Column: it’s not right real crimes are ignored while things that are obviously not crimes had police turning up

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We should have seen this coming. If you have watched a superhero film there’s a bit where the police are trying to catch the hero because they think he’s being a vigilante. If you take fighting crime into your own hands the police will see you as a threat, says comedian and writer Steve N Allen.

That’s what happened to a 70-year-old woman recently. Gillian Mears was in the news after some local wrong ‘uns damaged her garden gate.

I know, this is hardly the crimes associated with The Riddler or The Joker but she’s not a full Batman herself. She said that if she got her hands on the youths she’s wring their necks and the police came round to tell her off.

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It wasn’t the first time the vandals had struck, so Gillian was already annoyed. The time in question her disabled husband went out to stop them but he fell over.

Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.
Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.

As Gillian went out to help him the young ones mocked them, so she was understandably angry. She called the police and mentioned that if she could she’d wring their necks.

Gillian was interviewed about the incident and said, “When they arrived they told me off for making that threat, which was not a threat it was me just venting my anger.”

It can’t be the first time the police have heard that phrase so they must know that it’s hyperbole. It’s like saying an American saying, “Why I oughta,” or comedian Mike Reid saying he’d give someone a dry slap. I don’t think he ever did.

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It feels like the police are siding with the criminal in this case. I understand that a wrung neck is more serious than a damaged gate, but that was never a likely outcome here.

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It’s made worse when we hear all the time that police won’t attend shoplifting call outs if the goods taken aren’t worth more than £200.

With the cost of living crisis, three packets of butter and a steak will probably push you over that threshold but it’s not right that real crimes are ignored while things that are obviously not crimes have the police turning up.

It’s easier to tell off grannies or to caution someone who posts messages on social media.

They’re less scary than actual criminals.

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The yobs had damaged their gate twice. They asked for three other fences to be taken into consideration.

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