Brian's Brief Encounters

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Time For Change

“I hate the Police”

Is something I get to hear/read from time to time.

Most of the time I don’t take it too personally.

The vast majority of people using this phrase have their own reason(s). They’re called convictions.

If this applies to you then you should also hate the court, the government, your ineffective defence team and/or the speed camera. That’s a whole lot of hate. Maybe you could try hating yourself too, for committing the offence(s) in the first place? No? Silly me. Of course it’s my fault.

Then we have a minority of people who hate the Police for being the Police.

The intelligentsia.

I’m sure you can all tell me, in very big words I’d have to look up, why you dislike us. Don’t bother. I’ve got the gist of your views. Since becoming a Police officer I unwittingly also became, in no particular order:

A racist.

A thug.

A misogynist.

A little Hitler.

All character traits I wasn’t previously aware of. Thanks for pointing them out. Repeatedly. I bow to your superior knowledge of me. After all you’re the smart cookies. I’m just a thick bully-boy.

I have just one request of you. One that I’d like you to focus on at your next dinner party. Over the venison cutlets perhaps?

What is the alternative to the current situation?

To kick off the debate, can I suggest that you start with the laws? It’s in your best interests to have these. Otherwise it’ll be survival of the fittest. That won’t be you, no matter how many times a week you visit your private gym.

You might want to include laws that protect people, property and our way of life.

Then the toughie. Who’s going to make sure that everyone follows these laws?

How about no-one? Seems like a good idea until you remember you’re safe little world might not be quite so erm safe. Pick up any broadsheet and you’ll see that there are articles about people you might not want to invite round to discuss house prices with over a Minke whale steak.

You could go for a collaboration of interested parties. A sort of Custodian Collective. It would have to be inclusive though. You couldn’t alienate sections of society just because you don’t agree with their views. What sort of person would that make you?

They could all draw lots and we’d let them have their own rules for a period of time. For instance:-

Amnesty International month would be a time when your neighbours would receive strongly worded letters if they persecute you with their incessant playing of loud urban music.

Vegetarian month would be an opportunity for the “Meat is Murder” people to get their revenge. So long as you had the foresight to bring the death penalty back.

Eco month would give everyone a chance to work on their fitness. Especially the ex-lorry drivers delivering food to supermarkets on their push bikes.

Nazi month would be a riot.

Burglar month would be handy if you misplaced your baby seal club. You could just pop next door and help yourself.

Paedophile month would be…..Oh bother, I’ve just realised this idea might not work too well.

I told you it was a toughie.

Let me know what you come up with.

Please keep the big words to a minimum though.

Someone stole my dickshunree.


At 24/7/05 8:30 AM, Blogger Liz said...

You speak words of truth, my brother in thuggery.

When it all comes down to it though, it's really about the power trip, isn't it?

At 24/7/05 11:39 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

"Power trip"?

I don't work for the IPCC you know.

By the way, how were the Bear steaks?

At 24/7/05 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen copper, listen Fascist:

Why don't you fuck off to a police state like Pakistan, Saudi or Egypt, if you want a society with 'shoot to kill' as normal?

At 25/7/05 12:12 AM, Blogger FunkyGibbon said...

Brian, 'fess up. You posted #3 yourself didn't you? That had to be ironic after all, didn't it?

At 25/7/05 1:52 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

Mr Gibbon,

If only I could be so eloquent.

It wasn't me.

However, I do know exactly (from the spelling) 'who' it was. I've been trying to have a polite debate with him on his own turf. I've been struggling.

As you can see polite debating isn't a strong suit.

Maybe I should invite him round for tea?

At 25/7/05 8:54 AM, Anonymous Silverback said...

Oh dear oh dear, "anonymous" - or perhaps that should be "anonymouse"? What a dick. Whilst I'm a bit unhappy with the ways thing *appeared* to have gone down - I'm not keen on the idea of police sanctioned executions in any event, no matter what the Home Secretary thinks is a good idea, I'm pretty sure these officers acted with good intentions to save lives.

I would question the logic, of running from armed police, especially in the current situation - to me this ought to come down to whether the poor sod was challenged by armed police who identified themselves as such - if he then decides to run, tough titty said the kitty. If he doesn't understand enough of the language, well, that's tragic, but I'm not going to vilify the officers concerned for that.

