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This is a question I witnessed a crime

Freddy Woo writes, "A group of us once staggered home so insensible with drink that we failed to notice someone being killed and buried in a shallow grave not more than 50 yards away. A crime unsolved to this day."

Have you witnessed a crime and done bugger all about it? Or are you a have-a-go hero?
Whatever. Tell us about it...

(, Thu 14 Feb 2008, 11:53)
Pages: Latest, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Slow jog to justice
I really don't know what got into me. I was standing with a friend in Liverpool city centre, on some back street, when I saw a young lad, about 15, running along the street. Hmmmm... up to no good, I was sure. Then a few moments later a copper came round the corner, looking pretty breathless, and making "get him!" gestures.

So I tried. Skinny little bugger just dodged right out of the way though I at least slowed him down for a moment.

Then I realised the copper had no chance of catching the kid. So I set off in pursuit.

This is where it's worth pointing out that although I'm reasonably fit, I'm also terribly asthmatic. And 38. So I have to warm up slowly or I'll bring on an attack. And I didn't have my inhaler with me....

So I set off behind the lad at a gentle jog.

Every now and then, other people would join in to try and catch him, but when he put on a sprint he could shift. He was also extremely fit, so my slow jog actually turned into quite a brisk jog as I tried to keep him in sight.

I could hear sirens going in the area, so I knew they were looking for him.

It was like a bad dream. My lungs slowly closing up, my heart now thundering away in my chest... I had the strength in my legs, but it was all too much, too soon. He reached the steps of large church and legged it up them to salvation as I came to a shuddering, wheezing halt.

The sirens were getting closer - the copper finally turned up... I waved him in the general direction, and then staggered back to collect the papers I'd put down on the floor before spending the rest of the evening trying to not die.

Sad thing is, I realised later that I had no idea what the lad had done. For all I know he was just guilty in the eyes of the law for looking a little bit dark. I may have risked everything in order to return a packet of gobstoppers.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 8:53, Reply)
I was going to post
a story about me getting mugged, but it wasn't very exciting.
Lots of the crimes on this QotW seem to be drug-related. I can't help but think that if we ended the futile "war on drugs" by just legalising the lot, things would be better. Not that drugs are good per se - but if we let people smoke and drink we're effectively licensing, and making tax revenue on, extremely harmful substances. Letting someone smoke but not take E seems somewhat of a contradiction.
Those "oldies" amongst us will doubtless remember in our youthful naivety the dream that one day legalisation would happen. In reality we're no closer to it now than ever. The younger readers on this site should take that to heart. If you think these laws will change by themselves - they won't. If you think the war on drugs can be won - it can't. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life being hassled by some smack or crack head whose sad habit could be fed legitimately for a few quid, instead of the thousands they need to steal to fund the dealers - then stand up and try and make the change.
The West needs an honest debate about drugs - they're not going away, and we're just getting more and more into Prohibition-style gangster territory.
Maybe I should have told you about when I got mugged instead ?!? Sorry to preach...
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 8:04, 14 replies)
A crime a day
I commit a crime everyday. I commit one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night. This is one of the crime. Wasting time. Good night. By the way if you read this and listen to the "law and order" theme song you will shit bricks.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 6:52, 1 reply)
star wars and robbery
We live in Oakland, California, birthplace of not only MC Hammer and his giant pants, but the drive-by shooting as well. We live in the ghetto, where you know your drug dealers by sight. Still, our neighborhood is filled with families, we've got a kick-ass place and I've never felt nervous about living there.
I'd just come downstairs at the ungodly hour of 10.30 in the morning when, walking through to the kitchen I notice all the cabinet doors open, my purses on the floor and a faint but obvious state of dishevelment about the area. Being the smartie that I am, I phone up my boyfriend at work and ask him what he'd been looking for, why he didn't shut the doors and what he needed from my purse, to which he replied, “Err.... maybe I should come home.” It hadn't occurred to me that we'd actually been robbed. He comes back, looks around the house and we deduce that around $700 in cash has been stolen (we were collecting masses of US state quarters and had random emergency money) plus our PS 2, XBOX, GBAs, DS, PSP, oldschool Lynx... – have I mentioned he's a video game programmer? -- and all the games in the house, including his collection of every game he's done since his first for Lucas when he was 18 (Indiana Jones. woo.).
Mother pusbucket!
He goes back to work, I'm home for the police. I wait a surprisingly short time for one of Oakland's finest, who comes in and comments on the cool space (loft with a full-size trampoline). He takes my details and is basically a total robotic pro – until he turns around. “OH MY GOD!!”. He's seen the Star Wars wall: a 30ft by 7ft display case with -every- classic Star Wars figure, lego and playset you've ever drooled over, which my boyfriend's had since he was a kid. The cool demeanor is gone as the cop literally runs over to point and mumble to himself, '...HOTH ICE PLANET! mom never let me... LEGO MILLENIUM FALCON!! aw man!...'. After about 5, 6 minutes (which is a loooooong time when you're watching a policeman spazz out), I clear my throat and he pulls it together, suggesting we look at 'the criminal's point of entry'. We head downstairs – and he sees the Addams Family pinball machine. Cue another freakout, albeit on a much smaller scale. The doorbell rings: it's the fingerprint guy. The cops are talking technically until the fingerprinter turns around: “OH MY GOD!”. Other cop: “I KNOW!”. Then they BOTH run to the wall and giggle, eyes glazed over remembering the ecstasy that was the original trilogy.
As to the crime itself, apparently it was kids; they'd robbed a place next door as well. The creepy part of it is they were there when I was upstairs asleep. Naked. We guess they made their way up, saw someone was home and ran, since nothing upstairs was touched. Funny thing is, the cops couldn't for the life of them figure why they only took money and machines when they had all of the Star Wars universe at their feet. Kids today, huh?
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 4:50, 7 replies)
Not quite a crime but...
I work for a company that hires generators, and one sunny afternoon a year or two ago we were in London, loading out a job on an old industrial estate.
About to leave, the last task was to back up and hitch up the diesel tank to the landie, so I back the landie up and set to work with the jack to lift the tank up to the right height (no jockey wheel). From behind me I hear some commotion, as some pilled up nutter starts shouting about how we're blocking the way.
I turn round, observe that there's plenty of space and leave it to my two colleagues to tell the bloke to hang on, we'll be out of the way in a minute if he can't drive through a gap with over a foot either side...
The bloke seems to be intent on speaking to me, so eventually I turn round, notice this and walk over to him to inquire what his problem is.
He starts trying to get in my face, shouting about how we should know who he is and all that and get out of his way. Sadly however he was a tad shorter than me, so I was looking down on him, not impressed, noticing over his shoulder one of my colleagues idly playing with a hammer with the look of someone who was waiting for it to all kick off, and my other colleague with a phone in his hand, and me? well I've still got the jack handle in my hand - oops.
In the car are his missus, and a screaming infant. We carefully explain the situation to him, that he needs to back off, and we'll be out of his way. His missus notices the suitably tooled up people getting "upset" with her bloke, and starts shouting to him to get in the f*cking car right now. Eventually, he does to everyone's amazement (and slight disappointment from my colleague with the hammer I think), she manages to get him back in the car, and maneuverer around the landie, and then lays down some rubber.
And that ladies and gentlemen is about the closest i've been to witnessing a serious kicking. Oh, and he dropped his house keys as he got in the car. Whoopsy :) They got dropped down a drain. Karma's a bitch.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 3:32, Reply)
Radio Theft
I had a buddy who had a kid brother. Said kid brother was VERY into his car. Spent loads on the radio and booster and speakers at an 'audio store.' THREE times he would drop a couple of hundred dollars on new stuff and within a week, his car was broken into and most of the stuff was stolen.

