Are the Police Getting Out of Control?

This is a bit of a rant and I stress that I'm not talking about the individual copper on the beat.

I grew up respecting the Police but I now find myself feeling somewhat intimidated by them. I have been stopped twice over the last two weekends by Police VCPs and a few weeks back I was searched under the Anti Terrorist provisions. This may not sound much but I'm really becoming fed up. It's depressing to travel to work and see loads tooled up Coppers just waiting pounce. The attitude of these coppers is generally aggressive and if Squaddies behaved in the same manner, we would be gripped.

I accept that living in London requires more Policing, especially after the bombs, but I am becoming concerned about the level and style. I think the Police are in danger of alienating the majority of people because everyone is treated as a criminal.

I don't want to live in a country where you can't avoid having your details taken just for being there. I don't want to live in a police state but things are definately sliding in that direction.

I suspect that fact that I am a white male has a lot to do with it, helps improve the Race figures for the Home Office.

Speaking to some mates last night and they all agreed that things are bad. One observed that we are now getting to the stage where, even if you are law abiding, sooner or later you will be arrested. He made the interesting point that our society is running the risk that being arrested may no longer be a taboo or embarrasing, it will merely be a part of life. I think it is dangerous to criminalise sections of the community who would ordinarily be law abiding.

For example:-

Speed cameras everywhere so that picking up a speeding fine is inevitable, a moments loss of concentration and you're done. Many people no longer consider speeding an offence and the enforcement of the law merely a hidden tax.

Also concerning is the attitude of some senior Police, especially the head of the Met who was astonished that anyone would be so cheeky as to suggest the shooting of the Brazilian on the Tube should be investigated. Reports in the press today that the coppers that fired the shots won't even be charged - WTF???? They would if they were squaddies. I wonder what Tpr Williams and Sgt Roberts tank crew think about that !

I also find it ironic that this government is perhaps the most illiberal and repressive government we have ever had.

- We live in a world where expressing an opinion that differs from the ruling elite results in a visit from the Police ( i.e. the Christian couple that said they didn't support homosexual civil partnerships who were grilled by the Police for 80 mins).

- We live in a world where just driving through central London will result in your details being recorded, racially profiled and faceless bureaucrats recording and manipulating those details for political propaganda purposes. What's the next step? will we be stopped in the street and swabbed for DNA? Perhaps it would be easier for everyone to have a number tattooed on their arm.

I think this Government is becoming more and more like the Nazis everyday and they are misusing the Police.

So, a bit of a rant, but would be interested in gaining opinions, especially from those who are in the Police.
I agree with everything you said. I used to consider a career in the Police looking upon it as a second career later in life. I wouldnt do it now, not because of the physical risk, but because I no longer see anything to be proud of in the boys in blue, the force sems to march to a different tune of their political masters not honesty and common sense. Any police officers reading this, be aware your actioins are turning loyal honest citizens against you, without the support of the greater public all you will become is a political militia....
Hootch said:
This is a bit of a rant and I stress that I'm not talking about the individual copper on the beat.

I grew up respecting the Police but I now find myself feeling somewhat intimidated by them...

That is the plan. Since the Government/police can't get to grips with the antisocial behaviour, and the real crime and scum, they now target the 'ordinary' people going about their everyday business. The logic behind it is; we all moan that the police are stopping us etc, therefore we think they do it to to all, so police is now getting it's act together...

