In a direct response to her critics, Theresa May has unveiled a new weapon in the fight against minor offences. Using a left-over community support officer and two motors from a mobility scooter, ‘Robo-PCSO’ can issue on the spot fines where a real policeman might not be arsed.
“By giving Robo-PCSO a cheap mountain bike and clothes that don’t quite fit him properly, we’ve saving a fortune compared to the more traditional reactionary automatons”, declared May. “The prototype has already confiscated 24 litres of cider from a street jamboree with licensing irregularities, and his software stopped him reacting when they asked if 'his mum knew he was out’.”
In fact, it’s the programming that May is most proud of. Drawing on a long history of successful government computer projects, Robo-PCSO nearly works properly for over 35% of the time. That's that sort of efficiency that allows costly wages and pensions to be scrapped, for the price of the odd pack of AA batteries.
“Core to this project are our three ‘prime directives’, which allow ‘Robbie the Half-Bobby’ to remain focussed on even the most trivial of public order offences”, explained May.
“First, Robo-PCSO must protect the community from the ever present threat of out-of-date tax discs and builders’ radios. Second, he must vaguely remember the handful of laws he’s allowed to issue £80 fines for. And third, he must remain tactless when confronted by even the most reasonable of citizens.”
Slightly scruffy to distinguish himself from a proper copper, Robo-PCSO’s lack of training means even the completely innocent are kept on their toes. And while May is still facing a backlash from officers unhappy about budget cuts, the threat of being lobotomised and strapped in an old shopping trolley should be enough to silence her more vocal critics.
“Robo-PCSO worked faultlessly when we pushed him out of a transit on a sink estate”, claimed May. “He was pulling in over £270 an hour. But we might need to tweak the programming, before we go national with this project. He shouldn’t have tasered that traffic warden just for beating him to a hearse parked on double yellows.”