To what do I refer?
South Yorkshire Police have issued warning letters that action may be taken against drivers if they leave anything visible in their vehicles. The force has set up a “safer neighbourhood team” that will go around looking into vehicles in the crime hotspots of Doncaster. If this crack unit of crime fighters should spot anything in open site on display in the car, such as a coat, a CD or a chocolate bar they are going to do the following.
1. Make a note of your car, by recording the number plate
2. Use the DVLA’s MOT database to find out yours and your insurers details –
i. Presumably, they will check that you have an MOT and insurance and if not, expect some action.
3. They will then contact your insurer, to inform them that you have left items on view, which the Express concludes will lead to premiums skyrocketing and the invalidation of some people’s premiums.
What totalitarian tactics! What on earth would possess the police to set their resources towards a scheme of police survailance of innocent people.
Words very nearly fail me…. or at least they nearly did. Interestingly, there is a twist.
Doncaster has a Mayor, in fact a recently elected Mayor. His name is Peter Davies and he is an English Democrat, and he has sent shockwaves through the local community (and some national news outlets) when he was elected he immediately cut the Mayors salary from £73,000 to £30,000 and closed the Council’s own newspaper for peddling propaganda courtesy of the taxpayer. He pressed on and is seeking to cut the number of councillors from 63 to 21 in an effort to save a further £800,000. He has axed many of the Mayor’s other perks, including the chauffeur.
He has withdrawn Doncaster from the Local Government Association and the Local Government Information unit saving a further £200,000 and then made the following, almost legendary comment:
"Doncaster is in for some serious untwinning. We are twinned with probably nine other cities around the world and they are just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense".
With the savings, the Mayor wishes to pass on savings to the taxpayer, and improve local children’s services.
Like most of you, I am not overly familiar with the English Democrats, but, do the new Mayor’s actions indicate to you that he would be the architect of the plan to target and hurt law abiding car owners? No, this scheme has the hall marks of an entirely different brand of politics.
I think it is clear that think the political drama in Doncaster that has unfurled in recent months has made the Mayor immediately unpopular with the established political classes locally and a few games are being played in retaliation; it is my guess this initiative did not come from the Mayor, but is politically aimed at him. It will be interesting to see how this plays out – though I am glad I am not a car owning resident of Doncaster today. As usual it is the law abiding person on the street and in their homes and cars that are the cheif vicims of others pursing political agenda's.