This is my reply to John Sutherland (@policecommander) regarding his post on police reform: https://policecommander.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/a-handful-of-thoughts-about-police-reform/
We’ll see if he publishes it. We’ll also see if he takes some of my criticisms on board even a little bit. We’re not holding our breath though.
[UPDATE] To his credit he did publish my response. However, he hasn’t actually replied to any of the points I raised.
You probably won’t publish this, but I’m going to write it anyway. I’ll be upfront, I am one of those who absolutely *hates* the police. Why you ask? Because your narrative is completely false. You claim you are there to “protect the vulnerable”, “confront the violent” and “pursue the dangerous” yet in reality you have no idea who is the “vulnerable” nor who is the “dangerous” instead you use the laws and (unwritten) principles laid down by our scumbag politicians as your “guide”. Your narrative is a delusional one of “good” vs “evil” in your arrogance you think you know it all and celebrate everytime you get a conviction. Yet you are willfully blind to the pain and suffering you cause.
In recent times policing has become to my mind a nastier and nastier profession as the laws have become ever broader, ever more insane and ever more dedicated to maintaining a “politically correct” order. You now run around arresting people for what they say on the internet and often with a mindset of there being a “privileged” group that are above the law. For example, when feminists are busily screaming for some man to be surgically castrated – as are often the comments under mainstream media articles about men convicted under some feminist anti-sex law – you don’t arrest them. But when a man loses his temper on twitter with a feminist who is herself using highly offensive language (e.g. men should not talk to women as that’s harassment etc) then you run around trying to arrest the man.
It seems to me that the vast majority of police resources these days go into four categories: The war on sex offenders, the war on drugs, the war on terror and the war on speech. These have all resulted in an avalanche of laws and enforcement practices that are thoroughly unjust. For example:
War On Sex Offenders: Arresting men for images stored on their hard drive “thought crimes” (think Operation Ore), public nudity (think Naked Rambler), drunken sex (think Ched Evans), consensual underage sex (think Jeremy Forrest), convicting the innocent of ridiculous historical crimes (Rolf Harris was convicted without evidence, for instance), enforcement of the evil and draconian “sex offender” registry, recent introduction of “sexual risk” orders that can be used to jail any man. It is also not uncommon for you to convict children themselves of victimless sex crimes. One of the police officers who made me hate the police more than anything was paedofinder general Jim Gamble. Leading Operation Ore he was responsible for the suicides of 32+ people, the arrest and jailing of thousands for mere “thought crimes”. As far as I’m concerned he is both a mass murderer and a terrorist and unfortunately his legacy seems to live on in the National Crime Agency today and the Yewtree Witch Hunt. The police also have a history of arresting and silencing political dissidents who challenge the “paedohysteria” narrative. David Stanley was one of Jim Gambles victims in Operation Ore, having been acquitted he went around trying to help other men who had also been unjustly raided. As a result the police tried to pin further crimes on him (this time using disgraced hypocrite home secretary Jacqui Smith’s extreme porn laws). In the end, he couldn’t bear the cruelness of this world and the police anymore. He committed suicide.
War On Drugs: Arresting men for what THEY choose to consume into THEIR OWN bodies. Also arresting men for selling or distributing drugs – no it does not cause harm to others, people make their own choices as to whether they want to take drugs or not. It is hypocritical to on the one hand claim you are “protecting” drug users when you are also jailing the drug users alongside the sellers! Also I’d put age limits on alcohol consumption under this. People of any age should be able to buy alcohol without being harassed with “Are you under 25?” posters and pictures of men being jailed for giving alcohol to minors.
War On Terror: Terrorist Control Orders (lacks due process). Making it illegal to “glorify” terrorism and jailing people merely for voicing some support of ISIS which is ridiculous. The war between the West and ISIS seems to be one of propaganda to me. Most people are stupid enough to believe what the media tell them about ISIS but I am well aware it’s much more subtle and there is much bloodshed on both sides. Policing speech only helps to create a “partisan” climate where each side has a complete lack of understanding of where the other side is coming from.
War On Speech: Arrests for making “racist” comments online, arrests for “racist” chants at football matches, arresting men who get angry with feminists, internet censorship/filtering, “extremism” disruption orders which are actually probably the most dangerous laws yet. Take a look at what David Cameron said when he was about to introduce them:
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens:
As long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.” – David Cameron
It’s worth me asking you an explicit question on that point. As a police officer, what are you going to do now the Prime Minister is about to throw away even the pretense of rule of law? Perhaps arrest whoever you feel like on a whim and turn this country into North Korea?
Ok, this has been a long post. But it’s to put some perspective on the reasons why some people hate the police. If I were to pick one thing that I think needs reforming in the police it is the “good” vs “bad” narrative. Instead of taking sides and enforcing arbitrary laws police officers should come from the point of view of “conflict resolution”. If there’s no conflict then they shouldn’t get involved. If there is a conflict (someone is accusing someone of something) they should try to resolve it amiably using dispute resolution tactics not by “hunting” an “evil criminal”. They must listen to both sides and try to resolve the issue. Courts and criminal sentencing should be a last resort but even there the objective should be proportionality rather than insane sentencing. Police officers should not be rewarded neither morally nor financially for “catching” someone. Infact, if anything they should be rewarded for resolving disputes amiably.
Of course if my approach was adopted in the police then their behaviour would be radically altered. They wouldn’t be doing any “operations” to catch thousands of harmless men fapping off to porn as there’s no accusation and no conflict – they’re in their own bedrooms. Nor would they be hunting down consensual sex criminals like Jeremy Forrest – his “victim” never accused him of anything! And the same situation would be seen for drug users – consuming drugs into their own bodies = no conflict. As for speech where conflicts maybe occurring it would make a lot more sense to get the two sides in a room with an arbiter (police officer) who they see as someone wanting to end the conflict, not make arrests, and then it might be easier to end the argument amiably. And who knows, everyone might become less angry with their speech if they knew the State isn’t out there to get them. Unfortunately for now at least, the State is out there to get them. And no one is safe.