Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fantasy Crime Prevention

I had another post planned for today, but I was left so astounded by something that happened to me earlier, that I decided I had to write about it. I received a letter today. Nothing unusual in that, I hear you say. True, but it isn't every day that I get a letter from my local police force. Apparently, they are running some kind of scheme to promote car security and thereby cut car crime. According to them, my car was seen by one of their patrols (I assume it was a 'patrol', they didn't specify), in a car park last Friday and, shock horror, there was a bag clearly visible on the back seat! That, allegedly, made my vehicle a target for criminals. All well and good, you might say, raising awareness of security risks, crime prevention, public service and all that. Except that, whilst my car was parked in a supermarket car park around the time they stated last Friday, there was no bag clearly visible on the back seat. Trust me, I know what's on the back seat of my car at all times.

Well, actually there was a bag of sorts - a clearly empty plastic shopping bag. Now, I know that I'm not au fait with the tactics of those who target cars for robberies, but somehow I don't think that empty Tesco bags are seen as a valuable prize, worth breaking into a vehicle for. Indeed, I doubt very much that even if it was full of groceries, it would represent much of a temptation. What a colossal waste of time! If this is the best the police can do with regard to 'crime prevention', then we really are all doomed! Quite apart from the fact that these tactics are intrusive and patronising, I'd like to think that police officers would have something better to do than go around peering into people's private, (and perfectly legal), vehicles, then sending them alarmist letters about what they've allegedly seen inside them. Instead of trying to frighten people about non-existent hypothetical crimes, (grand theft plastic bag theft), they'd surely be better employed investigating crimes which have actually happened. Their woeful clear up rates, (locally, at least), suggest that using their time in this way would probably be welcomed by victims of real crimes!

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