Imagine if… all police chases were like this

Imagine if…

…all police chases were like this…

Some fantastic euphemisms in the video: “A response vehicle soon arrives and notifies the felon of their presence.” = blasts holes in their van.

I’ve driven round a fair bit of South Africa, with and without hitchhikers. (The deal is that they get a lift and I get to be nosy. Usually they offer to pay too, but I figure putting up with my questions is payment enough.)

Occasionally road signs warn not to stop under any circumstances. A bit disconcerting. (And there was a very sad story recently, in the news only because it involved foreigners and suspected twists yet to be revealed.) But as far as I’m concerned, it’s been so far so good.

The main problem I’ve had has been getting lost outside the cities. It’s a big country. Lots of space. Not so many street lights. Not so much mains electricity. And not all communities are lit up the way urban areas in Europe or the United States twinkle.

It’s eerie driving into night mist, which you then realise is smog from the kerosene stoves and lamps of the adjacent township inside the grounded cloud. An unpleasant atmosphere in which to live. Bad for lungs and eyesight, especially if you’re a child trying to read and learn.

Which is why fellas like Evans Wadongo are trying to solar powered lights. His group is doing it in Kenya. He was recently recognised by CNN – there he is getting an award from Halle Berry.

But getting back to police chases. I’ve only witnessed one in South Africa. That time the police came second – even though they were in cars, on bikes, on horseback and running. It was concerned passers-by who won the race to catch the pair who snatched a Muslim woman’s handbag. Luckily for the thieves, the police were close behind. That meant the bag snatchers suffered only a slight kicking from the cops. If the police hadn’t rescued them from the have-a-go pursuers, their fate would have been much worse. The incident impressed on me how intolerant South Africans are when it comes to crime – and why not, they’re usually the victims, not visitors.

(Thanks coltmonday for the film at the top.)

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Imagine if… all police chases were like this

  1. At this moment, I think North Korea is “about to be notified” of our presence.* Most certainly if Ronald Reagan was still around. In the meantime I would certainly love to have the opportunity to notify Halle Berry of “my presence.”

    *United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. We may also seek the assistance of those 300 Greeks that did a job on the Persians some time ago.

  2. You’re a daring man Paul, venturing into lands with signs that read “High-Jacking Hot Spot.”

  3. is The Sign For The benefit of The Driver or The HiJacker?

  4. blackwatertown

    @ Carl – I think “about to be notified of our/my/their presence” should be our new euphemism to be deployed whenever possible. I’ll try to stick to that in (my currently intermittent) future posts.
    @ Maxi – daring – another euphemism – this time for stupid, or blithely unconcerned maybe.
    @ Tony – good point – like a loading zone or a taxi queue area. Presumably hijackers risk being fined if they operate outside the designated boundaries.

  5. I can only echo Maxi’s comment, you are indeed a brave man! I wouldn’t pick up a hitchhiker full stop, let alone in a place where there are road signs warning about hijackers – I’ve always considered paranoia one of humanity’s key selective advantages, even if it does frequently run counter to that other great selective advantage of ours, sociability. The actions of the police in that video wouldn’t set my mind at ease much, either.

    In other news, you will be pleased to learn that I fully intend to make the most of the “about to be notified of my presence” euphemism in future. So long as it doesn’t involve hitchhikers, of course.

  6. BWT, I hope you are writing this from the relative safety of Ireland?

    Whew. I am obviously not made of the stuff of film and documentary makers. And not curious enough to pick up a hitchhiker and to hear a story!

    (thinking about you with Ireland econ woes in the news)

  7. And I thought all of the cowboys were in the American south west. Amazing. It’s like something at the circus concocted by clowns. Sadly, it’s real with real consequences. Clowns never deal with consequences.

    Great insight into a part of South African life on the road.

  8. blackwatertown

    @ Jake – Yes – justified paranoia v sociability. I tend to come down on the side of the latter. If I was driving across Ireland from Dublin to Limerick or thereabouts on a filthy night in days gone by, I couldn’t pass a soaked smelly farmer trudging by the side of the road. Sure who else would give him a lift? Not anyone with commonsense and a clean car. I can’t say the conversation was sparkling (and they may have felt the same) but I’d had too many lifts myself in days before to splash by.
    @ Renée – at times.
    @ kinzi – yes I’m in the relative safety – of England at the moment. Glum and cross times over beyond (in Ireland).
    @ samhenry – You’re right. They’ve decided to take the circus to the people, so the audience won’t have to go to the trouble of entering the Big Top.

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