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Poirot is missing…

Date: 18th March 2023

This week’s second Donald’s blog.

Poirot is missing…

“The Leith Police dismisseth us, the Leith Police dismisseth us, the Leith Police dismisseth us, the Leith Police dismisseth us, the Leith Police dismisseth us.”

A resonant sound emanating from Inspector Johnson’s office is floating across the Leith Police Force’s station on the Leith Walk… Nobody is raising an eyebrow nor commenting upon the obvious irony involved in Inspector Johnson’s perorations. They all know… he is rehearsing for his next comic opera – Trial by Jury at the Leith Theatre, principal patron, Irvine Welsh, not universally known for his love of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Inspector Johnson is, however, a firm devotee.

Picture the scene…

Lawlessness abounds as there is a crime spree on the streets of Leith. Local newspapers make fun of the cops searching through bins and finding hee haw. Keystone Cop portraits of the local bobbies are painted in the local rags., memes online are far more vicious but the simple Bobbie on the beat continues in the vein of McLevy whilst the CID are raging like a Rebus on steroids.

To date there has been no Leith Banksy able to capture it all in graffiti, but… give it time …

Time is what this lot have eaten up as the lawlessness happened days and weeks ago.

It began with a spree of Turkish Delight bars taken from a string of local shops. Nothing surprising in that, as the Turkish Delight is a particular favourite of the Chief Constable, but this was a discerning choice not usually associated with the underclass in Leith.

At first, Inspector Johnson began the search for the culprits by increasing the patrols around the local chip vans parked outside the various Academies and High Schools locally. Illicit Freddo trade was instantly put on hold as the local gangsters took note and had to move to a delivery mechanism with Deliveroo drivers and Just Eat cyclists put on notice that their legs were in danger if they did not comply.

It was a serious business that was only going to escalate and escalate it did.

Next came the local Lidl getting raided by a gang. CCTV was unhelpful with Inspector Johnson suggesting that all of them looked like his mother in a coat; an over enthusiastic detective had to be reprimanded when he brought her in for questioning.

What was clear was this was organised, this was a serious threat to public safety and this was the biggest challenge in Inspector Johnson’s fledgling career. He was warned that if he could not stop this obvious crime wave, his coat was going to be nailed onto a shaky peg. The shaky peg was already in the foyer awaiting his jaiket.

And then came the sacrosanct weekend of skull thuggery. Inspector Johnson was particularly proud of the phrase as he had invented it.

Somebody had thrown something at somebody.

And they had been seen.

It was a brilliant break in the case and they finally had a lead that did not depend upon grainy footage from an our of date camera outside in the rain and snow that captured hee haw.

They could now go and apprehend the mastermind.

And that very morning a dawn raid had seen three black marias, thirty five off duty police constables and a sizeable crowd watch them raid a home in Leith and bring back into custody the very human responsible for the biggest crime wave of previous weekends.

Inspector Johnson was getting ready to interrogate him. Inspector Johnson was not in the mood to be trifled with – having told the constable off for telling him that was quite funny because they had stolen fifteen trifles at their raid in Lidl – and Inspector Johnson was tonally in the sweet spot to begin his questioning of the prime suspect – his chords were warmed up.

The time was now, and Inspector Johnson was ready…

Inspector Johnson leaves through the door of his office. He is joined by his loyal sidekick, Sergeant McGeady, as Constable Marshall falls into line behind. Their conversation is heavy with expectation and mixed with short clipped phrases like code in a Bletchley Park Farce.

Sergeant McGeady, in a thick Scottish accent, bellying his Irish roots speaks to Inspector Johnson throughout the journey to the interrogation room. It is Inspector Johnson which cuts him off throughout whilst Constable Marshall acts as the gatekeeper to the pair, stopping anyone from interrupting them by scoring the equivalent of an own goal for their career as this interrogation could cement the whole of the station’s legacy.

“Sir, what we found…”

“I read the reports and needn’t have bothered – I knew what you would find…”

“Well, I think you should be aware…”

“I have been born ready for this, McGeady, born ready…”

“But the fact is we had to wait for…”

“I am well aware of what you needed to wait for. All that has done is made my anger that bit sharper so whatever happens in here they shall not wrong foot me…”

And with that final exchange they are now at the interrogation room door, Inspector Johnson has his hand rested upon the handle, his eye keenly fixed on McGeady, and both McGeady and Marshall recognising that any further warning will be futile.

Inspector Johnson is as ready as he will ever be – but he never read the reports, he has no idea why there was a delay, and he is completely unprepared for when he enters the room. He has hee haw in his locker room for this…

Enter the room he does.

His technique, as he likes to call it, is to enter and swoop into his chair, not giving the suspect any eye contact. His head is buried in paperwork as he stretches to begin the tape which has been set up by a constable before he gets there. He begins the “for the benefit of the tape” malarkey, counts in his head to five and then draws his head up slowly to meet the eyes of the suspect head on.

It is his stare; he tells everyone that makes them crumble.

This time as he lifts his head, he has to adjust about 6 or 7 inches as the suspect in front of him is not quite the same height as him. In fact, he is not quite the same anything of him. The eyes that stare

back are quizzical more than anything else. In front of the suspect is a can of juice, packet of salt and vinegar and… a Turkish Delight…

At 13 years of age, this young recalcitrant looks more bemused than frightened. He offers Inspector a crisp…

 

Whilst the author, asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that any such lawlessness is a feature of Leith life, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a piece of fiction.

The fact is that during the week, and following the Rangers /Hibs match lawlessness including the throwing onto the pitch of flares, two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been charged. Whilst in no way condoning any violence or any criminal behaviour, with the level of scrutiny and CCTV available, it would appear that rather than catching the adults whose behaviour may have emboldened such young men, they could carry the can for such nonsense, if you pardon the irony…


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