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    Dealing with the Law

    Swatsonia
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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 4:08 am

    Yesterday, we had a visit from the Police while we were playing, and so I thought I should post on how we dealt with it and still maintained a positive connection with the Police, even though we were asked to move on in the end.

    I will proceed to detail what we did, and how you can create a safe atmosphere for your wars with the possibility of civilians walking through.

    So, our location was in a small area next to a major shopping centre, and we mainly used the first and second floor of the plaza there. All players were over 17, and there were about 15 of us.

    Whenever a non-player walked through, we call "HOLD" to stop play. There were always 3+ referees with markers, and everyone was wearing eye protection.

    90% of the weapons had orange tips (a few people had black stampedes, but orange was still showing through). We only used streamlines or blue foam stingers, and most blasters only hit into the 50 foot range (mostly clip-fed reverse plungers). The few longshots were hitting into the 70s, and the one home-made was only using streamlines, so it was limited to around 90 feet.

    So, after our 4th round (around 3PM, we started at 11, with 20 minute breaks in between), some police showed up, having recieved a call about some kids using paintball guns. Instantly, we proceeded to show them the darts we were using, an example of oen of the blasters, and explained how we all came from 2 social groups who had been playing here for around 6 months with no complaints so far.

    If anything, the police were rather impressed that we had a whole system of referees, the honesty system, and that we could organise such an event without being rowdy or abusive.

    Eventually, we were told to move along, but only because someone complained. The senior officer actually said to us that he didn't want to tell us to move on, it was just a matter of procedure.

    So, if the police turn up to a war, be polite, show them everything about the sport, and be ready and willing to move to a back-up location if need be.

    And now, some tips:

    1.) Don't be intimidated. They are people and citizens also.
    2.) LISTEN to what they say carefully, then respond. If you think they have something wrong, politely but firmly correct them (had to do that a few times yesterday)
    3.) SHOW them the darts, blasters and so on. Emphasise 'toy blasters', always say 'foam' before 'darts' and point out eye protection, referees, first aid kit, water etc.
    4.) Ask them for the contact details for the senior officer making the decision on the matter. They'll write them down for you.
    5.) Offer them your contact details (if you're organising), and tell them they can call you directly if they have any other problems or complaints.
    6.) Discretely note their names and serial numbers. Just in case.


    Last edited by Swatsonia on Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:31 am; edited 2 times in total
    clunk07
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    Post  clunk07 Mon May 30, 2011 4:14 am

    Well handled mate - people can learn alot from your post.

    Cheers,
    Swatsonia
    Swatsonia


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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 4:20 am

    Thankfully, the organiser is a private security contractor, so he has had a lot of experience dealing with police before.
    littlebro05
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    Post  littlebro05 Mon May 30, 2011 4:28 am

    I'll probably show them a stock dart rather than stingers though haha. Oh well, there's no metal exposed in my darts and are completely covered by the hot glue.
    Switchblade
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    Post  Switchblade Mon May 30, 2011 4:33 am

    Great work mate, we had that at one of our wars, but they just drove away with out even getting out

    swatsonia - Hey btw, I sent you a PM about that scout shell, check you inbox. if it's not there, ill just post it here or something.
    238232
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    Post  238232 Mon May 30, 2011 4:34 am

    To echo the others, very well handled. Professionalism goes a long way in these kinds of matters.

    And a good reason to phase out any darts with hard tips for wars in public.
    Swatsonia
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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 4:46 am

    Thanks for all the positive feedback guys.

    @LB: Yeah, we showed them a bunch of streamlines, and fired a moderately modded spectre (it was the quietest blaster there :P)

    @238232: Personally, I hate the idea of shooting someone with hotglue and a fishing weight myself, and it is a lot less likely to cause collateral damage, e.g. shop windows. Especially out of an airgun. That and inform3rs darts are one of the cheapest and easiest options for us.

    @Switchblade: Got the PM, thanks. Didn't notify me though . . . *pondering face*


    Last edited by Swatsonia on Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:32 am; edited 1 time in total
    Johnnus
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    Post  Johnnus Mon May 30, 2011 4:48 am

    It's been said before, but it's worth saying again. That was excellently handled. It's also really useful for those thinking of organising a war in a public place who hasn't organised one before.

    Just a question though, how could Nerf blasters be mistaken for paintball guns???
    Switchblade
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    Post  Switchblade Mon May 30, 2011 4:49 am

    Johnnus wrote:It's been said before, but it's worth saying again. That was excellently handled. It's also really useful for those thinking of organising a war in a public place who hasn't organised one before.

    Just a question though, how could Nerf blasters be mistaken for paintball guns???
    Most likely parents who have no idea what paintball gun looks like saw the black stampedes and assumed...wrong.
    Swatsonia
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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 4:52 am

    It might have been the black stampede, but even then, it was probably an over-excited senior who doesn't know anything about gun avalability and use in public - read 'none'.

