Lee Bristow did what many people would no longer do when they see a mugging in progress:
“I was waiting for the 417 bus on Central Hill when the 432 came along and stopped and there was a struggle on the bus.
“A woman was screaming for help because a man was trying to pull her bag off her as he was getting off.
“I stepped onto the bus and pushed him and that’s when he let go of it and ran off.”
Hurrah! Three cheers for Mr Bristow, right?
Lee, unemployed due to his learning difficulties and suffering from diabetes (Ed: is it just me, or is that totally irrelevant to the story?), added: “Two of my friends saw that I was wanted in the paper for robbery. I was just as shocked as they were. I was trying to stop someone.
“My friends just laughed because they know I’d never do that to anyone.”
So, how had this occurred?
A police spokesman said it was “unfortunate” CCTV only caught half the incident, which happened in Upper Norwood on September 6.
Ahhh, our old friend CCTV! So great at stopping inci…err, well, at ensuring that – after the fact – the right person is cau…
The “most wanted Christmas list” pictured Lee stepping onto the bus, describing him as a “suspect” in the September 6 incident.
Oh, I give up! As will anyone reading this, I suspect:
After seeing his face in the Croydon Advertiser, Lee turned himself in at Streatham Police Station days before Christmas where he was arrested, held for five hours and DNA tested, before being released upon proving his innocence.
Way to grow that database, folks! One poor bloody Good Samaritan at a time!
And note that there seems to have been no actual effort by the police here beyond collecting the CCTV and doling out the pictures to the newspaper – unless the unfortunate Lee’s doppelgänger was the robber, did plod not think to take witness statements from the bus driver, the woman being robbed, other passengers before releasing the CCTV pictures?
If not, how was Lee able to ‘prove his innocence’..?
It’s often stated at a certain police blog that ‘the public get the policing they deserve’. What did we do to deserve slapdash, lazy, incompetent and most of all, unrepentant, policing?