Anorak News | An Unfair Cop

An Unfair Cop

by | 19th, December 2005

‘IN a country that rewards success over achievement (see X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Kerry Katona), PC Diederik Coetzee should be a star (see Anorak “The Thick Blue Line”).

‘I’m off to find my centre’

Most of us first heard of the South African policeman when the papers dubbed him ‘Robocop’, on account of his work in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

In just 11 months, Coetzee had made 309 arrests. He was looking forward to a great 2006, when he’d break the magic 400 barrier. He’d then give up policing to be a judge on Celebrity Car Chase, or some other TV show that would justly reward his efforts.

But no more. As the Mail says, the country’s most successful beat copper has been banned from Mansfield’s Sherwood Street Day Centre and the immediate vicinity.

The reason for this restraining order is that Coetzee has been scaring off some “needy clients” from using the facility.

As the Sun explains (“Stop arresting yobs, you’re upsetting ‘em”), managers at the centre complained to the powers that be that Coetzee was arresting too many “vulnerable young people”.

So, in what Mansfield Chief Inspector Jane Eyre says is a decision taken “in the spirit of co-operation with the day-centre”, Coetzee has been stopped.

The Sun editorial has no truck with this. It posits the notion that vulnerable youngsters would welcome a copper in their midst, to frighten off drugs dealers and muggers.

Without PC Coetzee’s long arms of the law, the centre will become a haven for criminals. The place will shelter more monosyllabic men in hoods than a Cistercian monastery.

PC Coetzee doesn’t comment on the matter. But Tory MP Andrew Rossindell accuses the Nottinghamshire force of being “over sensitive”. That might be true.

But the greatest crime is surely that without the centre, Coetzee will be forced to work harder for his arrests. And Robocop will begin to go rusty…’

Posted: 19th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink