I don't think so.
Yesterday, the blogosphere was aghast at the overturning of the conviction of Mark Andrews - Anna Raccoon, Patently and Counting Cats... all posted very good reasons for seeing this as yet another nail in the coffin of public confidence in the police, and I agree with all their conclusions.
And on the same day, I read this:
Two Gwent police officers who assisted a deaf man who fell ill in the street and later died failed to exercise a proper duty of care to him, the Independent Police Complaints Commission found.Oh? In what way? Did they ignore him? Did they assault him?
No. Their only offence, it seems, is that they failed to be psychic...
...should not have left him alone at his Newport home without ensuring a friend or relative had been informed or seeking medical aid for him themselves.And how had he come to the attention of the police in the first place?
An inquest into Mr Lewis’ death heard he was found clinging to a lamp post in Jeffrey Street, Newport, by his friend Mark Williams on October 20, 2009, complaining of leg problems.Yes. That's right. The police drove him home and attempted to give him every assistance possible.
The hearing was told Mr Williams flagged down a passing police car driven by PC Simon Richens who asked Mr Lewis if he wanted to go to hospital, to which he replied no.
He then decided to take him home and called for assistance.
Assistance which was REFUSED by the man himself:
The court heard PC Richens checked Mr Lewis’ mobile phone for a family contact number but could not find one.And any other time, that'd be that. Man assisted, job done.
He then asked Mr Lewis if he was OK, explained he was leaving and gave him a thumbs up, a gesture which Mr Lewis repeated.
Two weeks later on November 3, Mr Lewis was found dead in his arm chair by his mum Dorothy Lewis.They've no idea why he died.
A definite cause of death could not be established due to the condition of the body...
He could have made his own way home, and died, but no-one would be at fault for that.
However, because the police stopped and gave him a lift home (which I'm pretty sure isn't in their remit for normal duties, or they'de be forever driving drunks around the streets...) they are now found culpable for not overruling his wishes and taking him to A&E.
So, what's the end result of this? The police, fearing for their jobs, will now haul every drunk, drugged, ill person they meet into a crowded, overstretched A&E to make sure they are not holding the parcel when the music stops.
This is supposed to be a good thing?Aha! There's the magic word: 'vulnerable'. Was he 'vulnerable' because he was deaf? Or was he 'vulnerable' because he was ill?
... a statement from pathologist Dr Andrew Davies said that without evidence of injury or foul play, death was most likely through natural causes caused by heart disease.Any reasonable person would have left it at that. But perhaps the Gwent Coroner has been issued too many speeding tickets, or had burglaries go unattended:
Recording an open verdict, Gwent Coroner David Bowen said he could not be sure that Mr Lewis' death would have been prevented had police taken him to hospital.
He said that while he had little doubt the officers acted with good intentions, it was not admirable to leave a person in those circumstances alone and unattended, at least until a friend or family member had been alerted, especially when that person was vulnerable.
Or was he 'vulnerable' because we don't yet have the precognitive facility of the Precrime Department?