It’s Perth’s most exclusive night club on Aberdeen, across the road from the Aberdeen Lodge. It’s where you can mingle with the police, who are usually called up four times a night to sort out fights. If the bouncers can’t sort it out, the police come and spice up the night with their sirens and fetish glow in the dark uniforms.
“You wouldn’t get away with that shit in England.” That’s coming from a shocked Londoner, after he sees six coppers on top of one man, with one police man stabbing punches into the restrained man. He’s not giving up without a battle. They eventually get him in the paddy wagon, and he’s still beating against the wall in defiance.
“I wanted to take a picture of that, ” said Nick, from Germany, who has been to a few political rallies in Germany. ” The German cops like to use their batons. But the coppers in Switzerland like to shoot rubber bullets and tear gas. Once it hits you, you are fucked. “
Over the period of the week, I’ve seen bouncers chuck out people. “They are pretty efficient. And the drunks are told to move on. Mid week, the police are called.” That’s when things go down hill, says a long term resident, who has seen the police get heavy-handed many times.
From my vantage point at the Aberdeen Lodge, I see one copper running after someone who has bolted. I reckon he has pulled a hamstring and may need ten weeks compensation. “You just never see coppers running,” says Nick. Two other coppers are in hot pursuit on their mountain bikes. They are glowing in the dark. The saga unfolds down a dark ally.
It’s Saturday night. I’ve seen the police come three times tonight to The Dean. I didn’t have the battery in the camera the first time when one copper was punching a guy on the ground, while five of his police mates held him down.
Later in the evening I get that chance. You can count on The Dean for going off at all hours. I went over while the police were detaining a few drunks. When their mates jumped in, it was off again. My flash was going off. The five police were being kept busy. The girl friend of one bloke on the ground who is getting his head punched to pieces by the police officer, kept saying, “Leave him alone.” The punches kept on coming.
Under control, and paddy wagon comes. “What are you doing taking pictures,” asks a police officer who has just come onto the scene. I tell him I live across the road. I should have appeased him with a rehearsed line for my next encounter of police brutality. “It’s not illegal to take pictures of the police diligently doing their job.”
Just before closing time, the police came again. Nothing major yet. Some officers were chatting to a group of girls who just checked out. Police on walkie talkies, mountain bikes and horses. Yes, the entire police force were at the Dean tonight. They are regular fixture on this street. Night Clubbing and blue fashion sirens seems the norm at The Dean. Calling the place The Police, with police as bouncers, could be a new spin on this night club.
I ask Bo, from New Zealand, who has lived at the Lodge for a year, what does he think about police brutality. “It’s pretty standard, I’ve seen it all before here.One of the guys arrested was a friend of one the residents of the Lodge. Silly boy,” says Bo.
Nick sums up the previous night well.” ACAB (All Cops are Bastards!)”
I tell Nick It’s just the dark side of using tax payer funded blue light bouncing services.
He softens. ”I guess you are right!”