Friday, 21 September 2012

Wow! Look At Those Goalposts Shift!

On Tuesday, sorrow and reflection, and outrage, and (from some) the pushing of an agenda:
PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32 have died during an operation which led to the arrest of a man wanted by Greater Manchester Police.
Suddenly, as if by magic, Tory politicians love us again as they fall over each other to simper about how dangerous and special this job can be. Don’t watch the Sky News coverage unless you have blood-pressure tablets handy. They started to suggest GMP are to blame with indecent haste.
Police said both unarmed officers suffered fatal injuries during a “routine operation” in Hattersley, Tameside.
Oh, the clamour for guns, or even for just routine carrying of Taser, anything rather than be armed with 'just a stick!' as Shijuro pointed out to the 'Daily Mail'.

Of course, we should remember (from De Menezes and Duggan) not to trust the first police statements emanating from an incident, shouldn't we?

Because it soon transpired that they weren't unarmed. One of them had a Taser.

And then on Thursday, WHOOOOSH! Look at those goalposts go!


We'll leave aside the fact that you don't always know you're going to a gunfight (we don't even know if the Taser was fired!). We'll leave aside the fact that the last three police polls on arming have been overwhelmingly in favour of the status quo.

We'll just consider the blatant opportunism displayed there, from someone who just adores to snipe at politicians for their own opportunism...

15 comments:

angryexile said...

Far from convinced cops being armed makes much difference when armed criminals ambush them - and this is someone who's okay with police being routinely armed saying it. Victoria Police have had at least two incidents of a pair of officers, armed as is the norm here, murdered when ambushed by people willing to shoot first. The killer of the GMP officers was not only prepared to ambush and shoot first but was also happy to use a grenade. I'm with Gadget on the arming of police (with the very important proviso that police don't get anything other law abiding citizens are banned from having about their person - which is the only part of living among armed police that bugs me) but "You can't take a TASER to a gunfight and win" is irrelevant. You can't take a bazooka and win if who you're up against is planning to kill you with their first move.

Henry Crun said...

I'm just amazed that the Police actually responded to a burglary in progress call.

Usually that sort of thing is met with a yawn and a promise to attend just so you can give the insurance company a reference number.

MTG said...

True enough. However we must not overlook those specific nuisances to which police will respond forthwith en masse and with coordinated vehemence.

Just try placing some of the above observations on a police blog to discover the speed and efficiency with which they can be vilified/modified/deleted.

Jiks said...

I'm far from convinced guns would have helped in this case for the very same reasons as AE states.

The one thing routinely arming the police absolutely cannot do is protect an unarmed public from armed criminals. As I can't see the criminals disarming themselves any time soon best solution would be allowing us defend ourselves.

That of course will never happen for reasons to obvious to state...

Anonymous said...

As I and probably no other commentator on this double murder know the details of how the incident unfolded it is impossible to comment on whether the outcome would have been different if the two officers were armed. Terrible as these murders are it must be remembered that it is extremely rare for the police in England, Wales and Scotland to be murdered in the line of duty. Being in the police is not that dangerous really, there are far more dangerous occupations that don't get the publicity or hero status. More builders, fishermen and lorry drivers etc are killed at work every year than police officers.
As for arming the police and the argument that if the police are armed then so should the citizens be armed. I guarantee that there would be huge increase in the number of innocent people being shot whether by mistake or accident.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, either you are talking crap about knowing the details, or you are entirely unsuited for whatever role you have to be mentioning it on a blog.

Though policing might not be the most dangerous in terms of deaths, policing is the only occupation of those you mention where you run towards danger on a daily basis.

Tang0

Anonymous said...

Julia I respect your opinion but you are wrong this time.
The people high up against arming the police are the talking heads.ACPO from their comfy offices and politicians surrounded by ARMED cops.I don't remember being asked if I want a gun and to be honest if we had a vote for or against it wont make the slightest difference.No Home Sec wants to be known as the one that armed the police.
Anyway i'm off to Europe soon and i'm looking forward to being shot by all those trigger happy police officers and seeing the public there being terrified of approaching them and asking them for directions.
Jaded

Robert the Biker said...

TangO:
Not to get into a slanging match, but what about firemen?
When I lived in Canada, I had 28 different handguns, carbines and demilled automatic weapons (STEN gun and a BAR); oddly enough I was not suddenly consumed by a desire to wipe out a busload of nuns or take on the world. Legal gun owners tend to be the most careful, law abiding people out there.

Anonymous said...

Robert the biker,
"Builders fishermen and lorry drivers" is what anonymous said. That's what I was replying to.

There are numerous professions which require a degree of heroism - but equally their members tend to get the same "publicity and hero status" which anonymous was objecting to.

Tang0

Anonymous said...

Tang0,
I wasn't saying I know the details of this incident. My point was that none of us commentators know. If the two police officers had have been armed with side arms would it have made a difference to the outcome, I don't know and I pretty sure neither do you.

I think the word hero has been so over used in the last ten years or so that it is now meaningless. Soldiers, police officers, firemen are not hero's by virtue of their jobs but by specific actions they have carried out in specific situations. Being killed doesn't make anybody a hero, just makes them unlucky.

