Time for Tasers?

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This topic contains 55 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by dwynnehugh 6 hours, 22 minutes ago.

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  • #35488

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict

    After this mornings horrific machete attack on a Police Officer during which it seems he was only able to protect himself from further harm than he suffered by use of his Taser – and while I am entirely against the universal issue of firearms – I have finally concluded that all officers should these days carry Tasers.

    I wonder what other peeps’ views are?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

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  • #35520

    Richard
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    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    I believe I answered your points in my note, I am not advocating a return to those days, e.g. It is one sound bite wonder to compare past efforts to use the fear of possible incarceration for stealing food against the certainty of going hungry. I advocate something more structured, if you can find the top 1000 miscreants by all means track them down and take suitable actions. You are bringing in hell-hole prisons I am not. See this quote; For the sake of accuracy I am not advocating some backwoods USA style failed crack down. I note you did not respond to my point about the now dead 89 year old and brought in your own off at a tangent red herring, that is OK, I cannot stand fish I will leave you to munch on that. The certainty of arrest does have value of a deterrent, what follows can make all the difference. Though if the police have the right sub species for the widow’s murder removing its right to roam for a very long time, would be a sound idea, if only to protect others.

    I guess you missed this closing comment, so have other approaches such dealing with problems as health issues though not at the expense of allowing criminal acts to go unpunished. It was a reference to your comment about the Scottish idea of treating knife crime as a medical issue as much as a criminal one. Though, a mindless application of the approach in a rubber stamp style would likely fail unless it was applied to identical issues, are they really identical? Some comments have suggested they may diverge from each other and from location to location.

    However, I see little prospect of finding any common ground, a usual situation when people are driven by preconceived political ideas such as your suggestion of hell-hole prisons. I might add that transportation did resolve the problems of one long distant family member who went on to really prosper. I should stress that is emphatically not an answer I am promoting, what are you proposing?

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    #35522

    JayCeeDee
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    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 1,377

    Look at what we used to hang or transport people for, it didn’t stop the crimes happening did it? These people used to be killed in public so there was no doubt how nasty your end would be. They still went ahead.

     

    Not disagreeing, but adding context, Dave, the last public hangings were in 1868 – in those days you either stole food or starved. A life of crime wasn’t a lifestyle choice for the lazy b*stards like it is today. You didn’t steal to support a drug habit ( well heroin was around, but not to the same extent across all classes, ) you stole to survive.

    I err on the side of bringing back the death penalty, but if and when mistakes were made, were they not honestly made, then the liars, hiders of evidence, concealers of DNA that would exonerate the charged, would face the same penalty as the wrongly accused. That would give you a focused legal system that was a disincentive to crime.

    I would also lose the soft touch prison system the do-gooders have installed – you break the law, you suffer the consequences and would not want to return.

    I realise that is a harsh standpoint, but something needs to be done, the system just ain’t fit for purpose.

    Conditional to UK Citizenship, incoming migrants would also need to understand that they are welcome here so long as they continue to be law-abiding citizens ( and would sign up accordingly ) because the UK is preferable to back home. If they break the law ( no I’m not talking speeding here, but rape and murder, paedophile, groomer, sex/people trafficker style law breaking, ) they are sent home to suffer the unwelcome consequences.

     

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    #35523

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,374

    “A life of crime wasn’t a lifestyle choice for the lazy b*stards like it is today.”

    From Crime and the Victorians At the beginning of Victoria’s reign key commentators like Edwin Chadwick tended to equate the criminal offender with individuals in the lower reaches of the working class who they considered were reluctant to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage, and who preferred idleness, drink, ‘luxury’ and an easy life; in their eyes the problem was a moral one. There were also concerns about ‘the dangerous classes’ who were thought to lurk in the slums waiting for the opportunity for disorder and plunder. 

    Sound familiar?

    These same arguments have been going on for a long time. The favoured solution swings between the hang ’em high and a societal one depending on the public mood at the time and how much the press whip things up.

    “While the general pattern of crime was one of decline, there were occasional panics and scares generated by particularly appalling offences. In the 1850s and early 1860s there were panics about street robbery, known then as ‘garrotting’. A virulent press campaign against garrotters in 1862 developed following the robbery of an MP on his way home from a late-night sitting of parliament; and while the number of ‘garrotte’ robberies was tiny, the press created sensations out of minor incidents. Parliament responded with ferocious legislation providing for offenders to be flogged as well as imprisoned.

