UK police: We can’t solve the crime, but have some flowers!
In a surprising move for UK police, forces across the country are reportedly issuing a 'mea culpa' for their failure to solve crimes by sending bunches of flowers to criminals’ targets.
Victims of crimes are regularly given bouquets of flowers by Metropolitan and West Mercia police forces, The Sunday Telegraph says. In the London borough of Barnet, the Met has sent out some 300 bouquets since last November.
Barnet resident Sarah Miller said she received the flowers, along with a card from police apologizing that it seemed unlikely that her crime would be solved. Her house had been robbed of valuable items, including two laptops and a camera.
“Sorry you have been a victim of crime, unfortunately in this case there is insufficient evidence to proceed and investigation into your crime will now be closed,” the card allegedly read. The following day, a bunch of flowers was delivered.
A Met spokesperson said that giving someone flowers “helps soften the blow and shows we are there to support them.” The bunches are either donated by wholesale firms or paid for using a police community fund, gathered from proceeds from unclaimed property sales, voluntary contributions from officers and staff and donations from the general public.
“I'd rather they'd have sent a community officer to comfort me after it happened rather than being fobbed off with flowers,” Miller told the Telegraph.
Miller had her own suggestions on how the local police force could make a better use of their time: “The thought that went into that could have gone into solving the burglary, like putting pictures of the things that were stolen in the local paper in an effort to recover them.”
Last year, only 436 of the 3,405 residential burglaries in Barnet were solved – a 12.8 percent success rate.