Outside the shop where it had happened a crowd of people had gathered. Already the police were there in force – three squad cars and a van had arrived almost immediately. I could feel the edge of interest and excitement in the air as I stood there watching and all I could think was that I wanted to get closer.
The crowd was like a hungry animal pressing in on all sides, eager for some thrill that is unavailable in everyday ordinary life. Whatever they were getting here today wasn’t part of the normal menu. It was a special. It was a one-off. I forgot whatever it was that I had been doing and edged my way bit by bit through the press of the crowd, getting closer and loser to the scene of the incident. As I came up close to the cordon I saw three uniformed policemen talking to a young woman who had evidently witnessed something. Another officer was talking into his radio. There was broken glass everywhere and I thought I could make out a dark stain of blood on the pavement by the broken shop-window. My heart was beating painfully fast in my chest; cold beads of sweat were standing out on my forehead.
A number of helmeted Bobbies were shoving back people who were getting too close to the police cordon. They were ordering the crowd to disperse and go about their business. No one took any notice.
Unable to contain myself any longer I forced my way right up to the front, leapt over the barrier and ran over to the policeman speaking on the phone. “It was me officer,” I burst out excitedly, “I did it!”