Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
- Goethe

Dear British Transport Police,

I hear that in a recent police interview, you produced 91 pages of Place Hacking you had apparently printed out from a high quality laserjet. Firstly, let me just say that I am delighted you used so much toner working toward a better understanding of how urban exploration functions as a critical spatial practice to unveil hidden parts of the city and activate little moments of urban orgasmic wonder in an age rendered increasingly banal by forces of securitisation (no offence intended). We always suspected that only you guys, and maybe some of the TFL track workers, could ever understand the depths of our tube and train fetish. Do you like to stand in tunnels and record clips like this too?

I knew it! So listen guys, just between fellow train pornographers, you arrested some of us on Easter. It was a clean bust, we got a little silly there for a few weeks running around on live lines and everything and you were pretty cool about it. But the thing is, you forced your way into my flat while I wasn’t there and you’ve been holding computers, cameras and hard drives in your offices under some sort of vague “terrorism” authority for 3 months now. I never gave you permission to come in my house and the whole thing, if I’m being frank with you, is beginning to reek of a civil rights violation. Now I’m not trying to be cheeky here but we all know that you understood within 10 minutes of talking to us that we’re just train geeks with expensive cameras. I mean Howard Stern even said we’re like Dungeons and Dragons ubernerds that took our adventures into real life. Which is pretty accurate.

Bigger

Nerds

So given all the cuts going through a wide swath of UK society at the moment, you will understand if I suggest that the funds diverted for this “investigation” are being rather ill-invested. You see, in contrast to, let’s say, Lambrini chav chicks screaming on trains which apparently happens every day, we cause far less trouble for BTP. I mean 98% of the time you didn’t even know we were in there. We were also very forthcoming when you caught us, we played fair. Tell me, have you learned anything new looking through our hard drives full of porn and pictures of trains and cranes? I didn’t think so. And in terms of the acts of “terror” you apparently think we are involved with, well the only terror we inspire is the kind that makes you think about your life and how you’ve wasted it working at a boring office job when you could have been running around in TFL tunnels with that warm, brakedust-laced air swishing around you, getting all in your teeth and jumping over the 3rd rail running from the worktrains at 3am, diving into the Japanese knotweed they never clear up. It’s not any more terrorful than, let’s say yarn bombing or throwing magnetic lights on buildings or skateboarding. Though I suppose you might consider those activities big “social scourges” as well eh?

Let bygones

Be bygones

Look, I am just going to lay it out here for you BTP. We make the city more fun. We do this because we love it, not because we want to make your life difficult. Honestly, it would be better for all parties involved if you just ignored it. We aren’t doing anyone harm. In fact, it could be argued that we actually make the city safer by exposing flaws in your transportation network that a bunch of kids with bulky tripods and backpacks can sneak into – no telling what someone who was really motivated could do. Tell you what, we promise that if we ever see a “terrorist” down there we’ll brain them with a tripod okay? In the end, we are, I am sure you realise at this point, basically model citizens: active, aware, careful, well-dressed and *ahem* well-educated – not to mention the fact we’ve been running citizen patrols in the tunnels we pay to maintain (and pay you to police) for 3 years now without ever asking for a dime!

And so, in the spirit of reconciliation, taking into account all I have outlined above (as well as my many publications on the topic you also undoubtedly printed off on that crisp laserjet and enjoyed with a nice scotch), I have prepared an invoice for the work we have done exposing your network’s security flaws. I will CC another copy to your office but would appreciate prompt payment on this, given you have everything we own and we need to buy some new ropes, harnesses and bolt croppers.

Anyway, I hope you guys are having a good summer. Mine is pretty boring, just writing about all the disused Tube stations we explored and stuff. Cool thing is though, at the end of it I get a PhD. Now that, my friends, is public money well invested! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

The Goblinmerchant

PS. You guys should try exploring everything, it’s awesome!

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32 Responses to “Finding Common Ground: an Open Letter to BTP”

  1. Jim Gillette Says:

    Love it!

    Fingers crossed they cough up!

  2. Pork Scratchings Says:

    Excellent post – and I whole heartedly agree – what a waste of time and money on their part. If they were that concerned they could have better invested the funds in securing the rail systems. Its just as well you didnt have motives as I have no doubt you could have done it. As you rightly state, you're just a bunch of UE guys who like to get dirty and take photos – what's the harm in that.

    Anyway, I hope that they enjoyed the photos and you well written commentary on the subject that so many enjoy. Maybe you should contact the Daily Fail and see what they hcawe to say on the matter?

    Best of luck with the invoice.

  3. ANTIBTDI Says:

    haha, badman jokeries 'pon DIS TING!

