Following the theft of my poo pump, I called the local police to report it. The number I had on speed dial for the local cop shop went straight to FAX mode. Oh that is so annoying! So anyway I went on line to get another number. The lady I eventually spoke to asked lots of questions, as they do, and said an officer will be round in the morning. Well the officer called and said he was on his way to a bigger problem and would ask for a CPSO to be sent around. At the time I originally wrote this I was still waiting. I am not complaining the police have far more important things to worry about than my poo pump. I am happy to wait.
In all things boating, relating to thefts, we all must keep reporting incidents to the police. As a policeman said to me a while ago, “If you don’t tell us we don’t know there is a problem. If we don’t know we can’t deal with it.” This of course makes sense. Boaters are being targeted by other boaters and non-boaters alike.
I know this will be unpopular, but there are more and more suspicious boaters on the canal these days. And with BW encouraging people on to the towpath it seems logical that there will be an increase in nefarious characters who will see the canal as a trip through a supermarket. Making their shopping selections and popping back later to pick up the goods when no one is home.
We all have to be very diligent. Suspicious characters should be challenged. A simple approach and a “Can I help you,” might be enough to let them know they are being watched. Keep an eye on the boats in your area. Don't be afraid to call the police if you see suspicious gents (or gentesses) taking a great deal of interest in the boats around you. I make a point of taking pictures of ‘suspect’ people and cars parked nearby. Often people go away if you take a picture, especially kids. They disappear very quickly!
We live in difficult times and we all need to be vigilant.
Oh and if you are offered a poo pump on the cheap I would be interested to hear from you.