Over lunch yesterday, a friend of mine told me a story so bizarre that I have to share it with you. But for reasons that will become obvious, I have to keep it all anonymous. My friend’s sister lives in the north of England, and for her birthday was taken out for dinner to one of a chain of restaurants – we don’t have this chain down south, but apparently it’s well-known up there. As she walked in through the door, she slipped on a puddle on the floor and basically did the splits, pulling something very painful in her groin, passing out, and hitting her head on a table as she went down, just for good measure. Once out of hospital, she contacted the restaurant to ask for compensation, as she had to take time off her (self-employed) job and so was out of pocket. There was no reply, so she went to the police, taking along two friends who had witnessed the splits and could give statements about the wet floor and so on. But the police officer who interviewed her advised her to let it drop because (I’m getting there) the restaurant is infamous as a front for money laundering (he actually said the words “front for money laundering”), and the people running it are nasty. In short, don’t rock the boat.
So what to make of this? My friend’s sister did let it drop – if your police were too scared to get involved, and you lived locally, you’d probably do the same. But what can be going on? Best case scenario, it could be a sting operation, and the police don’t want their investigations to be disrupted or their targets spooked by civil actions for negligence and injury. Or it could be that the police are genuinely scared. Or it could be that the police are in cahoots with the criminals. I know we have a few police readers of this blog, so what would be your take on this?
I’m obviously a bit concerned by it, as I do know the name of the town and the restaurant and indeed the police force – but it’s coming to me third-hand, so I’m SAR-uncertain. (And that’s quite apart from the harrumphing outrage I feel at the laundering, and the slightly mollifying feeling of being right – I know that some people don’t quite believe me when I warn them about criminal money and cash-intensive businesses.) Readers, over to you for comment and advice.