According to a report in last week’s Daily Mail (‘the paper that gives it to you straight’, so we know the story’s true), police in Essex took SIX days to respond to a 999 call, after a couple came home to find a gang of thieves ransacking their house.
One of the villains, caught red-handed with the family hoover, claimed to be cleaning the drive as an act of kindness. That might have fooled a policeman, had one bothered to turn up, but it cut no ice with the wife, who – having heard a few excuses in her time – knew a scam when she saw one.
As the quick-thinking couple called for back-up, the crooks piled into a car, drove through the garden wall and scarpered for their lives.
The Daily Mail has thoughtfully provided us with an artist’s impression of what a police car looks like. It appears to have been abandoned in a hurry. (Possibly our heroes saw the villains coming and opted for discretion over valour. Nothing would surprise me, especially if our boys had left home without their Tasers.)
A spokesman for the men in blue was quoted as saying, ‘We are looking into the background of this case, but it would appear the callers did not receive the response they should have.’
That’s putting it mildly! Still, on the plus side, when a policeman finally arrived, he didn’t shoot the happy couple – the usual procedure on these occasions – or arrest them for having a hole in their wall, contrary to building regulations.
The spokesman added, ‘We will examine [the matter] to see if there are lessons we can learn to prevent this happening again.’
(One of those lessons being – presumably – ‘If someone phones in to report a crime, we get off our bottoms and investigate.’)
Having dug himself a moderately deep hole, he then sent out for a larger spade:
‘The Thurrock area is covered by a number of different policing teams including Neighbourhood Crime Teams, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Response and Patrol vehicles and the Criminal Investigation Department as part of the Force’s borderless policing concept. ‘
Leaving aside the burning question – ‘What on earth is a “borderless policing concept”?’ – he concluded, ‘Despite having so many resources at our disposal, it was unfortunate the incident took place on the same night as the final episode of the popular detective series Lewis. So, to be fair, if anyone’s to blame, it’s ITV for scheduling the programme after 9 o’clock when no one wanted to go out.’
He didn’t really say that, but, let’s face it, if he had, would any of us have been surprised?
Thought for the Day
‘My wife caught me standing in front of the mirror with my eyes closed. I was trying to see what I looked like when I was asleep.’
PC Anon (Not his real name)