Guardian Angels: Role Models or just Police Walts?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Ignorant_Layman, Aug 17, 2010.

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  1. I'm not sure how many of you will have heard of the Guardian Angels (The Alliance of Guardian Angels) before - it was a good while ago I first read about them myself, but just recently I came across a short promotional video documentary sort of thing showcasing them "in action" and thought I'd share:

    GUARDIAN ANGELS DRUG RAIDS AND ARREST IN HOUSING PROJECTS SPECIAL on Vimeo

    Now, there is undeniably something decidedly walty about them. The beret, the gay code names, the way former McDonald's night-shift worker and organisation founder Curtis Silwa plays up to his role like he's some sort of FBI bigshot...

    But for all the posturing, it's still pretty ballsy the way they seem genuinely willing to step up in crappy areas, slam drug dealers against walls and excercise their right to make citizens' arrests, especially Stateside where one would have thought you stood a pretty good chance of being blown away doing that sort of thing. Sure, the fact that they pretend they're throwing down with Al Capone's hit squad in the above video while doing it is lame, but at least they really are doing something which makes a tangible difference.

    More significant than the stuff they try to sell peole on above though are the "safety patrols" which are at the heart of the organisation, providing something which looks suspiciously like good old-fashioned preventive beat policing - the need of which the Guardian Angels' mere existence shows as having never gone away, and which has been sorely missed in our own country since it was all but scrapped in the late '60s by Jenkins and co. Senior British police naturally hate them and the organisation is limited to one tiny London-based chapter, with jealous Ian Blair types decrying them as a "vigilante group" and peddling that tired old line about ordinary people not "taking the law into their own hands". I think this misses two fundamental points though: that the police were never supposed to be much more than citizens in uniform themselves when Peel brought them in, and that the common law of the land has always been in the individual's "own hands" because it belongs to everyone.

    I personally could never get involved with an organisation whose members look so utterly ridiculous if it did exist here on any scale, but I must say I'd be thrilled if we had a bit more of their sort of activism in Britainand a lot less of the predominant sort that always seems to involve either preachy middle-aged singers demanding my money or mobs rioting outside the Israeli embassy.
     
  2. We do have an ever growing special constabulary which is being taken seriously for the first time since WW2... if people really want to arrest people on their night off may I suggest that as the the best route to take?
     
  3. I had dismissed the Guardian Angels out of hand at first on the basis that that would be much more sensible, however I doubt there's any more danger of Special Constables being assigned to regular foot patrols again than there is for regular PCs.
     
  4. Public has a choice, fast response or everyone on foot. As it happens everything has swung in the foot patrol direction, which is IMHO a mistake.
     
  5. Beat policing doesn't involve everyone being on foot. I'm not so sure things have "swung in the foot patrol direction" either; politicians like to talk about "bobbies on the beat", sure, but something like 80% of the country (and 90% of the Metropolitan area) had lost beat coverage by the end of 1969 and I highly doubt this has been reversed now.

    Fast response (which we don't actually have) to crimes after they have been committed is nice, I guess, and it certainly boosts the Chief Constable's all-important detection rates, but personally I'd much rather have lots of boring foot patrols which deter crimes from being carried out in the first place.
     
  6. Maybe in your part of the world, Trotsky, but the vast majority of coppers up here are in cars. And the response is'nt all that fast either...
     
  7. They turned up in Glasgow a number of years ago patrolling the Subway, can't remember why. Despite predictions of them getting ripped etc they didn't get any trouble, quite the opposite in fact as most people said hello and shook their hands. Don't know if they actually achieved anything but it was a nice gesture.
     
  8. As something of an expert on this subject (I have the box DVD set of Heartbeat), I say bring back The Specials. It's time we had a Rudeboy Revival. Dexy's can f*ck right off though.

    Leave the policing to the police. The Guardians would just attract a lot of wannabe inadequates who in the end would cause more trouble than they prevent.

    IMHO

    I'm a fully paid up member of the Niteklub.
     
  9. Didnt they come over to London in the late 80's/ early 90's? They intended to patrol London underground but West Ham infamous ICF gang said they would give them a right royal rumble, dont know what happened in the end.

    Wasnt there another gang called the "Angel Guardians" who carried weapons?
     
  10. Yeah, the Guardians should leave that to the police!

    See, I don't feel good about that one. Way too easy...
     
  11. One once came through my tube carriage on the way back from work. In his beret, red tracksuit jacket and combat trousers, looked more like fancy dress for gay night than a vigilante group. Naturally I looked them up on the web.

    In this country it seems a bit pointless, why not become a Special Constable? It's volunteer too, but you don't look a complete faggot and if somebody's doing something wrong, you can do more than just ask them to stop.
     
  12. In a mechanical world it seems an anachronism to wish for more foot patrols. There are, of course, advantages to a foot patrol in that all one's senses can be brought into play and you have more direct contact with the public you're policing. Equally there are disadvantages in that foot patrols can only cover a relatively small area of TAOR and must be backed up by motorised units. I know they're much maligned by many but don't the PCSOs carry out extensive foot patrols, surely they are a solution to the problem?
    I doubt that Angels are licensed or even extensively researched before they are taken on by the organisation. This is worrying on two counts, firstly one wonders what sort of person might be attracted to the post, certainly the conscientious citizen but what about the bully who sees the opportunity for a bit of semi-legal shenanigans? Secondly what about the person who would use his 'position' to gain the confidence of those he is there to ostensibly protect and then abuses that trust to gain entry to vulnerable people's property?
    Rather than a vigilante force, no matter how well controlled and selected they may be, it would be far better to encourage everyday citizens to play a fuller part in their community. If we can dissuade people from turning a blind eye and instead of 'not wanting to get involved' report incidents to the police and, if necessary, intervene themselves. Most criminals don't appreciate being observed and will avoid confrontation if they can. If it's a group of youths causing trouble then don't directly interfere but do make sure you call the police. It's about time ordinary citizens stood up for themselves. Unfortunately today there are more little old ladies prepared to stand up to yobs than there are more able-bodied younger citizens.
    The paramilitary gay uniforms don't generally go down well with the Great British Public. In many cities these days they employ street marshals who are there to assist people and help reduce crime, they are perhaps a more British answer to Capt Sensible.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. So, they are both Police and Para Walts? :rmp: