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Old September 15, 2013, 04:54 PM   #26
James K
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"We are talking about a flashlight here."

Yep, a special flashlight that can be used as a weapon, and airport security knows it as well as you do. And what is your need for a flashlight on an airplane? Do you think the lights are going to go out?

Sure, you can buy an identical item in the destination country. You can buy a knife or box cutter in England, but that doesn't mean you can carry one on a plane.

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Old September 15, 2013, 07:02 PM   #27
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Back in the day, Surefire had 60 lumen flashlights that they advertised as weapons. Then it was 100, 130, 200, etc.

They can all be used "as a weapon."
Quote:
Yep, a special flashlight that can be used as a weapon, and airport security knows it as well as you do. And what is your need for a flashlight on an airplane? Do you think the lights are going to go out?
Really? Based on the flashlights mounted on the bulkheads, galley, and cockpit, the airlines certainly think it is a possibility.
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Old September 15, 2013, 07:30 PM   #28
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Need for a flashlight on an airplane?

It could help in the event of an emergency egress after a ground or landing emergency.

I typically carry a flashlight when flying as a passenger.

When flying as a pilot, I am required to have a flashlight for night operations.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:06 PM   #29
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Keep the light in the stowed baggage since it's intended use is at the destination not the on the plane.


I just gotta ask, what freakishly dangerous part of Europe is the OP going to?
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:23 PM   #30
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Buzzcook, earlier we discussed that Li batteries probably can not go in checked baggage, but would have to be in carry-on, installed in a legal device. Li batteries pose potential fire hazards. The OP will need to check with the airline.
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Old September 16, 2013, 12:21 AM   #31
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I travelled from the US to Manchester, England in 2003. Got there early in the morning, and there was no customs on duty at all. Immigration checked my passport, but there was no one going through anyone's bags. Flew around Ireland and Germany, no one ever asked to look into a bag. Earlier this year, I flew from the US to Brazil and back, again no bag checks on either end.

As others have said, if you do get your bags checked, you will get in a lot more trouble for the lithium batteries than for the flashlight. Any airline's website will have info on how many batteries you can carry in your luggage.

And, as someone else said, do remember the travel electrical adapter.
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Old September 16, 2013, 01:13 AM   #32
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I'll check on the battery issue, stat.

As to threats, the rate of random street violence in London is FAR, far higher than in the US. Odds of being mugged at night as a tourist are...well, bad, if you get into the wrong area but even in the "good" areas, it's BAD.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...g-centres.html

Look at the levels of crime in just one big shopping center in a month:

* "Violent crime" at 235

* 52 robberies

* "Public disorder and weapons" at 142, and whatever that is, it's separate from the much less common "simple posession of weapons" at 3

* Violence and sexual offenses: 37

Again: that is ONE shopping mall.

Still think I'm paranoid?
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:56 AM   #33
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Lets get back on topic.

A flashlight is an essential part of gear for everyone. For the professional user like a police officer its best to get a CR123. Usually the professional users have a good supply of CR123s which are expensive and not as available as other batteries. For the non-professional user its best to get AA battery based lights. A 48 pack of Kirkland AA is just 15 dollars so you could be blacked out for weeks and still have some AA left over. AAs are all over the place in any standard household and the last battery on the shelves right before a big storm. The professional user probably has a closet worth of CR123 back at their base of operations where as the casual user doesnt have that 100 pack case of them at home. Lithium is not as stable as alkaline so there is that greater danger of fire and explosion although these are rare instances. In that regard its best to get high quality CR123 from Surefire. If you are a CR123 user during a blackout its advised to use lower power settings while the guys with the big pack of AAs can use the higher settings.

As for the disorienting effect of a 2800 lumen+ light...yes it will make a person dizzy and sick, but the effect can be unknown. In fact, it might cause someone to fire right at the light or provoke an aggressive reaction which might have not been there had you not flashed the light. Some professional users are taught to shine the light off axis by raising it up high so if someone does fire at the light they will hit the hand at best. Other professional users are taught to avoid shining the light at all.

As for the airport, whoa is you for bringing anything into the airport which even remotely looks like a weapon. A 3 D cell maglite will probably be a no-go where as a 2 double A minilight may not get much attention. A cranulated light may get questioned. If you enjoy being stopped getting asked awkward questions sure bring it along. As a rule of thumb if you are asking questions whether or not it should be brought aboard then you shouldnt bring it. The airports I go to there is always lots of searching and awkward questions. I avoid bringing anything I dont really need in that regard which is the best travel advice.

Last edited by johnelmore; September 16, 2013 at 05:20 AM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 06:24 AM   #34
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Buzzcook, earlier we discussed that Li batteries probably can not go in checked baggage, but would have to be in carry-on, installed in a legal device. Li batteries pose potential fire hazards. The OP will need to check with the airline.
http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...es-and-devices

Quote:
As of January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) no longer allows loose lithium batteries in checked baggage.
----------------------

Quote:
As for the airport, whoa is you for bringing anything into the airport which even remotely looks like a weapon. A 3 D cell maglite will probably be a no-go where as a 2 double A minilight may not get much attention. A cranulated light may get questioned.
3 cell maglite might, but then again a 3 cell maglite exceeds the tool size restriction for carryon items.

At least the Tiny Monsters I have looked up so far all are under the 7" tool restriction maximum.

As for the crenulated bezel, I have traveled with flashlights with crenulated bezels and had no problem. They are not considered to be a knife or sharp object.

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...ohibited-items
Quote:
Tools (greater than seven inches in length)
...are prohibited.

------------------------

Quote:
Still think I'm paranoid?
Cherry-picking stats to support your fears isn't a sign of NOT being paranoid. Are you going to be visiting that shopping center?
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Last edited by Double Naught Spy; September 16, 2013 at 06:40 AM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 08:24 AM   #35
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Just wanted to add that it does say that even if an item is generally permitted if it poses security concerns you wont be able to bring it on. So the cranulated bezel or tactical looking flashlight might be a go in a Utah airport but it might be a no go in Baltimore. It all depends on who is checking that day and their opinion on the issues.
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Old September 16, 2013, 08:35 AM   #36
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Then again, that is why we ask to speak with a supervisor.
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Old September 16, 2013, 08:59 AM   #37
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FWIW, Due to family ties, I have traveled to London 4-6 times a year for the last 10 years or so. I have also, on numerous occasions, traveled extensively through Europe. In all this time, I have never felt, or had the need of any sort of weaponry to protect myself.
However, not being a complete idiot, I do take a couple of precautions.
If you are going to spend any time in England, buy a London Bobby's whistle. This can be taken on any aircraft. At the FIRST sign of a problem, blow the crap out of it. This is their police call for help, and they will be there too fast to be believed. (Been there, done that)
In other words, go and enjoy your trip. Don't call attention to yourself, and if outside of Great Britain take your American Flag lapel pins off your clothing.
In G.B., Americans are usually treated almost like family. The continent is another matter. (France sucks)
If the lights go out, a Mini-Maglite is all you need.
Final word of advise, bring a couple of rolls of toilet paper. You won't believe the crap they use on the continent.
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Old September 16, 2013, 10:34 AM   #38
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Quote:
Just wanted to add that it does say that even if an item is generally permitted if it poses security concerns you wont be able to bring it on. So the cranulated bezel or tactical looking flashlight might be a go in a Utah airport but it might be a no go in Baltimore. It all depends on who is checking that day and their opinion on the issues.
Yes, and by this logic, the TSA can disallow anything they feel is a problem. Again, I have carried them on planes. Last time was one with a crenulated bezel and 400+ lumens of power. The security guy turned on my light to see if it worked, shined it on the carpet, turned it off, and put it back in my carry-on bag.

Quote:
Then again, that is why we ask to speak with a supervisor.
Right.
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Old September 16, 2013, 07:21 PM   #39
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I was in Sweden recently, and I had reservations about what it was going to be like. I had visions of muggers and also of hostile police/soldiers like you might expect to find in Russia. lol When I got off the plane at Arlanda/Stockholm there were indeed armed security there looking very much like hardcore soldiers, the first three I saw as soon as stepped off the escalator, one had and AK-47, one had and MPK-5, and the other I think was carring a FAL(the long gun type), but they were very friendly and helpful.

I spend about six weeks in country, in a city of around 55,000 people, and the entire time I was there I heard exactly 1 police siren, and it was because someone had borrowed a bicycle without permission. So much for big bad Europe.

