Red Tape & Hells Angels

Red tape man

Way back in time I wrote a brief article on the frustration of the obligatory Red Tape invovled in setting up a martial arts project with a group of vulnerable adults. Well eventually my Enhanced CRB Check has surfaced and I’m ready to go, or not! It seems that an incident or two from the past requires more paperwork.

I went in yesterday to complete a Risk Assessment because I have two convictions for Public Order Offences, using threatening or abusive behaviour likely to blah blah blah. Because these are involved with violence and as I will be teaching Martial Arts I’m considered a risk. To be fair the paperwork was a chance to put forward my point of view and mention that as these offences occurred 20 years or more ago I may have moved on a bit. I have, in fact, managed to resist the urge to swear at Policemen and fight with Hells Angels ever since then.

The Hells Angels prosecution is the real problem as it was a pretty major incident. At the time I was a punk rocker and we had travelled to watch a friends band. In all there were about 200 punks at an all day gig. It was rowdy but there was no trouble. The gaffer of the pub got concerned and decided to call in the local Hells Angel chapter to ‘police’ the event. Not really the smartest move. If he’d’ve left things be it would have worked out fine.

hells angels

They arrived and pretty soon a cowboy saloon style brawl broke out between lots of punks and rather fewer Hells Angels, instigated by the Angels. The police arrived and cleared the punks from the pub and started arresting us. Par for the course in those days. It took a long time to get resolved, over a year in fact and I ended up with a rather harsh suspended sentence for little more than swearing at the police unjustly arresting friends.

My solicitor at the time said that if this had occurred in Birmingham it would’ve been dropped but in a provincial town like Stafford it was a big deal and so it went the distance.

But back to the present, the risk assessment form has to be signed by two more managers and returned to HR where a decision will be made on my suitability.  The initial post on red tape is dated 9th February and due to all the delays I won’t be ready to start until August at least, it’s a good job I’m not in a rush!

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