Friday, January 20, 2006


Having burned through a small pile of public funds nipping down to the Big Brother house and impounding Pete Burns' coat, Hertforshire Constabulary then wasted some time of Natural History Museum staff who confirmed, actually, it's not a Gorilla coat at all, but made from the skin of a Colobus monkey. The experts pointed out that the coat was also "in a relatively poor condition and had been relined at some point", which we think is naturalists being polite while saying "this is a coat from the last century, please don't waste our time any further."

The Herts Police, though, having discovered that they and Jodie Marsh were the only people in the world who even thought it was gorilla skin in the first place, don't intend to let it lie there - no, even although it's not from a primate protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speices, they're still going to pass their file to the Crown Prosecution Service, thereby spending even more on an incident that doesn't seem to have a crime, never mind a victim.

The cops are starting to aware that they're shifting from laughing stocks into the sort of territory where Chief Constables are asked what the hell sort of Keystone outfit they're running, and are rushing out justifications for their sudden interest in furs:

Hertfordshire Constabulary said it treated wildlife crime as seriously as any other following complaints from the public about Burns bragging on TV of wearing gorilla fur.

And just how seriously would that be? Latest figures released by Hertfordshire Police Auhtority reports that a surprising 19.2% of notifiable/recorded offences result in conviction, caution or taken into consideration of court - that's right, less than one in five crimes are solved in the county. The same report suggests that only six out of every ten hours available to the police force in the county are used in frontline police work - perhaps they might want to think about using that time a little more wisely.

On the other hand, if you are living in Hertfordshire and paying for the police force, we'd recommend if you have to report a crime in the next week, tell them the criminal looked a bit like Michael Barrymore. That might get their attention.

Earlier: Herts Police have time on their hands