I Must Have Nodded Off And Woken Up In LaLa Land

I’m about to phone the surgery and make an appointment to see the doctor.   Either the news of the last few days is absolutely crazy or I really have the lost the plot and need a comfy room with no sharp edges.

  1.  We had the ’email’ asking Police in London not to wear their Union Flag badges. Sir Bernard Hogan-Who has apparently stated that he has ‘no issues’ with it but senior officers are reportedly concerned that the badge could provoke ill-feeling or cause offence in some communities.   What communities?  What ill-feeling or offence?  The Police Community are most certainly offended by the request/instruction.  It has since been reported that this was a local email to one borough only, but I don’t really care, the damage has already been done.  BHH says he has ‘no issues’ with it, why should anybody else go against that.  Produce the intelligence or evidence that will demonstrate the ill-feeling or offence and just maybe I’ll agree with you, whoever you are.  Don’t be a nameless, faceless puppet, who issued this email?  Who is the Senior Officer that thinks it will cause Ill-feeling or offence?  Do we not deserve to know?
  2. BBC Local news this morning reported on the shooting of 4 men in Birmingham yesterday.  Most of the article was taken up by interviewing local residents who blamed the Police for this shooting.  Apparently they did nothing to ‘protect the community’ from this shooting, and one lady even described a ‘cop stood around doing nothing’.  I’m sure he/she wasn’t actually standing around doing nothing while the shooting was allowed to take place, but the BBC reported it well.  Silly me, I always thought it was the fault of the person who pulled the triger, it never occurred to me that 4 people getting shot could be the Police’s fault.
  3. A tweet or tweets from @FHamiltonTimes this morning finally convinced me that I am going mad.  In all my 30 years serving Queen and Country it never once occurred to me that Over Zealous Lawn Mowing should have been recorded as a crime.  To be honest, I have seldom encountered ‘over zealous lawn mowing’ to have even considered the issue.

 

That’s me done for the day, off to lie down in a darkened room before the next person is due to wind me up at about mid-day

Was It April Fools Day Yesterday?

I was absolutely stunned at the amount of total bolleaux in the British Press yesterday in relation to Policing.

It was so bad that I actually find it difficult to put it in an order of “badness”.

a) We have the two bold headlines in The Independent;

Black people still far more likely to be stopped and searched by Police than other ethnic groups

and

Stop and Search – Can transparency end this ABUSE of Police Powers

The first article even goes on to point out that a black person is SEVENTEEN times more likely to be stopped and searched in Dorset than a white person. What this lazy, biased piece of journalism doesn’t tell you is that according to the last National Census Dorset is a predominantly white county.  97.9% of Dorset residents describe themselves as ‘white’.

When I was a-coppering I was encouraged to stop and challenge anybody or anything that looked “out of place”! are The Independent encouraging our Police Officers to abandon their duty and ignore something that doesn’t look right because of the person’s ethnicity? Really?

I have said it many times before, EVERY Stop/Search has to have sufficient GROUNDS.  What analysis of the GROUNDS was conducted by The Independent?   None I’m guessing, lazy, provocative journalism, generalisation of the worst kind.

Every Stop/Search record has to be SUPERVISED.  What analysis of the supervision was conducted by the Independent?  None I’m guessing.

EVERYBODY who is Stop/Searched is entitled under PACE to request a hard copy of the Stop/Search record from the Police Station.  Did the Independent conduct any research/analysis of how many hard copies were requested and supplied?  Probably not would be my guess.

Independent – Please give me your responses to the 3 questions above, you are quick enough to allege that Police are ABUSING (your word) their powers, presumably you have the evidence to substantiate it.  To make matters worse, other newspapers have picked up on your story and run with it.

The Grauniad represented your article like this

Stop and search is a disgrace across the UK – not just in our cities

Stop siding with the government and take up the cause of Law and Order.   Stop and Search is NOT a disgrace across the country, pure statistics prove nothing.  Do some actual work and look at the story behind your lurid headlines BEFORE you publish.

b)  we have the BBC’s decision to produce a ‘Documentary Drama’ about the ‘shooting of Mark Duggan’.

