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Posts Tagged ‘police state’

Embryo police state?

If ever a video shows you what is wrong with New Labour’s Britain these days, this is it. I still can’t believe what I’m watching is true.

Mr Pollard was reported as clearing up flood rubbish from his front garden when he noticed the police harassing a youth opposite his house. Mr P. retrieved his camera and this is what he filmed!

The film needs little further explanation. It is a small but telling example of the gradual breakdown in trust between a once highly regarded police force, and the public in general.

This seems to me a small but important example which demonstrates the way in which policing has changed significantly in the last 20-30 years.

I’m old enough (60s) to remember the ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ era, where police still exhibited the same sorts of characteristics that Robert Peel instigated over 170 years ago when he formed the Metropolitan police. Until recent times the police were essentially the same sorts of citizens as the rest of us, albeit ones with the significant additional powers of arrest. But nevertheless they were a citizen’s force first and foremost. They upheld the citizens rights against those who sought to act outside the law, be they state officials or other citizens.

In the last generation I’ve noticed a distinct shift away from their traditional role, and they are ever more becoming an arm of the state rather than the citizenry. One only has to think of the powers they have acquired to arrest people outside Downing Street who have the temerity to read out a list of those who have died in Iraq, or the arrest of those who wish to protestt within a kilometre of the Houses of Parliament.

This video neatly sums it up for me. The first reaction of the police in question, is to seek to prevent an ordinary Englishman going about his own business on his own property. Moreover they appear to be making up the law on the hoof.

I contrast this with the way in which I have observed the Police in Manchester, who regularly film those who are participating in peaceful protests in the city centre. When I’ve asked them why they are filming, the stock excuse is, ‘in case any complaints are made afterwards, we have the evidence’. Well if filming peaceful protestors is good enough for the police, then it seems the sauce for the gander is that ordinary citizens should in turn be free to film the police.

Mr Pollard (the film maker) is to be congratulated on capturing this evidence on video. It is to be hoped that it receives a much wider audience.

All I’d ask is that anyone seeing this passes it on. And if you are a UK citizen, please contact your MP and ask, nay demand that they get to grips with this. Ask them to raise the whole subject of police powers and their drift away from being a citizens force, and seek answers from the government as to what they propose doing about it.

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Police: guns and uniforms.

In London last weekend for a short break, (Proms in the Park concert), I was surprised to see the occasional policemen carrying what were clearly machine guns. The police did not appear to be in any particularly sensitive area, e.g. outside the House of Commons, or along Whitehall or other government buildings. I’ve also observed the same sort of thing in Manchester city centre and regularly now see the same sort of thing at airports.

The current police uniform also seems to have changed significantly over recent years, and is often now dominated by what looks to be a sort of flak jacket. This in turn seems to sport various chunky items of equipment, radios and the like, and I now read that head cams are likely to become de-rigueur for some forces.

Am I alone in thinking that the overall effect of this, is to take something away from the police presence and makes them look more offensive. I’m sure that this leads to a coarsening of society and is perhaps not unconnected with a change in the way the general public perceive the police compared to even 20 years ago. It seems to me that the police these days are becoming more and more an arm of the political state, and they have moved far away from their original role which was based on their being a citizen like everyone else, albeit citizens with special powers of arrest and detention bestowed on them by the Crown.

As for the subject of head cams; well that deserves a topic of its own which I’ll hopefully get around to later.

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