Just as the police suffer from being typecast, so too do lawyers. I enjoy The Policeman’s Blog, but the most recent post Leeches, Vultures and Sturmey Archer, did nothing for my lawyerly self-esteem (you need to read the whole post: the original story was in the Daily Telegraph),

‘Village bobby’ (he’s actually a PCSO but for once that’s a mere detail) Nick Barker has spent the last who-knows-how-long pootling round the Kent countryside on a bike, doing all the usual village bobby things.
Now he’s been stopped, on health-and-safety grounds.
The problem is, he hasn’t passed Kent Police’s ‘two-day Basic Police Cycle Skills course’.
Until he can pass this course, he’s having to travel around the villages he looks after by bus and on foot.
A Kent spokeswoman said: “All officers must complete a bicycle training course before they can ride a bike on duty, it is about ensuring their safety and the safety of those around them. The purpose of the course is to ensure they have all the relevant skills and knowledge to make the best use of the bike within their roles.”
Dear God in Heaven, how have we come to this?
‘All the relevant skills and knowledge’ to ride a bike? That would be getting on, pedalling and getting off, then. Two day course, £200 a day for the trainer. It’s nice work if you can get it.
It’s not fair to blame Kent Police. All major publicly-funded organisations are led by unimaginative and cowardly timeservers who have forgotten what real life is like.
No, the blame lies on the shoulders of the lawyers, hovering overhead and waiting for Nick Barker to fall off his bike.
What next? Barker goes on the course – and still falls off. Sue the trainers? The bicycle manufacturers? The highways people? Who cares? Sue anyone, as long as you sue someone.
And who foots the bill for these leeches? You.

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