The new sneaky ‘non-flashing’ cameras (as reported in article 2) this month, are likely to diminish the number of mobile hand-held cameras used by the police force, as the number of offenders/criminals/motorists caught on the new cameras are expected to soar.
Which fittingly leads us to our favourite speed camera story of the year. In true (yes, true) soap-opera style, please give it up for our boys in blue! Sorry, orange…
EXT. A1 Great North Road, North Berwick – DAY
In North Berwick, East of Edinburgh, two traffic patrol officers were happily zapping motorists emerging over the crest of a hill using a hand-held radar device. The officers were suddenly startled to see the device display a whopping reading of over 300mph! A system malfunction followed and the officers could not reset their beloved camera. The device had in fact locked on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet over the North Sea, which was engaged in a low-flying exercise over the Borders district. Outraged, the Chief Constable back at headquarters issued an abrasive complaint to the RAF Liaison Office.
3 days later…
INT. Police Headquarters, North Berwick – DAY
Correspondence arrives on the Chief Constable’s desk.
Cue the succinct RAF response:
“Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to your ‘hostile radar equipment’ and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, the Sidewinder air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also locked on to the target. Fortunately the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched”.