I bet drinkers in a certain little corner of England are already raising their glasses and toasting the news that drunks are to be given free taxi rides home after a ‘hard night’s work’ quaffing ale down at the local!
It’s apparently an attempt to cut violence and anti-social behaviour on Friday and Saturday nights in the Norfolk town of Watton (population approximately 7,000 – for more details, see website: http://www.about-norfolk.com/watton/ ), according to Sergeant Lance Ogbourne of Norfolk Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, which came up with the idea.
“This will remove many of the stragglers left over from the pub,” he says in an interview. “These people would not normally take a taxi. They would normally walk .
Walk, Sgt Ogbourne? I don’t think so. Stagger, sway – or even crawl – yes. But walk, a definite no!
However, on a more realistic note he adds: “It is these people who are susceptible to incidents of crime and can cause criminal damage.”
Well, excuse me but doesn’t this all sound like a licence for anyone – not just the odd one or two habitual drunks every town seems to acquire – to get absolutely legless with the expectation of being given a free pre-paid taxi ride home? What a great idea!
Unbelievably, Watton Town Council has already sanctioned a £350 grant from taxpayers’ money to cover some of the journeys (does that mean identities of likely users are already known?!) during a three-month trial period, and a local taxi firm has agreed to ferry tipsy boozers home after ‘chucking out time’, between 11.30pm and 2am.
To be fair, one town councillor is not so sure about the experiment, which – if my calculations are right – will take in Christmas and the New Year. “It might actually encourage youngsters to go out and get drunk, knowing that they will be able to get a free ride home,” said 75-year-old Alf Harvey. Er, yes, Alf – I reckon there’s a very good chance of that happening!
In the meantime, Norfolk Police is looking for firms and officials to sponsor the trial. And I, like many others I expect, will be heading towards Watton by public transport for a session with the lads – plus a free lift home to West Sussex (with any luck)!
Alternatively, as the pubs will probably be packed solid, I might just give that area of Norfolk a miss for the next three months.
Anyway, cheers to all you happy Wattonians – and good luck with the experiment! Hope Sussex Police give it whirl in our neck of the woods!
CRASH COURSE IN BEAUTY
Blokes aren’t very good at multi-tasking are they? But, apparently, neither are women – when it comes to driving and putting on their make-up at the same time!
A poll of 4,000 women drivers by motor insurer Diamond found that girls in the 17 to 21 age group were the most likely to put beauty before safety – and most liable to crash as a result. A comforting statistic for anyone driving in the opposite direction!
Twenty-seven per cent confessed to putting on make-up while driving with nine per cent of those aged 18 or below being involved in an accident – three times the average for women drivers.
In the 56+ age group, six per cent admitted using make-up while at the wheel, but only half a per cent actually crashed!
And here, I feel fully justified in taking a quote from Diamond managing director Sian Lewis totally out of context: “Is your mascara more important than your, and other road users’, safety?” she asks.
Well, I think there’s a clue in the result of your poll, Sian!
What country would be able to provide a suitable twin town for an Israeli counterpart? Britain? France? Italy, maybe? No, all wrong. How about Germany, Dachau to be precise – the Munich suburb that housed the death camp where 60,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis in World War ll.
Incredible, that is what not-so-tactful Moshe Sinai, Mayor of Rosh Ha’Ayin, a town 15 miles from Tel Aviv, proposed – sparking uproar among fellow residents who, not surprisingly, did not agree with Mr Sinai that the pairing would “honour” the memory of the Holocaust by bringing young Israelis and Germans together.
As politician Moshe Zanbar, a Dachau survivor, put it: “We were worked to death there.
“Any agreement between Dachau and an Israeli town is too much for me.”
Time will never completely heal atrocities of war – the memory of Dachau lives on.
Don’t be surprised if while gazing up at the Moon tonight (Friday, October 9) – and every night hereafter, for that matter – it looks a bit different. For example, you may notice a new bite-sized chunk missing from the surface or, worse still, a damn great hole through the whole thing!
This will be because good old NASA has actually succeeded in smashing a 2.2 ton Centaur rocket into the surface at 5,600 mph in an attempt to find ice, which could be used as a water source for any future manned base on the Moon.
All will be filmed and beamed back to Earth by a satellite, following just four minutes behind the doomed rocket – before it, too, ends up on the lunar scrapheap.
At the very least, it could give any lunar couples frolicking about in the dust a good excuse to use the phrase: “Did the Moon move for you, darling”!
Have a good weekend.