Followers of my blogs will know I have long been critical of the modern police ‘service’.
It is slightly unfair to divorce police from CPS, political & Home Office failure but a start has to be made, so I start with the front line.
The change from Police Force to Police Service should have warned us off. Clearly things were going to change but we could be forgiven for not expecting a total breakdown which we see before us.
I have many police friends, they endorse many of the points I make here.
My serving police officer friends believe the Police Service is now unreformable. Like the NHS the institutional rot is too deep. Disbandment & a complete restart is the only option. Tinkering around the edges will never dislodge the politically correct stranglehold on the institution nor its managerial incompetence.
The original concept of the police, envisaged by Robert Peel, was a body of men recruited & trained to deter crime by their presence on the streets. Without fear or favour & the support of the law abiding population as a whole. Policing by consent, that is consent of the law abiding citizen, not the consent of the wrong doer.
The policeman was of the community, a fellow citizen with powers of arrest. Backed up by the principles of English law in all its majesty. Laws made by parliament reflecting the electoral will.
The system worked very well for over one hundred years. It was internationally accepted the British police were the finest in the world. Nobody could make that claim today. So what went wrong?
The Home Office failed in its strategy to support what is basically a law enforcement body. An organisation simply to deter or catch the bad guys & bang them up. Not complicated. The police should not be part of the body politic nor a adjunct to the welfare state. Like the military it has a straight forward role, defence of the realm only from within.
Let me start with structure. Unlike the Army the police have no officer corps, no leadership training in the style of the RMA Sandhurst. This is sometimes a disadvantage, but not always. The old system was promotion based on record, experience & exams. Broadly this meant the best man got promoted, not always of course but usually. Problems did exist with preferences for those belonging to secret societies, these problems exist today although the secret societies have changed. The grip of Freemasonry has been supplanted with Common Purpose, but I leave that pro tem.
So let’s keep the police mission statement clear, ‘ bang up the bad guys’, bring police prosecution back & disband the politically infiltrated Crown Prosecution Service.
With a clear strategy & promotion system we can turn to recruitment.
The quota system has been a disaster. The only sound promotion system in any organisation is meritocratic. The colour of a policeman’s skin, gender or sexual orientation is irrelevant. So he or she needs no preferential treatment. Merit alone is the deciding factor.
The drive to accelerate promotion to university graduates, women, ethnic or sexual minorities has been disastrous.
The classic example is Cressida Dick, whose gender, sexual orientation & membership of Common Purpose has shielded her from consistent operational failure. But there are no shortage of other failures in other Chief Constables across the spectrum. Judged on merit she would have been side lined long ago. Even now the Metropolitan Police follow an arrest strategy in direct line with her political prejudice. Eco demonstrators left alone to disrupt London for days, libertarians arrested immediately in Hyde Park for peaceful demonstration. Ethnic minority ghettoes unpoliced, white working class communities harassed at every turn. No wonder faith in the police has hit rock bottom.
For years we have been told police lack resources, yet with the Coronavirus neurosis we suddenly see thousands of police often in groups of three, patrolling for the first time. Where have they all been when we report rural crime & shoplifting? We see police making no attempt to social distance from each other as they harass citizens for the same behaviour.
Let us consider recruitment. Would it not make sense to draw our police from a pool with life experience? I would suggest twenty four years old. It matters not what you did before but lifestyle skills develop with age & experience. A barman in a busy city pub or salesman for three years will learn more about people skills than a university graduate & come to the job with fewer political prejudices.
Clearly police training has been degraded over the years. Police drivers have half the skills as their predecessors of forty years ago, I should know, I used to train with & compete against them. Nor does the modern policeman seem to be able to distinguish between the citizens who pay his salary & the bolshie yobbo who doesn’t. Sir & madam are disappearing, gratuitous use of Christian names to older people causes irritation. Political correctness is built into the training, the sort of embarrassing attitude that had policemen in uniform dancing in the streets on gay pride marches or grovelling on their knees to fascists on London streets to the horror of middle England.
The police unions busted the proposed reforms of thirty years ago, there are clearly too many ranks, too many chiefs & not enough Indians. Massive change here.
Some of the clips coming out of the Coronavirus panic show that some policemen & women are unbelievably stupid. Recruitment must emphasise common sense in an applicant, the ability to assess & react, this has nothing to do with formal education, which often steams out those qualities.
Let there be a different organisation for solving crime. Detection calls for very different skill sets in the modern world. The defence of the realm is maintained by three services. They co operate very well, but no one with military experience would suggest a fast jet pilot needs the same skills as an infantry captain. Different recruitment, training, uniform, history, attitudes etc. But part of a coordinated force.
I use the term force advisedly. We can’t go on as we are.