Re the OP, am I detecting a hint of bitterness? ;) Whilst I don't regularly get your kind of treatment from the public at large, my own political views probably dovetail with the average copper's... so I have a degree of sympathy. I identify wholly with what you term the "intelligentsia". I wouldn't use that word personally, I think perhaps, "limp wristed pricks who don't have a sodding clue" might be more apt.

In any event, whilst I'm inclined to think we are heading towards being a police state, that's an issue for the government ( or lack of ), not the force(s) themselves.

And last time I checked, "shoot to kill" wasn't classed as normal, it's a policy response to a rather unusual situation. I think that policy is wrong myself, but I find myself rather unusually sympathising with our beloved Emperor on this one - whatever he does is going to be wrong.


At 25/7/05 11:25 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

Mr Back,

I don't know why you would think me to be bitter.

The original post was a request for the clever people to suggest an alternative to the current Police. I have my fingers crossed, hoping I'll fit all the new criteria.

Unfortunately, the alternative ideas haven't exactly been flooding in.

It appears that I only have one suggestion.

I'm sad to report that I'll have to mark it as 'could do better'.

At 25/7/05 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wouldn't class jr as anyone's intelligentsia
hes a bit of a thick

At 25/7/05 11:51 AM, Anonymous Silverback said...

Brian, was just a a feeling from the tone of the OP. If it's wrong, then I apologise and retract.

I don't see a realistic alternative to having a police force.. but I'd like to see it reformed, along with the courts system, so that law and order actually has something to do with justice. I would imagine the boys in blue are pretty frustrated with the current system.

Removing the paperwork load from the uniformed officers would be a good start. I really don't understand why it was necessary to create 15 billion new forms. Before long surely your average copper will need a rucksack just to carry the paperwork?

At 25/7/05 12:32 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

Mr Back,

First of all may I say that their is nothing wrong in you thinking me bitter. I don't take offence. I try to write in a manner that provokes thought. Thank-you for thinking.

By believing that the current system needs reform is also a good thought. But, what though?

Everyone's opinion on what 'justice' is, differs.

I'm not frustrated with the current system. I'm well aware of what the likely penalty is for anyone I arrest. To be frustrated by this wouldn't be productive.

Unfortunately, reform brings paperwork. In a future post I may try and explain exactly how much paperwork is involved in a 'simple' arrest. It may take a number of posts though.

I laughed at loud at your 'rucksack' comment. I wasn't being rude. Let me explain.

Every patrol officer already carries a holdall or rucksack with them in the car. In addition to this a number of stations also provide another bag of kit that must be carried in all patrol vehicles. This is the size, and weight, of a rucksack you'd carry with you for a round the world trip.

This is why we patrol in cars.

At 25/7/05 12:34 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms anonymous 2,

Thank-you for clearing that up.

I was wondering for a while.

At 25/7/05 1:51 PM, Anonymous Silverback said...

Judging by what seems to have passed for reform in the past, paperwork does seem to be the order of the day.

In brief though, I would like to see officers given a lot more free reign to exercise their judgement on the spot, rather than have to fill out endless paperwork. Some element of paperwork is always going to be needed - but things seem to have gotten way out of hand.

In the same way religions seem to eventually choke on the trappings of the religion, it seems the police force has become ensnared in the usual political mire - the process of monitoring and recording and measuring has somehow become more important than that which is being monitored.

For the record, I've never been arrested, far less dragged into court. I've had the usual motoring run-ins with various officers, but in the past, being polite, and having not really commited a major offence, has usually resulted in a slapped wrist, producers, sometimes a lecture, but I've never taken offence at an officer upholding the law. I think a lot of them ( the laws ) are bloody stupid, but upholding the law is part of the job.

I've had one exception to that - one rather belligerent character, who actually nicked me for breaking a traffic law in order to get out of his way - I wasn't terribly impressed, but what the hell.

I might be being nostalgic - heh in my mid thirties - god help me when I'm actually old - but I miss the days when you messed an officer about you got a slap, dragged home and then the trouble really started. A bit of public humiliation never did any lasting harm. I remember when a policeman was pretty much widely thought of who you ran to when you needed help - and that doesn't seem to be the perception anymore.

