Police have released a CCTV image of a ‘suspect’ who apparently attempted to rob a bank in south east London.

On 18 October, the pictured man walked into a Barclays branch in Bromley high street – unarmed and with his face in clear view – and handed the cashier a note, apparently demanding money.

When the cashier refused, the man turned around and left the bank without making a fuss.

The strange thing about this story is the fact that the Met Police’s Flying Squad have released his image, and are asking for anyone who may know him to come forward and Barclays are even offering a reward of up to £25,000 to anyone who helps their enquiries.

Detective Constable Hollands said:

This is a very clear image and I am certain that someone will recognise him.

Although he was unsuccessful on this occasion, I would urge anyone with information to contact police.

Now… let’s break this down.

As weird as the whole situation may be, the man didn’t attempt to conceal his identity, did not approach the bank in a threatening manner (he didn’t even speak), and was not armed with any weapons (unless the note was laced with ricin or anthrax); yet there’s some kind of manhunt going on to catch him. Can they not just do a Google Image search on his picture or upload his picture to Facebook and let Facebook autotag him?

To us, this appears to be some sort of YouTube stunt gone a bit awry. Does this really count as attempted robbery? Has any crime even been committed? As far as we know, the man has never tried to rob a bank before or since this ‘offence.’

I’m not defending him, but is his poor and slightly confusing attempt to get money from a bank even worth the police’s time and effort? If anything it sounds more like he made a pathetic personal loan application – in person!

Maybe he’s too shy to talk. Maybe he hasn’t learnt the proper way to ask for a bank loan. I don’t know. But I don’t think this case is actually worth the police’s time. Or (up to) £25,000.

The world’s gone mad.