Finally a police chief who'll fight crime not culture wars

‘We’re not the thought police’: Finally a police chief who’ll fight crime not culture wars, writes JENNI MURRAY

  • More than 120,000 non-crime hate incidents were recorded from 2014 to 2019
  • Boris Johnson has said it was the Government’s duty to make the streets safer
  • Jenni Murray says that police officers must go after those who commit crimes 

Logging on to my busy and informative neighbourhood app on a daily basis can be a very depressing and worrying event. In among the lost cats, dogs and adverts for cleaners is a series of screeches about stolen cars and bicycles and the complete indifference of the police. 

Here’s a sample of messages from one day this month: ‘Car taken. Did anyone see strange behaviour?’ ‘Mine taken on 28th.’ ‘Mine was stolen 3 weeks ago. Police aren’t interested at all.’ ‘Police should do more.’ ‘Truly mind-­boggling that in a city with the most surveillance cameras they can’t keep theft under control.’ ‘My bike was stolen from our locked shed in our driveway last night. Police not interested.’ ‘Hi, my dad’s Mitsubishi ­Outlander stolen overnight. Police recommended looking round the area as often cars are dumped for a few weeks and collected later.’ 

Surely, it’s the job of the police to find the car and catch the thieves, but no, most people appear to have been given a report of the theft to claim insurance or told to search for the car themselves, as happened to Jo Coombs whose Land Rover Discovery was stolen in South London from what she thought was a secure car park.

More than 120,000 non-crime hate incidents were recorded from 2014 to 2019. Boris Johnson has said it was the Government’s duty to make the streets safer

She contacted the police, rightly assumed they wouldn’t look for it and then realised her insurance company charges her based on the number of miles she drives. 

The GPS tracker in the car led her to where it was parked 1.9 miles away. She told the police she was off to pick it up. She found it with a smashed mirror and new number plates (the old ones were in the car). Her key opened it and so she stole it back. 

Why did the police not go with her to pick up the car? Is it not their job to examine the vehicle, check it for DNA and fingerprints in the hope of catching the perpetrator, who may well be the type of person who makes a habit of nicking expensive cars and selling them on or exporting them? Most importantly, did they not have a duty to recognise that a woman being sent alone to retrieve her stolen car might be putting herself at risk of serious danger? 

It’s time the police concentrated on real crime that affects so many of us. 

Although he could be a little more attentive to the crime of shoplifting (does he not know it affects us all — prices go up for the honest among us when revenue is lost through thieving), the new HM chief inspector of constabulary, Andy Cooke, has made a promising start when he said in his first speech in the job that ‘politics with a small P’ is not priority of the police.‘ We’re not the thought police’. 

Good. Crime is what concerns us, not what someone has said or thought that doesn’t fit recent cultural trends. If the police spent less time faffing about with offensive comments, they might have more success in solving serious crime. 

Jenni (pictured) says that the police as a whole must be aware of how trust in their care for us has been eroded in recent years

According to the Home Office only around 6 per cent of all crimes resulted in a charge last year. For sexual offences it’s 3 per cent and only 5 per cent of burglaries were solved. 

Meanwhile, more than 120,000 so called non-crime hate incidents were recorded by the police between 2014 and 2019. It’s not speech and thinking the police need to be spending their dwindling resources on. 

We are a liberal society that at its root believes in free speech. 

We do not believe in enabling rapists, burglars or even car and bicycle thieves to get away with the crimes that frighten and truly hurt us. 

The majority of us want to walk around in safety without fearing our lives will be destroyed by violent criminals. 

Remember it’s ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ 

It’s the mantra my generation was raised with and it’s what we should be teaching our children, grandchildren and, it seems, the police. 

The police as a whole must be aware of how trust in their care for us has been eroded in recent years. 

Boris Johnson this week told ministers to focus on ‘crime, crime, crime’, saying it was the Government’s duty to make the streets safer and that more needs to be done to give women and girls confidence in the criminal justice system. 

The relationship with all of us can only be improved when they make it clear that misogyny and officers who commit sexual offences rather than preventing them are gone. They must go after those who commit crimes against us and not make us scared to speak our minds.

Nude trend in fashion must stop


Jenni questions the appearance of the naked illusion dress, like this worn by Kylie Jenner (left). Bella Thorne (right) also pictured in an illusion dress. Jenni says that she does not want to see this kind of dress on a bus

What’s with the sudden appearance of the naked illusion dress as worn by Kylie Jenner, at the Billboard awards. Hers is by Balmain and there’s another, worn by the actress Bella Thorne, by Syndical Chamber. We’ve had to get used to women increasingly exposing their bits on a big night out, but a frock that covers everything but pretends to show breasts, bottom and pubic hair? No! It may only be make-believe nudity, but I don’t want to see it on the bus. 

BOGOF U-turn does families no favours

Jenni says that a state that cares about health would ban ‘buy one get one free’ deals for junk food

It is not a ‘nanny state’ that cares enough to ban ‘buy one get one free’ deals for junk food and stops the advertising of sugary snacks before the watershed. It is a state that recognises obesity is dangerous for the individuals who suffer, particularly children, and understands the terrible strain that there will be on the health service when they need treatment for type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and immobility. The Government’s U-turn on the plan for ‘poorer families’ does the overweight no favours. Cheaper fruit and veg would.

  • What a shameful spectacle as Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy set respect for women back 30 years. They bitch, snipe, lie, and act so wounded. It’s just a vendetta. As for the language… I find it disgusting. It is not a show to give us all a laugh. It’s the lowest two women can go.

We all won at best-ever Eurovision

Member of the bank Kalush Orchestra pose onstage with the winner’s trophy and Ukraine’s flags after winning on behalf of Ukraine for Eurovision

I haven’t been a fan of Eurovision since Sandie Shaw won it for the UK in 1967 dancing barefoot. I’ve found it too glitzy and political — Greece and Cyprus voting could be predicted every time. 

This year, with my guests Zoryana and Ustym keen to watch, I faced a quandary: A friend’s party began at 7.30pm. ­Eurovision at 8pm. Divided loyalties. I spent an hour at the party and rushed home to catch the edge-of-the-seat voting. 

I voted for Ukraine; Zoryana and Ustym for the UK, but how we cheered when the public vote shot Ukraine top. For once, political favouritism was just fine.

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