No Surprises Living In Devizes: Feeling lucky, punk?

A Taser. Picture used under Creative Commons licence

I CAN tell it’s Taser* when my eyes are shut.

Okay, that joke may go over the head of younger readers. You don’t see the citrus fizzy pop much these days; it’s all about electrical weapons. Being Wiltshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the country but, peculiarly, police Taser usage is above national average, how does Chief Constable Mike Veale celebrate this incongruity?

He gives out more Tasers. And even more bizarrely his reasoning? You guessed it; it’s all these darn terrorist attacks happening in our God-forsaken county.

Fear of terrorism resided over common sense, again. Take heed of Yoda’s words of wisdom this Star Wars Election Day, “fear is the path to the dark side.”

With zero terrorist attacks here and the obvious effectiveness a Taser would have against a nutcase with machine gun, explosives or a lorry through a shopping mall, absurd uneasiness procures the unsuspecting masses.

I never the envy the job of the police, if there’s two muscular louts knocking seven bells out of each other in the street most would cross and walk on the other side, whereas Bobby has to go and sort it out.

The thing we need to learn is, if you’ve got a beef with another bloke that’s an issue between you both; best not involve anyone else, especially someone trying to prevent you from having your head smashed in.

Try to remember no matter how drunk, beneath the uniform there’s a real person, with a family, with a life, just with a job to keep the peace; sumbuddy’s gotta.

In turn the police need to drop the condescending discourse and treat civilians as equals. Unfortunately if you’re pointing an electric-shock gun at someone, you’re immediately intimidating.

If you ask me the police need training by Doctor Who scriptwriters, cos the Doctor has been talking down entire alien races hell bent on destroying mankind for eons, never used a Taser in any time-zone.

The police need to understand life is a struggle and our government are not making it any easier. Anyone can have a bad day and flip out, it doesn’t make them a terrorist; like the man who died after being Tasered by police in Warminster in October.

Neither does throwing your pants deserve a Tasering, Tom Jones would never get through a song. But despite being caught on CCTV, the Melksham officer who superfluously zapped a naked suspect for such a petty wrongdoing was cleared of assault.

This is not NYC, as much as I sympathise with police tasks, a lethal weapon is not bridging a divide between officer and civilian. It’s a responsibility I trust with most, but you know there’s always one bad egg. My other concern is you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight; if cops are armed the robbers will match.

Make no mistake; in the aforementioned street fight scenario I’d have Tasered both rather than wrestle them. I’d Taser anyone if my boss gave me one; lucky I’m not a police officer and just the milkman. Still, Mrs Smith, if you can’t pay your £2.08 this week I’m going to have to Taser you.

Yeah, I’d Taser anyone; kids arguing over the best X-Box controller; I’m going up there to Taser their heads together. Local election candidates’ campaign-posting on the Devizes Debate Facebook page; TASERED. Lad tying a soiled dog poo bag to a tree in Drew’s Pond Wood; TASERED! New owner of a landmark pub suggests its ceiling needs a lick of paint; TASERED!

Dress up as a Muslim to protest against the cancelled May Fayre; TASERED! Ye gods, let’s get this one cleared up shall we? The complexities of a safety form prevented Wiltshire Council and Lions Club arranging the fayre this year; it had nought to do with Islam. I don’t know if it was satirical discord which badly backfired, but whatever was going on, it was in exceptionally bad taste.

While I never disagree with protest, perhaps the organisers of it could have concentrated their efforts on arranging a fayre instead; give it a go, see if it’s so easy. But because the tabloids went to town over the bullet-point of covering for a possible terrorist attack, no matter how absurd, some idiot decided to dress in Muslim attire.

As suspected, this terribly tenacious link sadly deposits Devizes central on the xenophobic map.

Yeah this week, local Facebook group members went hammer and tongs over this, scrolling comments got as far as screenshots of Koran and Bible passages when really, the May Fayre has nothing to do with any of it.

Forgot the bank holiday is Beltane? A Gaelic festival anglicised forcibly by Christians, back in an era prior to this religion being all tea and cupcakes on the village green, but in a day when fear and terror were trappings thrusted upon heathen folk to accept the word of God or be burnt on a plinth. Irony, just a tad.

Maybe there’s the police’s confusion, the difference between a terrorist attack and a terrier attack. And not from the barking, biting end but from the depositing end. Oopsy daisy, now I’ve opened a whole new Pandora’s pooch poo bag, without the time to finish what I started.

So, it’ll be a scatological themed next week; if I’ve not been Tasered by then.

I hope to chat with Wiltshire Council’s Green Party candidate Geoff Brewer who along with Zena’s CUDS and other volunteers, have been clearing Drew’s Pond Wood of littered dog poo bags.


*If that joke left you feeling a bit flat… more on Tizer here



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