Minority Report and Precrime arrives via a Facebook events page – for a BBQ

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Although we now have multi-touch interfaces via the handy iPhone, it appears the rest of the world promised by the Minority Report movie and its “Precrime” concepts has arrived sooner than we thought.

Brit Andrew Poole organised a simple barbeque to celebrate his 30th birthday party. He expected a total of 17 guests, so he bought a lot of burgers, rented a marquee and put some batteries into the portable MP3 player, as anyone with an impending significant birthday and an unused BBQ stove would. But his first mistake was to create an events page on Facebook. His second was to send out invitations to join the BBQ in a Devon field owned by a friend.

However, Minority Report became real when when eight police officers, some dressed in body armour, swooped in via a helicopter and a riot van. Police claimed they received reports a “large-scale” dance rave organised via something called the Internet. Police said local residents had tipped them off about a possible rave, which suggests that the “red ball” in this case was the people Poole is connected to on Facebook who tipped off the authorities.

Said Poole: “The thing (the helicopter) hovered over us for about 25 minutes, watching 15 people eat. They told us to take down the sound system and said everybody has got to leave. It was 4pm and we had not plugged in the music. What effectively police did was to stop 15 people eating burgers.”

However, Poole was clearly guilt of some kind of precrime. He put the time on it as “overnight” just in case “people wanted to sleep over.” Bad move.

Now, admittedly some people do organise a lot of, shall we say, interesting things, over Facebook. But using a helicopter to swoop a Facebook organised BBQ is a new one on us.

(via The Daily Telegraph)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kriti_Arora/612136318 Kriti Arora

    LMAO!! Poor Poole!

    • http://bit.ly/4aiEa Daniel Smith

      That’s some real crazy stuff. He must have been really freaked out.

      • James Shapiro

        What’s even more crazy is that Mike Butcher probably got this story from the free newspaper Metro on his daily commute into London. 10/10 for originality Mike!

      • Daryl

        @James Shapiro – What’s even more crazy than that is that you think it’s crazy that a *tech journalist* picks up on a story from another source and writes about it too.

        How, exactly, d’you think journalism works? Everything you write’s gotta be a totally original story?

        (But that’s not as crazy as some of our ‘Merkin cousins commenting on this thread who don’t seem to know that there’s a world out there beyond the grand ol U S of A…!)

      • joe

        uh oh, my 30th b-day is coming up also

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  • http://www.articleplayground.com/signup.php Article Playground

    Facebook at it again?

    • Fleacool


  • Ken P

    The officers should be in jail for persecution, harassment, stalking, trespassing, falsification of a police report, misconduct, and betrayal of the public trust. Sickening what a tyranny can get away with.

    R.I.P Freedom and Peace.

    • Ken P

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I’m a total dumb ass dip shit. The true tyranny in todays world is how morons like myself are a pervasive sore on the rest of the human race. Gotta go, mommy wants me to clean my room.

  • Mark

    Ken P –

    Amen. Police power is getting WAY out of control begetting vast amounts of abuse of that power. Something must change.

    • ashleyjohnston

      He should have some grounds for a lawsuit. I would be on the hunt for a good lawyer.

  • http://www.riazkanani.com Riaz Kanani

    no comment from the police force? reckon that probably cost a few bob..

  • http://www.freakyidea.com Anuj

    I Started a Facebook Group with name freakyidea where anyone can jot down there most creative or i would say freakyideas. We own a website on the same concept (www.freakyidea.com) but though the concept was same and everything good still i am not able to get ideas on my site. I know there are million who got amazing ideas but they never dare to speak out or think about implementing then concedering it to be really crazy or freaky.
    Those ideas got wasted and then after we had to wait for year for someone to think same way and actually work on it.
    The concept of freaky idea is just to trap those ideas and nothing else but at the same time i want it to be self sustaining.
    Could someone help me ?

  • http://www.greenenergyreporter.com Terrence Murray

    This is not clean tech focused, which is normally what I cover, but this is a really good/fun story… The standout image are those 15 guests, the vast field and their shoulder humped down as they eat their burgers and helicopter hovers over them!

  • Liz

    Have police never heard of recon?

    A friend’s 90 year old grandmother once had her house barged into by cops who suspected the house was the site of a grow op. Their reasoning? The amount of electricity being used in relation to the amount of activity – i.e. they didn’t see enough activity to account for the electricity being used. Turns out it was just an old woman who keeps the heat turned up.

