Thursday, 8 October 2009
A lady I know slightly, knows I used to be Old Bill and wanted to tell me a story today. She from a respectable family. This is her tale. Her daughter went out recently for her 18th birthday. Her, the boyfriend and their chums all had a jolly good time. Out they came from their celebrations for the walk home when the birthday girl spied a Mini. She loves Mini's and wants one as soon as she can afford. She asks a friend to take her picture posing by this Mini. Boyfriend puts his arm around her and they sit on the bonnet. Unbeknown to them (I am told) it is dented. The picture is then posted on a networking website and a friend of a friend of an acquaintance recognises the Mini, knows the owner and tells him `Hey, I think I know who may have dented your bonnet`. Police are informed and an officer is on the case. Acting on information he soon arrests the boyfriend who, after 4 hrs in custody, is released on bail. He telephones the girlfriend and tells her what's happened. She is `mortified` that the car was damaged . She tells her parents and then contacts the officer in the case, at the local station (no mean feat in itself, if you've tried contacting an officer in your case) stating she didn't realise she'd caused damage and wishes to make good and cover any costs. Parents are furious with daughter and her reckless behaviour and fully concur with her contacting the police and fully support her desire to make good. PC X promptly sends round a van and two colleagues and they are invited in. Parents are expecting daughter to be interviewed there and then and so are taken aback when she is arrested and conveyed to the police station. 3 hours later she too is released after having been processed for criminal damage, photographed, fingerprinted and her DNA taken for adding to the national database. Much crying and gnashing of teeth, tearing of clothes and bitter regret at her careless revelling follows. Parents are now distraught that daughter and boyfriend have a criminal record and very upset that they did not have the opportunity to apologise profusely to the victim and to make good the damage done. They are not impressed with the police for treating their daughter and the boyfriend in this way, believing that they have been criminalised for an act of carelessness under circumstances where they, as parents, were absolutely furious with their daughter and where everyone concerned wanted to apologise and make good what had happened to the poor chaps Mini. There are a million stories in the Naked City. This was one of them. There but for the grace of good went I. As I typed this I received word (amazing these satellite phones) that my nephew has been injured in Afghanistan after only 4 days. Although I know more, I cannot say so at the moment. Puts a perspective on a family's worries about a careless daughter, doesn't it. Not very exciting was it? But at least I wrote something today.