Questioning the police and crime commissioner at a recent town meeting:
The editor of the local newspaper, the Journal (which my neighbour calls the Gerbil), piped up, ‘How many of the culprits have you actually caught?’
This question the commissioner dismissed with contempt as if it were a low blow in boxing. Surely anyone with the slightest brain could see that it is far easier to identify the victims than the culprits, and that therefore it was a far more efficient use of police time (in very short supply) to attend to the former rather than to the latter? It did not seem to have occurred to the commissioner – a Conservative, by the way – that most victims of crime would be more reassured by the arrest and punishment of the culprit than by counselling carried out by men or women in stab-proof vests.