Saturday, 28 May 2016

When Hitchens Is Right....

...he's so very, very right:
Consider the grim-jawed face which the police now turn towards us, the public. They stand around scowling with sub-machine guns, stomp about in big boots, stab-vests and baseball caps, display their clubs, Tasers, pepper-sprays and handcuffs to let us know who’s boss, and generally act as if the high street is a war-zone, on the rare occasions when they bother to visit it.
They love to dress up like Star Wars stormtroopers in body-armour and big helmets. They even have their own air force, which enjoys flying round in the small hours, blazing its searchlights into people’s gardens from 1,000ft. But confronted with 200 boozed-up ravers in a West Country wood, they won’t face them in the dark. We pay for this non-service. Avon and Somerset police’s annual budget for 2016/17 is £276,075,000. They employ 2,759 officers who cost us £146,383,000 in pay each year. They spend more than a million a year on their share of the ‘National Police Air Service’. From July 2009 to May 17, 2016, they spent £51,000 on CS Spray (pepper spray) – that’s 5,180 canisters at £9.86 each. They also spent £31,000 on batons at £25 each, and another £1,249,000 on body armour.
BUT despite all this clobber they won’t go into the woods to enforce the law and keep the peace. I’m honestly not sure what they do do. They always say that if people like me, who criticise them, were in trouble, we’d call on them. But would they come when we did? Or might it be too dark?
Once, the English police force was the best in the world. The idea that a middle-class columnist would have cause to say this in a national newspaper would be unthinkable. Yet it resonates with middle England. Froth as they might, the online police flag-wavers and blamers of the Tories can't deny this.

How did we get here..?

19 comments:

Ed P said...

This explains the change: PC used to mean police constable, now it means political correctness.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what criminal law had the ravers committed? Not a fan of illegal raves but apart from noise pollution (a civil offence dealt with by the local authority - and try and get anyone from the council to come out after 5.30 or on a weekend), or trespass (another civil offence), the only criminal offence would be a public order one, action likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress, and if they are trespassing on someone's land, they are not in a public place. Unless the law has been changed since my day, powers of arrest for this depends on the circumstances and can be restrictive. The people who organise these raves are aware of the law and, with the help of various types of lawyer, use it to their advantage.
The old Ways and Means Act can no longer be used, just imagine returning to your car after a hard nights raving, to find all the tyres let down or the door locks superglued (not that I would suggest such a thing, though am aware it did happen). This would result in those not caring of the inconvenience they caused to others, being inconvenienced themselves, and discovering that no one gives a hoot.
However, there was action that the Police could have taken. A regular fly over by the Police helicopter, using it's searchlight to 'detect any open drug taking, assaults (sexual or otherwise) or general criminal behaviour' is one. Another would be to record the vehicle registration numbers and pass details of the registered keepers to the local authority to take civil action in slow time is another. Several years ago, some enterprising residents recorded the music, found out where some of the ravers lived, and stood outside their houses in the middle of the night and replayed the racket (not advisable in some parts of the country).
Before you slag off the Police for doing nothing, try and find out what the law actually allows them to do.
Over to you, Melv.
Penseivat

Anonymous said...

Spot on Penseivat.
Hitchens is an idiot who slags off the police and has no idea of the real world. How many officers do you think Avon and Somerset have to deploy on a night duty to deal with this large crowd which would undoubtedly turn nasty when faced by a few police officers? Then the DM headline would be "gentle ravers provoked by riot police" or "Mrs Miggins reports her cat missing and no-one came for 4 hours".
Jaded
PS Where is Melvin? Sectioned or out in the real world for a while?

Budvar said...

Thankfully, no one reported a fire.. What with the obstruction all those cars illegally parked would cause.. I mean someone would have to escort the fire engine and make way through them all, preferably with a bull dozer.. I mean lives could be at stake.. Even if it's only Mrs Miggins cat..

Tees Maid said...

"How many officers do you think Avon and Somerset have to deploy on a night duty to deal with this large crowd which would undoubtedly turn nasty when faced by a few police officers?"

1,240? (That figure being based on number of batons purchased. Because they wouldn't purchase more batons that they had active personnel would they, as that would be a waste of public money.)

Anonymous said...