The cleanest place I've ever seen also, and the people were all very orderly and proper. It was an eye opening experience for a westerner who's be taught from childhood that we live in the best country in the world.
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Old September 16, 2013, 09:59 PM   #40
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What exactly happens when you hit somebody with over 1,000lumens at night?
They get lit up. Maybe they'll catch fire.
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Old September 16, 2013, 10:56 PM   #41
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If you are going to spend any time in England, buy a London Bobby's whistle. This can be taken on any aircraft. At the FIRST sign of a problem, blow the crap out of it. This is their police call for help, and they will be there too fast to be believed. (Been there, done that)
Funny thing about the Bobby whistles is that they pretty well died out for summoning help in the 1970s with the introduction of radios. You can probably blow your whistle all day long and not have a Bobby show up...assuming any actually heard you. They are a very short range item and there has to be bobbies in earshot for them to be effective.

They were briefly reintroduced in 2008 for crowd control (specific application), not for summoning help on dark and stormy nights when nefarious foes might be most apt to prey upon the kindly tourists from across the pond.
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Old September 17, 2013, 07:45 AM   #42
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Well, the incident I mentioned took place in June 2011. Thankfully, it turned out to be minor. (highly intoxicated person on Oxford Street.) However, the first cop was on the scene in about 1 minute, and the other two showed up about 5 minutes later.
Whereas the police are, of course, using radios, a great many of the civilians still carry the whistles. The Constables are always listening for them. They then get on the radio for assistance if needed.
In any case, I still feel that there is no reason to overly concern yourself.
In addition, FWIW, the London Metropolitan Police are the most friendly, polite, helpful and professional acting cops I have ever dealt with. Of course, since I am retired off the "Job", I might have been treated differently. However, I doubt it.
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Old September 17, 2013, 02:15 PM   #43
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Quote:
Still think I'm paranoid?
Pretty much yes.

Quote:
London attracted 15.3 million international visitors in 2011
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_London

Quote:
Latest Crime Figures for London
Crimes against the person (total)
145,613
http://www.met.police.uk/crimefigures/

Quote:
the capital's resident population was 8.17 million
http://www.londonhigher.ac.uk/population.html

145,613 is 0.62% of 23.47m
0.95% of 15.3m
1.78% of 8.17m

OK now do the math for Robbery (person) 29,951 which is the crime you express concern about.
http://www.math.com/students/calcula...e/3percent.htm
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Old September 17, 2013, 02:26 PM   #44
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But...


Five police held over ‘false crime statistics’
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/u...cle3600485.ece


British Crime Statistics Are Falsified To Support False Claim That U.K. Gun Ban Is Lowering Crime
http://www.dailyunconstitutional.com...owering-crime/


Police fail to report 1.4m crimes

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...es-710742.html

See the U.K. police do lie when it comes to stats on crime.

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Old September 17, 2013, 02:55 PM   #45
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Buzzcook, your lowest figure comes out at .62 %, or roughly 1 in 160 people, per year.

What are your relative odds of having a car wreck?

Do you find it paranoid to always use a seat belt?
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Old September 17, 2013, 03:53 PM   #46
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Quote:
Well, the incident I mentioned took place in June 2011. Thankfully, it turned out to be minor. (highly intoxicated person on Oxford Street.) However, the first cop was on the scene in about 1 minute, and the other two showed up about 5 minutes later.
Whereas the police are, of course, using radios, a great many of the civilians still carry the whistles. The Constables are always listening for them. They then get on the radio for assistance if needed.
In any case, I still feel that there is no reason to overly concern yourself.
In addition, FWIW, the London Metropolitan Police are the most friendly, polite, helpful and professional acting cops I have ever dealt with. Of course, since I am retired off the "Job", I might have been treated differently. However, I doubt it.
Sounds like you had some fortuitous circumstances. Response times of 10 minutes to 999 calls are considered quite good across various municipalities.
http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com...-to-999-calls/

In London, officers arriving within the recommended 12 minutes is just 71% of the time.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/3481419.stm

Lest we not forget this poor chap.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...4-minutes.html
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Old September 17, 2013, 04:01 PM   #47
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Quote:
As to threats, the rate of random street violence in London is FAR, far higher than in the US. Odds of being mugged at night as a tourist are...well, bad, if you get into the wrong area but even in the "good" areas, it's BAD.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...g-centres.html

Look at the levels of crime in just one big shopping center in a month:

* "Violent crime" at 235

* 52 robberies

* "Public disorder and weapons" at 142, and whatever that is, it's separate from the much less common "simple posession of weapons" at 3

* Violence and sexual offenses: 37

Again: that is ONE shopping mall.

Still think I'm paranoid?
Europe together with many other places around the world are not the Wild West.

