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Protests, Anarchists and the Police

The regrettable problem with Police and the Media is that they are always portrayed as the ‘bad’ guys. When in fact, most of the time, the are responding force for force against a very small minority whose sole purpose in life is to cause trouble! I am, of course, referring to the protests outside Parliament concerning the tuition fee proposals by the Coalition Government. The vast majority of those attending were students and peaceful. However the ‘peaceful’ protesters were standing between the Police and those that were aggravating the situation by throwing bottles etc at the Police. Peaceful Demonstrations are only peaceful when Anarchists and various other trouble makers no longer rear their ugly heads.

I do not condone the actions of a select few members of the Met, but the Met are the shock troops of the Police Service, just like the Paras are the shock troops of the British Army. I think the Police are struggling to come to terms with a change in guidelines. Gone are the days when they were a Police FORCE, now they are a Police SERVICE. Two very different things. A Force suggests using force to uphold the law, whereas a Service suggests working with the community etc to uphold the law. There are more examples of the Police being a service than a force, yet the Media will always prey upon the Police when they deviate from their intended service purpose.

Recently, there was research done on the public view of the Police and it wasn’t favourable at all. The majority of the public have lost faith and trust in the Police. When the Media starts celebrating the achievements of the Police Service, rather than condemning the mistakes of the Police Force, then progress will be made towards restoring the faith and trust in the Police.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 11, 2010 at 17:33

    I find this post rather confusing, not to say slightly upsetting. I would have thought the MSM’s (Mainstream Media’s) bias supporting the police force, rather than condemning it, was fairly apparent. Anton Vowl’s piece here seems to sum up why that would be the case – that the authority of the police force would initially outweigh statements from the general public. But throughout Thursday’s protests the only figures being relayed from Sky and BBC News were the number of police officers injured and protesters arrested — no mention until later of the number of protesters injured. How can the police be “the ‘bad’ guys” if we only hear this information? This would sound like the protesters are the villains.

    However, there is a lot of condemnation from the blogosphere, because time and time again police have been shown to be using needlessly brutal and thuggish tactics. But these are not groundless accusations. The case of Ian Tomlinson seems almost too obvious to mention, but the video footage shows clearly that he was walking away with his hands in his pockets when pushed, and regardless of whether or not this did cause his death (and it is my opinion that it probably did), this footage alone raises questions. More sickeningly, Lance Corporal Mark Aspinall was savagely beaten in a case of mistaken identity, yet only one of the three was successfully prosecuted.

    These incidents are a few months old, but there have been so many during the recent protests. Take the case of Officer U1202, shown punching repeatedly into a crowd of students in a clearly unnecessary display of brutality. I doubt very much that the students suffering brain injuries as a result of being hit over the head with truncheons, or being pulled out of their wheelchairs would argue that they are more of a service than a force. The intimidating tactics, such as kettling or those deployed in Cambridge, only serve to make situations worse.

    And charging with horses is wrong. These animals are large, fast and impossible to control entirely. The footage at London really is not as critical as it deserves, and the claims that this is the first time that this tactic has been used since the eighties are demonstrably false (despite what the Metropolitan Police would have you believe, with the official statements to the contrary).

    The fact that the Metropolitan Police are happy to cover this up proves that it is not the purely the individual loose cannons that are the problem, but the organisation itself has questions to answer. Misrepresentation is everywhere, with very little being done to put it right. Were police officers “dragged off horses and beaten”, as Cameron claims? No. Here the protesters are the “bad guys”, and any incident must therefore been of their doing, whether it can be substantiated or not.

    On the Today programme, the Met Commissioner praised the “restraint” of the firearms officers, suggesting that the shooting of protesters was an option, and only the moral judgements of individual officers saved bloodshed. This statement seems entirely contrary to your argument that it is the individuals who go wrong, whilst the force (or service) maintains the peace.

    Time and again the police have shown these brutish tactics. The citations in this article are the most concrete proof I could find of problems with the police, but the twitter feeds and live blogs from within kettles, or on the streets, go further still. I am glad that blind faith in the police is down, and if they want our trust, then they must earn it.

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