This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


(All proceeds from Google Ads will be donated to the Police Roll of Honour Trust)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fire them all:

Greater Manchester fire service have got the right idea. Officers are rightly facing disciplinary proceedings for failing to sleep on the new comfy chairs brought in by their bosses. If you are some kind of moron who cannot sleep in a half-sitting position, you should not be joining the fire brigade to start with.










In Blandmore we face the threat of similar proceedings should we fail to wear the delightful "woolly pullies" provided for us and opt for fleeces that actually protect us from the cold. In a disciplined and highly trained service like the police, it is unacceptable for officers to go gallivanting around wearing warm clothing willy-nilly without regard for their public image.

For anyone who follows the last link above, I wonder if the shooter cried, "This is for the car park!" before pulling the trigger. I do wonder why exactly a police support worker needs "firearms awareness" training. Perhaps to aid the emails they need to send telling officers where they have gone wrong...

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Those that can't, search.

Schools now have the power to search pupils for knives. Whereas before, teachers could only search pupils using the common law powers we all have to protect life, this has now been formalised. I am, as always, delighted to welcome any new legislation that replaces the waffly values of commonsense and practicality which have pervading our culture for too long.

I would hope that the new power is coupled with some codes of practice for searching teachers. I would like to see a form issued to each pupil searched, which should include a breakdown of their ethnic background. Moreover, teachers should have to give out a form every time they ask a pupil what they are up to. Once the safeguards are in place, teachers can be equipped with tasers - a move thought by some to be long overdue.

The latest announcement is hot on the heels of the "stop and question" power to be handed out to the police in a new counterterrorism bill. This power is sorely needed, as at present we are required to carry out searches in silence, without asking the person who they are or where they are going. I would hope to see prompt cards issued with the enactment of the new bill, so we know just what questions to ask and which answers should trigger an arrest. In fact, this could be rolled out to all scenarios, so that everything said by any police officer at any time is written down in statute and dictated by the government: that way no one can complain about it.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Let's be more supportive...

Inspector Gadget has posted on the clash between the goals of civilian support staff (car-parking, canteen, air-conditioning etc) and those of police officers (car chases, meal breaks, fighting etc). This has prompted an outburst of vitriol against the support staff by his readers.

I could not agree more with those who blame the individuals personally. At my station we have a man whose job it is to hand out new uniform and car passes at the appropriate moments. He spends his days leaving notes in our dockets and on our cars, and rejecting our requests for excessive amounts of shirts. Every now and again he grows lax in his tasks and permits a car to park another car in, at which point he will be chivvied along by the Chief Inspector in Charge of Being in Charge and we can expect a glut of emails and notes.

The fact is, we do need someone to give out new uniform and car passes, but does he have to be so malevolent? He callously performs his duties without regard for our powers of arrest, predilection for fighting or our current level of stress. It is almost as if he is some kind of EMPLOYEE, working to a CONTRACT or something.

I ask myself - and my readers - is it this man's fault if someone is stupid enough to pay him for what he does?

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

A conservative shadow.

I'd love to have been the bobby who took David Cameron out for a spin this week. Whilst he makes plenty of the right noises on his "blog", he has given the game away with the words:

"Three young men arrested for drugs (possession of cannabis, speed and ecstasy) are swiftly cautioned and sent on their way." I have concluded therefore that his ride-along was a set-up, for the following reasons:

In Blandmore this "swift caution" would take many hours: first the drive from place of arrest to the police station, then the booking in (we are up to about two hours now), interviewing them all (an hour each allowing for their consultation with the solicitor). Then there's the hour's search for an officer trained to field-test Speed and Ecstasy (you cannot even caution in my force without a basic test to confirm the drugs are what the suspect thinks they are).

On the the discovery that Ecstasy cannot be field-tested and must go to the lab despite the suspects' admissions, the three suspects would be bailed for three weeks time pending a scientist's report. Of course, given the possibility of the lab test coming back negative, no suspect in Blandmore would ever admit to possession of Ecstasy, so you would not be "cautioning" them anyway.

Three weeks later, on the bail date, you can expect two out of three not to show up. "Wanted" files would therefore have to be created which is a good 2-3 hours work, plus each file would have to be given the go-ahead by CPS. Several years later, when one suspect is stopped for having a brake-light out, he may just get charged.


Perhaps David Cameron just means that the three suspects were read the words of "the caution" before being sent on their way - not to be confused with "a caution". The mistake is easily made.

