Yesterday evening a new ‘fly on the wall’ documentary started on TV called ‘Coppers’, as an expose of the work of the Police it was very effective as various twitter comments started pouring in in support of the boys in blue.
‘You can see what they have to put up with’ , 300 hours community service for killing somebody in a car etc etc.
I caught up with this programme on Channel 4 +1 because I wanted to see why apart from cheap production costs for the film maker, the Police felt in neccessary to cooperate with yet another film on their work.
Surely we have had Skycops, Helicops, Traffic cops, Submarine cops, the Border Agency etc etc etc. Why ‘Coppers’.
Having watched this programme I can understand why- media management. In the olden days it was called propaganda.
The Police are not having a good time at present, too many of their number have been caught lying as in the De Menezes shooting, too many have been caught on camera beating people up, dragging them across the floor in custody suites or in the case of Stephanie Rutter good old fashioned brutality in the cells.
What struck me about the two podgy crimefighters in the first half was their attitude to the public. Their ‘esprit de corps’ was largely directed at an antipathy to the public, and covering for their mates in the ‘ force’.
Little quips gave the game away, I hate drink drivers thats why I like nicking them. You are not required to hate anybody sunshine, you are required to enforce the Law. It turns out later that a driver over the limit had knocked him of his motorbike so this was personal.
I hate the ‘pissed posh’ because apparently they looked down on coppers socially according to the Policeman concerned.
Another guardian of the law told an injured driver with his face cut and bloodied in a neckbrace who lost control of his car on ice, within the speed limit and sober that it was not in the public interest that he was prosecuted. Not until after he had had a whinge about the number of emergency services that had had to turn up to the accident, and had a pop seeing if he was driving whilst he was ‘tired’.
The man was on a gurney in hospital in a lot of pain and obvious shock.
The parallel with you can see what they are up against line is the case of Hayley Adamson mown down and killed by a Police Officer doing 94 mph without blue lights or siren in a 30mph zone in Newcastle. A female dog handler PC Neve was overheard on the way to the incident, refering to Adamson as a ‘scotchy scumbag’ after the area of Scotswood near were Hayley was killed. Another Officer Sgt McKevitt repeatedly tutted everytime Hayley’s name was mentioned in the trial of PC John Dougal.
The astounding thing is that Northumbria Police nominated themselves and won a PR award for their ‘sensitive’ handling of this case.
The Public confidence on the Police in Newcastle is at rock bottom. Public reaction was recorded as explosive. So they resorted to media manipulation rather than the core issue of a Police service that no longer sees itsself as part of the wider community, but at war with it.
In February 2009 ‘Super’ Hartshorn of the Met Public Order unit was warning of a ‘summer of rage’. Where did he get this ‘intelligence’ from ?
The Coalition had the chance very early on by introducing elected Police Commissioners to stop the rot. Teresa May unfortunately has ‘gone native’ and appears to be following the ACPO line. ACPO is a private limited company and wants nothing to do with elected Police Commissioners.
IDave promised change, but I see nothing yet that is going to stop the rot of a civilian police turning into a self perpetuating para military force that guns down people with no accountability as in the De Menezes case.
The IPCC is struggling with the fallout of four hundred deaths through ‘contact’ with the Police in the last ten years.
In February 2008 over a hundred lawyers who specialise in handling police complaints resigned from its advisory body, citing various criticisms of the IPCC including a pattern of favouritism towards the police, indifference and rudeness towards complainants and complaints being rejected in spite of apparently powerful evidence in their support.
The Home Secretary must take control of the situation not be controlled by her officials, ACPO must be wound up in the public interest and Elected Commissioners brought in as soon as possible. What we do not need are any more shows like ‘Coppers’ .