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rutson

Bomb scare Wetherby over internet treasure hunt box

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A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

 

Looks like he should have got permission for placing the container, silly billy!! :unsure:

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From the BBC article:

 

"It was a busy day and customers in the cafe had to leave. There should be distinctive markings on these types of boxes."

From the Guidelines for placing caches:

Label your geocache. To avoid confusion and alarm when a cache is discovered accidentally, clearly label it as a "geocache" on the outside of the container.

 

Yup, we reviewers keep banging on about the guidelines but this is why.

 

Chris

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk

Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

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Looks like it was Wetherby Shambles

 

Archive July 1 by kingqueen (16 found)

 

Blown up as suspect package

 

Oops indeed :ph34r:

Edited by MartyBartfast
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From the BBC article:

 

"It was a busy day and customers in the cafe had to leave. There should be distinctive markings on these types of boxes."

From the Guidelines for placing caches:

Label your geocache. To avoid confusion and alarm when a cache is discovered accidentally, clearly label it as a "geocache" on the outside of the container.

 

Yup, we reviewers keep banging on about the guidelines but this is why.

 

Errrr...

8372904c-bbeb-4178-b8a7-f7352d7a3946.jpg

 

Couldn't be MUCH clearer!

Edited by rutson
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The box contained wires...

 

I've attached a cable-tie loop for ease of extraction and replacement.
Edited by Bear and Ragged
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The two logs by Newstead862 made me laugh, what a contradiction. :lol:

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The two logs by Newstead862 made me laugh, what a contradiction. :lol:

 

Interesting.

Newstead862

 

Member Since: Sunday, 24 October 2010

Last Visit: Tuesday, 26 October 2010

 

Cache Found/logged 1 July 2011

 

It's a 'phone only' user...

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The two logs by Newstead862 made me laugh, what a contradiction. :lol:

 

Wetherby? WETHERBY ??? Why would anybody hide a bomb there anyway? :ph34r:

 

Gives the local newspaper some interesting news I guess??

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Hmmm. As I've mentioned in another thread, Prince Charles' car parked about 2 metres from one of my recently placed caches this afternoon on a royal visit to a local farm shop. It was either not discovered or ignored in a security sweep this morning as it was still there immediately after the visit.

 

In this case, land owner and all their staff are well aware of the hide.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin
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From the BBC article:

 

"It was a busy day and customers in the cafe had to leave. There should be distinctive markings on these types of boxes."

From the Guidelines for placing caches:

Label your geocache. To avoid confusion and alarm when a cache is discovered accidentally, clearly label it as a "geocache" on the outside of the container.

 

Yup, we reviewers keep banging on about the guidelines but this is why.

 

Chris

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk

Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

Yeah... The terrorists clearly mark theirs with the word Bomb so as to avoid confusion. The guideline is ok, but if I were to hide a bomb, I'd seriously consider trying to make it look harmless... Writing contents harmless and geocache on it seems a good way to do that.

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Another good reason why I hate urban caches.

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Hah... Wonder how many 'internet treasure hunters' have visited the cafe and brought in extra business?

 

J

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I wonder if they would have treated it differently if it wasn't wrapped in black tape? It looks like a clip-lock box so if it had been left untaped then they would have been able to see it was just a sandwich box containing a broken McDonalds toy, a pen and a paper booklet; as it was they wouldn't be able to see what was inside.

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Has anyone got any news from the cacher that was arrested? Pretty tough on you if all you were doing was replacing it! That could have been any of us in the same situation.

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Has anyone got any news from the cacher that was arrested? Pretty tough on you if all you were doing was replacing it! That could have been any of us in the same situation.

 

He's off on his holidays in Guantanamo bay :o

 

J

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"The owner of The Gourmet Cafe, Karen Brittain, said her business was affected and has called for tighter measures on internet treasure hunts"

 

I agree. Geocachers should be licensed, and should carry their "Geocacher's Identity" cards at all times. The card will say "I'm not acting suspiciously". These will be available on a provisional basis; such cachers will have to display a large red L prominently on the front and back of their bodies. A full licence will be available after passing a "Caching test", which will consist of a theory test (in which the cacher will be required to demontrate knowledge of the Guidelines), and a practical test, in wihch the cacher will be required to find a micro in a forest of ivy covered trees. An "Advanced Cacher's" test will require the cacher to pass the practical test, but using a smartphone instead of a normal GPS.