Tees Maid,
The Police have to provide 24 hour cover, so that means shifts on earlies (6 - 2), lates (2 - 10), and nights (10 - 6) with one shift on a rest day. So, you divide the number of Police officers by 4, then take off another 10 - 20% of that 1/4 for those on leave, courses, sick, CID or specialist roles plus senior officers, and you are left with a lot less than you can imagine. It takes a minimum of 2 officers to make an arrest, convey a prisoner to the Police station, and remain there to carry out all the required procedures, thus removing even more officers from the list of those available. Or, perhaps you agree with the numpty MP who believes that Police officers should be put in a box when not needed and taken out when they are? Ever been to a pub fight of 20 or so men and then you find there are only 6 of you? I have, and it's bloody scary. Coppers are just ordinary people who are sometimes required to do things out of the ordinary. They have wives or husbands, kids and their safety and well being is always foremost in their minds. Injuries on duty which prevent them from being on the front line can result in a reduction in pay while serious injuries can result in them being summarily dismissed. Would you let Tees Man, if there is one, face an unruly mob backed up by 5 or 6 mates?
Penseivat

Anonymous said...

Tees maid. A classic comment. Well done for making me smile. Me and my 32000 colleagues in the Met who are all on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week salute you.
Jaded.

Anonymous said...

Tees Maid at 14.11 said '1,240? (That figure being based on number of batons purchased. Because they wouldn't purchase more batons that they had active personnel would they, as that would be a waste of public money.)
You do realise do you sweetie that they are not all on duty at the same time? Even us snarling robocops need time off from time to time. At a very generous estimate I would imagine that A&S probably have out of their total number of staff about 1000 or so on response team duties.Divide that by a four or five shift system and you are down to 250 -200 on a shift. Big surprise but add in leave, courses, sick and numbers dwindle. While the rave is going on policing elsewhere has to be resourced. Officers will be tied up with arrests and other calls - down to you to prioritise which is more important. Hitchens is no doubt clever but has a lack of knowledge when it comes to policing. For myself I'd love to see Hitchens, Julia and the other internet warriors in charge of a real police area. There would be one proviso. They can stand in the box and justify why they made certain decisions. I would imagine they would all be shaking in the corner after a few hours.
Retired

MTG said...

"Anyone out they're what as telled the truth about us plod is loony" Jaded conserves limited mental energy by running the wheels off her old routine.

Richard Brown said...

Julia,
have you or your readers heard anything on the South Ockendon acid attack?

Thud said...

My my, my own experiences had led me to believe our present police force consisted of uncaring pumped up wannabe thugs.The fan club here have opened my eyes to the truth, thanks.

Richard Brown said...

http://dailykenn.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/arrest-made-in-racist-essex-acid-attack.html

More info here than anywhere else.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Melv,
We thought your lobotomy operation had come through, you were so quiet. Nice to know you're still there, still taking, and failing, your English and grammar lessons. Sorry to hear you lost your deposit on the latest Police and Crime Commissioner elections. I'm sure you would 'have learned 'em' had you been elected.
Penseivat

Anonymous said...

But do the police do the job that is expected of them by the tax paying public?
The rest is just talk.

MTG said...

Many thanks for your kind concerns, Penise. The Federation-subsidised lobotomy wasn't a complete success but I didn't given it a second thought until I received your Get Numb Soon card. I still have the impulse to wear my food-stained uniform; spit out those involuntary utterances "This yer car, mate" and laugh whenever I pass a drowning scene.

Anonymous said...

"But do the police do the job that is expected of them by the tax paying public?"
That depends on which section of the 'tax paying public' you are referring to. Over thirty years in the police taught me that there is no such thing as consensus from the public and that the general public are essentially hypocritical. Some sections would require that the police concentrate on nothing but 'dog shit on pavements and lights on pedal cycles', others think 'paedos and murderers' are all that should be concentrated on. The 'public' all want zero tolerance policing applied to others but think that they should be given some slack. To paraphrase Sir Robert Mark "If I have annoyed the left and the right I am doing my job'.
Retired

MTG said...

I don't suppose this topic could have closed without a mention of hypocrisy.

And to paraphrase Sir Robert Mark "I am convinced that I have made a major contribution to Met corruption and Goodyear Tyres."

JuliaM said...

"Exactly what criminal law had the ravers committed?"

I'm sure they were all drinking coca cola and had nothing on them harder than aspirin...

"This would result in those not caring of the inconvenience they caused to others, being inconvenienced themselves, and discovering that no one gives a hoot. "

Except I suspect that this would immediately draw a full scale police investigation... :/

"I mean someone would have to escort the fire engine and make way through them all, preferably with a bull dozer.."

Heh! :)

"Because they wouldn't purchase more batons that they had active personnel would they, as that would be a waste of public money."

They aren't known for that... ;)

JuliaM said...

"...have you or your readers heard anything on the South Ockendon acid attack?"

As Richard Brown says, there's been an arrest (after the youth handed himself in). As for motive, well, that'll have to wait until the trial.