By the way, one of the above links is to the news that Chris Tarrant has received a caution for playfully lobbing cutlery at a fellow diner. Apparently, the police "[recognised] that there was never any malice on [his] part, just a bit of amiable horseplay". I wonder which force this was, because in mine we aren't allowed to claim detections for "horseplay" - indeed I cannot remember seeing it as a classification for any kind of crime... perhaps we could learn from this.









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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Call 999 - everyone else is...

For some reason this is news on Yahoo.co.uk. Sadly, in Blandmore, the story of a young girl asking the police for help because she was told to tidy her room is pretty much par for the course. Some recent 999 calls I was asked to attend spring to mind:

1. Caller: "My son is missing. I think he's in the garden shed."

2. Old man: "I've just been burgled. They've taken that stereo over there."
PC Bloggs: "That one there?"
Old man: "Yes."

3. "My nine-year-old child is outside emptying the rubbish all over the pavement and he won't listen to me."

You will be pleased to hear that incident number 1 was solved by the brilliant brainwave of going to look in the garden shed. It only goes to show the validity of my TIT for locating missing persons: ask the caller where the person is.

I confess I refused to attend number 3, but unfortunately the Crime Centre had already crimed it as Littering, Child Protection and Domestic, and put it under my collar number. I am expecting the email complaining about the way I dealt with it any day now.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Self-Promotion:

You may be wondering what the gargantuan logo on the right of the screen represents. Well you will be pleased/horrified to hear that I have been nominated for a New Media Award. This gives me the opportunity to advertise the New Statesman at absolutely no cost to them, a fact of which I am deservedly proud. You can comment on my nomination here, but I should warn you they will delete offensive comments, which sadly rules out a large proportion of my readership.

In honour of this occasion, I have decided to introduce a scheme in Blandmore whereby criminals can be nominated their own detection target and can then go about arresting and charging themselves. This will be of great benefit to the criminal and should not do Blandmore Area any harm either.

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Thank you to whoever nominated me, although I feel it my duty to point out that there are two Gs in BLOGGS. Hey, it's the thought that counts, or something.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Women, Know Your Place!

Being female, sometimes I just don't understand things, so maybe a nice handsome man out there could explain this to me:

Apparently this man's offence was serious enough to warrant a life sentence, but not serious enough not to grant him parole in three years. Then again, it was only a rape, albeit he had a couple of goes.


Perhaps we should just go back to the good old days...

















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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Part Three of my Offender's Guide

Should you ever have the misfortune to be sentenced to life with no possible release for over ten years, take heart: more than likely your sentence will be greatly reduced on Appeal.

Here are some top tips for getting out of jail early:

  • Try to kill yourself whilst in prison.
  • Commit your crimes under the age of 18.
  • Commit your crimes over the age of 80.
  • Spill the beans on all your mates.
  • Just go for the Appeal no matter what your sentence - as you will have a different judge who won't have heard all the witnesses giving evidence, there is a good chance of success.
  • Commit your crimes in North Wales. The judge will be too busy telling off the police officers to bother sentencing you too highly.
The last link is from a reader. It appears Judge John Rogers has a problem with police clanking into court in all their gear. I am torn between agreeing with the Chief Constable of North Wales and the Judge on this one: on the one hand you never know when a judge will leap over his or her bench and slap you about during your evidence-giving, but on the other, a court is hardly the sort of place you should expect trouble.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Target Practice











For anyone who has been living abroad or in a delightful fantasy world for the last ten years, we currently police by target in this country. Recently this culture has received wide condemnation as we have seen police officers arresting children for throwing cream buns and elderly pensioners for shouting a bit and shaking their walking sticks.


I feel it only right to speak out and say that targets are there for our own good and that's all there is to it. Without them, most police officers would simply be incapable of identifying situations when people needed arresting. We would see balaclava'd men with swag bags shaking hands with cops and going about their business. We would have victims of domestic violence lying dead in every household.

Blandshire has developed several ways of encouraging PCs like myself to meet our targets. First and foremost is the horrifying threat that if we continually fall short each month, we may have to have a meeting with our sergeant. I suffered one of these a while back and I can tell you that half an hour of hearing about how targets do not matter but I had better meet them anyway has really kicked my arse into gear.

Some other methods are largely subliminal. Pictures in the toilets of smiling police officers gathering detections. Emails that bear the subject line "Just 10 more to go..." Lists of the highest performing teams and officers stuck up on prominent walls where we can glance at them as we rush out to urgent jobs.

