KNIFE crime is soaring, fraud rates are through the roof and the number of women raped last year rose 13 per cent – despite a national lockdown.
Yesterday Kristina O’Connor, the daughter of late comedian Des, recounted her horror at being chatted up by DCI James Mason after being mugged.
The officer, described as a “right-hand man” to Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, asked her out for dinner as he took her statement.
So what is the country’s highest-ranking police officer doing about it all?
Investigating Brie and Beau-jolais. At a reported cost of a million quid.
Dick’s post-mortem on Boris Johnson’s lockdown-breaking cheese-and-wine parties is, in the grand scheme of things, utterly meaningless.
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Officers in the crack Special Inquiry Team have been tasked with ploughing through 300 photos of Boris and his pals tucking into Dairylea Triangles.
And for what? In all likelihood Boris will get a slapped wrist and a couple of Fixed Penalty Notice fines totalling less than the cost of a roll of his favourite wallpaper.
The damage is already done. Public opinion of Boris has plummeted.
The PM looks like a man on political Death Row.
And we all know what his last meal would be.
Dick, surely, has bigger fish to fry. But then again, the Met is an institution which, under Dick, missed two opportunities to stop Wayne Couzens, the PC who went on to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard last March.
How did such a monster — dubbed “the Rapist” by colleagues — ever make it through the recruitment vetting process? And how did he remain in the force despite THREE TIMES being accused of indecent exposure?
A recent survey found that 97 per cent of women have experienced some kind of harassment.
And yesterday Kristina, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, asked why DCI Mason had been allowed to rise to the top of the Met despite his inappropriate behaviour in 2011.
She said: “Cressida Dick and the rest of the Met should realise if they want public confidence and trust in the police, they have to let individuals like this go.
“In every job I’ve ever worked, if there’s one count of gross misconduct, it’s grounds for dismissal. I don’t see why it should be any different for the police.” Quite.
Last week, meanwhile, saw publication of the Operation Hotton report, an investigation into the conduct of officers at London’s Charing Cross Police Station between 2016 and 2018.
And so emerged a damning dossier of institutional racism, sexism and homophobia.
Text messages between 14 officers showed them “joking” about rape, dressing as sex offenders and using African children as dog food. Only two were sacked.
As ever, Dick used the excuse of “a few bad apples” and pledged a crackdown.
But while diligent, hardworking and decent officers are busy ploughing through Co-op receipts at No10, a crackdown is easier said than done.
Dick, who went to the same Oxford college as our Prime Minister, is not stupid.
But her force, and its barrel of rotten apples, is criminally incompetent.
In other words, Dick needs to get her own house in order before she starts cleaning up No10.
End of golden g’days
THE final nail in the coffin of my childhood has been hammered: Neighbours faces the axe.
As The Sun on Sunday revealed, the iconic Eighties and Nineties teen favourite is being taken off the air.
RIP, Bouncer and Harold. (Although I think they both already died about seven times.) Au revoir, Ramsay Street. Bye-bye, Scott and Charlene.
Back in the day, my entire day revolved around Neighbours’ 5.35pm start time.
Woe betide my mum if she forgot to record it when I was out playing rounders/tennis/netball after school.
Alas, I fear today’s teens are far, far too cool for (Erinsborough High) school.
The wholesome antics of Toadie, Madge, Jim Robinson and co must seem like something from a bygone era.
Which, for a porn-saturated generation, they probably are.
COUNTLESS gushing tributes have been written over the weekend in praise of the Queen reaching her Platinum Jubilee.
But I’m not sure anything reflects her better as a person, as a doting mother, than when she was captured bending down to pet her beloved dorgi Candy during a memorabilia viewing at Windsor Castle.
As the mutt trundled up unannounced, the Queen patted her, muttering: “And where did you come from?! I know what you want . . . ”
Something that pet owners the land over can relate to.
Bojo’s his own clown
A NEW book by Lord Ashcroft claims Carrie Johnson is the real power player at No10.
The tome portrays Boris as a weak, chaotic man, in thrall to his wife and her scheming, Lady Macbeth-like machinations.
Now her pals have hit back, claiming the Carrie takedown smacks of misogyny. I am inclined to agree.
While there’s little doubt Carrie, a former Tory director of comms, is wont to pipe up over the dinner table – as many a spouse does – Boris doesn’t need any help when it comes to being chaotic.
His life, to an extent, has been one long farce.
Whether he’s in a helmet getting stuck on a zip wire or fathering seven children by three women, Boris has never shied away from drama.
But the ex-Etonian is also ruthless, as well as ruthlessly smart.
His mistakes, of which there have been many of late, are down to him and him alone.
Well, he’s a bit of Al right
WITH apologies to Alans everywhere, is this the world’s most unlikely-looking Alan?
Alan Ritchson – how many times can I write Alan in one column? – plays Jack Reacher in Amazon Prime’s reimagining of the brilliant Lee Child books.
The 6ft 2in, six-packed American Adonis is perfectly cast.
Poor ol’ Tom Cruise, his 5ft 7in Hollywood predecessor, must be stamping his Cuban heels.
THE best annual survey of the year is in: Britain’s most popular puppy names.
Amongst the top ten are Bella, Lola, Charlie, Bonnie, Daisy and Willow.
As the proud owner of a Dora, I can confirm dog names have gone resolutely middle class.
In Dora’s doggy daycare centre, The Barkery, there’s a Gus, (cavapoo), Raff (cockatoo), Rachel (show cocker), Henry (King Charles spaniel) and Maggie the black Lab.
Plus, a special mention to my parents’ dog: Camilla Parker-Bowles.