EDL Protest: Po-Po Preview
NICK HARRIS provides an exclusive, behind the scenes, super secret preview of police preparation for the EDL protest later today.
Today, I am covering the EDL protest in Cambridge for TabTV. Knowing the likelihood of me getting punched, my editor insisted I go to a police briefing.
I waltzed into the police station yesterday. Not literally, as I don’t know how to waltz and even if I did I had no one to waltz with and as far as I’m aware the solo waltz is a bit of a taboo in Cambridge these days, especially since the whole debacle with the Pope.
I was greeted by the mainstream media: the Beeb (BBC Look East), Heart Radio and Cambridge News. I was shocked to see them all waiting. Waiting for whom, you ask? Waiting for a lovely high-pitched man called Liam – or Policeman Liam as I came to know him.
I was here for a brief – not a pair of briefs, but one solitary, lonely and non-underwear-related brief. That pun was criminal, as were the people in the police cells. I was here to talk to the police about covering the EDL coming to Cambridge for TabTV. My editor, knowing the likelihood of me getting punched by a skinhead, insisted I go.
Needless to say, the mainstream media treated me like a complete joke; when they heard I was from TabTV, one of them even asked, “What’s that?” so I retorted “Where have you been for the last year, in a cave?” He had not.
It is important to note here that if I say EDF later, I mean EDL. I just get confused sometimes.
So Policeman Liam took us up to the boardroom to meet Policeman Matt and Vicky. Vicky was not a man but a woman so she was Policewoman Vicky but I thought I’d try and shorten the sentence by putting just ‘Policeman’ but I apologise for any confusion this may have caused. I am not a misogynist: I have a mum, a girlfriend and some of my best friends don’t have a Y chromosome in their body.
We reached Board Room – as it was labelled, I think – and the first thing that struck me was how cool their whiteboards were. Perhaps it’s inaccurate to say whiteboard; it was more of a greenish turquoisey thing. Sorry for being racist. Also, the Po-Po looked noticeably badass.
The whole meeting was off the record, but here are some notes – little snippets of information I gathered for you:
– Something to do with the Public Order Act, Section Something, way back in the 80s. I think they have a cool car or something.
– Policemen look badass, especially PC Matt. DC Matt, not so much, he has a regional accent.
DC Matt keeps looking at me taking notes; he looks a bit more intimidating now.
-The Police have Twitter.
– Racist people are from the East.
– “Will the protest groups get within a stone’s throw from each other?” I ask
“No, not a stone’s throw”
“How about something smaller, like a pebble?”
“If they had a brick and a catapult?”
“How do you know they won’t have a catapult?”
“You know it’s pointless asking these questions, it’s all meant to be off the record anyway, are you taking notes?”
– They consider it dangerous for the protesters to go too close to the playground.
Cambridge News are concerned about the disruption to the local bus stop, classic local paper.
– PC Matt has a shaved head and a beard with a bit of white.
– The police are here.
– I need the loo.
That’s pretty much it. All I can conclude is that the Po-Po are on this shit; they has, like, over 500 Po-Po on the ground and shit at the moment. Don’t mess with them.
I also asked them if they knew a short fat angry policeman who I had argued with about bikes and lights one night. They said that they had a lot of those.