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17 March 2021

This England: Thief on a hot church roof

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s Richard II, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

A thief who was caught red-handed by a vicar stealing lead from a church roof has been jailed. Claude Denham was caught stealing metal from the roof of St James’ Church, Devizes. The vicar and a parishioner – taking part in an all-night prayer vigil – called 999 after they heard noises. Lay worship leader Kirsty Wilmott described seeing a pair of legs through one of the stained glass windows.
Swindon Advertiser
(Amanda Welles)

Fobbed off

Tesco shoppers were locked out of their cars when their key fobs stopped working en masse in Hertfordshire. Police and Ofcom have begun investigating after getting a stream of calls from confused drivers in the Royston car park who couldn’t open their vehicles. “My fob wouldn’t work – some lady couldn’t stop her alarm going off and there were at least three others going off,” one anonymous customer said. “I thought it was some kind of alien phenomena.”
Metro (Daragh Brady)

Emergency food shop

A driver went supermarket shopping in a second-hand ambulance with the emergency lights flashing, police said. The ambulance was reportedly carrying a family when it arrived at the Asda store in the Harpurhey area of Manchester. Traffic officers tweeted that the group then “promptly went inside to do their shopping”. The ambulance was seized and a man was later charged with a range of driving offences.
BBC North West
(Janet Mansfield)

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This article appears in the 17 Mar 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The system cannot hold