back to article Police tackle crime hotspots with scary warning poster

In a bizarre follow-up to its 'Denying Criminals the Use of the Roads' strategy, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has announced an initiative that might perhaps be called, 'Assigning Criminals the Leasehold of the Lay-bys.' Things have come to a pretty pass, as crusty old Tory MPs might once have complained, when …

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Joke

Could be used to an advantage...

...I mean, these signs can be helpful and informative to all invoved. Also, it helps get the scallywags back to work. Only the other day, visiting my local hospital, I noticed the sign "Thieves Opperate In this Area"

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Coat

Or....

"People in this area are low IQ thieving scum, if you can read this poster, you should leave"

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Paris Hilton

Just like the web

"Have you noted the tendency of public-private partnerships of this ilk to concentrate on the marketing side, rather than the operational? We know we have."

Content be buggered, it's all about advertising revenue.

Then they claim ( all politicians do this) "We've spent £x million on crime prevention".

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A New warning sign

How about a new warning sign saying "WARNING: Police salaries are not being paid in this area"? They could place these new signs in areas where they have chosen to place warning signs instead of doing their jobs.

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Stop

How long will it last?

If they park a valuable trailer in a dodgy lay-by, how long before someone turns up and tows it away?

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Good idea, why not go the whole way?

Surely it would be easier to just disband the police force -- or send them all out looking for speeders and "copyright thieves"? All they need do is put up signs everywhere telling you you may be a victim of crime if you stay there.

As for "Ooh, I wouldn't hang around here at this time of night if I were you. Not with a nice phone like that." -- this is already been done, at least in the form of TV adverts telling people not to use their mobile phones in public.

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Happy

Crime Prevention at it's best

Problem:

Theft in laybys from parked vehicles.

UK Pol answer:

Fill layby with big trailer, no one can park. Layby theft figures drop. Everyones a winner!

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Anonymous Coward

The real criminals

"the forces of law and order could just concentrate on avoiding going to high crime areas themselves"

Isn't that what they do already?

It seems to me that the real criminals -- those that aid and abet -- are the bosses that are PAID to enforce the law and who manage to systematically AVOID enforcing the law except where it is easy.

Its high time that responsibility for most of those sidestepping activities such as investigating road accidents and writing up paperwork were taken away from the police -- ensuring that the police bosses HAD to make their officers do the job are paid for, instead of continually shirking it.

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Alert

We already have this style of policing

Carparks are already plastered with signs warning that "Thieves operate in this area!" Well if a few plain clothed police operated at random in these areas from time to time, perhaps the thieves wouldn't?

Sorry, I'm being too simplistic. We need more CCTV!!!

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Need police reality check poster

"You are in the real world. You have to fend for yourself. This may require deadly force. You have been warned."

There, its all covered. Nice of the cops to let us know we live in a world with unkind people.

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Thumb Down

Oh my god!

Why not just stick up a sign in every car park saying

"Its not safe to park your car here, it might get nicked - but now that we have told you about it, at least we have more police officers spare now so that we can go catch some speeders and copyright theives"

Rather that actually assigning officers to these "high theft" areas, that would be stupid

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Anonymous Coward

Not a solution

For some reason, this made me think of the first time I saw one of those 'Queues likely' signs; rather than doing something to solve the problem, just tell people about it instead, which makes it their problem if they're if they're held up.

If these are known crime hotspots, a better solution would surely be to stick a cop car there with a couple of bobbies in it - people shouldn't have to change their habits to this sort of degree because of criminal behaviour, the criminals should be made to change their behaviour (become law abiding, or get locked up perhaps) instead.

Making parts of the country no-go areas because of crime is such a long way from any form of sensible solution, though it is indicative of our current 'pass the buck' form of government we seem to have moved to.

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Does this sound familiar ??

TO BAN GUNS...because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow... For society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding.

(Jeff Snyder)

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Visit South Africa

I would have loved to acctually post an image of one of my nations favourite signs here... unfortunately I do live in a country were I would have to pay a thousand big macs for a 256kb line with a 2gb cap.

anyhoo back to the matter at hand, we have signs stating that this is a highkack area please beware for your own safety.

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Anonymous Coward

One less dogging spot

Lorry drivers surely know where the theft of trailers occurs, or they are part of the scam. OTOH if the police want to discourage dogging, rather than render one (sic) lay-by useless by filling it with a big trailer, why not a sign "CCTV cameras operate in this area". You could get lots of signs for the price of one trailer.

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Title

Why not just repeal those silly laws that keep law abiding citizens from having guns, and arm the truck drivers with shotguns? Of course there would have to be training course in the use of the shotguns.

Class! To use this firearm in it's proper manner, wait until the criminal is within 20 feet, point shotgun at criminal as you would your finger, pull trigger. If criminal does not go down in a proper fashion (dead), point gun at criminal, pull trigger again.