 

There will be a limit to the number of caches that each cacher will be allowed to find per day, thus eliminating the "Numbers merchants", and night caching will be subject to an additional licence, only available after the cacher has demonstrated an ability to see in the dark.

 

Also, all harmless boxes should be marked "Harmless", and all bombs should be marked "Bomb". Failure to comply with these measures will result in a fine of £5, and the suspension of your Geocacher's licence.

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A lot of photographers -especially those working in London- started wearing badges with:

phnat-logo-black-on-white-212x300.png

 

Maybe we need a "I'm a Geocacher, not a terrorist" badge... :unsure:

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My local Police Station has a lovely little hidey hole, close to the front door, which would make a perfect cache hide for a small box.

 

I do visit the Station from time to time on business (not by "invite"!)

Purely as an experiment, and because it appealed to my sense of humour, I placed a 35 mm canister there one Sunday, some months ago.

Inside was a piece of paper with my phone number on it.

 

In over three months, nobody has called me to say that they have found the canister.

In addition, the thing is exactly where I left it and has not been touched.

 

How I am tempted to turn it into a cache.

I could call it "Plod's Peril" or some such :lol:

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Yeah... The terrorists clearly mark theirs with the word Bomb so as to avoid confusion. The guideline is ok, but if I were to hide a bomb, I'd seriously consider trying to make it look harmless... Writing contents harmless and geocache on it seems a good way to do that.

Objectively, you're right, but then if objectivity were the main consideration, the police would have worked out that the likelihood of a 500ml container in Wetherby being a bomb is essentially zero.

 

The point is not to prove that a cache isn't a bomb, because that's impossible (*). The point is to get somebody, at some point along the chain, to be prepared to think that it's almost certainly a harmless geocache and open it. That person would preferably be the muggle who found it, who, probably not having had security training, would probably take the label at face value (which is the common sense thing to do, unless you walk round in a state of permanent paranoia).

 

(*) If you want to take that to its logical conclusion: I would bet that within 100 feet of the cache box, there was a parked car. If you wanted to blow up the citizens of Wetherby, why would you choose to do it with a 500ml lunch box when you could do it with a 500 litre car boot? You wouldn't, and indeed we know from experience that the number of bombs in cars is higher than the number of bombs in lunch boxes. Therefore - again if we pursue the logic, which I'm not advocating - the police should constantly be requiring people to prove that their car does not contain a bomb. The reason why the lunch box got called in is because it was unusual and unidentifiable, and therefore potentially suspicious. (In the 1970s, a car with an Irish registration plate parked in an English city centre would often trigger suspicion on the same basis; the same applies today when airline passengers find stuff written in Arabic.) So identifying it is actually a rational and useful thing to do, despite not formally proving anything.

Edited by sTeamTraen
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I live in Wetherby and went down when i heard what was going on as although we hadnt yet found that particular cache, we did know it was there. Unfortunatly they had already blown it up when I got there!

The policeman at the barrier made me laugh though...he told me very smugly "weve got the person who put it there" "on no you havent" says I , "only the person who found it today, signed a log that was in it, and put it back, it was orig hidden last oct, and has been found and put back loads of times" that took the smirk of his face!

Not sure why the police would think that Wetherby is such a high profile place to plant a bomb. Unless....maybe... they thought that the people who are against the new supermarket plans are really so angry about it that they decided to protest with a bomb!

Anyway best bit of excitement we've had in Wetherby since ..err...actually.. cant think of anything exciting happening in Wetherby.

Edited by Ubernoobs
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They couldnt have just gotten the finder to retrieve it and show it was harmless?! A bomber isn't likely to do that.

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They couldnt have just gotten the finder to retrieve it and show it was harmless?! A bomber isn't likely to do that.

 

Did the CO have his contact number on the box?

because if it was inside as most CO's put them, they wouldn't have opened the box because they thought it was a bomb!

 

If they had been brave enough to open the box they would have saw it really was a geo-cache as stated on the front of the box.

 

I read on another forum that it was obviously a geo-cache because it said so on the box .... and if it had been a bomb it would it say so on the box. :unsure:

 

Seems to me a real terrorist might use geo-caching as a ploy to plant a bomb & it might say 'harmless contents ... geo-cache? :blink:

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I didn't mean the CO but the person who was arrested for finding the cache!

