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Harassed by police for walking around my own neighbourhood

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:40 AM
I live further south of London and have had on 2 incidents with the police, both positive (IMO).

As an insomniac, I'm usually up at very early hours of the morning, bored and can't sleep. So to try and help, I go for walks around my area to tire myself out.

Twice now, over several years I might add, I was out for a late nite/early morning stroll, hoodie (not up) under my leather jacket, trainers and jeans, just walking a nice usual route along fairly well lit streets -- say a couple miles.

One the first occasion (about 3 or 4 years ago) I heard a car approach from behind and start to slow down which instantly has me alerted, so I turn to look and it's a police car. I stopped and approached with a smile and say Hello. They asked, quite nicely, why I was about at 3am. I said I couldn't sleep and was just going for a walk to try and wear myself down, saying I only lived on street XX over there (pointing in the direction). They seemed pleasant enough, made a couple light hearted jokes about being bored and driving about all nite -- I offered to cause trouble if it helped alleviate their evening with something to do and they laughed. Said have a nice morning, I said likewise, and they drove off.

Pretty much the same thing happened about 18months ago. Again, no issues, no hassle to me personally.

I guess we all meet different kinds of police officers, thankfully my experiences have been pleasant.

And I can see why they check up on people. Let's say i was a naughty person and I was up to no good. If I committed a serious crime which the police *might have* been able to prevent when they drove past (as their dash cam would have recorded me) they'd be grilled as to why they didn't just stop and ask what i was doing at 3am.

However, i can see what other people are saying about intruding on your personal freedoms and what if you are innocent and you get some real b*stard types, etc. I have seen those vids on youtube of the (Boston?) police officer who pretty much assaulted a young skater and some artist chap with an RC car. He is the sort that destroys the image of genuine police officers worldwide.

Personally, I much prefer the police to question and be nosey than to ignore and assume the best. Just my opinon.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:55 AM

Originally posted by skibtz

Originally posted by Nemox42
Try having cops, tell you they going to take off their badge and gun and beat the crude out you in a alley. Cops are just gangsters with a badge. In my opinion

Did you do anything about this incident?

And surely you can't label all police as gangsters because of the actions of a few?

yeah, most likely, he woke up 20 minutes later when the class bell rang.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:00 AM
I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes east of Austin, Texas named Smithville. Very small town, VERY bored police force. I looked funny being the only free thinking kid at the time, so I was always under suspicion when I was seen by the locals. The first time I was harassed was after I simply purchased a sprite from the only 7-11 in town around 11:00 at night, was questioned about my activities, then released. About 3 months later I was stopped while walking to my friends house after leaving a house party. They went through my back pack for no reason, and pulled out a song book that had some lyrics that I had written about the previous incident. The song was called, "Kill A cop". Whoa. If they needed any evidence that I was a hardcore criminal, this was it. Here are some of the lyrics they read;

"Lets see how you walk with a nightstick shoved up your *snip*, your *snipping* Nazi ways are a part of the past."

They were also convinced that I was a satanist, because I had a "Deicide" album on me, as well as some "Voodoo Glowskulls" albums. My advice is to wear a shirt that says " I am not a criminal" (front and back) in large letters when you go out at night to avoid any confusion from local law enforcement.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:11 AM
You just wait, with obama in our rights are going to go down the toilet.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:17 AM
reply to post by Dutty_Rag

When the next explosive device goes off in London and you are the first to complian that the government is either falling down on the job or guilty of the bombing itself and why wasn't anything done you can thank God for the cops shutting off these intrusive cameras.

People have a right to ask you a question. You have a right to refuse to answer but calm down.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:34 AM
reply to post by Dutty_Rag

As sad as it is, what did you expect? I understand the feelings you have considering that you were not actually doing something wrong in your eyes, but can you blame the cops for thinking the opposite? You could have just as easily been looking for a lay or some dope, and they would have been justified in that accusation. It sucks to be accused of something you did not do, or intend to do. But you did not get arrested so I would shrug it off and make sure you have a burrito at home next time you go out drinking =)

Originally posted by Victoria 1
You just wait, with obama in our rights are going to go down the toilet.

He lives in UK =)

[edit on 3/9/2009 by sputniksteve]

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:52 AM
reply to post by Dutty_Rag

That is appalling. The police should really only intervene if they see a crime being committed otherwise it is just harassment.

