the pork-bolter
No 49, November 2002

Cop in phoney call

A WORTHING police sergeant lied about his identity over the phone and falsely claimed to be a member of the press calling from a local radio station.

That’s the shocking truth to emerge from a statement given exclusively to The Porkbolter by a Worthing woman and reproduced here. We have documented in past issues how police have constantly harassed and intimidated locals opposed to the Titnore Lane housing development in West Durrington. But this instance of bad behaviour by the Bullies in Blue is the worst yet. They did not even have the spurious pretext of a "potentially troublesome" event to fall back on this time - all they were worried about was the handing in of a petition to the Mayor of Worthing by Green MEP Dr Caroline Lucas at the Town Hall - a completely harmless media-orientated event. Are we now to understand that raising petitions to the council on issues of local importance makes you a suspected criminal or terrorist? Can we take seriously police claims to be undermanned and overstretched when they can devote so much time and effort to political vendettas against people whose views they and their masters do not approve of? Have a read of this and make your own mind up!

"I agreed to be the telephone contact for John Clark (who was out at work and unobtainable during the day) on a press release informing media that the Petition against the West Durrington Development would be presented by Dr Lucas on 19 September to the Mayor of Worthing. I would take contact details of calls and pass them on to him for actioning later. I received a phone call from PC Mark Stevens on 01243 843586 asking to speak to John Clark. I explained the position and told him he would ring him back later. However, he was unsatisfied with this and told me I had been identified as a POW ‘organiser’ and would be expected to liaise with the Police over POW activities as they needed a contact - also that I was associated with a press release threatening ‘civil unrest’. I insisted I didn’t consider myself to be an ‘organiser’ and after further discussion he agreed, albeit reluctantly, to make an entry on police records to this effect. Having assured him that the Petition presentation would be peaceful and good natured - probably not very well attended as most people would be at work - I was led to believe there would be no further contact.

However, on the morning of 18 September I received a phone call from someone identifying himself only as "press". When asked who he worked for, he replied "Spirit Radio in Portsmouth" [PORKBOLTER NOTE: It’s actually based in Chichester] and gave his name as Kevin Jenkins. He started asking questions about John Clark and then myself, but I told him I had already spoken twice that morning to Phillip at Spirit FM who had arranged an interview direct with Caroline Lucas and couldn’t understand why he was duplicating this information. He seemed surprised, said he would talk to Phillip and rung off. As he sounded very odd and I was uneasy about the call, I rang 1471 and discovered he was calling from 01903 264747 - not from Portsmouth as he had said.

Half an hour later he was on my doorstep, introducing himself as Sergeant Kevin Jenkins, Community Safety Unit, Highdown Division, Sussex Police. I told him I was most concerned that he had impersonated a member of the press and lied to me during our telephone conversation and that he hadn’t behaved professionally in keeping with his position as a police officer - he had really let himself down. I also told him he was setting a terrible example to my two children who were within earshot. He offered no apology or explanation for his deception. I pointed out that police priorities seemed somewhat skewed - he had managed to trace my address through my telephone number on the police computer as a matter of the utmost urgency and felt it vital to visit me immediately, when the response to a recent burglary at my home was to send a fingerprint officer round two weeks after the event, who apologised for the delay (lack of manpower and resources) and admitted his visit was a complete waste of time owing to the time lapse.

As a ‘victim of crime’ I asked him to explain this discrepancy, but he was completely disinterested, didn’t wish to discuss the burglary but only my involvement as a POW ‘organiser’. He cited the fact that there was a notice on the noticeboard in my front garden giving details of Dr Lucas’s visit to Worthing and the fact that I had collected signatures on the petition (as had dozens of other people) as irrefutable proof of my ‘organisational involvement’ and announced I would now be expected to attend future meetings with Worthing Police as contact for POW, which I declined. I told him my association with POW was linked to Green Party opposition to the environmental destruction of the Titnore area which was common knowledge, and that information about POW events came from the website which he was welcome to visit, and again insisted that I was not an ‘organiser’. After the ‘discussion’ had continued for a while, I told him I expected him to behave honestly in future and he replied "tell that to all the dishonest people in your organisation" in a very heated manner before leaving my front garden, as I had requested. I have been asked to pass on his contact number so that organisers can identify themselves - 01243 843592/07785 314833 or e-mail: highdown.csu@sussex.police.uk

Incidentally, my 20 year old son recognised Sergeant Jenkins immediately as the policeman who approached himself and two friends sitting quietly on the beach about to enjoy an early evening drink in the sunshine a while ago. He demanded to see proof of their ages - only the girl could do this although the other lad was obviously at least his 21 years, and he proceeded to pour away my son’s full can of beer and a full bottle of wine which his friends were about to share, onto the pebbles, apparently enjoying himself enormously. I am told the policeman with him said nothing and appeared very uncomfortable."


