A short while after moving into our house on a quiet private road, we realised all was not as it seemed. The other neighbours were mostly bankers, publishers or lawyers, but then there were the criminals, or the crims as we named them. The crims owned their house for several years before actually moving in, leaving it vacant whilst a continuous flow of inept builders extended it in a haphazard fashion, and also in the space of one weekend, suddenly moving the boundary of their property to incorporate several hundred square yards of open common land that had until then separated the crims house from it’s neighbour. The mystery of how they managed this was never fully explained, but as it was already enclosed with a hedge of leylandii before we had moved in, we were none the wiser until informed about it by the other neighbours.
Leylandii are bloody awful trees, they grow at the rate of 4 ft a year, and the law courts are inundated by elderly suburban pensioners charged with murdering their neighbours with an axe after years of dispute about the loss of light to their gardens.
The eventual arrival of the crims was heralded by their house warming party and in the early hours of the Sunday morning by the arrival of the police.
Mr. crim had decided to give his aunt a lift home in his brand new Mercedes, but upon returning evidently misjudged the corner. The car slewed across the road sideways flattening a picket fence just missing a tree, knocked down the roads ornate entrance pillar and ended up in the front garden of the corner house after demolishing their wall, upon which mr. crim exited his car and legged it up the road home.
A short while later his wife was sent to fetch the car, but it was too late. The owners of the house had already called the police, who were now busy measuring skid marks and taking photographs. She fled.
With no driver in sight to claim the car it was towed away, and upon searching the registration the police eventually arrived on the doorstep of mr. crim, who to their surprise promptly denied all knowledge and ownership of the car. No one ever saw the car again.
After the excitement of their arrival the crims led a very private life, except on the occasions when the police came to take them away.
On one particular night, the flashing blue lights of a police car awoke the neighbours, who, stumbling sleepily to the windows to check what was happening, watched in amazement as mrs. crim was led down the front drive in only a nightdress and handcuffs.
Mrs crim would often be away, and it was on one of these occasions when mr. crim was alone in the large seven bedroomed house the two of them shared, that the police arrived and proceeded to hammer on the front door, but mr crim refused to answer and barricaded himself in. After a fruitless half hour of trying to get him to open up, a very old gold rolls royce with personalised plates arrived, and from it emerged the rotund frame of mr. crim’s uncle, who after talking with the police, raised a police megaphone to his mouth and like a scene from The Sweeny, urged him to come on out son. After a short while, mr. crim did indeed decide to come on out, and was hustled unceremoniously into one of the waiting police cars.