Man: The reason I never get stopped is because I treat them with respect. Those guys over there don’t know how to toe the line and that’s why they are up against the wall with the police going through their shit. Don’t get me wrong. I’m out here doin my thing but I toe the line and they leave me alone. They know me. I’m KNOWN. Do you know what I mean? Some guys stopped me the other day and radio’d in my name and they came back and said “he’s well known, let him go”. See?
BB: But are any of these guys carrying anything?
Man: Course their not! You got ta be careful in this game son. Just goes to show that the police know fuck all about what’s going on. They know nothing.
Two guys are up against the wall. Five police are conducting a search. Two are wearing purple latex gloves. They ask the men if they have any sharps and slowly empty their pockets. Hands are run up the inside of their thighs with particular attention to the groin area. The man is standing beside me at my cart obviously trying to distance himself from the others. He helps the girl in the stall next door take down a tarpaulin cover. He is friendly and polite. He asks someone if they would like a coffee – my machine was switched off half an hour ago.
Police: Can you come over here a second please sir?
Man: Why? What for?
Police: Just stand against the wall please sir.
Man: Why? I can’t believe this!
Another policeman approaches and shines a flashlight into the storage boxes of my cart.
Police: You shouldn’t let those guys stand near you. You are getting a reputation as someone who might stash things for people.
I wheel my cart back to the lock-up. The man is shouting at the police who lead him away. I cycle past 20 minutes later. The man is back in the same spot talking to another man.
Man: They stripped searched me man. They took me into a room and stripped searched me. It’s embarrassing hassling me like that.