Admittedly, some forces' responses to various calls doesn't help their cause, but these days, I'm not sure how you are supposed to have good public relations when a tiny minority of the public at large do such a good job of tail wagging the dog - you will never please everyone all the time.

Rambling a bit here... so I'll cut this short. I don't want bureaucrats at the Home Office providing justice via form XYZ, I want people at the sharp end doing that. I'd like the courts to apply some sensible sentencing a bit more often. I'd like the CPS to actually do some bloody work and back you guys up. I'd like officers to have a lot more freedom to deal with things as they see fit, not forced to operate within the latest and greatest set of guidelines.

Oh, and I'd definitely like speed cameras dumped in favour of a LOT more traffic police, even if that means a myriad of unmarked vascar units - I'd rather leave it to an officer to judge inappropriate use of speed, and if that means you get nabbed for travelling under the speed limit ( but still dangerously ), then so be it.

I think a good start to reform would be a change in the attitudes of the system as a whole - I should have the right to defend myself ( leave the gun debate aside here please! ) at the very least on my own territory. It does seem that the weight of the law is firmly on the side of the criminal, whilst the poor sods who cross the line once, even reasonably provoked, have their lives turned upside for the so-called "rights" of some career scrote.

Above all, I'd like people to stop bleating about rights, and start talking about responsibilities, and maybe even (gasp) social duties.

Can you tell me that if you arrest someone you are confident they are going to get what they deserve? It strikes me that many don't - admittedly that is largely anecdotal, but I've lived on some rough estates from time to time, and everyone knows who the scumbags are ; yet the system doesn't seem to have a way of dealing with it. The police were typically disinterested, and if you could get an officer there, and he arrested said scrote, they were inevitably bailed, whereupon you would spend the next few days counting the bricks through your window. All with said scrote having a cast iron alibi. It's that kind of situation that I think makes many think justice simply isn't available. It's very, very tempting at that stage to consider how one might take the law into your own hands - but because I pay my taxes, and generally live within the law - if I step outside of it, I get nailed, so said scrote still gets the last laugh.

I often used to have walk back through Notts city centre at night, having worked late. That was an interesting experience - most weekday nights were little short of pitched battles, with a plethora of broken windows the next day, glass everywhere from the bottle throwing competitions... and half a dozen riot vans full of police not doing much of anything. I'm guessing they don't want to go in too heavy handed - they are rather outnumbered, after all - but if that's where we with public order, haven't we already lost?

I'm not an expert by any means, and it's easy for me to sit and carp from the sidelines. But I don't know how you can change things. We're not represented by the government, either at a local or national level. Police priorities are inevitably going to be based around whatever artificial targets are placed in front them - the ridiculous situation of detected crimes based on throwing crime numbers at everything in sight is undoubtedly a very human response to bureaucratic interference.

I'm increasingly convinced that the country is largely buggered, and it's only getting worse. I have no faith that things will change (for the better) whatever .gov happens to be in power.

At 25/7/05 11:06 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

Mr Back,

"Can you tell me that if you arrest someone you are confident they are going to get what they deserve?"

I no longer think in terms of what they deserve. If I did I think I'd have changed jobs by now.

I just know what they are going to get.

At 5/8/05 10:10 PM, Anonymous Sean (south london) said...


I really respect the work coppers do. I know not all coppers are sexist nazi thugs. Most cops join the force because you actually want to keep the streets and the community safe from muggers, rapists, killers and other thugs.

But the problem is that you are being used as pawns mate. Whenever there is a protest, the cops are sent in to shut it down, to silence dissent, to stop people from expressing themselves. Cops have got to learn to refuse orders.

From my reckoning, it all went wrong back in the 80s when cops were sent in to bust up the miner's strike and then at the Battle Of The Beanfield. Brian mate, you know when you're being a thug. You know when you're following a dodgy order and you know when you're enforcing a poxy law. When you learn to refuse to obey the crooked laws that get passed, that's when people will stop calling you nazi thugs.

ps - How is this new law about not being allowed to protest within 1KM of parliament in London? If you are going to enforce this illegitimate poxy fascist law, then expect people to call you a nazi thug.

pss - oops i better stop now before i start ranting, but one more thing - I fully support a coppers union and the current federation you have is absolutely ridiculous. With a proper representative coppers union you will be more empowered to disobey illegitimate orders you are given.

All the best,

Sean (south london)


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