Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Late last week those in the Brigg area who saw a large number of police congregating in one spot must have wondered what had happened. Was it a major incident? Was it a training exercise?
Actually, it was neither. Police were at the Ancholme Leisure Centre car park, just off the A18 in Scawby Brook, while school buses were being given safety inspections. Probably routine.
A helpful officer later posted brief details on a social media network and even included a picture.
Having now entered our milestone 40th year in local journalism, Brigg Blog still hankers back to the good old days when we did not have to rely on spotting Twitter messages.
At 9.30am every morning a reporter from the Lincolnshire Times, often accompanied by someone from the Brigg Star, would call in at the town's police station and receive a wide range of helpful police-related information. Not only the crimes reported during the previous day but a court sheet showing who was due to appear before the town's magistrates on Wednesdays and Fridays, when we still had a functioning court in Wrawby Street. 
If something cropped up that the desk sergeant didn't know about he'd see if the chief inspector or one of the inspectors could answer our questions - face to face.
These morning briefings were scrapped many years ago. Clearly not an efficient use of police resources. Thirty-plus years ago the press (and therefore the public) got to know details of the vast majority of crimes, however minor. Today, how many of the 40 Brigg crimes a month reported to the police do we get to hear about? The answer is: very few. 
Yet a bit of publicity can often help, particularly in getting witnesses to come forward. It can also alert people to problems in their areas of town, such as burglaries. 
We are never going to wind the clock back and are resigned to the fact that when it comes to minor incidents and low-level crime we'll have to try even harder to watch what's posted on Twitter and other branches of the 21st century social media network.
"Evening all. "Yes, you've guessed it, we belong very much to the Dixon of Dock Green era!