The Criminal Mind

I attended the ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum event last week, pictures and information of which can be found here. It was very interesting and although the session did not dwell on it, there was reference to the Victorian idea of a criminal mind, that criminals are a distinctive subset of society; that somewhere they carry the mark of Cain.

I discovered tonight that I definitely do not have a criminal mind. I received a call from a PC Reid asking me to come along to a police station to discuss a complaint made against me. Talk about surreal – I couldn’t even understand what he was saying. Yesterday I inadvertently drove across a zebra crossing whilst pedestrians were crossing. This is true and I realised my mistake, raised my hand and apologised to the chap who raised both fingers and screamed ‘Fuck You’. It was at this point that I dreamed of clemency for swerving across the road (because I was nowhere near them) and running the fucker down to rid the world of one more angry man with a beard. Well beware. Angry men with beards apparently carry notebooks to take down details of the all the wrong they find in world to report to the police. Who has that sort of time? I appreciate he got a fright – well actually I don’t! I was on the other side of a wide road and the second I realised my mistake I apologised to him – not great, but a clear case of whoops.

I had to drive to an extremely shit part of town, en route to Trainspotting world and enter the police station where I was taken into an interview room. I absolutely fell apart and was shaking so badly I lost 3lb. I was ready to admit to the Great Train Robbery, the Bible John murders and lipstick I once wasn’t charged for at Boots. The female officer with PC Reid left to ‘help out in custody for a minute’ – I am not sure if she went to subdue someone, and PC Reid explained that I would have to a) be cautioned and b) be fined £60 and receive 3 points on my license. I was still really unnerved at being in a police station in an interview room but somewhere inside I was thinking ‘surely not’ and cursing the bearded goody two shoes who obviously has never made a mistake in his life.

I would love to recount the exact wording of my caution, but it was so horrible I was completely focused on not crying. When female PC came back in – I am not sure if she was PC Reid’s supervisor, but she asked him what he had said and done in her absence and then told him to caution me again in her presence. I could not believe it and when he turned to me and officially cautioned me again I started crying. I know what a wuss! I was in the wrong, I had made a mistake and I appreciate the danger of making a mistake on the road – but an interview room, two cautions, £60 and 3 points on my licence?! It just felt excessive to me.

I am a cautionary tale so watch out for bearded chaps crossing large roads who are nowhere near you when you are travelling at 10 miles an hour. Also if I am on your list of 100 friends and family to try and recruit to your crime syndicate…

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