Glasgow Crime Poster

[Photo of police poster]THIS POSTER WAS SPOTTED OUTSIDE CROSSMYLOOF RAILWAY STATION IN SHAWLANDS.

It states:

“3691
fewer victims of common assault”

I don’t know about you, but this poster troubled me.

First of all, why are the police paying for advertising posters like this? Is this a good use of financial resources? Perhaps, as a result of the suggested drop in criminal activity, the police have the time and money for this project?

It then begs the question, why are there fewer victims? The police deal with assault, rather than with the reasons for assault, so they cannot be given credit for lower crime, however, the poster carries the  suggestion that the Police have had some positive effect, that the police in some way are responsible for the drop in this crime figure, when such a notion is utterly preposterous.

This leads to the next question: are there fewer victims of common assault because of a drop in reported assaults, a change in the definition of common assault or victim, or a change in reporting period?  What is the context, and what possible reasons – what lessons can we learn? The poster is an insult to the intelligence.

We’re not especially au fait with Scots Law, so the term, common assault, suggests that there could well be other kinds of assault (although I don’t know what they are, nor if they exist), perhaps the figures have been manipulated such that the 3691, or a portion thereof, has been taken from the common assault category and simply moved to another category, or other categories, of assault.

I have a problem too with the number given.  It is not a percentage, it is an extremely precise (not rounded up or down) figure, 3691.

What does this number mean? Fewer than what and when? 3691 fewer than last week? Last year? what?

Finally, if the poster is not pro-Police, but simply to make Glaswegians happier or to feel safer, it fails miserably because 3691 is a massive number — and yet it is not the number of common assaults, it is merely the variation!  If 3691 is the drop, what on earth is the actual number of common assaults?  Having a drop of 3691 implies that common assaults must be many times greater than this figure.  One ought to immediately begin to take care as assault is very likely imminent.

I must say that it would not be much of a comfort to visitors to the city. Poor tourists! Mind you, they ought to have heard about Glasgow’s violent reputation before coming, from sites such as this. Or this.

Things are getting worse when Police put up posters to scare or con an unsuspecting public.

Police Parking

police_parkingIT IS ANNOYING THAT THE POLICE DO NOT OBEY THE LAW.

The police would quite happily arrest you if you broke the law, but they do it themselves all the time. I often see police cars park inappropriately (and even thoughtlessly).  They run traffic lights, cause all sorts of problems chasing boy racers.

They are never around when things turn violent; most of the time they seem to be strolling about ASDA buying cola and cakes. I wish I were joking; I cannot think of a time I have been shopping in a supermarket that there hasn’t been at least four uniformed police wandering around, shopping for snacks.

The most annoying, though, for me, is parking on double yellow lines. They do it all the time. Every day, right outside Strathclyde Police HQ on Pitt Street, there are double yellow lines, cones and signs — and yet I have never walked past and it has been clear.

[Picture from Google Maps of Pitt Street Police HQ]There always seems to be a police car, an unmarked police car,  a van, or something else parked right outside — and as far as I can see, no tickets have been given, no fines paid, no fines paid, and no vehicle towed away. Ever.

In fact, if you go to Google maps and look at the street view, there are police bikes right outside the front door!

It is bad enough when police flaunt the rules of the road, but it takes it to another level to do it right outside police headquarters! Things are getting worse indeed.

Single Illnesses Only

[Picture of GP Notice 1 condition at a time]THE LATEST NHS RULE SEEMS TO BE THAT YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE ILLNESS AT A TIME.

This means that if you have two illnesses, you have to make two appointments and wait in the waiting room for each ailment.

This could be a problem for people who work — especially those who work for themselves, and more particularly, men; statistics show that men are less likely to visit the GP surgery than women.

I know men who work for themselves, who don’t want to bother the GP with “trifling” complaints, and who stock up ailments until matters reach the tipping point. In short, they visit the GP when they have collected a sufficient number of problems.

This is time management.  It is cost-effective for both the NHS and the patient.

