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Report - The Inverkip Experience

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Shadow, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
    28DL Full Member

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    As a few of you may be aware; myself, maniac and frosty had an 'interesting' experience last wednesday at inverkip powerstation. We had been traveling around Scotland and Inverkip was our next stop.
    I woke up first, stretched along the back seat of Maniacs cavalier, it was about 3.30am, the time we had decided to start heading for inverkip (it was a 30 minute drive) so that we could be in before sunrise. I tried to wake maniac but was greeted with a pretty loud and angry "FUCK OFF". Hmm, it seemed he may still be a bit tired :p. Anyway, fast forward a couple of hours of rather sketchy sleep, to me and frosty waking up properly and then finally managing to awaken the sleeping maniac.

    After finally emerging from our sleeping bags we drove the 30 minutes to our parking spot, it was already getting light so we would have to be quick.

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    We got to our access hole in the fence that we had recce'd the night before and then up to our access point into the building itself.

    Now, I seen big industry before, Stanton Iron Foundry, CWM Coke works etc, but this was something else. It was HUUUUUUGE!!!!! Absolutely massive.

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    We had planned to get in, spend a couple of hours there then move on to our next destination, it was nearly time to leave but we were determined to find the control room. We saw the lit stairwell but the door to it on that level was locked, we had to find a way around the locked door before we could get to it.

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    Myself and Frosty were stood near the top of the stairwell as maniac worked his way down to find the control room, after a couple of flights down we heard maniac "you better get your fucking arses down here!" We ran down the stairs nearly jumping each flight, through a door then around the corner, we saw maniac power walking up to a light switch then flicking it on, "clunk"... "Woah"

    All the lights came on, illuminating the switchboards.

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    Anyway, will again fast forward about 20 minutes of drooling and shutter clicking...

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    We were so nearly out when we heard the voice from below.
    "COME DOWN OFF THERE"
    "Shit.."

    We climbed down to meet the security guard. He seemed ok and we were just chatting to him as he escorted us to the security hut at the site entrance. He then informed us that the police had been notified and were on their way... oh great!

    As we stood and waited in the security hut the first police car turned up, then another, and another until there was a grand total of 5 police cars and a van, ffs lol what a start to a day.

    They came in and spoke briefly to us before telling us that we were being detained, not arrested, and taken back to the police station for further investigation.
    I rode in front in a police car with two really friendly policemen who told me about local climbing spots and an abandoned train station whilst frosty and maniac came in the van.

    We got to the police station where we were asked for all our details etc which was all good fun, including laughing at the insane number of middle names frosty has, I swear he makes em up :p

    After this we were each put in a cell were we would end up staying for the next 6 hours. However the cells were surprisingly comfy compared to the back seat of a car and I was already fucked from exhaustion, so I slept for most of it.

    After a couple of hours I was taken out of my cell for a full interview, they asked my stupid questions such as "did you intend to steal from inverkip power station"... "How many of these sorts of sites have you been to" etc etc.

    I was then told that I was now under arrest, for section something, I can't actually remember what it was however I'm sure maniac can clarify. I was taken back to my cell for a bit before being finger printed and had my mugshots taken.

    All the police up until this had been a friendly bunch, but these two were a bit blunt to say the least, I'm a photography student, but even so I think it may have been a mistake to start fiddling with the old school nikon film camera they were using for the mugshots, amazing bit of kit though haha.

    I also had dna samples taken, then we were told that we were to be officially cautioned and that depending on how they write a letter (or something) to whoever it is that decides these things we may get a fine. However they said that they were satisfied that we were not there to steal and that they would try to be sympathetic in their letter writing skillz.

    Eventually we were given back our shoes, belts and personal possessions along with our cameras and bags and told we were free to leave. However we were still a few miles from the car and there was no police car available to take us back, so we would have to make our own way back.
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    We walked out of the cop shop, and across the road to morrisons, where we spotted it...
    "THREE HELD AFTER POLICE SWOOP ON POWER STATION
    We had made fucking front page news!!!! Somehow in the time that we had been in the cell the article had been written, gone to print and arrived in the shop, my god that was quick. Nothing must ever happen here, and the article inside was pure genius, containing such legendary quotes as "the youths who call themselves 'urban exploration'".

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    I'm sure Maniac will get a scan up at some point. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, and not one I am going to forget. If your going to try inverkip my advice would be; if you see security.. fucking run, its just not worth staying around...

    [​IMG]

    Shadow
     

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  2. Maniac

    Maniac rebmeM LD82
    Regular User

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    As I finally have a proper internet connection again, I thought I'd add a few of my pics from the day. We really saw very little of the place, we were only in there about an hour at the most. I could have probably spent all day in there if we'd been able to.

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    They're nowt special, but considering what we went through to get them, they're damn well getting posted!
     
  3. Altered_Perspectives

    Guest

    Urbexing and Scots Criminal Law

    Hi all

    A friend pointed me to this post and I thought maybe you'd be interested in a wee bit of info and the law in Scotland as it relates to urbexing from someone who has tread both sides of the wire.