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They couldnt have just gotten the finder to retrieve it and show it was harmless?! A bomber isn't likely to do that.

 

I would have thought that by the time the waitress phoned 999 and they managed to get a copper to the scene that the cacher would be onto the next cache by then.

 

The news said that a 20 year old man had been arrested, which I assume was the last finder; I can't help wondering whether the reaction would have been different if it had been a 60 year old granny ?

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"The owner of The Gourmet Cafe, Karen Brittain, said her business was affected and has called for tighter measures on internet treasure hunts"

 

I agree. Geocachers should be licensed, and should carry their "Geocacher's Identity" cards at all times. The card will say "I'm not acting suspiciously". These will be available on a provisional basis; such cachers will have to display a large red L prominently on the front and back of their bodies. A full licence will be available after passing a "Caching test", which will consist of a theory test (in which the cacher will be required to demontrate knowledge of the Guidelines), and a practical test, in wihch the cacher will be required to find a micro in a forest of ivy covered trees. An "Advanced Cacher's" test will require the cacher to pass the practical test, but using a smartphone instead of a normal GPS.

 

There will be a limit to the number of caches that each cacher will be allowed to find per day, thus eliminating the "Numbers merchants", and night caching will be subject to an additional licence, only available after the cacher has demonstrated an ability to see in the dark.

 

Also, all harmless boxes should be marked "Harmless", and all bombs should be marked "Bomb". Failure to comply with these measures will result in a fine of £5, and the suspension of your Geocacher's licence.

 

And what do YOU know about caching, eh? You've only found one or two! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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If I were a bomber, I might consider writing my phone number on the outside of the bomb. Except it wouldn't be my phone number, it'd be the number of an untraceable Pay As You Go phone number left with the bomb, set to trigger it if called...

 

The real issue here seems to be the black tape. It hid the wholly non-explosive contents of the box from sight, plus, as we know, there are few things more suspicious than insulating tape. It's matt black; clearly a crude effort to make the box radar-invisible; a Stealth Weapon. Tupperware of Mass Destruction.

 

As one poster pointed out, this could happen to any of us. I hope the young man in question is now out and about, enjoying his liberty.

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I can see from the website there are several next to or close to the A1. These need to be removed ASAP.

 

I know this is a sensitive situation and I can see why the Police are 'upset' but if those close to the A1 are placed on private land with the consent of the land owner then it's got sod all to do with the Police and they don't have any authority to require them to be removed.

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I can see from the website there are several next to or close to the A1. These need to be removed ASAP.

I sympathise with the cachers involved and the businesses that were forced to close. It's probably better for the CO to keep out of further discussions as it's no doubt been a highly stressful time and something to get over rather than mull over.

 

I have to say that it appears a very strange reaction by the local police. The cache has been in place for nine months or so and unless they are highly negligent the police would be well aware of it. So on the face of it, it seems a huge overreaction to create such an incident.

 

However, I'm not local to Wetherby and I'm not aware of the security situation in the town. I think I'll give the place a wide berth if the police are so jumpy; there are clearly major problems there. Clearly the area (and the A1) is a serious terrorist target. It may be best to work with the police in that part of Yorkshire and ensure that tourists are aware of this dangerous situation, as well as removing all geocaches and waymarks and discouraging visitors in general. I certainly won't go anywhere near, caching or not. Who knows what other innocent activity could result in a night in the cells and potential financial ruin? It's not worth the risk.

 

It could be worth checking how far along the A1 the ban should stretch, as hundreds of caches could be affected.

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When I asked as to his fate, the policeman said it would be wrong to tell me what had happened to him but that he had been dealt with without going to court, but it would likely affect his future career. Read into that what you will.

 

kingqueen, thanks for your note :)

 

With the risk of criminal charges is it really worth hunting for a physical hide in a urban location?

 

Not so long back a few caches were published near me at a local airport, despite the caches having permission I ended up bumping into armed police who had been tracking my movements around the series. It doesn't matter how well you sell caching, in this day and age security will always take priority no matter how petty the reasoning may seem.

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When I asked as to his fate, the policeman said it would be wrong to tell me what had happened to him but that he had been dealt with without going to court, but it would likely affect his future career. Read into that what you will.

 

kingqueen, thanks for your note :)

 

With the risk of criminal charges is it really worth hunting for a physical hide in a urban location?

