Sunday, December 30

Hostile to Common Sense and Good Order

It not just a question of where
By Peter Troy
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Peter Hitchens today in his regular slot in the Mail on Sunday highlights why the British Police are very much loosing the support of the British Public. For once The Sunday Mail's sub-editors have got the headline bang on with '' Police who won't even defend our war dead''.

Hitchens is at pains to point out that the decline in public support has nothing to do with individual acts of heroism or sacrifice by Police Officers who often perform outstanding acts of bravery in defiance of quite ridiculous health and safety rules. The point that is increasingly being missed by senior Police Officers and others in authority is that many of the rules that the police operate under are hostile to common sense and good order.

The many examples of inflexibility frequently sarcastic and often rude attitude of many officers whilst what used to be referred to as discharging their duty is also having a negative compound effect of the loss of vital respect from otherwise law abiding citizens. Complaining as this Blogger will confirm (in as much detail as necessary) is now a complete waste of time - for example a visit from one Durham Constabulary PC ordered to apologise to me by his Inspector back in 2003 for his less than exemplary performance (and attitude) when I called for assistance is still awaited.
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The example detailed both by Peter Hitchens in The Mail on Sunday and in the Daily Mirror is that of the 50 year old daughter of a Second World War Fighter Pilot, Julie Lake, who was arrested following her attempt to defend a war memorial from desecration from hooded louts in Mangotsfield, near Bristol.
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It is reported that, Police first ignored her calls for assistance then when when the group of 15 surrounded her shouting obscenities and continued to ride their BMX bikes over flowers at the memorial she slapped the ringleader in the face. The youth complained to the Police and Mrs. Lake now faces prosecution for Common Assault which carries a possible maximum penalty of six months' jail or a £5,000 fine.

If this was a one off incident that would be bad enough but it is not. Stories such as this are now regular occurrences which are reported in detail in the press and other media. On three separate occasions this year I have personally reported cases of thuggish actions by youths which I have witnessed, one involved three individuals driving when drunk in Sedgefield town - in one case (detailed on this blog) the police controllers where quite affronted at my instance of a response. The responce in all cases when it came was too little and too late.

My very serious concern is that the Police at just about all ranks appear to fail to understand (or so it appears when I talk to them) of the accumulative damage of the Public's confidence (however caused). Vital confidence in Law enforcement from my observations is reaching dangerously low levels and for this situation politicians and Magistrates Courts should bare much of the responsibility. The only group in our society that can benefit for this sorry state of affairs are criminals and particularly terrorists - especially in London where the service from the Police which is now provided by the 'Met' is at an all time low.

Now is clearly a time for an up to date survey detailed on the British Public's attitude to the effectiveness of law enforcement. When completed an informed public debate must take place. The matter is far too important to be left to career Police Officers, Lawyers and Politicians alone.

As a starting point back in 2004 the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) survey concluded that over half of all crime committed against its members (now 212,000) is not reported because the victims feel that there was no point in so doing. When as Chairman of the local branch of the FSB I pointed this fact out to the then Durham Chief Constable in a detailed meeting supported by statistics provided by local busisness people he was much concerned as indeed I was at the apparent non-understanding of the policing needs of smaller businesses. Since then the problem has got worse, much worse.

In the meantime, as Peter Hitchens asks, if the many men whose names are recorded on that monument in Mangotsfield were now to return to the land they left to defend, would they believe that it was worth their sacrifice?

6 comments:

The Purple Scorpion said...

Hi Peter, yes of course they'd believe it was worth their sacrifice, because we're not a German slave state.

We need police who are accountable to their local communities - which would be quite a revolution.

Peter Troy said...

Indeed we are not. As one who is the son and Grandson of two Very British Subjects who were occupied and suffered under Nazi occupation for five grueling years I did not repeat Peter Hitchens point lightly.

I agree accountability of the Police is vital but as we discovered with the arrogant disregard for duty by Sir Ian Blair accountability of the Police the UK is becoming increasingly a thing of the past.

Oliver McCarthy said...

Isn't it more likely that there are a tiny minority of surly, bolshy police officers... as there always has been? What has changed is people's attitude to the police, along with their attitudes to law and order and a hierarchical society. And so now we have nasty little tabloid newspapers trying to make trouble for the police with these sorts of poisonous anecdotes.

The days in which conservative-minded people naturally supported the police would appear to be long gone.

Peter Troy said...

Increasingly the reason that conservative minded people are less likly to support the Police (witch is a matter of great regret) is because of the perceived attitude of the Police as a corporate body. Who's role is it to make positive steps to improve that image ?

Oliver McCarthy said...

Well, I don't have my manual of moral theology quite to hand, by I should have thought that the duty of supporting the civilian police-force falls on the whole of the civilian population - and that ought to include if not making "positive steps" to improve their image then at least being a bit circumspect when these sorts of stories come up. Bloggers, in my opinion, ought to standing up to the MSM on this sort of thing, rather than just nodding sagely along with them.

Peter Troy said...

And the Police carry on as they have been in recent yearsand continue to lose the confidence of the Public? As I hilighted in my posting my experience of contact with the Police in 2007 when I have attempted to do my civil duty and report crime on four different occasions was to receive a less than a welcoming or reactive responce.