I would write to your MP.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 10:09 AM
The more the world tries to prevent crime the more you will see this type of thing. We have become an orwellian society by choice not by force. People need to accept that crime happens, you can't prevent it, and by trying to prevent it you punish the innocent. Punish the guilty, not the innocent.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 10:42 AM
Lets see if I get this.

A male walking up and down a street for more then half an hour, late at night/early morning, in a part of town known for drugs and prostitution is stopped by the cops.

It would be one thing if they had cuffed and search you. These guys didn't even get out of the car. If you cut out the story and describe it like I did it, which is how they see it, you did look suspicious.

I would say that they were doing their jobs. Just because you hadn't done anything doesn't mean they cant ask you a question.

If I was walking through a parking lot looking through car windows I would look suspicious, but I had not commited a crime. Wouldn't you want the cops to question me about what I was doing or would you rather them wait until I stole your car and sold it to a chop shop?

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by foremanator
No kidding right, welcome to the plice state. This is only going to get worse as time passes. I don't live in france, but I have myself wondered who gave these people the permision to film individuals with out consent. In public or not I feel it should be an individual's choice wether or not you are ok with being filmed. Bye bye privacy. Next the will be monitoring thoughts right lol

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:06 AM
well on the bright side at least the cops were doing their jobs watching out for Johns. Could be worse you could be harassed by the LAPD and it's ghetto bird (police copter) as has happened to me in the past.

A few months ago in december I was sitting in front of a public library around 6PM I had just left the library because it was closing soon. it was beginning to get dark out because of the time of year. I go to my car and do some paper work sitting in my car for bout 15 minutes. the car is parked right in front of the public library which is in a residential neighborhood. Then I noticed i had some of my sandwhich left so I start to eat that oo. so now i've been sitting in my car for the last 20 minutes while it's been parked in front of the public library. Sudden;y I hear a chopper overhead and it's circling my car in a tight circle at about 300 feet altitude. neighbors must love this. So I figure. uh oh the cops are chasing a suspect through this neighborhood. better be on the look out, but unconcerned I go back to eating my sandwhich getting ready to watch the police do their work. I have nothing to worry about I've been at the library (which is till open-till 7PM) then the police search light blasts on from the police copter and lights up the road in front of my car. now i'm thinking this is weird. the light starts playing over the nearby houses on the street. I figure wow the bad guy must be real close. I look up through my sunroof which was open and the police light blasts right down into my car. i look up and give them the WTF shoulder shrug gesture. sandwhich still in hand. the light goes a block away to look for the bad guy. I figure wow not a good place to be so I start my car. best to get out of here and let the police do their work. The spit second I turn on the engine the police search light in a heart beat and I mean in a split second went from being a block over to right through my sun roof again. like they were waiting for me to make my move. I look up quizically again and the light goes away. so I drive off and head out f the neighborhood back towards my house. Then the search light starts up again. following me. always ahead of me for about 100 feet or 200 feet like it's trying to illuminate the next intersection I'll be approaching. then I pass a cop car. it turns on it's twizlers or whatever (the yellow bar of lights on top) flips a u turn with it's lights off and roll up on my car real fast. they then turn on their search light on the side mirror for a second. then they turn off the light back off and drive away leaving me be. SO I figured weird I must have looked like one of their suspects or something and thought nothing of it.

A week ago ( a few moths later) and I'm parked in front of the same public library this time in broad daylight. The library parking lot is small and during this time of day waaay too crowded to get a parking spot so everybody parks on the street in front of the library. it's a residential street. so there I am. just parked. sitting in my car for about 10 minutes finishing a chapter I'm reading before I get out and walk the half block or so to he library to continue reading. Everybodys done something like that before. Guess not. guess that too is suspicious because I begin to hear the familiar police copter sound. At first I think nothing of it. but then out of no where there it is circling my car again at 300 feet altitude. not circling the neighborhood. circling my car. in an tight obvious circle that I'm the guy he's looking at. I think oh no not again WTH. I look at the pilot. he's looking at me. he gets up to a higher altitude cruises around the neighborhood then comes right back to me and starts circling my car again. I figure I'll weight it out until they send a unit and I'll talk to the cops directly clear the air maybe even file a complaint. after 5 minutes no cop car but same circling copter. So I get out and walk towards the library. a 45 second walk about a half block (a few houses) The police copter starts literally following me at about 200 feet at a walking pace. the pilot watching me the entire time. me watching him. Follows me to the doors of the library. I go inside. the police copter hovers over the entrance to the library for a good 5 minutes people watching in confusion. No police cars. Eventually it goes away.

