Anorak News | A Captive Audience

A Captive Audience

by | 10th, January 2006

‘LOOK on in wonder as the cop removes Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie’s trilby, reaches inside and pulls out a huge bunch of flowers.

Feast your eyes upon the wonder as PC Knacker reaches behind the defendant’s ear and produces the missing diamond ring.

Gasp in excitement and awe as Marvo ‘The Marvellous Man In Blue’ makes evidence appear before your eyes, producing signed confessions, witnesses and even CCTV footage of the crime in progress.

It’s amazing. Quite right it is that such feats of magic should make it to the Express’s front page beneath the banner: “SCANDAL OF POLICE WITH SECOND JOBS ON THE SIDE.”

As if by magic the story also features in the Sun, the paper telling its readers of a “Spell in the nick” and how “Cops have part-time jobs as magicians”.

Essex police say that 229 of their 3,349 officers are moonlighting to earn extra cash to buy homes.

While the most common nice little earner is driving, the figures, gleaned under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 12 coppers are listed as musicians or entertainers.

It’s hard not to think of these multitalented coppers performing before a captive audience, trying out their parlour tricks and melodies on prisoners before unleashing their criminal acts on an unsuspecting world.

And it’s not only Essex police doing whatever it takes to get a toehold on the property ladder. The Mail says that one in 15 officers in the Metropolitan Police does outside work, and in Lincolnshire the figure is one in 12.

And the jobs vary. Copper are working as supply teachers, photographers, counsellors, restaurant staff, gardeners and florists. In short, they work as anything that can fit around their shifts.

However talented they are, a Police Federation spokesman tells the mail that this is “clearly not a good trend for officers”.

And upwardly mobile Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten agrees. “They should be resting between shifts, not burning the candle at both ends,” says he.

Although, as Sergeant Boggles will now demonstrate with a piece of rope, a lighter and his lovely assistant, WPC Suzie Sunshine, you can burn the candle at both ends – but not between 1pm and 2pm on a Thursday when the fire brigade are performing at the Happy Slapper pole dancing club…’

Posted: 10th, January 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink