Police forces across Hampshire have been ‘pushed to their limits’ following a 65-hour stand-off with a posse of music-loving birds at Canoe Lake, Southsea. Gavin Dollery reports.
Following a noise complaint, officers arrived on the scene at 3pm on Sunday to find a group of seagulls perched on several pedalos in the middle of the lake with electronic dance music playing from hidden speakers.
Portsmouth resident Minerva Flaff told S&C, ‘The music is bouncing off the buildings and is the complete opposite to the usual relaxed atmosphere we have here on a Sunday. Fingers crossed the police shut them up soon because I only live round the corner and I’ve got work tomorrow.’
But the noise pollution increased when the gulls turned the volume up further at 9.30pm and began playing an energetic mix of drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and trance.
Chief Superintendent Reggie Nosediver of Hampshire Constabulary told S&C about the police’s attempts to defuse the situation. ‘Throughout the night, we sailed out onto the lake several times to try to locate the stereo-musical device, but were forced to retreat when the seagulls defended their position by pecking at us. Despite our best efforts to breach the pedalos before sunrise we were, regrettably, unsuccessful.
‘At this stage we had no choice but to assign a further 54 officers and 6 dog units to the operation. We also flew in a man named Keith from Jersey who claimed to be a specialist “gull-to-human” translator.’
But frustration soon mounted for Supt Nosediver and his team as hordes of music fans started to gather by the lake encouraging the birds to keep playing.
‘The masses of people certainly made the situation a lot harder to control,’ said Supt Nosediver. ‘It was particularly disappointing to see Keith the translator more concerned about showing the crowd his robotic dance moves than actually focusing on the job at hand. I released him from his duties at 1pm on Monday.’
The music eventually came to an abrupt end on Wednesday morning when the speaker batteries died. Supt Nosediver said, ‘When the music finally stopped we could see that the gulls were tiring so I gave the order to move in and arrest the bloody lot of them. We were a matter of inches away from getting the cuffs on when, frustratingly, they all just flew off. It’s a bit embarrassing as we didn’t prepare for that scenario.’
S&C did manage to speak to some of the people who left the lake shortly after the music ended.
Self-described ‘raver’ Alvin Carrion said, ’65 hours – that was wicked, mate! If they’re not booked for Victorious then sign them up now! No idea what they’re called but that Keith bloke was saying he’s their manager so probably best speaking with him ASAP.’
Image courtesy of Gavin Dollery.