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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)
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I saw it all
When I was living in Nice back in the mid 80s, I had a job for a while as a look-out man for a criminal.

No, it wasn't outside the bank as he went in with a balaclava and a sawn-off, it was on the sea front.

Jean-Claude was a modern day Fagin of the Cote D'Azure. He made caramel coated peanuts and sold them in little bags on the beach at Nice and he also had a small band of foreign chaps wandering the beach with an 'eskie' full of 'boisson freches' [that's cold drinks to you]. My job was to walk along the top of the promanade, which was about 20 feet above the beach, keeping a look-out for les flics, as he didn't have a licence to sell.

We worked out a cunning system of signals...well, not really that cunning. What I'd do if I spotted the cops was to wave at the guys down below and shout "Hey John!" in my best English - for all the world just another tourist looking for, and finding his pals on the beach. At the signal, Jean-Claude and the others would sit down and hide their mechandise behind them, i.e. towards the sea.

The cops would have a quick look, see nothing and go. So I was paid a small sum for walking along the promanade at Nice, ogling the topless lovelies, topping up the tan and shouting "Hey John" a couple of times a day.

...hey, it's a dirty job, but someone had to do it.

The only hitch was when Joe had strolled too far up the beach and didn't see me frantically waving and shouting for all I was worth that one time. Still, they let him go with a caution after confiscating his drinks.

C'est la vie!
(, Wed 20 Feb 2008, 13:04, Reply)

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