ACAB – All Coppers Are Bastards

Last night I succumbed, I gave in, I shouldn’t have done and I am truly sorry.

I reacted to a post on Twitter. When will I ever learn?

After decades of people in high places teaching us that it is wrong to generalise and stereotype any section of the community I stumbled across a post using the hashtag #ACAB (All Coppers Are Bastards), and stating categorically that British Police are Racist Police.

The author, Mr Stafford Scott, has been highly vocal in his criticism of the Police and if you check out his timeline you will see that he does enjoy a bit of stereotyping, frequently calling upon the Macpherson Report to back up his assertions that the British Police are Racist.

Response PS had a pop at Mr Scott with this Tweet

and Stafford Scott felt it appropriate to respond thus

I could hold back no longer, I was vexed, so I entered the fray, hopefully without the use of insult or stereotyping

There followed a lengthy exchange back and forth where I asked Stafford what suggestions he had for stopping the killings and he just responded with more stereotypical allegations of Racism within the Police and mis-application of the Macpherson Report. Macpherson did NOT state that the Metropolitan Police were all Racist, he stated that the Metropolitan Police were Institutionally Racist, which is quite different.

Even Lee Jasper, an unlikely ally in anyone’s books, took Stafford to task and told him that some of his references to Macpherson were wrong.

Eventually, after several requests for Stafford to provide some practical suggestions as to how best stop the killings I gave up and bid him goodnight. That was the last I heard from him.

However, this morning I found this response on my timeline from an account I have never heard of before, in a very similar manner as Stafford’s stereotyping previously

Yet one more example of someone more intent on criticising the Police than helping to solve the problems.

Stafford, Lee Jasper, “clinical wasteman” (whoever that may be) and anybody else can all have their opinions on the Police Service, fair or unfair. That is a discussion for another day surely. Surely the priority has to be to stop the killings and the stabbings, of children by children.

As I pointed out to Stafford, it is not the Police who are killing the children, so any criticism of them is arguably less of a priority than finding a way to stop the killings.

I’m sorry Stafford, but I remain to be convinced that the use of #ACAB and labelling all Police Officers Racist will save one single life.

Stafford Scott has given us a fine example of a Community Spokesperson (he claims not to represent any organisations although his bio implies differently) who cannot, or will not, come up with a single practical suggestion to try, instead blames everything on “the Racist Police”.

I don’t, and I can’t agree, but I’m always happy to hear, and promote, any practical suggestion that Stafford or his supporters can put forward. My ONLY priority is to stop the killings.

Your Country Needs You (Like Never Before)

There surely cannot be a person over the age of 14 or so who is still unaware of the seemingly uncontrollable epidemic of stabbings and Knife Crime sweeping the country. Not one person surely? In London alone there is a knife-related murder or serious stabbing almost every day. Only recently a young teenage kid was literally disembowelled on the streets of our capital.

Politicians of all hues and senior Police Officers pronounce that this is completely unacceptable (it is) but what are they actually DOING about it?

Mainly nothing.  A lot of hot air gets spouted, think tanks go into overdrive trying to come up with the next big ‘thing’, senior Police Officers will have meetings and pronounce that ‘extra’ officers are being thrown at the problem, the government will assure us that new ‘technology’ is on the way.  The main problem is that there are NO extra extra officers, there are, in fact,  21,000 fewer officers.

Meetings are a very small part of the solution, but to come up with the promise of ‘extra’ officers is an insult to both Police and Public alike.  Every one of these ‘extra’ officers is either working what should have been a Leave Day or they have been abstracted from other duties, thereby creating a shortage somewehere else.

Almost every serving or former Police Officer that I know, together with a significant number of Members of the Public have a damn good idea what is causing the problem and how to begin addressing it.

Every knife used in an attack on the streets has been carried through the streets by somebody.  Whilst it is being carried it is vulnerable to being found by Police, and the ‘carrier’ arrested, but NOT if the Police Officers have one arm tied behind their backs.

Currently there is no ‘fear’ on the streets.  The government, in the shape of Camoron and Cruella, have savagely decreased the number of Police Officers, including the Front Line that they claim to protect.  Cruella herself issued an instruction to Police to drastically reduce the number of Stop Search carried out.  Since her edict both crime in general, and stabbings in particular have increased, despite what the Whitehall Mandarins might tell us.  Home Office figures show it thus

Assaults in England and Wales

Not a pretty sight.

My proposal to turn the tide would be to bring back Stop and Search.  Lawfully, Ethically, Respectfully, but Determindly.

Once the grounds for the Stop/Search have been established (and they MUST be) it should be conducted positively and efficiently, and properly recorded.

“People will get Stop/Searched who are totally innocent” I hear the cry.  Yes they will, that is almost inevitable, but the damage can be minimised by the manner in which it is conducted.  Officers could stop me ten times a day if it prevented one more youth getting butchered.  I have nothing to hide, nor do most other folk.   Yes, it is inconvenient, and can often delay us, but which is worse?  Getting a tad miffed about being stopped and searched by a polite Police Officer who explains why you are being Stopped and Searched, or one more teenager getting disembowled within sight of home?

Last year’s IPSOS/MORI poll showed that ost of the population still have a reasonable amount of trust in the Police.  FAR, far more than politicians of any kind.