Smoke and mirrors, fibs and statistics or same sh1t different shovel
Third attempt to answer this post, considering carefully what I type :?
I'm sure few people on this forum have anything but the greatest respect for the individual Police Officer.
Everytime the Policing subject crops up on the forum debate is fairly heated, a large proportion of posters here are or were employee's of HMG, if dissent on the subject of the Police is passionate here you can rest assured that other people around the country are at least as peeved off about it.
Home Office "statistics" and Police Authorities are deluding themselves that the public supports the way things are done. The majority of people do not realise that their every move on the roads or in town centres are monitored, huge amounts of data is stored about them and legislation inceasingly seeks to control every aspect of life. As more people become aware (the internet is a big tool for this) discontent grows.
Everybody I know grumbles heavily about taxation and its enforcement, part of this stems from the criminalisation of minor offences, pensioners going to jail for Council Tax issues, arresting a woman for walking down a cycle path, dual standards on speed cameras, the list is endless. And what do most f these issues have in common? Money!
Defending yourself or your property is heavily penalised, more so than the real criminals activities.
We are constantly berated about gun crime, the constant debate about toy guns and air rifles etc, whilst real gun crime continues to increase
If you carry a blade of any discription you will be arrested, regardless of legitimate use or not.
Police Forces are used to implement laws large portions of the population do not want (hunting ban?) and help the goverment rape the population of every penny available (enforcing fines from speed cameras etc).
we are no longer allowed the presumption of innocence and failing to confess is a criminal offence. A fair trial is now less likely than it ever was. Peaceful protest is no longer acceptable.
Nobody has any idea what will be illegal next, but we do know that legislation and equipment is in place to ensure you can be properly prosecuted for flicking a fag end out of your car window.
Not many people I know have anything against the Police Officer in the street, but find the way they are Policed increasingly disturbing.
And what can we do about it? nothing. After all if we disagree we don't understand the situation, if you protest you will be arrested.

But I'm sure somebody will come along and explain to me that I don't fully understand the situation and have got it all wrong. After all, if I do nothing wrong I have nothing to fear......
I think the problems highlighted here are a worrying trend, but most of the police I come across seem fairly reasonable.

That said, I think there is significant minority at all levels in the police force who see the population as a problem to be tackled rather than a society to be served.

Do you remember the very senior officer who said, 'In an ideal world we would have a lot more policemen'? I'm sure he was trying to say something about manning levels, but I suspect a lot of policeman agree with what he actually said.

I have said before that the police have their own agenda and it is not a libertarian one. I think we need to keep them on a very short leash indeed if we are not to find the unreasonable ones dominating the police service - and the rest of us.
Before you take the rise out of the police, have a thought for how they feel, as squaddies you do things that you don't want to, police are like the Army, puppets to the government, they have to do what they're told or face disciplinary hearings, they have a hard enough job dealing with the sh it bags, come on guys give the coppers a break.

If one criminal is caught for every 10 stop checks then it has to be worth it,

That is my rant in retaliation to your rant,

BTW I did 22 years and now work FOR the police.
I am ex -police. I am disturbed by the politicisation of the police which (unavoidably I think) started with the miners strike . I do not like the intrusion into everyday life and what appears to be the encroachment of thought crime and the attempt to manipulate people's attitudes. That said, the police are under orders in what appears to be a large and i suspect abortive exercise in social engineering. They'll soon be issuing tickets for smoking in public. I need not go on. :)
Cmplain while you still can! It is ridiculous when a pensioner is detained illegally under the premise of anti-terrorism legislation, when a war veteran is detained for wearing anti Bush/Bliar T-shirts and when a young woman is arrested for reading out names of war dead in SW1, but these heavy-handed and risible actions backfire tremendously when they reach the newspapers. Funny old thing, no-one has been lifted in London since the Met were made to look like complete prats over the Cenotaph incident and I think it will be awhile before these powers are used again.

Also, under the new arrest laws, although you can be arrested for any offence, the arrest must be justifiable. So consult a brief if you feel angry. If Mr Wolfgang had decided not to comply with his illegal detention and had been arrested, then Sussex Police may well have ended out of pocket and the arresting officer may well have suffered career damage (hopefully he did anyway). So keep calm, ask for clarification of powers used, record every minor detail (ranks, serial numbers, names) and get in touch with a lawyer and the local newspaper.

Blaming the coppers only goes so another thread makes clear, this is Bliar's Britain (for another few months at any rate).
Not so much the 'Police' as a whole getting out of control, but rather the Goverment (or more scarily the unelected political background boys who REALLY pull the strings) setting the agenda who are getting out of control.

