Sunday, March 05, 2006
A call to a burglary at 1 in the morning. It's a pretty standard script - occupier has come back from the local watering hole to find their place turned over.
As always, what comes through on the radio is usually far removed from what you actually turn up to. In this case, it was a "Burglary Dwelling" (on the edge of The Twilight Zone).
I'll compare what the informant said to what the reality was:
Informant: Door to block of flats had been forced.
Reality: Correct, sort of. Door to block of flats had enough chipped wood, damage to the frame and lack of maintenance to have been forced hundreds of times in the past few years.
Informant: Window lock had been broken off, and they returned home to find the window open.
Reality: Window lock found outside, caked in dirt from having sat there for months.
Informant: People had entered the house and ransacked it.
Reality: House was relatively clean by council estate standards, insofar as the floor was visible and possessions were relatively squared away. (On a side note, you'd be surprised how many reported burglaries are, in fact, just particularly drunk tenants coming back from the pub and forgetting how much of a state their house is in.)
Informant: Several items had been stolen.
Reality: Items rediscovered as we went through the rooms to ascertain the M.O of the 'burglar'. Certain items the informant had then mislaid in front of us were then suddenly 'stolen', with our attempts to explain that we'd just seen them put it elsewhere falling on deaf ears.
Informant: Stable and sober.
Reality: Drunk, lonely and wanting company, hence the 999.
Police: A professional and courteous explanation of use of the 999 service.
Reality: Pissed off at wasting the better part of an hour, and completing half of a set of proformas that are as rare as rocking horse shit, on a non-job.
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I am so sorry that you seem to be in a work environment that has led to have become so cynical and bitter. This is as observation, not a criticism. I wonder how many of your colleagues think as you do. quite a number, I suspect - in which case, I can't help but feel my impression about those who protect me and my community to be fundamentally altered. A depressing thought.
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