In view of which Theresa May, why not start the process of rebuilding the Police?  Allow people to feel safe on the streets once more.  Instil fear of being caught and meaningful consequences into the hearts of those carrying knives, or weapons of any kind.

How can you help?  How does your country need you?

You can help today by simply writing a letter or email to your local MP, or the Home Secretary, or the Prime Minister or your local Police and Crime Commissioner voicing your support for some Positive Action and the reinstatement of the Police Force.  Surely no politician can ignore a mailbox overflowing with letters.  Police and Crime Commissoners are up for re-election soon, and who knows when the next General Election will be, but maybe not too far away.  They will all be looking for YOUR votes.

From an operational point of view a short, sharp period of Shock and Awe will remind a certain faction that they do not rule the streets, although they currently think that they do, and they are getting away with it.

It’s A War Zone Out There

Well, it is war really.

I make absolutely no apology for starting off with a stark image

This is one of the more acceptable images from Camberwell recently where Police and Paramedics encountered a scene of absolute carnage after 4 young men had been stabbed in the street, one of them DISEMBOWELLED.  Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, deserves that in a so-called civilised country.  I don’t care if you are black, white, Asian, Oriental, gay, straight, trans or whatever, this level of violence has no place on our streets, in our society.

Who do I blame?  That is a complex question with many answers.

I blame the parents, when I grew up my father would have absolutely battered me if I had got involved in some of the crimes we are witnessing today.

I blame the youths themselves.  Presumably they know right from wrong, and in nobody’s book can this be right.

First and foremost I blame OUR GOVERNMENT.  Yes, that is predictable, but I do.  Since the Tories/Coalition came into power in 2010 local Council budgets have been slashed so that Youth Services such as Youth Clus etc are no longer affordable, prioritised out of the budget.  Nothing for ther kids to do.

Police Forces across the land have had to withdraw/disband Juvenile Bureaux.  Once again, prioritised out of the budgets.  So have been Schools Involvement Officers who used to be invited (Yes, I did say INVITED) into schools to talk to kids, mainly young teenagers in Secondary School, about a variety of topics, but this would certainly have been the main priority if it still happened.  Not Front Line enough.

Since 2014 Police Forces across the land have been bullied into cutting back dreadfully on Stop and Search.  Where has that got us eh?  Terrible, horrific scenes like those above is where that has got us.

If you’ve had your Cornflakes and are feeling strong enough take a look at this video shot from above by a Camberwell resident last week.  It shows many things.

  • It shows the compassion and professionalism displayed by Police Officers and Paramedics as they battled to save the lives of the victims.
  • It shows some of the weapons involved scattered on the floor around them
  • It shows (I believe) those Police Officers and Paramedics being attacked or harrassed by young men/youths whilst they were still administering First Aid.
  • You can hear the voice of the person filming, clearly shocked by the scenes below, clearly supporting the actions of the Police and Paramedics and clearly condemning the actions of the thugs.

The government have been directly responsible for the loss of 21,000+ Police Officers from our streets since 2010.  No, they can’t protect everybody, can’t be everywhere all the time but more officers would certainly help. Apart from anything else the criminals KNOW about the cuts and the reducued likelihood of being caught.  They KNOW that Theresa May, as Home Secretary, ordered the reduction in Stop and Search.  They KNOW that Police Officers are over-stretched, burnt out. They’re not daft they also monitor Social Media.

With 21,000 fewer officers and an enforced restriction on Stop and Search the criminals become enboldened.  They know that the odds of getting caught carrying a knife/machete/sword through the streets are greatly reduced.  Combine that with the increased workloads of the Police and there you have it, the Perfect Storm for Extreme Knife Crime.  Every knife, machete or sword that has been used in this multitude of attacks has been carried through the streeets at some point.  Think about that.  Maybe the person sat next to you on the Tube while yu’re reading this?

I do hope you’ll forgive me but I feel so strongly about this that I will crave your indulgence on a couple of issues.

Firstly I’ll repeat a few diagrams that show exactly where the government cuts have left us.

Secondly, something I don’t do very often, but if you only do one thing with this blog I emplore you to forward it to your local paper, the national media, your local MP, or your local Councillors.  Anybody who can help spread the word.  It’s not about the numbers, I don’t care how many ‘hits’ I get on this post, it’s about saving lives, nothing more.

This level of violence in Britain is simply unacceptable and sadly Theresa May is responsible for an awful lot of it with her reckless policies as Home Secretaries and refusal to sanction anything now as Prime Minister.

Police Officers do not want these kids to die, or be maimed, on our streets.  They do not want to witness the aftermath of such savagery.  Their families do not want to be worried about their safety, and neither do the families of the victims.  Lives blighted, and for what?  A few pounds worth of drugs, a bit of ‘dissing’ or simply coming from the wrong Post Code.

The Police Force CAN deal with these problems, but not with one, or both, hands tied behind their backs.  They have the necessary skils and willpower to deal with these problems, yes they do.  However they currently have neither the freedom nor the resources to do it.

