Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nanny state

In the last post myself and a few others have been banging on about how western societies are for ever evolving more and more into nanny states like with CCTV in the UK. Well I think we can beat that in the city where I live.

In recent years the police have been pushing for more an more powers to search and detain people and so forth. The government has just recently given them new powers as to use sniffer dogs in the main night spots areas of the city. This is where you get the late night trouble and drunkenness and so forth. The police have long maintained that these places are a veritable cesspool of illegal drugs that they are wading in illicit drugs.

Last Saturday night for the first time the police suddenly appeared in these night spots with many sniffer dogs and spent 6 hours in these night-club areas, train stations and so forth having these dogs sniff people for drugs. Thousands of people would have been sniffed.

Guess what? No one, not even one person was found to have been in possession of illicit drugs. So much for the claim of these areas are significant drug dealing and drug taking areas. With five people the dogs indicated that the person did have drugs on them. Each one of them when further searched by the police had no drugs detected. There was 100% false positives given by the dogs.

So here we can have innocent people walking along in public, displaying no intoxication or anti social behaviour who may be with their granny or perhaps others they are wanting to do business with. A dog gives the indication they have drugs whilst every one is looking on and the police take you out the back to give you are search. What’s your granny going to think or people you are trying to do some business with? People can easily think that the dog got it right and he/she had drugs on him but the police did not find it. When that may not be the case at all.

This is frightening to me that the government has given the police such powers. Also what types of searches have the government given the police the right to do. Interestingly you never see this reported in the press for some reason. Working in a prison I have seen many searches done of various types. When a dog gives a positive response I assume the police then do a “Pat down” search of the person.

I had many of these done to me when working in a prison. Often there would be random pat down searches of staff. This is where no clothes are removed and the searcher simply pats the outside of the clothing to feel if there is anything secreted on the body under the clothes. They pat all over the body and they go right up to the top of the inner thighs, and I can tell you that is getting pretty close and personal!!! I never had a guard actually feel my genitals directly to see if anything was being smuggled there but their hands get very close!!

Then there are the various cavity searches like the ears, nose and the mouth. I have seen prison officers find all sorts of contraband in such ‘cavities’ as prisoners attempt to move various drugs and so forth around the prison. I recall being shown a very small home made syringe that a prisoner had secreted up his nose for many months.

I hope the police in these night spot raids don’t have such powers of searching. For instance with the mouth search the searcher has to get up very close to the face and shines a torch in the mouth and then either gets the person to use their fingers or the searcher uses his fingers to pull the inside of the cheek away from the teeth and lift up the tongue. That was never done to me but it looks invasive to say the least.

Then of course there is the anal cavity and one would hope to god they could not do such searches!!! However even forgetting that part of the anatomy I have seen all sorts of devices made by prisoners that can hold contraband in between the butt cheeks for extended periods of time. In searches of this kind the prisoner was ordered to remove all his clothing, stand with his legs apart and go into the squat position. The officer then shone a torch to see if the was anything concealed.

Working in a male prison one only has to worry about the female anatomy when they are visiting their incarcerated boyfriends which includes face to face contact. In “visits” at the prison there was an extensive video surveillance system and sometimes I would see it when wanting to watch a certain prisoner. The vagina of course is a means of smuggling contraband and again I have seen all sorts of things that have been found using this part of the anatomy for transportation. I was told that a small home made pistol was once attempted to be transported in this way but I never saw the gun for myself.



  1. You bet in the UK we have sniffer dogs. In fact they have been shown on a police docu-soap where the programme followed the work of our sniffer dogs. They stand generally at railway and tube stations.

    We also have control orders which are equivalent to house arrest. The Home Office can impose such a house arrest without trial and indefinately if he suspects terrorism.

    Last time I went to Europe I set off the metal detector. I was searched and the lady security run her arms right over my breasts. It almost felt like she cupped my breasts! At least she didnt go high up my inside leg!

