Saturday, 21 June 2008

Just pay the speed tax

I don't know why you are reading this blog - I am not only a criminal, but a recidivist. Through the door this week, came a letter headed 'Notice of Intended Prosecution'. I had apparently been driving at 84mph on a motorway at quarter past eight on a Saturday morning. Naughty, naughty!

Now, I ask you. What kind of person drives on a near-empty motorway at that time of the morning? Neds out joyriding? Unlikely. A smacked-up junkie on their way home from a nightclub? Probably not. A bank robber, perhaps? No indeedy.

The kind of person who drives on a near-empty motorway at that time of the morning is probably an honest, hard-working, Tory voting, otherwise law-abiding member of the public on their way to work. Easy meat for the speed tax enforcers.

The twice I have been done for speeding have both been in similar circumstances: empty motorway; early morning; heading to work. The first time an unmarked police car showed no gratitude for the fact that I had pulled out to allow them to access the carriageway from a slip road before belting on at my usual Mach 3. This time, a police force chose to waste resources which could have been used to pursue thieves, thugs, junkies and rapists, putting a van on a motorway flyover with a camera pointing out the side. Bastards!

Don't get me wrong. I am not defending people who drive dangerously on a busy road; drive inappropriately for the conditions, drive under the influence of drink or drugs or speed in built-up areas where a child or OAP could end up under their wheels. They deserve the book thrown at them. But often these are harder to catch. It would need police getting their hands dirty doing what they are paid to do, gathering evidence. Much easier to focus resources where they know they can get a 100% conviction rate in order to fiddle the crime figures and pretend that they are actually doing their jobs.

I am not even defending myself. It was a fair cop, guv, and you got me bang to rights. I'll pay the speed tax. What I object to is the priorities of police.

When Mrs Didactophobe recently called me in a panic because a white van man had followed her and tried to force her off the road, I immediately dialled 999, giving the number of the van and precisely where they would find it. About 45 minutes later, I got a call back from the operator (you never actually speak to a policeman, do you?) to ask if she had returned home. No, she f*cking hadn't. Apparently, they did not have the resources to find the van and because she was alone in the car there would not be sufficient evidence to prosecute the driver. No f*cking thought that a helpless woman in fear for her life might appreciate the police checking that she was safe (I had told them precisely where she was, after all) even if they couldn't do anything else to help.

When I recently called 999 because a group of neds were running riot in the area, no one showed up. I was told that the police do not automatically send an officer to interview someone who has made a 999 call. You have to specifically tell them that you want an officer to call. Didactophobe believes that it would be obvious to a toddler that if you call 999 and ask for the police that you want, er, the services of the police. But that would mess up their statistics, wouldn't it? They might have to employ more police officers and fewer transphobic liaison officers. They might then have to be trained to catch criminals, rather than attending workshops on how not to offend minorities. The one minority not protected is the one that pays tax to fund all of this.

Didactophobe wonders if he could use the above as a defence, were he to make a hoax 999 call. "I should not be considered guilty of any crime, because I did not specifically request that three fire engines, an ambulance and two police cars should attend. I understand that this complies with police procedure."

You couldn't make it up!

No comments: