Watching a tight T-shirt-wearing, cocksure man wearing a gaudy gold chain round his neck strutting down the street is often worth a phone-call to the fashion police./facepalm
But one force is taking the idea a step further and encouraging people to shop Mr T-wannabes to Crimestoppers in a novel - some might say barmy - plan to bring down the crime rate*.
In the latest example of innovative policing in Britain, the Gloucestershire force is encouraging members of the public to report people wearing too much 'bling' during the recession.
They are also urging people to shop anyone who drives flash cars or buys expensive items without the apparent means to afford them during the credit crunch.What a fantastic scheme for nosy parkers, jealous neighbours and crusading busybodies everywhere!
Surely, this must have been inspired by the success of that other awful ‘initiative’, the ‘OMG! Are ur neighbours terrorists!?’ poster campaign so mercilessly lampooned all over the web.
I mean, that has been a success. Hasn’t it…?
The campaign, run with Crimestoppers, was launched by the force today under the title 'Too Much Bling? Give Us a Ring' with the aim of cracking down on those who live a lavish lifestyle on the profits of crime.I’m guessing that doesn’t include MPs….?
Gloucestershire's Chief constable Dr Timothy Brain (Ed: How inappropriately named…) said: 'In the current time of financial uncertainty, those who live a lavish lifestyle with no discernable, legitimate income become even more apparent.'And if it turns out they do, indeed, possess legitimate income not obvious to the informant, well, no harm, no foul, right? If you’ve got nothing to hide, why should you have anything to fear from a police investigation, after all?
Oh. Right. That whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing.
Well, that’s just so last decade. Suspicion and paranoia is where it’s at in the Noughties, baby!
…Tory MP and former Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe expressed disbelief at the move.Hard to argue with that…
She said: 'Is this a joke? If the police spent half as much time tackling crime and getting out on the beat as they do coming out with this ridiculous stuff, we'd all be better off. ’
* - just a small quibble here with the Mail’s terminology, but if this does indeed result in more detectable offences isn’t the crime rate going to rise, not fall…?