 

Not so long back a few caches were published near me at a local airport, despite the caches having permission I ended up bumping into armed police who had been tracking my movements around the series. It doesn't matter how well you sell caching, in this day and age security will always take priority no matter how petty the reasoning may seem.

 

What is it they could actually charge you with?

 

Jon

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I've only just realised the name of the cache in question was "Wetherby Shambles" - rather appropriate in hindsight :lol: :lol: :lol::ph34r:

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When I asked as to his fate, the policeman said it would be wrong to tell me what had happened to him but that he had been dealt with without going to court, but it would likely affect his future career. Read into that what you will.

 

kingqueen, thanks for your note :)

 

With the risk of criminal charges is it really worth hunting for a physical hide in a urban location?

 

Not so long back a few caches were published near me at a local airport, despite the caches having permission I ended up bumping into armed police who had been tracking my movements around the series. It doesn't matter how well you sell caching, in this day and age security will always take priority no matter how petty the reasoning may seem.

 

What is it they could actually charge you with?

 

Jon

 

Suspicious lurking.

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Suspicious lurking.

 

Is it the "lurking" or "suspicious" bit that's the problem? :rolleyes:

 

J

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What is it they could actually charge you with?

 

Jon

 

Walking on the cracks in the pavement.

Loitering with intent to use a pedestrian crossing.

Wearing a loud shirt in a built up area during the hours of darkness.

Being in possession of an offensive wife.

 

(for those old enough to remember PC Savage :lol: )

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(for those old enough to remember PC Savage :lol: )

 

Nicely edited quote! :unsure:

 

J

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(for those old enough to remember PC Savage :lol: )

 

Nicely edited quote! :unsure:

 

J

 

Yeah, well we weren't quite as PC back then, and I'm not sure I'd get away with it on these forums :blink:

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A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

 

What is Public Nuisance?

At common law public nuisance is a crime for which the remedy is criminal proceedings. It is defined as an unlawful act or omission which endangers or interferes with the lives, comfort, property or common rights of the public. Probably the most well-known example of public nuisance is obstructing the highway, though everyday obstructions such as road repairs and scaffolding are lawful so long as they are reasonable and do not occur for an excessive time. Historically, public nuisance has embraced a wide number of activities, ranging from dumping sewage into a river to playing loud music on a stereo in a public park. In its early incarnation, offences had only a criminal nature. The law subsequently developed to allow private individuals to bring actions if they had suffered a peculiar nuisance that was different in kind to that suffered by the public at large. Public nuisance thus came to overlap with elements of tort law and property law.

 

Who are the ‘public’ in public nuisance?

Identifying the public affected by a public nuisance is not as simple as might initially be thought. Clearly, unlawful obstruction of the highway in Liverpool does not affect the public of Plymouth. But does it affect all, or only some, of the public of Liverpool? The modern definition is that rights common to all HM’s subjects must be affected, in other words, not necessarily all the public, but rather the rights which they enjoy as citizens. A good illustration is found in the Law Reports. A quarry produced noise, dirt and vibrations which affected the neighbourhood. The court had to decide if this was a private nuisance which only affected some residents, or a public nuisance affecting all HM’s subjects in the area. An injunction was ultimately granted to stop the quarry from causing a public nuisance. Among other things, the court held that the public means a class of HM’s subjects. Not every member of the class need be affected by the nuisance so long as a representative cross-section is. Additionally, if the nuisance is so widespread that the community as a whole must take action, as it would be unreasonable for a single individual to do so, then the nuisance is public. Consequently, the public means a considerable number of persons or a section of the public.

 

Knowledge of the nuisance

It is not necessary for the perpetrator to have knowledge of the nuisance. It is sufficient enough to show that a defendant ought to have known that a nuisance would occur.

 

Developments in the law

Following a number of important cases and statutory developments the common law crime of public nuisance has all but disappeared, and been replaced by provisions in legislation such as the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Prosecutions should now be brought under the relevant legislation, which is less vague than the common law and which more clearly outlines the various defences. Public nuisance at common law is still a crime, however, and has not been abolished. But in practice, charges of public nuisance should be brought under the relevant statute, where possible, and it seems there will be fewer and fewer instances in future where the common law will apply.

 

 

 

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A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

 

What is Public Nuisance?

At common law public nuisance is a crime for which the remedy is criminal proceedings. It is defined as an unlawful act or omission...

.

.

.

