The honest answersLennie 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.