The Metropolitan police vice squad today claimed a significant victory after four members of the Chatham and Gravesend Brass Rubbing Society were arrested.
Members of the society - well known in brass-rubbing circles - were calmly going about their annual visit to the catacombs below St-Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s West End when armed police burst in and forced the elderly brass rubbers to the floor. A scuffle broke out, and a police sergeant received a bruised shin in the ensuing melee.
Detective Superintendant Jim Hargreaves confirmed the arrests. “The septuagenarians were caught in possession of provocative specialist equipment, including several rolls of opaque paper, heavy weights and ‘hot moulding wax’. They clearly intended to use the site for an afternoon’s frottage”.
“We cannot allow this sort of vicious gang the freedom to roam the streets of London, terrorising innocent statues. We have made a public commitment to eliminating anti-social arts and crafts. Why, only last week we successfully arrested a woman in Hyde Park who was making loud clicking noises with a pair of unlicensed knitting needles.”
A leaked copy of Justice Minister Ken Clarke’s speech to the Women’s Institute tomorrow, entitled “Tough on tapestry, tough on the causes of tapestry” suggests that this is just the beginning of a nationwide clampdown.
Jennifer Fawcett of Norfolk, who didn't want to be named, says this is a deliberate infringement of ordinary people's liberty. "I'm actually into stained-glass windows," she admitted, "and I'm outraged that the government thinks it can stop me staining any glass window I feel like."