Met Police crisis accurately reflects Conservative small government narrative…

I think that Priti Patel , who had to pay out for unfair dismissal (let us not forget) for her bullying, is entirely unsuited to any part in recruiting a police officer. Chief or Constable.

She has nonetheless said that she needs “strong and decisive leadership” to restore confidence in the Metropolitan Police.

It is pretty much the same remedy employed for any failing football club – change the manager.

But this is surely rather more complicated – leadership to what exactly?

The Police have a difficult and pretty grotty job.

In particular, as I’ve already suggested, there is no support for their own mental health – yet they are also supposed to protect us from the mentally unwell – for which they receive no comprehensive training .

And indeed that was probably not the reason they signed up.

Tory austerity has landed them as the only 24 hour social service.

True to Tory form, Police pay in the last 10 years has effectively declined by 18%.

Yes, Police are social – that is indeed what Peelian policing by consent is, or at least suggests – that their purpose is crime prevention rather than crisis management.

There has always been ‘dark humour culture’ in all the emergency services (and, too the military). It is a coping mechanism. If you have not attended the scene of violent deaths, or even a road accident, I suggest none of us can assume that we would realistically have a different coping mechanism.

Additionally today’s crop of Police Officers are drawn from society. And I’m old enough to think they always look too young… Yet the real issue is to examine the society that is being created. Trolling, inappropriate use of social media, mobile phones and apps used by today’s young people is commonplace. And that will surely be the case many years before these individuals even consider a police career.

Thus the ‘solution’ of evidence of thought is easier – but surely evidence of action should be much more important.

What exactly did those Charing Cross Police Officers do exactly? Have the committed crimes or only thought crimes?

Now, the WhatsApp messages may be indicative of their thinking – but if they didn’t put it into practice, as it is supposed to be private and not for public information, is it criminal?

Personally I’d be in favour of ‘expressing’ in all senses, your worst thoughts in order not to implement them in practice.

I suggest most of us have them – particularly if we have been in traumatic situations…

Comparing doctors’ bedside manner is not really a rebuttal – fighting people and then saving them is more common among Police than doctors.

Yes, doctors save people from their governments.

So do the Police.

But equally as often they are the enforcers on behalf of that same government. No wonder they are conflicted – I would be too.

Furthermore, British policing has become more remote, as local government has progressively disappeared.

We have the never requested them but the Cameron obligated Police and Crime Commissioners who rarely get elected by more than a third of their electorates are supposedly democratic. But, of course, they come with an enhanced budget. Thus the Tories, as ever, use money as power for their ideas.

So it is really how the centralised government wants us to consider our police…

One of the troubles is that the Police complaints process is under resourced just compare for example with Northern Ireland.

There is still no proper licensing of policemen or women.

In the end the crisis in policing is entirely the government’s.

No legal aid.

No properly funded Crown Prosecution Service

No properly funded social services.

No mental health services.

No money – there iznomoney…

Cressida Dick may have surrepticiously perhaps, supported the Tories – but policing – and us – we really need societal change not (what are we thinking of?) doubling down on police Whatsapp messages …


  1. Richard B -

    I entirely agree with your line about the coping mechanism. I had a friend who led children’s social services in East London 20 years ago whose sense of humour was as black as it could be. I hate to think what it would be like now with “social” media and the cumulative funding cuts local government has suffered since.

    However, there is another angle. The police are used by some in the gender wars who object to “offensive” social media comments. Some of those commentators are subject to police interview (even if the police acknowledge a non-crime incident) and sometimes prosecution for things they have said on-line.

    It would be double standards if the police investigated and charged others for what they are free to do themselves.

    The proliferation of “hate crime” legislation at the expense of freedom of speech is partly to blame. Another problem is social media enabling pressure groups to “pile on” anyone who expresses contrary beliefs.

    I entirely agree about the need for societal change and a freedom of speech bill should be part of that.

    1. Peter May -

      Hope so…

  2. Mike Parr -

    “Furthermore, British policing has become more remote, as local government has progressively disappeared.”.. few years ago (2000s) I was talking to a Chief Constable at a security conference – does not matter who (or where). At the time there was a big drive to consolidate smaller stations into bigger ones all in the name of efficiency. His concern was that in the bigger stations, the lazy cops had more places to hide, small stations expose those with poor performance. We also discussed a failure on the part of the police to address crime (quasi petty) which mattered to citizens, as well as declining respect for the police. His response was to acknowledge the problems and admitted that the police had a great deal of work to do in both areas. Things seem to have got much worse since, partly driven by budget cuts, but also the “them & us” attitude which he recognised. He came across as a decent sort – doing his best in a difficult situation. This is not a comment defending the police btw – rather the problems have been a long time developing, where there in the 2000s and have festered/got worse since.

    1. Peter May -

      I think that is spot on. Budget cuts have been disastrous and that includes also and now especially for the CPS and the courts. Highly demoralising for the police who even if they catch somebody, now have to do much more of the paperwork as now little CPS help and any crown court case will be taking about two years to get to trial.Even if they themselves write up their notes diligently, any witnesses may well have forgotten details.. So it makes for very, very poor justice.
      But of course the Tory ‘priority’ is to get crime off the streets – it’s another slogan

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