Don't assume that the police are on our side


The recent parade of cruel, or corrupt, or biased, or mendacious, or selfish, or feckless police officers caught up in the current efforts to insert integrity into the service has already brought about a revolution, and not before time.

Therer are some good officers, possibly even the majority of them, but there are so many bad apples that the whole barrel has developed a stink. How can we effect a change of attitude or character in the early, or even the mid, term? Officers in any uniform are entitled to think that the clothing has elevated them above the level of the hoi peloi but where do recruits come from?

School leavers are finishing their education in a culture of a modern classroom and there are occasions when they can barely write. This is the pool from which officers are promoted. So even when one sees an officer of, for example, inspector one cannot rely on education to be sound. I say in haste that many inspectors are the cream and one hopes that the will be further promoted right to the top.

But a typical secondary education does not usually qualify school leavers to be in charge of precious things like justice and care for the community. Most of them will be skilled in shoplifting, bullying, boozing, lying to authorities, and dodging the column (that's the only one that I did). It doesn't stop at comprehensive schooling. Grammar schools also turn out school leavers who know practically nothing about grammar; much the same goes for mickey mouse degrees. I know an officer who has been promoted above the lowest rank and one only has to see her written English to wonder at the basis for her punctuation.

It is as if she has sneezed the punctuation on to the page in the hope that some of it might land in the right place. I saw a page and incredibly, unbelieveably, amazingly... none of it did.

Would she have been a better officer if she had know how to write English? Possibly not, but she could hardly be worse. Lying, deliberately deciding not to operate law that seemed to be beneath her, in favour of special law like murder or fitting people up. Maybe she has been unduly influenced by her Chief Constable last September urging his officers not to be so impartial, but she was bad well before that.

One day this parade of bad apples will end because surely there must be an end to bad apples, and when that happens it will be a time for creating new standards of officer. We need people who actually understand the difference between right and wrong and will keep their eyes wide open. Too many officers drive around as if they are in a dream. To wit the incident a week ago when a born liar told the police that I was hanging around outside his house with a camera and looking through his front window.

I didn't have a camera but where is the offence in having one? The window itself was opaque with net curtains and was impenetrable from 30 yards away. Why did the officer (a decent enough bloke) swallow it without challenge? Carrying or using a camera is not an offence. Sauntering along with a dog hanging behind is not an offence. Even trying to see through net curtaining (and I wasn't) is not an offence. The lout who defended himself in this way is now known to the police as a liar. But will they pull their socks up?

The recent resignations of very senior Met officers, all of them men, might give us some hope but hardly. The standin is a woman but that very same woman who was so cack handed in running the team that assasinated Menezes on a tube train "because he had distinctive mongolian eyes." Is there any hope left for us? This wicked woman might leapfrog into the chair and then we should be afraid. We should be very afraid. Her team was like Fred Karno's army.

They set off to apprehend someone they thought was a dangerous terrorist: but they had an office meeting first, then they had to detouur to get petrol, then they arrived too late and missed the suspect who was innocent anyway. When they caught up with him Cressida Dick, who was in control, authorised them to burst in to the carriage and shoot him dead several times without challenging him.

To cap it off they then lied, saying that they challenged him fiirst. All in all, not unlike a typical comprehensive classroom of school leavers.

It is gratifying to find from the text alongside this that "citizen journalsts" have been instrumental in preventing bad cops from slipping off the hook. I do my best! It is hoped that we have by now got the really bad cops seriously worried - not to mention resident vandals who have good reason to worry. In the few years since they have moved in to Dalebrook Road they have tried to bring it down to their level but other residents are gathering and fighting back in a civilised way.

Click here to return to the front page.