BBC to make drama documentary about the Mark Duggan shooting

The film, Lawfully Killed, will tell story of the Tottenham man who was shot by a police marksman in 2011, triggering riots.  Exactly, the events (not helped by the IPCC it should be added) did indeed lead to riots.  What possible good can come from making this film?  The wounds are not yet healed but the BBC think it is appropriate to pour salt in large measure into those wounds?  We have had the investigations, we have had the inquest it was established that Duggan was lawfully killed by an authorised Police marksman.  Where is the story?  What are you trying to achieve?

c) The Grauniads 3rd contribution to mayhem and mischief this week was

British police to patrol Magaluf and Ibiza

Although to be fair to the Grauniad, on this occasion they WERE only reporting the news and seem to have done so reasonably accurately even if they did withhold one vital piece of the story.

Twitter was awash with incredulity yesterday at this bizarre headline.  However both West Midlands Police and NPCC have confirmed that it is a true story.

 

Neither DCC Thompson nor NPCC responded when it was pointed out that the cost of this exercise was not the issue, but the fact that officers were even being considered for deployment abroad in the face of the savage cuts already imposed by the Home Secretary.

Fiddling While Policing Burns
Fiddling While Policing Burns

Two officers for 2 weeks does not cost a fortune and will allegedly be funded in total by the Foreign Office (we shall see shall we) but the residents of West Midlands undoubtedly expect their Police to be policing the West Midlands. In an age when the public seldom see a warranted Police Officer patrolling, how do they feel about two of them patrolling the streets and beaches of Ibiza and Magaluf?

None too happy I suspect, but once again, that doesn’t seem to matter.

I must adjust my calendar, it does seem clear that yesterday was April Fools Day and we are all invited to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

 

mad hatter

 

Just Open Another Box

If ever I needed proof that the government have succeeded in hoodwinking the great British Public it was served up in abundance on last night’s BBC1. One Show.

Firstly we had Richard Garside from  The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.  I assume that this is some kind of Think Tank that the government has commissioned to come up with crap ideas.  His astoundingly brilliant theory last night was that we actually have too many Police Officers and the Austerity cuts are to be seen as an ‘Opportunity’.

I was so busy spluttering over this contribution to the problem that I completely missed what Jabba the Hutt was saying afterwards.

Richard Garside’s contribution led to this exchange of Tweets later

 

Then we were treated to a series of street interviews with a random assortment from the Public at Large.  Some, surprisingly if you believe in stereotypes, bemoaned the shortage of Police Officers and were not comfortable with it.  These appeared to be given slightly more prominence by the BBC.  Star of the show was a delightful old lady, just like your favourite, slightly odd, aunt.  She was absolutely convinced that the Police were perfectly capable of dealing with any challenge or scenario that comes their way. She then came out with the quote of the night which seemed to set the tone for the entire piece.  If there were to be a major outbreak of rioting (for example) or any other similar problem that the Police actually struggled to deal with, then the Police would tell the government and they would be given more Police Officers, completely ignorant of the fact that a) Theresa May WON’T be giving us any more and will continue unchecked with her cuts, b) it takes time to recruit, select and train Police Officers and c) the current budgets and government policies will not sustain wholesale recruiting by the Police.

There are no boxes of Reserves that a Chief Officer can open and unleash on any given Policing problem. We cannot just open another box of Policemen.

The two presenters seemed quite comforted by the old lady’s contribution and studio guest Clive James, who I have always credited with more intelligence, did not seem to feel the need to contradict ‘old lady’.

So, there we have it, the government has succeeded in hoodwinking the Public, they are getting away with it. If only we could open another box of politicians and replace some of them.

BBC One Show item 2 June 2015

Here Is Today’s News………

But probably not the News that Camoron and the BBC want us to read.

The BBC News website proudly carries a story this morning about a West Mercia Detective who got paid £20,000 in overtime in a year, so what?

They completely overlooked that ALL overtime has to be approved by a Supervising Officer and is therefore necessary presumably.  Overtime of that magnitude would certainly be questioned, even if it was justified and necessary.

However, try as I may, I could not find the ‘real’ main story on the BBC News site.

Britain is too tolerant and should interfere more in people’s lives, says David Cameron

Acting like a throwback to the Stasi, Camoron has come out with some brilliant one-liners such as;

“Britain is too “passively tolerant” and should not leave people to live their lives as they please just because they obey the law

“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’,”

“It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”

So where exactly does Camoron get off interfering with the lives of law-abiding citizens?  If people break the law then they should expect proportionate retribution, but I’m not at all comfortable with the State interfering with people who have done nothing illegal.

No wonder Camoron and his gang want to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Was it a total coincidence that we were all looking at a West Mercia tec’s overtime when it seems only the Indie has reported Camoron’s over-zealous ambitions?

Are we really in for another 5 years of this?