Please let me introduce you too Flossy, the Maidstone Flower Sheep. Originally designed for use in 1998 only, Flossy returned for quite a few seasons, before presumably going to either the butchers or the florists. Flossy was meant to be the signature design of a Flower Festival, but for a Police Officer on patrol in Maidstone in 1998, Flossy was a monumental pain in the rear end.
Placed right out in public, in the town center, where thousands of shoppers would pass it during the daytime, and thousands of drunks would pass it at night, was not a great idea. It didn’t take long for Flossy to become noticeably balding around the easily accessible areas, her soft underbelly if you will. The council, who had allegedly paid 14 thousand pounds (sorry my computer has a dollar sign not pounds sterling) for the ‘installation’. wanted a bit of security their investment, not caring that they put a perfect free love offering dispensary right in the path of hundreds of lovelorn and inebriated males.
So we were tasked with regular patrols of Flossy, the CCTV operators were tasked with keeping one ‘eye’ on Flossy. So it became almost a competition, to be tasked with patrolling Flossy, but manage to find something else to do, not very difficult, and the CCTV operators managed to find some other thing to keep their attention away from staring, just staring, at Flossy and keeping watch for her violators.
In the end the council hired a rent-a-cop for Flossy. Someone who had to sit in a car behind Flossy, and watch to make sure no one was stealing her flowers. And what would he do if they were so bold? Why call the Police and the CCTV operators of course! So we still had to roll on stupid theft of flowers complaints, and it’s not as if you could have them put the flowers back, the flowers were actually planted in Flossy, once they pulled them out they were broken, the damage was done. Then there was nothing else for it but a trip to the cells, a a stupid interview, some even more stupid paperwork, a chat with the on duty Inspector, who would then issue a Formal Caution to the sobering flower boy, and on his way he would go. All the while trying to keep a straight face, because someone had acquired a criminal history because they pulled some flowers out of a sheep…It probably made a great story when they sobered up.