Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cameron chooses State over Local. Again.

Cameron was no doubt briefed this morning on reasons why, out of 32,000 officers on the payroll, the Met police could only deploy 6,000 on Monday night. Even scaping up every traffic warden, PCSO and 1,500 men from outside forces the Met could only manage 16,000 on Tuesday. Not all of the remainder can have been on taxpayer funded factfinding missions to the Caribbean, lavishly spending on their Public credit cards. So there are answers here yet to find. But we can surmise that the PM was told that the police are at breaking point, that current numbers could only be sustained for a further 72 hours, that the attrition of minor injuries was taking 10% more police off-duty with every confrontation, and that law and order is on a knife-edge. He will have been offered three solutions;

1. Bring the armed forces in
2. Toughen the police response with baton rounds and water cannon - but at the risk of deaths amongst rioters
3. Empower local, civilian, policing - as BE says, magistrates can swear in as many special constables as they like. 

No prize for guessing that Cameron has embraced the State solution - water cannon - as first preference. At 24 hours notice. No doubt flown in from NI in the belly of a Hercules. 

The Turks who have organised themselves in North London, together with the white middle class in South London, are probably the most suited as the first of a wave of 'specials' to be sworn as both groups are predominantly formed of those without criminal convictions (yes, anyone with records would be excluded - I'd no more want a Millwall thug with GBH convictions in the line beside me than an Asian who'd been done for violent disorder in Bradford or Oldham. And this is why legal sanction and recognition for volunteer local policing is important.) 

But instead of advancing the Localism agenda in a giant bound, instead of returning power to communities, and instead of setting the direction for the reform of policing in England, Cameron has shirked and shied at the fence. No surprise there, really. But another wasted opportunity. 


Chris Gilmour said...


Not to detract from your point about localism, but...

The TV series 24 starring Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer was a work of fiction. In real life people don't work twenty-four hour shifts, or seven day weeks.

I'm not sure what the arrangement is for the police, but for a payrole of 32,000, if you want 24/7 policing, then of course they're not all going to be available at any instant.

If there's three shifts in a day, weekends, sick leave and holidays, then of course less than a third will be on duty at any one time, maybe less than a quarter.

Sure, in the case of emergencies, you can jiggle that around a bit, give them longer hours and call off leave, but you're never going to get more than half on duty at any one time, otherwise there'll be no one left to take over at the end of the shift.

Elby the Beserk said...

Glad you are unscathed, Raedwald.

Cameron is an utter shit. If as he is now saying, he would never hold a referendum on the EU as we have already had one - why then did he offer one were the Lisbon Constitution, sorry, Treaty, not signed when the Coalition came to power.

Cameron = Blair = Cameron. 40 years to vote Conservative, and 40 days to decide that's the last time they get MY vote. Fuck 'em all.

Anonymous said...

Who saw the picture published by the Mail on line? Then it was taken down. Why? It showed black gangs who had stripped two people (one a middle aged woman) and stolen their clothes and utterly humiliated them. Make no mistake, these are race riots.

Coney Island

Raedwald said...

CI - yes, see

I think the press is playing this story down - it could start a race war

Anonymous said...

We will get them back for this one.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Cameron would never make such a speech with the banksters and hedgies in mind. He totally lacks selfawareness and does not understand that the looters in the streets of London, Manchester and Birmingham are just copycats when they are taking what they do not own. The real sick pockets of his society are not the looters but are sitting in the city of London.

For years the neo-liberals have praised consumption, the selfishness of Ayn Rand and have not a shown the tiniest bit of qualm when robbing first from the people and now from whole nations.

With such amoral examples praised and held up to the highest honors by Cameron and his media friends, how can one blame the youth for following them? Preaching greed is good has consequences.

Budgie said...

Chris Gilmour, you think you are being seen by a doctor who 'only' works a 48 hour week, just because the government tells you this? I know one doctor who regularly works 13 hour nights, 7 days at a stretch.

Moreover, the doctors are not allowed by management to book the extra time they put in at the beginning and end of each shift. Such is the lying by NHS management and the gullibility of politicians.

If doctors can do it, then so can the police.

Budgie said...

Anon 22:35 said: "... the selfishness of Ayn Rand ...". That is the inverse of what Ayn Rand really said. She was opposed to the free-loaders in society. It is the free-loaders who are selfish, not Ayn Rand.

Cromwell said...

camoron needed to do one thing today-fire May, having failed to do that the looters understand that softly-softly policing is in effect and the looting cycle will continue.

While I understand your quibble about enrolling Millwall thugs as special constables, it has to be acknowledged that their tactics are superior to the MetPolice and far more effective.

Meanwhile the most popular sports gear sold on Amazon are baseball bats. Funny choice for England, what could it mean?

Local militias have shown to be effective, this is a repudiation of centralized non-policing and I believe will result in a major repudiation of all three major parties who have shown themselves incapable of basic management skills. The "leaders" dare not show their faces on the streets to spout their normal platitudes-the people won't stand for it.

Blue Eyes said...

CG and Raedwald are both right.

Even taking into account shift patterns and long commutes, there must be a very large proportion of Met officers who cannot deploy on the street even in an emergency.

This is something that should be looked into when politicians try to work out what went wrong on Monday.

cuffleyburgers said...

Personally I agree with the use of water cannon and rubber bullets.

We are where we are, and the availability and readiness to deploy rther unpleasnant force will probably ensure that it won't be needed.

However those few of the commentariat who have grasped the need to introduce effective local management of law and order (as well as everything else) seem gradually to be gaining a voice. Simon Jenkins in the Grauniad very good.

The excessive centralisation of this country is at the root of most of these problems ranging from ineffective education and welfare, overly costly healthcare and the lethal divide that is building up between the public and the police.

Greg Tingey said...

Ayn Rand, erm, lived on State Benefits at the end of her life.
What an inconvenoent bit of information!

Wildgoose said...

And how much tax did Ayn Rand pay over the years before she was (no doubt grudgingly) allowed some of her own money back to live on?