A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose... Until Police See It On CCTV, Say It's A Knife & Throw You In Jail For 3 Months

from the what-happened-to-the-rose? dept

The UK has really been quite aggressive in installing CCTV surveillance cameras all over, trying to spot trouble before it escalates, but apparently they're not very good at it sometimes. Glyn Moody points us to the story of the police spotting a man, who had been previously convicted of assault, walking along with his fiancee. Via the CCTV footage, police determined that the guy, Stephen McAleer, was carrying a knife, and a few weeks later, the police showed up at his house in order to arrest him, tossing him in jail for three months. The only problem? It turns out that the "knife" was really a rose that he had bought for his fiancee. Apparently, it took three months and then a trial to get this all sorted out. Don't you feel safer now?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:18am

    what do i have to do to get this surveillance system in my city?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:18am

    how sad, 3 months of his life gone cause of typical UK policework

     

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      Christopher (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      This is a wide-open case for a lawsuit on harassment by the police and a few other things.

      This guy should SUE the police and send them a message that carrying a knife is NOT illegal in the slightest.

       

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        Greg G, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re:

        It is illegal if: 1. you're on probation or 2. on parole.

        Otherwise, I agree with suing the PD for everything you can get in an attempt to teach them a lesson about civil liberties.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re:

        In most places in the world a felon carrion any kind of weapon including a baseball bat in the batters box at a baseball game is sufficient to return him to prison.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:18am

    three months a trial

    does not compute

    three months of a trial, perhaps?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:21am

    he was in jail for 3 months, trial was 2 days

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Good thing he didn't have a backpack with him... That could've been an atom bomb. Or God forbid he was wearing a jock strap under his clothes. That could be used as a garrot to strangle someone. And what about his jeans... Easily a deadly weapon he could've used to rob stores with. Good thing he didn't point his loaded shoes at any cops, or they would've just shot him right there on the spot.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      Can you imagine what would happen if he had a freaking pen?

      "AAAAHHHHH!!! That raporist has a PEN! I hear it's mightier than the sword! Shoot to kill! Shoot to kill!"

       

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        Nastybutler77 (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re:

        Shoot to kill! Shoot to kill!

        DH, what you and the OP don't seem to realize is that Bobbies don't carry guns. I think only their version of a S.W.A.T. team gets to use them and only under extraordinary circumstances. I'm not sure a pen qualifies.

         

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:24am

    I thought that...

    If you weren't doing anything wrong you didn't have anything to worry about.... Well, shit, there goes that arguement.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:26am

      Re: I thought that...

      That argument was bullcrap from the beginning. Everyone KNOWS that someone out there will ABUSE the law to harass someone else that they dislike.

      It was done with the homosexuals. It is being done with some other groups such as the polygamists.

      We simply need to say that unless someone is ACTIVELY harming someone else, stealing from someone else, or forcing someone else to do something they do not wish to do?

      NO LAWS ON THE BOOKS! Regulations are okay, they are not usually punishable in a CRIMINAL court. But no more laws on the books.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Would the opposite hold true?

    "Awww, look guys. That nice man is running a rose along his girlfriends throat! How sweet...."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:41am

    Couldn't the police just tase him and place a gun in his hand?

     

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    Robert Ring (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

    Something else confuses me about this. Is it illegal to carry a knife around in the UK?

     

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      Liam (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:56am

      Re: Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

      yep, unless you have a good reason for it (part of job etc)

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

        Wandering around with fighting knives is generally considered a no-no in most places.

        The real question is how any git could confuse a flower for a knife.

         

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      Berenerd (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:14am

      Re: Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

      it is illegal in the US as well if you are on parole or its over a certain size. (really depends on the state however)

       

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      Chosen Reject, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:43am

      Re: Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

      There are all sorts of things wrong with this situation. Three months in jail for carrying a flower is stupid. But they also took three weeks before arresting the guy. I thought the CCTV cameras were supposed to reduce crime. If it takes 3 weeks to arrest someone, then they aren't doing a very good job at reducing the crime. What if they guy really did have a knife? What if he was stabbing someone in full view of the camera? Would it still have taken three weeks to do anything?

      If they had responded quickly, they would have seen it was a rose right then and this whole thing could have been avoided. Ridiculous.

       

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        ChrisB (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re: Thrown in jail for carrying a knife?

        > If it takes 3 weeks to arrest someone, then they aren't
        > doing a very good job at reducing the crime.

        Deterrence. All crime reduction is deterrence. Therefore response time is not as critical as conviction rate.

        Ask your local cop how many "crimes in progress" they've stopped (besides moving violations).

         

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    cc (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:03am

    "Is this a rose by any other name which I see before me?"

    Shakespeare remix of the day.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Let's make cops personnaly penaly responsible for such blatant fuck-ups.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      I agree. If the cops were automatically made to give up say.... half their paycheck to the person who they accused beyond a shadow of a doubt illegitimately? These things would stop!

