Two types of real life film have received much attention on the Internet recently. The first showed criminals on mopeds swerving towards the footpath and snatching bags or mobile phones from unsuspecting citizens, then accelerating away at speed.
The second depicted police cars pursuing mopeds, nudging them from behind and knocking the drivers off their machines — “tactical contact”, they call it.
Some opposition MPs have decried the new practice as dangerous, but indications are that the wider population is in favour. The Prime Minister Theresa May is one of them.
“These people on mopeds are acting unlawfully and committing crimes,” she said. “I think it is absolutely right that we see a robust police response to that.”
It seems the moped thieves believed that police would end their pursuit if they drove at high speed or removed their helmets.
However, footage released by the police showed examples of a police car moving up to a fast-fleeing moped, hitting it with its front bumper and sending the driver and his machine sprawling.
The Metropolitan Police said no maximum speed was imposed in the pursuit of criminals on mopeds.
Mrs May said, “Moped crime has been an issue of concern for some time now, as it has been growing in certain areas, in particular London.”
One recent victim was the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, whose phone was grabbed in a moped mugging. He said, “Risk-assessed tactical contact is exactly what we need.”
Scotland Yard officers patrolling central London said some criminals were stealing up to 30 phones in an hour. However, since the “tactical contact” technique came into force, such crimes had dropped by 36 percent.
Jase Handyman’s father died back in May 2014 and the little boy missed him badly. Last month, Jase, by now aged seven, sent a letter to his dad “in heaven” and received a reply saying it had been safely delivered.
When Royal Mail employee Sean Milligan spotted Jase’s envelope requesting to be sent to heaven, he replied, “We succeeded in the delivery of your letter to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge, avoiding stars and all other galactic objects en route to heaven.”
A Facebook post with Royal Mail’s response was shared more than 200,000 times.
Jase’s mother, Teri, from West Lothian, Scotland, said, “I cannot state how emotional he is, knowing his dad got his card. He keeps saying, ‘My dad really got my letter, mum.’ Royal Mail, you restored my faith in humanity.”
Some children are starting school overweight, under-exercised and not knowing how to use the toilet, according to England’s chief inspector for schools, Amanda Spielman. She says this is the fault of their parents who should not expect teachers to do their job.
In her annual report, Ms Spielman says that by the time they start primary school, almost a quarter of children in England are overweight or obese. This rises to a third by the time they move onto secondary school.
“Schools can and should teach children about the importance of healthy eating and exercise,” the report says. “But beyond that, schools cannot take over the role of parents.
As for children arriving in the reception class unable to use the toilet, “this is difficult for teachers, disruptive for other children and has a terrible social impact on the children affected.”
The Parole Board, which decides on the release of the most serious offenders in England and Wales, has 240 members, but not one of them is black.
The new chairwoman of the Board, Carolyn Corby, said this had arisen from an “unconscious bias” and was a “significant concern”.
There are 22,000 ethnic minority inmates in prison, more than 10,000 of them black. However, only 13 Parole Board members are from an ethnic minority, none of whom is black.
Mrs Corby said she was determined to make the Board more representative of the population and the prisoners whose cases it dealt with. A new recruitment drive will be launched next year.
A duck walks into a bar and says, “Give me a packet of peanuts.” The bar tender says, “Sorry, we don’t have any peanuts,” and the duck leaves.
Next day, the duck returns and says, “I’ll take a packet of peanuts.” The barman frowns and says again, “Look, we don’t have peanuts in this bar.”
The day after that, the duck comes back in and says, “Let me have a packet of peanuts.” Enraged, the bar tender says, “Look, if you ask me again for a packet of peanuts, I’ll nail your beak to the floor.”
For the fourth consecutive day, the duck enters the bar. “Do you have any nails?” he asks. Cautiously, the bar tender says, “No, we don’t have nails.”
“OK, then,” said the duck, “Give me a packet of peanuts.”