Saturday, April 22, 2006

The honest answers

Lennie Briscoe recently had a post in which he posted some quotes from his boss, asking questions and commenting about the police. I'd decided to answer all of these as honestly as I can to aid him, and any others with the same problems.

1.If we [the police] spent less time hiding in bushes with speed cameras then we would catch more criminals"
Ok, at our station we have (counts in head, this many shifts, this many on each shift adds up...) about 130 frontline officers. I'm not counting any "police officers" who are not frontline. About 10 of these are traffic officers. These are the only ones allowed to play with the speed laser guns. From what I can tell, they set up speed traps approximately once every two to three months. Could we really spend less time?

2."If we [the police] didn't spend so much time putting up speed cameras to catch the law abiding we could catch more criminals"
We (the police) don't put up the speed cameras. Perhaps some high up Chief Constable somewhere has some say in the matter, based on government suggestions, but the standard police officer has absolutely nothing to do with them and hate them as much as you do.

3. "Do you know that when PC Sharon Beshenivsky was murdered, a caller on a radio program told listeners that he refused to cooperate with police asking for information on her killer because he no longer trusted the police and didn’t care to help”
No, I didn't know that. But I'd put my entire mortgage on the fact that the caller didn't trust the police because he was a criminal that had been caught by them. And I'd place that bet at odds of 1/1000 if you offered them.

4. “Tony Martin the farmer who shot the burglar should be awarded a medal”
Some police officers would agree with you. We are bound to act as is the law. If you want the law changed, complain about the government. It currently says you cannot shoot someone who is running away from you after burgling your property. Therefore we can't just ignore someone doing this, whatever our personal feelings on the matter.

5. “The hit and run driver who recently killed a medical student and only owned up after the media publish photos of her deceased body 8 months later got 18 months. This isn’t justice.”
I agree. I've done a fuller post about driving problems like this, but in this particular case my personal feeling are to agree wholeheartedly with you. I may have felt slightly differently if he had stopped to try and save her. Slightly.

6. “The current socialist government [Labour] don’t understand that when the prisons are full, we need more prisons not shorter sentences or more community punishments.”
You are 100% smack on the money. Completely right. Absolutely, and you won't find a single police officer who will say to you "No, prisons not the answer". We are out of space now, and yes, it may take three years to build more prisons - but we'll still be out of space in three years.

7. “Why do some police drive round in BMW 5 series?”
Because they are part of a smaller, highly funded department (firearms, traffic) and are the envy of every frontline officer driving about in his 1.0d Austin Rover.

8. “The public simply do not trust the police any more”
If that is true its a shame. However, some of the police no longer trust the public either. Honesty and good manners are not a part of todays society, and the police can't be blamed for that.

5 Comments:

At 8:02 pm, Blogger gonorr said...

Nice to have the answers, as I was pondering over them.

As you say, it is mainly people who have been at the business end of the Police who do not trust them. You are also right about bad manners and yes the fault doesn't lay at the police door.

 
At 4:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:39 am, Anonymous Joe Public said...

8. “The public simply do not trust the police any more”
If that is true its a shame. However, some of the police no longer trust the public either. Honesty and good manners are not a part of todays society, and the police can't be blamed for that.

It's interesting that you raise this point. I'm not a Police Officer, just an ordinary member of the public, and I have certainly noticed a slip in Police standards in this respect over the past decade. From what I have personally witnessed on a number of occasions (not, I hasten to add from "being on the business end!"), it seems to be that the case that because certain officers are so used to being treated disrespectfully, they now carry with them a disrespectful attitude as standard. This lack of respect towrd the public obviously reflects back as lack of respect for the Police, and once the Police lose respect, they've lost trust.

It's certainly a vicious circle, but the Police could break that circle themselves if they treated everyone equally and impartially, and restrained themselves from responding to abusive or rude comments, just accept them as part of the job, water off a ducks back etc. However, the difficulty there is that it would require the vast majority of Officers to purposely seek out and inhabit the moral high ground, but respect within society in general seems to have sunk so low over the past decade that such an action would probably be highly unlikely.

 
At 1:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I trust the Police and all my dealings with them have been fair.I think you should have less paperwork and more of a free hand.The goverment should not tie your hands so much and let you set about restoring order on the streets.Most people are worried about so called low level crime such as ferral non touchable youths because this is something that affects everybody.Bring back the clip round the lug hole and stop pampering them.

 

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