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Wear your uniform (part 2)

with 2 comments

high visibility vestThe prisoners do “voluntary” work

I first broached the subject of our prison uniform back in March, after returning from the school walk in South Shields, and this morning my mind turns to exactly the same subject after encountering the “walking train”. Staffed by prisoners volunteers a small body of school children, perhaps a dozen or fifteen, are walked along a prescribed route to and from school calling at various houses along the way to collect or deposit children “safely”.

The volunteers who walk with the children, of course, are all required to wear the obligatory UK Civilian Prisoner uniform, the ubiquitous high visibility vest, a couple at the front and a couple at the rear, it seems that for children the wearing of the uniform is still a voluntary decision, some do, some don’t. You can see them clearly without a doubt, but as I said in the last post you would see such a large group of accompanied children very clearly with or without the uniform. But, it is almost obligatory now, every profession, every person performing every menial task out of doors MUST be seen to wear it.

I, for one, cannot remember the last time that a child was killed on the roads of South Shields when walking in such an organised group supervised by adults, can you? There may have been one or two road deaths including children over the past fifty years or so, but can you honestly put your hand on your heart and say a yellow vest would have saved their lives? It is very unlikely, in fact just as unlikely as a motorist ploughing into a “walking train” because they weren’t wearing high viz vests. The vast majority of motorists have no wish nor desire to get involved in incidents that might cause harm or even death, the vast majority of motorists can see pedestrians (certainly larger groups), the vast majority of motorists can also see lots of “prisoners” out on the streets wearing uniforms (lollipop ladies, repair men, builders, leaflet distributors, policemen and women, cyclists, bin men, gardeners, market research interviewers) so one more set of vests is only going to be lost amongst the crowd.

My own feeling is that the wearing of the uniform has been enforced by the insurers, solicitors, and legal teams following the introduction by the Blairites of the no win no fee system of compensation for all, indeed my ears continually ring with the adverts and advice churned out on television and radio by the “warders and screws”. I’m pretty confident too that should a building collapse, a car hit a human, or a gas main explode, then there is a fair risk that someone will be hurt, I’m also pretty damned sure that the “uniform” won’t save them, but at least the insurers will act quickly on the claim! So long as the prisoner is wearing his uniform the system will look after him. There also seems to be a mentality that insists that those not wearing the “uniform” are outside of our system of control, cannot be trusted, and most of them are blind!

Getting back to the “walking train” these poor volunteers will not be feeling completely safe until they have their individual certificates tucked into their inside pockets, yes, that’s right the ones from the Independent Safeguarding Authority that proves that they have proved to a government manadarin that they are not paedophiles, child molesters, thieves, vagabonds, fraudsters, or killers. They will have proved their innocence, and worn the uniform with pride, they can safely walk your children to school, without fear of prosecution or civil damages actions.

Great feeling isn’t it.

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Written by curly

September 25, 2009 at 9:48 am

2 Responses

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    • I’m only guessing (seeing as the BBC report did not confirm this) that the wearing of high viz vests was utterly ineffective.


      September 26, 2009 at 12:40 am

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