Nothing: what happens to people caught with stolen goods away from the riots publicity
Forgive the personal post.
But I was burgled recently - the thieves got away with three laptops, an ipad and my camcorder.
I was pleasantly surprised when the police said they'd raided an internet cafe and found one of the laptops along with a load of other stolen computers.
Then I got an email over the weekend from the detective investigating it all, suitably apologetic, but saying:
"The Crown Prosecution Service has declined to charge the person who was arrested with your stolen property in his shop (and several other stolen items) as, in their words, 'it is not possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he purchased the goods knowing or believing they were stolen'.
As such, no one will be prosecuted for this matter."
So while police Twitter accounts are busy trumpeting the court decisions after the riots - claiming there are "no excuses" in the case of a woman jailed for 5 months for accepting looted shorts - the people with my stolen computer won't be charged at all.
Apparently there are some excuses.