Phone hacking may not be flavour of the month presently, but without such technology we might never have been able to secure the following exchange between Northamptonshire's Chief Constable and his Assistant Chief Constable -
CC: "This is devastating news about Kettering Town being demoted another division!"
ACC: "Quite right sir. It deprives the football supporting Northamptonshire public of local derbies involving three of our senior sides."
CC: "B*llocks to that! We were going to make a killing by policing each of those games to within an inch of their miserable lives!
CC: "For the Kettering / Corby games we had riot vans, horses, tazers, and horses with tazers lined up. I had the county helicopter on stand by. I'd even put in a request for water cannons! I was going to be the first Chief Constable on the mainland to approve the deployment of rubber bullets!
We could have charged those bloody football clubs tens of thousands of pounds! But, no, Kettering had to get themselves f*cking relegated into the Southern League! THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE!!! We'll be lucky to be able to charge for a police dog and a bloody PCSO for Kettering's games angainst teams like Bideford and St Neots!
ACC: "Surely we don't exist to extort money out of football clubs? As a Police Service shouldn't we concentrate on protecting the public and solving crimes?
CC: (Big pause) "You've not been here long have you?
ACC (Another big pause) "No, not tremendously long. I transferred here last year from another force"
CC: "Didn't think so. Let me spell a few home truths out to you. Northamptonshire isn't a particularly difficult county to police. There's no air or sea ports. No inner city crime. No history of wanton violence or civil unrest. The last terrorist action we were involved in was the Gunpowder Plot! If it wasn't for Corby at throwing out time and a few pikey's nicking lead of church roofs, we'd all be on the dole!
ACC: "Yes, but -"
CC: "But nothing. I'm talking and you're listening. Alright? Good. As we are a pretty nothing county with bugger all going on we don't get the biggest slice of the national police budget cake. In fact we don't get a slice at all. We get a few crumbs if we're lucky. Barely enough to keep us all in espresso machines and crisp blue uniforms.
One day there was a bit of an incident in Kettering town centre whilst they the football team were playing a game over a mile away. Now, the thugs involved weren't going to the game, or supported either team at the game, but we hit upon the idea of blaming Kettering Town Football Club for the incident and charging them a fortune every time they hosted a game when there might be public order issues.
Since then we've been in clover! Big FA Cup games! Local derbies! Alfreton! We milked this cash cow for all it was worth and there wasn't a single thing they could do to stop us! In the time it took to say Police Intelligence we could name our own price!"
ACC: "Kettering don't average many more than a thousand supporters for home games. Just how much trouble can there be?"
CC: "NONE! That's the beauty of it! We rake in the cash and there's no threat whatsoever!"
ACC: "I see. But should we be seen to be picking on one club. I mean, I'm sure we police all the sporting teams equally? How much do we charge The Saints and their tens of thousands of hard-drinking supporters?
CC: "WHAT! We don't charge The Saints! I've got a season ticket there! My nephew plays for the Under 13's. Police the Saints? I've never heard such an idea! They are the only reason to live in this bloody county!"
ACC "So we just clobber the Poppies then?
CC: "Absolutely - you're starting to get it!"
ACC: "Actually, they are due to play AP Leamington next season, who, according to Wikipedia, they used to play against in the 1970's. There could be some old scores to settle? It could lead to trouble?
CC: "Excellent. You'll go far with that attitude. I won't cancel that water cannon just yet........"