Banged up - part 2

Being the second part of my largely true tale of bein banged up by the local constabulary. includes house raids, pigs and bolt croppers!
Interview room

Now, where was I. Oh yes. In the pub having beer and ciggies bought for me by my lovely friends have spent a day in clink. You can read about that in Banged up - part 1.

Next move was homeward bound. I wasn't the first to have had that idea - the police had been there whilst I was sat in a cell eating as many microwave meals as possible. I'm a messy bugger and firmly believe that, as a confirm singleton, tidying up is beneath me. To call my bedroom a tip would be to do a disservice to rubbish tip workers worldwide (or are we meant to call the recycling centre operatives now? I lose track). I think I'm probably the only person whose bedroom have been turned over by the police who have then left it tidier that when the found it - another silver lining to getting nicked!

At this point I have to say a big thank you to my housemates who had to put up with the cops turning up to do a search - and to one in particular who watched them do the search to make sure nothing mysteriously appeared or vanished during the search. It was him that gave me the receipt of what the cops had taken - some books and papers. And my computer.

My computer! Doing stuff on my computer is pretty much what I do when I'm not sleeping or at work. The attached hard drives had over 500 films and over 1,000 TV programmes on them. This was a disaster! Even with a new laptop, it would take ages to download all of the films again. Oh well.

Many months past with constant questioning to the police about what was happening with the case, only to be told "investigations were ongoing". It wasn't until August, eight months after being arrested and spending all that time on police bail conditions, that me and one of my friends were called back for an extra integoration interview.

So off we both plodded to Abingdon to meet our solicitor and then on to meet the Detective Inspector. Again, I'd decided to give a no comment interview and to see what, if any, the police had managed to uncover.

Remarkably little it turned out. They wanted to ask about some text messages sent from a phone found on him and one on me. Though there was one particular question that I struggle to no comment with a straight face. Here's a transcript of part of my interview:

DI: Is this your phone?
Me: No comment
DI: A text was sent at 3.24 saying "we're at the first roundabout". Do you see that message?
Me: No comment
DI: A text was sent at 3.32 saying "pigs. abort". Did you know that 'pigs' is a derogatory term used to describe the police?
Solicitor: [audibly guffaws]
Me: No comment.

To not laugh out loud at that point was one of the hardest moments in my entire life! Anyway, the interview was soon over and we were rebailed and released.

Thankfully it was only about a month later that a letter arrived from the Crown Prosecution Service saying that due to there being fuck all evidence (or words to that effect) charges would not be bought, that the bail conditions no longer applied, and that we could go and collect our possessions from the police station.

My tale is nearly at and end, with just one chapter to go. I popped along to the police station to get my PC (yay!) and was curious to find out what papers they'd taken from my bedroom. It turns out that they were maps of Kidlington Airport - now called London Oxford Airport (Kidlington) for reasons nobody really understands. Before I signed for my possessions I remembered that I had a pair of bolt croppers in the van in which I was stopped. They'd cost £80 so I definitely wanted them back. Luckily they were handed over without much dispute.

And herein ends my tale of my run in with the local local constabulary. I suppose you, dear reader, may have a question. It may even be "why were you, a known environmental direct action activist, traveling close to Kidlington airport with bolt croppers in the van at 3am having studied maps of the airport at home?"

And, I can honestly, hand on heart, answer you: No comment.