Turns out it all tied directly back to the two kids that did the installs on the equipment. They would write down the address of the person who bought the equipment, then have a buddy steal it, give him a couple of bucks and then sell it to people at flea markets (car boot sales I think you lot call 'em).

He never got all his money back, but the punks ending getting to do a stretch at a state facility for criminal 'correction.'

(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 3:15, 1 reply)
Chavs and Shiney Metal......
What most people don't realise is that the number one crime (apart from nut-job religious types trying to blow themselves and everyone else up) that the BTP (Transport Police) are currently combatting (I say combatting - more like making up nice powerpoint slides about it) is copper metal theft.

There are people out there... (not that Darwin needs any proof, but still) who use hacksaws on 110v electrical cable. 110volts - half your domestic supply if that. But just remember that the 110volts of juicy goodness is what keeps the signals and all that other 'safety-related' stuff working properly. You know, the devices that stop me driving my train into the arse-end of another train, squishing me and probably you or your beloved into little tiny pieces.

All because some city trader thought that inflating the prices of raw metals would pay for yet another new Porche.

And don't get me started on the twats who last tuesday, used a car to smash down some fencing, smashed open an armored door and then cut into a very thick cable (about 6inches thick - lots of copper!) and blew lots of circuit brakers... causing delays and cancellations to trains..

They cut into a 33Kv feed circuit. I'm not surprised that Network Rail or the police couldn't find any trace of the chavscum....
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:44, 4 replies)
Good Cop, Bad Cop
Emvee's tale of chav harassment reminded me of this one. Names haven't been changed for once. It was how we dealt with a mate who was being victimised.

Long ago and far away, when the moon was red and the rocks were soft I lived in Manchester, in Hulme. I was pottering around one day when a mate arrived, in a bit of a state. He'd been robbed.

He lived alone in the infamous Crescents and he been woken by the sound of his balcony door being forced. Grabbing some clothes he ran downstairs to confront the burglar - although what he expected to do was anyone's guess as he was an unhealthy Vegan who couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag. The noise he made coming down the stairs alerted the thief who legged it back onto the balcony and then jumped onto the neighbouring flat's balcony, which was deserted and derelict, and then stood there laughing at Pat and taunting him.

"I can fucking come round and rob you anytime I fucking want and there's fuck all you can do about it" giggled the thief. Who was, predictably, a smack addict. Pat recognised him - he was a bloke who lived a couple of floors down and was known in the area as nasty piece of work. And Pat realised he was right. There was nothing he could do. Hulme in those days was pretty much a no-go area for the police and, besides, it was Pats word against the smackheads. Bringing the law in would have just resulted in being seen as a grass and wouldn't have achieved anything. So Pat came to see me with another close mate of ours Jon.

So the three of us had a cup of tea and decided what to do. Intimidation.

I went to my weapons stash at the front door (hey, this was Hulme. Everyone has some sort of self defence kit propped up by the front door) and selected my favourite equaliser, Rottie. So called because it was big, it looked mean and it would really fuck you up if you pissed it's owner off. It was an old oaken table leg. Nice round knobbly bit at the bottom coming up to a big square bit at the action end where I'd screwed in a few round headed bolts. It was a work of art.

So the four of us, me and Rottie and Jon and Pat headed off to mete out justice, Hulme style. We hardly needed to discuss our roles and Jon and I had done this in the past. It was to be classic Good Cop, Bad Cop.

And so we arrived at the smackhead's flat and knocked. No answer. So Jon tried calling through the letter box. Still no answer.

Now we knew he was in 'cos we'd seen movement at the kitchen window but old smackhead had decided that we weren't the sort of callers he wanted that morning and was lying low. Time for plan B.

I stepped back a couple of paces and launched myself at the door. My boot hammered into the lock with my full weight behind it and the door shivered. It was reinforced like a lot of flats in Hulme. Someone had fitted a decent solid door and locked it with what we called Swastica bolts. A central handle that controlled four bolts that went into the door frame at both sides and the top and the bottom. I looked at Jon.

"Doubt if I can get through this mate - we might need an axe"

"Give it another go" says Jon.

So I took another few paces back and launched myself again.


The lock and the door held but the door frame didn't. The whole thing tore from the surrounding wall and crashed into the flat and landed right at the feet of a dazed looking smackhead. Another couple of inches and it would have crushed his toes.

So there he was. 7 feet away from me and holding a wicked Rambo style knife. Grabbing Rottie I jumped inside and swept the knife out of his hand. I was roaring like a roary thing (note to self: must work on metaphors) and he backed away from me and scuttled into the front room with me right on his back. A sweep of Rottie took out his stair rails and a back sweep smashed his telly with a satisfying explosion of glass.

"Come here you ugly fucker, I've got a message for you" I yelled.

"Legless!!" barked Jon. "Leave him. Let me talk to him first"

I backed off growling and then smashed Rottie into a nearbye table.

"Say what you have to then leave him to me" I slavered.

Pat then came into the front room.

"Where's my fucking money you twat!!" he screamed "I want it all back or I'm letting Legless loose on you..

Smackhead was in shock now. His quiet morning shooting up the proceeds of last nights robbery wasn't meant to go like this. I mean, every time he'd robbed someone in the past he'd gotten away with it. This couldn't be happening.

Jon was talking to him now, quietly explaining that if the money wasn't handed over, right now, he and Pat were leaving and he'd be left alone with me.

"I haven't got it!!" smackhead wept "I spent it last night..."

Then I burst back into the front room.

"Tie the fucker down" I snapped at Jon. "I've found a car battery. I'll pour the acid all over his hands. That'll stop the thieving shit."

"Calm Legless, calm.." said Jon. "You can have him if he doesn't give me the money"

"But I haven't got it" wailed the smackhead. "But I'll get it. I'll get it by tonight"

Pat and Jon had a quick conflab and I smashed a few more items.

"OK. We'll give you one more chance......"


"Back off Legless. We only want the money back. If he doesn't get it by tonight then he's all yours...."

I walked up to Smackhead. I pushed Rottie into his face, gently tapping him back to the wall. Then I held it against his throat. He was shaking like Michael J Fox.

"Look at me" I said. "look very fucking closely at my face because if Pat doesn't get his money back, this will be the last thing you see before I pour battery acid into your eyes."

He couldn't speak, he was just nodding then the smell of piss hit me and I saw a dark stain spreading down his legs.

I walked away. Stopped and smashed Rottie into the wall leaving a big hole.

"I'll be back...."


Then we went up to Pats flat and I dropped Rottie off and we retired to The Spinners for a pint.

"Think he'll get the money?" says Jon.

"Nah" says Pat "But I don't think he'll rob me again so there's a result"

Later that night Pat arrived at my flat lugging a carrier bag full of cans.

"Heh! I got my money back and then some..." says Pat.

Now it turned out that the smackhead had a famous brother. He was a guitarist with the band, The Fall, and Smackhead had called his big brother up and begged for help. The brother had arrived at the Smackheads flat and found him in a hell of a state. Shaking, crying and terrified for his life. Over the next hour the full story had come out. How he'd robbed Pat. How this gang of thugs had broken his door down and beaten him to within an inch of his life (lying fucker - I didn't touch him) and how they were going to come back and blind him with acid.

His brother listened for a while and then made the following offer. He'd go and see Pat and pay him his money and he'd get Pat to call the hounds off but only if Smackhead went into rehab. He'd pay for the treatment but this was his last chance. Fuck up and the next time he'd wash his hands of him. Smackhead agreed and the brother went to see Pat and paid him. They had a spliff together to seal the deal and the brother said:

"You know, this is probably the best thing that could have ever happened to our kid. The way he was going he'd be dead by Christmas...."

Jesus. That was a bit of an epic.

Let the flaming begin......

(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:41, 14 replies)
Just checking
Many years ago, I worked in Bristol. There was a multi-story car park where we parked. One of my hapless colleagues bought a nice BMW. After a few days, he came back to it to find the window broken and stereo gone.

"Crivens", quoth he (or something like, anyway). Had the car fixed and replaced the radio. Over the next two weeks this happened twice more. Eventually he bought a CD Walkman (remember those?) and put a note in the windscreen saying "no radio fitted".

