How to Police the UK

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#1
I’m not thinking of the big stuff here, more the little things that make up most peoples experiences of the police.

Over the past few years there has been a constant trickle of stories about the police that result in the cries of ‘political correctness gone mad’ or ‘useless jobsworth’. In many of these stories there are examples of a target driven culture or in the cases of have-a-go-heroes and the like a culture of ‘no one enforces the law but us’.

Now, I’ve not had many dealings with the police save for an RTC a couple of years ago, so most of my knowledge of the subject is anecdotal. It seems to me that the idea of ‘no one enforces the law but us’ is unworkable unless there are enough police to attend all incidents quickly. Not eventually, but quickly.

As an example how would the scenario of a parent defending their bullied son by verbally threatening the mid teenage bully be seen by the police? I use this scenario because the parent in this case is someone I know. Following a complaint by the bully, the parent was taken by the police for questioning (fair one) and told not to do it again (again, fair one). The Sgt that told him this seemed unimpressed at the parents’ indifference to the warning, the statement that he’s going to carry on looking after his boy and the question of what should he do instead. The Sgt opined that the police should be called if it was happening again but why bother? Who would expect a response from the police within a few minutes to a call of ‘My boy’s being bullied by a bigger boy’?

In my mind this mentality is the big failure of the way that our country is policed. We know that the police are not omnipresent, are fallible (ie human) and are the official enforcement of the law. However they act as they have to in order to preserve what authority they carry, thereby pretending that they are omnipresent, infallible and the only mechanism for upholding the law.

What I’m after is what can be done to redress this? Is what we have really the best balance we can strike or is there a better way of policing the country. PCSO’s aren’t the answer and I don’t want to pay for a massive hike in council tax to pay for more plod, so what could be done?

Finally don’t let this turn into a ‘plod are crap’ thread, or it’ll be in the hole within the hour!
 
#2
I could give you a long drawn out saga of what happened to me and Plod but as you say it would be in the hole within the hour. All I can say is when I required their help they didn't lift a finger but turned up like the bloody Sweeney when it all went tits up.

Oh, the Plod are crap! (from a personal perspective)
 
#3
Stop paying poor people to stay poor (it doesn't take a genius to realise that if you pay people to be poor, you'll never be short of poor people and what was intended as a safety net becomes a lifestyle choice) and use the cash to pay for more coppers.

Get rid of ACPO; what business does a private company have in managing law enforcement?

Ditch some of the diversity people. They are to the police what political officers were to the Red Army.

Scrap PCSOs and start paying specials.
 
#4
Unknown_Quantity said:
Now, I’ve not had many dealings with the police save for an RTC a couple of years ago, so most of my knowledge of the subject is anecdotal. It seems to me that the idea of ‘no one enforces the law but us’ is unworkable unless there are enough police to attend all incidents quickly. Not eventually, but quickly.
You may as well write to the Mail with further conjecture and whatever uninformed pointless guff this thread attracts. You are using this thread to expose your perceived shortfalls in a really low-level petty case close to you.
The police are not there to cover the shortfall created by stupid people breeding - parenting to many seems to stop after the physical act. They are much like us - under remit to execute their duties in the manner directed by politicians we elected.
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#5
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
Unknown_Quantity said:
Now, I’ve not had many dealings with the police save for an RTC a couple of years ago, so most of my knowledge of the subject is anecdotal. It seems to me that the idea of ‘no one enforces the law but us’ is unworkable unless there are enough police to attend all incidents quickly. Not eventually, but quickly.
You may as well write to the Mail with further conjecture and whatever uninformed pointless guff this thread attracts. You are using this thread to expose your perceived shortfalls in a really low-level petty case close to you.
The police are not there to cover the shortfall created by stupid people breeding - parenting to many seems to stop after the physical act. They are much like us - under remit to execute their duties in the manner directed by politicians we elected.
Well it's always nice to have personal shortfalls identified over an anonymous website on the internet by strangers isn't it?

