I often blog about the appalling service we give to members of the public. About how we consistently let down decent folk who ask for a simple but efficient service and only call us when they really require some police help, unlike the majority of our ‘service users’ who call us because they can’t be bothered to sort out their own lives and believe they have an entitlement for action as soon as someone looks at them funny.
News today of a corner shop in Wales who reported a local thief who ran off with twoÂ packetsÂ of cigarettes. They called within 15 minutes and were told police were too busy, (probably dealing with Facebook complaints, or harassing people who don’t really want to see police). The shopkeeper was told police would attend the following day.
Actually, I’m suprised they said they would attend; in our force, unless the shopkeeper knows the thief personally, has a copy of his driving licence and birth certificate or a confession signed in triplicate, we don’t attend at all. We just take a report over the phone, largely so we can leave officers free to deal with the work-shy.
Anyway, the police in Cardiff didn’t attend the next day, or the day after that.
In an effort to track down the theif the shopkeeper put up a CCTV image of the thief inside the shop so staff would be alerted and customers might recognise him.
Cardiff Police eventually sent a PCSO, six days later, who told the shopkeeper to remove the photo because members of the public could see it.
Presumably, Cardiff Police are now checking asking al police forces to remove similar images from their websites and liaising with the producers of Crimewatch so they remove the relevant mugshot sections of their episodes.