Matthew Steeples argues that the British public should demand an end to Theresa May’s policy of running policing from organic stores
Recently, I reported an incident to the police. It concerned a bizarre and slightly unhinged woman but as it wasn’t a life threatening matter, I took Theresa May’s advice and instead of going to a police station, emailed the officer already dealing with another allegation made by this deranged individual against a friend of mine. I got a most helpful “automatic reply” telling me that the officer I’d emailed would be “out of office” for five days. Thank goodness I wasn’t reporting a murder.
When, days later and whilst still waiting for a response from said officer, I read that the Crime Prevention Minister, Lynne Featherstone, had tweeted to celebrate the opening of a police ‘contact point’ in a Planet Organic store in North London in place of a closed down police station, I was not surprised.
In their research for a Mail on Sunday report, Amanda Perthen and Martin Delgado found that the Muswell Hill ‘contact point’ – which is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 6pm and 8pm and on Saturdays between 1pm and 3pm – was only visited by “a passer-by who recognised one of the PCs from a dog-attack inquiry a year ago”. Beyond this individual “[popping] in for a chat”, the officers were said to have simply sat their looking bored.
One of the officers is said to have told an undercover reporter: “If we weren’t here, we would either be on the beat or visiting people at home, following up crime incidents that have been reported”. Here, again, is an example of Theresa May getting it wrong. Policing shouldn’t be organic. It’s time to get more bobbies on the beat and it is time to stop closing police stations down.
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