Our Police

“Call the cops” ~ Happy Mondays

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Cops (n) slang: police

 

This blog is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I publish it knowing that, if tendered evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated anything in it which I know to be false, or do not believe to be true.

Ok, it’s about time I confessed. For the majority of my life, I never liked the police. I thought they were sneaky, underhand, duplicitous gits. And that, coming from a law-abiding girl, from a law-abiding, well to-do, nice middleclass family, without any brushes with the law, is, I believe, unusual. So I’ll explain…

About 25 years ago, I was about 11 or 12, I ran away from home. I didn’t slope off to the local park for a few hours; I got a bus then a train and travelled about 100 miles. There were reasons for going and for my destination that I won’t go into, suffice to say that I was not an abused child by any means.

Anyway, the police were called. A very nice policeman found me. To this day I remember what he looked like and what he said to me. Then, a day or so later, another policeman visited us at home. Eagle-eyed readers will notice I have dropped the word ‘nice’. This officer was there to find out why I had done it and if I was genuinely ok. To this end, at some point my mother left the room and he asked if everything was ok at home. To my confused and unhappy young brain, this seemed sneaky and underhand and I detested the police from that moment on.

Fast forward to my early thirties and, in a moment of random thinking, I realised that poor guy was just doing his job. My mother leaving the room was prearranged. He wasn’t being sneaky at all, he was trying to establish if a crime had been committed, if this messed up child was actually ok. And I felt a great deal of sympathy for him cos I imagine he left completely baffled and thinking I was a spoilt brat. And that realisation turned my entire thinking on police round completely.

I stress, this was about 25 years ago. I’m sure practises are different now. But this was the past and they do things differently there.

However the fact remains that the police aren’t popular. As someone once put in a blog on policing, “the day most people meet a police officer is the worst day of their life”. This is in the sense that you’re either being nicked, reporting a crime, or they are on your doorstep about to tell you some news you are not going to want to hear about a loved one. How grim is that? How hard is that? Could you? Cos I don’t think I could.

However, they matter to me hugely. I like to see our police on our streets. I like knowing that dialling 999, however awful the reasons are, gets you in touch with the police. And, as we need them, they answer our call.

Aside from the running away malarkey, I’ve had dealings with the police as a result of interactions in my job and as a victim of crime. I want to tell you, briefly, about one of these incidents. Last year, two days before my birthday as it happens, I was burgled. I discovered this when I returned from work about 6pm on a Wednesday evening. It took the police 7 hours to attend. That’s 7 hours to attend a break-in with a lone female in an unsecured ground floor flat. I don’t for one minute think they were sitting around, drinking tea & chatting about the football. They were too busy to attend. They didn’t have enough officers. And that was March 2011.

So that brings me to the point of this blog. The British police service is facing massive cuts and privatisation. In addition to a raft of cuts and changes being introduced under two reviews by Tom Winsor. Some of you may recognise the name as part of the hashtag on Twitter #AntiWinsorNetwork. The origins of this group are much better explained in this blog by @cynicalbobby. Now, as much as anything, it is a useful link for police and police supporters to communicate with each other. Having conducted some research of my own, I’m aware it means very little to others so I hope this blog goes some way to explaining.

Our police service is:

  • facing cuts to pay and conditions
  • seeing vital services, that serve us, the public, diminished
  • G4S, a private company, are being brought in to do jobs previously always done by officers

The buck does not stop there, by any means. there are many other things afoot with British policing. But I’m aware there’s only so much anyone can take in at any one time. So please, I ask you this, would you like to keep an independent police service sworn to be independent and impartial? Or are you more interested in the legalisation of currently illegal drugs? Because one online petition to Parliament has more signatures than others. And I find that a shaming statement on our society today.

Please look at this petition. I’m not asking you to sign, you’re a grown up, you can make your own decisions. You decide if our police service is worth supporting. Ditto, please, consider this pledge of support.

One final thing, we are to get things called Police and Crime Commissioners. People will get to vote on this. You may think this doesn’t affect you, that your vote doesn’t count. To anyone who says a vote doesn’t count I say ‘look at X-Factor’. Don’t you dare look at me with a straight face and say that show, with voting, has not changed the lives of many who have been on it, many who have watched, and not least, lined the pockets of Simon Cowell.

