Friday, January 11, 2013

Scum British police again

When Lesley Ross’s car was stolen she reported the theft to the police but didn’t hold out much hope of them finding it. So she decided to turn detective herself.

Her boyfriend took to the streets of Aberdeen in search of the top-of-the-range Audi and Lesley went on Facebook to appeal for help.

Soon, sightings were flooding in every 15 minutes. The Audi was still in the city and one report had it being followed by a police car. Lesley kept up a running commentary online.

The thieves had broken into her house by kicking in a dog flap and stealing the keys.

She said: ‘I can’t believe the power of Facebook. It was amazing. I put up a photo of the car, telling people to phone the police if they spotted it. There must have been hundreds of postings.’
As the hunt progressed, Lesley wrote: ‘Why can’t the cops catch them? They (the thieves) must have been keeping an eye on my house. They have stolen my Range Rover spare keys, too. Are they planning on coming back?

‘Feel sick thinking about it. Hope they wrap the car round a lamp-post and maim themselves.’

At 10.30pm that night, while her boyfriend Ricky Strachan was still scouring the streets, two police officers knocked on the door.

Had they found the car? No, they had come to give her ‘words of advice’ about the way she was ‘handling things on Facebook’.

Lesley said: ‘They were all over my laptop taking screen grabs. The female officer wrote something in her notebook and made me sign it.

‘I asked them to clarify that I was still the victim here and not the criminal. She just said: “We’ve got to make sure we’ve got everything covered.”’

Shortly after the police left, Lesley went back on Facebook to discover her Audi had been torched.

Photos of the blazing vehicle had been posted by a notorious group of local car thieves who call themselves ‘The AberdeenBoyz Stig’ and have their own Facebook page where they boast about their crimes.

Lesley admits she may have been a little intemperate, but can’t believe that the police appeared to be more concerned about her remarks on a social network than finding her car. Sadly, I can believe it.

To add insult to injury, when the officers did finally return three hours later to inform her the car had been burned out — something she knew already — they told Lesley she would responsible for collecting it.

It does seem extraordinary that while the police could find time to warn Lesley about her ‘offensive’ comments on Facebook, they couldn’t actually track down a stolen car which was being driven at high speed through the streets of Aberdeen.

There were enough sightings reported. And if the police could monitor Lesley’s Facebook page, why didn’t they check out the site belonging to the AberdeenBoyz? Presumably this wee gang of local neds is ‘known to police’.

When a motor goes missing in Aberdeen, you’d expect them to be Plod’s first port of call. Yet while Lesley’s car was being torched, the bold Bill were trawling her laptop in pursuit of cyber crime.

A spokesman for Aberdeen police said inquiries into the stolen car were ‘ongoing’.

He added: ‘During the course of the investigation, suitable advice and guidance was offered to one of the owners of the vehicle about the content of some social media posts they had made following the incident’.

What was it the police found so offensive? Was it Lesley’s wish that the thieves wrap the car round a lamp-post and maim themselves? Or was it her asking why the police couldn’t catch them?

Presumably the police were alerted to Lesley’s Facebook page by members of the public ringing in to report sightings of the stolen Audi. Surely they don’t have a squad of officers constantly monitoring the internet in search of ‘offensive’ remarks? Actually, these days I shouldn’t be surprised if they do.

Even so, their priority should still have been dealing with a real crime in progress, not poring over every keystroke on a victim’s laptop.

Mind you, this is typical of the way in which the modern police ‘service’ find investigating exciting new ‘crimes’ much more to their taste than actually going out on the streets catching old- fashioned criminals.

On Tuesday, I wrote that I don’t want to get a reputation for kicking the police gratuitously. Truly, I don’t. But stories like this come across my desk every day of the week, sent in by law-abiding, tax-paying Daily Mail readers who despair at the behaviour of certain sections of the police. Am I supposed to ignore them?

I also hear from plenty of serving and ex-officers who are increasingly ashamed at what The Job has become — an arrogant, insular, incompetent, box-ticking bureaucracy which regards every single member of the paying public as a potential criminal.

Let me reiterate yet again: there are tens of thousands of decent coppers out there trying to do their best every day. But they are hamstrung by the new breed of fast-track, careerist chief officers, who spend their lives playing politics and setting ‘priorities’ which bear no relation to the real world.

We’ve ended up with Keystroke Kops who’d rather investigate imaginary Facebook ‘crimes’ than catch car thieves. It can’t go on. The police are in crisis, from the Met to Aberdeen.

On Tuesday, the first half-hour of Channel 4 News was devoted exclusively to discussing the various shortcomings of the Old Bill, including the allegations that members of the diplomatic protection squad tried to fit up the former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell.

Maybe it’s time for a far-reaching judicial inquiry into the ‘culture, practices and ethics’ of the police.

Original report here

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