11/15/2021Australia, France, Germany, Italy, UK: Speed Cameras Disresected, Disabled
UK dispatched six police to arrest frail man who mooned a speed camera. Elsewhere in Europe, speed cameras were blinded and burned last week.
By Richard Diamond/Staff Reports
Police in West Mercia, England, were so enraged that a man showed disrespect toward a speed camera that they immediately dispatched six police officers to arrest him at his home in Kidderminster on November 5. Darrell Meekcom, 55, suffers from multiple system atrophy, a terminal illness and thought it would be fun to moon the speed camera van on Stourbridge Road.
"I still maintain those officers have completely overreacted because I still haven't seen anything about a law against mooning," Meekcom told the Plymouth Herald newspaper. "The only thing I've ever got in trouble for was being caught by these speed cameras. I've been done three times over the years and always in a really sneaky manner. They have always been hiding behind a tree or a wall and the speeds have been 33 MPH in a 30 MPH zone or 43 MPH in a 40 MPH zone -- something ridiculous like that. So they have always really annoyed me for that reason. It seems to just be a sneaky way to make money from people who can't always afford it."
The six officers bashed in Meekcom's back gate and raided his home. The videotaped arrest shows the frail man being pinned to the ground by the officers despite his lack of resistance. As he was on the ground with his arms behind his back, a female officer held pepper spray in Meekcom's face. Meekcom set up a GoFundMe for donations to cover his expenses. In a statement Friday, West Mercia Police denied any wrongdoing.
In Gabbadah, Western Australia, the presence of an automated ticketing machine inspired a man to ride on the hood of a Ford utility vehicle, creating a moment captured by the speed camera on October 23. The Ford passed the camera at an estimated 119km/h (74 MPH), which was 12 MPH over the speed limit on Indian Ocean Drive, according to the Western Australia Police Force which posted, and then deleted, the news after it generated 3200 comments on Facebook.
In Divion, France, officials installed a speed camera on the RD941 on Wednesday. By Saturday, the automated ticketing machine was blinded with black spraypaint along with the message, "smile," and the symbol for a euro. Likewise on Tuesday, the speed camera freshly installed on the A31 in Champigneulles was disabled with orange and white spraypaint. In Isernhagen, Germany, vigilantes on Saturday disabled the speed camera on Isernhagener Strasse in Altwarmbuchen by spraying the device with what local police called a "cloudy liquid." In Collegno, Italy, vigilantes grabbed a speed camera and dumped it on the side of the Via Venaria on November 1. Local officials are not sure where the device came from.