Sunday, 27 July 2008

Role of the police- moralising or enforcement of the law?

“When did the police start thinking it was their job to moralise about the people they arrest? “ Peter Hitchens asks in his column today.
He refers to the case of Anne Darwin and her disappearing and reappearing husband, which whilst fraudulent, clearly, is surely not the most despicable crime ever committed. Yet the Det. Inspector in charge of the case felt the need to damn Mrs Darwin as ‘out and out despicable’ and told us that he ‘didn’t have the time of day for her’. Maybe these are his feelings, but is it his role to voice them to the public in such a way?

As many have noted in the past, the organisation that was once a police "force" is now a "service" and it is little wonder that we have the situation we have, in this country that is so often referred to as "feral". Not only do we now have the police moralising and giving us their views on whether they think the sentence or non-sentence was appropriate but we also have them advetising themselves, as though they need to win favour with the people they are here to "serve".
My local paper has a full page advert for the police and their offshoots -PCSOs, street parking wardens, neighbourhood teams, town centre safety management teams et al - telling me that it is much safer to go into town of an evening this year than it was last year. There are, it seems a number of reasons for this.
Polycarbonate receptacles are used in pubs and clubs for drinking out of so I won't get "glassed" if I look at someone across the bar. An ID scan is in operation to prevent anyone who appears to be under twenty one from entering a night club. The bus station now has 64 cctv cameras (more cameras than buses it appears) for the police to "view". Officers from the "Town Team" will soon be equipped with head cameras to deter anti social behaviour by capturing the culprits on film (do they not know that many anti social behaviour incidents are captured by the culprits themselves on their own mobiles and posted on You Tube? )

There were just 13 robberies in Rotherham town centre last year compared to 21 the previous year - no doubt the other 8 or more were a metre outside the town "zone". I wish I could feel safer and more confident in the police with this advertising of themselves.
Unfortunately, I don't.
I just wish the council would stop spending money on introducing more and more groups and agencies to support the police who should be perfectly capable of doing the role of keeping law and order in control, themselves.

1 comment:

Scullduggery Watch said...

Hear hear!

We hear of successive Home Secretaries pledging to secure more Bobbies on the beat whilst promising to slash the enormous amount of paperwork they are forced to fill in under the PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence) Act of 1984.

In practice all of this turns out to be nothing more than lip-service and empty rhetoric. A great percentage of police officers are stuck in offices filling out paperwork at any given moment and a recent recruitment drive was not to increase police numbers but to replace thousands of coppers retiring after their 30 years service.

The meddlers at the EU have ensured that the barmy whims of Brussels now take precedence over our own domestic laws. With each month that passes the statute books of Great Britain are being redrafted to accommodate the ramblings of an unelected, corrupt and bureaucratic potential superstate.

Our own domestic Government have proved pass-masters at depriving those charged with enforcing law and order of the means to carry out their duties. Our police forces are charged with meeting central Government targets rather than being given free reign to fight local crime as they know best.

Chief Constables are now wannabee PR officers who profess their moralistic ramblings, too scared of admitting that crime as a whole is on the increase (in spite of massaged statistics) and that it is the chronic failure of Government that is responsible for these failings.

Even if the Police are aware of who is responsible for a spate of crime they usual find themselves handstrung by red tape or a lack of resources.

Politicans may talk tough in oft-repeated soundbites, "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" being a favourite impotent prophecy, yet not a single one of these stuffed shirt MPs has the conviction nor the courage to implement a Zero Tolerence approach in our cities (a policy which helped to transform New York for the better).

Our prisons are heaving and more and more serious offenders are being granted their freedom much earlier or are not even seeing the inside of a cell until their umpteenth offence.

Those same prisons are awash with illicit substances which still remain illegal under our unworkable drug laws, which means that addictions are easily maintained and ensure that offenders return to a life of crime to fund such habits once they are released back into the community.

Gaol is nothing more than a finishing school for criminals. Rather than a sentence serving as a punishing deterent and offering a chance to retrain, reeducate and rehabilitate offenders it instead enables them to increase their knowledge and network of associates within the criminal fraternity.

There is a far wider picture to be considered here which stretches way beyond the realms of crime, policing and punishment.

If someone at the Home Office would care to kick Gordon Brown up the arse and ask him to consider the points raised (because both he and his useless predecessor's policies are clearly woefully inadequate) then we might stop our major Cities sliding into the abyss of insanity.