Sunday, 11 July 2010

Obsession with paramilitery equipment is a 'grave' mistake!

Vindication of many of the views that I have put forward over the 'Moat affair' in the last few days comes today from an unlikely but well informed source, Brian Paddick former Metropolitan assistant deputy commissioner writing in the Daily Mail has a lot to say on the matter of Police, policing and the equipment they use to do it...

The contrast was strange and disconcerting. Dressed like extras from Robocop, we saw a group of heavily-armed police officers taking aim at the hedgerows last week amid scenes of Northumbrian tranquility.
Well we at least know why they were equipped in this fashion this time;

Aside from the body armour and the radios, there were automatic rifles, pistols for closequarter combat and Tasers.
It does seem rather reasonable in the circumstances doesn't it!...lets get to the point shall we...

Yet the huge weight of equipment on view will strike most (especially city dwellers) as far from unusual. We are all too familiar with bulky body armour, guns and a range of modish extras that have turned the old-fashioned bobby into something resembling a High Street stormtrooper.

Ahh, here we go, it is a fact that the Police are routinely dressing this way all around our fair country...

the ordinary policeman or woman has been transformed beyond recognition - with damaging results for public confidence and even for their ability to do the job itself.
the conviction that the right appearance helps secure the trust and respect of the public, has been gradually lost.
 Too right mate no one wants to approach Robocop with his gun held across his chest to ask for the time or directions...people are becoming afraid of doing so because of how they look...

the police have been the authors of their own difficulty - not least in the way they present themselves in public.
What is going on ? mean there are Police (or ex Police) who can talk sense!!!...

senior officers decided they would allow police officers to routinely wear body armour. This was despite the officers being shot in the legs, which are not covered by body armour, and despite gunmen rarely targeting police officers.

Rarely targeted? if he says so then I suppose there must be some truth in it eh?

The sight of policemen in bulky armoured vests creates a psychological barrier between them and the public and raises people's fear of crime. We assume the streets are dangerous if officers appear to feel the need, as a matter of routine, for protective clothing.
Ahhh... the crux of it!...psychological barriers, and assumptions that our streets are not safe!!

These regrettable changes are little to do with the world outside the police station. The murder rate in Britain has barely changed for decades (between 550 and 650 a year) as has the level of serious violence directed at police.
Well strap me down to a table lest I fall over in a dead faint, so for DECADES the rates of violence and murder are virtually unchanged, that is not what we the general public have been led to believe now is it Mr Bliar?...

I believe that the look reflects the macho, male-dominated nature of the organisation. Some officers have always looked to resolve situations by force as a first, rather than a last, resort.

OOOhhh...Brian now there IS an many of the arbiters of law are in fact the violent that we the public need protecting against is it? correct me if I have read that wrongly....(as if)...

It is often said that Britain is policed by consent, where officers are seen as citizens in uniform operating with the support of the public.
It 'was' often said Brian, there cannot be many who still say it unless they are actually Police personnel or politicians (hawk...spit!)...

Yet the militarisation of the beat bobby is eroding that unique relationship - to the extent that police community support officers are now officially seen as 'the bridge between the police and the public'.

Oh Ho...the acceptable face of Policing are they? what bobbies used to be, unarmed and mostly trying to be a friendly deterrent presence on the streets, whilst Rambo in his battle gear is running around doing 'more' important stuff!! (like what, giggling like schoolgirls over x-ray images of naked public in airports?)

It is fortunate that the damage is not beyond repair.

What exactly makes you think that for gods sake...people now fear and revile the Police force, for when called upon they take forever to arrive and rarely if ever do the callers see a real resolution to the problem they called about in the first place. What use to me a crime number!, I want to see some bastard jailed for breaking into my car and stealing my stereo etc, mostly my insurance excess means its not worth the claim and loss of no claims...

The extendable batons should be hidden from view. CS spray and Tasers should be held ready for use in patrol cars.

Too right they should mate there is nothing more incongruous than the sight of a fully armed and protected officer in a quiet leafy suburb where there is nil chance of being attacked as its broad daylight  and the complainant is the only one around for miles ...(though hang on a sec...maybe just maybe its us they are frightened of as we are so pissed off with their usual fob offs, we just may...)

Which leads us back to the beginning and Mr Paddicks Headline;

How can the public feel safe when the police are so scared?

 Quite so Mr Paddick, quite so....

I wouldn't want to ask him the time something might go off accidentally while he was looking for his watch!!!


Sandy said...

While you are at it, have a look over all the photos you can find of this and see how many collar numbers you can see being worn ?

Or are rifles stun guns and tasers the new official police ID ?

Indyanhat said...

Nicely spotted Sandy!, there is a recent trend for Police officers not to display there ID numbers when on duty, seems a bit pointless having them then doesn't it?
If they were so they could be brought to account individually for their excesses then not wearing them tells a whole lot !!!
Unacountable is what it says, thats the message given by the paramilitary goon squads we now have on our streets AND you're not allowed to photograph them either , now I wonder...why exactly would that be?