Just to reassure you, the exasperation is with senior officers, 100%. And higher, with the mayors and PCC and the government.Just to put this out for the forums information.
The amount of attrition on police officers for public complaints against them is something to behold. An apparently simple complaint of an officer using excessive force " in someones opinion " during an arrest can have that officer on restricted duties for a year or more whilst the investigation goes through, maybe even longer if it goes to court or the IOPC. Current record is an 11 year investigation for a death in custody where all police staff were repeatably cleared of wrong doing.
It is very easy for anyone to put an complaint in, media can be edited to a great degree and the amount of malicious complaints going ahead defies belief. The results are that you lose officers for a substantial amount of time even if the complaint proves to be crap, or they just resign through the stress of it...their team mates see this and greatly effects their will to get hands on as well.
The talk on the forum for cracking heads etc is fully understandable and the years of pussy footing about as a service due to upper managements game plan have done nothing but embolden the crims and exasperated the general public.But the dice is fully loaded against the front line officers using robust physical action and is very much in the mind of a lot of officers.
If you strip away everything, the government relies in extremis on the use of force to get its way, literally to maintain law and order, so that the economy can run and people can live safely.
Senior officers, judges, MPs, etc seem not to understand that, hence the seemingly naive approach to crime seen in London. It's going to get bad until someone realises the consequences of what is happening.
In terms of senior police supporting their colleagues, I recall a case from 2011: the riots had gotten to the stage where even politicians were saying 'For God's sake, restore order'. People were wondering what would happen if the police were not more assertive. Anyway, the police get assertive - in Manchester I think, a few curfew breakers on bikes run by mistake into some riot police, get a brief kicking, and are detained. Someone filmed it from a flat window. Good job, it looks like.
The next day, the news is that the officers are under investigation ; the case reported to the IPCC, etc. At that time, with public disorder being very serious, it was ridiculous. It was literally senior officers saying
'Get out there and get tough' and then letting those who were trying to restore order, get thrown under a bus.