Today we had two Halloween carved pumpkins stolen from the front of the house. This is the second year in a row this has happened to us.
I got close to seeing the culprits and ran and shouted after them. They dropped the heavier pumpkin just a bit further up the street.
Dave didn't want me to go after the group that were running off because there was one of me and about eight of them.
Hannah was upset. She'd taken a lot of time working with me to carve the pumpkins and had been planning to take both of them to the Brownie pumpkin carving competition (which she'd won the prior year) on November 1st.
I was annoyed and fairly full of adrenalin after chasing the thieves and shouting at full volume, including, to try and bring on some guilt, "Do you realise you've made my daughter cry?" *
I called the police. I didn't dial 999 and it took me a while to find the non-emergency number. While explaining what had happened I did say "This sounds silly", "I realise it isn't the crime of the century" and "You're not going to ask me to describe the carving on the missing pumpkin are you?" but the woman I was talking to was taking it very seriously.
I guess what I wanted was for any patrols to keep an eye out and if they saw a group of about the right size in the area, to stop and talk to them. I wanted them to get a ticking off. I knew it was a long shot, but thought it was worth it. Previously the Police have actively encouraged calls about what they termed "anti-social behaviour."
What happened next though surprised me.
I was then asked when I might be available for an officer to pop round for a chat and an appointment was arranged.
I can't help thinking this echoes a situation in which a group of teenagers were responsible for a broken window at the front of the house. When I reported that an officer came round and I was contacted by phone and mail by Victim Support.
I didn't feel like a victim then and I don't feel like a victim now. I am annoyed, but that's about it. Involving the Police will teach my children a lesson about acceptable behaviour (which I would hope they would already know) but a home visit won't prevent this happening again, unless of course I'm persuaded to join the rest of the country with lights off hiding in the dark on Halloween.
Anyway I'm off to remove the spiders, bats, skeletons and rats from the front door. Ding dong the witch is dead.
*Actually they didn't make Hannah cry. As I keep telling the children, they are in control of their emotional reactions. Hannah chose to be upset. She could have chosen to be non-plussed.