But ultimately the Blandshire bosses know that PCs will never fully grasp the strategic importance of meeting these targets nor understand how it can help the bosses with further promotion. And so our targets are assisted from on high. A wanted thief may be sleeping happily each night knowing that he has made arrangements to turn himself in on Sunday, only to have his door put through violently by a team of target-getters on Wednesday, who will whisk him from his bed and thrust his name onto the computer before midnight in a week when arrests are low. A young offender on a final warning may find him or herself blessed with a second second chance: it is far easier to give out yet another final warning no matter how persistent their offending, than risk CPS advice and losing the detection altogether.

The results of these techniques speak for themselves: my arrest and detection rate is high, my victims are confused and my morale is non-existent. In this I am in good company. I think I might finally have earned the title of Twenty-First Century Police Officer.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Boys and their...

...remote-controlled helicopter CCTV gadgets.











It's a great time to be male in Merseyside Police. Apart from some of the other perks, you now get to play with a drone: a small flying camera. As with all important technological breakthroughs, the police will use this to tackle the scourge of antisocial behaviour rather than to investigate serious criminal offences. This is a great use of the gadget and I am sure that the stone-throwing, drainpipe-climbing, graffiti-ing little toe-rags will show it the respect it deserves.

Maybe we need to go one step further. Could we equip these drones with tasers?

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Crime Fighters Extraordinaire

If there is one thing I cannot criticise about the police chiefs of this country, it is their ability to raise awareness of important issues. We are lucky enough to hear police chiefs speaking out against CCTV at the same time as other chiefs are introducing more of it. On one hand we hear about the dangers of arming the police. On the other, some chiefs are even trying out weapons on themselves.

These discussions are excellent for public relations and take place on a lesser level across the nation each day, where rather than cameras and guns, the main topic of conversation will be car parks and graffiti. Sometimes the discussions even give rise to that most hallowed of police achievements: a town meeting. Town meetings are wonderful places where local people can inform their neighbourhood sergeants and inspectors about all the calls they have made to the police in the last few weeks, and the sergeants and inspectors get to write them all down. Then a big discussion can take place about whether more arrests, less arrests or a few bollards is the answer. The answer will be written down by everyone present and printed in two different fonts, at which point it can become a STRATEGY.

The thinking behind STRATEGIES is that there is a big space on the wall of the police station between the briefing room and the canteen, and it really should be filled with something big and colourful. The more stickers and pretty shapes in the Strategy, the more successful it has been and this will be assessed at the end of the year.

Several recent success stories in Blandmore have been:
  • The decision to print a graphical map of burglaries with different colours for different days of the week.
  • The use of weather symbols to denote if targets have been hit.
  • Pie charts.
We are hoping for a few more burglaries this Wednesday to use up the rest of the blue stickers.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pity the children.

Apparently the age of criminal responsibility should be 18. Here are a few people who would not have gone to prison if it were:

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.
Danny and Rickie Preddie.
Michael Hamer.


In my view this is a strong argument in favour of the change. I am fed up of the amount of time I spend arresting people under 18 for violent and dishonest crimes. My job would be a lot easier if I could just tell the victims that as the offenders are only just old enough to get married, drive, leave school and live alone, they are not responsible for their actions.

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Not The 21:00 News

It is just unacceptable that in this day and age, we have barristers heading into court who are incapable of explaining simple terms like "website" in ordinary English. We must remember that judges are not encylcopaedias and if at all possible, prosecutions that involve reference to computers should be avoided.


Things never change, do they?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Commonsense will prevail.

I am not the kind of woman who runs out of my house with a burning stake and lays waste to my neighbour's house just because he once dated a girl under 16. However I do sometimes wonder if I should be.

The linked article is about a sex offender who has obtained a job at a school without disclosing the fact that he was on bail for a child sex offence, and now cannot be evicted from the caretaker's lodge despite losing his job. It is a disgrace: we all lie on our CVs so why should that be held against him? We now have the unacceptable situation that the local community is launching a vendetta against the poor man. The school children are even being monitored as they go home to prevent him from attacking them, which just does not give the guy a chance.

The school appear to have employed this man and given him the job while their police checks were still pending. The solution is therefore obvious: do not perform police checks on someone who has already moved in, as there is nothing you can do about it and it just scares people.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another Injustice:

I find it simply shocking that this fiend has escaped jail for the heinous offence of allowing his daughter to move around inside his car whilst he was speeding at the appalling speed of 136.79kph. I can only attribute this shameful decision to the shortage of prison space, which earlier this year led to an equally disgusting specimen of a man being set free into society.

When, oh when will this government pass legislation against the ownership of vehicles? Let us not forget that a car has one purpose and one purpose alone: to kill. At the very least, there should be a cooling-off period between the purchase of a car and its release to the owner, and I propose the banning of any car capable of travelling over 20mph. It should also be illegal to promote the use of cars as a fast-moving object or to glorify driving.

