Mike4 wrote:When I explained why, he muttered something like well we like to check out scruffy youngsters in scruffy cars, kicked my front offside tyre and said "get those replaced", then without another word turned around, got back on his motorbike and rode off. I still think he quietly understood my point!
I think policemen all over the world will take the opportunity to check out an old car once they've stopped it. At the one extreme, of course, they might find housebreaking equipment or drugs; at the other, they might spot a duff seatbelt or a rusty floor or a knackered tyre that might shorten your life. So I don't really take exception to their curiosity.
That's easy for me to say now that I drive 'respectable' cars, but it was also true in my yoof when my mates and I used to scratch around Norf Lunnon on ancient motorbikes (and in cars) that were frankly pretty ropey. (It cost more money than we had to keep them properly maintained.) It was always a pain being told by plod to go and get this or that fixed, and then to turn up at the police station later with the faults fixed, but we took it in the spirit in which it was generally intended.
In short, it was more Dixon of Dock Green than Mean Streets Sector 42 City Patrol. And I am perfectly sure that if I'd been a young black male who was being stopped for the nineteenth time I wouldn't see it in the same way. The police have a difficult line to walk, and I suppose the best way I can help is by not doing unexpected things that make their lives more complicated. If they're behind me, I'll drive on normally and they can wait. They'll let me know if they're not happy with that.