Why are the police ignoring these crimes?

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Policemen don’t walk a beat any more and they don’t say ‘Allo, ‘Allo, ‘Allo or let’s be having you... come to think of it they probably never did.

Like everything else the nature of policing has changed beyond all recognition. So I was heartened to read the PT’s City Beat column a few weeks back written by the head of Peterborough’s burglary squad Det Insp Rob Hall.

I loved this from Rob: “From my desk I have watched the Burglary Squad office door fly open many times over the last year as the detectives have raced out to a report of a burglary in progress (sometimes I have even joined them).’’

The image conjured up of old school policing warmed the cockles of my ageing heart. All that was missing was a line about a “villain having his collar felt’’.

Sadly it feels like this is the exception to the rule of policing in 2017.

Our policemen and women are wonderful but they are being let down by the politicians and the career cops in the higher echelons of the force.

It is they who hold the purse strings and set the priorities, and it is they who are responsible for why a Peterborough businesswoman was told it was a civil matter when travellers tried to extort money from her in return for leaving her land.

And it is they who are responsible for the shocking inaction over the crash for cash scam that has been rife in this area recently.

As reported in the PT, gangs of men have been targeting lone women drivers by braking hard for no reason and causing crashes.

Staggeringly, Northamptonshire police, where some of the incidents happened, say they do not handle these type of issues because they are insurance fraud and therefore managed by insurance companies.

My eyes are still rolling a week after reading that.

I’m no legal expert but I think you’ll find that “these types of issues’’ are actually called crimes. And investigating crimes is what the police should be doing.

At least Cambridgeshire police said they would investigate such incidents but, equally worryingly,they weren’t aware of any in the county.

And that is why the police washing their hands of these types of crime is so damaging... it breaks the bond between the police and the community they serve.

Clearly thinking that police won’t investigate (and in Northamptonshire they would be right) victims instead report these crimes on social media.

How long before they do that with burglaries?

And what a sad day it would be if DI Hall and the burglary squad ever stopped flying out of the doors at Thorpe Wood.

No laughing matter

One of my roles at Telegraph Towers involves putting together our nostalgia pages. It means I come across lots of lovely snippets from Peterborough’s past.

Like this one I stumbled on this week – it’s a quote from John Rowell who was deputy clerk to the magistrates from 1957 to 1982.

“Sentencing seemed tougher in the old days. A woman once laughed while appearing before the Bench at the Sessions House. The chairman promptly sent her to Holloway for a week to ‘wipe the smile off her face’.’’

A tad harsh you might think, on the other hand,even the liberals among us will admit they have come across someone who could do with this sort of justice.

Path to success

I have often moaned about the unloved state of the riverside path from the city centre back towards the rowing lake.

It could be a wonderful asset to the city but it is barely used and is popular with gangs of drinkers who, even if their only motivation is to swap notes on various vintages of Special Brew, can still be intimidating.

Things might finally be changing for the better. There has been talk of using the area (admittedly very vague) to create a “gateway park’’ linking the city centre and Nene Park.

Now a section of new footpath has been laid making it a much more attractive walk.

Somebody came up with the idea of slightly repositioning the path to create a lovely tree-lined avenue. Top marks for a touch of genius.

Frying high

Congratulations to Posh’s director of football Barry Fry who has been awarded the Football League’s highest honour with the Contribution To League Football Award.

Recognising his lifetime service to the sport, the citation praises “his immense passion for the game and his erratic and enthusiastic approach to football’’.

I don’t know who wrote that but ‘erratic’ with its negative connotations was an odd choice of word and one not often seen in such citations.

Perhaps the author is a tad, er, erratic himself.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Should I be worried? Toddlernator the Terrible has developed a liking for borrowing his big sister’s Snow White dress.

And when I say “borrowing’’ I mean wearing.

I have to admit he looks quite fetching in it, especially as his mum refuses to get his long curly hair cut.

In every other aspect he is very much a ‘boy’ – he laughs rather then cries when he falls over, bounces off brick walls, sits on his sister’s head, refuses to eat anything that’s not meat and thinks stones make a great sound when they hit our patio door windows.

And of course he prefers Thomas the Tank Engine to Sofia the First.

So I’m not worried,but just to be on the safe side I’ve had him wearing his Leeds United kit fifteen days running.