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Slightly mugged

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25th Oct 2007 | 22:06

On Thursday evenings I go to the pub for a few beers with friends. The route I walk from work goes across Jesus Green from Lower Park St to Carlyle Rd. This evening it was darker than usual, because of cloud cover and the lamp on the path being broken. There's usually a few people walking across the park but this evening it was quiet.

As I was approaching the Jesus Lock end at about 20:30, I saw three youths cutting across from the right-hand avenue onto then path. They walked towards me widely spread abreast, so that two of them were on the grass and I had plenty of space to pass between them. As I did so, one of them pushed me over onto the grass. I said "cunt!" or something like that, and he started to have a bit of a go with feet and fists saying "giz ya phone". He wasn't hitting hard, so I told him it was worthless to him. I tried briefly to get up and fight back but this made them hid harder (one or two of the others joined in) and I found that curling up on the ground and protecting my head didn't excite them. Soon they lost their bottle and ran off towards Park St.

They didn't get my phone, or the £60 in my wallet, and only bruised me slightly. Sore cheek and forearm, and back is fine despite taking most of the blows. I was more annoyed by them than scared - it seemed that Dickhead #1 was just showing off, and not really intent on theft or injury.

What a bore. I was going to have to call the police to report the crime, but I wasn't hurt and hadn't lost anything, but it was just enough to utterly disrupt my evening. Chiz.

At this point I should have dialled 999 on the phone that the chavs were too crap to steal properly. However I wasn't hurt and I did not see enough of them to be able to identify them (dark clothes, dark night), so I called Rachel to get the Police non-emergency number. I didn't get through to anyone until about 10 minutes after the mugging, at which point I find out that the Police wanted to take it much more seriously, and if I had called 999 they might have been able to see something useful with their CCTV cameras. Silly me.

I walk home to reassure Rachel that I am fine, and soon a couple of coppers come to take a verbal statement and give me an incident number. They classified it as assaulted by common people common assault (but not attempted robbery, since they were just being dickheads).

After that I made myself some dinner and Rachel and I settled down to watch yesterday's episode of Heroes. But Charles managed to have a suck on the DVR buttons (which we usually try to prevent) and they didn't work. Faugh, I say! Faugh and thrice faugh!

Time to find another beer and see if half an hour in the airing cupboard has fixed the buttons.

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Comments {42}

Colette

from: bellinghwoman
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:17 (UTC)

Aieee! Bastards!! Very glad to hear you're (mostly) OK, would be better if you were entirely OK, of course - hope the bruising and soreness are soon gone.

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Kake

from: nou
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:26 (UTC)

Blimey. Glad you're OK.

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Mike

from: knell
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:46 (UTC)

Worst! Muggers! Ever!

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:47 (UTC)

Yeah pretty much :-)

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Rachel Coleman

from: rmc28
date: 26th Oct 2007 05:54 (UTC)

I am not usually happy about incompetence, but in this case I make an exception.

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gareth_rees

from: gareth_rees
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:54 (UTC)

Now is a good time for a political lurch to the right.

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The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 26th Oct 2007 05:47 (UTC)

Or to the left.

(It's all the fault of that Thatcherite 'There's no such thing as society', doncha know?)

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from: catamorphism
date: 25th Oct 2007 22:56 (UTC)

So are you now slightly conservative? :-)

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cartesiandaemon

from: cartesiandaemon
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:07 (UTC)

Ouch, that's awful (even though it could have been a lot worse). I'm glad you're ok.

I know what you mean about 999. I know I'm too diffident. I think I have an implanted idea to call 999 for a robbery though, even if it seems like there's nothing police on the scene could do.

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Matthew

from: emperor
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:09 (UTC)

That's deeply crap. I'm glad you're OK!

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from: furrfu
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:21 (UTC)

That's rather scary. Glad to hear you got away (or rather, stayed and they went away) fairly ok.

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Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:22 (UTC)

Ow!

I did notice your absence from the Carlton, though I thought no more of it since you're often not there.

I'm glad you're relatively unscathed. Yes, calling 999 if a violent crime has just that moment happened is a good idea. A handy tip, incidentally, is that if you dial 999 then repeatedly tap the handset's screen with a fingernail they'll connect the call to the police; I believe the police can then locate your phone to within a hundred metres or so. That could be worth doing even while trouble is ongoing.

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The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 26th Oct 2007 05:48 (UTC)

Ah, does this require a touch screen? Or require not having a touch screen? Because I'd imagine they behave very differently.

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Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 26th Oct 2007 14:25 (UTC)

I believe the requirement is simply to make a noise they can tell is human and deliberate, meaning "I genuinely intended to dial 999, but can't talk".

So it works with a non-touch screen. Presumably, with a touch screen one would have to avoid tapping any active areas, which could be interesting.

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The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 26th Oct 2007 14:30 (UTC)

Pressing one of the number keys in a morse SOS would presumably work then. Or tapping the base of the case instead.

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(Deleted comment)

Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 26th Oct 2007 14:31 (UTC)

Many years ago, it was decided that mobile phones must always be able to make emergency calls. This has two good effects and one disastrously insane. On the plus side, a mobile phone can make an emergency call even when barred, out of credit, lacking a SIM card, etc. it can also make an emergency call using any network if you're out of coverage for your own provider. On the negative side, you can make an emergency call when keylock is engaged. (Try it: lock your phone and hit '999'. Regardless of make or model, you'll see the digits come up, just begging for you to hit the green button.) Since it's quite easy for 9 9 9 green or 1 1 2 green (which also works) to get pressed in one's pocket this means the overwhelming majority of emergency calls from mobile phones are false alarms.

