Anorak News | Pounding The Beat

Pounding The Beat

by | 9th, February 2006

‘“LICENCE to shoplift,” screams the Mail. Has red-tape Britain become so officious that even our villains are expected to obtain written permission from the local authority in order to carry out their chosen profession?

Boscombe – the Hollywood of Dorset

Reading on, we learn that this headline is rooted in a letter sent by PC Gordon Wallis, 49, of Dorset Police to shopkeepers in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth.

As the Mirror reports, PC Wallis’s missive reads: “Shoplifting cases can use two or three officers for up to two or three hours. I would like to recommend that police are not called in the case of goods below a value of £75.”

Better, perhaps, if shoplifting is decriminalised. (Property is theft and all that.) That should free the police up to chase those nefarious villains who park on yellow lines and drive quickly through puddles.

But not wishing to give PC Wallis any more bright ideas, we return to the Mail and hear from one local trader, Steve Kent, who runs the Dazzle clothes store. “They are giving shoplifters a green light,” says he. He goes on: “Under the law, theft is theft, it doesn’t matter if it’s £1 or £75.”

Lyndsey Wildman, of Top Pets, says that if the police aren’t going to come “we might as well just throw open the door and give everything away”.

While not everyone would care to own a flea collar, even if it has been given away, we take Wildman’s point. And that of her husband, Stuart, who tells the Mirror’s readers that £75 is the “equivalent of three-and-a-half rabbits or 11 hamsters”.

Not being in the pet game, we can’t debate the maths, but we can wonder who in their right mind sells half a live rabbit, who would buy one and what happened to the other half.

And while we’re pondering that, the Mail says that Boscombe is an area “rife with drunks, drug addicts and prostitutes”. And bisected rabbits.

And in an instant we touch upon the solution – make all goods cost a minimum of £75.

This will cause the police to attend every incidence of shoplifting. And the area will become so expensive and exclusive that the villains will be priced out.

And if they won’t go, just show them what the locals do to rabbits…’

Posted: 9th, February 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink