Mark Andrews on Saturday: Policing by degree and why some bank holidays aren't all they're cracked up to be

Read the latest musings from Mark Andrews.

We're The Sweeney son, and we've got a BA in performing arts
We're The Sweeney son, and we've got a BA in performing arts

The Government is to announce a new anti-obesity scheme, which according to adviser Sir Keith Mills, will "deliver a new and exciting way of supporting people to healthier habits.”

These people are easily excited, aren't they?

Anyhow, it looks like the new and exciting scheme will entail handing out vouchers so overweight people can buy food.

Now, I don't want to sound, well old and unexciting, but isn't there an obvious flaw in that logic?

One thing we can probably all agree on is that Kalvin Phillips has played a blinder in the Euros. And if England triumph tomorrow, the triumph will be in no small part down to his skill and effort.

But what he has got on his head?

His fluffy bun looks more like the sort of thing you would see Keira Knightley sporting on the red carpet than an appropriate Barnet for a Leeds United midfielder.

Who knows what Norman Hunter would have made of it.

You call the police after discovering two intruders in your house.

Would you (a) like two big burly blokes round, like yesterday, to nick the wrong 'uns while they are still in the vicinity? Or (b) would you be more concerned about academic background of the officers, and insist they have a detailed knowledge of Spanish literature?

I only ask, because the College of Policing proposes that in future the job should only be open to university graduates, much to the chagrin of the many ex-forces personnel who used to form the backbone of the thin blue line.

What possible use is a degree in performing arts when it comes to breaking up fights at closing time? Will a detailed knowledge of medieval history really help catch the blighters who half-inched your car?

It would make for an interesting episode of The Sweeney, with Jack Regan taking time off chasing blaggers for a part-time course in film studies. I don't suppose Dixon of Dock Green would be too enamoured either.

Even Inspector Morse would have to leave the force. He failed his degree at Oxford.

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, I saw two young men brazenly covering a bridge over a canal with graffiti. It was broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon, and they stood there, bold as brass, with about a dozen rattle cans on the floor and a ghetto blaster providing a bit of music while they worked.

Having taking photographs from a sensible distance, I tried reporting the matter to police. And after 20 minutes on hold, my phone died. Presumably they were trying to find a fine-art graduate.

A new survey suggests British workers get a raw deal when it comes to the number of paid public holidays each year.

We get just eight bank holidays, compared to 32 in the three countries which offer the most time off.

But given that those three countries are El Salvador, Nicaragua and Burma (Myanmar if you work for the BBC), there is an argument that lots of bank holidays are not the be-all-and-end-all. Particularly if the days in question involve standing in the rain during a parade to honour the government's achievements.

Burundi also fares much better than the UK, with 14 days off a year. Only problem is, they earn 40p a day.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News