He came back to the car to find the window broken, his note turned over and a new note: "just checking".
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:39, 1 reply)
Scruffism, a dying art?
A few years back at secondary, the accepted school idiot was a lad called Jonathan, ugly enough that our biology teacher quipped, 'I take it one of your parents was a potato.' (I'm pretty sure he got sacked a few months later for racism.) Jonathan was a bit of a retard, and trying to look like a hardnut, crushed up a packet of refreshes, used a ruler to make lines, and then snorted it. A few months later in town with my best mate, we spot mate's dad, a PC on duty. About to say 'Hi', we see him sprint off in the direction of Jonathan who was in the doorway of Cooplands. He was smoking what looked to be the biggest spliff ever, and started running when he saw PC Keith. He sprinted 10 metres then tripped on the curb. Mate's dad took a look at the spliff which turned out to be a lit chicken leg wrapped up in a sheet of newspaper.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:21, 4 replies)
Some of my neighbours have on video the local scratty kids from the other side of the gardens nicking the clothes off everybody's washing lines.
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:18, 2 replies)
I was staying at a 'mate's house
And I walked downstairs to find her ex in there, stabbing holes in the kitchen door with a samurai sword, the other sword through the window, he was drinking MY booze, jacking up (smack) and two of his mates climbing up the walls (literally).

Only realised how weird it was when I went to light a fag of the cooker and realised that not only was there no cooker anymore, the sink, microwave, cupboard doors and fridge were missing.

Only as I walked back through the living room did I notice there wasn't even a carpet in there!
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 1:17, Reply)
The price of copper theses days.
Living on a rough council estate some years ago in Wales we had our fair share of thieving bastards around.
Now you couldn,t even trust your nieghbours.Across the road from me was a stinking dirty family who thought a bath was where you kept your coal.
At the time the price of scrap metal went through the roof and any lead,aluminium, copper that was within reach was stripped and sold,so there,d be leaky rooves? no guttering ,downpipes,they all would disappear if your back was turned.
One night while in my bedroom I heard a racket from outside... some bastard was in the process of ripping the boiler from my nieghbours house......WHILE THEY WERE DOWNSTAIRS! I hear the hacksaw, the screaming followed by a gush of water ,then two fucking idiots belting thruough the front door with thier prize..Laugh ? I nearly pissed myself,and the grand total of said booty? about 15£ ..
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 0:45, 1 reply)
Involving theft, pornography and GBH
Ooh, 20ish years ago I did some nurse training. Would have KEPT IT UP if it wasn't for shagging my back.

I particularly enjoyed my stint in a psychiatric hospital (as part of my training, as opposed to an inmate on this occasion). The department to which I was seconded was "social & recreation". It was a drop-in place within the hospital for patients, where they could escape the monotony of ward life and partake of whatever activities they fancied, that we could provide. That is where I learned to knit (dishcloths made with string). See the unwelcome Christmas presents...

There was a diverse bunch who attended "soc & rec" and I fitted in like an angle-poise does to 70's wallpaper. Some were tragic, like Bella, a lady who'd been born in the hospital 'out of wedlock' in the early 1900's, her mother having been sentenced to The Nut House for her heinous crime. Poor Bella had never known any other life, her mother had only been 16, therefore a child herself at the time. Thus, mother and daughter became utterly institutionalised and imprinted (if that word can be applied to humans).

Then, of course, there were some real characters. My favourite of whom was Artie - boy did I have a soft spot for him. Physically, he was the epitome of somebody from Grimm's fairy tales (I REFUSE to call them 'traditional tales' - they are fucking fairy stories and I detest and rebel against the fatuosity of political correctness). He was 6'5" tall (I don't do fucking metric either) had scoliosis and kyphosis (different curvatures of the spine) rendering him reminiscent of Quasi Modo. He also had a facial disfigurement. Then on top of all that, the poor soul had suffered a C.V.A. a few years previously. The stroke had typically left him semi-paralysed on his left side which cruelly exascerbated his facial disfigurement, causing him to drool constantly, and also leaving him with a cumbersome, ambling gait.
Did any of that bother Artie, though? Did it shite! Talk about 'courage in the face of adversity'... Did I mention he was a Geordie with tattoos? Like meself?
Whenever I am having a 'fat day' or an 'ugly day', I hark back to Artie and his genuine joviality, and give myself a hard kick up the arse to get things back in perspective.

Artie was the kindest soul one could wish to meet. Had a fabulously dry and self-depricating sense of humour, and a heart to make Mother Theresa look like Myra Hindley. I loved him so much more than my own grandfathers, indeed would have traded him for them in a flash. We greeted eachother every morning with a huge hug and kiss (not sure that'd be allowed these days). Artie also had penchant for Frankie... (that's Vaughan, not Dettori)

Utilising his sense of humour and appearance combined, Artie was able to aquire his weekly fill with no imbursement required...

All he needed to do was frequent the same newsagent on the high street each time he went out. All of the staff knew him by sight - literally. He looked big and scary, and they knew from whence he came. He never said a word in the shop; never needed to. The staff were so shit-scared by the mad look he affected, they decided the path of zero resistance was by far the safest, and under no circumstances were they going to attempt any confrontation.
So it was, Artie would empty the top shelf to his heart's desire, usually pilfering a bag of liquorice allsorts into the bargain. No harm done, everyone was happy.

Until the week Artie was bedridden with a nasty bout of 'flu, and couldn't make the trip to the newsagents. Not wanting to miss a week, he asked Bert, a fellow resident to please make the collection for him.

"Gan on man Bort, gaan doon te the paipa shop forruz. Gerruz aal the wimminz magazines, will ye? Ah'll let ye look at them afta Ah've finished like..."