I've looked over the neighborhood. no CCTV cameras. no police cameras, no neighborhood watch (which I would go after in court for tort or something if there were) So WTH. is there some crazy old lady who calls the cops over everything. even nothing. those types exist. the you can park anywhere but in front of my house even though I live 100 feet from a public library. is the chief of police house the one I keep parking in front of and the cops are curious who I am. or are they just plain board and harassing me.

Thats harassment. want to file a complaint but seriously what good will it do.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:07 AM

Originally posted by foremanator


You said it yourself... prostitution is prevelant there, so you should be glad that the police are out and watching for "johns" trying to pick women up.

You did nothing wrong and obviously wasn't arrested, so what?

Because people have the right not to be harassed.
Because walking around your own neighborhood is not suspicious.
Because if I have done nothing wrong, I shouldn't be expected to have to have to give the police an explanation on what I am up to.

Because blurring the line of reasonable suspicion is a hair width from blurring the line of presumed innocent and presumed guilty.

Because people like you lack a knowledge of history, and the lessons learned from it.

Exactly the points. Very well said. Any other kind of world is reminiscent of fascist Germany, or other fascist models and they must be swiftly kicked in the pants.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:17 AM
I gotta admit I felt pissed off that I was being treated like a suspect too. I could understand If I had been doing something even remotely suspect. but in a good neighborhood, in broad daylight, reading a book or eating lunch in the car, for 20 minutes, in front of a public library, not good enough reason to be harassed by a police ghetto bird.

It definitely felt a little fascist to me.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:06 PM

Originally posted by noonebutme
Personally, I much prefer the police to question and be nosey than to ignore and assume the best. Just my opinon.

So... 'guilty until proven innocent'? Is this the new precedent? Whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?

I understand (and actually want) the police to have a presence on the streets and that part of the story I don't have a huge problem with. But the 'tracking you on CCTV' bit is terrifying and I don't see how any freedom-loving person can accept it.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:11 PM
Police states all around the globe are the result of fear and implied illegal action. The rights of people have long took a back seat to the enforcement of the law and this is another example. We are giving our rights away as readily as they are being taken. The fact is you have no choice but to comply with police information requests. Even though you had done nothing wrong, if your attidude had been (appropriatly) "piss-off and leave me alone" you would have met with hand-cuffs and further opression. (Possibly worth it).

This is a very serious matter that requires global attention, or we will soon enough experience the book-burning police states that Orwell and Bradbury wrote of.

A few months ago my girlfrinds and I were out on a weekday afternoon. (Well dressed 30 somethings shopping after brunch, yes I am serious.) A cop car pulls up, (we are walking down a side street twards a little boutique), cop #1 rolls down the window and asks what we are doing...I say "Practicing comsumerism like good Americans." (true) Cop: What? What are you doing out here?" Me: "Shopping, seriously, what of it?" Cop: Where are you coming from? Me: "None of your business. Why are you stopping us walking down the street?" Cop: "Who drives the green car over there?" Me: "I do. What of it?" Cop: "You are parked in a private parking lot." Me: "Yes, I know. It is a private parking lot, as in not public or regulated by the public police." Cop: "Well, are you going to move your car?" Me: "What is your badge #?" Cop: "Have a good day mam." (I am shaking at this point, and my friends fear that I will be arrested for my "attitude", which is NOT illegal. Cop drives off, and I move the car.

I have dealt with this type of interaction since the age of 17. My father was a "bad seed" and the cops equate that to mean I must be as well. It has jaded me against the police, and the only relief from it I have experienced has been to move to a new town. I will add that I have no criminal record what so ever, and have been falsly arrested & released once. (No charge). I sought to bring legal action against the local law enforcement, and my lawyer advised me to install cameras in my vehicle to monitor the frequency of harrasment. At the time, I was just ready to move on, and didn't want to sink $ into my own servalience systems. All this in a LOW CRIME area. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to live in a red light district.

