David Coveney

Rise of the Bland Statement

I was reading a BBC News article about a teenager who was stabbed and nearly killed. Horrific enough in its own right, but it was the following comment by the Metropolitan Police that annoyed me:

“We take any crime reported to us seriously and we will investigate everything fully.”

Here was a young man, nearly killed, and the case was dropped far too readily by the police. The statement says nothing. They didn’t investigate everything fully at all.

It’s rather like me, when I get a parking ticket (which I appear to have a lot of right now), saying that “I check local parking regulations and react accordingly in full.” and saying nothing more. It’s putting up a smokescreen against the reality that by and large I have to accept responsibility when things go wrong. Organisations have to do this too. By issuing these sorts of bland statements they do nothing but reduce respect for themselves. It’s sad, dangerous and won’t help to put an end to the dangerous crimes that happen every day.

Although by and large violent crime has dropped since I was a teenager, there are appear to be rises in certain areas and amongst the teenage age groups. It’s still important these crimes are taken seriously.

Interestingly, when I reported the theft of a Satnav system from someone’s van (and had a number plate for the perpetrator) it was taken very seriously and statements were taken quite promptly. So I suspect quality of response varies markedly from area to area. It’d be nice if organisations that have made mistakes stop giving bland responses like the one above, however. It would just annoy me a little… less.