Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Ain't Got No Jurisdiction....!

Police, particularly the more clueless, may have it in for the pub trade. However there is one demographic in Australia for whom the police seem to really have a special dislike.

The Army.

Put simply: Police loathe soldiers.

Why do the coppers have it in for the army?

Perhaps because civilian police have no power over the armed forces. In a garrison town it may be different, but in the bulk of the nation, if the local copper locks up a solider, nothing much will happen to him, apart from the MP's get a drive in the country to pick him up & then drive him back to the battalion.

That arrested soldier may be officially in trouble, but unless he has actually committed a crime, he'll be viewed somewhat favourably by the MP's, as like all of us, they don't mind:
Forgoing a couple of day's square bashing and saluting.
To go for a drive to the bush & back.
In what is effecitvely their own private Landrover.
With no superior officer in sight.

Of course, if the local coppers pick up a soldier in a garrision city & lock him up, and the MP's have to come & get him, that soldier is in more strife than Flash Gordon.

If a country copper locks up a soldier, there had better be a good reason. Youthful exuberance that does not extend to any actual damage (which is 99% of street or liquor offences) is not enough reason for a junior police officer to start something that will go all the way to the Commissioner's office.

Thus the police are impotent. And soldiers know it, but usually don't press the matter unless the police get out of hand, which police sometimes do.

How much do police actually loathe uniformed soldiers who are out for a drink? They detest them with a passion. The dislike runs deep, is mostly hidden (even some police wives are unaware of it) and the police hatred, when you see it exposed, is confrontingly shocking in its violent intensity.

Unless the soldiers actually assault someone, or commit some other tangible offence, all the police can do is scream at them. Soldiers know they have the option of ignoring the screaming.

It doesn't help the police mood that in such situations they are usually outnumbered by at least 30-to-1. By fit young men. Who have been drinking. And the nearest policeman may be a couple of hours away if he can be bothered waking up to answer the phone.

I've seen it play out a few times. I'm for the soldiers. Very pleasant to watch.


JeffS said...

Heh! Yes, I'll bet that's fun to watch.

Dave from Tacoma said...

You should see American sailors versus the local cops. Get arrested, go to jail, dig out that scrap of paper with the phone number of the quarterdeck, make your one phone call, a chief petty officer or PO1 comes down to the jail and scoops up your dumb-ass, said person lectures you on the way back to the ship, never show up in court. What, the cops are going to come onto your ship and arrest you?. Well, they probably can't even get onto the base.

Do I have any experience in this matter? You'd have to contact the police departments in North Charleston, South Carolina; Isle of Palms, South Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia; New London, Connecticut; and Mansfield, Massachusetts.

(Ooh, that Mansfield thingie. Some lippy little shit started a riot at a New Engand Patriots game after the Miami Dolphins beat the Pats 34 - 31 in the last minute. Funny, those New Englanders didn't appreciate a person pointing out the shortcomings of their team after the game.)

Boy on a bike said...

It was a mixed bad in WA when I was a reservist because about 90% of the military in the state were reservists, and about 25% of the reservists were coppers - they even "owned" a certain battalion. There was rarely grief because a lot of coppers wore "two hats". I had a discrete Army sticker on my car, and I was never breathalysed or booked for speeding. I was told off a few times, and then told to get lost - but never booked.

You had to be careful not to be an idiot - some cops doubled as MPs. The military over there was small enough that they knew who you were and where you were based. They'd simply bide their time and grab you when both of you were wearing your green head.

Some of the most obscene drunken behaviour I have ever seen in a pub was when an exercise finished and we ended up drinking with the soldiers from the cop's battalion. Soldiers are pretty renowned for their gross drunken behaviour. So are cops. Mix cops + soldiers.... result is indescribable.

Mine Host said...

Dave, interesting confession. If you're no longer in the blue suit, those police departments may be interested.

I've been contacted by Past Absconder Capture Office (a private company) who tell me that if I play this right, there could be some reward bucks in it for me.
All I have to do is sign their (extremely confusing) contract & give them your IP address.

Dave from Tacoma said...

Mine Host,

Oh, I just don't think any police force would pay for a plane ticket for me to fly from the Pacific NW back to the east coast. Not for a drunk and disorderly or a disorderly conduct charge. Not that I wouldn't mind a free vacation up in New England this time of year. (The leaves are turning on the trees and it really is pretty back there about now.)

Besides, I wouldn't mind being back in that little court in Massachusetts. They have a cool ritual just as court is starting. The bailiff comes into the court-room holding a large wooden staff. He pounds it on the floor three times and then says, in a very commanding voice, "oh yea, oh yea, oh yea, all yee having matters before this court step forward and present thyselves. ALL RISE."

Boy on a bike said...

I should have mentioned that we had a driver that used to love taunting the cops by driving the Colonel's Falcon down the freeway at 200km/h. When pulled over, he'd just tell them to piss off and away he's go in a cloud of burning rubber.

He did that once too often, and I suddenly found myself driving the CO around, and on a few occasions, the Governor (our honourary Colonel). Why they chose me - the most dishevelled soldier ever to wear a uniform - to drive the dignitaries around is beyond me.

Anyway, the idiot driver was a red head. Typical.