  4. Winch Says:

    I would love to see a response.

  5. Eotech Says:

    ali winrar

  6. loserscott Says:

    a+++++++++++ excellent urbex would definitely do again. seriously, nice one…!

  7. Doanue Says:

    Haha, this is brilliant!

  8. shotgun mario Says:

    are you mailing a copy as well? :D

  9. Ninth Linkfest Says:

    [...] Bradley Garrett: An open letter to the British Transport Police [...]

  10. ape Says:

    fucking arrogant idiot.

  11. Goblinmerchant Says:

    Kisses to you too sweetie.

  12. nickforshaw Says:

    FUCK BTP!!!!

  13. Cedric Says:

    Welcome to the world of the graffiti writer. Before you know it they'll be locking up you urb-ex types for petty misdemeanours; just like they've been doing to our kind for the past two decades or so…

  14. Dark Says:

    Big shouts to Colin Saysell and Ali Ross on this one xxx

  15. Word Says:

    Whilst on the most part I agree btp are a bunch of nuggets, I assume their duty to make sure you are not a bunch of crazy terrorists masquerading as geeks or for that matter geeky terrorists about to drop ‘da bomb’ on a load of innocent commuters has to take president over your escapism from middle class hum drum. I am all down for a bit of urban exploring, no one should tell you where or where not to go, but come on you are wandering round used tunnels and some pretty shifty areas, if one day someone got mashed I am sure they would feel some responsibility for not stopping you as I am sure their friends and family would not say ” it was quentins own silly fault for wandering around in a live tunnel. Maybe you should ask a driver of a tube train who has hit someone if it’s all a great lol. Peace out homies

  16. Katie F Says:

    Genius.
    Love the letter, and FUCK BTP FOREVER

  17. Total Says:

    You guys just wont listen. Why cant you keep what you do between yourselves? If what you do hots up anything for writers even in the slightest it will turn nasty if ever you are confronted. Someone I know allready contacted you guys. Do not take these words lightly. This shows just how clueless you guys really are when it comes to LU, BTP and actions that are taken because of clueless idiots like yourselves exposing and taunting the authorities. You havent been exposed to the bigger picture yet therefore you dont take things serioulsy enough. Keep what you do between yourselves and let it stay that way.

  18. grave shift bomber Says:

    at the end of the day its a known fact that breaking into the underground is possible and happens all the time btp wont pay him anything he will be classed as another criminal end of !

  19. True_British_Metal Says:

    Having been fined £50 by BTP for trespassing on a semi-live depot in Nottinghamshire which 10 years ago or sooner was perfectly acceptable I can relate to this.

  20. -----> Says:

    the ps is a bit ironic, beacause your killing your hobby, killing other peaples passions. If btp find out how we get in the stations there'll be no way in, to much security and so no more urban exploration no more graffiti, so your killing the london scene, correct me if im wrong if not fuck you.

  21. funker Says:

    BTP are clowns.Raided a mate of mine at dawn,took loads of 'evidence' of graffiti.went to crown court for a jury trial at a cost of approx £10,000 A DAY(his barrister gave us that figure) so ther was a huge waste of almost £100,000 when he wasnt convicyted of a single offence.Funny how that story never made the news.

  22. Anon Says:

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but writing on the trains is more likely to hot things up than a few posts/pictures on the internet?

  23. Anon Says:

    With respect TBM, no you can't.

  24. WRITER Says:

    KEEP WHAT YOU DO BETWEEN YOURSELFS!

  25. Anon Says:

    So what's with books like Crack and Shine coming out, where you lot talk candidly about where you've been and what you've painted on?

  26. young geezy Says:

    btp are just bored bullys that have nothing better to do they just wish they could be out and about doing shit like that. it comes down to they all got abused in school so they are taking it out on the public. they need to fuck of a solve real crimes.

  27. Edward Says:

    An excellent tongue in cheek letter.

    This 'exploration' is fine, if potentially viewable as a bit suspicious by certain people, even if the intention is not.

    Graffiti is not. Graffiti is just mess.

  28. ^-2 Says:

    4 x 100 x 75 = 30,000

  29. mug Says:

    arrogant and hot..

  30. BTP Invoice « HURTYOUBAD SUPERBLOG Says:

    [...] the BTP aren’t just interested in writers these days. This guy has invoiced the Transport Police for 45,000 pounds for his services to exposing gaps in Tube [...]

  31. busty_caver Says:

    you get a PhD at the end of your summer, what in, being a cock? £75 an hour for that? I wouldn't pay you minimum wage for the the state of your shitesite!

  32. Goblinmerchant Says:

    Dr Cock, you got it busty!

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