Saturday, 6 December 2008

Telegraph joins Raedwald in inquiry call

Philip Johnston writing in this morning's Telegraph joins a call made on this blog (Time for a Royal Commission on policing) for a Royal Commission.

His piece is spot on. He points out the strange and counter-intuitive phenomenon that it is the new generation of university-educated fast-tracked police bosses whom one would expect to be both liberal and alive to the dangers of allying themselves to party politicians who have been the most careless in this regard; as I have pointed out below, it is Chief Constables who have used their discretion to retain DNA samples of unconvicted persons, now in breach of a binding court ruling; Chief Constables who have filled newspaper columns supporting 90 day detention, ID cards, intrusive surveillance and who regularly criticise the verdicts and sentences of our courts.

We have lost police forces in which low level corruption was endemic but which answered fairly well to public expectations, and gained police services in which a perverse application of the law more corrosive than petty corruption has become institutionalised and which no longer serve the public well or effectively.

We rightly value highly the British tradition of policing; police chiefs who serve the nation well have a price above rubies, and police officers who serve their communities diligently and responsively are everyday heroes. But they are both now rare as hens' teeth.

There can be no one left inside or outside politics who has any confidence in Labour's ability to hold a fair inquiry. A culture of fixes, spin, mendacity, distortion, omission and misrepresentation that characterises every aspect of a Labour government has flowed like a toxic pool into risible whitewash inquiries that draw only cynical laughter from the public. Only a Royal Commission, set up under this government but reporting to the next, now has a chance of redeeming policing in Britain before it's too late.

5 comments:

Nick Drew said...

there has been another pernicious development, which weighs as heavily upon the Police as do fast-tracked graduate bosses

viz the new nostrum: "the job of the Police is to prevent crime"

traditionally, this was a general societal responsibility; and the job of the Police was (a) to solve the big crimes - 'orrible murders, bank robberies etc - and to tidy up around the edges with the clip around the ear and the occasional beating in the cells for the hard cases

society itself did the rest (also involving clips around the ear etc etc)

this newly-invented, and wholly impossible task, is just a cop-out by society as a whole, in parallel with "it's the State's job to ... look after [children] / [old people] / [fill in your own chosen abrogation of responsibility] "

(part 2 of this comment will follow on your IDS / Zeitgeist post)

Blue Eyes said...

police officers who serve their communities diligently and responsively... are... now rare as hens' teeth

Sorry I have to totally disagree with you on that one.

Raedwald said...

BE - I'm sure they exist, but probably not in London, where they won't come out for a burglary, won't deal with ASB and just can't be bothered with shoplifting. Responsive? To what? Peter Hitchens writes in this morning's Mail

"As it is, they live in a sort of Enid Blyton fantasy world of courteous, jolly bobbies in smart tunics, a breed extinct outside the Palace of Westminster.

The rest of us, if we ever see a police officer at close quarters, must be content with shaven-headed, grim-jawed, slouching, paramilitary social workers - too often armed - who treat the law-abiding with disdain and take a special joy in prosecuting them for defending themselves."

And that's most ordinary people's experience of the police these days.

Blue Eyes said...

"most"?

"ordinary"?

Blue Eyes said...

Peter Hitchens knows a lot about sod all.