Terry sez, "A Londoner making a journey with a friend on the underground rail system happened to comment that the metal detector police had set up to prevent people carrying weapons on board was, 'a piece of shit that wouldn't stop anyone'. The result? An £80 on the spot fine for violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act. Specifically, 'Using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress'." Speaking as a Londoner who's been through the same metal detectors, I have to concur: that thing is a piece of shit that wouldn't stop anyone.
My friend Phil and I were going through a metal detector on the way out of Highbury & Islington tube on Friday evening around 8.30pm, on our way to a gig. Phil, who has a degree in physics, said to me in a low voice that the metal detector was a "piece of shit that wouldn't stop anyone". Obviously, someone was listening, as all of a sudden, half a dozen policemen jumped on him and hustled him over to the corner of the tube station, where he was detained for about 20 minutes for the grave crime of swearing in public, and fined £80 for the privilege. For swearing! On the tube! If it's such a crime, then I owe them about a million pounds, as swearing on and at the tube is the only way to deal with the pain of having to travel on the dratted thing every day.
The police were fucking rude, too, and treated Phil like he was a hardened criminal - they were really aggressive, and clearly wanted him to lose his temper so they could charge him with something worse. They said repeatedly he was very close to being arrested. For the terrible crime of swearing and calling their machine a piece of shit - which, as a physics graduate, he actually knows about. Phil co-operated fully and gave them every piece of ID you could think of, and allowed them to search his bag, but that wasn't enough for them - they just had to keep on firing questions. I got really upset and started crying through rage, frustration and fear. I also asked them very politely if this was the UK or the People's Republic of China. They then told me I was very close to being arrested, too.
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