Policing with the parsnips

Last year, in an attempt to save money, Cumbria Police shut down several police stations in towns and villages around the county. They claimed this would have no adverse effect on local policing, but now according to this article on BBC News they’re having to re-open ‘police desks’ so people can report crimes, get advice or make arrangements to give a statement.

The only difference is that instead of having an official, permanent headquarters, these desks will open no more than once a week – in supermarkets. I’m not sure this works. If you wanted to report something to the police, would your first thought really be to pop into the local Tesco or Asda? Would you want to wait up to a week to do it? And would you necessarily be thinking about crime whilst pushing a laden trolley round the aisles, accompanied by four wailing kids and trying to remember whether you need peanut butter or anchovies? Other than the obvious crimes of murdering the kids, holding up customer services for the weekly takings, and scarpering to the Costa del Sol?

According to the spokesman quoted in the article, the police tried opening desks twenty years ago. What they don’t say, curiously, is whether the policy worked or not…

3 thoughts on “Policing with the parsnips

  1. Tess – On the one hand, I can see how the police want to try to be available on a very limited budget. And people do congregate in supermarkets. But yeah, there’s something about this plan that seems off. Certainly I wouldn’t think ‘I know. I’ll tell them all about this this coming Friday at Tesco,’ if someone had just run off with my handbag, or attacked me at a cash machine.

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