Wednesday, 10 September 2008

No thanks to a national police force

Andy Hayman may have been an excellent copper for all I know, but like many coppers he fails to understand the true relationship between the police, the State and the people. In the Times today he calls for the creation of a national anti-terrorist force on efficiency grounds. The basis for his complaint seems to be that the excellence of the Met is not matched by all the hicksville forces who are required to co-operate in operations, and that a massively increased budget and operational independence is needed.

If he's proposing something like the FBI, we already have it in MI5. Special branch / anti-terrorist officers are rightly the operational front-end of the security service. What we don't need is a uniformed parallel organisation; MI5 may suffer from all the failures of a large public bureaucracy (though unlike cock-ups and data losses in other departments of state we will never hear about them) but they're not charging around the streets kicking doors down and pointing machine guns at pensioners.

All the evidence we have points to any national anti-terrorist police force rapidly turning into a State para-military police force with national jurisdiction. Whilst a very European concept, this is anathema to our British view of what the police should be - local, accountable, at the service of the community and not the State.

If this makes us all marginally more at risk from jihadists, so be it.

1 comment:

Yokel said...

Is he not wheeling out exactly the same lines as were used to justify the Serious and Organised Crime Agency? Didn't our Dear Leader trumpet that as "Britain's answer to the FBI"? Let's save the argument about the general worth of recycling to another day, but in this instance using the same lines all over again indicates that he has another agenda. I fear that your talk of a para-military force is correct. After all, the UK has not yet been able to sign up to EuroGendFor, so the ruling clique must be feeling a bit left out.