Bedfordshire Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said that while he respected the jury's verdict, "people should think very carefully before taking any action themselves".Well, when your police farce constantly send out signals that they can't rely on you, what are they to do?
The trial at Luton Crown Court had heard that after a burglary at their garage, the Baldwins went out to look for those responsible - whom they believed to be Irish travellers.
The pair came across a white van containing two police officers who had been on their way to investigate the break-in but were told to "stand down" following reports that Richard had a shotgun.Wait, the police now won't attend to look bored and take a statement for the insurance because the victims might be armed?
Asked by BBC Three Counties Radio whether he would do it again, Richard said: "No, because hopefully this has made the police realise more has got to be done and they've got to take things seriously.
"I think it may have opened their eyes a little bit and they can see that local businesses and people need help."It's hard not to see this as what it appears to be - a classic case of jury nullification. And another sign that the public trust in the police is being eroded to the point of invisibility.
A message that the Chief Con would do well to heed.
Mr Forsyth said he did not "underestimate how traumatic exposure to repeated criminality can be on victims of crime" and the police do "everything we can" to respond appropriately to reports of criminality.Really? Is your idea of 'proportionality' to have one of your officers sneer at a victim of crime and demand they use only PC language when describing the perps?
Mr Baldwin made a number of calls to police regarding harassment of his family from the travelling community, but he claims they were ignored.
An officer also told him not to use racially offensive terms when referring to travellers.No, Chief Con Forsyth has read these tea leaves, and he doesn't like what they portend, though he tries to kid himself otherwise:
He added: "Police officers and staff put their lives on the line every day in order to protect the public.
"Had this incident resulted in the death of one of our officers, or a member of the public, I do not believe the jury would have chosen to interpret the reasonableness and proportionality in such a way."You can believe that. You may even be right. But you also may be very very wrong. Do you want to take that risk?
Not that you'll be taking it, from behind your desk. It'll be your officers on the street that will be the eventual losers.