Reports in the news today that plans to elect people into senior positions in the police have been dropped.
Apparently senior officers were worried it would effect their operational independence. What? The police are not independent and should not be independent. The police are there because society demands they are there. They should be politically independent, but they police for us and should police in a manner that we want. Having directly elected chiefs would ensure that this would happen, because if they didn't they'd be out of a job PDQ.
Speaking of independence it would also appear to have been dropped because some Labour councillors could see that they'd not be able to lean on the police to do their bidding. If that isn't the biggest argument in favour of direct election then I don't know what is.
So which is it? Is it that having elected police cheifs will infringe on police independence or is it that having police chiefs appointed means that their indepenedence is kept in check by political pressure? Double-think.
And then, Jacqui Smith says that the police are becoming (becoming?!?!) politicised. She cites the Boris inspired departure of Sir Ian Blair, surely the most political police chief in the history of any police force in British history. She told the Graun that she was worried about the behaviour of the Tories politicising the Old Bill! She's got some fucking front, I'll give her that.
Not that I'm suggesting that the Tories will be any different. They are become a political militia, arresting those who speak out against the government (see Damian Green and that German bloke who was nicked at the ZNL conference who's name escapes me at the moment), producing figures the government want and only really investigating the crimes which government deems important.
I'll let you in to a secret, if you are the victim of a crime, it is important, whatever the crime. People don't want a support group or therapy, they don't want uniformed officers sitting in offices ticking boxes and implementing the latest social inclusion outreach stakeholder engagement programme, they don't want the Police chasing round to someone's house and kicking the doors in because they're growing tomatoes in their windowbox, or responding en masse because some chav has texted a threat to the new boyfriend of the woman he once screwed and impregnated. They do want an officer or two to attend within the hour because someone has smashed in a window and helped themselves to their jewellery box, not a visit six days later from a PCSO.
Want to know how awful the management of the police are, and the level of frustration felt by the people on the front-line? Read Inspector Gadget and Nightjack. You'd think they were made up, but it is just too bizarre to be fiction.