There is much waving of editorial arms in the papers (here, here & here) about Thames Valley Police using a helicopter to search for a 15-year-old boy who kicked a football through someone’s greenhouse window.
A teenager was playing football in a pub garden when he kicked the ball over a fence and it smashed a window. Officers attended & one of them noticed the force helicopter overhead returning to base from another job. The helicopter was asked to do a sweep of the area in search for the boy. The Daily Fail described it as “scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood manhunt”, The Mirror says it cost Ã‚Â£2,500 to search for the boy (who was found by the officers themselves a short while later). Ã‚Â I’ve no idea how much the Daily Mirror pays for their helicopter coverage but I know ours costs well under Ã‚Â£1000. West Mercia Police are quoted as theirs costing Ã‚Â£522, and that’s for an hiour, not a short diversion on route back to base.
Anyway, what caught my eye on this story was nothing about the appropriateness of otherwise of using the police helicopter to search for teenagers & low-level damage; it was what Taxpayers’ Alliance Campaign Director, Emma Boon, said to the Independent: “A kid accidentally kicking a football through a window should be a matter that neighbours can quietly resolve between them. It’s sad that this was not the case in this instance.”
There speaks a woman who clearly has absolutely no idea of society & policing.
The very thought that neighbours these days can quietly resolve issues between them is a bloody joke. half of police work is resolving issues between neighbours who can’t resolve issues between them, or rather don’t want to bother trying to resolve issues. And most of the ‘issues’ are nothing so serious as smashed windows. Neighbours parking with their bumper hanging over a drive, looking at their neighbour in a Ã‚Â funny way (seriously), neighbours kids leaving their bike on the joint path seriously), slagging each other off on Facebook, fence paint dripping over other neighbours’ side of the fence, cooking curry, etc, etc, et-bloody-ct.
Half of neighbours don’t even know each others’ names and have no idea about who their neighbours’ loved ones are in case of emergency. Thirty or forty years ago if a neighbour had fallen behind closed doors there were at least 2 people nearby who had keys (that’s if the door wasn’t unlocked), nowadays we have to smash the door down.
“A matter that neighbours can quietly resolve between them?” Don’t make me laugh.