Archive for July 4th, 2009

July 4th, 2009

In a victim’s shoes

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I became  a victim  of crime recently. It’s not the first time, just like many people, My neighbours  & I have been victims of petty crime over the years, most of which has gone unreported. It’s not even the first crime against my family this year.

This time I decided to report it.

An officer duly attended & took all the details plus a mini statement.

I didn’t expect the offenders to be caught. (I knew there was more than one  because someone up the road saw them running off).

A few days  later I received a letter from my local division. It offered condolences that I was a victim of crime, which is nice, provided me with a crime number which, it advised, should be passed on to my insurance company in the event of a claim, and spouted some general drivel from the victims’ charter. I was a little miffed that it spelled my name wrong, especially as I had gone to the effort of making sure the officer I dealt with had the spelling correct. The name of my street was mis-spelled also, but I guess as the postcode was correct it found me OK.

I didn’t hear any more about the crime from the officer dealing. I did get a letter from the local division though, which was nice. I expected it to provide me with the expected result, despite our investigations, blah blah…sorry to inform you…blah, blah…remains undetected….blah blah. Sadly, it didn’t update me because it was a copy, exact, of the first letter they sent. Perhaps they’d realised that my name & address were mis-spelled in the original letter &, distrusting the capabilities of my local post office, were re-sending to ensure it arrived.

Sadly, this didn’t appear to be the case as my  name & address were still spelled incorrectly.

The next time I was at work I popped over to the guys who look after the crime reporting system & got them to correct my name & address. I also took the opportunity to note that apparently I’d been advised of the outcome of the investigation (I hadn’t), that house to house had proved negative (which was strange given that when I checked with the neighbours nobody had been approached by anyone from Her Majesty’s Finest), and that there was no CCTV (which was also strange given that there is a council CCTV & when my wife spoke to them nobody had requested the tapes be checked).

Now I’m not surprised that my crime wasn’t detected, most crimes aren’t. I’m a little miffed that, having worked for them for over 30 years, they can’t spell my name correctly. But mostly I’m annoyed that given they know I work for them & have access to the enquiries they record, that an officer is still prepared to ‘cuff’ the job with what is basically bullshit.

I’ve not received any final update from the officer or local division.

Funnily enough a few weeks later a neighbour became a victim of crime & the day after a PCSO knocked on the door asking if we’d seen or heard anything. I made sure she knew about the CCTV camera which covers one of the two entrances to our street so my neighbour has more of a chance of detection than I got.

I understand that people who come into contact with the police are dip-sampled to ascertain satisfaction levels, most members of the public would be in blissful ignorance of what the police had or hadn’t done or what they said they had or hadn’t done & whether the two matched up. I’m not sure my experience has done anything to enhance the reputation of my local force. I don’t suppose I’ll get dip-sampled now.

Incidentally, I think house to house enquiries are actually an almost total waste of time. In almost 30 years of doing them I would be struggling to think of a crime which was detected, after the event, from information given by a neighbour in  house to house enquiries. I suspect anyone who has useful info about offenders either call police at the time or don’t want to admit not calling & therefore deny any knowledge.