The other day professional golfist Lexi Thompson was leading a golf tournament in the US. And you know how these golf tournaments are: they last for days.
Well, it was the final day and a TV viewer emailed the Ladies Professional Golf Association, which was running the thing, to say that they’d noticed in footage of the previous day that Thompson didn’t replace her ball exactly where she was supposed to after she’d marked its position and picked it up to give it a clean. The LPGA reviewed the footage, agreed and headed onto the course to tell Thompson she had a four-shot penalty for it. So she lost.
Rule broken, mistakenly or otherwise, spotted, and justice done, right? All good? Perhaps not. It left lots of people rather uncomfortable about the way this viewer became a referee. Who was it? Just somebody with a lot of time on their hands and a staunch sense of fair play? Or somebody with an agenda who might study one player’s footage meticulously but overlook others? Where, in short, was the independence and accountability?
I mention it because North Wales Police have launched Operation Snap, an online video submission service where people can upload camera footage of potential motoring offences. It seems they get sent a lot of these in a lot of different ways so want to streamline the way they deal with them because they’re very busy. Indeed, recently they were too busy to notice that when they gave a burglar on bail a phone so they could contact him, rather than a pay-as-you-go one, they’d lent him a contract one, although they did realise after six months, during which time they’d spent £44,500 on his phone bill.