My, but the Police are unhappy this morning. Bawling their eyes out in fact.
The Assistant Commissioner, Simon Byrne, has described Detectives as ‘Constables in T-shirts and jeans’ thereby upsetting everyone. The detectives are upset at the insinuation that they are no better than your ‘ornery, plodding the streets, copper; when the fact that they mostly worked office hours and didn’t have to spend frosty mornings cleaning up the vomit on the back seat of their Panda had led them to believe that they were a cut above, special even – and the rank and file, those that are expected to fulfil every function under the sun from mental health expert to social worker to diplomat in the full unforgiving gaze of the public eye are equally pissed off to find that their white-collar – or T-shirt and jean clad – colleagues had actually been looking down on them all this time. A stroke of genius AC Byrne. Even Gordon Brown struggled to piss off everyone simultaneously.
Personally, and at the risk of having on-line Plod land firmly on my head, I think he is right. Whilst there will always be a call for highly specialised branches of investigation like fraud, or art theft – it does seem ridiculous to have a caste system within the police, whereby the front line copper who knows every car thief on his patch is not considered capable of investigating a car theft. Considering that all detectives start life as constables, they didn’t magically acquire a higher intelligence when they made it to DC, merely more training – so why not train all policemen to the same level?
But if Byrne has upset the delicate balance of one up-man ship within the police force, his next suggestion will generate endless headlines. He wants to station front desk police inside supermarkets and post offices. It probably sounded sensible in the think tank, why have special buildings just to report a crime, why not have the facility where the people already are? Probably because he had never investigated the caste system that operates within British supermarkets. If you own a multi-million pound house in Islington, you don’t do your shopping in Lidl or the local Poundshop, that’s why. If the burglary in your multi-million million pound house in Islington has traumatised you, that is as nothing to being forced to jostle in the queue at Poundland along with the overweight Kylie’s and Craig’s in order to report the incident. The fun will really start when the Guardian run articles explaining why Sharon didn’t report that an ageing celebrity shouted ‘wot abaht it darlin’ at her 30 years ago because ’she didn’t feel at ease in Waitrose’ with all those posh people…
Anybody would think that the police were just a commodity, to be displayed alongside the turnips…I didn’t realise until I started looking into this that Tesco’s already sponsor police cars and build police stations.
Shall we have ‘seven or less crimes to report’ desks, or ‘self reportage’ aisles with scanners for your ankle tag? Tannoy announcements for ‘Plod to aisle seven please’? Will you be able to get a home delivery of a policeman? ‘Ask a Policeman’ reduced to ‘Where’s the Baked Beans’? Extra Nectar points for the habitual offender?
I foresee hours of fun from this one, still at least the doughnuts will be handy. Where’s a policeman when you need one? At the doughnut counter…
A special prize for the best good humoured one liner on this subject today. Probably a doughnut!