Fiona Duff: Quicker to write than phone police

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Have you lost any possessions recently? I can tell you that trying to get around the 101 police service is enough to make you lose the will to live. Now I like the police, they do a grand job most of the time (apart from some bad apples, but they ain’t spoilt the whole barrel) and Lord knows what state we’d be in if they weren’t around.

However, whenever some bright spark thinks that centralising a public service is a good idea you just know that it will be a dark day. Police Scotland is the corporate name. If you aren’t calling about an emergency you go to a central switchboard where they will pass you on to the relevant office. Except they don’t. I was phoning about a camera which I think I lost in Lauder. My first attempt to find out if anyone had handed it in resulted in me being asked by a computer for my code, and not being a member of the police force I was unable to fulfil this request. The second attempt saw me talking to someone at the Leith police, who didn’t dismisseth me but instead explained that I needed to speak to the Hawick station, pictured, as all Borders lost property goes there. And then they transferred me to Fettes station, who gave me the wrong number for Hawick and transferred me to another computer.

I really don’t want to have to drive to Hawick, but not sure if there is any other way of contacting them. I suppose I could write a letter, although I always thought the thing about phones and computers is that writing letters and waiting around for a reply would be in the past. Isn’t it funny how it is so often quite the opposite? The scars on my brow from banging my head off a brick wall aren’t too pretty either.

The moral of the story is, I suppose, that if it isn’t an emergency don’t bother and if you go out for a walk don’t put your camera on the grass, then walk off forgetting to pick it up.