25 Feb 2012

One branch against another

Some criminals are really clever in their crime leaving no trace of who they are at a scene. Some rare few are clever enough to make it look like a crime never even happened to the point where it takes us to get a confession from them or someone to actually realise something was missing. These are not the only rare few criminals, with those clever ones are those who are insanely stupid. This weeks post is all about one such insanely stupid male.

This incident in particular was all to do with a male who attended a well known pawn brokers in our local town, this well known pawn brokers has branches all across the country. The incident occurred when the male in question attended the pawn brokers in an attempt to trade in a PS3 for cash. This was all ok, the guy got his cash and left the store. It was only after it quietened down alf hour later that the staff checked the box the PS3 was in to find that inside the box was merely a brick wrapped up in newspaper. The staff thought they had been done over by the perfect crime, that was until they checked the CCTV. They got good footage of the male at the counter handing over the box and the male looked straight at the camera but they also caught the male take a laptop of the counter top and put it under his top. It seemed like the CCTV was going to be the only way to trace the male. We circulated the CCTV footage and thought that we may find him somehow as the details he gave at the counter turned out to be false like the ID he presented.

A stroke of luck happened 2 days after the original offence when the male returned to the scene of the crime by taking the laptop he had stolen of the counter top at the pawn brokers to the other branch they have at the other end of our local town. The reason this greedy criminal was stupid was that the laptop he had stolen from the pawn brokers had a sticker of the company's logo on the inside below the keyboard. The idiot obviously didn't open the laptop or try and use it at all, he simply just brought it in to the other branch 2 days later and attempted to trade it in for cash. The staff, clued up to what had happened at the branch up the road decided to continue with the transaction as normal whilst the manager called 999. A 2 minute response run later the male was in handcuffs and arrested for Theft.

In interview the male went no comment in relation to all the questions asked by the interviewing officers and it was decided to charge him with Theft of the laptop, 2 counts of Fraud by selling the brick in a box as a PS3 and by trying to sell the laptop, and possession of a fraudulent passport found at his home address after a search. The male pleaded guilty at court after his solicitor stated that the CCTV was damning enough evidence and he received 6 months imprisonment and ordered to pay the £150.00 he got from the pawn brokers back. The real sting in the tail for the male was that he was actually wanted on a recall to prison as well so had 12 months added to his sentancce for breaching the terms of his early release!!

18 Feb 2012

Nothing to talk about

This week I have no stories to tell you, mainly because I am being overworked by the establishment, and my wife, and have not had an iota of spare time in order to write for you. Instead this week I bring you all a stark warning. It was announced this week by Essex Police Authority that they would be rising their council tax by 3.45%. The reasons behind this will become clear when I explain.

Police forces in the UK are funded mostly by government grants. I say mostly as the remainder is made up from Council Taxes. Essex is one of the forces that relied the most on its government grants so when they were cut by 20% the force needed to find it elsewhere. There are forces on the other end of the spectrum, for example Surrey Police who rely heavily on council tax but take little from the grants. These forces will fair better during the turbulent climates as the cuts will have less of an impact on them.

Essex Police Authority announced that they were given an ultimatum, freeze council tax increases for the next 3 years and you can have a 3% instant bonus!! Great for the people of Essex who wouldn't see their council tax go up but bad for Essex Police as they wouldn't be able to increase it by a further 1-3% the following year. So, Essex Police Authority chose to rise the rate. As will most forces who rely upon government grants in this way. The only issue being that the council tax will rise and rise to the point where it is taking the same cut amount, or nearer to, out of the peoples pockets. Great for the governments pockets but not for their electorates...

11 Feb 2012

Dutch Courage

If the majority of crimes are committed intoxicated then I guess what we are saying is that criminals need an element of increased courage from a bottle of drink or a taste of their prefered contraband. The saying Dutch Courage has been around for a long time and has always insinuated that a quick drink will help settle nervous before an event. I have dealt with one incident where Dutch Courage became the unsticking of one theif in particular when he decided that he would steal booze from one of our local public houses. He formualted the plan that he would sneak into the cellar of the public house one night whilst the pub was still open as nobody would suspect noise in the beer garden. He broke in and laid in wait in the cellar until closing time. When everyone had left his plan was to open up the loft hatch and escape with a rucksack full of booze. Last orders came and as the pub started to close up, the staff began to secure all of the exits and entrances. Including the Cellar door. As the staff admitted the loft hatch in the beer garden had been faulty for some time and the way that they had secured it during the night was to chain and padlock it shut. The theif was unknowning to this and didnt seem to hear the massive chain and padlock being shackled around the cellar door. This was because the theif had already started. He had already helped himself to two bottles of beer to calm his nerves and then began to load his bag. Once his bag was full the theif tried to make his escape only to find his exit blocked. His thoughts then turned to the trapdoor into the pub which was also locked from the outside. The theif was trapped. When staff returned to the pub the following morning to open up for breakfast they were astonished to find that the theif was still in the cellar, his bag was still full and that even though he was trapped he had continued to drink to the point where the staff tried to wake him up but failed. They then called the police but before we could arrive the theif had become aware and had ran out through the now unlocked cellar door. The only sticking point was he left his bag behind which he had left his wallet in with his prisoner card. He was swiftly arrested and sent back to prison.

4 Feb 2012

Bricking it!

I know police custody can be a daunting place to be but sometimes people take it a bit too far. I can accept the odd bit of nervousness, shaking hands, sweaty palms etc but I recall one ocassion where I attended a location in our town where a male had been seen outside one of the shops slumped on the ground.

On my way there our town centre CCTV operators had seen the male get up and kick a window of a well known supermarket. Evidently the window smashed and I was informed. It was at this point I knew that this male was going to be spending a night in one of our ensuites.

I arrived and the male was slumped on the floor again outside the supermarket right next to the small window that he had smashed. I arrested him on suspicion of smashing the window and soon realised he had been asleep through it all. We picked him up, and walked him to the car. He began to wake up over the journey back to the nick and we managed to get a name out of him and found out he had never been arrested before and that this was his 18th birthday.

When we got to the station we opened the door and tried to help him out to which he replied "Dont touch me, I aint no invalid" to which replied "So you are some invalid then?" Which is funny trying to see a drunk person trying to work out that you were commending them on their poor use of the double negative.I then pointed to the custody entrance and asked the male to make his own way to the door but as he casually strolled over to door he lost his footing or balance or both and fell straight forward and smashed his forehead on the doorhandle. If it wasnt enough that he now had an injury and would need to go to hospital. I noticed, whilst applying a bandage to the cut on his head a distict smell of faeces. It was what you would expect, to put it politely, he had soiled himself. The descision was made quite quickly that as the male had no previous convictios we would bail him to the next day and drop him off at A&E to prevent the smell coming anywhere near our custody block. The male returned the following day and admitted smashing the window and received a police caution.