posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:13 AM
As some of you may be aware I live in a town in North East England.
Its not particularly unique in any way, sure it has its own little characteristics same as any town or city, but all in all its pretty
Just like most areas of the North East there are long established Asian and Muslim communities, along with 'Afro-caribbean' families, although their
numbers are lower than the national average.
There is very little history of racial or religious tension and generally speaking everyone gets along quite fine - there's certainly no history of
suspected terrorist activity or extremist behaviour - at least not to my knowledge.
A very good friend of mine has his own pub - a free house - which is reasonably successful.
Its a bit of an old fashioned beer drinkers pub located in the town centre.
On a weekend it gets quite busy with drinkers on the local pub route but during the week it tends only to be locals who visit.
They like to indulge in a few pints whilst talking the normal pub chit chat that occurs in countless, (well it is used to be countless but alas
becoming more and more infrequent due to closures), pubs and clubs across the length and breadth of the UK.
As a bit of a favour I sometimes do a few hours for my mate either on the door on a busy weekend or behind the bar during the quieter nights during
Last Wednesday night was one of those quieter mid-week nights where I worked behind the bar.
At about 8.30pm it was very quiet and I was sat behind the bar chatting to an old friend over a few pints - yes, I know you are not supposed to drink
behind the bar but..... - when four people came in.
I knew two of them vaguely - they appeared to know me better than I knew them - and one of them ordered drinks for them both.
Another one of the guys is called X and I know him reasonably well with him being a regular in the bar and I've had quite a few conversations with
him over the last year or two.
He ordered a drink for himself and the fourth guy who happened to be an American who wanted lemonade, (I think our colonial cousins call it
The four lads moved to a table under a TV near to the bar and I continued talking to my friend and serving the other customers.
I overheard snippets or their conversation and they asked me several questions about music particularly the Dead Kennedys and I spoke briefly about
Black Flag and Social Distortion to them.
After approximately half an hour two of them left leaving X and the American.
My friend had also left but another local who I know quite well had taken up his stool at the end of the bar near me.
This local also knows X and struck up a conversation with him and the American.
As this was at the bar I overheard most of the conversation and occasionally joined in giving my two penneth.
Like most pub conversations they spoke on many different topics ranging from sport, US/UK gun laws, women, drinking, the middle east, terrorism, where
the American had visited in the UK, where he wanted to visit and the obligatory piss taking that goes with most pub talk.
One or two other people joined in as they were at the bar ordering drinks.
The American left about 10.45pm, last orders was called, I locked up and went home.
Nothing unremarkable at all - a night like countless others I have spent in pubs over the years, both sides of the bar.
The following day I noticed a miscall off my friend whose pub it is.
I had one or two things to do and I returned his call about 6.15pm.
He told me the police wanted to talk to me and that they were there with him at that time.
The police were put on the phone and immediately asked me about the four people who had come in the night before at around 8.30pm.
They told me where they had sat, what clothes they were wearing and where they had been prior to coming into my mates pub.
They asked me who were they, what I knew about them, where they worked, how well I knew them, did I know where they lived, what did the do for a
living and they repeatedly asked me what were they talking about, particularly X and the American.
Being an old fashioned sort of guy in some respects, I cling to the principle of not grassing people up - its ingrained in people like me and the life
However, I also know from having my own pubs in the past that it is imperative that pub owners and employees are seen to be working with the police in
their enquiries and are not hampering their investigations.
As such I told them what little I knew of their conversations, what they did and who they were etc whilst specifically trying not to drop X in for
something he may have done.
They took my details and that was that.
Me and my friend whose pub it is spoke about it on the Friday.
He told me they were plain clothes police but didn't seem like C.I.D. or Drug Squad.
We wondered what it was all about and then more or less forgot about it.
Fast forward to last night and I was in the pub having a few pints and X walked in.
We looked at each other and when it was convenient to talk without too many people overhearing I asked what had happened?
He said that the police had caught up with him on the Thursday night and had questioned him at some length.
They wanted to know who other people were who he was with but they concentrated on who the American was, how he knew him and what they had spoken
He explained what he knew and could recall and that he'd only just met him and was just trying to be friendly to a stranger.
They repeatedly asked about exactly what they had spoken about.
X said that he tried recalling exact details and said at one point he had mentioned Ricin.
He said that got the immediate attention of the officers and that was what they wanted to talk about.
X explained it was just idle, pub bollocks that people talk about but the police quizzed him again and again about it.
Eventually they said they were happy with X's explanation and that he could go and that would be the end of the matter.
But they did feel it necessary to say to him that this country is on the highest level of alert it has ever been on at present.
At first I was pretty shocked at what he told me but after a while I just started taking the piss out of him, as I'm sure most would do.
However, this does raise so many questions, some of them quite worrying.
Apologies about the long winded nature of the post but I felt it may help to give some background to enable an understanding of the context of this