Police Intelligence - One MO Time

February 20, 2009
Posted by Jay Livingston

Jenn Lena links to this BBC story about cops in Northern Ireland and the mysterious and ubiquitous driver, Prawo Jazdy, who was ticketed all over the country.

There are a couple of sociological aspects here. The economic expansion in the Republic of Ireland, which created lots of jobs, drew many Poles (with their prawo jazdys). Apparently that spilled over into Northern Ireland as well. Now that the Celtic Tiger isn’t roaring, many of these immigrants are returning to Poland.

The story is also a reflection on the parochialism of the police, so here’s my anecdote. When I was in college, I rode into Cambridge one day with a friend from St. Louis. He had a VW with Missouri plates. When we came back to the car, the parking meter had expired, and there was a ticket on the windshield. He handed it to me and said, “Throw it away.”

“But they’ll write to your state’s DMV and track you down.” (This was pre-Internet, pre 2-letter postal code.)

“Look,” he said, taking the ticket and pointing to the box marked “state” next to the box for the license number. The cop had written “MISS.” Any tracking inquiries would get sent to Mississippi.

“They always do it,” he said, crumpling the ticket and tossing it into the trash can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It strikes me as odd, shocking even, that a policeman would be ignorant of the connotations of a prawo jazdy.