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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

All UK Crime Solved!

The British Police lead the world in catching criminals – and that’s official! British Government statistics, published this week, show that there are no outstanding unsolved crimes in the UK. This contrasts dramatically with the picture just twelve months ago when there had been no successful convictions in UK courts for nearly two years.

This remarkable achievement is credited to Commander Ernest Booker who was controversially appointed to head of the British Police last year from his previous role as a trainee junior traffic officer. Commander Booker had been undertaking a remedial course in basic numeracy when he had experienced his brilliant inspiration. He already knew that UK crime statistics could only be improved by a seemingly impossible increase in the number of successful convictions. His work as a traffic officer, however, led him to realise that this was possible in relation to one category of offences – parking violations.

He reasoned that if just one crime was committed in a period, for example a murder, with no subsequent conviction, then the statistics would show one hundred percent of crimes as being unsolved. If nine hundred and ninety-nine parking violators were apprehended in the same period, however, the murderer at large would have simply amended the unsolved crime statistics to one in a thousand, or zero point zero-zero-one percent. Even the activities of a prolific serial killer would still represent just a small fraction of one percent of total crime. With large enough numbers of convicted parking violators, the percentage of unsolved crimes could be made statistically insignificant and be considered as zero.

Immediately following his appointment, Commander Booker had reassigned all police officers from non-essential bodies such as murder squads, rape investigation teams and anti-terrorist units, to undertake parking violation enforcement. He also applied discretionary police powers to introduce the offence of ‘stopping or parking a vehicle anywhere, at any time’.

Tickets were issued to stationary vehicles in their hundreds of thousands. Halting at traffic lights, stopping for fuel at petrol stations or parking in ones own garage were considered as no defence. Police cars would tail normally law-abiding motorists for miles on suspicion of ‘intent to stop’ and serve ticket after ticket for each failure to maintain forward momentum. Corporate owners of vehicles on automotive production lines were similarly deemed culpable for any product that was in excess of fifty percent complete and stationary.

As the number of convictions grew to millions, daily, even the reassignment of all government employees to deal with the ensuing documentary administration began to prove inadequate. Thence came Commander Booker’s final stroke of mathematical genius. He argued that as all vehicle owners were, on average, fined for parking violations two hundred times in each day, this average number of offences could simply be assumed, and the resultant fines added to vehicle road tax. Thus the statistics for solved crimes would be maintained without the need to directly enforce the law on the streets. This also avoided the unnecessary expense and logistical complications of maintaining a police force.

Anecdotally there has been some public concern about a perceived dramatic increase in murder, rape, armed robbery and terrorist offences - also gridlock caused in most towns by indiscriminate parking. Britain can be proud, however, that, statistically speaking, crime is no longer a problem.