You couldn't make it up.
Just when the number of anti-Police coverage in the media was getting too much.
Just when the fall-out from the G20 summit was making all cops look like out-of-control bullies.
Just when the Met seemed to have totally lost the plot.
Both sides of the venerable House have joined their noses in the trough !!!
Meanwhile, back in Grim-on-th't-Moor, Sgt Custerd is still head of the trivial crime squad.
What this means, is that our 'customer' rings one of our call centres. Their complaint is graded from 1 to 5.
1 is serious - blue lights and sirens.
2 is fairly serious - a stripy vehicle will be with you in an hour.
3 is reasonably pressing - a stripy vehicle will be with you during the same day.
4 is trivial. Or has been regraded through a lack of stripy vehicles. Or we've been creative with the truth, and decided that there is no evidence to lose - or it's been lost - or else our 'customer' is happy with an appointment (within 48 hours - remember the Pledge).
5 is when a Police 'officer' will call you back and take details by phone.
The grading determines how quickly - and whether you will be seen. A grade of 4 means that one of my team will deal with your complaint.
'Deal' in this sense means we make an appointment for our customer - who comes in to see us. In the case of a recordable crime - with a line of enquiry to a named suspect, then a statement and crime report is taken. Which in turn now gets fed into the sausage machine of 21st century policing.
A crime is allocated to an officer - who arrests the suspect - brings them to a police station, books them into custody, where:
someone else takes fingerprints, photos and DNA,
someone else interviews them,
someone else decides if there is sufficient evidence to charge or refer to the CPS,
(in which case, someone else makes the decision to charge),
someone else puts together the file for Court.
On paper - all very simple - in practice, like herding cats, juggling eels, and nailing jelly to the ceiling. In the dark. With your feet on fire.