We’ve seen some pretty egregious misuses of police power in recent times, but a story that emerged yesterday really took the biscuit.
A terminally ill man had just found out that he’s destined to die and he decided to draw up his bucket list.
On that bucket list was ‘moonying a speed camera’. I think we can all relate to that. That sinking feeling that you get when you’re driving around, boom, a big flash goes off behind you and you confront the crushing reality that you’re doing 34 in a 30 and now have to go on a speed awareness course because you’re clearly a threat to civilisation.
So Darrell Meekcom saw his chance, and he took it. His wife nipped into Tesco Express and Darrell seized the moment – he got out of the car and approached a mobile speed camera in Stourbridge. The belt came off, the pants came down, the bottom came out.
Anyway, 20 minutes later Darrell gets a knock on the door. He’s confronted by no less than six police officers who say they want to arrest him for indecent exposure.
Darrell doesn’t let them in, so they kick his garden gate down, naturally.
He is then pinned to the ground and has his face smashed into the dirt of his own back garden – he tells them he’s terminally ill, he also has Parkinsons disease, he’s a wheelchair user…
You know what I find absolutely staggering? That West Mercia Police were seemingly unable to uncover the UK’s largest ever grooming gang scandal, which happened right under their noses for decades in Telford, but within 20 minutes of a terminally ill man mooning a speed camera they can send six officers round and make a quick arrest.
If Darrell had sat in front of that mobile speed camera, said he was from Insulate Britain and glued his hand to the road, the police would have got out and offered him tea and biscuits. They’d have asked if there’s anything they could do to make him feel comfortable.
West Mercia Police, a force that, and this will come as no shock, has previously been branded inadequate, can never complain about not having enough resources ever again. They must have too many police, surely, if they had six going spare to race round to a dying man’s house that quickly.
I’m happy to report on national television that West Mercia is obviously a crime free zone because there weren’t any burglaries that needed investigating, murder inquiries to solve or rapists that need to be tracked down.
West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, has refused to come on the show, he’s refused to comment. He says it’s an ongoing investigation – I mean, it’ll hardly take Mi5 to crack this case – the man flashed a police camera, presumably there’s footage of him doing it, and he’s actually admitted it, so it’s pretty open and shut.
I suppose there’s still a chance that Darrell might get away with it – if Mr Campion decides to put the same investigators on this case as those who managed to miss the systematic abuse of more than 1,000 vulnerable young girls by a huge grooming gang, Darrell will probably get off scot free.
According to the West Mercia Police website, Mr Campion’s salary is £76,500, although a Wikipedia search seems to suggest it may be £85,000.
You’d have thought, considering that we pay his wages, he might be inclined to have fronted up to this and explained why his officers behaved like a pack of rabid dogs.
The fact is that if the police force in that area cared as much about sexual abuse as they do about someone flashing one of their speed cameras then thousands of girls wouldn’t have had their lives ruined.
Darrell has been diagnosed with multiple system atrophy, a debilitating brain disease with no known cure. Are the police really going to drag him to court and make the final period of his life a nightmare?
I mean, they might have already given him Covid – I couldn’t see any of those officers wearing masks, they were rubbing all over him, it wasn’t a particularly socially distanced arrest.
And let’s think about the cost for the taxpayer – if it goes to court, we have to pay the prosecution, we have to pay the defence, probably, we have to pay the magistrate, sometimes there are a few of them, we pay the clerk, we pay all the staff…all so a terminally ill man who was having a laugh can get fined a couple of hundred quid. Does anybody want that? No.
West Mercia Police should hang their heads in shame. They’re supposed to uphold law and order, not bully the vulnerable.