There are enough politicians in the police as it is. ‘Elected police chiefs’ is a joke policy.
Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last three years, you’ll have noticed that we are getting elected police chiefs….an idea masterminded by Oliver Letwin, doyen of the garbage searching (but entirely innocent of wrongdoing) low-life at Trinity Mirror.
This is an interesting case of trying to inoculate against cancer by giving the sufferer another small dose of cancer. Seventy years of research have shown that this doesn’t work with cancer, but the political class remains of the same, unaltered opinion: the answer to every problem is more politicians.
The police force of the UK has been ruined by politicisation already. That’s a broad statement, so it deserves some evidence to back it up. In particular, therefore, I would cite:
- Ridiculous amounts of time spent (a) avoiding pc incidents based in Islamic issues and (b) pursuing ‘hate crimes’, at least half of which are not even on the crime statutes in the first place – for example, the generalised ‘homophobia’ charge.
- Careerism among senior officers massively keen to tell us of their ‘leadership in cultural diversity’ which in an of itself is a 100% political stance the majority of UK residents have been shown to oppose…and history has shown over and over again to be a recipe for civil strife.
- The increasing treatment of driving offences as a form of tax collection…somehow deemed by idiots at the Home Office to be more important than burglary, ID crime, GBH instances and sound beat policing. The day any constabulary signs up for revenue collection is the day that Force accepts politicisation – not least because the need for such emergency levels of collection is the result of politically misguided policy in the first place. (Watch out for the proposed blanket 40 mph limit as a gold-plated example of this).
- The brazen bending of constabulary statistics to ‘pass’ the target examinations once again established by braindead politicians obsessed with gesture politics.
These factors alone are enough to ditch forthwith any ideas of making the police accountable in the sense of answerable to yet another political construct. But unusually for me, this isn’t my main objection to elected Police Chiefs. My big downer on this idea is that it’s simply another weapon of mass distraction from the key issue, viz: that politicians have produced a problem-riddled social context of violence, amoral white collar crime, casual law-breaking and youth disorder with which an underfunded police force cannot cope. And that the usual Westminster Brass Necker’s ‘solution’ for dealing with underfunding they caused and social mayhem they created is to….make one person elected at the top.
This, we are told, is the answer to the problem. As usual, it is unadulterated bollocks with a capital B that stands for Bobbies Being unable to Bag the Badguys. A parallel would be, on seeing the first smoke plumes rising from Vesuvius, to opt for flying over it in order to drop a bottle-cork into the crater. And when that didn’t work, to elect a volcanic eruptions Tsar.
The police force is pathetically undermanned at the bottom, hugely overmanned at the top, and drowning in a sea of paperwork in the middle. Our local cop-shop is only open three days a week, between 10 and 3. At night in East Devon, there is 1 (one) beat copper on duty after 1 am. East Devon is bigger than Hampshire.
The rank-and-file morale of most police forces is at rock bottom. They regard their officers as sycophants, targets as just more admin, the public as a devious enemy fully informed of its rights, every minority as something to avoid, criminals as out of control, and their salaries as a joke…which is why over 20% of police in some Forces moonlight on other jobs.
Time and again they are called upon to face the public’s indignation about inaction, adding insult to the injury of what has been done to them. They have to stare at their shoes when refusing to prosecute a GBH, listen to irate citizens on the phone when they refuse to turn up to a break-in, bite their lips when dealing with low-life insisting on human rights, keep apart extremist nutters in whom they have zero interest, and look on as other agencies such as trading standards pass the buck to them….with, I have to say, a degree of vice versa involved as well.
The correct policy for improved policing isn’t hard to outline. Dump these ersatz numpties called auxiliaries, fire half the officers, rigorously prosecute any and all cases of corruption, dramatically upgrade police familiarity with cyber crime, double the numbers on street duty, create a bigger, better serious fraud squad, give them a whopping pay increase, and get someone at the top like an Iain McLaurin to establish some pride in duty again. But above all, no elected amateur busybodies.
Having done that, of course, the fastest way to improve morale among Britain’s policemen is to pump money back into the criminal justice system: upping the detection rate is one thing, but it’s pointless when chummy the card-cloner simply won’t turn up to Court, and then can’t be found once he’s done a runner…or is simply let go because the CPS pleads poverty. Very happy to prosecute B&B owners accused of homophobia, mind – but not to bang up some sociopath hard at work destroying what’s left of our financial services system.
