August 26th, 2009

Sometimes it serves them right

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

No matter how many posters you put up, leaflets you print or guidance you give, there are some victims of crime who simply won’t help themselves.

Every year thousands of vehicles have items stolen from them when the cars aren’t even locked.

A new scheme in Richmond, London aims to point out to the hapless owners of such vehicles the errors of their ways. Local police are patrolling car parking spots, checking car doors & removing goodies from unlocked cars. They then leave a message for the owner to collect their property from the local nick.

I don’t suppose in the great scheme of things that it will do an awful lot of good, but there is a sense of ‘serves you right’ when they have to go to the trouble of going down to the police station to collect the stuff they left in open display in an unlocked car.

One of my favourite crime prevention tactics was to wait in a doorway near the newsagent around 6 or 7 in the morning & wait for drivers to pull up, leave the engine running & pop into the shop for their daily paper. It was great standing back & watching them wonder what they’d done with the keys when they came out to find the engine turned off & the keys gone. Even better was when some anonymous police officer got in the car & drove it round the corner & then stood back in a nearby shop doorway. Funnily enough I never heard of any complaints when the aforementioned officer suddenly appeared with the car keys & directions to the location of the car. I assume embarrassment played a large part in the decision-making process of the potential car-theft victim.

Of course, you couldn’t do that these days for fear of being sued or arrested.

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