Bert was a good pal of Artie's, but also somewhere on the autistic spectrum. So took the request literally. And came back with; Woman, Woman's Weekly, Woman's Own, Woman & Home, The Woman's Realm...

That was when the G.B.H. ensued..
and I've gone on TOO LONG already
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 23:53, 4 replies)
I witnessed my (now ex-) girlfriend committing an act of public indecency.

Mind you, I was committing one at the same time.

Coat, etc.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 23:02, Reply)
not a witness...a victim
I woke one morning and trotted out to my vehicle, parked in my driveway in a water privileged neighborhood in one of the finest communities in my county. A lovely morning it was, I believe I was whistling "Zippity Doo Dah" on my way out the door to the driveway. Until I got to my car and noticed I apparently hadn’t locked the door. Once I was seated in the driver’s seat, I realized there was a slight breeze coming into the vehicle from the passenger window which was gone.

SHIT. My car was broken into: okay, inventory: Radio - still there. Everything SEEMED to be there! CD's, vehicle registration...then I notice my ashtray is pulled out and I see what they stole: about $3 in change.

Then I glance in the backseat. There is a flashlight sitting there. So I reach back to grab it and I notice, written on the side in black magic marker: "WILLIAMS 506 Shore Avenue". I stared at it, my mouth agape.

Surely this must be a flashlight they stole from some other hapless victim? So I walk the TWO BLOCKS to the house listed on the flashlight...knock on the door and shortly thereafter a young boy, about 15 years old answers. He sees me and has this momentary look of fear run across his face as he glances at my left hand, holding the flashlight.

He SLAMS the door in my face.

I couldn’t believe it. So I left and looked up their phone number and phoned...repeatedly being hung up on...right up until the young tosser would be leaving for school. Then, I got a voicemail. I left a rather detailed message and about 4 hours later, at my office, my phone rang and it was the kids Mother.

I returned the flashlight to a rather red-faced Father and he handed me the $3. I then reminded him that I would be submitting a bill for the window. He nodded, not making eye contact for fear of showing his embarrassment.
To the day I sold that house, whenever I saw the guy, he looked away. Never saw the kid again though.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 22:56, 1 reply)
I once initiated a sequence of events that would turn any mortal mans heart to stone.
Well, maybe not, but when I was about 10 years old, at primary school, all of the packed lunches were kept in a locker room at the back of our class room.
When everyone had left for break one day I decided, being the over exerted under nourished child that I was to go and have a little peek.
Needless to say most of what I found was rubbish, aside from one fully intact, glorious chocolate morsel, which was fantastic, considering my mother fed me on mostly apples and brown bread.
Having commited the crime I went about my day quite happily, until lunch time, when what appeared to be the whole school was dragged out into lines, and questionned about this oh so delicious theft.
This meant that, so as not to get sussed, I was forced to put on my finest Kevin Smith impression, which i might add is mighty fine and said sweet F A.
To this day I have prided myself on that moment.

Scared the shit out of me and stopped me from ever doing it again though.

Length, about 3 inches of hard brown glory.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 22:44, Reply)
A Mans's Gotta Do What a Man's Gotta Do.
I was walking home from my now fiancee's house around midnight. It was freezing and the trip was gonna take me at least 45mins to get home (i was on foot). My fiancee had very kindly made me a hot drink before i left. Due to the cold weather and a lack of big coat i was now bursting for a Pee. Still thinks me 'I can hold it for a while longer'. As I walk between a row of houses I can smell burning. Turning the corner I can see flames!! Someone had set fire to this poor family's fence. Right near their back door. No fag ends, No matches - just flames !!. So me in a moment of madness thinks 'If i hammer on the door long enough I might wake someone up'. No chance! - ok its midnight, its freezing outside. Who in their right mind is gonna get out of bed to answer the door to a complete stranger. After what felt like ages of banging I gave up. but still it was my civic duty to do something, So I whipped out my own
personal (bladder powered)fire extinguisher and wee'd on the base of fire till it was out. The people in the house will never know that that night their lives were saved by a total stranger, although they might have been aware of a strange urine smell in their back garden.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 21:54, 2 replies)
iv always found that when thugs are looking for an excuse to be 'thuggish' they'll start with 'what did you say about my mum?' then advance on the hapless victim.

what they weren't expecting was to have an aerosol can aimed millimeters from their eyeballs by a nonplussed onlooker. i thought this was quite resourceful. not so cool for the thugs who backed away or my sheepish male friends who were being protected by a petite woman armed only with deodorant.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 21:31, Reply)
Yet another victim of knife crime
Most of the entries for this QOTW have been pretty depressing so far. Not wanting to change a winning formula here is my effort. It concerns the latest teenage victims of knife crime in our historic capital.

You probably read about it on the news, or saw it on television - two teenage boys stabbed (one fatally) in Edmonton, North London. This incident occurred a mere 5 minutes walk from where I live. If some of the more lurid tabloid headlines are to be believed, they were filmed on mobile phones whilst they lay dying.

I didn’t witness the crime but on the day of the stabbing my bus got diverted from its usual route because the police had closed off the entire road. My initial reactions were gas leak? Fire? Bomb? Alas no, just another black kid in the wrong postcode at the wrong time.

There is now a pile of flowers where the murder took place and I walk past them everyday on the way to work and think, what a lovely area I live in.
Of course, there is an advantage to living in such a scummy area - It’s as cheap as life.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 21:19, 4 replies)
So everyone knows about owls, they can turn their heads a whole two hundred and seventy degrees, and have enormous eyes. Well this owl only had one eye...

