Everybody has heard the stories, but are they true or just fables made up around the campfires at rally gatherings. I have had some experiences and mates have had others,time to air the linen cupboard.
Ironically my father had been a Policeman the late thirties but had been out of the force some fifteen plus years by the time I was born, he always taught me to respect the law and as a child I imagined police as modern day old wild west sheriffs, that did no wrong and fought bad guys even to there own peril at times, which in most cases they do, as a young child I listened with fe our to "My Friend the Policeman" on the radio 3AW before going to school and joined the club to receive a plaque from the police commissioner, which I had signed as a pledge to always respect the police and my parents and uphold the law, I still have it some 58 years later
I never imagined I would be a bad guy because I rode a motorcycle which in the seventies you were listed as rabble the same level or worse as uni students, draft dodgers, or surfers. Bikies were still leather jacketed youths that made a lot of noise, got drunk, smoked weed(sometimes) and had their evil way with young virtuous & innocent women not at all like the cut-off denim jacked, fingerless glove, drug smuggling gangs running drug cartels and houses of ill repute, doing drive by shootings in cars with AK-47's as they are today which I encourage our police today to rid our culture of pronto.
But and I digress and police those days never had guns in our state but all had a truncheon and size 12 shoes or larger for a quick foot up the backside, our local copper was Jack Baker who in his grey FB Holden panel van which he preferred more than the police issue XW "divvy" wagon as he always wore a uniform even socially, at 6'5" and 20 stone the front seat springs had collapsed and in your rear view mirror he looked a midget. Whoa be God if he saw you doing something wrong as he opened the squeaky door on his car and peeled himself from the FB, the cars suspension groaned and would rise to a more level horizontal position rather than being sagged on one side, whilist fitting a small cap on his huge melonous head and long strides toward your vehicle one would think he was on a mission, I will bet nobody called him a "Pig" or made oinking noises as death or severe pain could be a possibility. Usually quite a lot of swearing was involved, him doing it then more threatening from gestures (his hand was the size of my head) and after a peruse of your licence and a roadside check of your vehicle with plenty of "yellow canaries" at hand which would be issued at the even smallest indiscretion, you would be sent on your way. Jack was fond of the foot up the backside which was a cure for haemorrhoids, and constipation in one swift solid kick unfortunately you walked like Robert Mitchum (famous actor) for weeks after but that healed I admire Jack as his law enforcement gained solid respect, and kept you on you toes in more ways than one.
Coppers later in my life were vindictive with revenge and hatred more in the picture rather than good policing or earning respect for the law or themselves, they were into quotas or revenue raising at all costs, I will list a few examples one day riding my BSA B33 I was pulled over for exceeding the speed limit by 5 MPH even know I wasn't, as the police car I was following was sitting on the posted speed limit that he was driving! My mate Terry Gouldle was booked exceeding the speed limit 30mph on his bicycle by 10 MPH going to work on Heidleberg Rd in peak hour traffic he had already lost his motorcycle licence for the same offence so the policeman removed his valve cores and made him carry the bicycle!
Revenge came one day when a police vehicle followed me on the BSA waiting for me to do something wrong and my leather belt on my jacket dropped into the rear chain and wound its way around the front sprocket which when the buckle jammed broke the joining link, the greasy chain catapulted itself end over end across his bonnet with a crashing thud while I rolled to a halt. I retrieved my chain and he was really pissed off, telling me "that bike shouldn't be on the road" he must of felt sorry for me as he never issued a "yellow canary" luckily I only lived around the corner so it was a short push home before he changed his mind
After one time going to the drive-in with some mates in a car on the way home we decided to look at cars on the way home as you do when your under twenty, we pulled up at West Heidleberg Motors a Chrysler agent as we were all into Valiant's (and no we are not Greeks) one chap decided he needed a "leak" and as there was a lane behind the dealership he would go there unfortunatly the coppers pulled up in a "divvy wagon" and wanted licences, even for the passengers then a check through the car under seats, under bonnet, and in the boot we were all mechanics so a box of tools were in the boot, the cops decided we were a house breaking gang and threw everyone in the "divvy" except the driver of the car (me) to go to be questioned at the Station. All was grim until another group of coppers pulled up and one fortunately recognised me as I was his mechanic,then told his compatriots to calm down and we were told to leave hastily.
Back onto motorcycles one evening riding back from Frankston at 8-00 pm I was pulled up for a check the policeman wanted to know"where have you been,what have you been doing,where are you going, and why are you here? After telling him looking at another motorcycle, in Frankston, then returning home to Ivanhoe, and it was the only way home was up the Nepean Highway, he checked the bike over then the licence and threatened if I wasn't out of his territory in 10 minutes prepare to spend the night in the cells, so much for public relations.
One guy I met after he was fired from the force after impressing the local youths on his Police Honda 750 by standing on the seat and "popping a wheel stand" although not the right bike to do it on it was certainly a way to impress the local "louts" who could relate to constable John Kessky and may have gone a long way to lowering crime in his patrol area if it could have been used constructively as if nothing, it made them admire him. I met John as a (grey ghost) by-laws officer in Brunswick still riding Honda's albeit CX500C and not doing anything wrong a, emasculated copper.
Still and all today we have our police force operating with laws some don't believe in but enforcing them, others that are exceptional and some that are worse than the bad guys, the traffic cops are the most hated versions even within the force itself, ruthless, unforgiving and driven by quotas, Robo Cops, as a detective once told me the are two police forces Them and us"
Phil Pilgrim 2016.