It's a familiar-looking yellow sign which seems at first to be appealing for witnesses to crime: "Grievous bodily harm. Death by dangerous driving. Firearms offences. Did you see anything? Would you like to? Disused Industrial Estate to let for car chases, shoot outs and unexplained homicide. Teas, coffees and hot snacks. Sinister looking office space to let."
Owners of industrial estates that have fallen into disrepair have always benefitted from criminal activity. Now, though, costs are rising. Criminal getaway driver Terry Nuggets, who preferred not to be named, explained:
"After any crime it's instinctive, once you hear the blues and twoes, to head for the nearest DIE as soon as. Disused Industrial Estates I mean. I've got em on me sat nav. Loads to choose from, some better than others. You need a lot of space to screech round with your tyres smoking, a good quality of tea chests or big cardboard boxes to knock flying, and big badly lit warehouses for the hiding and threatening and fighting and torturing bits. Those big cable drums are favourite at the moment, as well. Trouble is the blokes wot run these places, usually big bald blokes with vests and tattoos, they're starting to charge more and more for 'em, specially if they've got specialist stuff - big hooks on chains or old railway trucks or or old fashioned metal filing cabinets and that. They get double bubble 'n all cos now they charge the filth as well as us, usually on a hourly basis, plus extras and vat. Diabolical I call it.
But swarthy disreputable-looking Nicos Mediteranos defended increased charges at his abandoned industrial complex in a secret part of Essex, H09 6MB. "For a start the new giant wheelie bins are a nightmare. Three colours. Green for paper glass and card. Yellow for incriminating evidence. Red for human remains and body parts. Get it wrong and the council come down on you like a ton of fly-tipped pre-stressed concrete. And oil drums. They all want oil drums. They don't make em any more! Not to mention the constant sound of handbrake turns and the smell of after shave and burnt rubber and wildlife getting tangled in "police do not cross" tape. And the scene of crime guys in their white paper suits getting hysterical about the hygiene standards on the hot dog stall.
"Don't get me wrong. Business is good. Sometimes we get two or three chases backed up at the gate and it's sweet, you know to see the cops and the crims waiting all pally like, buying each other teas 'n chunky kit kats, lighting each others' fags and that, waiting for the previous chase to clear. Then when we're ready, usually the crims leg it an the police count up to twenty through their megaphones then shout "Ready or not, we're COMING!" and they can sound quite camp! Then it all kicks off. I sometimes play a bit of pumped up Wagner over the Tanoy n all, during the action, and they all love that. Very Katey Puckrick. I mean Stanley Kubrick.
Mr Mediteranos is unmoved by Conservative calls to re-enliven UK manufacturing industry, in so doing returning his complex to its original industrial purpose. "Wivout places like this the chases would have to take place at abandoned airfields out near Chigwell at huge public cost. This is tradition an' all. What could be more British than a late-ish model Vauxhall being driven into a canal, or a bit of dimly-lit torture using some bolt cutters and a bottle of Domestos extra?"