Travelling down the M3 this morning, I noticed a white van driven by a man with a handkerchief covering his face. I’ve never seen this sort of thing before.
Thinking about it, I wondered “what if”, so I searched for the anti-terrorism hotline, remembering the adverts which said “It might be nothing but… Report it”.
Found the number, by then we had turned off of the M3 and were travelling north on the M25. So, at 0810hrs, I called the hotline. Answered by a young lady who said “How can I help?”
“I’m following a white Fiat Doblo van on the M25 travelling north having just left the M3” I said. “Index number NX08 HFN” (all given in phonetics). “What’s strange is that the driver appears to be of middle eastern origin and has most of his face covered by a handkerchief. I’m travelling to the M4, so I can follow him until then.”
She replies “are you a Police Officer?”. “No” I say. She responds “So, just a member of the public then?”
I take slight offence to this so reply “yes, JUST a member of the public”. Why the word ‘just’ had to be used, I don’t know.
She continues : “Problem is, this is a metropolitan Police hotline, and that’s out of our area”.
Sorry, but I’m not entirely up to date with the Met’s boundaries these days, so I say “Well, I just called the anti-terrorism line, thought the information might be important.”
She says “I’ll pass it onto the local police”, sounding more and more disinterested, asked me for my details, that was the end of the call.
With the terrorism threat being heightened at this time, I would have expected a little more interest, and I hope it’s just someone who is self-conscious about their appearance, or something like that, and we don’t hear of this van in the news.
I wonder what we are supposed to report, what is suspicious?
The van turned off at junction 14, where to, I don’t know…