Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dibble whammy

A fictionalised proposed screenplay, loosely based on actual events as reported in the Gulf News. Maybe I could write for Hollywood.

A passer-by notices a young woman apparently being forced into a car. It’s impossible to identify the occupant or occupants of the vehicle because of the darkly-tinted windows. The witness, being concerned for the young woman’s welfare, alerts Plod with a description of the vehicle and its registration number.

CID picks up on this call, and upon spotting the car, pulls up in front of it. The suspect driver attempts to escape, initially by reversing away. An exciting car chase ensues.

Eventually, Uncle William traps the suspect vehicle in a cul-de-sac. He uses his police car to block the suspect’s escape. The suspect rams the police car. Old Bill, who has been issued with a sidearm and is trained in its use, fires at the suspect vehicle, hitting the bodywork and rear tyres. Arrests ensue.
So what happens then? An attempted kidnap is thwarted and a dangerous villain convicted and sentenced to a lengthy stay in Al Slammah?

Good heavens, no! The Yemeni policeman gets a three-month suspended sentence for endangering the lives of a young Emirati couple by shooting at their vehicle. His Somali colleague gets three months, suspended, for endangering the couple by chasing and blocking their vehicle. One month, suspended, for the unmarried couple owing to their illicit affair. Nothing for failing to stop, Zero for resisting arrest. Nada for deliberately damaging a police car and zilch for (presumably) driving like a hooligan.

The court, being astute, spotted that the marriage certificate was dated after the date of the incident and upheld the ‘illicit relationship’ charge. “Their legal advisor Abdul Hamid Al Kumity asked the court to dismiss the charge of ‘having an illicit relationship’ because they are married.” No chance.

The claim that the suspect reversed away and then stopped immediately is not borne out by the bullet holes in the rear of his vehicle. Neither is Dubai Police’s initial denial of the shooting incident.

If you were the police officer in this case, what would you have done?

I would suggest that you would first walk slowly towards the suspect. He may be a kidnapper, and could conceivably be armed. You remove a notebook from your shirt pocket and lick your pencil, perhaps. “Good evening, Citizen...”

At which point your suspect attempts to flee. “Stop in the name of the Law!”

Hmmm, no effect. You give chase. Suspect continues to resist being apprehended. Clearly he could be a dangerous villain. Trap him in a blind alley, and he knocks your car out of the way. What sort of desperate criminal am I dealing with here? “Stop, or I shoot!”

If the rozzers are going to be hauled up in court and convicted every time they engage in a car chase or draw a firearm, what possible incentive is there ever to do so? They’re better off sitting in the station, filling in forms and collecting traffic fines. Oh, wait...

Gulf News report 02 May 2006
Gulf News report 28 November 2006
Gulf news report 22 August 2007


Keefieboy said...

Fer feck's sake.

halfmanhalfbeer said...

GG: I have always maintained that one of the most impressive things about Dubai is the way that the law is applied equally and fairly to all residents regardless of class or creed.

Its wonderful.

Now where did I leave my pills?



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