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Smoking Police

February 14, 2006

Our esteemed leaders have voted to ban smoking in public places. This planned law change won’t greatly affect me personally, as I am a lifelong non-smoker.

What hasn’t been discussed is how the ban is going to be enforced. Who will be charged with upholding the ban on lighting up in pubs and clubs across the country?

Let’s think about it – it’s 2.00 on Saturday morning and the Rizla club is packed. In the corner, a young girl sparks up a Marlboro. Who are the health conscious clubbers going to call? Well, it won’t be the local council, because they will be too busy thinking up a strategy. The health authority won’t be able to come out and slap a nicotine patch on our suspect, due to budget constraints. Forget Social Services, it’s the weekend – you can’t even get hold of them during office hours!

So who is left? You’re on patrol, trying to avoid people pissing in shop doorways, when the call comes over the air. “Any unit to respond to a report of smoking in the Rizla club?”

Here’s where the problems start. As a supervisor, I have a duty of care to my officers and a dynamic risk assessment would make it obvious that I couldn’t send them into the club without the correct protective equipment, so they would have to be issued with breathing apparatus

This sort of kit is not easy to carry on the average futility belt, so I foresee a specialist squad will have to be formed. This will place a huge burden on some of the smaller rural forces, who have already formed Foxhunt Teams. There is a real danger that the need to police these two huge threats to the fabric of society will result in officers being unable to perform their core tasks, which we all know are giving lifts home to drunks and having photos taken with hen parties.

I have a proposal – give the Fire Service powers to deal with unlawful smoking. They have experience in dealing with the tools used by the criminals, they have all the necessary safety equipment and the added advantage of a container holding thousands of gallons of water to deal with a mass transgression of the law. It will also stop them getting bored at night and falling asleep.

You heard it here first, Mr Clarke.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Merys permalink
    February 15, 2006 15:54

    Lets face it – they could use the work!

  2. Lennie Briscoe permalink
    February 16, 2006 00:41

    hehe. LFB called to put out cigarette. Can see them running in with fire extinguishers now.. amusing

  3. Sharon J permalink
    March 2, 2006 16:00

    Isn’t this one of the problems with the laws our government seem to love bringing down on us? Who the hell is going to make sure they’re adhered to? If the police are really going to be expected to deal with smokers then I’m seriously beginning to wonder about the tax I’m paying. I want the police to deal with criminals, not nicotine addicts who are basically minding their own business. Same with fox hunting – does the village bobby have to go out and tackle the nobs every time they’re reported to have followed a fox? Where will it all end? ~Sharon J

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