12 January 2030. Depton police reported that there had been no crimes reported in the last twenty-four hours.
“What on earth are we going to put on Chatterer?”
“Do you think we should get out some archive stuff? Keep them amused? We lose our Chatterer followers if we don’t give them something to grumble about.”
“Let alone what might happen to the advertising revenue. We’ll run out of biscuits.”
Later, when the Depton Ringer requested its daily upload of police stories an alarm prompted the webmaster to make a direct contact.
Is there a technical problem? You’ve not sent any crime reports.
We’ve had no crime.
So what can we put in the Ringer?
Some good news? Isn’t “no crime” news?
The webmaster scratched his head. What the heck could he write? He reported on the lack of crime. He even visited the police archives and dug out a few stories and old pictures. Should he do a feature about how the local police kept themselves busy when there were no criminals to deal with?
Half way through the afternoon he was contacted by Depton Shopping City.
You call this news? If you can’t produce anything better than this by the end of play today we’re pulling the contract.
Straightaway the webmaster got on to the Chatterer clerk at Depton police station. “Can’t you get something going? Don’t you know some tame criminals who’ll do a job or something? Liven the area up a bit.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” she said. She looked at the biscuit tine. That was going to be a problem soon as well. “Serge,” she called. “We’ve just had the Ringer on the communipad. He’s complaining about lack of news. Wants us to set one up.”
The sergeant scratched his head. “I guess Alfie Roberts owes us one. Get him on the communipad, will you? No, better use my personal one.” He handed her his portable.
In the early hours of 13 January 2030 a disused warehouse was set on fire. It pointed to Alfie Roberts, know arsonist. However, the Depton police could find no proof and so could bring about no prosecution. The Depton Ringer attracted even more advertisers. The Depton police gathered even more followers on Chatterer and they earned more through advertising as well. They bought chocolate biscuits when the others ran out and offered Alfie one when he came in for a chat because he was bored.