And he was a lonely owl. As much as he hooted for a mate, he got no reply. This let him into a bizarre madness - he was constantly trying to improve his home, that splendid little hole in a tree. An owl's home is his castle, after all.

But one time, as he was regurgitating a pellet after a particularly bony shrew, he choked. And what a choke!


Yes, that's correct;

Eye "tu-whit" nest "ack-rhyme"

Be gentle, it's my first time.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 20:42, 9 replies)
I was once with some kindof friends, more aquaintances, whilst they were smoking weed, and one was in the rolling stage, a man then came round th corner and saw and said "dont worry about me, see no evil, hear no evil" who then followed up to get the police around my house for 'acting suspiciously' as if on speed or 'whizz'and setting up snooker balls 'crazily'. obviously it didnt follow through. Not really a story about witnessing crime, but a crime story nonetheless.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 20:40, Reply)
There seem to be a lot of stories involving moronic muggers
So I thought I'd add my own.

Unfortunately i've had my fair share of run-ins with chavs in my area (the wonderful cultured ruin known as Watford), and i'm not exactly the type who can give them the beating they deserve and seem to be constantly on the lookout for. On the other hand I try to remain unphased when attacked and usually this does the job, as they're generally out for a fight or just trying to intimidate you into giving them free loot. Most of the time they give up when they realize you're not bothered, but one time in particular sticks in my mind.

He was an ugly motherfucker, and he had a few drunken girls in tow which seems to make them more violent as they want to look tough. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there as I had my mums video camera in my bag, and she didn't know I had taken it, so i'd have been in the shit if I had lost it.

So when he started pushing me around and requesting said bag, I just told him to fuck off back to wherever he had crawled from and walked away, int he hope he'd take his prompt.

Instead, he caught up to me, and spat words to the effect that he was offering me some free facial reconstruction for my efforts.

Then he headbutted me.

Now i'm no expert, but in my experience the correct way to headbutt someone is not to forcably apply your nose to the victims forehead, but this, dear readers, is what he did. The next thing I know he was writhing around while I shrugged and again tried to walk away, and his bitches staggered about yelling "Fucking twat 'im gary".

So the chump swung at me blearily, not wanting to let his hoes down in the heat of the moment, and caught me full on in the mouth.

It didn't hurt but I had a strong taste of blood and thought i'd seen enough for the night, so I pushed him away (again he seemed to be writhing in agony) and did a runner.

When I got home, I checked and found I was completely unscathed, and then realized that the blood was not mine.

I have a full brace.

What a fucking prick. Hope it hurt.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 20:15, 3 replies)
Pointless Break-in
A few years ago, I used to live in a scummy little council bedsit (yes, I know) which was next door to the largest concentrated area of flats in the town. I could tell you many stories of the crime which happened in that area.

The first one happened to an ex-workmate of mine, who moved into the flat downstairs from mine before I left.

Just before he moved out, he'd somehow managed to get some random girl pregnant and decided to move up north with her, he went out on the piss with myself and a few others. I was working the next day, so I decided to go home and sleep off the Guinness.

The next morning, I checked my phone and I had received a text from said friend saying "I've lost my laptop." As it transpired, he'd managed to get home the previous evening and got inside the flat, turned on his laptop and promptly fell asleep. When he awoke from his slumber, he noticed that the laptop was missing, but the thief had left the power adapter.

I suggested that he go around all the neighbours and ask who wanted to buy it from him. One guy did offer to take it off his hands, so my friend called the local police. When he explained the situation, they came up within a few minutes and arrested him.

Who steals a laptop from a drunk man, and forgets the power adapter? Then when offered an adapter the next day, offers to buy it?

He got his laptop back and a day off work (with expenses) for going to court.

*pop*, there goes the b3ta cherry.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 20:06, 2 replies)
Them single tracks is buggers.
A few years back one of the local lads drove into the back of a tourist's car on one of the single-track roads we have around here. This isn't uncommon, but unfortunately he'd been having a bit of a drink and decided that since not much damage had been done to either car, discretion would be the better part of valour and he drove off without stopping.

To judge by the amount of shouting and arm waving that went on the tourist took a different view of the matter and, we are to assume, called the police.

Now, our lad driving off thought this might happen and despite the onslaught of whisky interfering with his thought processes devised a cunning plan.

He parked the car off the road and, after smashing the drivers side window, phoned the police himself and reported his car stolen.

This masterstroke might have actually worked if he hadn't been so pissed that he was still hiding in the bush next to the car, giggling, when the police arrived twenty minutes later.

I didn't witness the crime itself, but did drive past at the moment of discovery. The police were literally bent double laughing. (at least I assume that's why they were bent double, it might have been to get a better line of sight with the pepper spray)
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 18:05, 1 reply)
Friend of the family...
Got up one morning to find someone had had a bit of a go at the front of his van with an axe. Huge gashes in the bonnet etc.

Turned out two guys had fallen out at the pub the night before and one had gone out with an axe to fuck the guys vehicle up. being drunk he didnt bother to walk all the way to the guys house and just stuck the axe in the nearest automobile of the same colour.

I did not personally witness this but the friends son did with his friends from the window of the front room where they were having a sleepover.

Being about 8 they didnt take it too well and I think one of them may have had councilling.

