Back in my youth and early 20's in 1960-1985 it seemed that whenever you rang the police they would turn up within minutes or at worse within the hour.
The other night around 1am I and my wife heard a noise. We looked out of our back bedroom window and saw some ne'er do wells breaking into a neighbours house. They had already broken the outer backdoor and were in the process of breaking into the house. Being good neighbours as we are we knew no-one was at home so we rang the police.
By now you could hear the house alarm, which is very very loud, at a distance of at least 1000 yards.
We rang the police with the sound of the house alarm ringing in our ears. It was quite audible to the person on the other end of the telephone.
After spending around 15 minutes answering details on who we are, where we lived, where was ringing from, what colour were our pajamas etc etc Okay that last one I made up as both my wife and I sleep naked, but some of the questions they asked seemed totally irrelevant to why we had rung in the first place.
By now the ne'er do wells had not only broken into our neigbours house but were carrying stuff from the house to their waiting van. In my younger and fitter days i would have gone out and faced these ne'er do wells but alas these days my disability prevents me from doing such things.
We told the police person on the telephone this but unabashed she continued with her inane questions. After around 15 minutes the questioning had finally stopped and she said "Someone would be there as soon as a car is available".
After about an hour, no police person in a car or otherwise had shown up. The ne'er do wells had by now taken a lot of items out of our neighbours house and planted said items into the van I mentioned earlier, which they had waiting outside on the road. We noted the vans registration number and once again rang the police with the intent of giving them the newly discovered van registration number and the descriptions of 2 of the 4 ne'er do wells. We quoted the number the police person had given us first time around and this time we were spared the inane questions.
"A car will be there as soon as one is available." Hadn't we heard that one already? You know, about and hour and 20 minutes ago? Where was the bloody car I asked in desperation. "All our cars are at other reports at this time Sir" she said. Right, says I, so now the ne'er do wells have driven away I am going to bed and your police people had better not wake me up when/if they ever arrive, I screamed down the telephone at her. Very impolite of me but after that exchange I slammed the telephone down in disgust at what our once great police force had obviously become and that is a total waste of time.
3 days have passed since the above turn of events and still no police have been. Not to speak to me. Not to look at the damage the ne'er do wells caused. Nothing. No telephone call to follow things up.
I have since rung our neighbours to tell them the bad news. I also told them about how the police simply seemed not to care. Quite understandably he was not a happy man. Not with the fact his house had been broken into nor with the fact the police seemed not to care. He requested of me that I reset the alarm (he gave me the number sequence) and get the the doors fixed which the ne'er do wells had broken. "However you can do it, just make them secure again" he said. I have since done as he asked of me. He also said he was not going to return to England until his and his wifes holiday was over which is a week next Friday (12 days from now). As he said "There is little point in returning home now the damage has been done."
I do not believe that the above turn of events concerning the police only happens in my city and is in fact endemic all over England.
Welcome to policing in the year 2007 in England.