Friday, 4 January 2013

Police stop drunken traffic safety volunteer!

My favourite New Year headline so far!   

There a little street café near St Katherine in the Centre of Brussels called Mer du Nord. It serves seafood and wine, and at weekends it is very popular. Customers have to stand at the tables, and it is a bit chilly at this time of the year, but if you are visiting Brussels, I recommend it. The food is good, and the atmosphere is unique.

Its also very popular with the Brussels police, who can often be seen eating oysters and enjoying a glass of wine, on duty, in uniform, and armed. But it seems to work. The police here do seem to be more a part of the community than the Met are in London. I would never trust a Met officer with a gun, drunk or sober.

I have a friend who was stopped at a police checkpoint a few years ago. No problem with his driving, just a routine control as they sometimes do over here. His papers were in order, but he admitted he'd had a couple of beers...

He was told to park his car up, hand over his keys, and collect them from the station the next day, where was kept waiting for 2 hours and then given a hell of a bollocking. No way is he going to make that mistake again.

In the UK he would have lost his licence, and his job as well, as he needs to be mobile. This would cause huge financial problems, possibly relationship and family difficulties, and when he got his licence back the cost of insurance would be prohibitive. For a first offence?

I'm not condoning drinking and driving, far from it, but I know the difference between appropriate policing and the Met.

A traffic safety volunteer stopped for drinking and driving though, that's just priceless!

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