Today has got worse. It started off well as I enjoyed my time with Suffolk Coastal Tories. We had a lively debate on the English Question, but I had to leave at 12.15 to get to Upton Park in time to watch West Ham play Chelsea. After 25 minutes I really wished I hadn't bothered with the Hammers conceding three soft goals within five minutes. The only point to really cheer was seeing Frank Lampard get red carded. Anyway, I digress.
The real reason the day got worse was that we discovered we were broken into and robbed last night. Not the house, but some outbuildings which we rent out as storage units. About £400 worth of roof lead was missing, with various items strewn across the yard. My partner called the Police sometime between 11am and noon. As I type this at nearly 7pm they have still not bothered to come out. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but it galls me. It really does. It's clear from the items in our yard that the car used was stolen as the contents of the boot were left behind. It's now dark, so any clues there might have been cannot be seen. If they had intended to do anything forensically, they now won't be able to.
They called back at 3pm to say someone would be with us within the hour but they were coming a long way (!). A few minutes later someone called to say it would be longer. When I got back from football I called them again. They were unable to say when anyone would come. I'm afraid I lost my temper and told them exactly what I thought. You can probably imagine what I said.
So when I call them again in a few moments I'm afraid some even harsher words are going to be said. I do not pay taxes to fund them to be treated like this. I do not think it is unreasonable of me to expect them to attend a crime scene within seven hours of the crime being reported. They can witter on about resources all they like, but I'd love to know what is happening in West Kent today to mean they cannot attend a crime scene within seven hours. No wonder people aren't bothering to report crimes any longer. This is a major reason for the level of reported crime falling. And it's a terrible reflection the level of service (if you can call it that) which rural areasnow get from the Police. Perhaps I should tell them I am holding the burglar at gunpoint.
UPDATE 7.47pm: Well, they turned up at 7.30pm, just as I was doing a phone interview with Steve Claridge on Setanta Sports about the West Ham game! I asked why it had taken seven hours and was told: "That's quite good. It's normally longer!" We live in a village of 6,000 people a mile outside Tunbridge Wells and four miles from Tonbridge. Both these towns have relatively large police stations. So where do you think our policemen are based? Cranbrook, a town around half an hour's drive from here. These two policemen cover the area of Cranbrook, Lamberhurst, Pembury and Paddock Wood. Anyone who knows this area will realise how big an area that is. And it's covered by TWO policemen!!!