  1. Unshackle them from the crazy restrictions on Stop and Search.  Unless I’ve missed it nobody has ever been killed by Stop and Search.  It is vital in today’s society, not just in London.  I have always said that Stop and Search should be conducted with dignity and lawfully.  Make sure the grounds are there and conduct it in a polite, civilised manner.  What is there to object to there?  No section of community can object to that surely?
  2. IMMEDIATELY reverse the crazy, reckless cuts brought about by May and Cameron.  They will take years to get us back to where we should but the sooner we start the better.
  3. Whilst I am not a huge fan of Mutual Aid for such matters (it should be reserved for unforesen emergencies normally) but let the National Police Chiefs Council co-ordinate a series of properly, carefully planned proactive operations around the identifed hotspots in the country and hit them with a civilian ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign.  Let them know who is the boss on our streets and it ain’t the knife-carrying thugs.

There will no doubt be comparisons to Operation Swamp, but if NPCC earn their corn and do it properly, involving Community Leaders at an early stage,  the arguments should be self-evident.  Do we really want to wake up every morning hearing about another knife attack or shooting on the streets of our country?  Do we really have to emulate Trump’s America? Can we really defend doing NOTHING? What exactly has Theresa May DONE about this issue?  NOTHING. Too wrapped in her pathetic Brexit campaign to bother about an emergency much closer to home.

Please share the **** out of this post to all and sundry who might be able to bring pressure on the Cruella, and finally, enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend, and if you are on duty at the Notting Hill Carnival, best wishes and stay safe.

Gang Violence In London And Elsewhere

I shall probably be called Racist by people who don’t really get it, but, hey, I don’t care. Some things are more important than that. I shall stick my head, with my tin foil helmet, above the parapet and proffer my opinions.

During my working life I have worked the streets of Brent and Southall, both areas with a very high percentage of immigrants. I tried to avoid South London, even Cab Drivers don’t want to go there, but occasionally I was sent to Brixton to give them a hand with some disorder. I do know a bitabout violence and racial tensions.

The Home Office, and the Police Service have to grasp the nettle (I’d better not say bite the bullet) and do a bit of serious racial profiling (waits for shocked gasps and glasses of Prosecco being dropped). No, I absolutely mean it.

There are people out there, and you all know the sort of person I mean, who delight in calling the Police “Racist”. We were branded “Institutionally Racist” and it has stuck, folk love to kick the Police Service with it.

If politicians and Senior Police Officers are serious about dealing effectively with the current, seemingly out of control, gang violence in London and elsewhere they need to acknowledge two blindingly obvious factors.

1. There is far more, and worse, Racism between different shades of black and brown than there ever was between simply White and Black/Brown. To pigeon-hole people as White, Asian, Black etc does nobody any favours. Even British Asian, British Black and all the other variations we see are not sufficient. We really do need to mine deeper. Which African country do they originate from? Are they Sikh or Muslim? What sort of Muslim are they?

When I worked at Southall there were horrendous, and violent, problems between the Sikhs from Southall and the Muslims from Slough, but the suspects and offenders were all recorded as simply “Asian”.

The arrival of youths from Somalia complicated the issue further. To get to grips with issues such as these we need to look much deeper than skin colour. What is their religion, which country, or African State do they originate from? How are they treated by the authorities in their country of origin?

Despite the allegations that the Police are Racist or use undue/excessive force towards these groups of people, many of them actually view the British Police as ‘soft’. I was once told by a male prisoner of Somalian origin that he had no fear of the British Police whatsoever as we would not treat him anywhere near as badly as he would be treated back home in Somalia. We couldn’t even come close to the levels of threats and violence he would experience at the hands of the authorities back home. How do you even begin to understand that by describing him as Black African?

Youths from the Caribbean Islands experience similar levels of violence at the hands of the Police back home. Here they complain about being stopped and searched whereas at home they are likely to receive a blow from a rifle butt at the side of the head for not wanting to account for their movements.

I will no doubt receive some criticism for that comparison but that is exactly what I was told by a former Sergeant of Police from Barbados. It may or may not be the current experience but it certainly was according to him.

2. There is nothing for the current younger generations to do to occupy their time. The Tory Cuts mean that we no longer have Youth Clubs, the Police no longer have Juvenile Bureaux or Schools Involvement officers. The Police used to be invited in to schools to talk to the children, of assorted ages and ethnic origins, about the assorted dangers out there in the real world. It used to be Strangers, Railways, Risk of Drowning etc etc, with a library of suitable films to show to reinforce the messages. In today’s world it would be Knife Crime, the Gang Culture, Moped Enabled Crime etc, with some suitably hard-hitting DVDs and victims, or families of victims, to give first hand accounts of where this Gang Culture leads to. Intervention and Education at an early stage.

Only this doesn’t happen. Youth Clubs seem to have been consigned to history. Local Councils have also suffered some brutal cuts at the hands of this government and the previous coalition, and now all departments are literally fighting for their share of the meagre resources there are precious little left for averting Gang Crime. Police no longer have sufficient resources to dedicated any number of officers to go and give a presentation to a group of schoolkids.

I shall stop now before I get called worse things than normal. If some of our Community Leaders wish to regard me as Racist that is their prerogative. I don’t think I am. I think I am a realist, pointing out what Government and NPCC need to consider instead of blaming others.

Government and NPCC really need to start listening to the people who have actual experience of this problem, whether they be retired or serving Police Officers, Community Leaders or the families of Knife Crime victims. They might not always speak the same language but there is a genuine desire out there to resolve this problem for once and for all, but other people need to stop, take notice and take the appropriate action.

