Sunday, 23 September 2018

Thoughts in Progress


The best response to the question of what the meaning of life is, if someone ever asks you, is “look for it in a police crime reference number”. The parable of our human existence can be reduced to a letter from the local police station. Sandwiched in between the Total Policing motto at the top and the logos of both CRIMESTOPPERS and victim support at the bottom is the human essence of us. Our unsolved essence.

Dear So and So,

Thank you for contacting us to report the recent Crime. By reporting this you have helped us to understand local crime and police the area more effectively.

We have investigated the incident and our enquiries are now complete. However, at this stage, we do not have sufficient evidence to proceed further, which means we must close the case.

Why was “crime” spelled with a capital “C” in the missive? Was it to highlight the absurdity of someone making off with my bicycle? A bicycle that had been double locked in my front garden, but not actually bolted to anything? A fact that was seized upon by the less-than-helpful-and-rather-testy operator I spoke to straight after the incident? Or was the need for a big “C” a subliminal message from the forces of law and order? A way to show the public (crime victims, for instance) that the “C” stood for “cancer”, but of the social type.

Whatever the significance of that capital “C”, the effect of the letter was the same. My bicycle of almost four years, my two-wheeler, companion in so many urban jaunts, the transport that came in so handily when I went to Grenfell last year to give my support to the victims of the fire a couple of days after the disaster (most roads were blocked, so it was less difficult to pedal my way from help centre to help centre carrying donations on the rack). That bike had been taken, stolen from me in broad daylight a week before. And here I was, holding a letter from the local police telling me that “Although this case has been closed, our work does not stop here. We will continually review the information you have provided, as well as any additional evidence our officers have gathered.”

I felt as despondent and helpless as Hamlet in Act 1, Scene 2, when he delivers that powerful first soliloquy: “O that this too solid flesh would melt/Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!/Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd/His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!/How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable/Seem to me all the uses of this world”. Or to put it more succintly. How useless my local bobbies are.


© 2018

19 comments:

  1. It is sad that someone stole your bike. It is even more sad that the police were unable and/or unwilling to help you. The case is closed but we will keep following leads makes no sense to me.

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  2. Sorry about your bike. I should think the case should remain open until the crime is solved. If society tolerates these minor criminal acts and those who should investigate the crime put little effort into solving the crime, then it snowballs into something much larger. Say the bike is worth £200. If you were to go to a department store and steal goods worth £200, some effort would be put into finding and prosecuting you even though no one is directly out of pocket, only a large company, unlike yourself who will be directly out of pocket when you buy the replacement bike.

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  3. Sadly familiar. I suspect they close the case because they don't have the resources or motivation to continue. And closed cases look better on statistical summaries. Which says a lot about our societies priorities.

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  4. Hi ACIL - that's so 'sad' ... I totally feel for you: I would hope that they would have assimilated your information into the morass of others' lost property they hold: but morass is probably the right word. Andrew's words ring true ... it is just so frustrating that someone will steal another's property for a mingy sale ... let alone the effort you have to go to, to fulfil all the bumph for this Crime - perhaps it should be CRIME - and ultimately raise earned income to buy another ... take care and I'm so sorry this had happened. Can you 'chip' the next one? All the best - Hilary

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  5. That's a major loss for you. So sorry it happened.

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  6. Oh, no, Mario, I'm so sorry! I remember that bike from when you met me at my hotel last summer. You had some fabulous adventures on that thing and wrote so many fine posts. Such a shame...

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  7. I'm very sorry your bicycle was stolen. Sadly, crimes (little "c", I would think) like that truly are hard to solve. Maybe it will still be found. If not, I hope you can replace it soon.

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  8. I know exactly how you must be feeling, CiL. Such a loss is irreparable. Another bicycle cannot replace one which has been such a relevant part of your life and adventures. Such a cold, bureaucratic response from law enforcement is, from my point of view, unforgiveable and indefensible.

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  9. Sorry to hear this bad news. Disgraceful attitude! Seems like the police service has changed somewhat! I wonder if attitudes would be different if it had been a car.

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  10. So sorry you lost your bike Cuban!

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  11. I am so sorry to read that you had your bike stolen.

    Reading through the comments above I so agree with elephants child that I've repeated it here

    "Sadly familiar. I suspect they close the case because they don't have the resources or motivation to continue. And closed cases look better on statistical summaries. Which says a lot about our societies priorities."

    All the best Jan

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  12. That is awful indeed. And that is how things go with the so called authority figures from cops to doctors, closed but come back later. Pffft.

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  13. I am sorry that your bike has been pinched. Sometimes the bike feels like halfway between a machine and a pet - a sort of companion that's shared bits of your life. The only way is to brace yourself and get another one and soon you might prefer it to the old one.

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  14. I'm sorry about your bike and also, the lack of assistance in trying to retrieve it.

    The police are so swamped with crimes that the ones like yours seem to get lost in the madness now. A bit of empathy and genuine concern still goes a long way and costs nothing. That's something everyone is entitled too.

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  15. It is tough to locate a missing bike unfortunately. This one has been well lamented here.

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  16. That's horrible. I know how much that bike means to you. Too bad the police didn't understand that. Even if they couldn't find the thief, at least they could've shown more care of what the crime meant to you.

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  17. The same thing happened to me a few years back. My almost-new MTB was stolen from a public place, right next to a library, where human traffic is quite heavy. So I went to make a police report, and basically, what the officer was telling me is there is almost zero chance of getting my bike back. What the heck, like they don't even want to make an effort to look for it. Or even check if there are CCTV footage at that time. But i understand that the thieves will sell the bike almost immediately after the crime.

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  18. Oh that is terrible my friend!

    crimes are increasing all over the world no matter how modern the part of land is and your post reveals that response of police is almost same even developed states too

    few days back two bikes were stolen from my husband's college and how funny that both gates have guards

    one victim was not strong in his financial conditions so all the colleagues raised money by themselves and bought him new bike

    as much i know the police is most corrupt institution here

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