March 07, 2010

Keepers Of The Peace?

Recent high profile stories involving senior policemen and women have shocked many of us.

A lot of people, when thinking about the police, may see this image in their minds:


Or this:

Or (for older folks!) this:

But how many of us wanted to see this:

In Peels day, policemen were expected to keep the peace. They swore an oath to uphold (common) law. They take the same oath today but then they proceed to do the opposite. They reinforce and enforce statutes, they harass people whose only goal is to get from A to B. Today's coppers are different. This is by design, not by accident. Training techniques at Hendon now employ the use of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and the result is clearly shown above. They long ago ceased to be Peacekeepers. Now they have transformed into Judge Dredd. No emotions, no flexibility, no real chance to talk to them as if they were human beings like you and I. They have a clear mission: stop and search (using any, or no, excuse), find a problem, extract a fine. Our police forces today are far removed from Robert Peels vision. Modern cops, in the main, are no more than uniformed thugs. Their neuro-linguistic programming is responsible for the violent acts they carry out on a (mostly) unarmed public. Let's not forget that over 1,100 people have died whilst in their custody in the last ten years. That's 1,100 wrongful deaths and not a single prosecution.  And these are the people we pay to keep us safe.

It's all about targets. Now, if I was a copper and I was instructed (as they are) to feel X number of collars per month, then, in order to keep my gaffer happy, I would do exactly that. It would not concern me in the least that I chose soft targets to make my numbers every month. If I can grab, say, a driver for blowing his nose in stationary traffic, rather than chase down an armed robber or a violent drug dealer, guess who will receive my attention? Under all the crap they wear, these men and women are human. And although they get paid to be in harms way, they are not going to take a bullet if it can be avoided. A reasonable and wise choice, if I'm being honest.

It's those other changes that worry me too.

Police Forces, from ACPO all the way down to the solitary copper in a small village, all work for limited companies. A limited company is formed for one reason: to turn a profit. And they do. Each and every year. Like your local councils, police forces have money invested in stocks and shares. The police are in cahoots with the court system. All courts in the UK are also limited companies. They are also designed to make money. And they do. From time to time they are also expected to dispense justice. A cursory glance at any newspaper will confirm what you already know: justice is a word alien to our 21st century judicial system. Without straining myself I can find 10 examples of pathetic sentencing in any given month in any given year for the last fifteen years.

Are most coppers good or bad? I like to think good. But then again, I rarely come into contact with them. When I do, I will use what I have learnt in the last year or so, and see what occurs. I will, if stopped whilst travelling in my conveyance, remember to check their vehicle while they have a look at mine. A staggering number of police vehicles have no valid tax discs. Now, if I recall correctly, no-one is above the law. If I have to display a valid tax disc, so do they. I will also ask them, every time they cause me to stop what I am doing (assuming I am harming no-one), if they know the difference between a law and a statute. If they cannot answer me correctly I will file a complaint. Any copper who doesn't know the difference is committing an offence, and he is in breach of his oath of office.

Policemen and women are no different to you and me. They are tasked with keeping the peace. We have similar rights of arrest to them, and we certainly should not bow and scrape when we come into contact with these public servants. We can, and should, talk to them politely and without animosity. But we can, and we should, question them about their activities when we feel threatened by them, instead of feeling protected by them.

Quick quiz. Is this a good guy or a bad guy:

Let me know in the comments.

This post is not an attack on those that man the thin blue line. I just want to know why they have changed so dramatically in the last decade or so. And I want to be convinced that the changes were for the good of all.

I see no evidence of that so far.



BTS said...

I couldn't say whether he's good or bad, but he does appear to be attempting to coordinate his trainers and his gun.

I'm not sure how highly that ranks in fashion etiquette these days..

Anonymous said...

Why have things changed so much in the last decade? There's plenty of older officers and LOADS of retired that cannot understand why things have gone the way they have. A big contribution comes from the influence of ACPO who are very political aided and abeted by the egregious accelerated promotion scheme in whatever guise or description it currently is. The cry for a beter educated 'officer class' quickened and took hold after the 1980's riots etc and the hand wringing guilt dripping liberal elites in government. Same in the armed forces to a degree, the fire brigades etc etc. Neutered by political correctness. What needs to be understood I suppose is that the extreme left and extreme right always want greater control, more central control of EVERTHING!