Ah but ah but ah but…I sense you reaching for the comment button to type “Where’s all the money going to come from?”
Personally, I’d snatch 10% of Mad Merv’s money-sluicing QE fund, and simply tell the Home Secretary to get on with investing £40 billion in social order, rather than a dead-horse economy destroyed by deadbeat investment banks. Personally, I’d first of all ensure that the Home Secretary wasn’t called Theresa May. Personally, I’d first of all get rid of Camerlot and the Ed Miller Band. Personally, I’d probably rather emigrate – but my wife won’t, the next generation of Slogs is about to get going….and it’d probably be just as bad almost anywhere else I care to live.
Forgetting my own personal dissatisfaction in all this, the question as always comes down to Fairyland politically-driven aspirations on the one hand, and the practical governance of Reality on the other. The triumph of the former usually results in all the priorities being wrong, and all the objectives both irrelevant and unachievable. How anyone other than a surreal clown could put forward elected police chiefs as the solution to Britain’s policing problem is beyond me. For a good two-thirds of MPs to then support the measure is less of a surprise, because that’s what grey, self-obsessed drones do up at Westminster. But for nobody else in the Cabinet (as far as I know) to put up a hand and observe that the promoters must be mad sort of says it all about our political system. As for the Opposition, they are quietly very happy about this development: it gives them another lever over our long-suffering police the next time Labour fluffies want their new laws against Fattism rigorously prosecuted.
The definition of the phrase ‘police work’ has been changed beyond all recognition over the last twenty years – in the face of geopolitical and commercial cyber developments, financial fraud, ID cloning, computer blagging, phone hacking, and myriad other forms of attack upon the citizen. The reaction of every Administration over that period has been to give the police a hard time, starve them of investment, and leave the citizen to his or her fate. When the Foreign Secretary comes out in public and freely admits that Britain has only bows and arrows with which to defend itself against sovereign cyber-crime, then what we have is an insouciant admission that all Governments in Britain are failing at the very core of their job: to defend the Realm, and protect the Citizen.
Their argument against this blatantly obvious conclusion is to point at the ‘great work’ being done by GCHQ to ‘protect’ us….by snooping on everything we watch, write and say in techno-communications. They have to ‘protect’ us in this way because they have failed to trace terrorists, failed to realise the threat from radical Islam, failed to control the inflow of anti-British elements, failed to invest in anti-cyber attack technology, failed to tell the US to f**k off, and failed to make any and all crime something that never pays – as opposed to something that is never prosecuted.
This ‘great work’ costs us £13bn per annum…or roughly what George Osborne has saved on expenditure since 2010. Wherever you look in the UK now, the physical evidence of how politicians have failed is readily available: surveillance cameras everywhere, a Palace of Westminster that resembles a top secret military installation, overcrowded roads, a lopsided economy, GPs playing at being tycoons, the poorest educational standards in the developed world, pointless degrees gained at the expense of craft skills much in demand, the inability to find a litter bin anywhere, patients discharged from NHS hospitals with a pack of paracetamol for pain management, enormous propellers everywhere, generating little more than maintenance costs for the future, a global reputation for yob violence, and an uncontrolled financial elite busy pauperising everyone below the magic 7% – with the implicit assistance of the Bank of England.
Go to Germany, and it is not like this. Go to France, and one’s impression is the same. Nor is there this chaos from lousy planning and weak controls in Holland, Scandinavia, Switzerland, or Austria.
Why? Because there, specially trained civil servants who know their place offer harsh advice to politicians – and then carry out every policy to the letter. Every politician after Attlee – including Margaret Thatcher – stood by and watched as the civil service became ever bigger, ever more self-protective, ever more devious, ever more lawless, more and more staggeringly incompetent, and yet ever more shamelessly greedy.
Politicians always end up controlling the electorate via the Law, the Media, and the tax offices. The problem is, they don’t control anything else. Not immigration, not banks, not ISPs, not Sir Humphreys in search of feather beds, not virtual invasion, and not crime.
That’s why our policing is in a mess. And that’s why the only ‘policy’ on offer to change that is an elected arse-licker at the top.
Dear me. How much work there is to do for anyone interested in a UK revival.