Tuesday, February 12, 2008

hello hello hello

A friend told me with some bemusement this evening about an episode on Saturday. It seems a group of young men, walking home from the pub feeling the worse for wear, noticed that my friend's wife had left the hatchback unlocked on her car. A moment later they had leaned in, taken off the hand brake, and were rolling the vehicle across the road and onto the green opposite their house.

A passer by knocked in the early hours and told my friend, who put on some clothes, grabbed the car keys and moved the car back. Realising this was an annoying yet harmless prank, my friend retired again for the night.

Just moments later three police cars came screaming round the corner, and a number of stab-vested officers pounded on my friends' door. It seems the neighbours had seen the incident and phoned the boys in blue.

But no matter how much my friend protested that this was a prank and that he wouldn't be pressing charges, the police still wanted a statement. Again and again they asked him for his name and date of birth, and when he finally said "look - I don't want to report this, there's no point", the boys in blue told him "but we have to fill in a report".

The real choker came the next day, when my friend's phone rang. It was apparently a senior police officer, ringing to give my friend a Crime Sheet Number.

For what possible purpose? There was no damage, no theft, no real victim and certainly no suspects. This was an open and shut case of blind bureaucracy taking up time which could have been spent in other ways.

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