    The murders of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888 were confined to a small area of London’s East End, but similarly provoked a nation-wide panic whipped up by press sensationalism. Violence, especially violence with a sexual frisson, sold newspapers. But violent crime in the form of murder and street robbery never figured significantly in the statistics or in the courts.”

    Just change some of the words and you can see not much has changed there either.

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    #35524

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    Richard my comment was factual not bigoted rubbish. Many officers no longer really know their beats and the people involved. While I agree no-one has stated that the tasering was due to inexperience, the officer concerned may have taken a totally different approach if he/she had known the full background of the individual in question, it may also have resulted in sending a team that included a mental health specialist (this is now standard practice in my area when the situation is known to include such an individual).

    I used to know most of the local Police force by name, I now can only place names on two or three – the older ones took the package while the experienced middle aged officers have been assigned elsewhere to bigger, higher crime regions.

    Please check the facts in your area before stating that my post was ‘rubbish’, and it certainly was not bigoted unless you ascribe a religious element to Conservative party membership!

    I’m certainly not intolerant of Conservatives in general and some such as Ken Clarke generally speak sensibly and with great experience. Others however need to be held fully accountable for their past actions or support.

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    #35525

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 1,377

    These same arguments have been going on for a long time. The favoured solution swings between the hang ’em high and a societal one depending on the public mood at the time and how much the press whip things up.

    The press is the press is the press it seems and has been for some time now.

    It does seem that the solution swings from one extreme to the other, but ” the societal solution” is patently not working and hasn’t been for decades, even before the police were shackled by cuts and other impediments to do their job as they would want.

    The solution cannot be 3 squares, a bed and an XBox. So long as criminals put the odds of getting away with whatever crime is their choice, as greater than those of being caught, a shackled police force will not be able to keep up.

    They have my support, but they also have my sympathy, as they are forced to do the job they love with one hand tied behind their back, and sometimes two.

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    #35526

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,374

    I totally agree with you, the solution cannot be 3 squares, a bed and an XBox. It’s also not how prisons generally are, but how they’re presented in certain parts of the press; glorified hotels.

    I’ve been in most prisons in this area and I can honestly say I’ve never noticed an Xbox. They are absolutely appalling places, Bristol (Horfield) has been described as “high violence, squalid living conditions and poor training and education”. That is all down to lack of money and especially staff.

    Why anyone would want to re-offend and be sent back there is beyond me. So the question is why do they? Of course there is an element of fecklessness, there always has been and always will be, but that doesn’t account for the majority. Drugs don’t help, but the same was said of gin back in the day.

    Do I know the answer? I wish I did. I know from my family’s own history that breaking the cycle isn’t easy. Having people with time on their hands and nothing to do – because there is nothing to do – certainly doesn’t help. Neither does not having a roof over your head.

    If locking them up and throwing away the key was the answer it would have worked by now. It has been shown that short term sentences actually increase the likelihood of re-offending.

    The Dutch are doing some interesting work but when I’ve mentioned this before I’ve been told it wouldn’t work here because our criminals are “different”. But he was of the hang ’em high brigade and didn’t like “being soft” on prisoners.

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    #35528

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 1,377

    I totally agree with you, the solution cannot be 3 squares, a bed and an XBox. It’s also not how prisons generally are, but how they’re presented in certain parts of the press; glorified hotels.

    It was intended to summarise the fact that everything is provided for you, and whilst, not being nice, compares favourably to prisons in some foreign parts, Turkey, Mexico, Romania, possibly Russia et al.

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    #35529

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    In some African countries you are not even fed. Your family is expected to bring food for you. Chopping off hands and heads in the Middle East also seems to work, as does 100 strokes of a cane. Apparently  we have moved beyond such forms of retribution, but sometimes I wonder.

    However the Western country with the lowest rate of recidivism is Norway‘s rate of 20%.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Ed P.
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    #35535

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 900

    Look at what we used to hang or transport people for, it didn’t stop the crimes happening did it? These people used to be killed in public so there was no doubt how nasty your end would be. They still went ahead.