Do the youths of Great Britain REALLY want to go round killing and maiming each other? They may do at the moment, but they have no viable education or advice. They do not see their options. They make bad choices. That can be altered over time, but not if we carry on the way we’re going.

We Were NOT Crying Wolf Prime Minister

I’m sure you can all remember back in 2015 when the then Home Secretary told the Police Federation to “stop crying wolf”.

She said nearly every year the Federation warned that the public was at risk or that the force would be destroyed but it had not happened.

She told officers: “This kind of scare-mongering does no one any good.” And she added: “This crying wolf has to stop.”

Mrs May gave them an ultimatum, telling them: “You can choose protest and continue to shout from the sidelines for the next five years or choose partnership.”

Fast Forward 3 years and where are we?  I think almost everyone apart from the most hardened lunatic Tories will admit that crimes of all types have risen by various degrees.  More importantly though, Murders in the capital, and beyond, are rocketing.  Knife Attacks, Acid Attacks, they are all getting out of control.

Even the Tories’ favourite newspaper is carrying unprecedented headlines

Shire towns face unprecedented 140 per cent surge in robberies and violent crime with rise blamed on police cuts and ‘county lines’ drug gangs

Since Theresa May first came to ‘power’ in 2010 she has stedfastly refused to listen to us old codgers, the Police Lobbyists, she has ignored Academics, Pracademics, the Federation and that species the NPCC officer who dares to speak out.  She very recently managed to stick in a leopard-print boot to the majority of Public Services by promising the NHS £20 billiom.  Yes, they do deserve it, but they are not alone in that.   She has chosen the NHS to be the sole beneficiary.  The #MagicMoneyTree only bore a few fruits obviously. Wait a moment, maybe this was just a cynical vote-winner.  What other Public Service is likely to provide as many votes as rescuing a floundering NHS?

Well Mrs May, let me tell yo now that the #MagicBobbyTree is dead, killed off by some over-zealous pruning by a ‘lady’ gardener.

Sadly though, it doesn’t even end there.  The skills and experience that have been lost over the past 10 years, frivolously discarded in some arrogant crusade, will take decades to replace, EVEN IF, the cuts were reversed tomorrow.  The damage has been done.  It can NOT be simply reversed, not even by some fancy-pants Graduate Entrry Folly dreamt up by the College.  That scheme, flawed as it is, does not touch the problem of dwindling PCSOs and Specials, alongsisde the Regulars.

Mrs May you have broken the morale, fibre and being of the Police Service.  You personally are responsible with your flawed policies and abject refusal to listen to reasoned argument.  This is YOUR legacy, young kids’ blood on your hands.  Oh no, you must stop that wicked Stop and Search immediately, it does no good and it is racist.  Really?  Ask the families oif the dead children (yes, children) that you pretend to care about.  What have YOU actually DONE to stem the tide of knife-related murders, attmpted murders and assaults on our streets in broad daylight?

NOTHING

We were NOT crying Wolf (and at the end of that fable there was actually a wolf)

Who Gives A Toss About #KnifeCrime?

Well, I do, but I’m not sure that our politicians really do care.

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I care about it, and my chosen vehicle for heightening awareness is the Knife Angel. I ‘dug’ into it, found out what it was all about, went to see it (stunning) and met the ‘owner’ and creator of the Knife Angel. I spoke to both of them at length over many cups of coffee, and their passion and belief in the project is absolutely blindingly clear.

Clive Knowles, the ‘owner’ has invested thousands (probably 10s of thousands, I was too polite to ask him) of pounds in creating the Angel. He has fabricated secure Knife Bins, more than enough for each Force to conduct a Knife Amnesty and securely store the knives surrendered. He has footed the bill for delivering the Knife Banks and collecting them when full and transportation back to his business premises.

Nobody can say that Clive is not fully committed to tackling the epidemic of Knife Crime across the country. Once the Angel was made he started a campaign to get the Knife Angel installed on the 4th Plinth of Trafalgar Square. He has even named the Knife Angel the National Monument Against Violence And Aggression.

Clive Knowles is the gent on the right.

I have also spent some time with Alfie Bradley, the brilliant young sculptor who created the Knife Angel. In order to do this he had to take 100,000 knives, and other bladed instruments, blunt each and every one of them and then form them into the Knife Angel. Some of the blades even have personal messages engraved on them from victims of Knife Crime or their families. His passion and commitment are blindingly apparent, but he is possibly better known for making a huge gorilla out of spoons for Uri Geller, but that’s another story.

Alfie is the chap on the ladder.

Then we come to our politicians. At various times, in an assortment of ways, the following politicians have proclaimed their abhorrence of the current flood of Knife Crimes and their desire to do something about it.

Theresa May

Amber Rudd

Sajid Javid

Louise Haigh

Jeremy Corbyn

Holly Lynch

Nick Hurd

Sadiq Khan.

There may be others that I have overlooked, if that is the case please forgive me.

I have tweeted to Theresa May and Amber Rudd, and emailed both of them personally. No response from either except for an ‘Out of Office’ response from Amber Rudd that if I was not a constituent of hers I would not get a reply, and I didn’t.

Sajid Javid has only recently joined the Home Office but he has still failed to respond in any way to tweets to him about Knife Crime and the #KnifeAngel.

Louise Haigh, Holly Lynch and Jeremy Corbyn have not once responded in any way to numerous tweets addressed to them on the matter.

Nick Hurd has failed to respond to tweets or emails.

Finally, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. I have tweeted him dozens of times, to both his official and personal accounts. I have sent him emails. No reply to anything. Sadiq Khan is also responsible for deciding what exactly is shown on top of the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square. I have emailed the 4th Plinth Commissioning Group. No reply, but I have seen a photo of Sadiq Khan posing in front of the latest piece of art atop the 4th Plinth.

A big ‘Thumbs Up’. London is in the grip of an immense wave of Knife Crime and a ‘Thumbs Up’ is more appropriate than the Knife Angel.

I also emailed the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, but all I got back from them was a bland rejection by ‘James’ her Staff Officer, whoever ‘James’ may be.

So, sadly, the answer seems to be that I give a toss, Clive Knowles and Alfie Bradley give a toss. Not one of the above-mentioned politicians has demonstrated any positive action towards the Knife Angel campaign. However, I do believe that Sadiq Khan has contacted Clive Knowles direct and informed him why the Knife Angel is not a suitable exhibit for the 4th plinth. In my opinion he offered a pathetic, jobsworth, reason, but that is entirely his affair, I have the right to reject it.

If the politicians want to convince us that they do actually give a toss then it’s time for them to adopt more than snappy soundbites. Get behind the Knife Angel. If not Trafalgar Square then suggest somewhere else that’s suitable. Make it happen. This is not about me. It isn’t even about Clive and Alfie. It’s about the thousands of people being stabbed and murdered on our streets every year, and Clive’s campaign to draw attention to it, and begin a reduction in Knife Crime. Don’t support me, #SupportTheKnifeAngel. Especially if you want people to vote for you next time round, whichever party you are. This is not about politics, it’s about young people dying on our streets.

PLEASE take the time to watch all three videos below, particularly the second one.  The Knife Angel suddenly becomes very real.

SAVE A LIFE – Surrender Your Knife

Knife Crime, Stop/Search – Some Facts, Some Figures And Some Fictions, Plus Anything Else I Can Think Of

Knife Crime is very much current and on the rise, both in the capital, London, and across the country generally.  For the purposes of this post I shall be relying on figures that relate to London, but I have no doubt that they will be mirrored elsewhere, just with smaller numbers.  In this context Knife Crime = Any Crime enabled by use of a Knife, not just assaults and homicides etc.

Ethnicity in this context is Self Defined Ethnicity.

In 2012 there were 12,454 recorded victims of Knife Crime in London, 2,489 (20%) were female and 9,960 (80%) were male.  1,566 (12.6%) were Asian, 1,208 (9.7%) were Black (any origin), 185 (1.5%) were Mixed Race, 86 (0.01%) were Chinese, 3,123 (25.1%) were White, 181 (1.5%) were from Any Other Ethnic Group,  and 6,105 (49%) were Unrecorded (including Refused)  for whatever reason.

Fast Forward to 2016 and we see a slight reduction in the total number off victims of Knife Crime

In 2016 there were a total of 11,707 recorded victims of Knife Crime in London, 2,360 (20.2%) were female and 9342 (79.8%) were male.  So not really very much has changed here. 986 (8.4%) were Asian, 968 (8.3%) were Black (any origin), 125 (1.1%) were Mixed Race, 36 (0.3%) were Chinese, 2,110 (18%) were White, 121 (1%) were from Any Other Ethnic Group and 7,361 (63%) were Unrecorded/Refused for whatever reason.  A HUGE rise in Unrecorded/Refused.  Is this indicative of a lack of supervision, insufficient time to fill in all the boxes, or just sloppy crime recording generally?  Small reductions in the number of Asian, Black and White victimes but this is absolutely meaningless due to the ridiculously high Unrecorded/Refused figure.  Not very much you can do with any of these figures except insert the words ‘At Least’ in front of them.

 

This brings us to the persons carrying out these offences, which in this instance are the people ‘Arrested’, or Persons Proceeded Against as the Met quaintly calls them.

In 2012 a Grand Total of 3,067 people were ‘Proceeded Against’, 302 (9.9%) of them were Female and 2,765 (90.1%) were Male.  319 (0.1%) were Asian, 1,288 (42%) were Black (any origin), 200 (6.5%) were Mixed Race, 10 (0.3%) were Chinese, 1,070 (34.9%) were White, 86 (2.8%) were from Any Other Ethnic Group and 94 (3.1%) were Unrecorded/Refused.

 

Fast Forward to 2016 once more, what, if anything has changed here?

In 2016 a Grand Total of 2,546 people were Proceeded Against for Knife Crime.  341 (13.4%) were Female and 2,205 (86.6%) were Male.  288 (11.3%) were Asian, 1,040 (40.1%) were Black (any origin), 174 (6.8%) were of Mixed Race, 7 (0.3%) were Chinese, 850 (33.4%) were White, 97 (3.8%) were from Any Other Ethnic Group, and 90 were Unrecorded/Refused

 

So, what does Stop and Search look like?

In Calendar Year 2012, in London, there were 390,231 recorded Stop and Searches. Of the Persons stopped 60,696 (15.5%) were Asian, 106,303 (27.2%) were Black (any origin), 16,547 (4.2%) were Mixed Race, 1,051 (0.3%) were Chinese, 175,036 (44.9%) were White, 8,266 (2.1%) were from Any Other Ethnic Group and the remainder being Not Recorded or Refused.

