Brian's Brief Encounters

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Off Message

In this multi-billion pound industry we call policing.

There are a multitude of rules we all have to follow.

Without them there would be a lot of very important people without jobs. The complex issues behind the setting of these rules are obviously way beyond me. That’s why we have important people paid to take part in ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘think-tanks’. Long gone are the days when all we did was help the good guys and nick the bad guys.

Thankfully we now have policies, messages, engagement, political correctness, consultation, partnerships, missions, visions and values. Unfortunately not everyone is as ‘on message’ with these concepts as I am. I would like to apologise in advance for the following quotes, allegedly, from an ACPO rank officer.

(Standard Disclaimer:- If you are a criminal, of a nervous disposition or easily upset by a no-nonsense approach to policing then please don’t read on.)

“We're fighting toe-to-toe with criminality. The diversity debate has led to people getting confused.”

Fortunately not all of us are confused. I know how we embrace criminality not fight it. We are very self-aware of our criminality prejudices and stereotyping. We are able to rise above it and don’t let it affect the way we do our jobs. I’ve had the training.

“Criminals are the enemy. Yes, they've got rights, and we'll deal with them properly, but if they are going to break the law, we'll bring them to justice.”

Clearly this officer has not spent two hours on the phone to CPS Direct trying, and failing, to get permission to charge someone. Nor has he considered how we are to engage with and rehabilitate the unfortunate and misunderstood scallywags.

“The enemy has many common features. You can pick them out very early on in life.”

I think we know where he stands on the ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate with this one. I’m guessing this is a reference to those youths with close set eyes, a single eyebrow or, maybe, shifty looking toddlers?

“They have a lifestyle that has a blatant disregard for the rest of us.”

Well, that’s their Human Right innit?

"Criminals are thick. You'd not pick them for your pub quiz team.”

Who would we get to answer the popular culture and daytime TV questions then?

“Report the crime and shop the criminals, we will arrest them.”

Whoa!! Apart from encouraging a rise in crime figures there is the ‘I know it was Little Jimmy who did it’ issue to be considered here. It might be blatantly obvious to everyone concerned who the guilty party is. But, without a signed confession, CCTV footage from three different angles and statements from everyone who has ever met him; it’ll never get past the eagle eyes of the CPS will it? Besides, conventional thinking has placed ‘diversion’ somewhere above ‘arrest’.

“All I know is people who are in prison aren't going to commit offences against you and me. Forgive me for being blunt about that. But it's true.”

It’s not playing by the rules though is it? There are thousands of people involved in the business of keeping people out of prison. In fact, I believe they nearly outnumber those of us trying to put them in there. We couldn’t have them all out cleaning windscreens. There just aren’t enough traffic lights.

“None of this is rocket science.”

Quite. If only it were that simple.


At 30/10/05 3:45 PM, Anonymous roy in nipomo said...

“The enemy has many common features. You can pick them out very early on in life.”

...I’m guessing this is a reference to those youths with close set eyes, a single eyebrow or, maybe, shifty looking toddlers?

How about tons of garbage (not trash) on the kitchen table, only beer (if that) in the fridge, filthy clothing, the only adults present are under the influence of some chemical (including alcohol) and at least one family member currently in jail (gaol?) as being a hint that the child is not likely to get a chance to show his/her "full potential"?

At 30/10/05 6:51 PM, Anonymous Jurgen said...

Sir are nearly as forthright in your cynicism as I... very astute in your observations except for one thing... the rantings of the politically correct are for the consumption of the likeminded, not real people such as you and I.
I fear that you will just have to avoid such verbal and literal refuse and try to concentrate on the job in hand. After all there may be a nice little pension if we are lucky, at the end of our 30 year stretch.

At 31/10/05 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

roy in nipomo:

You forgot about "having virtually no furnishing in the lounge other than large couch/bed and stupidly huge TV."

At 31/10/05 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait until you get our new one, making charging work, we're a pilot site, before planned arrests, CPS now require a full file, so that they can tell you to release without charge, but at least it keeps us busy......


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