Having spent most of Saturday wandering around central London, one thing that struck me was the almost total absence of Police Officers on the beat. I walked many busy streets and not a Bobby was to be found. When I compare this to New York, for example, the difference is great. I don’t know about you but I suggest many members of the law-abiding general public are very pleased to see police on the beat. It inspires a certain confidence and sends a message to any criminals that there IS a presence for the force of law and order. And yet – on a bustling Saturday afternoon, I did not see one – and I walked along Oxford Street, Regent St, Carnaby Steet, Saville Row, and too many other streets to tell you. (My aching feet know each one intimately, however) I think that the Metropolitan Police, like so many other police forces, have retreated OFF the streets, into their cars, and it looks a lot like deserting the field of play. It IS re-assuring to know that our streets are policed and there in no better sign of this than friendly but no-nonsense police officers on the beat.
P.S When I got to Wembley, I saw loads of Police Officers. The thing is that they were mostly an unimposing bunch, many of them well under 6 feet and puny looking. There were a few drunken incidents in the ground and the Police left it to the local ground security to deal with things, merely looking on. None of this impressed me. There were also mounted police along Wembley Way – they looked a bit more like it, great control over the animals and MK Dons fans!