Please don't take from this that I'm anti police, I'm not. I think the police perform a vital service. But they are far from the only people who run towards danger and I question whether any police officers face any great danger daily.

Frankie said...

Julia: I don't think some police officers are pushing an agenda so much as a large number reacting to two police officers being shot and blown up by a psychotic killer.

You will not like me saying this but it is much worse, because it is two young ladies who have met with their deaths in such an unspeakable way and, despite it being 2012 this, to most people I have spoken to, makes it worse - not because they should not have been there in the first place but because they were evidently very good at their job and were in every way undeserving of this fate.

Having said that, it is undoubtedly true, amongst the rank and file, that there is a growing element of officers who would prefer to be routinely armed. Inspector Gadget and Shijuro are but two... I don't think the Dixon of Dock Green image fits particularly well (and even he got shot!)

Having read this blog and your comments elsewhere, one could be forgiven for wondering whether you are exhibiting an excellent example of fabled feminine logic... as you seem to be arguing both ways, in other words, consistently inconsistent! Take a good look at some of your own work and comments posted in other locations and you will see what I mean.

Some of your posts are obviously supportive of the police, others, well, not so supportive. Being male and far less complex, I am confused!

Perhaps it might be too much to ask but could you make your mind up... Broadly supportive, but free to castigate police blunders, that's fine... or, Definitely anti-police. That's fine also (but wrong).

On the subject of polls, who was it said that there are 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'? I would not personally believe that the majority of the rank and file would eschew firearms if the opportunity to carry them were offered, subject to the usual training/profiling.

I think it is a slipperly slope. In the 1960's to the mid 1990's the bobbies had a stick (not even a pointed stick, per Monty Python) but they very rapidly acquired a better stick, rigid handcuffs and CS Incapacitant.

Now they have Taser.

None of the above would I choose to carry if I was aware that a grenade and gun armed double murderer with a propensity for violence was at large in the vicinity and I would much rather have something approaching parity with said villain. You have, practically speaking, one shot with Taser and if you miss...

The alleged utter illogicality of the murderer's actions on that very bad day - to 'cap' a couple of victims that he had allegedly lured to the address for that purpose means to me that you should carry whatever guarantees you go home in one piece at the end of the shift.


Frankie

JuliaM said...

"Far from convinced cops being armed makes much difference when armed criminals ambush them .. "

Indeed! But that won't make much difference to the contributors to Gadget's post, all of whom are convinced they are the UK's answer to Marshall Raylan Givens, and would surely get the drop on any black hat with their steely reflexes...

"Just try placing some of the above observations on a police blog..."

I seem to be banned from Gadget's - again!

"As I can't see the criminals disarming themselves any time soon best solution would be allowing us defend ourselves."

Spot on!

"As for arming the police and the argument that if the police are armed then so should the citizens be armed. I guarantee that there would be huge increase in the number of innocent people being shot whether by mistake or accident."

Well, I promise not to point a gun at anyone even if I think it's unloaded or keep any ammunition in an old Quality Street tin. Is that a bit more reassuring?

JuliaM said...

"Though policing might not be the most dangerous in terms of deaths, policing is the only occupation of those you mention where you run towards danger on a daily basis."

Ah, but as Robert the Biker points out, there are others. And while every call isn't a gunman waiting to kill you, every fire is hot and smoky!

"Julia I respect your opinion but you are wrong this time."

Just this time..? :)

"...not because they should not have been there in the first place but because they were evidently very good at their job and were in every way undeserving of this fate. "

So...PC Phillip Olds wasn't? PC Ian Dibell? Come on!

"Having read this blog and your comments elsewhere, one could be forgiven for wondering whether you are exhibiting an excellent example of fabled feminine logic..."

/facepalm Oh, now it's on!

JuliaM said...

"Some of your posts are obviously supportive of the police, others, well, not so supportive. Being male and far less complex, I am confused!"

Allow me to elucidate, then; when the police do a good job, or come in for undue criticism, I've got their back.

When they don't...I haven't.

You see, I'm not one of those people who looks at who is involved in a situation, and take my steer from that. I look AT THE SITUATION.

"The alleged utter illogicality of the murderer's actions on that very bad day - to 'cap' a couple of victims that he had allegedly lured to the address for that purpose means to me that you should carry whatever guarantees you go home in one piece at the end of the shift."

Nothing can guarantee that. Thee are no guarantees in life, I guarantee it!

The point about the illogicality is well made - that bothers me, too. No doubt we'll find out at the trial.

Frankie said...

Ahem...

Just when some of you may have thought you could label the events of 18 September as an isolated incident...

http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/Policeman-recalls-moment-shot-South-Croydon/story-16954938-detail/story.html


Oh, and by the way - a correction.


"...not because they should not have been there in the first place but because they were evidently very good at their job and were in every way undeserving of this fate. "

I meant that these two officers were out of the top drawer, as are many others, male and female but my meaning was that they were also female and were doing much, as many others are, to address the inherent unfairness that says that females are not as capable of doing some jobs as men. These two were two prime examples that contradicted that absurd position and their loss is all the more tragic for that aspect as well. In this regard, the police are better than many other organisations, but there is still a long way to go to make the police truly more representative of society.

Frankie