I was reading something about one of Leicestershire’s top cops the other night, and he referred to the “disruption of people’s lives by noise associated with the night-time economy”.
In case you’re wondering, ‘night-time economy’ is the new name for what sex-workers get up to. Sex workers in the night-time economy….or as we used to say in one word, ‘prostitution’. I’m waiting with baited breath to see what they come up with for pimps: ‘sex-worker protection operatives’ perhaps – or in the case of the Mad Hatties, ‘men’.
As we pointed out in the Slog piece last week, this is the sort of careerist pc drivel that most people want to see an end of in the police force. You might say that citizens aged over 50 were eagerly awaiting signs that Theresa May’s new police reforms would give a flavour of this more ‘no-nonsense’ attitude. They would, she promised, produce a ‘radical shake-up’ – a phrase that accompanies everything the Coalition attempts, and is rapidly becoming accepted as the first example to surface of Cleggeroon, the language which will no doubt replace spin.
What we got was the sort of radical shake-up you’d expect from a politician – more politics.
Fair enough, there was much talk of officers using their commonsense (they may have trouble finding it), getting closer to the community, and being less concerned with Health & Safety – but no hints at all about enforcing that culture change.
A ‘return to the policing of the 1950s’ was also mooted as if this might be the rallying cry – but there is no army behind that rebel yell: what we have here is some sleight of hand to cover up huge cuts – and a distraction called elected officials. The Slog sees no sign at all of anything remotely resembling the 1950s…a decade which, as it ended, found little Miss May to be just eight years old.
There is also fudge: 67,000 volunteer officers (unpaid = free = result) are to be recruited. This we were told is the 1950s bit, but I don’t remember even knowing about such things at the time, let alone seeing any volunteers. We are not told, however, what’s to be done with all those community support coppers who can’t arrest anyone, stop anyone from drowning and so forth.
Elected police chiefs represent merely another tier of management. Over the last seven years spent writing about police problems and interviewing those involved both inside and outside the Force, I cannot remember a single person ever saying to me, “Course, what we really need is elected police chiefs like they have in the States”. David Cameron told the media that these commissioners would “give the public a voice in police affairs”, but officials later added that there would need to be “close checks on these commissioners involving politicians”.
Right: so we elect the commissioners who then have the whip hand over Chief Constables, but if the politicians don’t like those we elect, they can get rid of them? There’s democracy for you.
Staying with the Big Society theme, the Prime Minister clearly also wants us all to get stuck in with a bit of mugger-nabbing, opining that we will be encouraged to do so because from now on, “people will have a say in setting police priorities”.
Bollocks. We won’t have that any more than we can set the priorities of elected Governments now: we will vote for yet another professional administrator with zero insight, following which he or she will pursue an agenda which has nothing whatever to do with what real people want.
To sum up: sham democracy, more pen-pushers, more politicians, fewer real coppers, more half-baked volunteers, and more vigilantes among the public. No action or even strategy about failure to answer call-outs, pointless cautions, refusal to even give cautions, avoiding anything which might involve an arrest, illegally acting with social workers in childcare cases, and almost never prosecuting unless a case is cast iron and high-profile.
And in the background, slipping in quietly, a major example of creeping Brussels: Theresa May has – on our behalf, although we weren’t asked – signed up to the EU’s European Investigation Order (EIO). The EIO allows prosecutors from any EU member State to demand access to personal details – including bank accounts and DNA – whether or not the citizen has committed any crime.
“This should go before the House of Commons to be debated before it is signed” argued David Davis, the only person in the Tory Party with a grasp of personal liberty erosion. Well, too late Mr Davis – Theresa’s already signed it. What was that Cameron promise during and after the election? No more powers ceded to Brussels?
E-I-AddiO, Dave told a fib.