There is a local copper who is a smoky drinker (only off duty, naturally). While I wouldn't trust the police these days, there are individual policemen who are trying to do a good job, and this one wasn't happy about Jack Straw telling the nation that officers prefer to stay in the warm.
Apparently, he said, if he is called to a playground fight - a ridiculous thing for the police to have to deal with in the first place, but they do - and neither child will say who started it, then both children must be treated as both attacker and victim and all the relevant forms filled in. In such a case, the number of forms involved is... fifty. For a playground fight that should not have involved police at all.
No wonder we see so few on the street. It might also explain why so many are reluctant to attend real crimes - if they are faced with fifty forms for a playground fight, what are they facing if they attend a fight between two gangs?
The forms have to go. Lunacy such as calling the police to playground fights has to stop. Otherwise we can expect more zero-morale officers who won't turn out because every time they do, there's a mountain of paperwork to fill in.
I still wouldn't call the police for a burglary, especially if I'd already defended myself. I'd finish the bugger off. If he escapes alive he'll have me arrested.
Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, as another of those forgotten sayings goes.