This Is Why It’s Becoming A ‘Don’t Get Involved’ Society…

January 10, 2012 13 Comments
By

Lee Bristow did what many people would no longer do when they see a mugging in progress:

“I was waiting for the 417 bus on Central Hill when the 432 came along and stopped and there was a struggle on the bus.

A woman was screaming for help because a man was trying to pull her bag off her as he was getting off.

“I stepped onto the bus and pushed him and that’s when he let go of it and ran off.”

Hurrah! Three cheers for Mr Bristow, right?

Lee, unemployed due to his learning difficulties and suffering from diabetes (Ed: is it just me, or is that totally irrelevant to the story?), added: “Two of my friends saw that I was wanted in the paper for robbery. I was just as shocked as they were. I was trying to stop someone.

“My friends just laughed because they know I’d never do that to anyone.”

So, how had this occurred?

A police spokesman said it was “unfortunate” CCTV only caught half the incident, which happened in Upper Norwood on September 6.

Ahhh, our old friend CCTV! So great at stopping inci…err, well, at ensuring that – after the fact – the right person is cau…

The “most wanted Christmas list” pictured Lee stepping onto the bus, describing him as a “suspect” in the September 6 incident.

Oh, I give up! As will anyone reading this, I suspect:

After seeing his face in the Croydon Advertiser, Lee turned himself in at Streatham Police Station days before Christmas where he was arrested, held for five hours and DNA tested, before being released upon proving his innocence.

Way to grow that database, folks! One poor bloody Good Samaritan at a time!

And note that there seems to have been no actual effort by the police here beyond collecting the CCTV and doling out the pictures to the newspaper – unless the unfortunate Lee’s doppelgänger was the robber, did plod not think to take witness statements from the bus driver, the woman being robbed, other passengers before releasing the CCTV pictures?

If not, how was Lee able to ‘prove his innocence’..?

It’s often stated at a certain police blog that ‘the public get the policing they deserve’. What did we do to deserve slapdash, lazy, incompetent and most of all, unrepentant, policing?

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13 Responses to This Is Why It’s Becoming A ‘Don’t Get Involved’ Society…

  1. Tattyfalarr
    January 10, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Yet in the “comfort dog bites woman” story over at your place we find that the incident is worthy of a full police investigation before they will reveal even the slightest hint of what the charge will be, if any.

    A dog suspected of a crime receives far better treatment than a human ? Truly bizarre. :|

    • January 11, 2012 at 5:54 am

      Well, one of those was ‘down under’… :grin:

  2. john in cheshire
    January 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Can Mr Bristow sue the police for defamation of character? Does he have the right to demand that his dna is removed from the police database?
    Does this mean that any time one has to interact with the police, one should be accompanied by a lawyer?

    • Maaarrghk!
      January 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Probably not and yes.

      They let him go and have accepted they got the wrong end of the stick without charging him, so I think defamation would be chucked out of court.

      As he was not charged he has the right to have his DNA removed from the data base.

    • January 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      “Does this mean that any time one has to interact with the police, one should be accompanied by a lawyer?”

      Yes.

  3. January 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I doubt I would have turned myself in in his position.

    And this got me: “before being released upon proving his innocence.” Is that what we have to do now? Prove our own innocence.

    • Tattyfalarr
      January 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Not really, it’s just that innocent people will usually try to as a matter of conscience and reputation whereas them’s wot are guilty as hell are happy to sit back, shut up and relax allowing the CPS and Defence lawyers to squabble amongst themselves to prove them innocent.

      • January 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        I would relax and let them do it

        • Tattyfalarr
          January 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

          Me too ;)

          • Chris
            January 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

            I reckon I would do what Wilt did in the Tom Sharpe novel and let them blow it up out of all proportion with little prompts that might indicate my involvement in really bad local crimes…. on the basis that even the obviously innocent seem to be treated with the same earnest “gotcha” mentality that should be reserved for the equally and sometimes obviously guilty.

  4. January 11, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I fail to see why he was arrested at all. He was there voluntarily making a statement in connection with an offence to which he was a principle a witness.

    The police may have misunderstood his role, but that’s no excuse. They can de-arrest him, as they did with David Rathband.

    link to mirror.co.uk

    Is Constable Flatfoot proposing to arrest all the witnesses in case one of them dunnit? What about arresting the victim to be on the safe side.

    • January 11, 2012 at 5:55 am

      “Is Constable Flatfoot proposing to arrest all the witnesses in case one of them dunnit?”

      Give ‘em time. I mean, how else to get that DNA database up and running by the back door?

  5. January 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Yes, unrepentant is the word – not in the least concerned about their “errors” and their effect on people. Friends of the community?

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