POLICE ALERT!

WORTHING police’s new district commander Chief Inspector Russ Whitfield defended poor police response to local crime in the Worthing Herald on October 10. He said: "We do not have limitless manpower to put a policeman on every street corner. We will put police presence where it is needed and target people who are habitual offenders" - and, of course, people who collect names on petitions against masssive greenfield property developments.
* * *

THE self-important members of Sussex Police Authority voted to carry on travelling around the place first-class - at our expense (Argus, October 7). A cheap day return ticket from Brighton to Victoria costs £15.20 while a first class fare runs to £41.20.
* * *

POLICE figure prominently among paedophile suspects traced through the internet. "nvestigators now believe as many as 90 police officers have so far been identified from an initial trawl of 200 of the British names found in the US". (The Observer, October 20) Two Sussex coppers involved in the Sarah Payne murder case have already been arrested and suspended for paedophile links, and another two were arrested in Cambridgeshire, including the detective who read a poem at the memorial service for the murdered 10-year-olds Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. Remember kids - you can always trust a copper!
* * *

A BIG increase in the part of our council tax that goes to the police is on the cards, warns The Worthing Guardian (September 27). Maybe they should spend it on teaching their officers to lie more convincingly!
* * *

"IN groups of 12, with truncheons drawn, the police followed through with a series of running charges. Unfortunately, these continued the entire length of South Street and later resulted in accusations that several ‘really savage assaults’ were made on ‘peaceful and unoffending’ townspeople who claimed they had never even heard the Riot Act being read. Worthing’s best-known pastry cook at the time, by the name of Semandeni, stepped out of his South Street shop to watch the rioting and had his head smashed by a policeman’s truncheon. He later died as a result of the injury." (Worthing Herald, Oct 10, recalling the event of August 1884 when police went on the rampage in the town. How things have changed over the last 118 years!)

Greed’s growing nightmare

HERE’S an easy question? Why is it that we are supposed to have to put up with new houses, roads and factories being constantly built over our countryside? That’s right! Because the population is rapidly increasing. Only it isn’t! The latest census statistics showed that the UK population is now only growing very slowly and looks set to actually decline in time. Now this should be good news - excellent news in fact. People arguing for a genuinely green, sustainable future often point out that this will only be possible if the population, in the future, is reduced. "So how are you going to do that?" they will then usually be asked. "Mass sterilisation campaigns? Culling programmes?" Now, it seems, that line of argument is irrelevant. The population will decrease of its own accord. It’s just a question of waiting and nature will sort it out for us...

Great. Trouble is, population growth has always been rather popular with the powers-that-be, whatever they might say in public. If the population gets bigger and bigger all the time, that means there are more and more people to make money out of and the scum at the top can get richer and richer at our expense. That’s part of what they call "economic growth". So now they’re getting worried that this could all come to an end. Explained a report in the business section of The Observer (October 6): "The essential point is that the working age population is not growing fast. This factor is an essential input into economic growth, as the experience of the US shows." Among the alarming measures suggested to counter this threat to Fat Cat bank accounts are "stop people retiring", "stop British workers migrating abroad", "attract foreign workers" or "persuading young Britons to increase the fertility rate from a record low of 1.64". There’s the future then - working till we drop dead on a prison island full of easily exploited "illegal" immigrants, where birth control is outlawed!

Marvellous, isn’t it?


People power victory!

A VICTORY for people power is being claimed as Worthing council defied central control and said no to a 90-house development at Beeches Avenue (Argus, October 25). The decision went against the advice of a Government inspector involved in the Local Plan and the Government might eventually overturn the decision, however. Executive councillor for planning Chris Sargent said: "There may be consequences of us withdrawing from the plans at this stage. But what we are here for is to do the right thing for Worthing. This council did not want a development at Lyons Farm but a Government inspector overruled the council and put the car park and B&Q on the face of the downs. A minister in London is making decisions about Worthing but what does he know about Worthing? They say land holders are the guardians of the countryside - they are until they see £50 notes."

Even council leader Sheila Player got in on the act, saying: "I am sick to death of being pushed about by the Government." Karl Heryet, of Beeches Action Group said: "The council listened to the public. Everything they said is what we have been saying all year. It shows what a bit of people power can do."