    It has been a once off though, we have had at least 5+ events there, and surprisingly, the senior citizens have generally been the more interested civilian's compared to most who just accept and move away.

    There were some parkour guys doing some filming there earlier with very realistic prop pistols though, but they left way before the police got there.
    littlebro05
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    Post  littlebro05 Mon May 30, 2011 5:15 am

    The parkour people should of done what freddiew says. If you're going to be filming with 'realistic props' TELL THE NEIGHBOURS OR NEARBY PEOPLE that you are filming with fake props. Did they even put up signs that it was a parkour club lol>?
    Swatsonia
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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 5:17 am

    Nah, some of our guys just recognised them from another time. That, and they were jumping around everywhere as well
    littlebro05
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    Post  littlebro05 Mon May 30, 2011 5:22 am

    Lol, parkour is only cool if you can do what Tony Jaa or Jackie Chan can do. Other than that, I think it's pretty lame unless you become very good at it. However, like they say, practice makes perfect.

    @Switchblade, those cops from the last war were chasing some guy down... I'm more worried abuot the brisbane city council telling us to remove those stakes we put in the ground!
    oznerfnerd
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    Post  oznerfnerd Mon May 30, 2011 9:28 am

    It's good to see that you were respectful to the public and police, and in return you received respect back.

    Really when you think about it, members of the public and police probably don't come across this every day, and the way you present yourself will really have an impact.

    Whether that impact is positive or negative is up to you (mostly).

    I reckon it's great to see you guys dropping the video games (albeit temporarily), getting off your arses and playing what is essentially a skill sport.

    At the same time, you are using all kinds of technical skills and ingenuity in your choices of materials that certainly won't hurt your future.

    Unfortunately our country is just SO hung up on political correctness and "what if" scenarios, that it wouldn't take too much bad press to pull this sport up, and that would be a shame.

    So good job, and keep up the good work!
    Swatsonia
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    Post  Swatsonia Mon May 30, 2011 9:33 am

    Thanks. I've added some tips from the organiser into the first post if anyone is interested.
    bulletproofvest
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    Post  bulletproofvest Mon May 30, 2011 10:08 am

    Some cops are nice, some are dicks. This technique is a good one though, I'm sure this is what most people would do anyway
    Unknown
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    Post  Unknown Tue May 31, 2011 3:43 am

    I'm considering sending out flyers to the houses around my area letting them know about our QLD war on the 12th. Some form of posters would be nice so that bystanders don't freak out

    Just thinking of a good way to convey how safe our sport is...
    bulletproofvest
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    Post  bulletproofvest Tue May 31, 2011 5:37 am

    Unknown wrote:I'm considering sending out flyers to the houses around my area letting them know about our QLD war on the 12th. Some form of posters would be nice so that bystanders don't freak out

    Just thinking of a good way to convey how safe our sport is...

    That would bring heaps more nerfers in
    littlebro05
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    Post  littlebro05 Tue May 31, 2011 5:43 am

    Bring eye protection. I wouldn't go public if I were you because if you get like 30 people and you only have 1000 darts for hire = ggggg.
    Unknown
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    Post  Unknown Tue May 31, 2011 5:44 am

    BPV, that could be both good and bad. We don't want parents bringing little kids along thinking it's a child friendly game and then seeing a titan fire...
    Chaos-Blades
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    Post  Chaos-Blades Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:09 pm

    Well done, handled very well.

    Personally I've had 2 interactions with the police in regards to nerf,

    The first;
    -We were nerfing at a school at night (I know, it was ages ago and was a terrible idea)
    -one of the guys had a black, full-metal springer-homemade, which was confiscated by the police, and he was formally warned because he "had the ability to manufacture a firearm", the officers said that if he put a makeshift firing pin in it, he could've modified it to fire ACTUAL bullets.

    the second;
    -We were nerfing in a school during the day
    -the officers walked right up to where we sat up our base and laughed, " it's just nerf" one of them said into their radios.

    The moral;
    -don't nerf where you shouldn't
    -don't nerf in public at night
    -keep homemades either ;all plastic or inside the shell of a nerf gun
    -don't paint guns fully black
    -keep away from busy areas
    -stop if civilians come nearby
    -always be polite
    clunk07
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    Post  clunk07 Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:36 pm

    I can't believe you guys didn't get hammered for being in school grounds!! Maybe the law's are different down there..

    Around my area, you'll get smashed for trespassing on school grounds. We used to use the school basketball courts, until 3 of us got an infringement notice to appear in court for trespassing. Pretty rough really.

    Nice tips for staying out of jail too, btw.
    Synergie
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    Post  Synergie Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:31 am

    Here's one for you: Being held at gunpoint by the NSW Police.

    Today at Sydney's Heritage War, a few of us including Yeahryan were sitting around after everyone left just chatting. Yeahryan decided to pull out his WIP Titan which is being repainted, problem was only the BLACK UNDERCOAT was applied so far. Just before dusk, one police car turns up and out jumps one officer with a bullet proof vest and his Glock drawn, at that moment I was confused, I wasnt afraid, nor did I know what exactly was going on. Only when the officer clearly shouted for yeahryan to drop the gun did I realize "OH F**K" after much explanation and taking down of details, the Sergeant told yeahryan, if it were him as a first responder, he would've shot him because he had it in his hand. Other than that firm talking to, the coppers were quickly upbeat and laughing off the situation. Of course, we had a lapse of judgement at that moment, but do keep in mind it is Sydney's Policy to not allow black blasters, to yeahryan's credit he didnt choose to use it during the war, more just showing a couple of mates what he was doing.

    It's common sense of course, but now we do know that the Police do take these situations seriously, so much so that it was a "Priority Call" which yielded the heavy response and 6 or 7 police cars.
    redcricket077
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    Post  redcricket077 Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:42 am

    Wow, that's hardcore.
    yeahryan
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    Post  yeahryan Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:18 pm

    Yeah it was pretty crazy, it was out for around 10-15 min we were testing it against our eye protection. Lesson learned about painted blasters, i will Never take one out that im still working on and havent finished.Im worried about having my pas out now scince its mostly black.
    bakabill
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    Post  bakabill Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:29 pm

    yeahryan wrote:Im worried about having my pas out now scince its mostly black.

    You could just wrap some colourful etape around it?
    SnowDragon
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    Post  SnowDragon Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:34 pm

    For the love of GOD don't refer to them as guns to the lawmen. They are BLASTERS, not guns This you learn well from HvZ events.

    I know it can be difficult, and between us nerfers I don't really give a shit either way, but the cops respond better to a bunch of kids with toys than they do with a bunch of teenagers with 'guns'.

    Dart *laucnhers* work as well. After all, I'm not shooting anyone, I'm merely flinging a piece of foam in their general direction, and hoping it hits them
    Synergie
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    Post  Synergie Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:47 pm

    SnowDragon wrote:For the love of GOD don't refer to them as guns to the lawmen. They are BLASTERS, not guns This you learn well from HvZ events.

    I know it can be difficult, and between us nerfers I don't really give a shit either way, but the cops respond better to a bunch of kids with toys than they do with a bunch of teenagers with 'guns'.

    Dart *laucnhers* work as well. After all, I'm not shooting anyone, I'm merely flinging a piece of foam in their general direction, and hoping it hits them

    We mentioned many times they were toys that cant be bought at toys r us and most of us did refer to them as dart blasters. That said, the coppers referred to the black titan as a gun, however thats warranted since its been confiscated.
    clunk07
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    Post  clunk07 Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:58 pm

    I still can't understand how they could mistake a Titan for any sort of real firearm. I mean, apart from it being made of plastic, they shape of it doesn't even resemble a real gun.

    Good idea with the PAS though yeahryan, I'd be painting it etc real quick... It would really suck to have it confiscated.

    Cheers,
    Synergie
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    Post  Synergie Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:08 pm

    clunk07 wrote:I still can't understand how they could mistake a Titan for any sort of real firearm. I mean, apart from it being made of plastic, they shape of it doesn't even resemble a real gun.

    Good idea with the PAS though yeahryan, I'd be painting it etc real quick... It would really suck to have it confiscated.

    Cheers,

    The titan in question was painted matte black and had a rather large barrel extension. Yes up close it doesn't resemble a firearm but at long range in the dim sunlight it stands to reason it could be mistaken.
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    Post  JayDesu Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:05 pm

    Synergie wrote:Here's one for you: Being held at gunpoint by the NSW Police.

    Today at Sydney's Heritage War, ...

    Deadly... Now I wish I went to see it all happen (then again I might've had my longshot taken as it is black...)

    Did it have any other colors visible?
    Synergie
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    Post  Synergie Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:08 pm

    sd_type wrote:
    Synergie wrote:Here's one for you: Being held at gunpoint by the NSW Police.

    Today at Sydney's Heritage War, ...

    Deadly... Now I wish I went to see it all happen (then again I might've had my longshot taken as it is black...)

    Did it have any other colors visible?

    Completely matte black, with no orange tip (extended barrel).
    Unknown
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    Post  Unknown Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:14 pm

    Even with bright paint jobs you still can't be sure.

    Cops aren't stupid, if they see people popping off 100ft shots they'll know it's not a toy.
    Synergie
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    Post  Synergie Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:27 pm

    Unknown wrote:Even with bright paint jobs you still can't be sure.

    Cops aren't stupid, if they see people popping off 100ft shots they'll know it's not a toy.

    Well interestingly, they weren't interested in internal modifications so we didn't tell them. They weren't tipped off to the situation about shots, it was a member of the public being threatened by a rifle-looking weapon.
    Unknown
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    Post  Unknown Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:44 pm

    I'm just worried about them seeing some of our epeen wars as QLD seems to be moving towards super longshots and 4B's.


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