Friday, June 30, 2006
Moped chase? Sorry, sir.
Because I rarely manage to sleep through the night without waking at least once, the radio stays on till morning, Radio 4 giving way to the World Service and then back to Radio 4 again in the early morning, so it often happens that I hear snippets of news just before 'getting up' time and being half awake and still half asleep, I often wonder if I have heard accurately.
This morning was a case in point.
The news item was about an 18 year old boy who, on hearing someone start up his moped with a view to disappearing with it, rang the police. Give them their due, they arrived just as the said moped was speeding down the road with its three occupants. How you get three people on a moped is a similar problem to fitting 4 elephants in a mini, I would have thought, (two in the front and two in the back, in case you didn't know) but that's by the by. The problem, as far as the police were concerned, was that the thieves were not wearing helmets. Understandable, I suppose. You're strolling down the road and you happen to come across an unattended moped which would seem to provide the ideal transport home, if a little short on leg room, and it's unlikely that you had the forethought to bring a helmet with you.
However, the absence of helmets posed a problem for the police as they informed the owner that they were terribly sorry but they couldn't pursue the moped because, should one of its occupants fall off and injure himself, he might sue them!
You couldn't make it up!