This is further exaberated by a set of Chief Constables who seem to be more interested in a political career than a policing one, long gone are the days when the CC was 'Political Neutral' there is now so much 'toadying up' it's embarrasing.

Plus the CC and their forces dont seem to get as much support as they could from the Police Authorities these days, too much political interest there.

Todays Beat Plod thankfully has much better comms than say 20/25 years ago, this however works two ways, one he can call for help when needed with more confidence that someone actually hear him but it does also lead to a much tighter control by the hierarchy on that officer, something we have seen in the Army with 'micro management'.

Back in the late 70's and before, the Beat Plod tended to deal with incidents much more on the spot, using his/her own initiative and experience, of course the respect the Police were held in by the public as a whole helped. These days however with better comms the problem is more easily passed up or rather 'controlled' by the Duty Inspector plus there is little respect, something I think that the establishment has brought about rather than the Police themselves.

I must admit though, with such poor comms in the 70's the radios we had in Devon were hopeless to say the least, rumour has it when help was really needed they were better used as a medeival club and swung around on the end of the strap than as a comms device (prospect of a f*ck orf heavy battery across the temple sort of sharpend the drunken mind and sorted many an incident.....) not that I would ever condone such use of equipment...... :roll:

Never having been one to sit on a fence ........ Where do we go from here??? to be honest I dont know, but I think a really good starting point would be the political leadership followed by the courts. Politicals to get rid of the 'PC' attitued, PC is a loads of b*lls treat every one the same! a crim is a crim etce no matter the race/sexual deviency etc. and the courts??? stop sentencing at the BOTTOM of the sentence scale, start at the top, a lower sentence should be the exception and not the norm, if that leads to the jails getting overcrowded ok - build new ones!!!!

Jails? cut out TV's, Gyms etce, in fact cut out every thing that makes a day in there remotely pleasurable or livable. each day/hour/second spent in jail should be a living hell for an inmate... if they arent wishing they werent there by the end of day 1 and seriously considering ending it by day three then its too soft and not a deterrent....
Please remember that Police , like the Military , follow the dictates of the political masters , B. Liar and co. I would agree there will be the odd bad apple in the police just as there is in the Military but don't label them all as the same.
I was in the Arny for 22 years and have been a civvy for about the same. I have been stopped by the police of many occasions and have had nothing but politeness and civility from them . Maybe I have just been lucky but please direct your complaints at where the problems really is , Blair and his bunch of misfits and liars
The police are way out of control now. Jagman and Mr PVR'd may offer the jobsworth apology that they only work for the gov't, enforcing the law.

But when those laws are not in line with the majority of the country, you are in danger of becoming an army of occupation. The French Gendarmes, perhaps, nationally controlled and universally hated.

I was brought up to assist and respect the police, but minor contact over recent years has left me only with contempt for their lack of common-sense, arrogance and the contempt they display for the law abiding civ.

The comment about the road-blocks ? medman? "One crim for ten stops". OK. But what about the nine humiliated, delayed and frustrated HM subjects? If the police do not like what their role has become, they get up the ladder and change it, get out or get tarred with the dirty brush.
I am trying not to offer a jobsworth apology, and have ranted on other threads about the direction that law and order has taken in this country. The only way to turn the tide is to ensure that these ludicrous laws (and those who uphold them) are subject both to legal challenge and public ridicule.

There will come a time for direct action or civil disobedience, and that will be if ID cards are imposed upon us. I have no intention of complying with this proposal, and if enough of us disregard it, then it will become unworkable - just like the poll tax.
4BIT said:
The police are way out of control now. Jagman and Mr PVR'd may offer the jobsworth apology that they only work for the gov't, enforcing the law.