Further, admirable, reading on what our police do for us can be found here:

Worth Every Penny ~ ResponseBobby

The Real CID ~ PoliceManMusing

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby ~ Bruce2990

A Service For The Public ~ SteelyRiverBoy

I have not asked permission of any of the officers quoted for permission to refer their work. I include it as I feel it shows what our police do for us. And I hold them, and their colleagues, in the highest of esteem.

I have written this blog to bridge a gap that I am aware of in social media terms between those that understand what our police are about to undergo, those that care but do not understand, and those that don’t care but I hope will after reading. I am not a police officer. I have no affiliation to the police in my personal or professional life. If you want to know more on anything this blog touches on then contact me and I will do my best to put you in touch with people more knowledgeable than I.

Thank you for reading.

 

Princess

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9 thoughts on “Our Police

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. If even one person begins to think about what is happening because they read this, then you will have made a difference. I hope not one, but many people will look at what is being done to their Police, who wouldn’t otherwise have done so. Because you wrote something honest. Thank you.

  2. My parents brought me up to respect the police, and I have always done so. I knew them referred to as police force, a name change has rendered them now a service. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing, but I think it dumbs them down somewhat.

    They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, and I refuse to believe that because of a rogue few who make the headlines, that the whole lot of them are racist thugs and corrupt. There will always be those who will pervert the cause of justice from the inside but I truly believe that we have on the whole, a wonderful police force that is admired around the world, and we should protect that at all costs.

    My mother will be forever grateful to the two officers who had to break the news to her that her husband had died, surely one of the most painful and sensitive things they are called to do. I have a friend who is a police officer in Camden and he has seen things in his short career that no one should have to witness. Could you or I do that job? I know I couldn’t!

    Thank you for highlighting what is happening.

    We must work hard to protect that which we have now, because we won’t know how good we had it until it is gone.

    • Thank you so much for this comment.

      People are people; good & bad in all walks of life.

      Those who serve as Officers, in my opinion, do deserve our respect and support.

      Thank you again.

  3. Having had a lot of contact with the police over my professional career, one point that members of the public often ignore is that all police officers are individuals: there are cheerful ones, dour ones, some who are extremely intellectual and some very practical with no interest in book learning, and so on. What unites them is a desire to make the world a better place, willing to place their safety on the line to keep other people safe. As a lawyer, that means while they are usually on the other side in a court room, we are all on the same side in looking for justice.
    Of course, as the police are all individuals there are, as in any community, some who are perhaps a little idle, maybe willing to take shortcuts to get what they think is the correct result, some even downright dishonest. That simply makes it all the more important that the right structures are in place to ensure the Force (they aren’t a service industry!) as a whole can make sure all do their jobs, make sure everything is done strictly by the book, and root out & remove any who aren’t honest. Often the interests of justice and public security means that there need to be rules and procedures that particular officers might find irksome; that’s life, just so long as they are given the resources needed to do things right. Likewise non-police may find complying with the requirements of the police irksome, and that’s also life, just so long as the rules are being followed.

    But most important is the concept of the police as uniformed citizens. They are not a military force, there to follow governments orders. They are not employees, blindly obeying the business owners quest for highest shareholder returns. They are citizens who have taken on the duty of every citizen to enforce our laws and seek justice as a full time vocation within an organisation set up to provide the framework of rules and provision of resources needed to do this. In that they deserve the support of all the other citizens to ensure that they can continue to be servants of society and justice, not the government or business.

    • You have written things I wish I could have articulated within my blog.

      Thank you.

      “But most important is the concept of the police as uniformed citizens. They are not a military force, there to follow governments orders. They are not employees, blindly obeying the business owners quest for highest shareholder returns. They are citizens who have taken on the duty of every citizen to enforce our laws and seek justice as a full time vocation within an organisation set up to provide the framework of rules and provision of resources needed to do this. In that they deserve the support of all the other citizens to ensure that they can continue to be servants of society and justice, not the government or business.”

      So well said.

  4. As a mother, mother in law, and aunt of police officers, thank you. The job they do is so difficult,and they are such easy targets for the unthinking, that a blog like this goes some way to redress the balance..
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Pingback: Our Police | Policing news | Scoop.it

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