Friday 16 October 2020

Off Hanley, duck

In the Sentinel today, Three-day police crackdown on loutish behaviour turning Hanley into 'land of the living dead'.

Well, I had the misfortune to go into Hanley today and all I can say, is that this report is bollocks in terms of both a "crackdown" and also "loutish". It's far worse than "loutish", and I saw no evidence of a "crackdown" in terms of effective action when needed.

The so-called "mobile unit" mentioned in the report just sat in their warm car and watched from a distance while a madman screamed abuse at passers-by for 15 minutes, many of them elderly and coming from the bus-station. A more cast-iron case of "a breach of the peace" and "distress and alarm" you'd struggle to find. Possibly it had been going on far longer than I was there for. I went into Wilkos on the corner, and by the time I got out the nutter had just that moment got bored of his perch on one of the big stone 'seats' and had started to wander off, still shouting at people. Unfortunately he was going in my direction. I lingered in the Wilko entrance and then kept a safe distance as he raved away down Stafford Street, then he dodged in a shop, smirking with a knowing "got away with it" smirk and he had gone a bit quiet... probably planning to cause more trouble inside.

And that's just one example. Plenty of people could give you many more examples, years and years of them. And not just in Hanley either, but in Forest Park, Hanley Park, Hanley Cemetery, the list goes on. It's nothing to do with the lockdowns, it's been going on for years now and seemingly tolerated. Do you wonder why half the shops in that part of Hanley have closed down? People used to rather idly say Hanley looked like a bomb had hit it. But they were always exaggerating a bit, in that jokey Stokie way. But now it really does look like a bomb has hit it, and it also has the zombies to go with it.

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