I know it's probably only the calm before the storm but the current financial turmoil in the world is actually making life easier at work. The drunken lunacy which accompanies the "Cafe Culture" licensing legislation has almost disappeared where I am. How I managed to keep a straight face when the manager of the local "Hell Hole" told me how much his takings were down I'll never know.
I'm loving it standing on the door and monitoring the queue as they "have to" turn away the drunken ones. It was even safe to venture inside and check out the toilets - oh what was that powder on top of the toilet roll holder? All written down in statement form for the next hearing when please God we curtail their hours which puts them out of business.
The bosses will be happy too, their detections are OK for the year and they fancy a few less Total Notifiable Offences (TNO's) .
So now we can actually do some police work. Last year we were doing very well on Burglary - we hadn't done much really to boast about the lower figures. The management however made the mistake of doing just that in a press release in November. In the lead up to Christmas we were hammered. We couldn't react as "Hell Hole" was in full anarchy mode and needed us there. It's already been decided we can do burglary patrols every day in December. They might even pay us on some rest days, so even better news.
Everybody is feeling the pinch. I decided to do my patriotic duty after interest rates were slashed and sanctioned Mrs Stressed to splash out on a new bathroom. In the Summer builders were not turning up to quote - but post crunch, sensible price and could start the following week. Great Stuff. I'm fortunate in that I've got a tracker mortgage and didn't go mad in the Labour "Never Had It So Good" spending frenzy. I don't believe in excessive debt - it's common sense to live within your means. I drive a shitty old banger and am saving hard towards my daughters university fees and loans. That will be nearly 30K as students are encouraged to be in debt from the start of their working lives. Very Wrong.
Not everybody is as fortunate and the people affected will be decent folk who just over stretched themselves. I know of two police officers who sold up their houses prior to the crunch to pay debts. One now lives with family and the other in social housing. I've got a welfare meeting coming up with a staff member re debt issues too. I feel sorry for them all.
The one group is doesn't affect are our normal "customer" base. They operate in a different economic way than most. Housing all paid for - able to drink in pubs - plenty of smokes and money for me "narbis" to chill me out. Contrary to popular belief not all live in scum holes unfit for habitation. The other economy is where the smokes are always duty free, the joint of meat is from the alternative supermarket. Usually some local entrepreneur with an extra chest freezer full of stolen meat. Their kids are dressed in stolen designer gear hoisted from nice shops. They do all right and this crisis will pass them by. There will be a little less out there for them to steal this year from the decent folk.