In the light of last week’s stupidities in London, Essex Police Foarce took great delight earlier this week informing the public what they are doing to stop such silliness breaking out in the county.

Sadly for them, much mockery was directed their way when it turned out that their preventative actions included such gems as this:

A 20-year-old man from Colchester who allegedly sent messages from a Blackberry encouraging people to join in a water fight has been charged with encouraging or assisting in the commission of an indictable only offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007. He has been conditionally bailed to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

Indeed, so mocked were they on twitter that they issued this follow-up:

Re water fight comments – police believe there may be more involved in light of recent disorder

Which rather sounds like someone went ‘Oh heck, this isn’t playing well. Better come up with something to make it sound more ominous.’

The Telegraph reports a spokesman as saying:

A spokesman for Essex Police indicated the BlackBerry Messenger network was under surveillance by police, saying: “I’m sure we are making efforts to monitor such correspondence, wherever they are,” he said.

He said the plans for a ‘water fight’ may have been a cover for rioting. “In the light of recent events, we would have to be careful that [the planned water fight] is not all that it seems,” he said.

As I doubt that Essex Police have the manpower to monitor everything on BBM, I’m going to assume that the ‘monitoring’ is, at best, someone flagging up key words and phrases and then asking RiM to match telephone numbers to names.

It will be interesting to see what happens come September 1st. Will the Police back this up with evidence, drop it or have the Magistrate laugh them out of court?


  1. JuliaM says:

    They’ll go forward with it. They have to. They are already a laughing stock, so why not go for broke?

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      I think you are probably right. The raison d’être of the public sector worker appears to be ‘when discovered in a hole, keep digging’…

  2. The problem is you never know whether the beak’s going to castigate the coppers for wasting his time or throw the book at the young scamp, but I’d bet on the former.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Given the four year terms handed down to Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan for things that didn’t actually happen this could go either way. It’ll be interesting to see how they attempt to prove that the ‘water fight’ was code for something more.