back to article Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

An Irish judge has expressed concerns that a police biro shortage may pose a serious threat to public order in Limerick. According to the Irish Independent, several miscreants have been dragged before the beak for "engaging in a threatening and abusive manner" in the public office at Henry Street gardaí station as a result of …

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formalities

"to sign on as a condition of his bail relating to a separate matter"

Surely a gentleman's agreement would suffice.

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Do British custody suits use electronic pads and a stylus? Saves the pen issue straight away!

Having said that, do they have computers that side of the border?!

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Electronic pads are useless for signatures

Delivery guys ask me to 'sign' electronic pads. I would be worried that the words on the thing I am signing could change with the wind, but the device cannot record variations in pressure, and cannot keep up at all. The result is a random spiky mess that bears no relation to my signature.

The problem here is that occasionally, a few policemen do not like that their victims have been granted bail, so they make it difficult for the victims to keep their bail conditions. Electronic pads are not going to prevent that. The judge has the right idea - if some policemen are using bail conditions to cause trouble, the solution is to make bail unconditional. The same thing used to happen in the UK. (I have no idea if it still does.)

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Re: Electronic pads are useless for signatures

The judge could always fine the police a years worth of biro's every time this happens. They are obstructing the process of law after all.

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Re: Electronic pads are useless for signatures

I disagree, the quality of the signature is not important in this day and age: the fact you have a 'mark' is all anyone is concerned about. If that wasn't so then devices which took signatures would be refreshed periodically so they worked. I use to support finger print taking machines (Livescan) for the UK Police. They used electronic signature pads and were only ever replaced at the customers (custody suites) request, often when they'd totally failed rather than not providing a good signature 'picture'.

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Anonymous Coward

Do British custody suits use electronic pads and a stylus?

You're forgetting the environment. If it's electronic you'd have to measure in microseconds to time how long it would take for it to get nicked (pardon the pun)..

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Re: Electronic pads are useless for signatures

The judge could always fine the police a years worth of biro's

Not a large sum apparently

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FAIL

Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Do British custody suits use electronic pads and a stylus? Saves the pen issue straight away!

Why use an electronic pad? That's a bit like the Americans trying to develop a fancy pen to go into space, while the Soviets used pencils...

The biro works - although the cops in this station obviously needed to tie it down with a bit of string.

And it's custody suite, not custody suit BTW...

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Cheers, get it right most of the time!

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

The reason an electronic pad is used, is so that the custody record can be sent straight to NICHE rather than scanned into the computer, and then added laboriously as a scanned document, with the details typed into the computer. The pads are usually embedded in the custody desk, which means all the crims can do is rip away the stylus

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Is a custody suit one where the jacket fastens up the back, and the sleeves are a bit too long?

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the sleeves are a bit too long?

That would be your day coat ,nor does it come with a pen pocket so put it back this instant...........Im waiting to sign on when you're finished.

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

I thought the custody suit was the outfit with the arrows on it.

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Not the "pencils in space" nonsense again. They are made of wood and graphite, both flammable, especially in a pure oxygen atmosphere. And bits of broken leads floating about in zero G isn't good either. NASA only buys Space Pens and did not pay the development costs.

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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

No, it's the yellow and viscous one!

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Anonymous Coward

Yes we make them here,

we also make the Software, Ram, Hard disks, Psu's, and so on,....

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I speculate that there are ridiculous bureaucratic hurdles to getting new stationary. For example, if an officer loses a pen, he has to type a report detailing what he thinks happened to it before he can get a new one. Or, there was a blanket cut back on stationary 'to save money'. Something stupid like that.

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not moving

down voted for homonym.

Sorry. I sure hope nobody post about less pens in the republic :-(

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I speculate that there are ridiculous bureaucratic hurdles to getting new stationary.

Then just go buy a box of pens, and fight the bureaucratic fight where it belongs. (hint: that's not at the front counter)

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ghost of the civil dead

Your humble correspondent was once a sentenced to a period of light labor in a large bureaucratic organisation*. During a spending clampdown in the mid '70s**, us (very) junior clerks were required to show our worn out ball point pens to the senior clerk in order to be issued with a new pen. It was said at the time that this was to deter us from taking pens home and next morning asking for a new pen.

wonder the the garda are (suspected of) running the same scam?

* as an employee,for the sake of clarity.

