I don't like to shock you, gentle readers. But the police have been telling porkies.
Not those old favourites:
"He fell down the cell steps, Your Honour", or
"The defendant said: 'It's a fair cop, guv. You got me bang to rights'."
No, I refer to their current pay dispute and the untruths they have been promulgating about their conditions of employment.
They are claiming to be in a unique position because:
a) they cannot take a second job without the permission of their employers.
Leaving aside why they would want or need a second job when they can clock up all those hours of lucrative overtime, this condition also applies to local government officers. It probably applies to many other occupations.
b) they can be disciplined or fired for off-duty offences or indiscretions.
See above. The same applies in local government. I cite this because I once worked in local government. My contract said I must not do anything in my private life that might bring the local authority into disrepute. (It didn't specify what kind of indisretion that might be, fortunately. So I didn't worry too much when, at a lock-in at my local, I was persuaded to don lederhosen and sing 'Tomorrow Belongs To Me').
Conversely, the police, unlike other employees, sometimes get away with murder in their actual employment. Literally. As in shooting dead an innocent man on the London Underground.
Staying with crime, and linking seamlessly to my next snippet, last night saw the launch of the revamped Crimewatch (BBC1), now presented by Kirsty Young and the small but perfectly formed Matthew Amroliwala, moonlighting from his newsreading job on News 24. Crazy name, crazy guy.
The programme also has a new set which enables Kirsty Young to do a lot of walking. This is the new, walking, stalking, Crimewatch.
Changing fashions in television design and production leave the viewer bemused. This new set has lots of chunky pillars that regularly obscure the peripatetic presenter.
A few years ago (or maybe only last month), the cry would have gone up: "Get rid of those fucking pillars! They're blocking the shot."
But last night our screens were regularly filled by a large blue pillar as Kirsty continued in audio only. Now you see her, now you don't. A bit like the rapist they featured who skulked behind trees and bushes.
It's proof again that people who work in the 'creative' industries live in some strange parallel universe of their own.
Presumably, at the production meeting, someone said:
"And here's the really good bit. Kirsty is going to follow the camera, weaving in and out these large pillars and perspex screens. And the screens have crime details scrawled on them with marker pens, like those whiteboards the DCI uses on The Bill."
"I'm loving it!"