       

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    Mike, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:16am

    CCTV

    Either someone is blind or the system doesn't have the great of resolution to see it. What a bunch of idiots.

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:22am

    With all this ridiculous news coming out of the UK in 2010 alone, I wonder if the government is keeping a close watch on unused subway tunnels.

    :|

     

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    Tom The Toe, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    "I thought they just through tea and strumpets at everyone...." Need to learn the difference between a strumpet and a crumpet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Need to learn the difference between a strumpet and a crumpet They're both good to eat, so what is the difference...?

     

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    Michael, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Did the rose have thorns?

    It could have been dangerous if it had a thorn.

    Do the police in the UK have nothing better to do that watch CCTV looking for people carrying weapons? i feel much safer that they spend their time on this kind of thing...

    Luckily, the saved this poor sap from giving his girlfriend a rose. The next thing could have been a ring, and that often causes someone their life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:03am

    "Via the CCTV footage, police determined that the guy, Stephen McAleer, was carrying a knife, and a few weeks later, the police showed up at his house in order to arrest him, tossing him in jail for three months"

    OMG, good thing it only took them "a few weeks" to stop that knife waving maniac. Who knows what kind of havoc he could cause if it took them "several" weeks instead.

    /s

     

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      Kingster (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      "OMG, good thing it only took them "a few weeks" to stop that knife waving maniac. Who knows what kind of havoc he could cause if it took them "several" weeks instead."
      This. A thousand times, this.

       

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    kris, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 10:54am

    @ gidgets

    some gidget was sitting around fluffing his strumpet while watching 3 week old CCTV footage when his boss comes in and tells him he's under quota for sightings of malicious acts. after creaming the strumpet crumpet and spewing on screen, the rose looked like a knife. it wasn't his fault.

    agree with all of the above, sue, sue sue (and i dispise suers (and sewers))

     

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Big Brother is watching you.

    Problem is - he either needs glasses or he's a moron....

    Or maybe both.

     

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    JTO (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Okay, let's say it WAS a knife. How is that illegal? When I was a chef, I had a large assortment of scary-looking knives with me whenever I took the train or bus to/from work.

    And really, when is the last time you went for a long romantic walk with your girlfriend while carrying a giant knife?

     

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    Some Other Guy, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Enhance (with optional Zoom?)

    The linked article quotes from and links to a Daily Record article which uses the word 'enhance' in relation to the CCTV footage three times - which leaps out at me as iffy.

     

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    Danny, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Its simple...

    The police f'd up and they knew. But instead of just admitting it from get go they held him for 3 months in some effort to come up with something to charge him with.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    I can see how they could have been confused if the rose was wrapped in mylar(BoPET), depending on how it was wrapped it could look like a machete, still 3 months to clear all up seems excessive and add to that no knife was ever found there is something wrong with that picture, I think laws against terrorism where used there how else you explain such a thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    And that boys and girls, is what happens when the citizenry of a nation allows itself to be emasculated, namely by outlawing the ownership of firearms. It's the final recourse in opposing a tyrannical government, which the English no longer have and the results speak for itself.

     

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    Chargone (profile), Aug 31st, 2010 @ 7:22pm

    Alternatively, someone could have been watching too many Sailor Moon reruns or something...

    Maybe they thought he was Tuxedo Mask...
    (the guy does, after all, throw armour piercing roses...)

    Though him they'd probably arrest for more interesting things than possession of a knife.

    all joking aside though, yeah, this is moronic.

    When modern 'democracy' eventually reaches sufficient level of tyranny (and it's certainly trying :S), it will most likely go the same way as absolute monarchy. what then shall replace it, i wonder?

     

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    thornintheside, Sep 1st, 2010 @ 4:04am

    UK is a joke

    How the UK was ever a world power is beyond me. V for Vendetta and 1984 are alive and well in the UK. The UK is the biggest joke of a country, even France looks like a better place to live.

     

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    FoolsGold, Sep 2nd, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    CCTV trial Knife Coming Up Roses

    One wonders how many men walk along the street with a knife while in the presence of their fiance and her mother. Perhaps the cops felt this was a new kind of courtship ritual. Why did it take so long for the cops to enhance the image?

     

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    Jakon, Sep 3rd, 2010 @ 8:56am

    There could have been a bomb in that rose. He should have got a life sentence.

     

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    Atari, Sep 22nd, 2010 @ 9:16am

    In My Mind's Eye...

    ...I see Graham Chapman as the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police with John Cleese as his over-zealous chief detective.

    "Well, of COURSE it's a weapon! You see? It has thorns! Thorns are sharp, and pointy, and....NOOOOO ONEEEEE EXPECTS A ROSE AS A WEAPON!!!!!"

     

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