** 1970s. Not 1870s.

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Headmaster

Re: not moving

It appears Muphry's Law caught that you were being pedantic about use of homonyms while using less when you should have used fewer.

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IT Angle

Slow news day? It comes to something when El Reg has to scan the Irish Independant for news and then picks a non-story with all the relevance of parochial tittle-tattle.

We expect better..

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We expect better..

No. We don't.

:-)

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"We expect better.."

In Bootnotes? No, we don't actually.

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Actually I did expect better.

I expected at least one penis pun.

(edit: thanks AC below.)

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Re: Actually I did expect better.

Someone needs to check out the Pen Island website. Be careful when googling that one. Here, I'll save you the trouble. www.penisland.net

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Hmm

I know why they insist people sign using a pen...

To be sure...

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Anonymous Coward

My penis missing

Sorry, pen!

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Anonymous Coward

Don't laugh

At a state government department, not to be named, we were banned from ordering pens and other kit for 3 months. People brought in their own.

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Re: Don't laugh

> At a state government department, not to be named, we were banned from ordering pens and other kit for 3 months. People brought in their own the ones they had pinched over the preceding months.

there, ftfy

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What they need is...

more bail-point pens

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: What they need is...

You know the preposterous pun punishment procedure: go directly to the naughty step, banned for a month, etc

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Re: What they need is...

Crikey! I hate to think what the punishment would be for posting a humorous limerick about a limerick copper not being able to write something down.

So I'm not going to.

Someone else can take the flak.

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Re: What they need is...

There was a judge from Limerick

Who had no time for cops and their gimmicks

"If you have no pens

To sign in the crims

Then your victory will have been pyrrhic"

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Joke

Re: What they need is...

Hmm - n sure whether that requires up or down voting...

If you'd gone with 'gimmericks' and possibly 'pyrrerhic', it would definitely have been up, just for the joy of inventing words to rhyme more closely.

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Re: What they need is...

There was a mean copper in Limerick

Who's treatment of crims was sadistic

The suspects on bail

would land back in gaol

When he wouldn't let them use his bic

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Re: What they need is...

Wayheyyyy Simon,

Go on son! If only I could give you 2 upvotes.

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Health and safety issue?

Some people are "chewers". OTOH, is a pen a potential stabbing instrument?.

"Sorry yer lordship. The defendant became entangled by his flares alighting from a chair, fell down a flight of stairs equipped with a perfectly sturdy handrail, suffering the much visible bruising and abrasions currently demonstrable in the process, until he finally came to rest, impaling his nether regions on a writing implement. A most unfortunate state of affairs."

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, Henry St. Garda station

I once had my car nicked, apparently by someone who just wanted it to drive home in as it was left abandoned in a less-than-salubrious housing estate in the city. The Gardaí called me and told me that they'd recovered the car and that it was in the lock-up. When I arrived at the station, the car was pointed out to me and once I'd identified it as mine, I was left to my own devices. The driver-side window frame was bent out of shape and the ignition ripped out. After bending the frame back into a more reasonable shape I had to figure out how to start the thing. I managed to find the right pair of wires to hot-wire it and drove it home.

This story has nothing to do with pens or bureaucracy or Garda ineptness or anything, really. It's just that I always chuckle when I remember that I had to learn how to hotwire my car in the lock-up of a Garda station, of all places.

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Anonymous Coward

An alternative

Why not just have an ink pad and take fingerprints. They do this in other parts of the world in which literacy keeps being bombed to very low levels.

This would solve a couple of problems, such as sending your mate to sign the bail book. It can then be made electronic much easier - just need a fingerprint scanner.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An alternative

Or the judge could do away with the 'signing on' condition when granting bail?

Cops really don't like interacting with the public unless it's on the their terms, do they?

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In Limerick at the police station

Theres a "shortage of pens" situation

When cons turn up to sign on

They're told the pens are all gone

(It's a sign of the state of the nation.)

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Bravo!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Coat

It sounds utter *cough* pendomonium . . . . I`ll get my coat

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I blame Michael O'Leary

After all Ryanair have been expanding in Shannon of late haven't they? The customer service agents probably need extra pens to drum on the counter while ignoring complaints:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/weird-wide-world/7866327/Ryanair-boss-Michael-OLearys-funniest-quotes-part-two.html?image=9

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