October 17th, 2008

Stealing police uniforms.

Setting is a sort of classically modern fantasy world - no magic, but no internet either. Call it kind of 70's/80's technology. Obviously this does mean there's some wriggle room on what the procedures are like but I'd like to keep it close to real-life practice somewhere or other.

Any ideas on how my characters could plausibly get their hands on two or three police uniforms? They have limited time (I'd like them to have them within about three days of deciding they need them) but a lot of money at their disposal and a quite senior police detective on their side. However he is under a mild degree of suspicion and very scared of getting caught though (and I don't want him to get caught either, or it to seem like he should have been caught) - he won't want the authorities to think, "So, uniforms go missing from Detective X's precinct and next minute criminals dressed as policemen are  committing a rather high-profile crime! Hmm..." 

Googled - "stolen police uniform/s" "stole a police uniform." Came up with a case of people stealing uniforms from a dry cleaners, which is definitely a possibility, but I'm not quite sure even how you would go about doing that. The uniforms do need to fit, too, though they could probably spare enough time to make some basic alterations.

EDIT: Re some of the comments, yes  if they can do it without committing a crime, so much the better. Really I just want to clear this up as quickly and economically as possible ("The uniforms were in a bag on the chair, they'd got them from x by y means.")  I suppose a lot of my trouble is not really understanding where police officers get their uniforms from normally.  Wouldn't suppliers be cautious about selling to just anyone?
  • lisabel

Walking Stick Etiquette

This is, admittedly, a rather odd question, but it's a detail that has been bothering me for some time. I have a character who has a bum foot and needs to use a walking stick in order to get around. The novel is set in Regency England and I have searched such strings as "walking stick etiquette", "proper cane etiquette" and other variations on that theme as well as tried some 19th century etiquette handbooks on Google Books, all without finding the answer to my query.

So, given that my character uses his cane out of necessity and not as a foppish accessory, (and thus has it with him at all times as opposed to just when promenading) what would he do with it if he attended someone's dinner party? Dining chairs of the period did not have arms, as far as I know, and it would be rather awkward having it at table or on the floor by his feet. Would a servant take it and store it some place and then bring it to him at the end of the meal, or if he needed it?

Again, I realize this is a strange sort of question but any help or points in the right direction would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance :)