'The Future of British Policing' by Mark Wilkinson

Dear Sir/Madam,

I note with interest your letter of the 14th suggesting that I am responsible for the recent spate of armed robberies in the area, and requesting that I attend a police station at my earliest possible convenience.

I also note with some alarm your statement that failure to do so will result in the authorisation of lethal force against me, and snipers being positioned outside my home.

Firstly, I would like to assure you that I have no connection to the extensive list of crimes that you presented in your letter.  Being 83 years old and largely housebound due to a failing hip, I suspect that even a British judge may challenge your assertion that I ‘outran several officers while clutching a holdall full of used notes’.  

Likewise, I have not been ‘larging it down the High Street like the big I Am’.  Although I did once leave the house to buy biscuits.

Unfortunately, due to the latest round of budget cuts, my nearest ‘Community Hub for Security’ is New Scotland Yard.  As a resident of Winchester and a non-driver, travel is somewhat difficult for me.  Would it be possible to arrange a home visit?  It is almost impossible for me to attend during your midnight to 2am opening hours (every other Wednesday) due to public transport limitations.

I would like to finish by assuring you that I have no intention of ‘bringing the rain’ (although lord knows the geraniums could do with it) or attempting to 'blow smoke up your arses’.  I have not smoked since 1997.  I must however respectfully register my opinion that policing in this country has not improved since Dreamworks took over responsibility for the officer training programme.

Yours faithfully,

Bertrand Cuthingbone (Retd.)


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