Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Stupid Coppers!



I can't help watching cop programs on the TV. My favourite is Police Interceptors. Mostly, the officers are highly motivated and they know the law and arrest lots of bad guys, and that is how it should be. I get depressed when I see what the rest of the justice system does with these offenders but then that is another story.

Last night I watched Coppers on Channel 4. I cringed with embarrassment watching some officers behaviour. We saw a female officer referring to criminals as 'shits.' We saw a male officer pushing a drunk away and telling him to go away. The drunk just wouldn't go. The policeman pushed the man hard four times causing him to fall over and then eventually arrested him. There was no justification for pushing him in that manner.

Later in the program we saw a number of police officers attend a disturbance on a social housing estate. It is fair to say we had about ten drunk men, women and children as young as 14. All those involved were of very limited intelligence and were probably inter related. There was no reasoning with them. They wouldn't heed any instructions or warnings and some were abusive. Arrests started being made. A woman shouted abuse at one of the officers and was taken hold of and thrown on the ground causing more mayhem as those present protested about her treatment. I understand this was a difficult situation but there was no justification for the way this woman was thrown to the ground.

The above video has just popped up on Youtube. The police officer is on a bike and has stopped another cyclist who he says he has seen ride through a red traffic light. This offence is an increasing problem and pedestrians and the cyclists themselves are being injured or worse by this behaviour. The alleged offending cyclist is an arrogant barrack room lawyer who is one of those pedantic idiots I actually like to deal with. But it must be done properly. The problem is this officer doesn't know what he is doing and makes a complete arse of himself. He even stupidly tries to grab the cyclists camera.

I guess the point is the police are having to deal with more and more awkward and difficult people. The days of almost anyone doing what they are told by anyone apparently in authority are almost over. To effectively deal with these people you need to be calm, composed and in control of yourself at all times. You also need to have a good knowledge of the law.

From what I have seen over the last few days some police officers are failing miserably when it comes to these qualities. Supervisors need to get hold of these officers and get them shaped up or shipped out!

18 comments:

  1. Hello Lex,nothing to do with this post but the "Smiley Culture" trial started today.I saw it on the Croydon Guardian website (don't know how to post the link sorry).
    I enjoyed trading insults with all the drug dealers apologists at the time.
    Let's hope the truth will come out about this national treasure.

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  2. http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/localnews/9476273.Reggae_star_was_centre_of_drug_operation__court_hears/

    Just highlight the website address at the top of the page, right click and select copy.

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  3. 'To effectively deal with these people you need to be calm, composed and in control of yourself at all times. You also need to have a good knowledge of the law.'

    We call it professionalism, lex.

    You cannot watch the video without wondering if PC Dumb was a much smarter collaborator. If the video was genuine and events unscripted, the PC hadn't realised he was the one selected for 'stop and act silly' manipulation. The scene records some atrocious amateur conduct and ignorance of the law. Toe-curling as it is to watch an inept officer failing to act decisively, this PC obliges the camera with an assault for his encore.

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  4. Pray tell how you would have dealt with him and what is wrong with pedantic idiots versing themselves with PACE to protect them from you enforcement operatives?

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  5. I too watched the programme and cringed at times. Watching the drunk being pushed back in that manner made me think instantly of Tomlinson.
    As for the street family fight I did wonder if the prescence of a camera made the officers hold back from taking out the main offenders straight away for D&D or did the camera make a minor incident into a drama for those idiots involved.

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  6. @ Conway Twitty - I would have dealt with it by telling him I had seen him go through a red light and then cautioned him. I would have asked a couple of pertinent questions such as why did he go through the red light. If he chooses to make no comment that is his right. I would then have told him I proposed to deal with the offence by way of fixed penalty notice. If he did not wish to accept this I would tell him he would be reported for summons. I would then have required him to provide his name and address for service of summons. If he queried whether or not he had to provide his name and address I would tell him that under S.24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 he would be arrested if he failed to provide a satisfactory name and address for service of a summons. If he refused he would be arrested and searched. If sufficient identification was found during the search or if he subsequently provided his name and address he would be released. He can be as pedantic and awkward as he likes but refusing details would end in arrest. And before he left I would seize his camera as evidence of the offence. If he has gone through a red light he may well have recorded the offence.

