Our neighbours are a constant source of stupefaction to me. One evening last week, I was sitting at my laptop, clinging to the last vestiges of the ability to work, when I decided I simply couldn’t ignore the distraction of the screaming and shouting any more, and wandered my way over to the wall to get a better listen (sometimes it’s like my very own personal Corrie Enderdale, only without the cheap accents and constant chip references. Oh, wait…).
Unfortunately, as my ear approached the wall in an attempt to make out the actual words buried inside the verbal melee, I discovered something rather more sinister than just the usual inane drivel: what sounded to me like a serious case of physical and/or sexual abuse. I quickly dusted off my cape, called the police, and explained what I could hear. It wasn’t quite the tactical insertion one comes to expect after a two-hour stint on Rainbow Six, but the police soon arrived in a matter of minutes (less than eight), and in some force. I retired to my usual evening’s diversions, after having returned my cape to its secret panel, satisfied that I had done what was required of me – Citizen Pinky to the rescue!
Skip forward a week, to the other evening, and the same thing’s happening again – more shouting and screaming, so I quickly have a listen to see if … yep, exactly the same thing seems to be going on, so I make a quick dive for the bat phone – grabbing my cape on the way – and do my Citizen Pinky bit again. “Job done!” I thought to myself, now we wait a few brief moments for the rozzers and watch the culprit get carted away, never to be heard of again.
This is where things took a turn for the weird. It had gone quiet by the time I’d finished on the phone, which I didn’t know whether it was good or bad, but either way Wiltshire’s very own League of Justice was about to pounce, weren’t they? I’d been told on the phone that it would be treated as a priority, which is certainly what one would expect given the gravity of the situation. I hadn’t actually used the word “rape” over the phone, but come on – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make what hardly amounts to a leap. Anyway, fifty-one minutes later, a single male police officer arrived at the scene. Yes, you read that correctly: fifty-one minutes. Did I disturb the chip run, do you think? Of course, whoever it was making all that din had long since left by the time PC McSaunter arrived – in fact, I saw the couple leaving together, with apparent amity. Given the confusion that must have descended over the brow of Constable McAmble upon finding no bloody corpse, and the fact that I had given my address and name when reporting the “incident”, I waited for the knock on the door in readiness to assuage his puzzlement. No such knock came. I’ve given my cape to the local charity shop. Perhaps it can do some good there.
I’ve since made enquiries with Wiltshire Police as to the reason for what can only be described as dallying when faced with the report of a possible rape/assault. Interestingly, the footer of all the email correspondence I’ve had from the police thus far reads: “… Putting People First….”
Given enough time, one would assume.