    They could’ve looked into it a bit first, but instead they broke down her door, smashed in windows and barged in, guns blazing. On a 90 year old woman watching her soaps in the afternoon.

    Smart. S-m-r-t.

    • Zorin the Lynx

      Yep, not to mention this sort of thing can get people killed.

      Homeowner thinks their house is being invaded by criminals and pulls out a shotgun to defend themselves. The police see the shotgun and fire on the homeowner.

      No-knock warrants are evil and shouldn’t be used. Yes, evidence might be flushed, but how is that worse than innocent people getting killed??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon_Casci/701606696 Brandon Casci

    Crack down on trans fat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert_Schultz/887365500 Robert Schultz

    This is so typical these days. Even if it was a rave,what constitutes dropping in with helicopters and riot gear? Have they ever met anyone that goes to a rave? Give me a break. But if someone pays Ticketmaster $100/ticket for a Lil Wayne concert then it’s A-OK.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1390403632 Joseff Betancourt

      Difference is taxes are paid on ticket master.

  • Scott DeBray

    This sickens me. If America were truly free the attendees would have been able to politely ask which statute in particular they were violating (not assumed to be violating, but actually infringing), and if the police couldn’t produce a reasonable answer, they should have let them be.

    Unfortunately, given the vague and nearly nonexistent restraints on what an officer can do, especially if he claims he feared for his safety/was provoked, this probably would have resulted in the host being taken downtown for a friendly chat at HQ.

    • http://www.hendersonkena.com RJ

      It was in the UK mate

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1390403632 Joseff Betancourt

        Please don’t point out that it’s in UK for the US citizens that are determined to point something out as socialistic government in the US. It’ll just bum their day out. :)

  • Dems_slacking

    So Obama has added to value of society how exactly? Looks like the same ol crap big government in your face.

    • Kask

      Wow, I hadn’t realized that President Obama has gained control over the Devon police force in ENGLAND. Man that guy is power hungry, quite the micro manager too.

      • Techpolice


    • Pooopsies

      Obama is the president he isnt responsible for local police silly ass.

  • http://unsympathetic.net lisa

    To be fair, this happens in Chico, and I would think most college towns, quite often.

    Any time large parties get organized on Facebook, they tend to get shut down. Either the property owner gets involved and says that it’s not allowed, or if the notice says they’re taking donations, it’s concluded to be a nightclub-like situation, which isn’t allowed.

    Holidays are especially bad in Chico, and it’s not uncommon now for the school paper to report on how many parties were shut down before they even started, by the cops showing up at the party-thrower’s doorstep the morning of to tell them that if they do throw the party, it will be quickly shut down, and they will be subject to discipline.

    This from a city that allows police to shut down a party if they believe they have observed three misdemeanors, whether they are charged with them or not.

    • DDavis

      Chico CA? Ya, I hear ya – I lived there about 8 years. I think it needed some work, but the extreme cops have gone to, to shut down socializing is bad.

      Shutting these things down on a tip was someone’s major over-reaction. Cops are needing to actually field someone to *dare I say it?* validate the tip before making a PR mess for their department and city.

  • Jon Deutsch


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cameron_Kilgore/646944065 Cameron Kilgore

    So they’re now serving thoughtcrimes with burgers? I’ll have some.

  • http://bit.ly/lwpBi Goodmars

    Nice one UK…http://bit.ly/lwpBi

  • Sun

    Maybe we need to go back to throwaway voicemails and e-mail again.

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    […] on this ridiculous story of police “anticipating crime” here. Share and […]

  • http://www.garthshoemaker.com Garth

    It says that the party was being held in a field owned by a friend. In other words it wasn’t a public space. Exactly what authority did the police have to shut it down? What would have happened if the BBQ folks had answered “no” to the request to pack up?

  • midibite

    I would have told them to bite me and they could kiss my ass after I eat this burger and drop a smelly load. Stupid idiots!

  • Andy

    Well. At least he can tell people at work his party got shut down by the police. That should add to his reputation a bit, lol

  • Ok?

    So how much did this cost your government?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe_Dawson/501760832 Joe Dawson

    This made front page of the London Metro and did make me laugh! They were trying to have a BBQ but they didn’t count on a fleet of armed Facebook Police busting the party :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher_Charabaruk/500843310 Christopher Charabaruk

    Only to be expected in the land of modern fascism.

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