    Not disagreeing, but adding context, Dave, the last public hangings were in 1868 – in those days you either stole food or starved. A life of crime wasn’t a lifestyle choice for the lazy b*stards like it is today. You didn’t steal to support a drug habit ( well heroin was around, but not to the same extent across all classes, ) you stole to survive. I err on the side of bringing back the death penalty, but if and when mistakes were made, were they not honestly made, then the liars, hiders of evidence, concealers of DNA that would exonerate the charged, would face the same penalty as the wrongly accused. That would give you a focused legal system that was a disincentive to crime. I would also lose the soft touch prison system the do-gooders have installed – you break the law, you suffer the consequences and would not want to return. I realise that is a harsh standpoint, but something needs to be done, the system just ain’t fit for purpose. Conditional to UK Citizenship, incoming migrants would also need to understand that they are welcome here so long as they continue to be law-abiding citizens ( and would sign up accordingly ) because the UK is preferable to back home. If they break the law ( no I’m not talking speeding here, but rape and murder, paedophile, groomer, sex/people trafficker style law breaking, ) they are sent home to suffer the unwelcome consequences.

    I am 100% against the death penalty unless self administed by some perp who cannot face the fact that the Life Imprisonment Sentence s/he was given truly means LIFE (which it should).   The reason I am so against it is that in US states that have reintroduced the DP the murder rate has actually gone up after the reintroduction.

    Returning to Tasers someone I was chatting with last night on that very subject, ex-military, said he thought that the Taser is best thought of as a “stand-off baton”.    It hits one just as hard as three cops might with their real batons and keeps you down the same as those three cops sitting on you.    I’d never thought of it like that but I guess its true.    He said both carry risks of injuring an innocent but as he saw it neither was worse than the other.    Then he added that in his book though if someone is wielding a bladed weapon with intent a double tap with a 9mm Browning is fully justified.    I told him he was showing his age and that these days its a Glock 17 and he’d still have one more round left in the mag after the double tap than he’d have had with a full Browning.     He just shaked his head and grinned.

     

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

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    #35539

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,448

    VFM your ex-military mate had it right: I had occasion to use the Browning myself and admired not just the stopping power, but the ease of use, fine engineering, few stoppages (if cared for correctly) and cleaning. The mag was advised as holding between 13 and 15 rounds, in use most loaded 14, whilst myself and mates loaded only 12, to allow for wear in the mag spring, but always had another full mag handy. British Army issue Brownings at the time, were all ‘well-used’ items: they were well-engineered and well-made by FN Belgium, but as with all UK MOD ordnance, they were used and handed on until even Armourers hard-pressed by the MOD minions, had to declare them no longer fit for use. Although parts were often recycled. I could probably still strip one now, although not as quickly.

    The US Military is now replacing the M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 handguns, all made by Berretta or Colt, and all of which replaced the Glock, with the Sig Sauer M17. According to the ex-Mil “Bush Telegraph” this happens quite frequently today, mostly as a result of Senatorial and manufacturer pressure. If a particularly influential Senator (or two) have an arms factory within their areas, their influence can change US Defence purchasing. The Pentagon is saying that they are making the change as the new weapon is modular and will be more accurate. That to me is BS: no handgun is accurate beyond about 25 metres; the best that can be hoped for is a body hit, preferably in the body centre. Accuracy on the ranges, does not translate to accuracy when faced with an enemy. In target shoots, the shooter can brace the weapon: I used to push the web of thumb and index finger into my thigh to brace the weapon and I was accurate up to 25 metres, with an expectation of a hit up to 50 metres. No boast, but I was good with weapons. Most of my contemporaries struggled to achieve a 4″ group of hits. I could become hysterical watching some ‘action’ movies!

    As an aside, anyone using a sidearm hopes never to have an enemy close enough! I had to use one in anger twice. It was quick: there is no time to think about it, training takes over. I used 2x double taps both times. It worked.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #35540

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    Richard my comment was factual not bigoted rubbish. Many officers no longer really know their beats and the people involved. While I agree no-one has stated that the tasering was due to inexperience, the officer concerned may have taken a totally different approach if he/she had known the full background of the individual in question, it may also have resulted in sending a team that included a mental health specialist (this is now standard practice in my area when the situation is known to include such an individual). I used to know most of the local Police force by name, I now can only place names on two or three – the older ones took the package while the experienced middle aged officers have been assigned elsewhere to bigger, higher crime regions. Please check the facts in your area before stating that my post was ‘rubbish’, and it certainly was not bigoted unless you ascribe a religious element to Conservative party membership! I’m certainly not intolerant of Conservatives in general and some such as Ken Clarke generally speak sensibly and with great experience. Others however need to be held fully accountable for their past actions or support.

    According to the available reports the van in question was pinged up as uninsured. Up to that point the thug, fool, criminal (name it as you see fit) would have been unknown to anybody on or off its ‘parish’.

    News flash, vehicles do move about and do not always stay on their home patch, they move about.

    The rest is more or less public history.

    Your copious use of the word may makes it sound like another ‘phantasy trip’.

    This smells very much like your previous fishing trip against the ‘establishment’ based on the word of the disgraced paedophile and extortioner ‘Nick’. You know the one who was championed by Watson and several police officers. Those senior officers apparently did not know cases should proceed on the basis of evidence and plausibility.

    Of course, it may, (that word again) be possible that no one knows insurance is needed for a vehicle and that without evidence of such insurance a vehicle is liable to be stopped by the police to verify its legality. It may also be that everyone drives round, (or should drive round) with a large knife in their vehicle ready to attack anyone they do not like. If that is the case I did not get the memo.

    It may equally well be that the whole thing played out by the police training book. I seriously hope so given that it is said to have been recorded on the body cameras of the police.

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    #35541

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    Richard I now see that you did not recognise that my post was actually following on from Dave’s post on people who are known to have a mental capacity problem. I agree, where something happens out of the blue, the shocking thinness of the ‘Blue Line is rarely relevant.

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    #35542

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,448

    The debate here is interesting. I believe that criminality, particularly violent crime, is going to get a lot worse in the UK. Look at what is happening. Not enough police officers, not enough time to train the 20,000 that Bonkers Boris seems to think he can recruit and magically produce within a stupidly short time. Our police officers are so hamstrung by the “Liberal” element and so threatened by what they might have to face every day. Is it to be wondered at, that a small minority make rash decisions and defend themselves with excessive force, against an incorrectly-perceived threat?

    Then think about what will happen after BB takes us through a No Deal Brexit. The economy is nose-diving now. The Pound is sinking. The USA wants to offer us all kinds of great Trade Deals, but very few others want our trade. Anyone who thinks that they will do this without huge benefit to the USA first, is deluding themselves.

    So we will be left with a police force with hands tied, a slumping economy, probable high unemployment as companies leave the UK and foreign investment disappears. America will buy up what is left and either strip it, or use the existing Zero Hours situation to pay UK employees as little as they can get away with. Whilst exporting carp into the UK. Oh, and we do not have enough resources to prevent the French or anyone else, from taking fish within fishing grounds around our coasts.

    There will be rising unemployment and crime will rise even further. So will drug use, as people escape into dreamland.

    And to cap all that, we will be less able to defend ourselves, as today it is revealed that the Army is 40% short of recruitment. Forty Per Cent! And why would young people join an organisation that intends to allow their grandfathers to be prosecuted, just for doing the work that the policies and politicians of the time, commanded them to do?

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #35607

    keith with the teef
    Participant
    @thinktank
    Forumite Points: 806

    I think so.

    I figure its no more a weapon than truncheon.

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    #35624

    isdarit
    Participant
    @isdarit
    Forumite Points: 169

    No more of a weapon than a truncheon? In the eyes of the law ones an offensive weapon the other is a firearm.

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    #35627

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 952

    EdP

    “…..While I agree no-one has stated that the tasering was due to inexperience, the officer concerned may have taken a totally different approach if he/she had known the full background of the individual in question, it may also have resulted in sending a team that included a mental health specialist (this is now standard practice in my area when the situation is known to include such an individual)….”

    I had prepared a much longer diatribe reply but lost the lost when I went to look for the above comment – going back to P1 killed what I had written!! The big question I have to ask re EdPs comment above – how do you know the person has MH issues?  It is lovely to know that his area now has specialist MH person to attend such incidents.

    Generally such incidents spark off in the street at 3am and have to be dealt with immediately and not having to wait for any MH or Social worker to attend Based on my own experience with MH specialists getting them out between 7pm and 9am is generally classed as a miracle and a ‘normal social worker’ impossible.

    Unfortunately the police these days do not have the luxury of time on their hands, they are unable to form a committee to come to an agreement, they cannot consider what the book says should be done, with what practicalities says must be done.

    Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

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    #35630

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    The big question I have to ask re EdPs comment above – how do you know the person has MH issues?

    Almost entirely from the person reporting the incident. Sadly, I’m told that many of the incidents are due to elderly people with the paranoid form of dementia waving things such as kitchen knives, or people with suicidal tendencies.  Those reporting such incidents are almost entirely carers/neighbours. I do not have any stats on the frequency of such incidents but I guess it must be a large enough number to justify such a team – I also guess the Police Commissar likes it because it looks good in the reports to the Home Office.

    I should point out that the area has only one team in one car covering a population of around one million. Due to resource limits the team only covers one shift so it is actually a bit of a lottery whether they attend an incident.

