Sunday, 15 July 2012

Boy Scout -v- Police

Ok, I admit it, although I have tried not to. I have an uncontrollable urge to comment upon the latest piece of crazy policing. It's gaining fame as the "keystone" reaction to the terrorist mantra in the policing manual.

Many of us oldies still have those popular "Dixon of Dock Green" beliefs about policing. Today, there are no cops on the beat (proactive) its all armed response units and riot vans (reactive). Stab vests, riot shields, tasers, CS spray, helicopters and trained negotiators. Street cameras, NPRS, high speed car chase, attack dogs and kettling tactics.

The police have changed from the days of the "Hello, hello, what's going on here then" greeting to all incidents. To one where its "taser taser taser get down on the floor!" The police have changed from policing with the public consent to one where they now tooled up and seemingly at war with Joe Public. The public respect for the police went with the arrival of the strong armed tactics.

Someone sees a bit of what they think is smoke on a bus and dials 999. In reality it's water vapour from an electronic anti-smoking cigarette. Now if that was me I might have had a word with the driver. I might even have had a word with the people in the area where I had seen the smoke. I somehow think that I would not have in the first instance dialled 999.

So the police automatically think it must be a shoe bomber mk II. (The first option for a hyped up over sensitised police who will now be guarding the Olympics because G4S has screwed up.)  In  a Sweeney type move they go into lock down mode. (In reality the best thing would to have been to have a cigarette, electronic or otherwise and contemplate the way forward.)

The police are out of their depth if they have a standard response to an incident that can close a motorway for six hours and then surround a load of bus passengers with an armed to the teeth cordon, made of of plod in body armour carrying guns. Yes, the senior officers have been watching far to much Robo-cop.


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