Still, heres a woo for inept lashing out
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 17:44, Reply)
Oh the foibles of ones youth...
I grew up in South Africa where television was a mere afterthought to the regime we were made to live under. It has heavily censored and was mostly in a language I had difficulty understanding. Only with an education spanning 12 yrs and three schools did I finally realise that this language was in fact Afrikaans.

Suffice to say the lack of stimulus from tv in the afternoons led us into temptation many a time. A particular highlight from the vestiges of my youth came one afternoon when we were out exploring the building site adjacent to our house. Plans were afoot to build a house and we were determined to thwart them. I recall pushing a few freshly laid brick walls
over with massive enthusiasm and determination. Now days my enthusiasm and determination come from getting a seat on the tube and not making eye contact with beggars.

I digress, back to the topic of the house across the road. A lot of planning went into 'operation rip out all freshly laid copper piping' rendering it an unparalleled success. This was all done on the friday evening for maximum effect so that the place would be a flooded wreck on Monday.

Another crime, although less malicious you will agree, was 'Operation smash the french doors in, gain access to the house and wee off the top floor'. Military precision was used (read: a brick) to gain access to the house. We then made our way up to the top floor where my brother proceded to start weeing out the unglazed window to the ground below. At that moment the owners arrived to inspect the property and walked round the corner to be greeted by a stream of warm piss at their feet.

A swift evacuation headed up by my brother followed. He was older than me hence he could run faster so my lasting memory of that moment was him running up the road screaming 'Don't go home or they'll know where we live!!'.

Unfortunately when you're 7 yrs old there are no manuals to tell you how long you should wait in a bush until the coast is clear to go home. There is also this strange mathematical relationship between time and age whereby the younger you are the longer things seem to drag on. I waited in the bush for what seemed liked forever and then tip toed home. Only a 7 yr old would know the benefit of tip toeing down a busy road at 5pm, but for whatever reason it seemed like the right thing to do.

I escaped prosecution on that one and I think it was a lesson that perhaps crime wasn't the path for me (that day). I settled in to some of the worst tv imaginable and plotting began for our next escapade.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 17:32, Reply)
chavs chavs chavs chavs chavs chavs chavs
I wasn't gonna write this one, but I should probably get it out of my system as it will be cathartic. Please bear with me - it's not particularly funny, but I need to vent. It'll probably be a long one, and may contain elements of repostiness, as I probably talked about some of this stuff before.

For a long time I lived on a street in London - the same one as Dr. Crippen, if you can be arsed to check - which was ideally situated (handy for the tube, great pubs, quick walk to Camden, my neighbours were fantastic) except for one thing. As the street had been extensively revitalised by the Luftwaffe's urban regeneration programme during the forties, in the fifties and sixties a lot of council blocks sprung up to fill the gaps. On the whole, this wasn't a problem - my flat was an ex-council place and lovely, it even had a garden, and like I said, fantastic neighbours - but there's always a couple of bad apples that spoil the whole orchard, and they lived in a block just behind mine. So over the four years I lived there I got to witness all kinds of crimes, mostly directed at me, my housemates or the flat itself, as these little scrotes (none older than 15) tried to make our lives a misery. Herein I shall try to document the ways.

It started off innocuously enough, when the morning after I stumbled down to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. Filling the kettle and staring out of the window, I spotted a young chav in my garden collecting tea-lights. Those little candles that I had bought 200 for 99p at the 99p shop - these things cost less than half a penny each. Surely the very definition of petty crime. I banged on the window, shouting "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" and the little bugger scarpered over the back fence. I made a mental note to grow brambles up the back fence, and left it at that.

Other things went missing from the garden over the next few weeks - small items often not worth stealing, like a trowel (also from the 99p shop), a gnome (whatever) and so on. In the meantime our sheds were done over and both of my housemates got their bikes nicked. My housemate Claudia had all the windows smashed in her Audi, which cost her a fortune. Things began to escalate.

The gang of chavs would now often hang out in the street and shout abuse at us. When my housemate Kirsten left her keys in the door while bringing in her shopping, they stole them. When Claudia did the same thing a week later while bringing in her bike (it must have taken about 20 seconds) they did the same thing again. We went through three new locks in three weeks, and the guy at the keycutters was becoming a close friend.

Over the years there were times of uneasy truce - they would pass a spliff through the fence, or I'd sort them out with some serious firewood for the Wicker Man-style bonfires that they held on the greenspace behind my garden, but most often the mood between us was one of mutual and barely-disguised loathing.

I credit them with the inspiration for my getting more right-wing as I get older, because while I was once a fully paid-up lefty, I'd quite happily see these parasites and their dolescum parents marched into a concentration camp after being forced to put up with their shit. A case in point - everyone who lived in my flat had a full-time, well-paid job. We paid £400+ per month rent, plus council tax, plus income tax etc. etc. for the privilege of living in the street. Said chavs are all in council places, subsidised or free. Lo and behold, the council comes round and fits all the flats in the street with new extra-tough double-glazed windows - except for ours and the flat next door, because we were the only private tenants. So basically, our council tax paid for the chavs to get new windows while we were left with old-fashioned huge single-pane-of-thin-glass type windows, which their kids used to come round and break for their amusement. I've lost count of the times we had to board them up - the hammer, nails and wood were always kept handy - and sometimes at night when there were 40+ teenage hoodies outside the flat it was like living through the dawn of the dead.

