Be safe at Hallowe’en

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Next week is THAT week. THAT week when things just go bonkers. Yes, I’m talking about Halloween and Guy Fawkes.

Can you image standing in a bus queue and talking to an alien who had just landed on earth?

The conversation comes around to THAT week and you do your best to describe what all happens and why we do it?

Children dress up as ghosts, skeletons, vampires and ghouls, knock on stranger’s doors, scare old people and dogs. Houses which don’t dish out quantities of sweets often get eggs thrown at them.

Once that’s over, we build fires in the open, put effigies of ourselves on the top, burn them until they become dangerous to health and we have to call the fireys; we then buy explosive devices for extortionate prices and lob them all over the place, to commemorate something that happened hunners of years ago and which very few people understand what it was all about anyway. Madness I tell you, madness.

Yes, this coming week is a testing time not just for us Polis but also our colleagues in the Fire and the Health Services. Enough to say the Fireys don’t like Guy Fawkes at all. In fact, mention Guy Fawkes to a Firey, and you’ll literally see the colour drain very quickly from their little rosy cheeks.

Am I a kill-joy? No, not really. But ever since I dealt with a 9 year old who had two fingers burnt off by a banger, this week just doesn’t have the same appeal - I hope you understand? It was not nice.

So, as always, play safe. Have you bonfires, enjoy your squibs, Marvel at the sparks and cower at the bangs. But please, please take lots of care. The application of Common Sense is all I ask. Don’t take risks and think about others. You may be having a swell time. But what about others around you and not just the ones on two legs either.

Let’s make it a safe and as quiet as possible THAT week please. And no burnt off fingers either.

My inbox is pretty full this week with questions and comments about the impending change to the drink driving limit. In case you missed it, the legal drink driving limit in Scotland is to reduce (i.e. GO DOWN) in December.

As a professional, I very much support the move as it will hopefully be the nudge needed to some people to make the decision - either drink OR drive. One or the other, but not both.

I’ve always believed the current limits confuses people, who are often tempted to have one or two or three drinks, in the belief the law allows them so much. A penny please for every time I’ve been asked “how many drinks can I have then and still be legal?”

By reducing the limit, this should convince the chancers that the risk is too much and they will make the choice to drink or drive.

Other issues which go hand in hand with this subject are answered with the following stock answers, refined over a great many years -

(1) Yes, the police can stop any motor vehicle being driven on a road.

(2) No, we don’t need a reason.

(3) Yes, if you are suspected of having drink in your system, you can be required to give a breath test.

(4) No, you don’t have to be drunk.

(4) Yes, “required” means you must. If you don’t, then you may be charged.

(5) Yes, you can try and blow down the side of the tube but you may be arrested.

(6) Yes, we have heard every possible reason and excuse. In fact, retired police officers frequently write books on the subject.

Joking aside, FACT = drinking and driving kills.

If lowering the limit saves just one life, would you not agree the change is worth it?

Enough for now. Stay safe over the next week and play nice. Over and out for now.