Re: I have to defend the police here...
> * Maybe a quick call to the local ISPs/Telcos to determine if any unusal activity had been recorded recently.. 10 minute call at most.
BT, Virgin Media, Sky, PlusNet, TalkTalk - and thats just the top 5. Do you seriously believe that it would only take a 10 minute call? Try a couple of hours at least just to find somebody within the organisation who might be able the get the last weeks worth of traffic data and analyse it. Even then what would you define as suspicious activity? Accessing tor network? Browsing the internet? Downloading porn? Apart from all that most ISPs will simply say fuck off and come back with a warrant.
> * Checking their own database for recent calls of the same nature, thereby establishing the possibility of a neighbourhood (local) hacker/hacker group. 10 minutes if you take your time
Using somebodies unsecured network is about as close as you can get to an undetectable (by the householder) crime. The very fact that they have it unsecured means they are technically clueless so there would be very little chance of the householder detecting it. The police are therefore unlikely to get any reports of this nature.
* Verifying if the neighbourhood uses the FON network or not.. ( Hint this one is quite important). The ISP or Telco could easilly have provided this information. 10 mins again if you take your time
This would tell them what? That nobody ever illegally uses an unsecured network when there is a FON network? I guess that since there is a FON network in my neighbourhood there is no need for me to secure my Wi-Fi because no hacker will ever connect to it now.
> Total 30 mins at most, including the tea-break and google search for local ISP/Telco number
The ISP calls would take days, they probably did check their own database, and the presence or lack of it of FON is irrelevant.
> But no, instead some clever bugger decided to type up a nice letter......which probably took 1/2 day + the added cost of paper, envelopes, printers, ink etc... and all to achieve nothing.
Whether the threat was real or perceived, the letter contained useful advice to the community.
A final point. You seem to be assuming, like the reg reader, that the Police are working solely from the complaint arising from the reg readers use of a hot spot. How do you know they have not had other complaints or found other evidence?