Never thought I'd ever be accused of apologising for or defending the Police 8O but i maintain that I have little gripe with individual Police Officers (ok maybe the odd one)
Personnally I would not like to try balancing a duty to enforce the law and my own integrity, as far as I can see the two are becoming less compatable all the time.
As a mere member of the public there is nothing I can do to change the way the country is being administered.
To my mind (and I am aware of how misguided I am) Goverment and the Police are there to serve the population of Britain. We seem to be slipping further and further into the belief that we don't know whats good for us and that we should be grateful and do as we are told.
The changes in law in this country are obscene, the enforcement of them are equally outrageous and the lack of moral fibre is senior public servants frightens me.
The only form of protest available to the individual is to refuse to comply for which you are punished severely. Draconian is'nt really a strong enough discription
Old timer, I think the general trend is to condemn the law makers rather than the police who are now increasinglty expected to uphold regulations that place them in the path of the non criminal majority. Some are arrogant but the majority are quite civilised. The job in iself is corrupting because the public becomes your enemy after a few years on the street. Whilst target driven policing was a silly idea when I was in, it now appears very important. This is bound to increase the processing of people (i use the word processing on purpose) because you have to show results. It derives revenue, and job security whilst further alienating the public and removing discretion. The previous poster is correct. The only way you deal with this is not disrespecting the uniform (most of the people here would be ideal candidates to wear one) but to bring the laws that are daft into disrepute. I have made it plain that I will not carry an i.d card and will take the consequences. I hope others do too.

p.s The best radio I ever used was a little blue one with a big yellow button on top (this replaced the dual radio battery pack which was cumbersome). The beauty of the blue one was that you strapped it to your chest and as your body bent down when you were getting banjaxed. it depressed the yellow button so you could squawk for assistance. Obviously someone who new the job had designed it. After that the new ones needed a free hand. That tells me something about the way the police was run. Not sure what though. :)
The problems with the Old Bill are basically the same as the problems in the rest of society. Everybody wants to be a Chief and nobody wants to be an Indian.
One of the perks of being in the Old Bill (but nobody would readily admit it, of course) is the "authority" inherent in the uniform. That's why you often get marched down to the nick when some copper reckons you're being "lippy". Especially when it becomes apparent that you're intellectually superior to the copper concerned.
This continues up the chain of command and the only remedy a gobment sees is to introduce more laws, rules and regualtions to make their presence felt (just like "strict" parents - or even Army officers and SNCOs, for that matter).
There's actually no cosmic law stating that any human being has the automatic right to impose her/his will on another human being. In primitive tribes, this problem was solved by mutually consenting to having a leader, but in modern society, there are too many people and there's also a long tradition of forcing people to accept laws on pain of punishment.
However, a large percentage of the population of modern countries is at least as intelligent and as educated as the politicians guiding their fate, so coercion has to be maximised. Not because it's strictly necessary but because politicians can't imagine anything else working.
As long as our so-called leaders remain that unimaginative, we'll be lumbered with this kind of retrogressive policing.
The whole problem is obviously vastly more complex than that, since it involves many more variables than I've stated, but that's the main gist.

I think you have it , Blurp, when you say the job is corrupting, and the processing of people results in alienation.

It has reached some point when right minded arrse-ists now view the police as alien to the British culture. Or maybe we are only refusing to see that the culture has been destroyed and it is only its fond memory that prompts us to write complaining, when in fact any hope of a return to sanity has long gone.

I cannot see the fluffy Mr Cameron rolling back the PC notions and laws and rebuilding a degree of individual judgement and initiative into the police force. ANy hope out there?
I work with the police, if they did not have to so many hours doing sodding paperwork they could be out there on the streets
OK So the new manifesto.

Sack any 'PC' Chf Constable, ban the shooting of Brazilians, without prosecution, scrap the ID card, remove the blatantly mercenary speed cameras, target the villians rather than the public, ruthlessly remove paperwork, give the cop some independance and initiative.

How about scaling back the intimidatory, showy and rather useless armed police presence, in favour of more intelligence gathering, as a way to combat terrorism ? Does anyone else think that the legal response is way out of proportion to the threat?

It seems many attacks (Did Ken say four?) have been stopped by the intelligence services and thousands hassled by the armed police to no effect (apart from accidental shootings.)

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