Perhaps we could put Jeremy Clarkson in prison to set things in motion.

Speaking of arresting celebrities, I see that Chris Tarrant has brutally assaulted someone with a piece of cutlery. Please select one of the following options:

A) Chris Tarrant is a menace to society and no doubt guilty.
B) Someone saw a chance to sell the story of being attacked by a celeb.
C) Chris Tarrant wanted to revive his career in a time-honoured fashion.
D) Nottingham Police are short of detections this week and as the report had already been crimed, had nothing to lose by bringing him in.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

No need to ask for a ransom...

How heroic, a bunch of people are offering £2.5m for the safe return of Madeleine McCann. Perhaps this could become the norm when a child goes missing. That way, we can encourage more paedophiles to kidnap children, knowing they will have about a week to do what they need to with the victim, before cashing him/her in for a substantial sum. Then again, why should paedos have all the fun? This game should be open to anyone.

Personally, I favour the Mel Gibson approach to kidnap.



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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ignorance is no defence.

Apparently over half the population do not know that a smoking ban is coming in on 1st July. Smokers' lobby groups state this is an absolute disgrace and their public outrage has ensured that now no one can pretend they didn't know about the ban.

I personally cannot see what all the fuss is about. I didn't know about the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 until about two weeks before it was implemented, and yet Blandshire Constabulary still managed to find time to give me a twenty minute chat reminding me that most of the police powers I had been using were about to go obsolete. As for the Fraud Act, I only found out about it three weeks after it had started, when I tried to arrest someone for an offence that did not exist any more. These are examples of good learning experiences.

All of this moaning about "knowing the law" is typical of the left-wing liberalists who threaten to overthrow our great nation. I support more laws that no one knows about and higher penalties if you raise the defence "huh?"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Madeleine

I am relieved to see that after only a week of searching, the Portuguese police have come up with a novel idea: check the CCTV. This is just one example of how Europe's police forces far outstrip our own: I understand that they even have a computer that is able to play DVDs! They have also made great progress in narrowing the suspect down to "an egg with hair". So if we could all look out for one of them...

As usual, the Internet is filled with comments from angelic parents who would "never" leave their child sleeping while they ate dinner within the same compound. Funnily enough, last month I attended the address of a woman who "never" left her six-month-old baby in the care of her twelve-year-old daughter. She told me the same thing the last time I went round. Sometimes the wrong people get lucky.

Let's hope Madeleine is found. More importantly, let's hope there's a cross-border Inquiry. I can think of nothing better for international relations.










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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Replacement:

For the few of you sad to mourn my passing yesterday, you will be pleased to see that I am back. I have decided to postpone my retirement until the next Ice Age, not for my own selfish motives, but for the good of the British People.

Whilst on the subject of the good British People, the shooting of PC Gray has not passed me by. His killing has sparked all the normal debates about carrying guns, so I feel it only fair to point out that the murdered officer was in fact a firearms officer and almost certainly had his gun with him if not actually in his hand, given that he was rushing to the aid of colleagues held at gunpoint. He did not even stop to put on his vest or helmet, which in turn exonerates the killer of all blame and makes it the fault of West Mercia Constabulary and the gun manufacturer.

I personally think that arming the police would be catastrophic. Indeed, I would go further and say I don't think we should be allowed to carry batons, handcuffs or incapacitants. In the hands of some officers, even a pen is a deadly weapon. What we want is to go back to the good old days of a small wooden stick that fit in our pockets, which we could use to knock on high up windows and do pugil battle with a felon also armed with a small wooden stick. Now THAT's what I call a fair fight.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I am leaving.












The time has come to announce the announcement of my departure from the world of blogging.

I do not know when this will be, but I can tell you that before the next Blogger Awards I will have given a final indication of the length of time before my last announcement about the period that will elapse before I begin my countdown to setting a possible deadline for predicting the date of my retirement.

For my dedicated readers, do not fear: I have already lined up a replacement for you to read. It isn't a very funny blog, or clever, nor does it contain any new ideas or amusing videos, but I think you will find it adequate in all respects. I wouldn't want to give any more away just yet, och aye.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Not very appealing...

You know the police have run out of ideas when Ronaldo takes over the investigation.

The advantage of horrific crimes like the kidnapping in Portugal is that they give rise to the opportunity to point out how the police are really responsible for the actions of all criminals. This always benefits society as in turn it lends itself to an Inquiry. I am pleased to see the European nations are catching up to us in that respect, although they have a little way to go before their Chief Constables can match ours.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Our Lewis.

