Mary Cooke, 27, was visited by police after she called 999 to report that she had nearly been run down by a speeding car.What...the...f***?
The officer did not mention that she was unhappy about the state of Mrs Cooke's rented house, but after leaving wrote a memo to the social services.
Was this one of the houses often mentioned at Inspector Gadget's, inhabited by the underclass? The sort of place where you wipe your feet after you leave, and breathe through your mouth for the duration of your visit?
Well, no. It seems the house was half-decorated. Not dirty. Just half-decorated...
Last night, Mrs Cooke, a housewife who is 12 weeks' pregnant with her first child, said: 'The letter made me feel sick. I believe someone was judging me for decorating the house and I can't believe it. I'm in the first stages of pregnancy. I'd never dream of bringing a child home to a house being decorated.The letter Mrs Cooke refers to?
'I told the policewoman we are moving in February. We've been renting privately and we had started decorating, then a bigger house came up for rent and we decided to take it.
'But we thought it was only right to finish off what we'd started for the next people who come here.'
...warning her of a potential 'referral' for her unborn child. In addition, the council contacted her midwife.Who was, presumbly, pretty baffled.
Mrs Cooke, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, added: 'They contacted my midwife behind my back, but apparently she said she had no worries.Well, how good of them!
'Now they've accepted that the policewoman may have been a little over zealous, so none of this will go against me in the future. They've decided to let the matter rest'.
Mrs Cooke warns others that reporting anything to the police could now mean, if you are pregnant, that you will be judged on the state of your house, or if you serve tea in mismatched cups, or fail to raise your pinkie when lifting a teacup to your lips.
She needn't have bothered. This will only be used against people like her...
'It seems that the police and social services go from one extreme to another, they either do nothing and a little child dies or they go completely over the top.'Quite.
And why did no-one review this dim-bulb PC Plodette's work, before she sent a letter? Is she new? Is she straight out of college, wet behind the ears, never seen a house like that described in the case notes on Baby Peter?
Why is someone so out of touch with what constitutes 'a concern' allowed free rein to do this?
The predictable response from the police mouthpiece? Deny, deny, deny...
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: 'Our officers aim to act in the best interests of everyone they come into contact with.I don't subscribe to the 'the police are the enemy!' theory.
'Their role can include making sure people get any extra help and support they might need.'
He declined to confirm whether the officer had referred Mrs Cooke to social services.
But it's getting harder and harder to maintain that optimism...