Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Would you believe I was assaulted twice while cycling last week?

I’m slightly glad the weather deteriorated last week (unless you were a fish that like to go for a walk), since it meant I didn’t have to wonder if it was safe to go out cycling.

While my encounter with (yet another) angry old bike hating man of Glasgow didn’t constitute assault, two other incidents unfortunately did.

While the old geezer did shout at me, he didn’t make any sort of threat, or physical move towards me, so didn’t satisfy the general definition of assault, which does not actually require any contact to be made:

Assault is a relatively common charge in Scotland, arising from attack against another person with intent to cause harm or injury, or which puts the victim in a state of fear for their physical safety.

But the two others did.

The first was while waiting for the cycle path lights to change near Kelvingrove Park, when a male youth from a nearby school approached me and raised his hand towards the handle bars of my bike. When I stopped him, I was offered the option of being stabbed (by a schoolkid!).

As we exchanged words, he suddenly ran off – I was puzzled by this until I thought about what was happening when he took off.

I had reached down to adjust the bottom of my trousers while I was speaking and commenting on his stabbing offer, but it could have looked as if I was reaching into the edge of my boots (yes, I wear substantial boots when I cycle), and if we’ve watched enough TV, we all know what violent people carry stuck down the side of their boots.

The second was only a day later, as I headed home and had just entered Tollcross Park, as I’ve done on dozens, if not hundreds of times.

There was a group of youths on bikes coming the other way.

As I passed the group, the one at the front shouted “QUICK, SOMEBODY PUNCH HIM AFF THAT BIKE AN’ GRAB IT!”

I’ve no idea if this was a serious call or not, but I was past the group when it was made, and just carried on – and noted I wasn’t being chased or followed.

While there was another incident, it didn’t involve me, but did feature a piece of road/location I regularly use, AND at a time I’d be likely to be there.

Fortunately, the following happened on a day during which I wasn’t out and about.

Attempted murder in Shettleston – 33-year-old hit by car in broad daylight ‘targeted’ attack

Time for pic.

Lovely Pettigrew Street disappearing off to the left, with Amulree Street and the rear of Kingco (supermarket) on the right.

Even made the BBC: Car driven at man in Shettleston ‘attempted murder’

Pettigrew Street

Pettigrew Street

12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More fun for the mindless – ‘Heritage Crime’ is added to their list of hobbies

I’ve been watching the slow but steady increase in reports relating to crimes against historic sites and artefacts over the years.

I’ve been able to see this for myself as sites relating to World War II and the Cold war are vandalised and burnt-out, while anything more recent (such as memorials) has become a handy resource for metal thieves, who don’t like the idea of dying if they steal wiring from high voltage substations and train lines.

I’ve revisited some sites (which I might add are in isolated locations and can be hard to find) which were complete, intact, and well-preserved at my first visit, only to find they’ve been broken into, vandalised, and stripped, even if the contents have no real value. It’s enough gratification for the morons involved just to destroy them.

This increase has become noticeable, and is now in the news.

A campaign has been launched to raise awareness of “heritage crime” in Scotland.

It follows a series of vandalism attacks on ancient monuments such as St Anthony’s chapel in Edinburgh.

The Crimestoppers charity said such incidents were on the rise and that the cost to the public purse was thought to be “significant”.

It is now calling on people to report offences like graffiti, metal theft and fire-raising anonymously.

What is heritage crime?

Crimestoppers said heritage crime was when historic buildings, monuments and shipwrecks are criminally damaged. This can include:


•Anti-social behaviour

•Theft, including metal theft

•Metal detecting on scheduled monuments

•Recovery of objects from protected shipwrecks

•Undeclared treasure trove or salvage

•Illicit trade in antiquities

Fresh bid to tackle growing ‘heritage crime’

An example

The level of violence vandals will employ to destroy something, or gain access to a closed space is not limited, and even robust sites will be attacked.

Take this example I came across a while ago.

Compare my first pic taken in around 2001 with the second taken by another visitor to the same site some years later, in 2007.

Hatch 01

Hatch 01

Six years later.

Hatch 07

Hatch 07

18/04/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Cold War, photography | , | Leave a comment

Theme ended just in time

While not resurrecting the ‘Violent Crime’ them I just ended yesterday, I’m sad to see that I did so just in time.

Without detailing them, I saw there were at least FIVE reports of varying levels of violent crime reported tonight, in places I might possibly have been in.

(That means there were actually MORE!)

There really is something wrong, and it almost seems to be being ignored.

Where’s MP Paul Sweeney when there’s something SERIOUS to be raised?

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

19/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

The end of a theme

I used to enjoy looking after a forum that covered some of the Clyde coast resorts, mainly because I used to haunt them, and it meant watching the related news feeds for articles relating to events which took place there.

That ended when the owner died, but I kept watching the feeds for a while, but gave up on them as the events became fewer and local media concentrated on stories relating to violence, drugs, and crime. It was sad to see the change, but I suppose those stories attract more ad clicks.

