If you ask a police officer in the UK what his most effective weapon is during patrol, most would say “discretion.” Strange? Well, that is what police officers are taught during basic training and many that I have known over the years truly believe it to be the case.
However, in every profession in the world, you get some that really don’t understand the basics, and this story reflects one such occasion. It involves a man wearing a plastic pig mask, topped with a plastic toy police helmet, who was arrested on the streets of Manchester for ‘impersonating a police officer.’ Abusive behavior, disturbing the peace, being in possession of an offensive walk… anything but ‘impersonating a police officer!’
The ‘offender,’ Steven Peers, as is his right as a British subject, decided he was unhappy with the behavior of police officers at an anti-fracking rally, so to demonstrate his annoyance, he donned a reflective jacket, a toy mask and hat and wandered into the streets of Manchester. Mr. Peers told local press that he decided to perform a “comical parody” of the Greater Manchester Police as a form of protest at their handling of activists during clashes at Barton Moss in Salford where iGas have sunk a test well.
Peers spoke to the Evening News and explained, “My reaction to being arrested was total disbelief. I was wearing a toy hat and a pig mask and was arrested for impersonating a police officer… it’s ridiculous and if they want to take it to court they will be a laughingstock!”
This Editor and ex-police worker tends to agree with Mr. Peers.