Ale-0, ale-o, ale-o, a job for the frying squad
JUST last week, Merseyside police officers, through their union, joined forces with their national colleagues to berate government cuts to their constabularies which they said would mean the loss of thousands of officers.
And nothing could evidence the fact that every last man was needed than some of the vital frontline investigations of our local bobbies, as revealed in the last week.
A press release from the Merseyside Force informed us that officers in Birkenhead were working on a very serious case . . . of lager.
For they informed the world's media that a woman had been dropping off some alcohol in James Street when two men smashed the passenger window and stole a crate of Carlsberg lager.
A crate of lager? All £10 worth? Dispatch a panda car straight away, chief.
The tale reminds Mr Brocklebank of one of those 'Caught on Camera' releases several months ago which he remarked upon at the time, but is well worth a re-mention.
Dear Reader knows the kind of thing Mr B is talking about - where an unrecognisable still from a CCTV camera showing someone thieving from a shop is published months after the event in the hope of jogging someone's memory. Mr B's favourite? A manhunt for a man who stole a packet of £1.98 bacon from a supermarket.
Hmmm. A three-pipe problem, Watson. A packet of bacon stolen in Liverpool and then 12 months later a crate of lager goes missing in Birkenhead.
Surely no coincidence.
FURTHERMORE on the issue of policing, Mr B has some sympathy with those who, when down on their financial luck and struggling from the grind of recession, turn to a life of crime . . . in one sense or another.
For former Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy, who recently beat ex-Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle to the Labour nomination for Police Commissioner, explained in an interview with this fine organ why she had been forced to go for the job.
According to Ms Kennedy, there was much "physical relief of becoming an ordinary member of the public again and to stop being a public figure" upon quitting after her bitter fight with Gordon Brown (whom she compared to a "mafia boss").
But, like all good public servants, the sense of vocation was overwhelming and hence, she explained, her decision to go for the £85,000 a year police commissioner post was based on waking up to "the pressures of making a living, to be perfectly honest". Oh, and because she's "actually good at it", of course.
Someone else who knows about the pressures of making a living is none other than the city's Mayor Joe Anderson, who recently decided to waive, presumably as a pre-emptive strike for political reasons - £15,000 of the proposed £79,500 salary an independent panel recommended he should get in his new role.
Whether Ms Kennedy will follow Joe's lead in these straitened times remains to be seen.