  2. Tony?

    I don't know how i feel about the security and the powers given to those who police our country and it's citizens. We have police and council persons (rangers, sherif, etc...) who 'keep the peace' but we don't have anything close to what you and Kahless have explained here were i live. I can't imagine it. I don't know if i mind that it happens - where lots of people are then there are lots of different situations they bring into the equation.

    The fact that the dogs didn't find any drugs Tony... does that mean that there weren't any around? I don't know that. And did you say they searched 5 people? That doesn't seem like a lot of searches to me. I'm not there, so i guess i can't really understand.

    I don't think sniffer dogs, searches and metal detectors are a threat but more of a protection. I'm not afraid of being searched (perhaps of the embarrassment), and if i'm found to be dangerous then i hope i will under go the necessary treatment. I won't want to at the time - but i hope others are made safe from me.

    I guess power can be abused. I've abused power given to me - for some reason we easily loose reality at times and cruelty is always an option. I hope that no one ever gets nabed for anything they didn't do but i beleive that such a thing is more than possible and does happen. I don't know what we can do about it. I do know that there seems (for now) to be no other answer.

  3. I see.

    I want to be looked after. I want to feel safe. And because the ability to legally and safely protect myself from others has been taken away from me, I need the state to fight for my life (protect me) for me. For some reason there can be no flexibility – in that there seems to be only the two acceptable options – total nanny state or total anarchy.

    After some stuff that I’ve been through and watched this last couple of weeks, I have decided to move into a retirement/aged village of some kind as soon as possible. I want to be ready for the ‘aged’ progression as early as I possibly can. It appears clear to me now, at the age of 47, that when I reach an age where I become ‘high dependency’, I may be unable or unwilling to learn what it is to live as a dependant again. The fear of such an enormous change may hinder my ability to think rationally and I may find myself fighting fiercely for independence that, by that time, I may be unable to be responsible for.

    When I talk about the nanny state problem, I’m referring to the many dependants of the government. The ones who have been – have allowed themselves to be – dreadfully abused and been rendered incapable of living a full and independent life. Having been kept dependant – attached to the nipple of the parent state – which is not necessarily our national or world (political) government. Entire nations that can not move because they haven’t developed muscles in their legs or peoples who are unable to venture far from their own small thinking owing to the training to not do so their whole lives or for generation’s.

    Tony, you hope that our children’s children may rise up and fight for their right to learn to rule themselves. Well our grand parents hoped the same and here we are being ruled by ourselves. It takes generations to train other generations how each generation wants to be ruled. They set us up for this because they thought this was the way to go, but here we are, living in the system they wanted and we find ourselves trapped by it. I fear we are doing exactly that to our own kids – the generations rising up now and the ones yet to come.

    I don’t know how to stop the cycle. The life we are setting up for our kids may not be all that great either but I could almost guarantee they’ll set up for their future generations something just as frightening and awful. It keeps going on and on and the wheels keep spinning around and around. It looks like a circle that never ends – spiralling on and on. I don’t understand it nor do I have any clue why.

    I am generally frightened by it, but I’m just so tired of that now.

    Hope your Wednesday is treating you well... roses

  4. Perhaps that is our basic difference Roses,

    I don't want or need the state to look after me and I can feel quite safe looking after myself.

    Indeed I take it as a discount that the state thinks that they need to look after me. It is saying that it thinks I can't look after myself.


  5. Perhaps that IS our basic differences Tony.

    You are still head long into building a society for your grand kids. Hope they are exactly like you (and if that is the case, i sincerely hope you'd like your ideal too) because if that is not the case, they'll not like the ideals you've built into the social structure they'll have to live in.

    The circle spirals on and on whether we see it or not.

    What you dislike today may be totally lost in the years to come. I don't know if i can look after myself - I’ve never had to do it before. The state can think what it likes just like every one else - doesn't make it true.

    I'm not very clever but that doesn't stop me from studying. Perhaps its not really all that important what you or other people (the state) thinks of you. Perhaps who you are and what comes from you being the best 'who you are' that you can be is what matters? *Shrugs*