 

So he wasn't doing anything unlawful either by act or by omission, therefore there's no case to answer, court adjourned and it's all over to Pomeroy's for a bottle of Chateau Thames Embankment.

 

I know it's easy to be flippant but I think they must have put the freightners on the poor sod to get him to accept a Police caution for fear of being banged up in chokey on a trumped up charge; I would have thought if anyone was culpable here it's the person who placed the cache not someone who simply found it and left it where he found it.

Edited by MartyBartfast
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The cache owner was spoken to by the police and no further action taken.

 

The cache finder was arrested and presumably at the very least received a police caution and now a criminal record.

 

However he/she was surely assuming that the cache owner had followed the guidelines and had permission for the cache. Indeed the cache owner specifically stated they HAD permission by ticking the relevant box when submitting the cache. If I was the cache finder I think I would be feeling pretty miffed that I had been misled into putting myself at odds with the law when I blithely assumed that the cache was there with permission.

 

Despite the noble apologies by the cache owner here (and I think that was a brave and admirable thing to do) surely he/she should be the one the police are hounding, not the innocent finder.

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Thinking aloud.... does the cache finder with the record now have any grounds for recompense from the cache setter? If so, that can set quite a presidence for all CO's out there! :blink:

 

J

Edited by Dakar4x4
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Just to add a little bit of context to the whole thing, I don't expect many of us really know what's involved in a controlled explosion, perhaps you have visions of windows shattering and a plume of smoke, well here's a video of a recent 'controlled explosion' in Skengness:

, go to about 4:25 to get to the 'exciting bit'. As you can see it's effectively a robot shooting the package with a shotgun shell, not terribly exciting.

 

I've also just read a post on the offending cache page from someone who works for the Police who finished up by saying

 

not sure what grounds they would have to Caution or otherwise dispose of the Cacher who was arrested, Refuse charge/No Further Action would have been the sensible option!

 

Which seems eminently sensible and proportionate to me, pity the officer dealing with this incident didn't see it like that!

Edited by MartyBartfast
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I've also just read a post on the offending cache page from a serving police officer who finished up by saying

 

not sure what grounds they would have to Caution or otherwise dispose of the Cacher who was arrested, Refuse charge/No Further Action would have been the sensible option!

 

Which seems eminently sensible and proportionate to me, pity the officer dealing with this incident didn't see it like that!

It can depend on the 'attitude' of the person, when being questioned by the police...

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Just to add a little bit of context to the whole thing, I don't expect many of us really know what's involved in a controlled explosion, perhaps you have visions of windows shattering and a plume of smoke,

I believe that geocaches causing a security alert are normally destroyed using a water jet (yes, it's quite a common occurrence). I might be wrong, but that's what I seem to recall.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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Thinking aloud.... does the cache finder with the record now have any grounds for recompense from the cache setter? If so, that can set quite a presidence for all CO's out there! :blink:

 

J

 

I would think it would be covered by the fact we all 'agreed' to the T&C when joining and that includes that we do it at our own risk

Edited by fuzzybears
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I believe that geocaches causing a security alert are normally destroyed using a water jet (yes, it's quite a common occurrence). I might be wrong, but that's what I seem to recall.

 

Well if so the whole of the reporting of this is a complete work of sensationalist fiction, I suppose the responsible editors thought "controlled explosion" sounds better than "squirted water on it".

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Sounds like part of the problem has been the hysterical and inaccurate reporting of the incident. Shame on the BBC! The other problem has been down to a rather ignorant member of our esteemed force causing an incident when a wise word in an ear would have been more than adequate. Reading recent logs on the cache, not all police are so ill-informed. Thanks goodness for "Evenin'All" for restoring my faith in them.

 

However, I think it's now time to improve the country-wide visibility of the game in official circles. Considering it's been on mainstream TV within the last couple of weeks and seems to crop up in just about every local paper and magazine, it beggars belief that police sergeants can be unaware of such an activity when they're in the business of observing suspicious behaviour. It's fine presenting geocaching as a nice outdoor pastime for those with leisure time, but shouldn't we also make sure that it's regularly presented to those who are likely to make decisions as to what constitutes normal or suspicious behaviour?

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Just as well that the container was not an ammo can!

 

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I have a few urban hides at interesting sites in Brighton. Makes me wonder if i should archive them...or at least should there be a requirement to get permission from the local police force as well as the land owner??

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