Some areas within Blandshire Constabulary are rural havens, populated by city lawyers on the weekend and corn-chewing country folk mid-week. Blandmore, however, is where all the rejects get put. Those people who do not even own one home and are not permitted to live next to people who own two.

I am reminded of a domestic at one such home a few weeks ago. The door is opened by a grubby four-year-old wearing pyjama bottoms and odd socks. His mother immediately coaxes him to one side and reminds him of the wise saying that "Yer don't open the door to no f**king police, d'ya hear!"

We are here for Our Lewis. Our Lewis is smashing the place up.

"Did he do that?" I point at the wood splinters that appear to have come from the living room door and are now about to become teething toys for the two toddlers sitting on the third stair up.

Irene isn't sure. She is sure that she has had Enuff and She Ain't Takin Him Back This Time. I suggest that maybe we should talk out of earshot of the toddlers. This is apparently unnecessary. Irene beckons me through to the kitchen where I enter in time to see the back door slam behind a hooded figure. The security light illuminates Our Lewis crossing the yard and climbing into the garden shed.

It turns out that Our Lewis has taken a baseball bat to the Plasma, which now only boasts 31 useable inches. It was right in the middle of Dancing on Ice. I agree that this is unacceptable.

Irene wants Our Lewis arrested. Having surmounted two washing machines and some corrugated iron sheeting, I feel I deserve the arrest and muscle my colleague out of the way to get into the shed.

"I ain't fookin being arrested," says the hoodie. His hands are tucked into his arm-pits, the cord of his hood is pulled so tight that just the dark oval of his eyes is visible, his lashes stuck together with tears. Lewis is thirteen.

"You've smashed the place up, Lewis."

"Yeah well you can't arrest me cos I'm not listening."

Fortunately I possess the skills to overcome teenaged logic. I persuade. I advise. I warn. Finally I take hold of Lewis' arm. He fights, spits, writhes, cries, screams and we finally wrap him up in velcro and carry him out through Irene's front room. She yells after him that he is a waste of space and with any luck the neighbours will see him being carted off.

Some neighbours come out and see him being carted off. Irene tells them he is going to jail. Once in custody, Lewis reverts to human form. When his hoodie is taken off him, it is revealed that his forearms are covered in razor slashes from elbow to thumb.

Later, whilst taking down Irene's statement, the four-year old pulls down his pyjama bottoms and defecates on the living room floor in front of us. Irene takes a swig from her whiskey bottle and says someone will have to clean that up some time. Out of possible embarrassment, the four-year-old hits the three-year-old on the head, and the crying wakes up Irene's husband who has been asleep on the sofa throughout and is not amused at the Bleedin Racket.

As I get Irene to sign her oldest son into the care of the local authority, I wonder whether I will still be working for Blandshire when the toddlers are arrested for the first time.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Feel reassured, feel very reassured:

In this time of terror, at least we can feel that the protective services of the Western world are being trained properly.



The sound is not working on my computer so I apologise if the clip does not contain enough obscenities for my readers.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

There are other options...










Prince Harry is adamant that he wants to jet off to a war-torn territory where he will be the prime target of local militia.


I am really disgusted by the idea of the Prince parading himself down the streets of Baghdad with eleven men taking bullets for him. As a Royal, he should have at least fifty personal guards and be carried everywhere in a sedan chair, at the very least, before he even considers going off to fight. Moreover, there just has not been enough press coverage of the issue. I would like to see military code-words, base locations and the Prince's daily Iraq timetable printed in the national papers so we can all fully make up our minds. Then there should be a referendum and the public can decide whether or not Harry should go.

If the answer is a no, he need not fear. There is a job waiting for him on my shift at Blandmore. There he could undertake such character-building exercises as signing things, crossing things out and writing a great deal, and still receive the same amount of local hatred and blame for everyone's problems.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Don't blame the terrorists...

Do you know, one thing that has never been said to me when I walk through the front door of a burglary victim is: "Why didn't you stop it from happening in the first place?" I have frequently heard, "Where the hell have you been?", "Gosh, do the police attend burglaries then?" and "I got bored waiting and have cleared up all the evidence".

Conversely, whenever I give out a traffic ticket, I am lambasted, "Shouldn't you be out catching burglars or something?"

I am confused - am I expected to catch burglars or not?

Maybe it is just apathy, but why do we expect MI5 to stop a major and probably deep-rooted terrorist plan and yet we do not expect our local police to stop our burglaries? Something is wrong here... let's have an Inquiry.

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