Firstly, I should point out that the shopping centre you've quoted is said to be the "worst in Europe". That means all others are better. It also does not mean all others were almost as bad. Just don't go there. Heck, don't even go to shopping centres: the most boring, generic places known to man

Secondly, it is in an area of London that is relatively poor. If you think of poorer or more deprived areas of NY or LA etc, then it is probably the equivalent.

Thirdly, it is also the area that hosted the Olympics. So we have crime stats for the area of the Olympics, covering a period that included the Olympics. Hmmm....I sense atypical circumstances might well be somewhere behind those figures...
Still, tourists were not being shipped back in body bags, in their thousands, during or after the games, if I recall.

In addition, the Daily Mail is one of the UK's more sensationalist papers. When not trying to make middle-England gasp with outrage and shock over their tea and digestive biscuits, their other major selling point is celebrity gossip . Personally, I've grown to take what they print with a good dose of salt.

Finally, and most importantly, the OP was about whether or not a torch could have any SD value, so let's not get side-tracked with another "The UK/Europe is an anarchic death-trap" tirade, but instead stick to the topic.

For the purposes of clarity: I fell confident in saying that airport security are not going to confiscate a torch...
If they see a metal cylinder in a bag that is not recognisable as a torch they may, quite understandably, want to take a closer look at it. If anything, they'll ask you to switch it on to prove it is a functional torch, and then let you re-pack. That is not quite the same as demanding proof it is not a weapon.
Just don't pack a 6D Maglite in your rucksack or you may raise some eyebrows. Even then you might just need to check it in, instead.
Anyway, I'd have thought that serious security in the airports would be a welcome thing...

To the OP:
Europe is a fascinating place that is incredibly rich in history and cultures which can be like chalk and cheese yet only a border apart. Music, sights, sounds, food, beverages of every kind packed into such a small, easily navigable area...
Like everywhere there are idiots and bad people. Also like everywhere, the vast majority of folk are decent human beings with a far greater urge to help than to harm.
I drove across the continent with my family from Estonia to Spain then back again over the summer, sometimes sleeping in the van. Never had a single problem. And all my guns were locked away at home.

Seriously, if your first reaction to a holiday around Europe is that you're being "dragged" there, then perhaps you shouldn't go. I think it is a fabulous opportunity, but that is me and tend to think that about most possible destinations.
However, if you feel you're going to spend the whole trip expecting to be ambushed by foot-pads at every corner, you won't enjoy any of it. What would be the point? Holidays are supposed to be fun...
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; September 18, 2013 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Futile attempt at getting the thread back on track
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Old September 17, 2013, 05:28 PM   #48
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Quote:
Do you find it paranoid to always use a seat belt?
Nope.

Quote:
one out of every four people will be in a car accident in their lifetime. Your chances of dieing in a car accident are 1 out of every 140 people.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_t...a_car_accident

Car accidents annual deaths 44,757 lifetime risk 1 in 84
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/1...-should-we-be/

I do find it paranoid to expect personal attacks in the tourist areas of major European cities.

Deaf Smith, this is from your first link.
Quote:
The officers, a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and three detective constables, are accused of persuading suspects to confess to offenses they had not committed in order to improve the unit's performance statistics.
The article doesn't support your contention.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/u...cle3600485.ece

Your second link references the third.
http://www.dailyunconstitutional.com...owering-crime/

The third link is the meat of your position as I understand it.
Quote:
An estimated 1.4m crimes are going unrecorded by the police every year partly because officers bend the rules to exaggerate their success, government inspectors have discovered.
That would according to the article increase total crime to 6.7m from 5.3.

But it gets murky when we ask what the article considers to be crimes.

Quote:
The Home Office's statistics directorate wants to tighten up the police recording procedures and publish two sets of figures, one for crimes where there is evidence of illegality, and another for all allegations of an offence.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...es-710742.html
Doesn't that indicate that some of those 1.4m crimes are reports of crimes with no evidence of illegality?
Does it also indicate that some reported crimes are allegations rather than actual crimes?
Would that mean that British crime statistics are in some ways lower, because they include instances where there is no evidence of illegality?
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Old September 17, 2013, 06:30 PM   #49
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Buzzcook, you say 1 in 4 will be involved in a car accident in their lifetime.

If your lowball number of .62% (or roughly 1 in 160) is for a one year period, then over a 72 year life span there would be a 44.6% chance of becoming the victim of a crime against persons - roughly double the risk of car accident.

You seemed to compare annual violence vs lifetime traffic numbers.
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Old September 17, 2013, 07:02 PM   #50
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,,,,,,this started out talking about flash lights......
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