 

 

 

In 2016 the situation was this; there were a total of 135,968 of which 15,940 were Asian, 43,599 were Black (any origin), 5,889 were of Mixed Race, 49,322 were White, 272 were Chinese,  3,182 were Any Other Ethnic Group.  An incredible 17,764 were Unrecorded/Refused.

So, what does all of this show?  It shows that you can demonstrate almost anything depending upon how you present the statistics.  Almost every set of data above is rendered unreliable by the incredible number of Unrecorded or Refused entries.  However, merely looking at the entries where ethnicity was self-defined, it would appear that white people were the major victims of Knife Crime. Black people formed the majority of the Persons Proceeded against.  In both years White people formed the majority of persons Stopped and Searched.  Right?  Got that?  If only life were that simple.

The Academics (thankfully I’m a mere faux-Academic) would have you believe that Black people form the majority of people stopped because they are being stopped disproportionately.  This is how it works.

For the Rolling Year in London, this is how Stop/Searches look

Black people have crept slightly ahead of White people in the Rolling Year (to today’s date), but nothing to be alarmed about.  Not until the Academics get hold of it and tell us that on the basis of these figures Black people are SEVEN times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.  How does that work then?  It works by measuring the totals against the percentages of the ethnic population of London.  using exactly the same figures the graph now looks like this

It makes it appear that MANY more Black people are being stopped than White people, but that is merely one interpretation of the same data.  Certainly not the much-vaunted SEVEN times that we keep getting fed. Personally I prefer to deal in simple numbers as the true picture is immediately obvious, the Academics love to deal in percentages because they can ‘prove’ that something has improved that has, in reality, got much worse, such as the Stop to Arrest ‘hit’ rate.  That is much worse, but the percentages would tend to suggest that it is much better.  A higher percentage of a smaller number frequently produces a much smaller result.

To demonstate the folly of this within the context of Stop and Search, one of our Northern Constabularies was criticised for stopping too many Black people.  The numbers being stopped were disproportionate to the ethnic makeup of the County.  Well I have to say this was true, Black people made up approx 0.3% of the County, but approx 0.7% of the people stopped were Black.  Twice as many as you should expect perhaps.

Strip away all the smoke and mirrors and reveal the reality

In  2015/16 Out of 3,879 s1 Stop Searches 3,381 were White, 22 black, 43 Asian, 6 Chinese, 12 Mixed Race, 110 unknown and 305 were Vehicle Only.

In 2016/17 Out of 1,962 s1 Stop Searches 1,705 were white, 14 were Black, 21 were Asian, No Chinese lol, 9 were Mixed Race, 86 Unknown and 127 were Vehicle Only

One Black person stopped by the entire Force every 2-3 weeks.  If that is excessive I’ll go back to knitting.

Knife Crime – A Faux-Academic’s View

I confess, I have never been an ‘academic’, I left school with two A Levels and a Jamboree Bag. In truth, I’m never likely to be an academic either. I have had three jobs since leaving school, and every one of them involved being a practitioner of one kind or another. I’m not intimidated by ‘maffs’ and ‘riffmatic’ though. A set of numbers is just another challenge.

As most of you will know I have a ‘thing’ about Knife Crime and somehow seem to be at odds with some of the more established academics about Knife Crime and its prevention.

So, I wrote to all 43 Forces in an attempt to get a true picture of the scale of the problem across England and Wales. Then I thought, I can draw some pretty graphs and charts too. I won’t feel so left out.

It has to be said I got a colourful variety of responses, some Forces even went overboard and gave me far more data than I had requested. Some gave their results in Calendar Years, and some in Financial years, but at least they gave me something I could work with. One Force that shall remain nameless suggested that I contact the Coroner as they couldn’t tell me how many persons had been killed by knife or bladed object. A small number haven’t yet replied, so where you see value of zero on a graph, they are almost certainly one of those.  In the case of the Met I am still waiting for the figures for the second half of 2017.

With 5 Forces still to provide me with ANYTHING the total number of people killed by knives or other pointed objects in England and Wales was

2015 – 158

2016 – 177

2017 – 173

The total number of people injured by Knives etc (e.g. non-fatal stabbings etc) was

2015 – 9272

2016 – 9922

2017 – 8719

I expect all of these figures to rise, especially the 2017 totals, once I finally get the outstanding data.

Where did all these attacks happen?  Are there any unexpected hotspots?

As a faux-academic I think it’s quite clear that there are only maybe half a dozen or so Forces that have a real problem with Deaths and Injuries by knife etc. However any death is one too many, whoever the victim is, whatever his/her background is and whichever Force it is.  The killing simply has to stop.

One point that I feel I need to expand upon, I have heard figures quoted that are massively bigger than those above.  In the main they refer to knife-enabled crime such as robbery, aggravated burglary, any offence where a knife is produced but not used to cause injury.  We must definitely not forget those crimes but here I am concentrating on deaths and injuries.

