We've had Sierra Charlie Speaks and Plastic Fuzz Speaks (Plastic - please write more), the postings of whom were both very popular. I'm very honoured that these officers submitted postings to my blog and it's marvellous to share the perspectives of officers from different levels of the police. I've always wanted this blog to be an avenue to give the public an insight into the daily lives of police officers in the UK and to portray the 'human' face of the men and women behind the uniform. It's also been very beneficial for me to read the comments left by members of the public the majority of whom, contrary to media reports, are very supportive.
So I am extremely pleased to present this first posting written by another Inspector from another Force. I'm sure you'll agree, it represents a good portent of things to come from this officer should they decide to contribute regularly to this blog. Either way, for me at least, it's a breath of fresh air - expertly researched and well written. I can't say I'm surprised, their credentials are of the highest order. I have actually invited the Inspector to become a team member of this blog, with a view to eventually taking it over. I've written about and reaffirmed the reasons why I joined the police, shared some of the highs and lows of being a police officer, and have concluded with what it is to be a leader. I've pretty much said all I wanted to say. There are a couple of other things that have been on my mind which I may write about but this is, in essence, the beginning of my long goodbye. I hope the Inspector takes me up on the offer of continuing this blog.
I did read the report that the Inspector writes about below and, needless to say, I was absolutely incensed. There's a saying about people who live in glass houses not throwing stones which Keith Vaz should take heed of but, not wanting to steal the Inspector's thunder, I shall leave you to read and digest their posting.
Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz and his cronies have criticised the police. He says that despite the recommendations of the McPherson inquiry, we are stopping and searching too many black people and failing to recruit a proportionate number of ethnic minority officers. He went on to say that there is blatantly a disproportionate representation of particularly black people in the criminal justice system.
Mr Vaz has claimed £75,500 for a flat in Westminster despite having a £1.15 million family home 12 miles away. In May 2007, just after the taxpayer had paid the Council Tax and Service charges of £3095 on his flat, he flipped his second home to another property in Leicester as he had rented out the flat. There was no mortgage on this ‘second’ home but he managed to claim £16,000 in expenses for it including; £480 on silk cushions, £2614 on a pair of leather arm chairs and £750 on new carpets. In May 2008 he flipped his second home back to the Westminster flat and started claiming mortgage and expenses on that again.
His family arrived in this country from Yemen in 1965. He received a good education and qualified and worked as a solicitor until elected to Parliament in 1987. His career has not been without controversy and how he has retained his position is questionable.
In 1989 he led a protest against Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, later stating there was no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. In the same year he suggested that an IRA bomb at the Leicester army recruiting office may have been planted by the British Army.
In 2000 he was investigated and subsequently censured following the Filkin report, which he refused to co-operate with. He owned five properties at this time. He was found to have accepted money from Sarosh Zaiwolla, whom he later recommended for a peerage.
In 2001 he was severely criticised for getting involved with the application for British citizenship from the Hinduja brothers who paid his wife’s company money for an event at the House of Commons.
In 2002 Mr Vaz was suspended from the House for one month for making false allegations against a former policewoman. I could go on but hopefully you get the picture.
The message I have for Mr Vaz is very simple. A disproportionate number of black people are stopped and searched and are in the criminal justice system because a disproportionate number of black people commit crime. I won't entertain any argument that they are predisposed to commit crime, only that they have been so alienated and let down by the government's failed social programs and promises that, for many, they have been given no avenues to do otherwise.
To suggest that there are more black people in the justice system because the police target black offenders and therefore ignore white offenders is an outrageous slur and a complete distortion of the truth. In Lambeth and Hackney for example, it is almost 100% groups of black youths committing robbery offences on black, white and Asian victims. The police target the offenders. We can’t lawfully search white people just to balance the books.
What Mr Vaz and his colleagues should be doing, instead of bleeding as much as they can from the expenses system and building property empires, is to look at why there are so many black people committing crime. What are Mr Vaz and the Government doing to ensure that immigrants to this country are not a danger to the public and are not gunning down policewomen on the streets of Nottingham? What is Mr Vaz and the Government doing about ensuring young black people get a proper education, are lifted out of poverty and despair and led away from a culture of gangs, drugs, unemployment and the criminal justice system?
When the levels of education among black people reach the national average the police will find it an awful lot easier to recruit, retain and promote them.
No organisation, public or private, has done more to promote equality and diversity than the police service. Many would say we have gone too far, but that is another story. Our prisons are overflowing and the Justice system cannot cope with the offenders we are putting into the system. So the offenders continue to offend and get caught in the incessant merry go round. That too is another story.
When you have done your job Mr Vaz, ours will be a lot easier and will appear fairer to your ignorance.
Don’t knock us for doing ours so well.
Don’t knock us for doing ours so well.