Working as a cop, I’m never too far away from associations with meat due to our (probably affectionate) nickname as ‘the pigs’.
As someone who eats more than their fair share of mixed grills, I’m quite comfortable with this.
On the investigation team too, our links with meat seem to be even stronger as we deal with many shoplifters and as a result, seem to end up investigating many reports of thefts involving meat and cheese.
Meat and cheese you say? Who would want to steal that?
Well, at the moment meat and dairy products seem to be very popular with thieves who have developed a sophisticated, Ocean’s 11-style, system for stealing packs of bacon.
It involves cutting holes in shop roofs using miniature lasers, abseiling out of helicopters and then escaping to Brazil with their bounty in a custom-built submarine before jetting off to a moon base where they all remove their latex face masks and sit around stroking cats.
Rather, they simply walk into a shop, do a quick ‘check for CCTV glance’ (this usually involves staring straight into the camera) and then stuffing blocks of cheese down their tracksuit tops before running out the door.
I would say that anecdotally, we seem to be seeing a rise in the popularity of meat and cheese with thieves looking for a quick profit which they can put towards a wrap or two of heroin.
Looking at the health of most of the shoplifters that end up in our cells, they don’t appear to be subsiding on Philly cheesesteaks suggesting that the produce is actually ending up in the bellies of people who decided to take up an offer of a cheap block of cheese having been offered it in a pub.
Judging from the cost of my own weekly shop, I’m well aware that food isn’t cheap so there’s an added incentive to cut corners and save a penny or two when opportunity presents itself.
It’s worth baring in mind though that rather than being refrigerated to Food Standards Agency guidelines, the produce on offer has more likely than not been pressed against a warm, unwashed armpit or crotch for the past three or four hours.
Still fancy eating it?
I’ve searched the FSA website and can’t find any recommendations that meat or dairy products be stored at body temperature or bathed in sweat/other ‘juices’ and so I’m going to conclude that doing so probably isn’t in the best interests of someone’s health.
If you’re offered some bacon on the bus, some beef in a bar or some cheddar in the coffee shop, firstly you really don’t want to accept it.
The pence you’ll save won’t be enough to justify the forty eight hour vomiting spree you risk, nor the offence of handling stolen goods that you may open yourself to.
Secondly, it’s always a good idea to give us a call straight away and let us know that there’s a dodgy pedlar about.
Catching someone with the goods on their person is good evidence and it doesn’t take long to trace the source of the meat either, especially when it’s got ‘Tesco’ stamped all over it.
All thing going to plan, we’ll be able to arrest the culprit and take him or her to the nearest station where they’ll be searched, documented and thoroughly grilled in interview!