British Transport Police's April Fool's Joke About Smelly Food Ban Backfires

Today is a day to be very careful about what you believe on the Internet. It is - of course - April Fool's Day. Inboxes and publications bulge with bullshit for one morning of the year (and for the rest of the day in most other parts of the world), and nobody wants to get caught out.

However, the British Transport Police's attempt to hoodwink the general public has sort of backfired straight at them - because people actually want their ruse to be real.

The BTP thought they'd have some good-natured fun at the expense of their online following and concocted a story about a new law banning people from eating smelly food on trains.

Unfortunately, it's too close to the truth.

On their website, the BTP said: "As part of new anti-social behaviour legislation, those caught consuming offensive edible items while in transit could face a penalty fare of up to £2,000.

"From today, 'Consumption of smelly grub' will become the 27th Railway Byelaw [sic], and repeated offenders may be issued with a Criminal Food Behaviour Order (CBF0) which could prevent them travelling on trains for life or coming within a 50 meter radius of a takeaway shop.

"Officers will have the power to seize and destroy a variety of foods and snacks and be issued with special protective gloves and masks to avoid possible contamination.

"The move has been introduced following a wave of pressure on social media from disgruntled travellers."

Don't bring your piccalilli at Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: PA
Don't bring your piccalilli at Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: PA

Sounds like a great idea. We've all been there - stuck on a train next to someone eating a ridiculously greasy box of chicken - and it sucks.

Sure, chicken is great, but eat it in the privacy and comfort of your own home, not between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.

Too bad it's all a load of bollocks, then.

On the list of banned items under the new 'law' are foodstuffs like eggs, tinned fish, strong blue cheese, fast food (obviously) and even fermented shark.

Now, Dixy Chicken doesn't sell fermented shark just yet, but it's always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Trains should always be a fermented shark-free zone. Credit: PA
Trains should always be a fermented shark-free zone. Credit: PA

They even created a fictional officer to explain their decision. Inspector Pete Pong - seriously, let's hope that he's made up - 'said': "Stinky food has been a long-standing contentious issue on Britain's rail network and I am pleased we could respond to the public's concerns and work to stamp out this very pressing problem.

"In my years at BTP I have witnessed numerous horrors, from those thinking it's acceptable to crack open a homemade tuna sandwich, to others eating boiled eggs like apples. Not OK.

"BTP is proud to be a progressive force, and I hope passengers welcome this exciting announcement."

If only it were true. Credit: PA
If only it were true. Credit: PA

Passengers did welcome it. One even said: "I had a man next to me on the North London line last week eating a tin of Princes Tuna. I wish I'd known then that I could have pulled the emergency stop and had him arrested!"

Another added: "If only!! It's the people that decide to eat a box of fried chicken on a packed bus that need fining. That stuff stinks."

Good effort, British Transport Police. Perhaps next year run with something that people don't actually want, though.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013