‘I want to make a complaint.’ The man leaned forward, aggressive and challenging. His tattooed presence filled the front counter at the police station.

‘A complaint about what,’ I asked.

‘How I’ve been treated.’

‘You’ve been treated for a complaint? ‘I couldn’t resist it. I knew it would pass over his head.

He carried on, ‘You’re harassing me mum, coming round ‘er house, banging on ‘er door, asking ‘er where  I am. I’m not there…’

I quickly interjected. ‘No I can see . You’re here.’

He was starting to look confused. I needed to be sensible. I asked. ‘Why are we looking for you?’

‘Cos I’m not there, I’m here.’ Was he some French Existentialist? Well at least we’d established one fact.  ‘Who is looking for you?’ It was always worth trying a different line of enquiry. 

‘You are!’

Sadly it was a dead end. ‘Well I’m glad we’ve found you, but who reported you missing?’

‘Me Mum.’

‘So – you’re complaining that we’ve been trying to find you after your mother reported you missing.’

‘Yes,’ he looked triumphant.

I felt a headache coming on. ‘Take a seat and I’ll get an officer to check you are okay and stamp the paperwork.’