    I have no problem with people learning the law to ensure their rights are not abused but most barrack room lawyers just do it to be bloody minded. Many of them don't understand the law as well as they think they do and end up in handcuffs. This alleged offending cyclist was one of those idiots. I hope next time he goes through a red light a half competent officer stops him and deals with him properly.

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  7. Jaded - I hadn't realised the trial had started, thanks for the heads up. I shall follow the case with interest.
    Also looking forward to his daughters trial when that one comes up.

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  8. Ok, thanks for clarifying.

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  9. Thanks for your comments about the police shows, specifically "Coppers" on CH4. I am a member of public but am pro-police and knowledgeable about the law. I also think the police have an increasingly difficult job dealing with unruly louts who have no respect for the law. I have experience of meeting police who act like those on the documentary and also of others who are much better at conflict management. I thought in some cases (the drunk) the police were unneccessarily heavy handed, but in others the level of force was entirely justified. The two things that like you, made me cringe were the handling of the drunk and the throwing of the 14 year old girl to the floor (by a female officer). Plus the smart arse comments from the police officers when they were commenting to the camera were very unprofessional. I don't think this program shed the police in a good light at all! It was good to hear from a police officer's point of view that my judgement was sound and that you agree. That said, I don't envy your job!

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  10. As bad as the PC's knowledge of the law was on the video, there is nothing that grates more than the patronising criticism of those that have never been placed in that confrontational position.

    It's a bit like the beer-bellied armchair footballer screaming from the terraces at the premiership (or in this case maybe third division ;-)) centre forward.

    Tang0

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  11. Lex, I'd be quite interested to know exactly what those Notts officer's were. They kept referring to "division" and they had some pretty non-standard PSU kit. Certainly didn't appear to be response.


    Tang0

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  12. Tang0 - Nottingham have what are called Divisional Support Teams. They are their level 1 and 2 PSU officers and operate as proactive teams. They do a lot of warrants and operate a bit like the Commissioners reserve at other times. I did see some of the kit. Very odd boot protectors. Looked like a bunch of Powerangers!

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  13. '...nothing that grates more than the patronising criticism of those that have never ...'

    It's 'who'...not 'that'. How many times for God's sake, Tnago?

    Now just how can I explain this in simple terms without sounding overly patronising?
    I know - try and remember references to persons demand the word 'who' and references to things require the word 'that'.

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  14. Melvin,when have you ever been overly patronising?
    I will not hear of it...

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  15. I've been reading this site for several months now. So thanks for all your blog posts. I find them very interesting and much less reactionary than some of the other police blogs.

    I'm a serving front line officer myself and you've raised a some relevant points about a lack of knowledge amongst some officers. I am always shocked at how little some of my colleagues know about the law. They often don't even know the basic use of force legislation. How can you be professional if your actions are not guided by legislation. Coppers was embarassing. The blond female sergeant who threw the girl on the floor was a disgrace. People like her give the police a bad name.

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  16. @ Anon above

    "People like her give the police a bad name."

    I disagree - the actions of the blonde Sergeant changed nothing. Decent police officers are probably the least aware of the extent to which public relations have declined and become irreversible.

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  17. I wonder if the Police cyclist was a product of today's modular traning with its catchy mnemonics for procedures. I may sound like an old fart but I was trained by experienced Sergeants (pre PACE)and we had to know our powers and LAW inside out.
    Later we had the massive change to PACE and had to throw away the Judges Rules. We had to learn PACE thoroughly as we knew the defence lawyers would be scrutinising it. I've been retired 7 yrs now but as soon as I saw that video, I was saying, "Come on,think about nicking him under S25 PACE"
    S25 being the power to arrest for a non arrestable offence. S24 mentioned earlier is about arresting for arrestable offences.
    I'm sorry, I can't excuse the officer because he was flustered. S25 is bread & butter stuff which at last gave us a way of dealing properly with smart arses instead of talking them into a Section 5 arrest(old Public Order Act).

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  18. It all comes under S24 now. You can arrest anyone for any offence provided certain conditions are met. One of these is name and address not known or cannot be ascertained which used to be covered under S25.

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