Grant Woodward: The news your local burglar was just waiting to hear

Burglars will have a field day if police stop treating the crime seriously.
Burglars will have a field day if police stop treating the crime seriously.
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STICK up your hands, raise the white flag. Plonk a welcome mat outside your front door and invite the local burglars to fill their boots.

That’s essentially the advice from one of the country’s “top” policewomen.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton has warned break-in victims they should no longer expect the police to come to their homes.

She claims that local forces simply don’t have the money these days to do complicated stuff like popping round to see what’s missing and – oh, I don’t know – maybe checking for fingerprints so they can find the scrote who did it.

Never mind the fact that having a stranger get in your home and rifle through your personal belongings is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to you.

Presumably, as far as Mrs Thornton’s concerned, we should simply curse our bad luck, call someone in to change the locks and get on the blower to the insurance company.

Or, as she puts it: “We need to move from reacting to those traditional crimes to thinking about focusing on threat and harm and risk and really protecting the public.”

Have you ever heard anything quite so moronic in your entire life?

If that’s not an open invitation to every lowlife crook, junkie and chancer within a 20-mile radius to come and try their luck I’m not sure what is.

Of course, it’s a known fact that the police are feeling the pinch from the austerity cuts and don’t have as much money at their disposal as they used to.

It means that difficult decisions as to where they spend that cash need to be made.

But are they really on their uppers to the point where they can’t spare a friendly bobby to offer a bit of reassurance and look into what’s likely to be a highly solveable crime?

After all, as head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (nope, I’ve never heard of it either), Sara Thornton is on a salary of £252,000.

No, that’s not a misprint. Mrs Thornton’s sparkling advice costs taxpayers a quarter of a million smackers every year.

That’s nearly double what the Prime Minister takes home and enough to pay for 10 beat bobbies – whose presence on our streets would no doubt stop burglars thinking they could get away with this sort of thing in the first place.

And that’s far from the only area where police spending is out of control.

The introduction of police and crime commissioners has been a colossal waste of money, with salaries of up to £100,000 a time, plus millions more spent on deputies and staff.

Not content with one deputy, Northamptonshire, one of the country’s smaller forces, took on four at a cost of £65,000 each.

Then there is the small matter of West Yorkshire Police’s new £38m training centre in Wakefield.

I’m sure it’s got plenty of lovely facilities and a state-of-the-art cafeteria, but that’s not much comfort to some poor sod who’s just had his kids’ bedroom ransacked by a career burglar who, thanks to Sara Thornton’s idiotic pronouncement, has just been given the green light.

Thornton says “crime is changing in this country”. Maybe so, but surely not to the point where breaking into someone’s house is no longer deemed worthy of police time?

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a pathetic attempt to try to put public pressure on the Government to start easing up on police cuts.

But rather than playing political football with a crime that causes misery to so many people, maybe Mrs Thornton should consider giving up some of her outrageous salary so our local forces have more resources to deal with it.

One last thought. If someone breaks into Chief Constable Thornton’s (no doubt very big and expensive) house and steals a few valuables, what do you reckon the chances are of the local bobby being round there in five seconds flat?

 

How does Lord Sewer do it?

 

ALLEGEDLY shown cavorting with prostitutes and shoving cocaine up his nose, the first thought when you watch Lord Sewel in action on that undercover video is one of utter disgust.

Here’s a man who as deputy speaker of the House of Lords occupies one of the highest positions in the land. Only the other week he was setting out new, stronger sanctions to be imposed on politicians behaving badly.

“The actions of a few,” he loftily proclaimed, “damage our reputation.”

Now, of course, he’s one of the “few” himself, having resigned his position and been shamed into stepping down from the Lords.

Such blatant hypocrisy would sicken us to the core if we didn’t harbour suspicions that half of Parliament is up to this sort of stuff anyway.

But the thing is, part of me can’t help being quietly impressed that at the age of 69, Sewel has stared down the barrel of a daily diet of museli, cod liver oil and Countdown repeats and decided he doesn’t want to go quietly into the night.

Ok, so he’s gone to pretty extreme lengths to prove there’s life in the old dog yet, but I’m sure there are a few people out there who share a grudging admiration for his refusal to fade to grey – and not just because he denounced Boris Johnson as an “upper class twit”.

The big problem of course, along with the fact it’s all highly illegal and tawdry, is that he’s using yours, mine and the rest of the British public’s hard-earned cash to do it.

 

Send in troops to sort out Calais carnage

 

IF Britain was under attack, you would feel a wee bit concerned if the Government wasn’t getting the army involved in a hurry, wouldn’t you?

Well, here’s a newsflash for David Cameron, we are under attack.

Thousands of migrants are trying to force their way into this country, whether it be by storming the Channel Tunnel or hiding themselves in the back of Dover-bound delivery trucks.

My neighbour’s currently on his way to France. It was the first time I’ve waved someone off on holiday without the slightest pang of jealousy.

It’s absolute carnage down there and the French police are proving as much use as a one-legged man in a backside kicking contest.

So why not send in our troops to restore some order and sort out those who genuinely deserve asylum from the would-be spongers? I’m sure the French won’t mind.

After all, we’ve helped them out before and it didn’t end too badly.

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