Fiona Duff: Law of the jungle seems to apply

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Every so often it feels as though decent, income tax-paying people are those least protected by the law and police. A friend of mine has a small studio flat which he rents out to people coming for a short break to Edinburgh.

A chap moved in for a few days just before Christmas. Earlier this week, almost two months later, he was forcibly removed by bailiffs.

In the intervening time his wife, a dog and a drug-taking friend (and I ain’t talking about a couple of ibruprofen) joined him in the flat. The police weren’t able to help as it is a “civil” matter, so he had to enlist the help of a lawyer. Kerching.

A couple of court appearances (or non appearances in the squatter’s case) and endless lies later there is a four-figure bill to be paid. You may well see the flat on the market soon purely to pay the legal fees.

On the same day that this eviction took place my husband appeared home from work in a right tizz. On the motorway a van had come out of a slip road and scraped his car. Quite how they didn’t both end up in some gruesome crash is a question I didn’t ask.

However, my other half (or, truth be told, my other third, what with him being slim and fit and me being a fat slob) had managed to get the licence number so duly phoned the non emergency line.

Having held for ten minutes, he informed the copper at the other end of what happened.

They couldn’t deal with this on the phone, he was told – an appearance at the local nick was what was required. And so that’s what he did, because when he’s got a grudge he’s like a dog with a bone. But frankly, what a palaver.

I reckon that the law isn’t an ass; it’s a dinosaur.