One bonfire night in particular, I had invited over a couple of my Canadian friends - one who had just married an Englishman - to do a proper bonfire night. I cooked dinner, we had sparklers and we let off a few fireworks in the garden. One of our rockets went up and went bang, and suddenly a chav starts screaming at us from the previously-mentioned Wicker Man inferno across the way. "We've got a baby over here! How dare you let off fireworks!"

Now I was perhaps a little naïve here, I was like, "What? It went up, went bang. Unless your baby is on the roof of that block of flats, there's no problem." Also, from where I was standing I could see toddlers carrying lit fireworks, even a dog running around with a fizzing roman candle in his mouth. I shit you not, this kind of thing was incredibly common in the run-up to bonfire night; even the very smallest chavs would be launching fireworks at each other, or us if we happened to be passing. Anyway, I couldn't understand why our small display had caused this proud father to become so protective of his offspring, considering he was standing in what looked to be a warzone.

Anyway, the mood turned nasty and every single fucking chav on the estate started hurling bricks and fireworks at our flat, putting through Claudia's window and throwing fireworks into her room (she was in bed with her boyfriend at the time). Said boyfriend (ex-army) proceeded to the kitchen to arm himself with every big knife he could find and stormed out to get himself some vigilante justice, but was miraculously prevented from earning himself a 20-year stretch by a passing skinhead with a pitbull who said he'd lived in the street for 15 years and it wouldn't do any good, basically talked him down.

We also had our windows put through by other people's garden furniture and fences - just smashed into bits and thrown. We had fruit, 2p coins, bits of wood, stones, cans, bottles, fireworks, obviously, and even on one occasion a housebrick thrown at us in the street. We've had them sneak into the kitchen and steal stuff while we popped upstairs to get something - twice. We've also had the door kicked in twice, both times I was away for the night else I would have been standing there with a cricket bat, ready to welcome the first chav into our house. On the first occasion my housemate threatened to kill them if they came near the house again so they went and put my car window through instead.

A bit later, and after I'd paid the £50 premium, I bought a "new" car (see below), thankfully still had the old one but was going to retire it. The new car had all its windows put through and then was stolen, apparently by someone else, some time after the original vandalism. I mean, who steals a boxy red 1983 VW Polo with the exhaust hanging off *after* it's had all its glass smashed?

They also managed to infiltrate a house party where they managed to fuck up a set of decks and two stereos and nick a bunch of phones and stuff (discovered later) before refusing to leave, upon being persuaded to leave they tipped over our (gargantuan, shared between four flats) bin all over the front garden. On that occasion we had the last laugh though, as present at the party were the entire staff of both the Good Mixer and the Dublin Castle, who are well-versed in dealing with arseholes, and had been watching from the upstairs window. Fifteen or so burly Aussies and Kiwis burst out of the house and made them pick every piece of rubbish back up again.

There is loads of stuff that I haven't even mentioned yet - stealing a stack of SFX magazines from my car and leaving them torn up all over the street, setting fire to a gazebo and bunting we had for a wedding reception (and which was attached to the flat at the time), smashing up my flowerpots and hanging baskets, stealing a £10 Argos drill (but not the battery pack, the bit that makes it work, as it was plugged in at the time), smashing my neighbour's windows with lemons (wtf?) while she was sitting at home alone, putting shit through the letterbox, stealing post, smashing my coldframe, killing my tomato plants, pulling the drainpipes off the building, crap graffiti, untold verbal abuse and threats, the list just goes on and on and on...oh and they tore down the side of my fence (which I'd had spraypainted by an absolute master of his craft with a massive Batman mural) and burnt it last bonfire night.

And where were the police in all this, you may ask. Well, I got to know all the neighbourhood officers quite well during this time, as well as my equally-harassed neighbours, and every time they said the same thing - "Yeah, we know who they are. We know where they live. There's nothing we can do about it." As they were all under 16 they were still classed as minors, and the police were always quick to remind me that assault on a minor carries a sentence. I asked them if a paintball gun could legitimately be used in self-defence against fireworks, and after laughing they said "No sir, I can appreciate it is tempting, but if they are under 16, you'll still be in the shit." So basically there was nothing I could do except try to photograph the little buggers in the act and email the pictures to the police. The best line I think they came out with was after my car window got broken. They said "You know we have a camera on the street now."
I replied: "Great, where is it?"
They said: "It points down the road there."
I'm like: "Great, that's exactly where my car is parked. You should have it all, can we see the tapes from last night?"
They said: "Er, it's not actually a camera. It's just a metal box on a stick. We can't afford a real camera. But it looks like a camera."
Me: "..."
I installed my own CCTV after that.

So, the moral of the story? I've now been living in Buenos Aires for three months and so far I've not been threatened, robbed or assaulted once. Perhaps it has something to do with the armed policeman who stands on the corner by my house, I don't know. All I know is that despite warnings from my Porteño friends that it's a poor area (many, many times poorer than the place I lived in London) and that crime is high, the only actual crime I've seen here is when my friend got his bag snatched from under a table in a pub in Palermo - one of the most touristy areas of the city. I think I'll come back to London at some point, but the proverbial wild horses couldn't persuade me to live in that area again, I'd rather move in with Pete Doherty.

Length speaks for itself.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 17:26, 20 replies)
Many years ago when I was about 18
I shared a couple of joints at a party with a bunch of coppers from Wimbledon CID. Oh, and also with James Hunt who was at the same party.
(, Tue 19 Feb 2008, 16:58, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

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