Earlier this year I noticed I appeared to be reading more violent crime articles on the street I spend many hours walking, and started to note them in the blog, provided I could classify them as things I had ‘Just missed’ (or had just missed me).

Sadly, either things have recently become much worse, or the media is reporting more of them, as not only did this trend continue, the level of violence increased from simple brawls, through robbery with violence, targetted attacks, and murders, all taking place far too close to spots where I might be found. The only positive note is that many take place at times I wouldn’t be nearby.

Having proved my point (unfortunately), I wonder if there will be a media/police article later this year, about an increase (which there surely must be if it carries on at the present rate)? Stories this week mark the end of this recurring theme, with news from only a few streets away of a man being found violently murdered in his home some days after the event (after relatives asked police to look for him after he disappeared some days earlier).

Shettleston murder inquiry launched after man, 28, suffered violent death in own home

And the discovery of badly burned woman on waste ground (not so near, but on one of my regular walks) who later died in hospital…

“The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”

Then, later…

Update: Police later confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious but enquires continue.

I hope the media remembers to report the finding of that last one – how does a 20-year-old end up on waste ground, badly burned, and die, and that is not ‘suspicious’?

Woman dies after being found badly burned on wasteground

Glasgow may be making a big noise for itself as a tourist and film-making venue, but I have to say that after spending a few weeks watching the violent crime reports – and the ones I mentioned were ONLY found on places walk to, there were many more NOT mentioned as they didn’t meet the criteria – there is something wrong here.

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

However, as I’ve now managed to make myself feel like locking myself indoors and not going out after reading about what’s happening on my doorstep, this theme has done its job and won’t be carrying on.

19/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

No letup…

At least I seldom hit Govan nowadays, and certainly not at that time.

A man has been seriously injured after two masked men forced their way into his Glasgow flat and attacked him.

One of the attackers also wore goggles during the assault in the flat in Drive Road, Govan, at about 23:30 on Wednesday.

Police said the 27-year-old victim is in a serious but stable condition in hospital. They believe he was the intended target of the assault.

Man attacked by two masked men in Glasgow flat


This is both a time and place I’d be likely to be, IF I was out and about (which the weather means I’m not).

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police are investigating an assault on a woman which occurred in a lane in the Trongate area of Glasgow at 5pm on Wednesday 6th February.

Woman assaulted in Trongate during home time commute

Violent crimes

07/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again! I really have to stay in

Maybe not the sort of incident I’ve been listing recently, as there is a definite increase in violent crime, but mugging schoolchildren in broad daylight in the afternoon is definitely worth including.

Especially after I just posted this about the same spot.

I used to be here quite often, but not these days, and it could be around the same time this mugging took place, so that’s another reason for including it.

A Glasgow secondary has issued a safety warning after two of its pupils were mugged while walking home from school.

Staff at St Mungo’s Academy in Gallowgate are to discuss security measures with parents after the youths were attacked and robbed after class on January 16.

They had been making their way home when they were targeted sometime before 4.40pm in Slatefield Road. Police are currently investigating the incident.

Glasgow secondary issue safety warning after two pupils mugged while walking home from school

It’s depressing to see this increase continue.

Violent crimes

29/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

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


It took them TEN DAYS, but at least one of our local media sources eventually picked up on this warning.

Having to de-ice your car during the cold winter months is a massive bugbear for many motorists.

It’s usually the same routine, you wake up in the morning and realise your windscreen is thick with ice. So you pop the engine on, turn up the heating full blast and head back into the house while your vehicle defrosts.

It’s a common thing to do, but not many people know that it’s actually illegal.

Leaving your car unattended is against the law as drivers are expected to always be in control of their car while the engine is running, even when defrosting, reports Plymouth Live.

A police spokesman explained: “Anyone who needs to defrost their vehicle must ensure they stay with it and don’t leave it unattended with the keys inside.

“Leaving the engine running to ‘warm up’ during the winter months not only risks having the vehicle stolen, it’s against the law.

“Don’t make it easy for opportunist thieves because they don’t even have to go to the trouble of breaking into your vehicle if you have left it running for them.

“Insurance companies may not pay out if a vehicle is stolen in this way.”

Police have reported a rise in ‘frosting’ in recent years, which means having your car stolen when you leave the keys in the ignition to heat it up.

Here’s why it’s illegal if you leave your car running to defrost

I’m tempted to suggest that people would be more inclined to pay attention to the fact that far from “may not pay out”, their insurers will not pay out if they are daft enough to leave their cars unattended with the keys in (as against this being illegal).

But, nowadays they’re probably not likely to bother, as they’ll probably be happy to go whining to the media, or onto social media, and complain about their ‘useless insurers making up a reason not to pay out’ on their claim.

09/01/2019 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

23/12/2018 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


16/12/2018 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

06/12/2018 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.

31/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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