I’ve just read Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is urging residents to report suspicious activity to help track terrorism.

Oh how I laughed. Has Commissioner Keane ever tried calling 101? If he had he’d still be hanging on.

Last week Mrs B was home alone when she spotted a strange man walking around neighbouring gardens. The houses in question were unoccupied so she called Cheshire Police on their 101 line.

An operator answered quite swiftly, listened to the problem but advised she would need to transfer the call to the control room and told Mrs B to hold. After 20 minutes Mrs B hung up in frustration.

No one from Cheshire Police ever called back.

I thought maybe we were unlucky but found others had a similar experience. One elderly gentleman told me he had made four calls to 101 and had three unanswered and one transferred to ‘a duff mailbox’.

Here’s my question: Is Commissioner Keane going to overhaul this reporting system and make it effective or is this just another box ticking exercise? Certainly the method he employed for garnering ‘overwhelming public support’ for his seven per cent police precept tax hike worked at the speed of light. I’ve never seen a ‘public’ consultation brought to a conclusion so swiftly.

Had it been a terrorist alert, the culprits would have been behind bars before the call terminated.

So what’s it to be?

Will the Action Counter Terrorism Campaign be a genuine attempt to receive and act quickly on public information or just another meaningless press release?

Over to you, Dave.

By our columnist Vic Barlow