Senior police offiocers are dangerous bastards and to get that high these days means you sell your soul and tread on the skulls of others as you clamber upwards to a great salary a fucking marvellous pension, plus allowances and perks and the ability to get a nother high paid job at the end. Trotter and Johnstone of the BTP, both former AC's in the Met then became DCC and CC respectively. TRhat;s AC's pensions plus full wages for the BTP job - that's money. All you ahve to do is conform, sell your service down the river and everyone's civil rights into the bargain.

Anonymous said...

PLUS!!!! The Macpherson report and the lowering of standards to enbable the quota system for recruitment, more blacks, asians, homos, dykes and whatever else is deemed 'discriminated' against. There's even a bunch of transexuals with their own staff assocaition being paid to mince around like a load of Bounty PAper towel actors in bad make up and shit frocks. All paid for by you and me.

Old fashioned coppers used discretion and common sense too, no stupoid government set targets either and the ability to ujse a bit of DI Regan force when necessary.

Nice people were left alone, thierving scum sorted, now the fuckers know the easy targets and don't know any better.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a TSG copper out of uniform to me, Ranty.

As for your timeline; it's not right, mate. The coppers have changed for the worse since Thatcher got in 30 years ago. I'm old enough to remember the good old bobbies of the prior age. The rot didn't set in under Nu Labour, it began under Thatcher and has only grown steadily worse since then. The distance between the police and the public has been expanding dangerously since 1979 and has accelerated explosively since the Miners' Strike of 1984.

LazyCookPete said...

Looks like another poorly-trained prick with an automatic assault rifle to me. A properly-trained soldier would use his stock hand to signal, keeping his finger close to the trigger.

I once remember a similarly poorly-trained prick visiting the guardroom when I was Guard Commander and acting like a 10 year old with a cap gun - only he had a Colt trooper .357 magnum. Scary shit.

If they all act like the dickhead in this picture, we are safer than we think.

wonderfulforhisage said...

'Training techniques at Henley now employ the use of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and the result is clearly shown above.'

With respect, may I ask how specifically this is 'clearly shown'?

richard said...

i remember a copy of the Republican News back in the eighties. it showed a cartoon of an RUC officer in full riot gear with a raised baton, with the ironic title "have a nice day!" or something to that effect, as an adverse comment about the paramilitary style of policing.
not being of the usual readership, i thought "if you didn't go about shooting constables, they might be a little friendlier" - the danger was such, i reasoned, that they had to suit up.
however - this Judge Dredd look has spread to England without the excuse of a large minority of aggrieved populace. i can only surmise that the police are training and preparing for an outbreak of civil disorder, that their masters therefore suspect that this event is likely, that the crassness of cctv, balls-and-flaps airport scanners, ID cards, DNA, stop-and-search, intrusive anti-privacy laws, ludicrous fines for feeding ducks, taking photos, smoking and so on, are getting us acclimatised to a Plod of Force and a State which relies on a Plod of Force. maybe the mask is slipping, but maybe people generally aren't noticing it, buried behind the avalanche of new "laws" in a deliberately-engineered, intricate imposition of crapness which is too easily mistaken for stupidity of government.

Captain Ranty said...


A poor choice of words from me. I rushed the piece. I was going to insert links to the UK Column and TPUC who have evidence of the NLP training. The paramilitary style clothing and equipment were introduced at around the same time as NLP made its debut.

It deserves a blog post of its own. I will gather the data and get it up so you can have a look.

The guy in civvies is a copper, but I don't know which group/division he is with.

I agree Anon. It goes back further than my ten years. I remember the 1984 strike very well. I was in the army at the time. The clashes between the cops and the miners got pretty vicious.


John Pickworth said...

I've never quite been able to put my finger on what it is... but 'they' are different these days. It wasn't so long ago that most policemen (and women of course) were quite obviously 'one of us' and dispensed the law wisely.

