good. In reality, they came off as two devicive, and rather foolish plonkers, who can't understand the importance of the expression 'Namaste' (literally 'I see the divinity in you').

The evidence by the way was recorded by the brain donors, as they happily reiterated their contempt for the populace, and their inherent right not to be offended by expletives on camera.

Dandelion said...

Yes, I think he deserves points for retrieving himself.

But as for it being appropriate for him to have involved himself at all, I'm afraid I beg to differ.

The context of the s-word usage, ie the man panicking at knocking the fish over, indicates that the swearing episode was an isolated incident, and the pcso had no reason to suppose that any swearing would be repeated thereafter. Also, while there is doubt that either the parent or child was offended, there is doubt as to whether the PCSO had a leg to stand on, and doubt as to whether any crime had been committed.

Overall, it does make the pcso police look rather bad. Petty, overbearing, and a waste of everyone's time.

Dr Emil Schuffhauser of Vienna said...

Ven, like Tom, I mit Mutter tongue trouble haffing am, I lapse into Sanskrit und das schnapps me out of it, schnell.

Tom said...

Talking of pretentious pillocks, how is Dr Emil, with the lousiest of Vinenese accents it is possible to tolerate without laughing outright at his affectations.

Tell me dear 'Dr' how do you propose to deal with individuals who are happy to expose infants to the brunt of less than pleasent expletives, and how my dear 'Dr' will you protect my granddaughter from infantile behaviour prosrcibed in the film?

Dandelion attempts to make good points, but Dandelion please tell me that the heavily, and unilateral editing of these pompous twits on their 'film' was a correct and proper recording of the events.

Somehow I doubt it, for no other reason than their conduct, and crass disregard for the parent removing the child from the cemetary, as indeed I would after an unpleasent confrontation.

Dr E etc said...

Tom, Tom, you were not meant to take it seriously. This was play in the inane and sometimes crazy world of Authority and none too bright officials. Before equipment was ready, the film makers had spotted their quarry and set the bait. The obliging target helped itself into the bag and.....that's a wrap.

Let us agree that the PCSO was a nice, honest, simple chap and speculate that you know someone else who walks into holes and starts digging.

Dandelion said...

I didn't see any such disregard. The original triple s-word was not a deliberate disregard, but the unintentional response to a panic. That much will no doubt have been a great deal clearer to the PCSO who actually witnessed it than to us who have viewed the film.

In addition, in view of the multitude of examples of similar or worse behaviour by pcsos, I don't personally have any reason to suppose that this particular example should be a case of biased editing.

Personally it worries me that "simple" people should be given such responsible and complex roles when it is clearly beyond their abilities.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Have you seen Charlie Veitch's archive on youtube?

He and Danny are expert in getting reactions, mainly from police, PCSO's and people in authority.

Some might call them wind up merchants. They do however create interesting material which is rather thought provoking as regards people in authority, mainly us (the police).

I remember now, seeing one of them at G20. Amazing who you bump into on the internet.

I don't thik the PCSO is "simple". He actually did rather well as you acknowledged on your first comment. I can assure you I've seen much worse.


You may be right we never saw the original contact. Definately 6 of one half dozen the other.

Inspector Gadget said...

What a relief to hear news of some comic event. On my site, I wonder if things have become so bad that people can taste how tense and uneasy I am these days.

I guess it may have become much easier to recognise the symptoms of yet another police blog spiralling into terminal wimper.

Dandelion said...

Vis-a-vis simple, I was just going with what Dr Etc said. The video would seem to bear it out anyway. Not getting the irony, for eg? Not being able to use his common sense before wading in...

JeremyF said...

I rather felt that the film maker was a bit of a wind-up merchant. (This has been borne out by Stressed's comments) Why was Mr Film-Maker filming his trip around the park anyway? The PCSO did perhaps overreact to the "word" but was dignified and sincere at least until I gave up watching!

Dandelion said...

I thought he wanted to welease the fish.

Stressed Out Cop said...

Which is actually an offence under one of the Wildlife Acts.

Stressed Out Cop said...

General Troll comment

Posting comments under the name of others is a tad silly. And copy n paste trolling ?? come on !! just lazy ...

This blog will not react at all, because I'm trying to advocate polite response not rudeness or silliness.

Love and Peace and XXXXXXXX SOC