Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Do people really need to be TOLD not to…

Leave their cars idling in the street?

Well, yes, it seems that some are so thick they DO need to be told…

Police are warning motorists to take care when defrosting cars on cold winter mornings.

Officers say they have received numerous reports of attempted thefts of vehicles which have been left running to defrost.

They are reminding drivers to be vigilant and are urging them never to leave cars unattended.

A Police Scotland statement reads: “Opportunist thieves operate in residential areas on frosty mornings looking for cars left unattended with the engine running. It takes a matter of seconds for someone to jump in and drive off.

Drivers warned about leaving cars to defrost after rise in attempted thefts

I find it hard to believe, but as I walk most place now, can confirm the shocking number of cars I pass which are left idling in the street, with no driver nearby, or even in sight sometimes.

I’m pretty sure not many of them (more likely none) are fitted with systems that allow the key to be removed to allow ‘warm up’, and will kill the engine if any of the controls are operated before the key is inserted.

That said, I do remember reading of one Mercedes owner who WAS fined for this some years ago even though his car was secured by an automatic system so it could not be entered or driven. A passing police officer noticed the exhaust, and would not accept that the car was secure/undrivable, and issued a £30 fixed penalty notice when the owner/driver refused to accept that his car was not secure and had been left that way in the street with the engine running.

I wonder what he would have done with one of my cars, fitted with a fuel powered heater that would start on a timer, and have the car nice and toasty warm for you. It had an exhaust! But the car engine wasn’t needed.

It’s got to be on a stupidity par with the folk I see pull up at the kerb and jump out of their car and run into shops, leaving the engine running. On the other hand, I’ve yet to see any of them lose their car as some passing opportunist jumps in as soon as they get into the shop, and drives their car away.

I’ve always thought about trying it, but I’d prefer not to face the consequences.

Anyway, this pic made me laugh, supposedly and example.

Frosty Car Theft

Frosty Car Theft

Clearly NOT a frosty morning, look at the rest of the cars in the pic!

Manchester police did a bit better…

Operation Frosty Ice Bandits

Operation Frosty Ice Bandits

I do like the ‘Ice Bandits’ reference.

Then there’s the law

What surprises me is the fact that this story has advice from the police, but fails to mention that it is an offence to leave a vehicle with the engine running while unattended.

Stationary idling is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Act enforces rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”

Doing this can incur a fixed-penalty fine under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002. Doubled if unpaid within a given time frame.

I also note that a driver who left a car parked on the road unattended, running, with the keys in the ignition was committing an offence of ‘quitting’.

The offence is against S42 of the RTA 1988.

This section deals with Construction & Use offences.

Quitting is dealt with by Regulation 107(1) of The Road Vehicles (Constriction and Use) Regulation 1986 (SI 1986/1078 ).

And let’s  not forget Glasgow’s by-law on idling, which will get you a fine even if you are in the vehicle and doing so unnecessarily.

I’ve noted that the council’s own web site has (or had) a section that gave the number of such fines issued, so it does happen.

No Idling

No Idling

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Jan 9, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Now stuff is getting serious almost on my doorstep

Not really much to add, but some people are disgusting, especially at this time of year.

A would-be thief threatened a woman with a syringe before trying to grab her bag as she left a pharmacy in Shettleston in Glasgow.

The robbery bid happened on Shettleston Road, opposite Etive Street, at about 09:10 on Saturday.

The man let go of the woman’s bag after a struggle and made off along Shettleston Road towards the city centre.

The woman, although shaken by the incident, was not injured.

The suspect is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, 25 to 30 years of age, with dark hair, of skinny build and with a gaunt, pale complexion.

He was wearing a dark, shiny jacket and black tracksuit bottoms.

Woman threatened by robber with syringe in Shettleston

These types don’t even care about the police.

Going from my own memory, this is the second violent incident to have taken place almost outside Shettleston Police Station in recent years.

Oh well.

Pity it was 9 am and not 9 pm.

This is the part of Shettleston Road where the Christmas lights are fitted.

The Chemist’s Shop is on the left, near the illuminated sign, while the Police Station is on the right, where the illuminated square clock can be seen mounted on the side of the building.

Shettleston Christmas Lights West View 2

Shettleston Christmas Lights West View 2

Dec 23, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to be glad I’m stuck indoors just now

Last week I was thinking it was just as well I wasn’t wandering around as usual, as I might have been in Baillieston.

Hairdressers threatened in salon Taser raid

This week, it was somewhere I might be found a lot more regularly, but again, was glad I’m still stuck indoors.rime

Tollcross Park cordoned off as man rushed to hospital following assault

Both were daytime too.

