Police have told shopkeepers not to report thefts of goods worth less than under £20 in a scheme which they claim will cut crime./facepalm
Under the trial, retailers are told not to dial 999 if they fall victim to petty shoplifters, but note details in a log book.Well, sure. But if it doesn't work, hey, the crime figures came down for a while, right? Score!
It could then be weeks before a community support officer visits to read the log.
Police chiefs claim the policy will reduce thefts in the long term by enabling them to 'build a stronger case' against offenders and impose anti- social behaviour orders to keep them out of shops.
Naturally, people who make a living selling things, as opposed to giving them away, aren't happy, and aren't in a mood to co-operate with this barmy scheme:
Anthony Bush, owner of the general stores and post office in Killingholme, said: 'It's an absolute joke. You might as well put a sign on the door to say "nick up to £19.99". I wish the police would explain to me how this is going to drive down shoplifting.And what will they do when he keeps phoning, I wonder?
'This is people's livelihood we are talking about. I don't care what they are suggesting, if I notice shoplifting I will call the police.'
Humberside Police insist the project does not reflect a lack of resources to investigate crime.I'm sure it sounds like a great idea...to you. But it doesn't to us.
A spokesman said: 'We are not saying we won't investigate.
'We are saying rather than pick up the phone every time a Mars bar goes missing, we are taking this to a better level by trying to build a stronger case against offenders.'
And it's not what we pay you for, is it? And at this moment in time, do you really want yet more people wondering why we keep paying you?
In fact, more people will start taking the law into their own hands. And probably not the correct way, the way Simon Cremer did*. Because look what happened to him...
But Gilbert was let off with a police caution, while floor fitting firm owner Mr Cremer and his staff were charged with false imprisonment before the case against them was dropped.Is it me, or has the world gone utterly mad?
How the hell can iDave's 'Big Society' ever work, when those who transgress the laws get coddled and protected, the people we pay to maintain the law shrug and sit on their backsides and ambulance-chasing shysters wait to feed off the carcase of what remnants of decent society still remain?
*H/T commenter RAB via email