I've personally made at least half a dozen accidental 999 calls from my mobile in the past decade, which marginally outnumbers my intentional calls.

So if you dial 999 but don't say anything, they assume it's an accidental call unless they can hear something that alarms them. To make sure, they ask you to tap the screen repeatedly if you're really there but unable to talk. If you happen to know this fact, you can do it even when also unable to listen.

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The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 26th Oct 2007 14:33 (UTC)

I have dialled 999 twice. Well, no, one of those times my phone dialled 999. I was distinctly embarassed when I discovered it, but I didn't do so due to the police turning up.

(And that reminds me - I think a friend's small child has learnt to press the buttons on his mobile. I'm often first in an address book.)

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Flash Bristow

from: techiebabe
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:22 (UTC)

Ouch, Tony :(

FWIW the police are happy to receive a 999 call if it will stop a crime in progress or they have a good chance of catching someone. We've been told to call 999 for chavs selling hooky DVDs outside shopping malls, for example.

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Vyvyan

from: vyvyan
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:35 (UTC)

Oh no! That sounds very unpleasant. Glad you're not badly hurt.

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cvrt

from: covertmusic
date: 25th Oct 2007 23:55 (UTC)

Oh, man. :(

I was wondering why you three hadn't made it - my sis sent me a lovely pic of my nephew I was going to show off to you!

I'm so glad to hear you're OK, though - that's the main thing.

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Rachel Coleman

from: rmc28
date: 26th Oct 2007 05:56 (UTC)

I decided after last week that the pub is no longer compatible with Charles getting enough sleep: he likes to sleep just about the time we normally arrive which means around 9pm there is a period of loud furiously-tired toddler and it's all too wearing on all of us (including the other pubgoers).

So we will be alternating or not going at all, and working on other socialising strategies.

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cvrt

from: covertmusic
date: 26th Oct 2007 12:24 (UTC)

Ah, okay; that's a pity, though I totally understand where you're coming from...

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The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 26th Oct 2007 06:05 (UTC)

Ow, ow, ow!

Sympathies.

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(Deleted comment)

Arnhem

from: arnhem
date: 26th Oct 2007 08:15 (UTC)

Grr. Angry now.

Really sorry to hear about this, but glad it wasn't worse.

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bite me blondie

from: felinitykat
date: 26th Oct 2007 08:20 (UTC)

God, I'm sorry. Complete f*ckers. I'm glad you're OK, but I'm really sorry that it happened to you.

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Owen Massey McKnight

from: addedentry
date: 26th Oct 2007 08:57 (UTC)

Bother, to adapt your understated tone; I'm glad you're okay, and I'll take a note about when to call 999.

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Pete

from: pjc50
date: 26th Oct 2007 09:20 (UTC)

Ouch :(

Alistair Turnbull got hit by some chavs (no apparent motive) in that area a few weeks ago.

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Laura

from: uisgebeatha
date: 26th Oct 2007 09:20 (UTC)

Eep! Glad you were OK.

The chavs back home were just as inept, and I found that my Mum's technique of 'angry small Glaswegian' works surprisingly well at making them flee. It doesn't even require several bottles of Buckfast! ;)

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Mole

from: megamole
date: 26th Oct 2007 09:42 (UTC)

Ow. May their private parts wither slowly and then drop off.

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Kimberley Verburg

from: sierra_le_oli
date: 26th Oct 2007 10:47 (UTC)

Glad you're ok and that they didn't get anything. And thanks for the tip on when to call 999.

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Korenwolf

from: korenwolf
date: 26th Oct 2007 11:17 (UTC)

*meep* here's to all muggers being equally useless.

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kötturinn

from: kotturinn
date: 26th Oct 2007 11:31 (UTC)

Ouch indeed. Agree with other comments, especially as to your health, their level of competence and the wishes for their continued - ah - health!

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Sally

from: atreic
date: 26th Oct 2007 12:52 (UTC)

Poor you! I was about to type "that's unbelievable", but I suppose it's not any more :-(

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Nicolai The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate

from: _nicolai_
date: 26th Oct 2007 14:05 (UTC)

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their bedrolls!

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(Deleted comment)

Mole

from: megamole
date: 29th Oct 2007 16:17 (UTC)

I had a stalker a few years ago

!!!

Would be interested to know more, if you feel able to share it.

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louise_e_f

from: louise_e_f
date: 27th Oct 2007 12:38 (UTC)

God! Utterly horrified! I wish I could bash their bloody heads together violently and tell them to get their own phones! How dare they attack my darling boy? I hope you get on to the council, or whoever, and give them a piece of your mind about the light and get it fixed. At least then the CCTV cameras might have a chance of seeing who these little scroats are even if it doesn't prevent them having a go. I suppose it could have been so much worse, but I thought walking around Cambridge was reasonably safe. Hear hear, faugh to everything. Do the telly tits work again now? Your loving Mother. xx

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Arnhem

from: arnhem
date: 31st Oct 2007 00:24 (UTC)

Looks like they've got a taste for it (but still haven't worked out how to be competent)

Almost worth publicising as a regular evening entertainment: "Come to Jesus Green and see the worst muggers in the world fail to make off with anything, even when they've got an 8 to 1 advantage. Watch them flee as the odds are balanced up to a scary 8 vs 2"

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Arnhem

from: arnhem
date: 31st Oct 2007 00:26 (UTC)

(Errm, except for the whole being-mugged-not-being-an-entertainment aspect of it all, of course. Sorry for lack of tact)

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 31st Oct 2007 14:47 (UTC)

No worries - your comment was amusing :-)

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