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    #35631

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 952

    EdP I do take the point you make but on many occasions such information is not always passed onto the front line police and they attend ‘in ignorance’ to face whatever is there and they have to deal with it.

    One can hardly say that your area has the MH expert you mention when this is only 1 car and that the occupants work an 8 – 10 hour shift – the problem is ALWAYS after office hours or in the ‘wee small hours of the morning’ when officers are faced with this type of situation. During the daytime (office hours) help / assistance can be obtained but the  poor police officers work 24/7/365 and the luxury of such assistance is even thinner on the ground than the current smear of the blue line.

    As an aside during my time as a Custody Sergeant – I had to accept persons detained in public places under S136 MHA – trying to get anyone out after 8pm was virtually impossible, the local MH Dept of the hospital (20 miles away) were unable to deal with the problem – no staff, no on-call doctors, no beds etc. etc. so we were forced to detain them in a Detention Room where they were safe and supervised. Even if the hospital was able to deal with the patient, it meant that 2 officers had to make the 20 mile journey and WAIT at the Unit until that person had been seen by a doctor and accepted into the Unit – quite often this could take 75% of a police shift! Made even worse when you may only have 3 officers in total on duty to patrol a large rural island.

    Such detention is now frowned upon – great – I agree – so give the police somewhere where such ill persons can be taken and not detained in a cell until ‘normal service resumes’ sometimes 15 hours hence. Person and politicians who have never had to deal with or will never ever be called to deal with such practicalities have no idea of the problems that can be and are encountered.

    I don’t know if anyone here has heard of a comedian named Alfie Moore – we are going to see him in Nov at Bromsgrove.  I first heard him on the radio where he described himself as a Cust Sgt who was on a ‘gap year’ and was turning to comedy – I listened to him intensely as he described various scenarios to his audience – so funny BUT SO TRUE. I so sympathised with him and would have to say that the majority of the UK Cust Sgts had been through most of the scenarios he so eloquently described to his audience and also inviting their participation at the same time. The audience thought him hilarious but every word he said was based on fact if you had done his work as I had.

    Ladies and gentlemen – you have got to have been there before you can really criticise – the road to hell is paved with the good intentions of those armchair experts who have the answer to almost everything but have done virtually nothing at all. The armed forces are under scrutiny for their actions 40+ years ago – people criticise what was allegedly done – but were they there AT THE TIME??????????????????

    Sorry for the rant but when people pay their dues to be protected than occasionally the human element in any interaction will go awry.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 19 hours ago by dwynnehugh.
    • This reply was modified 2 days, 19 hours ago by dwynnehugh.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

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    #35634

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    I am not sure that there is a paranoid form of dementia as such, in my experience all variations of dementia can pass through various stages. Rage and paranoia are just part and parcel as the sufferer passes through different stages of mental and physical failure. Dementia is one cause of erratic behaviour, but there are many others, some surprising, some less so just as there are different forms and causes of paranoia. Knife waving in these rather over exposed times generally needs rapid response. If a carer, paid or otherwise identifies the issue and has access to a response service qualified in the relevant speciality with 24 hour availability fine. Sadly, you would likely have more success shopping for a bag of hen’s teeth at 03:00 in the morning on a public holiday. The carer or observer either handles the incident themselves or calls for help and it will not be the AA they call but the under equipped to handle mental health issues police. Though there is a very small chance they might call for an ambulance.

    Making it a little personal what would each of us do?

    Maybe try to run for the hills, try to talk the knife swinger down, or what?

    (I have a slight advantage I know the call out numbers for the local mental health support service, but based on experiences their response times are not rapid, 12 to 36 hours can be expected.)

    So it comes down to Deal With It Yourself, call the police or perhaps your Minister of Religion of choice for divine intervention. In such a case the best-effort-protection-of-life becomes the most likely course of action, whatever that may entail. In the end it is Hobson’s choice as to what really is best. Oh, in real life you would not have time to read any of this before you need to act.

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    #35635

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 952

    ” …. Oh, in real life you would not have time to read any of this before you need to act….” – never a truer word spoken.

    Many years ago as a ‘get up and go’ young bobby I remember of a staff appraisal my Chief Superintendent asking me what I would do in the even that an airliner crashed locally – referring to my ‘wanting to go and deal with it attitude’ of those days – he suggested that I would need to look up what I should do in such scenarios. My reply was quite simple – initially my jobs to to deal with it and not read about it – that was for senior officers.  I made my point.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

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