You don’t hear this often from us, but WELL DONE WORTHING COUNCIL! Now let’s have more of the same on Titnore!


Masts hide secret radar

A report in The Observer (October 13) says: "Secret radar technology research that will allow the biggest-ever extension of Big Brother-style surveillance in the UK is being funded by the Government." It explains the system "uses mobile phone masts to allow security authorities to watch vehicles and individuals in real time almost anywhere in Britain. The technology ‘sees’ the shapes made when radio waves emitted by mobile phone masts meet an obstruction. Researchers are working to give the new equipment X-ray vision, the capability to ‘see’ through walls and look into people’s homes." So that’s why all those mobile phone masts are being hidden in Shell petrol station signs and the walls of McDonald’s restaurants (The Sun, Oct 8). And they said it was for phone customers’ convenience...

Gnome terror hits town

A flying gnome in the wee small hours recently shattered the lounge windows of Sunny Worthing Arts Group (SWAG) committee members. Hille Cook, new Vice Chair, commented: "I feel sorry for the little fellow. Either he was desperate to join SWAG and couldn’t reach the door bell or it was a futile and costly gesture of resistance towards Worthing’s burgeoning Arts scene". Given the benefit of the doubt, Tinkle the gnome has now been co-opted as SWAG’s Middle Earth representative, working underground to promote the Arts in Worthing for the rest of his immortal life in order to pay for the damage.

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

TWO people arrested at the May 26 Titnore Woods demo are due up in Worthing courts for trial from Monday November 11, 10am. Moral support welcome. Contact pow@worthinga27.freeserve.co.uk for campaign latest.
* * *

WHAT happened to community spirit in this country? Why do we all act like victims? Why do we expect "somebody" to solve everything for us and not feel any responsibility to do it ourselves? Why doesn’t democracy start at grass roots level - in streets, villages and estates - rather than with politicians? These will be the questions discussed at a special meeting on "Community Action - Taking Control of Our Lives" in Worthing on Tuesday November 12, 7.45pm. This will be held upstairs at The Downview pub opposite West Worthing rail station and hosted by Worthing Anarchists, who are part of the umbrella campaign group worthing eco-action (worthing@eco-action.org). Note: The meeting is not on the usual first Tuesday of the month because that clashes with bonfire night at Lewes, an unmissable date in the Sussex calendar.
* * *

Following the success of the October event, the next Worthing Green Social is on Wednesday November 13 at 8pm for an 8.15pm start. The venue will be the upstairs bar at Barney’s Café Bar in Portland Road (behind Boots). Contact rdocwra@hotmail.com or 01903 529467.
* * *

A CHRISTMAS Without Cruelty Bazaar is being held on Saturday November 23, 10am-2pm, at Christ Church Hall, Portland Road, Worthing. Entrance is just 20p, children free. Delicious veggie food will be served throughout the day and local poet Fay Marshall will be signing books.
* * *

HERE’S one to cheer up our pals on the Worthing Herald. The diligent journos have been doggedly determined to inject humour into their publication since we cruelly suggested the "Monty" column was somewhat lacking in that department. The website http://www.framleyexaminer.com offers a fine model for any local newspaper to base itself on, covering big stories like "a fireman stuck up a tree being rescued by a cat, or the local W.I. burying themselves in a time capsule, or just someone selling their second-hand child’s Paul Simon costume".
* * *

SCHNEWS of The World, this year’s book from the inspirational Brighton-based radical weekly newsletter, is now on sale at £7. As well as containing issues 301-350, this features reports from Iraq, Palestine, Congo, Genoa and, errr, Durrington. Info on http://www.schnews.org.uk or buy it from the Worthing Anarchists’ stall in Montague Place, Worthing, on (dry) Saturdays, 1pm-3pm.
* * *

AN American army of occupation in Iraq would "administer the country’s huge oil deposits", revealed The Guardian on October 12. It added: "The future of Iraqi oil is a vital factor underlying the current talks at the UN security council about a resolution. Both France and Russia have significant stakes in the Iraqi oilfields and have been alarmed by Iraqi opposition suggestions that those stakes might be rescinded once President Saddam has fallen, in favour of a US-led consortium. France and Russia have been seeking reassurance from Washington and have been told that they will have to throw their weight behind a hardline US ultimatum over arms inspections if they want to recoup their investments." Well, well, well... Anyone as sickened as us by the prospect of the hypocritical US war on Iraq is urged to get over to Churchill Square in Brighton from 5.30pm on the day after war is announced for a "noise" protest - bring pots, pans etc.