Don't forget to take half Euro from criminal's pocket to pay for shells.

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It's just plain criminal!!

Criminal1: Damn, our favourite layby has one of those police trailers in. What are we gonna do now?

Criminal2: Well lets go to a layby that hasn't got a police trailer in.

Criminal1: Nah, bollocks. It's either this layby or nothing. That'll teach them police a lesson!

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Pirate

Real Road Sign:

There have been 77 deaths on this road in 2 years. (might have said 3 years)

unfortunately we've already spent 3 times our budget on "junction redevelopments" and "lane removals on busy roads", although I guess we could probably find enough room in the "useful projects" section of the budget to squeeze in a few managers to oversee the installment of a couple of road signs, but that's the best we can do I'm afraid... unless we raise taxes

actually that sounds like a good idea, raise taxes, then we can afford an entire committee to oversee the installments of the signs

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Anonymous Coward

Lorry trailers

Most posters here are missing the point. Yes, the trailer tends to block the layby anyway, preventing you from parking there, but that is a positive side effect. No, you can't have stupid signs saying "CCTV operates in this area" because if you are 20 miles from the nearest town, and there is no street lighting, where are you going to put the cameras (and retrieve the images).

These thefts are occurring at laybys on A roads in out of town areas, like the A43 between the M40 and Northampton. I have seen the trailer in question, and it is useful in that I now know something I wouldn't otherwise have known.

You seem to underestimate the word "theft" here. It's not a bloody handbag or a laptop being nicked and a smashed window. It's hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of gear being nicked at once, and the driver is either drugged (gas) or beaten up. The curtains get slashed, and usually the diesel gets nicked too. Lorry drivers have to park overnight, so the length of time for such crime to occur is much longer, and in the quietest hours of the night. You may have noticed lorries parked with one of the back doors open - this is so that the thieves can see what's in the trailer without slashing the curtains, and see that the load isn't worth nicking. The idiots would rather slash the curtains than open the back door you see...

And you posters advocating that we look after ourselves, I just wonder what you would do when faced with 10 or 15 armed men who have decided they want the contents of your lorry. Personally, I'd let them take it - it's not my property, and it's not worth dying for.

Of course, if you would prefer that police patrol every layby on the UK road network at night, rather than concentrating their efforts where the majority of people live, then fine. But try selling that to the general public.

Maybe if the constant decline in secure lorry parks was to be halted, and a few new ones opened up, then we wouldn't have to park on the public roads in the first place. As things stand, a cheap trailer with custom sign writing is a pretty good way of alerting the many drivers who need to know the local conditions.

And yes, I drive artics for a living, and am out from monday to friday so this does affect me. There are many things the general public don't know about the job and the laws concerning driving lorries. The main point is that you can only drive a maximum of 9 hours a day (10 hours twice a week) and you must have 11 hours rest in 24 hours (reduced to 9 hours 3 times a week). So if you have only got 5 minutes left of driving time, it is not an option to "go somewhere else". Or if you have been on duty for 14 hours 45 minutes the same applies. Do you really think we "like" going at 55mph ? All goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are restricted to 55mph by law, and this is enforced by mechanical means, so I couldn't break the law if I wanted to (except downhill with a heavy load on).

Remember the old saying - you have to walk a mile in a mans shoes before you can understand him. I'm sure your reaction to this initiative would be different if your car was fitted with a tachograph, and you faced with a £1000 fine if you drove over the limits set by law. Imagine being 10 minutes from home but being forced to sleep in a layby because your time had run out. In fact, you may not have to imagine for too much longer, as I believe cars will be fitted with tachos in the not too distant future. Try getting away with speeding then !

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Flame

I love all these comments...

... El Reg, can you start a "What our readers were saying 5 years ago" section?

Because, over the next 5 years, 53% of the entire police service is due to leave, because of the massive recruitment that took place in the late 1970s when Lord Edmund Davies increased police pay (before then, officers were resigning to become drivers, barmen, labourers - police families got free school meals).

Police budgets are dropping in real terms, and it's an open secret that policing the Olympics will be a major crisis, which is why the Met are trying to recruit volunteer stewards and another 6,000 (unpaid) Special Constabulary. British Transport Police have already been told how much extra they will get for policing transport systems for the Olympics... nothing. Nowt. Zilch. So there won't be any extra policing... god help the tourists.

Why do you think Community Support Officers and Highways Agency Traffic Officers were invented, and why all of them look like police officers from a distance...? Two-tier policing on the cheap... in 5 years time, you will realise that you were being screwed by Government policy on policing and didn't realise it... :-(

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Putting the victim at fault...

...again.

The poster should say:

Truckers, this is a crime hotspot. If you see anyone acting suspiciously around a wagon feel free do our job for us and 'discourage' them.

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