- 21-07-2012, 10:08 #391
- 21-07-2012, 10:16 #392
Obviously he does otherwise he wouldn't come out with such a bone comment in the first place.ARRSE - slamming the wasps from the pure apple of truth.
- 21-07-2012, 10:20 #393
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
- 21-07-2012, 10:42 #394
- 21-07-2012, 10:43 #395
- 21-07-2012, 10:54 #396
- Join Date
- May 2012
I've read this thread in it's entirety now and have noted some good arguments from either side. I've also noted an overwhelming amount of wibbling, also from both sides, but predominantly from the 'hang 'em high' side if I'm honest. A lot has already been discussed, but I'd like to make a few points of my own:
1) Having also read the thread about possible prosecutions resulting from 'Bloody Sunday', I have to say double standards are in evidence. The point has already been raised, and I agree that, had this been a soldier and not a police officer, the comments would be entirely different. For some at least, the ACAB mentality is showing through. That is IMHO anyway...
2) I personally wouldn't want to work with Harwood. I do have the misfortune to work with one or two people of his ilk. He clearly has an attitude problem and in my experience, such an attitude causes more problems than it solves. I was always trained to go in calm and escalate the response as necessary, as you can always escalate your response easily (and very quickly) if required, but it is a lot more difficult to go back down the scale if you go in too high. This is true of individuals and teams, but if one individual on that team escalates the response, then in a public order situation, the rest of the team really have no option but to follow suit, to an extent at least (to give an analogy, in an advance to contact type of scenario, if one man breaks cover, the rest of the section would really have to follow suit). Which is why I think Harwood is a liability, and if he gets peddled by The Met follwing his disciplinary hearing because of this, I won't shed any tears.
That said, I don't believe Harwood has committed any criminal offences at all, not even an assault. Bear with me, I'll explain.
Tomlinson was where he was, however he got there. I think that's because he was looking to cause police as much trouble as possible through passive resistance (as opposed to active or violent resistance), and the tapes all seem to back this up. Yes, he was shuffling at a slow pace, in a direction heading away from police lines. But from what I saw on the tape, he had no real intention of getting out of the way and was only moving on to avoid the jaws of the furry crocodiles and their handlers not far behind. He therefore, to me, seemed intent on committing an offence (whether he knew it to be such an offence or not) of obstructing police. That serial, at that time, was going about it's lawful duty of preventing public disorder etc, and Tomlinson was deliberately impeding their progress through passive resistance. This leads me on to two further points:
1) In a none public order situation, I would have him cuffed and in the back of the van and off to the cells, but this was a public order situation. Making an arrest would take at least two officers off the serial, and would take up a valuable cell space which, in my neck of the woods at least, and certainly in London on that day, would have been at a premium. This would have no doubt factored into the decision making process of all of the cops present who I bet would have loved nothing more than to cart Tomlinson off in irons.
2) Section 3, Criminal Law Act (forgive me, but it is relevant here I think):
A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances, in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders, or of persons unlawfully at large.
Now, a better legal mind than mine might tell me why this would be wrong, but surely there is a defence there, in that the push itself could be argued to be a reasonable response in a public order situation, to prevent someone from committing the crime of obstructing police, i.e. in keeping with S.3 CLA? I'm aware of the egg shell skull scenario, but to my knowledge, that's case law, made by and open to being overturned at the whim of a judge, whereas S.3 CLA is a statute. Surely a competent legal beagle could argue that the statute supercedes the stated case, and that Harwood's actions were in keeping with the statute law?
Whatever the answer, I have always maintained that I would, absolutely, have used a push (albeit maybe not as forcefully as Harwood's, but who can really say, hypothetically) if put in the same position, although the baton strike to the leg looked to me to be a bit excessive (funny (as in not funny at all, but rather tragic) that the excessive baton strike caused less damage than the seemingly justifiable push...), but again, there but for the grace of God etc...
Anyway, I've rambled on a bit with a few of my own musings, but the fact of the matter is that he has been found not guilty by a jury. The ACAB lot out there will be incensed by this, but then again, in my five years service I have seen many a 'bang to rights' offender walk out of court as free as a bird at the behest of a jury or panel of magistrates, whose decisions have left my colleagues and I totally baffled. The response from the defence solicitors is usually along the clichéd lines of 'it's better that ten guilty men go free, than one innocent man should hang' or some such. Well, in this particular case, I would respond by saying of our adversarial judicial system that, if it's good for the goose, then it's good for the gander.
That is all. Thanks for reading.
- 21-07-2012, 11:09 #397
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- 21-07-2012, 11:16 #398Silence may be golden, but duct tape is more effective, and that comes in silver......
"It's not the bullet that's got my name on it that concerns me; it's all them other ones flyin' around marked 'To Whom It May Concern.'" -Unknown
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf - George Orwell
Thames Path Challenge for Combat Stress - http://www.justgiving.com/Tony-Feller
- 21-07-2012, 11:16 #399
As the poster above eloquently expressed, many utter scrotes walk free every day, and yet Mr Average who plays by the rules and often thinks that justice will prevail and will shun the right to legal council often gets hammered in court, copping the maximum fine/penalty applicable to the offense.
Without ranting on about 'the squeezed middle' which frankly sounds more like a part of Vanessa Feltz' evening wear, I'll summarise by saying that in order to cover your arse in this country, you need to be as devious and conniving as the devious conniving bastards who will judge you. And don't think for a minute that because you have a jury you're better off than with a magistrate or a fusty old judge ruling over you. Quite the opposite. Just think for a minute, those upstanding citizens who form the jury will statistically be TOWIE fans and the people who text in the vote on X Factor. Effectively you become part of their latest 'reality TV' episode, and as such may end up fearing bending over for the soap in the showers for the next 5 years because your hair wasn't as 'reem' as Frankie Coconuts'!!
- 21-07-2012, 11:19 #400