What took a battalion of Oxford’s Finest up on to Burgess Field, by Oxford’s Port Meadow, on Tuesday? It looked, apparently, like the chorus from the Pirates of Penzance having an outing on Emmerdale Farm as they all jumped on the back of a Ranger’s truck and bumped over the track.
Was it the showdown in the turf war between the Albanian drugs dealers and their local rivals? Were they off to get the rough sleeper who craps all over the place, to the delight of the dogs and the deep distaste of everyone else? Perhaps a couple were enjoying themselves in breach of New Labour’s Public Order (Copulation in Public Places) Prevention Act 1999 or whatever it was called.
Possibly someone had dropped a piece of fruit – a woman was prosecuted in Wolverhampton last year for “knowingly causing the deposit of controlled waste, namely an apple core, on land which did not have a waste management licence” under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The police get everywhere these days, unless you have been burgled or mugged.
Perhaps it was a more prosaic matter of statistics and targets. Maybe a visit by a dozen Plods counts as 12 attendances, so that when Thames Valley Police seek to justify their increased share of the Council Tax, the attendance rate (so much easier to achieve than a clear-up rate) looks good. No, that is too cynical, even for me.
I am sure it was for something important. If anyone knows, perhaps they could tell me.