Sunday, 5 September 2010

21st Century Policing

Just to remind ourselves, this is the 21st century. Not the 19th, nor the 20th. This is a new millenium, only 10 years old, bright things were spoken of it at its coming: new politics, new socialism, new aspirations.

The fact of the matter is a good deal less.

This 10th year of the new millenium has shown us that policing has slipped so far from its founding priciples that Robert Peel would be mortified.

So far this year, two Policemen have been let off assaulting citizens at last years G20 protests. In both cases ordinary citizens would have been convicted of assault: in the case of Ian Tomlinson, an ordinary citizen would have been facing at least a manslaughter charge.

Many of us have borne witness to the disconnect between the Police and the ordinary citizen, something Peel tried his utmost to prevent. Police now regularly patrol in para-military uniform whereas Peel developed uniforms designed not to stand out , they are equipped with military technology, whereas Peel kept his men in touch with ordinary citizens. Its quite clear today's Police Officers are not the citizen police of Peel's time. Instead they swagger about our towns and cities with an arrogance borne of the fact that they really have to go overboard to risk prosecution.

Don't even get me started on the ill-trained and arrogant PCSOs that clutter up our towns, attempting to promote their superiority over mere ordinary citizens that a high-visibility jacket and cap aparrently assures you of these days. Everyone knows someone that has been the subject of of petty vindictiveness like this one.

Those of the underclass have suffered under this para-military regime for decades, but now the rose-tinted veneer of British policing is wearing thin for the middle-cleass as well. This report and its associated video on the BBCs website shows the true state of policing today.

The Police today is as far removed from Peel's principles as it could possibly be. It dabbles and interferes in politics and law-making, when the laws should be made by the representatives of ordinary citizens and enforced by the Police on their behalf. Not the cosy stitch-up we have now where the Police request new laws without public consent and MPs enact them on the Police's behalf.

Not that its easy to see who is steering Police strategy: Thats controlled by ACPO, a public limited company with no public accountability, who "advises" on Police strategy. Again, as far from Peelian principles as you can possibly get.

Now we have the New York Times article alleging collusion between a private media organisation, the government and the Police. Just how impartial are our Police force? Just how far have they moved from the citizen police that Robert Peel envisioned. A Police force that weren't even allowed to eat with the public lest they be accused of corruption.

Just how far does this have to go before the public rebel?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.