As a rule I try not to promote the BBC, I personally find them to be less than independent, and frequently appear to be more interested in making the news than simply reporting it. However, I’m happy to make an exception for their superb fly-on-the-wall docu-series, The Met. I do have an issue with the constant reminder, at the beginning of every single episode, that the public has lost confidence in the Met due mainly to the arrest of a serving officer for Kidnap, Rape and Murder, which I have absolutely no intention of trivialising, I just don’t think that constant reminders have a positive impact. What the series does do, however, is to demonstrate that against the odds, Met officers are carrying out some complex investigations, sucesfully and with professionalism.
I don’t recall watching the previous 3 series, such programmes often make me cringe, but I made an exceeption for this series, and I’m so glad I did. Apart from showing ‘routine’ Response work, in each episode they try to highlight at least one complex or specialist operation/investigation, such as Stranger Rape, Murder, Expoitation, Child Abuse and Aggravated Burglary.
The most recent episode featured a complex investigation by Borough Detectives into a series of numerous Aggravated Burglaries across London and the Home Counties, for which some travelling folk were the Prime Suspects. A proactive operation was carried out with some specialised help from the Flying Squad which was so successful that the suspects had little alernative than to plead Guilty to a whole string of offences and receive lengthy prison sentences in return.
My personal highlight was when one of the travelling folk tried to run away and ended up face-planting the pavement, I promise you I didn’t laugh. Much.
Across the spectrum of Policing these teams have shown that against the odds, despite all the crap thrown thrown at them, and all the budget and resource cuts, they can still put a decent job together and get good results. Imagine what they could achieve if better resourced.
Secondly, and it gives me no pleasure, except pride in the officers concerned, yesterday officers were involved in negotiations with an armed suspect. Against the odds, eventually, one officer took the decision to pull the trigger, and sadly the suspect was killed.
I shall not comment further on the circumstances as there will now be a Coroner’s Inquest and an inevitable investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
All I know is that I’m extremely proud that my former colleagues can perform in such a professional manner in the face of politicians who repeatedly show that they have no respect for the Police, a media that just loves to dish the dirt and erode public confidence as much as they can, an IOPC that thinks it’s OK to drag investigations out for almost a decade with no regard of the effects that will have on the officers, and the usual keyboard warriors of Social Media who seem to think that they can spread whichever viscious stories they choose without any substantiation and certainly without regard for the consequences.
Be careful what you wish for, we still have some superb Police Officers, let’s hope we can get them to stay.