Very early this morning we were awoken by the sound of squirrels dancing on the conservatory roof - well that was what was going through my head at the time. I got up and looked out of the window to see a darkly clad and stocky figure with a pale face climbing out of next doors garden over their back fence. It was difficult to see any more in the dark, even with our neighbours garden light on. I looked at the clock and it was 04:29.
I called the police to inform them of the incident. We now have to call 101 to access the local police service and I met a computerised answering service. After pressing the appropriate keys and going through the procedure a second time I was put on hold and informed that I was tenth in the queue. Twenty minutes later I was spoken to by a human (highly trained telephone operator - according to the computer). My name was not requested, my address was asked for by street only and I was informed that no crimes had been reported in my area. OK; we are dealing with some severe cutbacks in the policing budget, but I felt I was being dismissed.
This was essentially a very minor incident and there was no threat to life, only a small amount of inconvenient property damage. next time it may be better if a knock on the door of my local police station - if it is still open!