Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Don’t call us


Theresa May tells the public not to call the police


Our home secretary Theresa May is lucky enough to have full-time police protection but the rest of us will now have to put up with reporting crimes via the Internet.


Theresa May call
Theresa May plans to deny hardworking people direct access to the police


Yesterday, May declared that using technology would save the police money and suggested that “the growth in the Internet has transformed other services – from shopping to banking – and it is right to give victims and witnesses greater choice over how they report issues to the police”.


As usual, this Vivienne Westwood-clad woman misses the point. The public need and desire easy ways to report crimes yet in Kensington and Chelsea, as an example, there are barely any police stations left. The one in Lucan Place has closed to make way for yet another housing development and the one in Earls Court Road opens for just a few hours each week. In an age when those that govern us, speak of accountability and openness this is just unacceptable.


Police officers should be easily contactable and personable. A faceless system operated from call centres and via the Internet is not a desirable idea. Victims of crime often need a shoulder to cry on or a reassuring voice of support and frankly, we are of the view that the public  need bobbies on the beat and police in stations. Theresa May should take note.



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    1. Nonsense. As usual, she’s absolutely right. In the vast majority of cases reporting a crime via Internet is a perfectly adequate and perfectly sane thing to encourage. If you need a shoulder to cry on, try Claire Rayner. The simple fact is that the police force, like many other services has become woefully overloaded as expectations rise but budgets are trimmed. People need to learn to fend for themselves.

      At the same time, the police force – of which I am a great supporter – needs to be relieved of many of its more burdensome and mundane activities. It is not a mental health service or an agony aunt service, nor should it be.

      The greatest single burden it has is collecting evidence for a justice system that is increasingly demanding, often due to shyster-lawyers trying every trick in the book to get some obviously criminal person off. The consequence is that an incalculable numbers of hours are wasted taking statements by hand (in capital letters), closing roads where there has been an accident for several hours with armies of policemen, etc., etc., etc. – ad infinitum.

      Many of these tasks can be replaced by technology and should be. The alternative is a continuing and huge increase in budgets, which is hardly likely or desirable given these straitened times. People cannot have it both ways – simples …

      • Having recently had lengthy dealings with the police, I must state that I find the lack of police stations highly frustrating. I can also testify that the police are not well prepared to deal with technology and use antiquated computers.

        • The advisors to May are usually Oxford and Cambridge graduates who think their ideas are proactive and unique, but in practice it is usually not fit for purpose. Out of touch with reality, even John Cleese could not make it up, for a Monty Python scetch.

          • It would probably be far better if this publication was more in touch with reality from the sound and intelligent advice given by the brightest and best Cambridge or, if you must, Oxford graduates.

            • The bottom line is Theresa May is already sitting on a ticking time bomb that can blow her knickers away before the May General Elections, don’t call us, we will call you “preferably by scype or e-mail, if no technology available send message in a bottle, definitely no trunk calls allowed.

      • Rubbish. What about little old ladies who are deaf? What are they meant to do and frankly if you’ve been raped would you want to write an email about it?

        • Even allowing for journalistic hyperbole, that is a really dumb response. NO-ONE, least of all the Home Secretary, is suggesting that you write an e-mail to report a serious crime such as rape.

          However, if you want the police to be capable of keeping crime vaguely in order, reporting crime – for example a minor theft, where what you really only need is a crime report number – can easily be done by e-mail.

          As to deaf people, they might find it much easier to handle things in print/type. You would get fairly short-shrift from a little, old, deaf lady I know if you suggested she can’t use e-mail.

    2. I agree with Matthew, the lack of police stations and police patrols is very worrying . I have taken up reporting aggressive beggars and thieves who now plague the Knightsbridge and Sloane Square areas , it has become a pest, and police cannot be bothered to enforce the law , I understand and respect that they are too busy with more serious crimes but who is then supposed to police the streets and deter illegal begging and obstructing passage and business ?

      • Why is our first port of call to always involve the police or any government body. Ok aggressive beggars are probably breaking the law but do we really want to see them arrested and prosecuted? How about us all you, me and all the rest of us take some responsibility (and compassion and kindness) and action to protect ourselves, our visitors, our streets, our homes and our businesses. Do you have a neighbourhood watch in the area including residents and businesses? If not try starting one. People Power.

        PS if each business in knighsbridge and sloane square gave a little money each day to feed these unfortunate people then they probably would not be so aggressive. Most of us in extreme, but not unforeseeable situations are only 6 months away from joining these people on streets. no matter what lifestyle we enjoy today. Compassion and kindness generally always works best. Your neighbourhood watch could then be focused on thieves. I don’t believe that the police don’t attend or take seriously robbery incidents.

        PPS – Mariathena “it has become a pest” you are actually referring to people, other human beings who are in vulnerable situations (especially due to drugs) whether self inflicted or not. None of us are perfect. Be kind.

        PPPS – I live on Tregunter Road, which is full of very wealthy people including footballers, actors and bankers. We had a robbery in one of the buildings so the police walked the whole street asking residents in 30 million plus homes if they had CCTV. No one declared that they did which is rubbish. I have tried a number of approaches to collectively create a community on this street but we have a “too posh to participate” mentality. I will do it but I need to get more creative.

        • Just to clarify: the beggars I am referring to are not homeless vulnerable people , but an organized gang of Romanians who are pestering people and businesses around here. They are well fed and have expensive mobile phones, likely stolen . They steal at supermarkets and spy on people who are subsequently robbed by their fellow gang criminals. It is mindboggling that the authorities, whoever they are in charge of such issues, are not doing more to protect the neighbourhood. Yes, there is a watch but the beggars are tenacious .
          And as for giving them money, they them multiply and will soon camp all over the place. They leave rubbish all around and are provocatively rude and aggressive.

          Yes, they should be arrested and chucked out . No pint of sending them to prison though , just a waste of taxpayers money .

          • These people are very likely the victims of organised gangs of Romanians. Very few people “choose” this way of life. I think if you followed one of these individuals home your assumptions would be shattered.

    3. I think we should be able to use both methods. Urgent cases obviously are 999 or 112 and reporting crimes would be better done via the internet but if you are a technophobe then telephone would be the best way of doing it. I don’t think either or is an option, not for the medium term future anyway.

    4. Desk Sargent Jock Strap of the Snodland Police Station formally charged a local thug for possession of a bunch of bananas, the use of bananas in the wrong context can be offensive to others.


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