I'm not sure where you have picked up the stupid people breeding bit, but nevermind, as you say it's not the job of the police to intervene in every petty event in the country and I agree completely. But would the police as an organisation say that anyone else is capable of dealing with the protagonists in a street arguement without opening themselves to danger of commiting an offense themselves? That is the basis of my query and I'm not out to have a go at plod, I know why the police acted as they did, but I also understand that there is room for improvement in every system and that this forum, while predominantly military has plenty of people knowledgable about this subject area. Seems like a reasonable place to start for asking opinions.
 
#6
It would help the police if this Government scrapped all the targets, binned much of the PC/Human Rights crap and allowed the Rozzer on the street to use his/her common sense and to be allowed some discretion on how they apply the law.
 
#7
A good starting piont would be for the police to go back to basics and remember what they are there for and do that. Reduce drastically the supervisory ranks. 'Beyond reasonable doubt' has to cease as the basis for a conviction. Has anyone ever thought how diifficult it is to provide sufficient evidence? I know it's done by scientific means in serious cases but for most unless the offender is caught in the act with a dozen witnesses availabkle to attend court many cases are non-starters.
Then a co-ordinated approach between the police, CPS, Magistrates and prison service is needed. It's no good the police catching people unless everyone else is supportive and finally there is a cell available. This is why zero tolerence is talked about but never seems to get off the ground.
In short, the whole legal system needs bringing into the twenty first century.
 
#8
This country is very much shackled by the principle of "We don't trust you to do it yourselves so we'll enforce it". Unfortunately the principle is totally unworkable.

WRT policing, the deal goes "We'll look after you so you aren't allowed to look after yourself". Hence the whole situation where you get more strife for defending youself/others than the person doing the attacking.

You aren't a criminal because you rob and steal, you're the product of the system failing you.

The same is seen in many other facets of life. Health and Safety for instance. "We make it so you aren't allowed to have accidents, so if you do it must be someone else's fault".

It's bizarre.

Basically what we need is for people to take responsibility for and be accountable for their actions!
 
#9
Nationalise the Police Force.
 
#11
Ace_Rimmer said:
This country is very much shackled by the principle of "We don't trust you to do it yourselves so we'll enforce it". Unfortunately the principle is totally unworkable.

WRT policing, the deal goes "We'll look after you so you aren't allowed to look after yourself". Hence the whole situation where you get more strife for defending youself/others than the person doing the attacking.

You aren't a criminal because you rob and steal, you're the product of the system failing you.

The same is seen in many other facets of life. Health and Safety for instance. "We make it so you aren't allowed to have accidents, so if you do it must be someone else's fault".

It's bizarre.

Basically what we need is for people to take responsibility for and be accountable for their actions!
Very good points there, Ace. Right on the mark.

I don't think the commitment of the majority of Old Bill can seriously be called into question. It appears, however, that, in spite of wanting to do the job they envisaged when they joined, they very soon find themselves severely hobbled/nobbled by the system in place at present. A system that radically politicises the Old Bill and which was initiated by the inventor of "mad cow disease", Maggie Thatcher (may her rancid soul rot in hell) for her own selfish ends but which has since been perpetuated by succeeding gobments.

MsG
 
#12
Bravo_Zulu said:
TheBigUn said:
Nationalise the Police Force.
Yes, I trust Jacki Smith to maintain law and order and not abuse the power for her own ends :roll:

Edited for getting the home secretary's name wrong :oops:
Was just a thought Zravo_Bulu :wink:
 
#13
Unknown_Quantity said:
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
You may as well write to the Mail with further conjecture and whatever uninformed pointless guff this thread attracts. You are using this thread to expose your perceived shortfalls in a really low-level petty case close to you.
The police are not there to cover the shortfall created by stupid people breeding - parenting to many seems to stop after the physical act. They are much like us - under remit to execute their duties in the manner directed by politicians we elected.
I'm not sure where you have picked up the stupid people breeding bit, but nevermind, as you say it's not the job of the police to intervene in every petty event in the country and I agree completely. But would the police as an organisation say that anyone else is capable of dealing with the protagonists in a street arguement without opening themselves to danger of commiting an offense themselves? That is the basis of my query and I'm not out to have a go at plod, I know why the police acted as they did, but I also understand that there is room for improvement in every system and that this forum, while predominantly military has plenty of people knowledgable about this subject area. Seems like a reasonable place to start for asking opinions.
You need to play the game, if you go down the 'sort it out yourself' route then the key is to deny everything when questioned and refuse to co-operate at all with the police. If you prefer the police route then do everything by the book and claim every type of harrasment/racism/bullying and whatever else you can think off. Which route you take depends largely on the opposition you face.