What can we do about it?  I have written about Knife Crime many times before, and unless anyone comes up with another, better, suggestion, I still see the two ways forward as a) Education and b) Stop and Search, preferbaly in conjunction with each other.  I have read ‘proper’ academics papers that suggest that Stop and Search has no effect on Knife Crime.  I don’t have anywhere near enough pieces of paper to argue with that effectively, but I simply don’t agree.  Any weapon used in the commission of an offence is carried through the streets at some point.  During that time it, and its carrier, are always vulnerable to a Stop and Search if sufficient grounds exist.  I have always maintained that to retain its credibility Stop and Search should be used, but used lawfully and ethically.  I have previously written about the reduction of Stop and Search instigated by Theresa May, and the main post can be found here.

Finally, I have heard it said that ethnic minorities are unfairly targeted by Stop and Search.  I have always maintained that if you test the ‘available population’ that is no longer true.  Last night I happened upon this post in The Spectator which not only appears to support my view, but states that government knew this but had it spun differently.

Stop & Search – A (Not An) Academic’s Opinion

I am not an academic, never been one and hardly likely to become one now. I have, however, considerable experience in Research and Analysis. In the past few days I have been involved in a, sometimes, acrimonious exchange on Twitter with an ex Think Tank academic, on the thorny subject of Stop and Search.

It all started off when I received this Tweet

and then

Rightly or wrongly I just had to challenge them

Gavin then confirmed his assertions with

This exchange continued backwards and forwards over 2 or 3 days, with neither of us conceding that the other might be right. Gavin came up with an extract from some unidentified document that he had found.

Cheekily followed up with

A further refusal to concede that “we expect…..” may just have a different meaning. The mood of this ‘instruction’ is possibly revealed here

In the midst of it all I asked Gavin if he had ever spent a week with a Front Line Response Team, his response was

The argument continued backwards and forwards for a couple of days, I won’t bore you you with the actual tweets they are on our timelines if you want them. At some point it included “numbers versus percentages”. Academics love things in percentages, I prefer numbers. A good example of this is Stop and Search in the Met. The number of people stopped and searched has dropped off a cliff face. The percentage of those arrested has increased dramatically. Some Academics claim that as a success. The reality is that a larger percentage of a much smaller number means that about 15,000 fewer people are being arrested in the Met as a result of Stop and Search. Not exactly a huge success.

In an attempt to get a more balanced opinion than my own I posed the subject of the 20% Arrest Rate to 2 Facebook Groups for the Metropolitan Police. Most of the replies I received denied that there was such a policy, a small number remembered the policy but claimed that it was ignored as unethical, some claimed that it was misinterpreted and only ever implemented by a small number of Inspectors at Appraisal time. There was one response however that was quite illuminating and I brought it to Gavin’s attention (anonymised obviously)

Gavin’s response?

My final words

I have nothing against Gavin as a person, I have never met him, but in this particular exchange he seems to have formed an opinion regarding Stop and Search in the Met and was particularly unreceptive to any differing view. This is not intended as an anti-Gavin post, just expressing a different interpretation of the same document.

However, not all Academics are so insistent that Stop/Search is bad. I have always taken the view that Stop and Search conducted lawfully is a valuable tool and legitimate tactic in the war against Street Crime. Police Officers are fully aware of the requirements for lawfully conducting a Stop/Search under s1 of PACE, and attempting to fulfil an SMT-defined quota is not one of them. I wonder if all Academics are familiar with them.

Finally, I was reminded of the work of another Academic, Dr Marian FitzGerald, basically her recommendations and conclusions can be summed up thus:

Contribution of saearches [sic] to tackling crime:

▪ Searches contribute to the detection and prevention of crime through arrests, and through the intelligence they produce.

▪ The arrest rates tend to be higher for ‘low discretion’ searches, where officers have received information from a third party.

▪ The report claimed that the power has a general impact on crime prevention, demonstrated by independent statistical analysis. However, this important finding was disputed by the independent analyst contracted to carry out the investigation.

Patterns of searches:

▪ Officers target certain individuals who they perceive to be involved in crime locally.

▪ Officers may use the power of stop and search to disrupt groups of young people.

▪ The use of the power is still perceived as a measure of productivity although searches have not been used as a Performance Indicator since 1997.

▪ Most searches were carried out on young men, around half of which did not live in the local area.

Dr FitzGerald’s research was conducted quite some time ago, and is specific to London, but that in itself does not necessarily render it invalid. The two main factors that have changed since then are;

a) Crime Levels have increased

b) Police numbers have increased since the date of the report but are steadily reducing again.

In conclusion it appears that Academics do not all agree with each other, and some are not willing to listen to opposing views to their own, even when presented with supporting ‘evidence’. However I am still perfectly happy to support Stop and Search as a valid tactic, with the strict proviso that it is conducted lawfully. With the recent explosion of knife-related assaults and murders, robberies etc, it has to be remembered that every one of those knives is carried through the streets at some point. How else do we deter this epidemic without Stop and Search? It’s a serious question, I’m open to all suggestions, I just want the killings to end.

Any item of Academia that appears on my Timeline that reduces the opportunities to prevent the killings is not best received.

ADDENDUM

Whilst I was writing this the following response popped up in one of the Facebook Groups;

Considering S.1 PACE refers to reasonable suspicion I’m surprised that the arrest ratio to “lawful stops” is not higher. How can any organization legislate a specific quota of arrests to stops? So they don’t. In fact with all of the adverse criticism over the years stop and search has been reduced to a trickle……………

The Streets Are Lost – Will We EVER Get Them Back?

The Police have lost control of the streets. There, I’ve said it.

