Backchat hates thieves of any kind. He hates burglars so much that he has a top-of-the-range Nu-Tron Security Nacoss-approved alarm at home.

This is linked through BT Redcare to a permanently staffed control centre where crime-busting sentinels monitor the phone lines and alarm changes day and night and have direct contact with the police.

And, to comply with the Nacoss rules, every year Backchat spends several hundreds of spondulicks having the equipment serviced – the latest service was just over a week ago.

One of Backchat's closest friends used to live in the same area, and was one of the named keyholders who knew the secret code words and numbers required to reset the alarm in the event of a call-out.

But the family has recently moved away and Backchat had to nominate another keyholder, to satisfy the alarm company – failure to have a keyholder reset the alarm if it goes off can result in the police refusing the attend future call-outs.

Having just spent more than his annual household contents premium getting the alarm serviced, Backchat was a little taken aback to be billed for £15 plus VAT for the privilege of telling the alarm company the name and phone number of the new keyholder.

The thieves of any kind that Backchat hates include those engaged in “daylight robbery”.