Saturday, September 15, 2007

Slip Sliding Away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

England seems to be in a death spiral as it augers into the fever swamps of rampant liberalism. This is reflected in the utter nonsense issuing from the mouths of its public officials. From This Is London:

A mother who had her bag snatched was told by police it was not a crime - because she chased after the thief and won her property back. Sam McAlister was queueing in a coffee shop with her ten-month-old son when a woman grabbed the bag from the back of the pushchair as an accomplice distracted her.

This could be a misdemeanor as no physical force was directed at the victim. Under NY law the value of the purse's content (just two credit cards for example) could push it up to a felony. In either event, it is a crime.

Miss McAlister, 34, left her child with staff at the Starbucks cafe, whom she knew well, and set off in pursuit of the woman.

She confronted the thief in a nearby shop and was eventually reunited with her bag after a struggle.

Now it's a felony. The suspect used force to keep the purse and a struggle ensued. Once physical force is used to effect a theft or in the continuance of a theft , it's robbery (forcible taking of property). Or is it?

Ms. McAlister continues with her story.

But when she went to a police station to report the crime, she was told by an officer behind the desk that it was not a crime because she had got the bag back.

It was only when the former criminal barrister used her knowledge of the law that the case was passed on to a senior officer who decided to investigate.

There might be a reason why that officer is driving a chair instead of being out on a beat. Every officer has a certain amount of discretion in determining whether or not a crime has been committed, but this officer's actions bordered on official misconduct. There is a duty and an obligation to investigate all criminal complaints.

"I spotted her about four shops away with a backpack, and I thought 'I'm not having this'.

"She was about 6ft tall, but I thought it was worth a try, so I ran over to her. "I grabbed her backpack and shouted at her 'You've got my bag'. We were struggling and grappling, I was yelling 'Give me my bag' for dear life."

Eventually, the woman threw Miss McAlister's handbag at her as members of the public became involved.

Miss McAlister added: "I picked up the bag and as soon as I learnt someone had caught her I went back to my son."

A police community-support officer went to the scene at the Hammersmith shopping centre in West London on Thursday afternoon and took Miss McAlister to the local police station.

She said: "The female police officer behind the desk asked me the barest of details and she said that if I have got the bag back then obviously that's not a crime. I was dumbfounded."

So are we.

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