Not everywhere, of course, but cities mainly, London definitely, but it could apply literally anywhere.

It has been obvious for a while now but the government have just sat quietly and said nothing. Only that isn’t quite true is it? The government have said something. In 2014, i think it was, the then Home Secretary Theresa May instructed the Police to cut down on Stop and Search. Instructed. That must rank as the biggest political interference in Policing in modern times.

Various pretty graphs have been drawn over the years to try and make it look like the policy was working, but in reality Stop and Search fell off the cliff after 2014. Fewer people were getting stopped (all reasons) and fewer people were getting arrested as a result of those Stops. Mayor Khan’s office tried to make it look like the policy was working and that more people were being arrested, but they were just playing with percentages.

 

Knife crime up 21%

Robbery up 29%

Vehicle theft up 18%

With figures like these how can you pretend that we have control of our streets.? Are these are NATIONAL figures, not just London.

BBC News ran an item on Knife Crime in Tuesday’s evening News


I would go so far as to say that the government in general, and Theresa May in particular, are directly responsible for this state of affairs.

in 2010, under the direction of Theresa May, the Home Office embarked upon a systematic culling of the Police Service in the name of ‘Austerity’. I don’t think that anybody outside of the Palace of Westminster believes that one any more.

Theresa May cannot claim to be unaware of the effects of her vicious cuts, she has been told, often. However in 2015 she responded to this enlightenment like this

you warned that the police – and the public – were being put in danger in 2001, 2004 and 2007. The truth is that crime fell in each of those years, it’s fallen further since – and our country is safer than it has ever been…………

……….for your sake and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day – this crying wolf has to stop.

The country is safer than it has ever been? Try telling that to the parents of our dead children Mrs May. And many of them were just that, children. Crying Wolf? Safer? 4 young people in London lost their lives to knives on New Years Eve/Day alone.

How can you say such things? How can you now remain quiet?

Stop and Search in London 2008 to 2016
A 12 Month Snapshot of Knife Crime in London

 

 

 

Before I leave Knives and Stop & Search, a senior officer at Scotland Yard received a Knighthood this year on the back of a 70% reduction in Stop & Search. How is that justified in the light of the slaughter around us?

Moped Crime and Pursuits – before I make any comment all, I fully realise that pursuits in particular are a highly contentious, and current, topic. Any collision where an innocent member of the public is injured or, worse, killed is highly regrettable, and preferably avoided. However, the Police still have a job to do and sometimes that will involve pursuing vehicles. More often than not the officers will be unclear on why the driver has decided to make off from Police until it is stopped. Sometimes a collision will occur. Some times the driver of the car being pursued will exceed his/her capabilities and crash. Hopefully no innocent parties will be injured. HOWEVER, the driver of the car/moped etc being pursued ALWAYS has the option to STOP. This would result in him/her being arrested in a dignified manner with full recognition of the driver’s rights. Surely this outcome is preferable to risking death or injury? Many seem to think not.

Moped crime in London has absolutely rocketed although it is not an offence restricted to London alone. Once again, how can we claim to have control of the streets with crimes at these levels? I’m sure that somebody will let me know what the latest instructions are, but I’m absolutely certain that the Police Drivers dread being faced with the dilemma of stopping a moped.

 

 

 

 

Gun Crime – up 20%. Wether it be for an Armed Robbery, a Terrorist Attack or a simple Murder all of those firearms are carried through the streets at some point. Once again, how can we claim to be controlling the streets with a 20% increase in Gun Crime nationally?

Acid Attack – these also appear to be on the rise with a further 300 (approx) being reported in the first 6 months of 2017. Like firearms, these acid attacks are either committed in the street, or the acid is carried through the streets, once again casting doubt on our ability to claim control.

County Lines – A brief and basic description of how County Lines work is contained within the very short video below.  Violence between gang members can be extreme, a recent dispute saw one male have his hand chopped off with a machete and both legs broken.  Young children are used as Mules or Dealers including one young chap who operated in the vicinity of a school miles from his home but was wearing the school uniform of the school where he was operating.

Racism – an easy claim for observers and community ‘leaders’ such as Lee Jasper is that the Police are Racist.  Maybe some are.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that out of 122,000 officers a few bad apples were Racist, but I am absolutely certain that the number is not large.  According to Sir Robert Peel “The people are the Police and the Police are the people” (see below).  This almost guarantees that in any given Police Force you will have some of everything, because the Police are drawn from the public, and the public consists of all types.

Peelian Principles

The seventh Peelian Principle is the one I refer to above, it simply states

7 – To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

So, no different to anybody else then.

The first Peelian Principle is the one we were all given to remember and repeat ‘parrot fashion’ during Initial Training.  Paraphrased it says “The primary objective of an efficient Police is the prevention of crime………”, or as Peel had it

1 To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

Which brings me to the end of this tome, which I hope you have found useful and not too dry.  Number One – “To prevent Crime and Disorder”.  With crime, or least certain types of crime undisputably rising, and Police Numbers undisputably falling, and the population constantly growing;

How do the Police Prevent Crime and Protect the Public?

Answers on a postcard please.  There is a #CrisisInPolicing but there is NOT a #BottomlessBobbyBox.  I heard tell recently of a Sergeant, in a large urban Force, who paraded 4 Constables (yes 4) and had 3 pages of Incidents to assign.  What should he have done?