Thursday, June 08, 2006

Where are the police when you don’t need one?

The other day I participated in a small thanksgiving to Mr Kenneth Livingstone, for you who don’t read papers, listen or have access to London News or don’t know who he is, he is the mayor of London. He sits in some very posh offices by the Thames…well if you are in charge would you put your offices in Peckham??? Anyway the thanks to Kenneth were to pay £8 in the congestion charge as I had to enter London for a meeting, at Stratton Street to be precise. I brought Mrs E with me since the vicinity offers both Regent Street and Oxford Street to browse, and to have the rare occasion to mingle with visitors to our lovely capital. We entered the West End at approx 1.30 pm via the A4, the flyover by Hammersmith, past the natural History Museum, The French Embassy, Harrods, Hard Rock Café and finally Glitzy Ritz… My meeting went well and some 2 hours later we decided that the expectation, excitement and parking charge £12 for two hours at an NCP was enough, so we headed out, the same route as we came in. However we decided to have a look at our old house in Putney/Barnes. Driving over the beautiful Hammersmith Bridge reminded me why we pay to enter the London, bring a small car…who designed the crappy access to the bridge, he should be sent to work at Kenneth’s place.
Late lunch at JT’s in Putney before heading out back to the wilderness of the M4 towards the Cotswolds it struck us…We had not seen a single police officer on patrol. Not one! Walking, Driving, Sleeping, Eating, Directing, NOT ONE…since we entered London.

Now don’t get me wrong we lived in London long enough to find our way without Sat Nav and asking Bobbies the way, but it occurred to us, that after our recent trip to New York, how NICE it was to see boys in blue patrolling, keeping things under control, assisting smiling and every now and then telling people “Have a Nice Day”…or simply telling them to move along…
I know that my eight pounds to Kenneth did not increase the number of patrols on the street but he has said so, nor did I feel that we were offering a service to all those visitors coming to see our proud city. I have close friends working in the police force, and they are protecting important dignities like Kenneth or busting crack houses in Peckham, but when I come to London town I expect to see Bobby…Where is he or she???…What is that all about?

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