I wish I'd taken my camera phone, for I can't remember the exact wording of the sign I saw fixed to a lamp post on the way back. It had been put there by Avon and Somerset Police, and read something like: "73% of all car crime is caused by people leaving their valuables in view."
This struck me as a very odd use of the phrase "caused by." Are car thieves really the unwitting agents of their victims? As I tramped back up the hill I fumed a little: "This is the same logic that brought us 'she was asking for it in that short skirt' and its ilk." I wondered whether I should write a stiff note to the police. By the time I got home, however, I thought that might be an overreaction. Perhaps it would be better just to add it to my collection of irritating official lamp post notices (currently dominated by "Please do not feed the seagulls, as they annoy people and children").
What do you think? Should I get out my pot of green ink?
ETA I did write in the end, but received back only a form letter saying that it would be brought to the attention of the relevant department. The sign, for the record, looked like this.