But all that has changed. For each thing, patients now have to make a unique appointment, which lasts a maximum of ten minutes.

It used to be that a mother could visit the GP, discuss her baby’s problems, and have a personal issue raised at the same visit – while she’s sat there. This is no longer the case.

Things are definitely getting worse.

Secret Road Sign

[Picture of bus stop hiding u turn sign]WHAT A STUPID PLACE TO PUT A ROAD SIGN.

Click on the image to enlarge.

On Pacific Drive down at the BBC and opposite the SECC is a bus stop. For some unknown reason, the bus shelter is some distance away from the bus stop itself. The strangest thing is that there is a road sign (no U-Turn) obscured by the bus shelter!

It is impossible to see this road sign.

The entire arrangement is not very well thought through; the street lighting pole could have been incorporated — either for the bus stop or the No U-Turn sign.  The shelter ought to be nearer the bus stop. Things are getting worse when a simple uncluttered space can be turned into a mess by the so-called city planners.

Douglas Street Parking Chaos

douglas_streetROAD PLANNERS HAVE GOT IT WRONG ON DOUGLAS STREET, GLASGOW.

Douglas Street is a steep hill, it is one-way going up. Nevertheless, the designated car parking bays are angled awkwardly.

This causes chaos at rush hour as cars wanting to park have to drive up beyond the bays and reverse in to the angled spaces.

It would be far simpler if the angled bays were the other way, of if parking was parallel or perpendicular (there is sufficient space).

Things are getting worse when the obvious is missed by so-called town planners and traffic managers!

Noisy Neighbours!

[Picture of Evening Times headline noisy neighbours]NOISY NEIGHBOURS ARE HITTING THE HEADLINES.

Quite right too; there is far too little consideration for others these days. If it’s not the extreme noise from car stereos, it is parties and generally noise from neighbours.

There is a fashion these days for sanded original floorboards, and this may well be the principal cause of noise.  In the old days, there was always a runner, rug or carpet, and in later years, wall-to-wall carpeting dampened impact noise.  Even modern day laminate floors are better than bare floorboards because they are laid on sound-absorbing underfelt.

Painted plaster is another problem, wallpaper is better, blown vinyl or woodchip better still. Curtains instead of window blinds help reduce echo and reverb – it all makes sense. Dropped ceilings in rooms with tiles and shiny surfaces (such as kitchens and bathrooms) are a good idea too.

The worst case — as you can guess — would be a flat with bare floorboards, roller blinds, mirrors and shiny surfaces.  The best would be one with thick absorbent wallpaper, lots of soft furnishings, curtains, tablecloths, cushions, headboards, towels and the like.

These are common-sense changes to décor that make a huge difference to both air-borne noise and impact noise — and which would make a big difference to occasions such as parties.

However, partying in communal gardens (in the back court) in good weather is anti-social if it drags on too late. Parties that spill out onto common landings and stairs as equally annoying.

DIY and other noisy activities — such as playing music — should never be done too late or too early.  Find out about your neighbours — it makes a difference if they are all old and deaf, or if they are on night shift, have small children and so forth. Tailor your noisy activities to suit your neighbours.

[Pic of evening times newspaper headline cracking down on neighbours]It is never a good idea to be too involved with neighbours, people who live close to each other have important privacy lines that must not be crossed, but a civil neighbourliness is better than not caring at all and treating your home like a campus accommodation.

It is good that the council is finally doing something about this major problem. Perhaps they will also look at the poor car parking, the parking in lanes, the dumping of rubbish at the front (on the street and pavement), the inconsiderate hedge owners, the littering and more besides!

Worn Shoes Rule

[Public notice from council]I SPOTTED THIS NOTICE BY THE CITY COUNCIL TODAY, BUT I CANNOT EXPLAIN IT.

It simply states that

FOOTWEAR TO BE
WORN AT ALL TIMES

Doe this mean that new, unworn shoes are not allowed? It surely cannot be asking people not to walk about Glasgow in bare feet.

My, things are certainly getting worse.

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