Sussex Police - an apology

The following statement was issued yesterday: "Sussex Police would like to apologise wholeheartedly for the intrusive, insensitive and intimidatory way in which we have been behaving towards residents of Worthing Borough campaigning against the proposed housing development at West Durrington. We deeply regret the intimidatory tactics and misleading statements that have been deployed over the last few months. The officers involved at all levels will be facing disciplinary action and we hereby pledge to the free citizens of Worthing that from now on they will be free to exercise their democratic rights unhindered by our organisation, which we now admit had no place interfering in such issues of crucial public interest in the first instance."

Never mind, only dreaming.


Can you help us?

The Porkbolter has now been going five years and despite a little bit of self-satisfaction at having notched this up, your Porky team are always aware that we could be achieving a lot more... If there’s stuff you think we should be covering or saying, please let us know. We are also now keen to step up our distribution within the borough and make sure even more people can see this newsletter each month. If you can help distribute copies in any way, big or small, or know anyone else who can (for instance, by having them available in a shop, cafe, hairdresser’s, dentist’s, etc) please get in touch. A free and independent media is vital to any democracy and together we can achieve that for Worthing!

* The Pork-Bolter is a local independent newsletter named after an old nickname for Worthing people and run entirely by volunteers. To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of at least £3 payable to The Porkbolter. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ or send e-mail porkbolter@eco-action.org. e-mail subscriptions are also available.

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright. No invite to the police ball for us this year, then.


Extra! Extra!


Hamming it up since '97


The first five years of The Porkbolter

The Porkbolter is five years old! And for those few of you who haven’t rushed out to find each and every issue as published over the years and lovingly collated them in a plush folder to pore over time and time again on rainy evenings, here is a very brief synopsis of what we’ve been on about all this time. We can send you copies of back issues on request and most of them are up on this website.

May 1 1997. A nation rejoices. Labour wins election.

May 2 1997. Millions realise they’ve been had. New Labour, Same Old Bollocks.

October 1997. A nation rejoices again. The Porkbolter is born. Shock waves rock Westminster, Washington DC and the housing committee at Worthing Borough Council.

November 1997. Early warning. We declare on green gaps: "There must be no surrender at Goring Gap, Titnore Lane or East Worthing."

February 1998. We warn that mobile phones can be used "as a sinister police state device to track people’s every movement".

May 1998. Double whammy! We win the local election with 69.8% following our call for a poll boycott. And the Worthing Herald admits: "CCTV cameras fail to cut crime."

July 1998. Dolphins prefer Tim Loughton MP to colleague Peter Bottomley, we exclusively reveal. October 1998. We recount Rotarian and ex-copper "Rocket" Ron Noakes’ extraordinarily comic attempts to halt Worthing Eco-Festival.

November 1998. We report the opening of Worthing’s first ever squatted free cafe, The Anarchist Teapot.

March 1999. "Porky Pie’s Tip on How to Exhaust the Democratic Process. 1. Vote for it. 2. Write to it. 3. Petition it. 4. If it still won’t listen, chase it down to the beach with big sticks and set fire to it."

July 1999. We start a (successful) campaign to stop Montague Place being built on.

October 1999. "Green shoots of hope" is first ever optimistic front page in Porkbolter history. What’s happening?

November 1999. Phew! Back to normal. In the 21st century we will all be "worked to death", we warn.

March 2000. We name and shame Riot Gran. Her identity still eludes Sussex Police today.

October 2000. We ask "Is Bottomley An Alien?" after MP claims he can walk from Worthing to Cissbury Ring in five minutes.

February 2001. We team up with TV’s Mark Thomas to make Allied Dunbar pay £500 to Thomas a Becket First School in Tarring.

April 2001. "Foot and Mouth MPs could be culled" (SATIRE).

October 2001. "USA Set to Bomb Evil Worthing" (SATIRE)

December 2001. "A massive battle is shaping up to save ancient woodland in Durrington". (NOT SATIRE).

Spring 2002. Photos never lie. The roadsign reads: "Worthing - centre for low wages, debt and hypocrisy".

July 2002. "350 march on Titnore".

September 2002. "Operation Hysteria" as cops go mental over support for Titnore campaign (see July).

November 2002. Launch of new five-year Porky plan.

December 2002. Welcome to the glorious future!


and finally ...
Reclaim Your Town, Reclaim Your Life!

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