We left our hero, Police Constable Patrick James, shut up in his broom cupboard with strict instructions not to talk to anybody, not even his own bosses.
His broom cupboard, on the 13th floor of New SlapSlap Yard, was small, stuffy and wasn’t blessed with one of the best views of London. They were reserved for the Head Commish, Sir Bernie Hogan-Who on the top floor.
Patrick, however, was beavering away. Smoke was pouring from his abacus as he tried to make the numbers make some kind of sense. A Punishment Posting. Crime Stats at The Centre. Nobody’s idea of a plum posting, and to make matters worse The Tank had been converted to a bloody gym.
The beads on the abacus were clacking wildly as PC James pushed them from side to side, trying his hardest to make the numbers add up. Something was wrong, there weren’t enough crimes here. Somebody had made some Sexual Offences disappear since Patrick had last performed his query. Patrick was absolutely certain that when he had counted them last week there had been hundreds more. Hundreds of serious sexual offences had just disappeared off the books. “What to do?” thought Patrick, “What to do?”
After a short period of deliberation he decided he would quietly raise the matter with his boss, DCI Quentin R Sole. Sole became very heated and agitated as Patrick unburdened himself on his poor, unfortunate boss. “Now look here James, do yourself a favour and forget you’ve ever told me and forget the missing crimes, it doesn’t matter, it’s nothing”
“It most certainly isn’t nothing guv” said Patrick, “Those bloody tecs are making crimes disappear off the books. Why?”
“Look Patrick, can I call you Patrick? If you keep this up it won’t end well. That idiotic Home Secretary, Cruella Whatserface, has announced that crime is down, so down it bloody well will be. The Mayor, Lord Bozzer of Londinium (Bozo to his friend apparently) , has been briefed by Rabbi Glibs that crime is down on the capital, so it has to be down.”
“Why should I care about what the Home Secretary has rashly said?” asked Patrick. “She’s just too quick off the mark”
“Yes, I know”said DCI Quentin R Sole, but it gets worse, much worse, you wouldn’t believe. If you won’t listen to me, old Two Dads wants to see you, that won’t be good”
Inevitably, after a few days, Nigel Goat-Botherer, Bernie the Ostrich’s Bag Carrier, summoned Patrick to the top floor of New SlapSlap Yard “Bring your Fed Rep with you”. Sadly, on the appointed day, Patrick’s Fed Rep was busy, had an appointment to have his haemarhoids seen to and couldn’t sit down, so not much point in being there.
“Go on in” said Goat-Botherer, “The Boss is expecting you”
Patrick apprehensively entered Inner Sanctum, Head Commish Sir Bernard Hogan-Who’s very own version of Hallowed Ground. “Ah, James, thank you, no, don’t sit down, this won’t take long” Patrick stood stiffly to attention, apprehensive.
“Just for once I won’t beat about the bush. My people in the Directorate of All Things Bollocks tell me you’ve been stirring things up again. Apparently Crime Stats is your latest Crusade”
“Yes Sir” said Patrick firmly. “Crimes are being made to disappear from the books and it’s simply not right”
“Ah, you mean Project Finnesse. Those crimes aren’t going anywhere, they’re just being ‘tidied up’ a bit, make the books look a bit better. It’s all part of this Total Policing Bollocks.”
“With Respect Sir that is total bollocks” replied Patrick. “There’s no ‘tidying up’ going on, it’s wholesale weeding.”
Hogan-Who turned a nasty shade of purple, his fists clenched and he was visibly shaking. “OK young man, this is how it will be. Home Secretary Cruella de Night, Lord Bozzer and me, we have all told the gullible public that crime is coming down, so come down it bloody well will. We can’t be seen to be wrong now can we?”
Patrick stood quietly, aghast. Did Bernie the Ostrich really just say that? That’s not how it’s meant to be.
Quickly, Hogan-Who continued, slightly calmer, but not much. “And the final straw are these OCU Commanders and my SMT. They’ve been paid bonuses on the back of falling crime. What are you suggesting man? We all pay our bonuses back? Wake up man, that’s never going to happen”
“Well Sir, this is clearly a serious bit of malpractice and I can’t just sit back and watch it now can I? That simply wouldn’t be right.”
“Just get back to your broom cupboard and get on with whatever demeaning dross my people have found for you to do. One more squeak out of you and it will be Gardening Leave….Are we clear?”
Bowed but not broken our hero Patrick descended to the 13th floor and pondered his next move. The rest, as they say, is history, and history it truly is. SlapSlap Constabulary will forever be tarnished by the scandal. The Directorate of All Things Bollocks enjoys no confidence whatsoever. Neither Police nor Public now think that they are fit for purpose, with many believing that they are out of control and possibly some officers acting in a criminal manner themselves.
PC James is now plain Mr James, an Employment Tribunal is awaited. No less than 3 Peers of the Realm have weighed in to try and right this wrong, but without success. Lord Bozzer and the Head Comish both refused to stay the second set of Disciplinary Proceedings. Our hero Patrick was served a set of papers before he retired informing him that he was being investigated for “Being a Victim of Victimisation and Vindictiveness” and would likely be struck off, months after his retirement, now that makes sense in someone’s world I’m sure.
Some well-intentioned Freedom of Information Requests by friends have failed to receive a satisfactory response, #SlapSlapConstabulary just don’t want to talk about it. So while you’re mulling all this over, I will take my leave from the world of fiction with this little video clip, which seems quite appropriate at this moment in time.
PC Patrick James, Head Commish, SlapSlap Constabulary, Sir Bernie Hogan-Who, Cruella de Night, Lord Bozzer of Londinium, Rabbi Glibs, Nigel Goat-Botherer and DCI Quentin R Sole are all entirely fictitious and and any resemblance to actual persons, dead or living, is purely coincidental.