    Yes, before my Urbexing days I was a cop with 12 years service in Strathclyde Police, both uniform patrol and as a detecive in CID. So I have a pretty fair idea of the criminal justice system and its application. I will begin with the caveat that laws and rulings on situations change, but also with the statement that if I thought I was going to end up with a criminal record as a result of urbexing, I wouldn't do it.

    Anyways, here's a wee insight for you...

    Trespass in Scotland

    Most people know straightforward trespass isn't a criminal matter in Scotland - not strictly true, as there are SOME circumstances where trespass is criminal. However you're pretty unlikely to break those, and if you do most cops won't know them well enough to charge you. I know OF some of them, they were brought about to end the rave problems in England in the 90's, but I could never tell you what the enactments were so would never have charged anyone with those offences. There may be specific statutes though for places like nuclear power stations and MOD properties so do be aware of that, probably best avoided.

    I'm no expert in the civil aspect of trespass but be aware that landowners and their agents DO have rights in respect of this. The main ones I believe are that they have the right to demand that you leave the property, the right to demand that you leave by a certain route, AND the right to use reasonable force to make you do so. The good news on that front is that I believe the courts have pretty much ruled that force is a no-no in such situations, but please please please don't depend on this - it won't do you any good quoting me or the courts when some gamekeeper or security guard beats the crap out of you.

    Breaking and Taking

    With straightforward 'being there' off the criminal agenda, the main offences you could be charged with relate to you damaging their poerty or stealing it.

    I don't care how frustrating the locked urbex site situation might be, if you break your way in then you can be charged with vandalism (Section 52 of the Criminal Law Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1995). You may also be charged with different (and more serious) offences relating to housebreaking which I will cover below. If the damage is very extensive you might be charged with a much more serious offence of Malicious Mischief. Causing fires (just to be complete) can end up with charges like Wilful Fireraising.

    In relations to acquisitive crimes (stealing) there are a load of options. Straightforward theft is if you just go in and take something without being obstructed on the way in. Theft by Housebreaking involves you "overcoming the security" of the premises and then stealing something. Overcoming the security means the place must be secure in the first place, or if you enter by an open window above the ground floor . Of course you then have to steal something to be guilty of this.

    Other possibilities lie in various forms of attempts at these crimes. Attempted Housbreaking with the Intent to steal (Attempt HBWI) is if you try to get in and they can prove you intended to steal. Housebreaking with Intent to Steal (HBWI) is if you succeed in getting in and they can prove you intended to steal.

    Bottom line for most of these crimes, if you BREAK or TAKE anything, you could be in for criminal charges... on your head be it... for the rest of us, it's quite simple to avoid.

    The main worry in my opinion for urbexers is what I believe Maniac will have been charged with here - section 57 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 - this seems to apply to almost all urbex situations, as it says...

    "Any person who, without lawful authority to be there, is found in or on a building or other premises, whether enclosed or not, or in its curtilage or in a vehicle or vessel so that, in all the circumstances, it may reasonably be inferred that he intended to commit theft there shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F1level 4 on the standard scale] or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months or to both."

    So here's the breakdown... assuming none of us will have lawful authority (form the owner) and we are definitely in/on/within the curtilage of premises, there's no arguement there... the quesiton for all of you, when caught, is can they prove circumstances that INFER you were there to commit theft?

    Intent to Commit Theft

    So the good news is that they need to prove your intent, from the circumstances.

    The bad news is, it might be pretty easy... you are sneaking about trying to avoid security, wearing dark clothing and have no real good reason to be there... so think about it before you go, and minimise the possibility of you ending up with some jail time.

    Maniac, the questions you were asked might have seemed daft or pointless but they were intended to give you a chance to prove that you weren't there for theft. To be honest along with how you describe the experience I think the cops were deliberately providing you with the right questions to make it obvious that you weren't thieves and you were genuinely there for urbexing.

    Anyways, I just tried to post this as a oner but it says the text is too long so I'll cut post part 2 in a wee minute...
     
  4. Altered_Perspectives

    Guest

    Part 2

    Continuing on...

    Before You Go

    So here's a few things I'd recommend before you go to urbexing.

    1) Make a firm commitment not to break or take anything - even if it means walking away from a juicy abandoned site that just needs a few kicks to be open. If you do that, expect to go to jail if you get caught...

    2) Think about what you are carrying and whether it infers you are a thief or not. Hacksaws, screwdrivers, wirecutters etc. are a BAD IDEA!

    And think in the other direction too - what are you carrying that PROVES your real purpose? My fallback has always been camera equipment - no thief goes with a DSLR and a bag of lenses (nae luck if you've a wee point and shoot). I usually have the advantage of doing model shoots while urbexing so a pretty model in high heels tends to get rid of thoughts of me being a cat burglar.

    Indeed, since explaining being an urbexer may be difficult, it may be more understandable to explain that you got there to PHOTOGRAPH the buildings.