Lots of Buckfast to be found there.

Tollcross Park Buckfast

Tollcross Park Buckfast

 

Dec 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

It’s called ‘Research’ Brenda

After the recent eBay howler in Glasgow, I thought the same was true for this story.

I wasn’t going to go with this one, but for some reason my news feed keeps shoving it in my face, as if it’s telling me “Do it, do it, do it…

I’m always amused by the way criminals just don’t get what they’re doing wrong, especially the ones like ‘Brenda’, who is apparently ‘Angry’ about being caught and fined.

The 63-year-old said she was angry that she had been prosecuted and she now wants to warn others not to get involved in offering teeth whitening products and services.

‘I didn’t know whitening teeth was illegal’

Part of my business once involved dealing with tests on people, and I can tell you that one of the first things we did, before even starting to set it up, was contact all the relevant authorities, and our lawyers, just to find out what sort of trouble we might get into as a result.

But I guess we had a head start on this, since a lot of our work was fiscal (could be used as evidence in court), even if that seldom happened.

“Brenda’s” response/atitude reminded of one of the few instances where I was present as a habitual shoplifter was themselves ‘lifted’.

As this individual was carted off, their haul was also taken as evidence.

At which point they launched into a stream of verbal abuse against the officers attending (shortened version follows)…

“Gie’s that f*****g back ya f*****g c****s, that’s f*****g mine”. That’s ma f*****g stuff!”

Before and After Teeth Whitening

Brenda’s Smile Before and After Teeth Whitening

Dec 6, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Polish fire on the Clyde

Remember the (presumably stolen) suitcase I came across on the banks of the Clyde last week?

Click the thumb for bigger reminder:

Polish On The Clyde

I was along the same path this week, and guess what?

Someone took an intense dislike to the case and stuff still inside, and set fire to it.

You should be able to recognise the spot, but there’s no case there now, just some charred remains.

Funny thing – they left all the books and papers scattered around the spot untouched. They might have taken the time to throw them on the fire and at least tidy the spot up a little.

Polish Fire

Polish Fire

One good thing – I found a nice new ballpoint pen there this time.

May 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Polish on the Clyde

It’s funny how some spots of the River Clyde’s banks seem to collect rubbish, while others seem to stay clean, and the odds of finding something interesting (carried along and dumped by the river seem to be low.

I’ve mentioned this before, and think the reason is down to the route the river takes, and it doesn’t pass close to populated places near people (who can drop goodies) until it reaches Glasgow.

However, in this case, although the stuff was on the riverbank, it wasn’t the river that dumped it there.

Looks like some Polish traveller had their luggage stolen, and it was taken down to river, where it could be raided on a steep bank out of sight of the road.

Nothing of value was left, only a selection of Polish literature, notes, and cheap stuff like odd pens.

Polish OnT he Clyde

Polish On The Clyde

There was ONE interesting detail though – the packaging for a soft (toy) hand gun.

While not illegal, increasingly restrictive firearms’ legislation in Scotland, and the chances of a “Shoot first and ask questions later” response by armed police, who can’t be sure if a good replica is a genuine firearm or not, or the state of mind of the person issuing threats with it, are sufficiently high to render it a ‘Bad Idea’.

Soft Pistol Packaging

Soft Pistol Packaging

The damp had got to the printing, and while I could see the details identifying the usual ammo and its weight (plus the obvious muzzle velocity claim), it wasn’t clear if this was CO2 or spring powered.

Oh… Found it!

Armed police arrest man after ‘gun’ report

(Just kidding).

May 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The van in the square

Interesting…

It’s hard to describe how bright the lights around this van parked in George Square were.

It’s not the first van I’ve spotted with bright LEDs tacked on, there was another nearby, but it had a reason, being a lorry-sized recovery vehicle (and at work, trying to get a dead bus off the road).

Van Lit Front

Van Lit Front

In the US, this would have ‘FREE CANDY’ or painted on the side, and be parked in a dark corner. (Kidding!)

Free Candy

Free Candy

 

Van Lit Rear

Van Lit Rear

In ‘my day’ it didn’t take much by way of alteration to find the police paying attention, yet there seem to be quite a few highly visible vehicles pootling around Glasgow, with lighting which clearly does not comply with any vehicle or mounting regulations, will not carry any conformity marking, and are dazzling. (I’m not making that complaint about this one, just noting it).

There was a time when daring to have any blue lights on your car would earn you a ‘pull’ and maybe even court, accused of attempting to impersonate a police vehicle. I recall an early case where one lad ended up with this problem merely for having illuminated washer jets on his bonnet, since they lit up blue.

