Saturday, November 19

Police matters

Yesterday afternoon two women Police Officers were shot by armed robbers in the West Yorkshire City of Bradford. Sadly, one officer, PC Sharon Beshenivsky, right, died.
She was the sixth female officer to die in the line of duty in the 30 years since females have policed the streets in mainland Britain as equals with their male colleagues. The dead officer is understood to have been a Police Officer for only 8 months.
The details of this murder will be well reported elsewhere, it is not the role of this blog to be a news service. Comment on current issues is, however, very much our focus.
The West Yorkshire Police priorities have in the past been, quite rightly, criticised by Bradford resident and regular correspondent on this blog, Dr Richard North. The West Yorkshire Police appear to have some strange ideas as to law enforcement. The murder yesterday of the 38 year old officer, a mother of three, we hope will perhaps refocus the management of West Yorkshire Police onto their proper duty to the public. That duty is not to send eight officers to assist private bailiffs to illegally enforce a warrant and subsequently fail to properly investigate their error. Nor is it to send two inexperienced officer on patrol together. Many other examples of West Yorkshire Police's curious priorities are available upon request.

It is a regrettable fact as well as a failure of government, policing and the judicial system - that the number of offences involving firearms in England and Wales has increased each year since 1997 according to Home Office figures.

Figures released last month showed that fire arms offences had increased by 5% last year to a total of 11,160. Back in 1997 there were 4,903 such offences.

The possession of handguns was banned in Britain in 1996 following the Dunblane massacre. The illegal ownership of handguns is believed to be higher that it has ever been, with nearly 300,000 illegal guns estimated to be in circulation in Britain.

The increase in gun crime is linked to gang activity and the expanding drugs trade. Tony Blair's government has failed to address these issues effectively, although it promised to be ''tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime''. The reason, is in major part, because the British Police service (once proudly known as the force) is self focussed on its own political correct image and the wrong targets. Vast resources are deployed to areas such as motorists who are relentlessly prosecuted (for financial gain) whilst organised gangs remain mostly beyond the reach of law enforcement and business crime remains undetected or even not understood by most investigating Police Officers. Car Crime is now hardly investigated, victims are now only supplied with a crime number. Ten years ago a report of a car theft was always followed up with a visit from an officer, not now in modern Britain.

The facts are that fixed roadside speed cameras now collect over £114 million a year in fines, giving the Government a clear profit of £22 million a year. Despite a huge increase in convictions experts insist that speed cameras have not led to a decline in road deaths or boosted road safety. Instead pillars of the community have been turned into criminals, using massive police resources in the process and leading to respect for the police plunging to an all time low in Britain; ask most long serving constables and they agree but dare not say so in public. Is the reason for this because the Police are now 'risk adverse' by culture ?

A national outpouring of grief for the 20 percent rise in deaths involving police vehicles, the figure now reaching 44 last year, up from 17 in 2000-1. would be justified; the current figure includes four entirely innocent pedestrians, including an 18-year-old woman, slaughtered by police cars responding to emergency calls.

Sir Ian Blair this week sought a public debate on ''what Police service we the public want''. Today, following the tragic shooting in Bradford would be a good time to start that debate and face the uncomfortable truth, which is that Britain's Police Service has largely lost the plot. This blog intends to be at the very centre of that so very vital debate, which in many people's view will be thinking the unthinkable, so be it. Let us hope that politicians and the Chief Constables really do listen and more to the point understand that their joint failure is not an option. That failure would result in a Britain far far worse than that portrayed in the Anthony Burgess classic novel The Clockwork Orange.


Above, Stanley Kubrik's 1972 film The Clockwork Orange


1 comment:

Charles Taylor said...

Was not the theme music in Clockwork Oranange Ode to Joy ?

Charles Taylor