I suspect when questioned your mate admitted to talking to the teenager in question which was his first mistake.

In a similar situation my wife and I decided to go the police route and the middle class parents of the kid in question were horrified to find the plod knocking on their door one evening, this can also work with druggies who sh*t themselves when they think plod are after their stash (yes, I live in a rough area).

You can't have it both ways though, if your sorting it yourself be prepared to lie to plod - it may seem wrong but I suspect plod wish more people would do it as well!
 
#14
IT_Guy said:
Unknown_Quantity said:
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
You may as well write to the Mail with further conjecture and whatever uninformed pointless guff this thread attracts. You are using this thread to expose your perceived shortfalls in a really low-level petty case close to you.
The police are not there to cover the shortfall created by stupid people breeding - parenting to many seems to stop after the physical act. They are much like us - under remit to execute their duties in the manner directed by politicians we elected.
I'm not sure where you have picked up the stupid people breeding bit, but nevermind, as you say it's not the job of the police to intervene in every petty event in the country and I agree completely. But would the police as an organisation say that anyone else is capable of dealing with the protagonists in a street arguement without opening themselves to danger of commiting an offense themselves? That is the basis of my query and I'm not out to have a go at plod, I know why the police acted as they did, but I also understand that there is room for improvement in every system and that this forum, while predominantly military has plenty of people knowledgable about this subject area. Seems like a reasonable place to start for asking opinions.
You need to play the game, if you go down the 'sort it out yourself' route then the key is to deny everything when questioned and refuse to co-operate at all with the police. If you prefer the police route then do everything by the book and claim every type of harrasment/racism/bullying and whatever else you can think off. Which route you take depends largely on the opposition you face.

I suspect when questioned your mate admitted to talking to the teenager in question which was his first mistake.

In a similar situation my wife and I decided to go the police route and the middle class parents of the kid in question were horrified to find the plod knocking on their door one evening, this can also work with druggies who sh*t themselves when they think plod are after their stash (yes, I live in a rough area).

You can't have it both ways though, if your sorting it yourself be prepared to lie to plod - it may seem wrong but I suspect plod wish more people would do it as well!

Now most decent people would agree that what you've said is immoral but unfortunately that might be the only two options. The police don't have the luxury of being able to use common sense and reasoning but have to stick to a very finely prescribed mandate. Again, this is what makes it seem so unreasonable to the general population. I'm sure individual Police Officers do use their discretion but I'd be willing to bet that it's frowned upon.

The logic is that the police are totally impartial and judge all actions on their merits not the situation. Ergo, although a child is being bullied, the parents have committed a crime by threatening the bully. This seems very strange to most people but at the end of the day there is ALWAYS two sides to every story and the police cannot be seen to take them.

So as has been mentioned above, it's definitely the decree from the Government that has the greatest effect on the policing at street level, I would think.
 
#15
My experience with the police, in fact 3 difference forces at the same time at one point, ranged from extremely professional to alarmingly like Hot Fuzz. In fact that was in Somerset... They don't seem to communicate to eachother very well - at times not wanting to 'tread on eachother's toes'/patch, and at other disagreeing completely with what another force is saying. It's quite stressful being the one who has to chase things. That's about the only arguement I can see for nationalisation, otherwise I think they do alright as it is, and keeping things separate spawns innovation that can be assimiliated nationally.

I think the vast majority of policemen and women do a stellar job often in very difficult circumstances and should get considerably more pay and respect than they currently do. If I were in charge, I'd double their numbers.
 
#16
Whilst 'Law and Order' (the political platform,not the tv series) is more of a potential vote winner than defence, I do not hold out much hope for it in the UK. There seems to be expectancy from our political masters at least, of being able to do more with a lot lot less (funding wise).
 