Now it seems this is ignored, which seems a bit odd, given that a look at the news from the past year will show that there are now actual cases where criminals have fitted blue lights with the intent of impersonating police to force drivers to stop, on quiet roads, where they are then assaulted and robbed.

Again, be clear this is NOT directed at this bit of car (or van) spotting, which just reminded of some other things.

I think it’s shame we’ve ‘advanced’ to the stage where customising is now largely sneered on in this country.

Dec 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Good luck proving 83 yo woman trained her 65 cats to be ‘cat burglars’

Oh wait…

This is in the US – better warm up ‘Old Sparky’ for her!

Columbus, Ohio:

An 83-year old woman was arrested this morning and accused of training dozens of cats to steal jewelry and other valuables from her neighbors.

The Columbus Police Department opened an investigation on Ruth Gregson and her 65 cats in October after several neighbors reported small objects being stolen from their homes.

Several victims reported being visited by Ms. Gregson’s cats before noticing the disappearance of several shiny objects, like valuable cutlery and pieces of jewelry.

Despite their skepticism, investigators began a surveillance operation and were amazed by what they discovered.

According to Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs,  dozens of cats were constantly coming and going, bringing home “anything that shined”.

“She was like Fagin in Oliver Twist, but she was using cats as thieves instead of children. In less than three hours of surveillance, the detectives saw the cats bring home more than a hundred objects.”
Upon searching Ms. Gregson’s house, investigators found $650,000 worth of jewelry and precious metal among piles of worthless shiny baubles.

Chief Jacobs says the elderly woman confessed to training her cats to steal, saying the felines had to “earn their meals”.

Old Cat Lady

Old Cat La

Nov 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Want to keep (or lose) your car or bike?

I was tolCrashed card Police Scotland had given out some info (I don’t have the source, I assume it’s online on their site somewhere – it just came up in discussion, from someone else) relating to car theft in Glasgow (five year average about 512/year). The areas around Milton, Lambhill, Possilpark, Ruchill, and Parkhouse seem worst (ave 55/year, more than Calton off Gallowgate). Govan seems to be next, then Baillieston, Barlarnark, Springboig, Carntyne, Riddrie, and Cranhill.

If you want to keep your car, Cambuslang West, Coatbridge West, Clydebank Waterfront, and East Kilbride West only had one reported theft each area over the last five years.

Numbers rise for bikes – avoid the west end and city centre as Glasgow’s five year average is over 1,300/year. The area around Anderston/City area – Broomielaw to Cowcaddens, including Yorkhill and Finnieston (ave 301/year). Hillhead was next (ave 143 /year), then Southside Central ward (Gorbals, Govanhill, Queen’s Park, and Toryglen), Govan, and Partick West.

Baillieston was bottom of the list, only 65 bike thefts there over the last five years.

Oct 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Be grateful you are not American and comfortably retired

Home CellA few years ago I came across a Scottish case which intrigued me. In summary, and under the right conditions, it revealed that anyone who notices a property has become derelict can make an application to legally claim it for themselves, provided no-one challenges their claim. There were a few such cases in the news at the time, and not long after I noted that someone stuck a letter on the wall of a site that had been cleared of a small cottage. I didn’t touch it, but could see it was addressed only to ‘The Owner’. Obviously there was no owner, so I assumed this was the start of the process I’d read about. A few months later the builders arrived, and a new house was built on the site.

Now imagine if something similar could be done with old/retired people – that someone could arrive on their doorstep, claim they were incapable, stuff them in a home, and collect their property and belongings as their own.

Sounds impossible?

Apparently not in America, with the help of some less than ethical courts, and someone who has the morals of… a thing with no morals.

It’s a long read, a VERY long read in fact, but I think it’s worth spreading around.

That it legitimate at all, even when carried out legally and to the letter of the law, seems to be an appalling injustice to those affected.

This quote should get you interested enough to read the rest:

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

Guardians can sell the assets and control the lives of senior citizens without their consent—and reap a profit from it.

On the Friday before Labor Day, 2013, the Norths had just finished their toast when a nurse, who visited five times a week to help Rennie bathe and dress, came to their house, in Sun City Aliante, an “active adult” community in Las Vegas. They had moved there in 2005, when Rudy, a retired consultant for broadcasters, was sixty-eight and Rennie was sixty-six. They took pride in their view of the golf course, though neither of them played golf.

Rudy chatted with the nurse in the kitchen for twenty minutes, joking about marriage and laundry, until there was a knock at the door. A stocky woman with shiny black hair introduced herself as April Parks, the owner of the company A Private Professional Guardian. She was accompanied by three colleagues, who didn’t give their names. Parks told the Norths that she had an order from the Clark County Family Court to “remove” them from their home. She would be taking them to an assisted-living facility. “Go and gather your things,” she said.