    Also consider taking stuff to back up your interest in urbexing, because most people have never even heard of it.

    If there are intenet reports from others about that location on 28 Days Later or other sites, consider printing them off and taking them with you, especially if it's likely you will encounter security and have problems (such as at Inverkip). No thief would waste time searching urbex sites on the internet, and you are providing evidence that you are there for a non-illegal purpose.

    I realise this may be a contentious piece of advice to some who feel we shouldn't make anyone aware of the presence of sites such as 28 Days Later, but we're talking about possibly saving some genuine urbexer from a big fine or 3 months in jail. So take that as you wish. It's just an idea, it helps prove to cops (who are only doing their job properly after all) that there is a genuine pastime of urbexing and you are there for that purpose so section 57 doesn't apply.

    It's also worth considering taking photographs of the open access to the site as you approach to show that you didn't break in. No point if it is wide open but if there's only one door/window that someone else forced, take pics in case you ever want to show it was that way before oy uwent in (of course it doesn't, but the timing of the pics will indicate you may be telling the truth, whereas if you don't have such pics you don't even have a chance of convincing anyone that you didn't break in)

    3) Think about what you will do if caught by security.

    Here's my biggest piece of advice - be polite. Oh and don't run away - by all means if they're coming in one entrance and you know another way out then walk there and go, but don't run, it will be used as circumstances to infer you didn't want to be caught cos you were doing something wrong.

    And when I say be polite, I mean be polite and don't stop being polite. If they shout at you, swear at you, call you names, threaten you, no matter what you need to keep your calm. Bear in mind they are assuming you're a bad guy or gal, think you're up to no good. So give them no reason to think otherwise.

    What if they get violent? Well, remember that you can call the cops too. It's a bad situation to be honest, but if you even have a video on your mobile or suchlike it can be useful to record their threats/violence - the surveillance society can work to your advantage

    4) Think about what you'll do if the cops arrive.

    Let me say that the above also applies to cops, although I was talking about security staff there. Hopefully the cops won't be so bad - BUT I am no idiot, you get bad cops the same way you get bad doctors, electricians, lawyers, binmen, plumbers, insert occupation of your choice here. The cops may give you a hard time too - they won't understand why you're there so you need to convince them that you take their concerns seriously and that you had NO intention whatsoever .

    Anyways, first impressions really count so again calm and polite is the best way. Laid back isn't, don't act like it's all a joke because you want to convince these guys you realise they have genuine concerns. Their first decision is whether to believe you and send you on your way or arrest/detain you for further questioning. You want the former, though this may not be an option depending on what the security staff say. Answer all their questions as if your freedom depends on it - cos it does. Show them your urbex reports, your photographs, point out that you have noting capable of breaking into premises and nothing to help you carry stolen property. Be prepared to answer the same questions again and again and always always always tell the truth.

    Finally, be prepared to accept that you may end up being charged under Section 57. This is because the Police are not the agency in Scotland who decide who goes to court, it's the Procurator Fiscal. being charged only means a report will be submitted to the PF. it doesn't mean the cops didn't believe you, it means they need to refer it up the ladder for a decision.

    The PF will examine the facts and trust me, s/he will be looking for any reason to can the case and almsot certainly will put a pen through it - unless you have several existing cases of Housebreaking or something, in which case it's not a good idea to Urbex LOL

    This can take months BTW, so don't worry if you hear nothing for a good while.

    So...

    I hope that's useful to you all.

    Maniac I honestly think you will find the PF will just bin the case or send you a 'warning letter'. If not, I think you'll find with a good lawyer bringing out evidence of your urbex activities as evidenced by photographs, it will easily be a 'not guilty'. Drop me a message if it doesn't go well, I may be able to help you out with some suggestions on how to defend such a case.

    By the way, I have practical experience cos I been caught when urbexing - and threatened with pretty much everything under the Sun.

    The owner of Eastend House caught us there on one of my trips there - but as I said before I had the good fortune of loads of camera equipment, a female assistant and a scantily clad model. First I had to deal with his very angry gamekeeper who threatened us with being buried under the floorboards, also with the dogs and helicopters and I think even Taggart himself coming to send us to jail for eternity. I am very grateful that I know what I know about Scots law but I must confess i was maybe even a bit too shirty in telling them that I looked forward to meeting the cops (I would probably have known them personally LOL) , but the fact I could argue that I wasn't doing anything illegal was useful- though a bit stupid cos they weren't happy with me being there.

    Anyways, I got a good result and after the over-excited gamey calmed down and his boss arrived, we left without the police even being called. This was all down to being a decent human being towards them, depsite the threats and nonsense, and giving them no room to want to fuck us up at all. I think though next time even more humility would be a better strategy. So I hope that's food for thought and helps some of you in your explorations!

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    Hey guys sorry its a.....bit late lol.
    Maniacs just shown me how to do the photo posting =]
    Heres my take on the powerstation, oh such an awesome place!

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    Now......onto said control room :D

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    And last but not least, when we FINALLY got back to the car =]

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