Two brothers intent, one must assume, on a pleasant evening socialising with others of similar mind, arrived at a Hastings club and were subjected to the normal search by the management. In their possession they had two knives, an axe and a hammer, and explained to the police who were called, that it was their practice to carry these weapons for protection if attacked! They were convicted of possessing offensive weapons and fined.
An Indian restaurant in which four men were sleeping was gutted by fire. In this case the outside walls had been sprayed with racist slogans. Three men were convicted for the restaurant fire. The three offenders, one of whom admitted causing two other fires, received terms of imprisonment for up to five years.
The prime arsonist’s explanation was that on breaking into the premises in search of money to allow him to follow his favourite football team he was unsuccessful, so out of frustration and spite he started the fires.
Railway level crossings appear at fairly regular intervals along our roads and apart from being conspicuous in themselves they are always well signed. Therefore, it seems incredible that they should attract a disproportionate number of road accidents. In Sussex last year there were three potentially horrific accidents where waiting cars were struck by following vehicles, shunted through the barriers on to the railway line and hit by trains. Surprisingly, nobody was killed in any of these incidents although in each case the vehicle was a complete write-off.
The theft of cycles is still a problem. Our die-stamping identification scheme has continued and more than 25,000 cycles have been stamped with the owner’s postcode and house number. As a result many more lost or stolen bikes are now subsequently returned to their owners, proving the scheme to be most worthwhile.
It certainly caught the public’s imagination because, in addition to pedal cycles, other items brought in for marking included roller skates, motor mowers, invalid carriages, and on one occasion a tiny tot – accompanying dad with a pedal cycle – returned home with his scooter postcoded.