Rennie began crying. “This is my home,” she said.

One of Parks’s colleagues said that if the Norths didn’t comply he would call the police. Rudy remembers thinking, You’re going to put my wife and me in jail for this? But he felt too confused to argue.

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “CRTGRDN,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

Without realizing it, the Norths had become temporary wards of the court. Parks had filed an emergency ex-parte petition, which provides an exception to the rule that both parties must be notified of any argument before a judge. She had alleged that the Norths posed a “substantial risk for mismanagement of medications, financial loss and physical harm.” She submitted a brief letter from a physician’s assistant, whom Rennie had seen once, stating that “the patient’s husband can no longer effectively take care of the patient at home as his dementia is progressing.” She also submitted a letter from one of Rudy’s doctors, who described him as “confused and agitated.”

Rudy and Rennie had not undergone any cognitive assessments. They had never received a diagnosis of dementia. In addition to Freud, Rudy was working his way through Nietzsche and Plato. Rennie read romance novels.

Parks told the Norths that if they didn’t come willingly an ambulance would take them to the facility, a place she described as a “respite.” Still crying, Rennie put cosmetics and some clothes into a suitcase. She packed so quickly that she forgot her cell phone and Rudy’s hearing aid. After thirty-five minutes, Parks’s assistant led the Norths to her car. When a neighbor asked what was happening, Rudy told him, “We’ll just be gone for a little bit.” He was too proud to draw attention to their predicament. “Just think of it as a mini-vacation,” he told Rennie.
After the Norths left, Parks walked through the house with Cindy Breck, the owner of Caring Transitions, a company that relocates seniors and sells their belongings at estate sales. Breck and Parks had a routine. “We open drawers,” Parks said at a deposition. “We look in closets. We pull out boxes, anything that would store—that would keep paperwork, would keep valuables.” She took a pocket watch, birth certificates, insurance policies, and several collectible coins.

Oct 7, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

The recent spate of violence in Glasgow was noted not only by me (since I kind of walk through some of it), but was also flagged up by the media.

Usually, when I try to lighten things a little with a ‘Missed me – again’ post, the reason is usually down to a walking route change, and finding some errant vehicle has clobbered something on a spot where I might have been walking, had I been there at the time.

Occasionally, it has noted a shooting, or worse.

The only possible positive note has been that such things usually take place at odd times.

Not so the most recent – ATM cash stolen in ‘terrifying’ armed robbery

An armed robber dressed in a “hi-vis” jacket took at least £10,000 from a worker delivering cash to an ATM in the east end of Glasgow.

The “shocking” incident happened at about 11.55 as the 57-year-old security guard approached the Tesco store in Annick Street in Shettleston.

The robber took the money box before making off in a small white car, later found burnt out nearby.

That in order of a mile from me, or 20 minutes’ walking. Pretty close.

The notable thing was the blatant timing of 11:55 – lunchtime.

Since I’m not a Tesco groupie I don’t have any pics, and I’m not going out for one, so this handy Street View capture will have to do:

Tesco ATMs

Tesco ATMs

I gave up  ‘normal’ shopping hours years ago, and started shopping at 2 or 3 am when the first 24-hour Tesco opened in Glasgow – it’s like having the shop to yourself. While the circumstances that made that my norm have gone, I still do most of my shopping last thing at night, usually on the way home, and avoid any sort of daytime shopping if at all possible – the queues are insane.

So, while I was actually there later, there was no sign of what had happened, and I only learned of it much later, when I looked at the news.

It’s not the closest…

One incident of ‘Shots fired’ at a house half a mile away.

Or the most serious…

I didn’t know at the time, but two-thirds of a mile away I passed a dying murder victim who had just left a pub – but at that moment it just looked like a bunch of kids around a drunk mate. The truth only came to light a few minutes later as it hit the news very quickly.

There was a closer incident, the theft of a number of cars, but that doesn’t really count as it happened in the middle of the night, and nobody was involved as it was not discovered until the dealer’s opened in the morning.

Update

To my shame, I can now be classed as a ‘Supermarket photographer’…

Although laden with shopping, I just couldn’t resist the urge to  have my own current pic of this Tesco, so grabbed this as I left last night.

And a hearty ‘Thank You’ to the driver of the white car, which parked in front of the subject (the ATMs) just as I pressed the shutter.

Shettleston Tesco ATMs

Shettleston Tesco ATMs

Jul 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

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