#17
More bobbies on the beat, who as mentioned are allowed to use their own common if required. When I was younger and with my mates we would always see the bizzies around and about on foot and knew not to get into trouble etc. We where afraid of them ( not in the getting a good kicking way) by being in trouble and being dragged home by the said bizzie so Mum or Dad gave us rock all. Trust has got to be given back to the police in the safe knowledge that you would be protected by them and they would be there if needed by the Law abiding people of this country.
 
#18
Bravo_Zulu said:
Get rid of ACPO; what business does a private company have in managing law enforcement?
ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers, They are not a private company. ACPO is seen by some as a symptom of one of the principal problems, however. Policing in the UK is a responsibility taken on at a largely local level, and yet they are no longer accountable to the communities which they police. This leads to the bizarre situation of separate police forces having to put extra structures in place simply to cope with some criminal type who is so ill mannered that they do bad things in two counties. Of itself this should not be a problem, but there is a tremendous amount of parochialism between the various forces, and we have the bizarre situation where the senior police officer in the country is directly appointed by a politician, can be pressurised by the London mayor, and yet has responsibilities in several areas of national interest. Similarly if the local forces were subject to full local accountability (vote for your Chief Constable) there would be no resources devoted to combatting organised crime or terrorism - all coppers would be on the streets nicking muggers and people who drop litter.

The following report, which is by no means authoritative, gives a good summary of some of the perceived problems.

Reform Report

There is a tremendous amount of resistance to any change - if anyone thinks that the forces are resistant to change - go and speak to a copper. They are superb at flanneling a load of management speak over a complete unwillingness to accept that anything is wrong with the structure. It is always a matter of a few rotten apples etc.

The fact is, for organised crime, terrorism and probably a few other bits and bobs we need a national police force, centrally co-ordinated and accountable directly to the Home Office. For local policing retain the local forces, but make them accountable to the communities. There is nothing wrong with PCSOs per-se, it is the structure above them. PCSOs are superb for stopping muggers and low level crime, and should be used for this.

There are two other problems that I can see. The first is the target culture that has developed, police forces are hamstrung by what they have to record, and you can quantify prevention.

The second is more contentious. I have very good friends who are coppers, (my best man was a copper) and have worked with many coppers. To be blunt - older coppers enjoy the sense of duty. In my experience, younger coppers enjoy the sense of power, and this is fundamentally against the ethos of "policing by consent" which did lead to an excellent police force.

I had a very good friend who, when he was training as a copper, told me of the "attitude test." This was about 20 years ago. More recently I had a conversation with a much younger copper, and we discussed the attitude test. He was unwilling to accept the fact that a copper could ever fail the attitude test, which seems to me to suggest the idea given out in other posts that the police are the only enforcers of law, and that they cannot make mistakes.

I stand by to be corrected by younger coppers who read this.

I would love to hear an ACPO representative defend the current structure, which is currently based on accountability to local communities - an accountability which no longer exists.
 
#19
This is an interesting post. I was at a dinner party recently and there were some quite senior Police officers there.
The subject got round to Tony Martin. Everyone professed to be horrified when I suggested that if the Public continued to feel that their needs were not being met then the Police should not be surprised if there was an increase in vigilantism.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
Ace_Rimmer said:
WRT policing, the deal goes "We'll look after you so you aren't allowed to look after yourself". Hence the whole situation where you get more strife for defending youself/others than the person doing the attacking.
Well, maybe that is what separates us from the mad bombing Zombies?

You go back 20 years and the Rozzers attitude was "We know you're at it, we cant prove it, so we'll fit you up"

It got results. But I'd rather have a hundred "Granny arrested for throwing rhubarb at her brother" headlines. Than that. That gave us the Birmingham 2.6, the Guilford 3.2mm and all manner of crap that put the system in a rather bad light.

How to police the UK? Honest decent chaps and tarts (sorry) WPC's, doing their best and now and then, just now and then, looking like complete tits. It comes with the territory.

All coppers are bastards. Thats not my view. I just read it somewhere.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads