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The dangers of loitering

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I have always been intrigued by the quaint little misdemeanor dating back to the Criminal Code Act 1899, Section 425,  titled "Loitering with Intent…….to commit an indictable offence".
It seems to me like a law of last resort when prosecuters have insufficient evidence for something more substantial.  Whilst the "loitering" part may easily be proven by video surveillance, the remainder of the charge seems largely to rely on the clairvoyancy and mind reading capacity of the arresting officer.

It is my impression that loitering has declined during the last 50 years now that we have full employment and a relentless pursuit of material consumption and personal entertainment.
If you stand still for long enough today,some inconsiderate influenza ridden citizen will cough and splutter all over you, so its really in the best interests of your health to keep moving.

In retrospect, I consider myself very fortunate in not having been arrested and convicted of LWI on many occasions in my life.  In coffee shops, it could just possibly have been interpreted that I was intent on commiting an assault and battery on the large person in front of me who just ordered enough stuff to feed a third world country, when I was really just trying to read the menu.
On numerous occasions I have loitered in airport terminals and, (as some "friends" enthusiastically remind me that I look remotely like the Osama Bin Dude,) could have been contemplating mayhem, when my only serious intention was collecting a member of my family from a delayed flight.
Indeed I have long had a propensity to combine intermittent sauntering (which is apparently still a legal occupation) with loitering in places where people gather, with the singular intent of observing and understanding human nature.
I should not be a free man.

It would, however, disappoint me greatly to be jailed for LWI, for I would prefer to be convicted of a crime with more substance.  Money laundering would be good, as it would infer by definition that I had cash in such quantity that it required a reassignation. Or perhaps something like counterfeiting currency.  That would reflect some artistic and technological ability and I could be proud to do my time with a smile on my face.  

The Bucket would like to start a movement to draw attention to this stupid law and have it removed from the statute books.
We have recently celebrated "National Threatened Species Day". Well, you may have, I sort of missed it.
Similarly, I would like to propose a designated "Loitering with Intent Day", when thousands of us would clog city streets at peak hour, looking furtive and shifty, and demanding to be arrested by the constabulary.

OK, now what else needs to be fixed in the world?

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

4 responses »

  1. I saunter on a regular daily basis…Mr FD llikes to loiter in shopping malls and coffee shops where young women hang out…obviusly letting our Bonnie and Clyde instincts to fly free!

  2. Gee, I often loiter in stores. Some folks may call it shopping … but when you really have no intent on parting with any money, it IS more like loitering, isn't it?

  3. Sauntering is good for the spirit. I think I just might have some common interests with Mr FD……shopping malls are indeed inspirational places.

  4. You are in danger of being incarcerated for a very long time if you keep up that behaviour GOM. 😉


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