Friday, July 23, 2004

Burglary is better

I hope the West Yorkshire constabularly are truly proud of their pathetic record of solving a mere 10 percent of burlaries - less than the national average of 13 percent, which is also pathetic.

Interestingly, I write this to the background strains of yet another burglar alarm warbling in the distance, polluting the quiet of our suburban backwater. At least, though, it is relatively distant. Through the week, the house next but one to us had its alarm go off at twenty-minute intervals - only the occupants are on holiday so there was no-one who could deal with it. It took three days to get the damn thing shut down, making life intolerable in the interim, as the penetrating noise could be heard clearly even with the double-glazing windows shut tight.

When then alarm first went off, we of course - like good neighbours - did a check round the house, to see if there were any signs of entry, but there were none. Of the police, of course, no sign either. They were far too busy dealing with "real" crime.

Talking of which, it is nice to see that the guardians of our liberties are hard at work protecting the environment in South Wales - two council officials pounced on Andrew Stevenson from Llanelli and issued him with a £75 fixed penalty ticket - under anti-litter laws - for stubbing out a cigarette on the ground outside his workplace.

This is something of a characteristic in this country - the extraordinary negativity of public authorities in the conduct of their affairs. If there is a problem - don't solve it; simply make the behaviour an offence, and then fine people.

In Tokyo, where there are equally stringent anti-litter laws, I was fascinated to see that even in the public parks, the walks are lined with rather stylish ashtrays, conveniently placed for the peripatetic smoker. Obeying the law there is no a problem.

Anyway, if Blare's £80 fines for thieving come into force, Stevenson might be better employed on burglary than actually going to work. Against £75 for a quick drag before he went into his - smoke-free - place of work, if he had waited a little longer, he could have burgled the place and only risked an £80 fine - with a much better chance of getting away with it.


At 2:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had he chosen to burgle, he could have smoked inside as well.

At 9:02 pm, Blogger Mick in the UK said...

Great scene on 'Look North' last night, 'community wardens' strolling around an estate in Hull, being very nice and pally with the local chavs, as a small child roared around on a motorised scooter behind them.

At 1:07 pm, Blogger Richard said...

I saw a bunch of these "chavs" divvying out the proceeds of their shoplifting, in the street outside the shop where they had nicked the goods. Two CSO strolled past tem, entirely oblivious to the scene. They were too busy chatting to each other.

No doubt if these lad had stubbed a ciggie out on the footpath, they would have been nicked. Perhaps that's why they go burgling. At least they can then have a drag in peace, without fear of being molested by the law.


At 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and rightly so, dirty dirty cigarette smokers... maybe we should get marlboro or b&h to sponsor the ashtrays - after-all, Peter North will not pay the tax for the public ashtrays will he?


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