IF WE DON'T STAND UP AGAINST OPPRESSION, THEN WE ARE STANDING DOWN. It is difficult, but if that cop had brought me to jail that day when I was out with the girls, I would have filed suit. I almost was asking him to continue in harassing me because I was so disgusted, and my behavier was less than accomodating. I did call the police chief and complain about the treatment, told him the car # and the time of the event, and he said he would "look into it". I never heard anything more about it. STAND UP...WE MUST STAND UP AND BE PREPARED TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!!!!

Tell those cops to bugger off. Thats what you say in the UK, right?

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:14 PM

At this point I was pretty outraged to be accused of that on the basis of what?

On the basis you are in an area where drug abuse and prostitution are prevalent. You made that quite clear in your description

I had done nothing more than walked through a certain part of town. Who the hell are they to pass judgement on me

Then you have nothing to worry about. They are merely asking you questions.

I went home and felt really low that I had been branded a pervert / sex offender or whatever

They didn't brand you. Almost sounds like you have some skeletons in your closet. You are being illogical about this entire ordeal.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:15 PM
Something similar happened to my wife and myself one night about 3 years ago. We live in a fairly dangerous town, although not the dangerous part. Well, both of us worked late shift (getting off around 11:30 pm or so) and would go and do our grocery/pharmacy shopping accordingly. Well I drive a fairly old car, 18 years with about 170k miles on it. So it has a habit of breaking down at the worst possible times. Well at around 1:30 am or so, we were just getting done with the pharmacy and were headed to the grocery store when surprise surprise my car stops.

Now we're not in a very bad part of town, fairly well traveled (even at 1:30 am) Lot's of businesses that happen to be open 24 hours as well. Well we have a autozone (car shop) that had a 24 hour branch across the street from the pharmacy. So we push the car into the parking lot only to find they've stopped the 24 hour service. No big deal.

Well my wife and I are fairly young and even younger 3 years ago. Neither of us have a cell phone (personal choice), so we walk back over to the pharmacy to use their phone to call a tow truck. While walking back to my car, a cop pulls up and proceeds to ask us all kinds of questions regarding our age, what we were doing out if we had ID etc. etc.

Only after running both of our drivers licenses and finding out we weren't wanted felons did he ask if we needed anything. Even though the first words out of my mouth was "My car broke down, we're waiting on a tow." There is a curfew in the city, but only for those under 18. I assure you, even 3 years ago neither of us looked under 18.

It just amazes me how it is naturally assumed that you're guilty. Like you have to prove your innocence to the cops.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:43 PM
Not that anyone is right or wrong in this situation...

I just figured I would throw this into the fold... It's an old saying in the states, and I hear it from my father everytime I go out on the weekends...

"Nothing good ever happens after midnight" as in, if you can't do what you've got to do, before the creepy crawly's come out, then you should wait until morning.

Seriously though, your not in the wrong to go looking for a bite to eat... but after 11pm ish most cops think everyone is up to no good... It's part of their training me thinks.

[edit on 3/9/2009 by coven]

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:49 PM
Dutty your experience is a life style for those of us unfortunate enough to live in the inner city in the US. As others have mentioned, if it was here you would have had to show ID, and submit to a search and records check. Imagine if you will living in one of these neighborhoods and this happens to you on a very regular basis, have you any idea what that does to the self esteem of those subjected to this?

If you had been a woman they probably would have tried to haul you in for prostitution! I lived in a red light area and the only store was right on that street. If I was an ugly chick maybe they would not have bothered me, but far too many times I was questioned and that is very embarrassing on a busy main street.

While surveillance can be a good thing, it has gotten way out of control! I guess we do know now that there are people watching at all times, creepy. 1984 anyone????

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 02:09 PM
reply to post by Dutty_Rag

I've been stopped and searched FIVE times. I have no criminal record, i have never done anything illegal, my family is a respected one not a den of thieves and i have never worked out why they always do this to me. I have argued the point with officers about the legality of searching me without any due cause but in the end i know that if i argue to much i'll end up being taken to the station, DNA taken, fingerprints taken and maybe some stupid charge thrown at me.

Scary world huh.


Oh and i'm a pasty, geeky looking guy so can't imagine a reason to stop and search me.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]

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