Promises Promises

Promises Promises

If you have loads of cash, the time and inclination here is an experiment you could conduct in the name of criminal psychology.

You will need to be in two places at once for this or have an assistant.

You will be in Scilly. Your assistant will by contrast be in London.

You will each have a limitless supply of brand new smart phones, ipads, cameras or wads of cash.

The method will be that every day for a year and at the same time you are to leave one piece of your stock of valuable items in a prominent place like a window sill, rear seat of a car, on a bench or in your coat pocket on a coat hook in a pub. You must walk away from it and in an attempt to recover it a day later go to the Police Station or ask in nearby shops. After a full year of this you are to compare results with each other as to how much property you managed to recover.

I have never done this experiment obviously, but I believe I could be fairly accurate in predicting the result.

I seriously doubt that your assistant in London will recover any items. If they are lucky they may get a camera back or at a push a mobile phone but the remainder of the 363 items will be lost to them forever. They will be in someone else’s pocket. I suspect there will be no seasonal bias. There is no surprise there.

Meanwhile you, based in Scilly, may get back a higher percentage of your items but you will not them all back despite the certainty that they will all have been found. The finders of many items will keep them. This may show a seasonal bias with more being recovered by you in the slower months of winter.

Is there a single person reading this who would be shocked at this prediction? The implication being that temptation will sometimes prevail here, all-be-it less than London.

Stuff does get stolen on Scilly. Not at a rate like many places on the Mainland but stuff does get taken. In the last month alone individuals have lost several large amounts of cash, a watch and a wallet to thieves and this is not confined to St Mary’s. As a community we cannot vouch for the integrity of every person on these islands. There will be thieves amongst us and I do urge you all to take this seriously. Thieves take opportunities. They will, and have entered our homes. They will and do remove things from handbags. They will retain genuinely lost items and not hand them in. These opportunities abound here. Our homes are left unlocked and frequently open. Our cars are left with valuables on display and keys in ignitions. Bikes are left unlocked and tenders have covetable outboards attached. This is a jaw dropping temptation to some people. Thefts will continue while simple precautions are not taken. Store valuables in secure places. Don’t leave valuables unattended. Don’t assume your bike/outboard/punt will be where you left it if you don’t lock it. Mark your property.

If you do suffer a theft you must contact us, the police, as soon as possible. Dial 101 or 999 depending on the circumstances. There may not be a forensic trail for us to follow but we can’t police what we don’t know has happened. We will record the incident & look to identify clues that may lead us to the criminal. We will keep you informed of our progress and tell you when we have exhausted any leads. That’s my promise to you.

If you are a current thief reading this then I’ll remind you that you are operating in a place that will not offer you sanctuary and we are hostile to your habits. Your behaviour stands out and you are at greater risk of being caught here for that fact. If charged you will be put before a court on St Mary’s, which if you are from the Mainland will mean you will have to fund your own return travel to Scilly to attend court. If you are from the islands you risk isolating yourself from the community, opportunity and employment. You have more to loose here than you can ever take. That’s my promise to you.

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About scillysergeant

I'm the longest serving police officer on the Isles of Scilly for a generation currently the Police Sergeant for the Archipelago
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