Jump to content

Soft Policing Has Failed Britain

Recommended Posts



POLICE let the UK down. They were unable to stop the riots from spreading. Law and order is not about political correctness, it is about stamping out crime.

WHAT we're seeing in London, as looters and rioters run amok and impotent police stand around watching, is the problem of politically correct policing writ large.

It is the triumph of a managerial, bureaucratic process-driven style of policing hatched in the rarefied confines of academia rather than on the harsh reality of the streets.

Every now and then the two meet and you get bloody anarchy. No prizes for guessing who comes off second best.

"It's absolute bedlam on the street," one resident of Clapham, interviewed on the BBC, said of Tuesday, the fourth night of rioting.

"People have been openly looting for an hour, two hours, and the police have been ineffectual. They've done nothing."

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

Related Coverage

First rioters jailed in British violence

Herald Sun, 15 hours ago

'Fightback' is under way against looters

The Daily Telegraph, 20 hours ago

Rattled UK police get tough on thugs

The Daily Telegraph, 1 day ago

Hunt for looters via social networks

Perth Now, 1 day ago

Communities take back the streets

The Daily Telegraph, 1 day ago

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

Did Britain's police fail in their duty to protect cities against the rioters? Join the debate and comment on Miranda's blog

Onelia Giarratano, who was trapped in her hair salon in Clapham Junction while a mob smashed its way in and trashed it, told the BBC: "They were mocking us, (saying) 'look, look, they look scared'.

"Where is the police? I want protection. This is what they're here for . . . I'm not secure at my workplace. I'm not secure at my home place.

"Will they be there to protect us tonight? They weren't here to protect us last night."

She vented her anger on London Mayor Boris Johnson, who had just rushed back to his strife-torn city from a campervan holiday in Canada, leaving behind his wife and four children.

"I was in the salon here when a brick came through the window," she told him, when he visited her rubble strewn street, "and no one was here to defend me."

The distinctly underwhelming Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, had also belatedly returned home from his summer holiday in Tuscany, just as the riots spilled into his cultural milieu of Notting Hill, where youths attacked a Michelin-starred restaurant, stealing wallets and jewellery from customers until being beaten back by cooks with rolling pins and knives.

Cameron thundered at a media conference outside 10 Downing Street: "You will face the full force of the law."

But it was all a bit late for tough words and empty threats. The needless terror that ordinary Londoners and others in Birmingham, Manchester and across the UK have been subjected to is an utter failure of British policing.

The post-apocalyptic scenes of riot police, flames, dogs, megaphones, helicopters, sirens and feral balaclava-clad figures flitting around the ruins of civilisation we have been watching the past four nights from the UK could be from Robocop or The Terminator.

They are a manifestation of an emasculated police force so risk-averse and politically correct it has forgotten its primary purpose is to stop bad guys hurting good guys.

Despite attempts by Leftists such as former London mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone to blame the mayhem on spending cuts, what's been happening in London is wanton lawlessness unchecked by authority. Excusing it just emboldens the perpetrators.

AS ANGRY victims demanded a more robust security response, the Cameron Government ordered 16,000 police on to the streets on Tuesday night, but declined to give them the tools that effective force requires, and ruled out calling on the army for back-up.

Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, espoused the British philosophy of failure: "The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon. The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities."

Well, I don't think anyone in those traumatised communities agreed to being bashed unconscious and robbed, or to have their shops looted, destroyed and burned to the ground.

They didn't consent to their houses being broken into as they cowered inside. They didn't consent to being forced to strip naked so thugs could steal their clothes.

All this has been done under the watch of useless police, whose culture of impotence for more than a decade has just emboldened the mob.

"Doesn't matter if the police arrive cos well just chase dem out because as you've seen on the news they are NOT ON DIS TING," as one BlackBerry message, purported to be from the rioters and re-transmitted on Twitter, put it yesterday.

No, the police were not "on Dis ting" at all.

One YouTube video posted on the Anon Ops blog, and titled "Police flee London rioters", shows a dozen riot police with helmets and puny shields backing very fast down a dark street as a mob of black youths runs at them, throwing bricks and bottles and large planks of wood.

The mob finally tires of the sport and runs away, as whoever is filming from a second-floor apartment swears in astonishment at this show of criminal power.

But you can't blame the police for retreating. Frontline police are as much victims of the academic policing disease as the shopkeepers and people who have been attacked and robbed.

They have been let down by their commanders.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, typified the deskbound managerial mindset of the modern-day police commander: "Police officers are working tirelessly to find those resources and manage their own policing territory," he told the BBC yesterday.

It's all about "finding resources" and managing, not arresting offenders and preventing the looting with whatever reasonable force is deemed necessary.

Ironically, Theresa May last week reportedly blocked the appointment of the legendary former New York and Los Angeles police chief, Bill Bratton, from taking the job of Metropolitan Police commissioner. Cameron, sensing a problem with the British model, had "sounded out" Bratton, whose enforcement of zero-tolerance policing slashed crime rates in New York and LA, and whose take-no-prisoners style is sorely needed in the UK.

In Australia, the British model of policing has been in vogue for over a decade in NSW and Victoria.

On a smaller scale, we saw the same phenomenon of impotent policing during the Cronulla, Redfern and Macquarie Fields riots in Sydney. In the hard-scrabble western suburb of Macquarie Fields in 2005, we saw police looking like sitting ducks as youths pelted them with rocks and molotov cocktails, and one officer was knocked unconscious with a plank of wood.

The same thing happened a year earlier in the Redfern riots, after which a NSW parliamentary inquiry declared that the police who had been attacked needed more "cultural awareness training".

What is the point of spending taxpayer money on police if they can't protect people from lawlessness, and seem fit only for handing out parking tickets or providing target practice for thugs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...