Rude and sarcastic police officers are to get a lesson in manners after a surge in complaints about incivility.Is anyone surprised?
The move comes after reports of police rudeness have shot up by 14 per cent in the last year from 11,385 allegations in 2007-2008 to 12,948 this year across the UK.And naturally, this hasn't gone down well with some:
Greater Manchester Police saw a 17 per cent rise in complaints from the public from 1,794 to 2,102 in the same period, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission
A quarter of those were about officers being impolite or intolerant, which was higher than the national average of 21 per cent.
But the courtesy course has angered many officers who claim they are being forced to act like 'Mary Poppins' when dealing with thugs.And if all they did was deal with thugs, they'd have a point.
However, they also deal with people who aren't thugs:
Last Wednesday night a police car stopped beside me as I parked outside my home. I could get out but his passenger window was open and the officer inside told me toNow, does that sort of behaviour make one more disposed to support the police in their crime-fighting efforts, or less?
‘Get into your car and put the headlights on,’ which I did. ‘And now walk to the front of the car.’
I obeyed, and one of the headlights was broken. News to me. Well, I never.
‘Oh,’ I said, all citizenly.
‘Get it sorted,’ came the voice from a now disappearing patrol car.
I know how it makes me feel...
Being polite costs nothing and can get you far more respect than a growled "fix it!"
Not exactly pleased about having to pay out for the plod to have lessons in basic civility though.
He could have nicked you for an easy result.
What would you have preferred?
I remember reading of similar rises last year. Here are a couple of telling paragraphs from last year's report in the Mail.
The figures follow stark warnings from police leaders earlier this month that scruffy and rude officers are to blame for falling levels of public confidence, which has been left 'dented and bruised.
Most of the complaints concerned alleged failures to investigate or record crimes properly, or abusive language or behaviour.
Is what we are seeing all that of a surprise considering the force is being bun by an unaccountable private company?
Look at it from the other side. You only have to look around newspaper comments pages, and blogs sites to notice that in the last few years the Brits have become a shower of weak kneed, cowardly, wet nellies.
"You shouted at me", or "Don't get so angry", just because the damn "i" tag does not work and you use capitals.
That shower of bloody puffters over on the island accross the French channel, are scared of their own bloody shadow nowdays.
"Rude"/"Impolite" my fucking arse.
A good public bollocking from the police, or a good smack in the gob is what they need. Like in the good old days.
Try the exercise of placing civil and constructive criticism of police, on Gadget or Coppersblog. It takes but a few minutes for responding vitriol and obscene abuse to remove any doubt that UK police have evolved into uniformed yobs.
Still expecting better conduct on the rare occasion you meet in the flesh, are you?
"He could have nicked you for an easy result. He didn't.What would you have preferred?"
I'd like the absence of a police force that has been incentivized to go for 'easy results', for one.
Things break. Sometimes they break without the things' owners' knowledge. Not arresting me shouldn't have been an option to magnanimously choose but his basic starting point. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that. The presumption that most people want to do the right thing might come in handy, too.
In this crime-ridden country, someone clearly thought to follow it up the next day and send a van load of coppers to check me for...what; rust?
It's not like every parole breaker, truant, drug dealer and existing fine evader in Castle City was tucked up in a nice warm police cell that day, I think.
No biggie, but still, obnoxious and cheeky: not Peelian at all.
I've recently been duffed up on Gadget for mildly expressed reservations about the police.
I thought it was just me because I noticed that our hostess has been a lot sharper over there than me but has escaped unscathed.
So it's good to meet you in a heap at the bottom of the virtual flight of stairs.
"Not exactly pleased about having to pay out for the plod to have lessons in basic civility though."
No, indeed. If you are recruiting staff who need to be taught that, there's something wrong with your recruiting methods in the first place...
"He could have nicked you for an easy result.
What would you have preferred?"
Not sure it's an 'either/or' situation. I'd prefer that the police were polite and civil when the situation warranted it, and more importantly, could recognise when the situation warranted it!
"I remember reading of similar rises last year."
Perhaps it's a yearly report thing that prompts this?
"Is what we are seeing all that of a surprise considering the force is being bun by an unaccountable private company?"
No, perhaps not...
Though, if Tesco get a rep for poor service, they'll lose out to Sainsbury. Who do the police lose out to?
Aha, maybe these competitors?
"You only have to look around newspaper comments pages, and blogs sites to notice that in the last few years the Brits have become a shower of weak kneed, cowardly, wet nellies."
It's certainly true that the rises in 'compo culture' (witness the 'criminal toddler' case yesterday) and the 'I know my rights (but not my responsibilities)' mob haven't helped...
"Try the exercise of placing civil and constructive criticism of police, on Gadget or Coppersblog. It takes but a few minutes for responding vitriol and obscene abuse to remove any doubt that UK police have evolved into uniformed yobs."
Odd. I've had no problems. Some arguments, yes, but that's only to be expected. But I haven't commented there long.
"I'd like the absence of a police force that has been incentivized to go for 'easy results', for one."
"I thought it was just me because I noticed that our hostess has been a lot sharper over there than me but has escaped unscathed."
Well, sometimes you get into a bit of to-and-fro, but that's blog commenting for you! Rarely does it get as nasty as on some blogs - left-leaning ones are the worst for that.
I do believe that ordered society and the police are basically on the same 'side', though heaven knows, it's getting harder and harder.
But while there are always bad apples (and increasingly, bad policy), there are more good than bad, on the whole...
Perhaps some of us hope in vain there are more good police than bad, JuliaM. A majority of the uneducated latter have certainly gathered at the two police watering holes I mentioned earlier.
These blogs have enjoyed a temporary success by kettling the public into silence - our hostess must be aware of the wider berth she has been granted by escaping acts of libel, extreme aggression and obscene abuse from police.
In my opinion Laurence, it is not in the public interest to allow such police continued anonymity or further opportunities to disgrace their uniform.
Police who fancy themselves more as political columnists and commenters should give up one job to concentrate on the other. Either that or we forcefully demand they face the normal consequences reserved to those conducting themselves in a rude, covert and dishonest manner whilst purporting to serve the public.
*MTG* I can't agree with you about denying police officers the anonymity on blogs that you and I enjoy.
I object, though, to a widespread mindset chez Gadget that insists that the police are a distinct and separate group and not part of the wider society which they police.
The worrying thing here is that if the junior police officers who post on these sites are at all representative, then their support for the accretion of police powers and the reduction in accountability to the public will tend to make them a force for ever greater repression as the government becomes ever more authoritarian.
"If you don't like the British police, Insp. Gadget himself told me, try living in Zimbabwe".
Making my point for me.
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