Saturday, February 26, 2005

Policing the Pickets

Every year, thousands of people gather at Melbourne's MCG for the Boxing Day Test. Most come for the cricket, but there are always anti-social elements in any crowd. It is the job of the Victorian Police to ensure that poor behaviour is swiftly curtailed. The following police report, one of hundreds filed on Boxing Day 2004, reveals the sheer bravery of those officers on the front line at the 'G:

At approximately fourteen hundred and nine hours, December twenty-six, two thousand and four, Sergeant Watts and myself, patrolling the lower bays of the Great Southern Stand, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Richmond, spotted the alleged offender being inflated by person or persons unknown seated at or near the fence. Once fully inflated, the individual in question was lofted into the air to a height of approximately eight metres, with person or persons unknown inciting the assembled crowd to continue this illegal elevation by means of cheering, clapping, and chanting. Sergeant Watts and I pursued the suspect for approximately nine minutes and thirty seconds, until person or persons unknown knocked the suspect over the fence and were informed by the rest of the crowd that they were a wanker. At this juncture, I directed Sergeant Watts to climb over the fence to retrieve the suspect. This done, I issued a further order that the suspect be placed on the ground and sat upon by Sergeant Watts until completely deflated, in accordance with the Harmless Fun Prohibition Act 1997, Clause 85(a), which states that "inflatable items deemed 'fun' (where 'fun' refers to enjoyment or satisfaction arising from the use of such an item) are to be detained with all reasonable force. If inflated, items may be deflated by a police officer qualified in the specific procedure, using standard issue feet and/or buttocks, before, during or after questioning". Sergeant Watts and I proceeded to escort the suspect from the ground, whereupon Sergeant Watts and I were informed by person or persons unknown that we were wankers. End report.

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