Jimmy ‘Fingers’ Norton, veteran cockney rogue and former chairman of the National Burglars Association of Great Britain has criticised young burglars for their poor dress sense.
According to Norton, this is undermining the image of the profession with potentially devastating consequences. ‘I was just appalled when I saw CCTV film of two young blokes breaking into a warehouse on Crimewatch last week,’ Norton said. ‘No cloth cap, no comedy mask, no crowbar and no sack at all, never mind one marked ‘Swag’. What’s the world coming to?’
In the 1970s, according to Norton, professionals from all walks of life wore their uniforms with pride. ‘Policemen had a helmet, teachers always had a gown and a mortar board and carried a cane, burglars wore red and black hooped jumpers – everyone knew where they stood.’
Norton conceded that many people who have lost their life savings and most treasured possessions to a robbery may regard the sartorial standards of the thieves as a relatively minor issue. However, he believes that they are missing the most important point.
‘This used to be a trade that was passed down from father to son. There was pride involved,’ Norton said. ‘Do away with all that tradition and you’ll find greedy callous sociopaths opting for careers in investment banking instead. Trust me, you don’t want that.’