It came as no surprise to my friends when I told them I had been mugged. The general reaction was, “you can take the girl out of Scotland…” followed by tutting and knowing looks. How being a victim of street crime renders me more provincial than them I cannot be sure, one can only assume that muggers run in terror at the sight of a true londoner and salivate at the sight of a rural imposter.
It happened on a sunny day in Fulham. I was talking to my mum about the trappings of the PR internship from hell when I felt fingernails on the side of my face, I looked to my right and sure enough, some ratscallion youth was cycling off with my phone.
“Oi! Thats my phone you c**t!” (a pointless exclamation, of course its your phone, thats why he stole it.) I pursued in vain, the bicycle was too fast and my legs too short. I also realised suddenly that I had followed him into his estate and pursuit was probably not only futile, but dangerous as well.
I stormed home, huffing and puffing and rang the police. Minutes later there was a knock on the door… “Hello Miss, we’re the robbery squad.” Three men barged into my kitchen and dismissed my aunt, “We’ll take it from here love…do you wanna go for a ride?”
Moments later I was being driven around Fulham in the back of an unmarked police car with Terry, Richard and Ben.
“Let us know if you see anyone familiar, yeah?” I felt as though I was in an episode of the bill, we wound through the streets, slowing whenever we passed cyclists and eventually ended up back in the estate…“Oi look, look at that cyclist…the one doing the wheely!” Sure enough, the smug youth was wheelying with pride. I confirmed his identity and within moments found myself squashed behind the drivers seat.
“Get down! Don’t let him see you!” DC Ben Richards opened his car door, forcing the boy to crash into it, almost going over his handle bars. The other police officers climbed out of the car and pinned him against the wall.
“I’ve not nicked the bike I swear… It’s my mums or my sisters or summat!”
“We’re not here about the bike son…You’ve nicked some nice young lady’s phone and you’re coming down the station with us.” Brilliant I thought…Job done, off he goes down the station and off I go back to have my dinner…Or so I thought.
“Is it alright if you come down the station in Hammersmith and give a statement?”
3 hours later I was still in Hammersmith police station. By this point I had acquired a new best friend in DC Ben Richards (he wants an autograph when Im famous). I had also retold the tale of the mugging 12 times and was losing patience quickly.
“So how do you think you’ll recognise the guy in the line up tomorrow? Does he have any distinguishing features?” I pondered this question for a while, I remembered an earring, but to be fair, how many youths with earrings live on that estate?
“To be honest with you…he looks a lot like my friend Nico, so I guess I’ll just go for the one that looks most like him.” Then, having amended my statement to include, “he looks a lot like my friend Nico,” I got a lift home with DC Ben Richards, and awaited the line up and the subsequent court case.