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Monday, December 11, 2006

Bobby on beat at SCG

[I've updated this post - see below]



A senior UK police officer will be flown out (at NSW taxpayers' expense) to sit in full uniform with England supporters at the SCG Test, reports the Sydney Daily Telegraph :

Dressed in full uniform, top cop Bob Dyson will be positioned among the Barmy Army while Australia and England do battle at the SCG...Police Minister John Watkins arranged the visit by the Assistant Chief Constable from South Yorkshire after asking the UK Government for help in combating thuggish behaviour...the Iemma Government will pay an undisclosed sum covering his airfares and expenses during the Down Under posting..."In his British police uniform he'll be a friendly face for the Barmy Army and other cricket fans and will help to ensure that the Ashes Sydney Test remains a safe and enjoyable event for everyone," Mr Watkins said.

Some questions:


1. How long since the Assistant Chief Constable has been on the beat?

2. Will he be subject to the same restrictions as other spectators entering the ground?

3. Will he be armed?

4. Will he have the same powers as NSW police, including powers of arrest?

5. Will he operate alone or with other police ?

6. What are the occupational health and safety implications of his wearing a uniform designed for northern English conditions in an Australian summer environment?

FURTHER THOUGHTS 12 December

I may have been a tad unfair to ACC Dyson as his biography on the South Yorkshire Police website reveals that he spent some time in Australia in his younger days, and was at one stage a police cadet in Victoria. It's therefore possible that he's been to the MCG either on duty or as a spectator (or both) and therefore has more knowledge of what to expect than the Daily Telegraph report indicates.

That said, the notion of a uniformed bobby (with helmet?) at the SCG is mind boggling. Perhaps there's scope for a video in the style of this Yorkshire Airlines one? It could be shown on the big screen to let spectators know that he's there to help, not as part of a British tourism promotion campaign.


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