Show some respect, listen to the lecture and be on your way. Now whatever the circumstances, no matter how trivial, the officer's whole demeanour shouts out that you're the lowest of the low, a bang to rights member of the criminal underclass and you should be dealt with accordingly.

You only need to watch some of these cop shows to see it. They target a drunk, go out of their way to rile him up and then immediately threaten arrest once the poor sod utters a swear word or makes any sort of disrespectful remark. This isn't policing... its power crazed bullies misusing the law simply because they can, because we allow them to.

BTS said...

It does depend on the cop show though. Check out 'Steven Seagal Lawman' to see how it should be done:

Just listen for the first 25 seconds and you'll hear some dude he's just busted asking for his autograph. And they all do that.

We need more actors on the police force 'cause no-one fucks with them..

Anonymous said...

Introducing monetary incentive was the culprit. As was the privatisation of the police force - ACPO.

Sure, now it's only a 50/50 'partnership', but over time, expect it to become more private.

In the US, the proportion of the population of jails to the population of the country is a stark reminder of why privatisation of 'justice' is anathema to freedom.

We have the Tories to thank for that. Recall G4?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we're looking at it the wrong way.... we THOUGHT they were there to protect US.

Now, if we look at it the other way round, does it become any clearer?

Could it be, that they are NOT their to protect us at all, but to keep us in check, protecting somebody else? That would mean, we've been told something that is simply not true, masking the real reason they look like stormtroopers....

I wonder....

Nah, that can't be right. It's never happened before..... I take it all back.


Captain Ranty said...


Some days I wonder just how much we convince ourselves that everything is fine and we opt to ignore whatever it is because it is easier. Or that the real truth is just too unpalatable.

So we tell ourselves that it is normal and we carry on.

Like having a mad uncle. We pretend he doesn't exist.

I don't think our coppers are bent, per se. I have seen more bent (and I mean absolutely corrupt) cops in Africa to last me several lifetimes. I mean, and you may disagree, that our cops now have the right to beat us to a pulp (in certain situations) or even kill us, with no redress whatsoever.

And we pay them to do this to us.

I can wax lyrical about old-school coppers, and yes, I have had the odd clip around the ear from them when I was a kid, but life has moved on since then. Depending on the circumstances prevailing, I am potentially in harms way from the very people who are charged with my safety.

That is something most decent folks should find horrifying.


Anonymous said...

Training techniques at Henley...

Hendon, shurely?

Captain Ranty said...

Yes indeedy.

Mea culpa. It is now corrected.

No idea where I got Henley from.....



Gareth said...

John Pickworth said: "I've never quite been able to put my finger on what it is... but 'they' are different these days. It wasn't so long ago that most policemen (and women of course) were quite obviously 'one of us' and dispensed the law wisely."

I will guess it is connected to constables being relieved of their own authority (or handing it to senior officers to better their careers). The constables I have had limited dealings with are never prepared to say what *they* will do, things always have to get decided via a conflab back at HQ.

Discretion has been educated/encouraged out of the Police force. Perhaps in part due to the same mentality that infects our lives through Health n Safety and political correctness - a fear of falling foul of the law themselves.

The example of deaths in custody is a good one - procedures are put in place. So long as procedures are followed it doesn't matter if a suspect dies. The procedures are not there to keep suspects alive they are there to remove responsibility and accountability from the constables tasked with looking after their suspects. It relieves them of a duty to care. It allows 'bad apples' to get away with it.

There is also an element of gaming the system. The law is horrendously complex now. The Police exploit that. We see it with the harrassment of photographers whereby people who do know there rights are treated with suspicion. The law has become so labyrinthine that it can be used as a battering ram or a 'our hands are tied' excuse to suit the circumstances. That doesn't uphold the law. That doesn't keep the peace.

Constables have become just the eyes, ears and long arms of the law when in past decades they were perhaps more a physical embodiment of it. They had personal reputations to protect too - they were part of the community.

Anonymous said...

The police have never been there to protect the public. They are there to protect the state and it's functions from us, the rabble. Avoid contact with the police at all costs because they are only after your cash. The police are the real robbers in this country.

Dunfermline lad said...

He's a bad man. He's got a gun. Simple as.