Sunday, August 17, 2014

Police Force

A journalist of whom I am extremely fond (all right, he's my son) has sent me this link that highlights the creeping militarisation of the police in some US states. If we are not careful. that might happen here - if you dress the police like commandos and arm them like commandos, they might possibly start to act like commandos.

This is what I thought some time ago.


  1. Certain benches have prevailed upon their local forces at least to refrain from giving evidence in their junior Rambo outfits. N°1 tunic is now the rule, and shows respect for the court, the other witnesses and the defendant.

    1. It became policy about three years ago that police attending court should wear full kit, because cutbacks mean there is little real security in court public areas, so the police provide a presence.

  2. As long as we keep armed police as the exception rather than the rule, then I think we are ok - you can't have a military without guns.

  3. Some time ago I commented (on here, I believe) that the appearance of police officers in "uniforms" that look somewhat like those worn by Special Forces troops was potentially damaging to their relationship with the general public. I was, IIRC, roundly criticised by one or two police officers who also comment here for having such a view.

    My view hasn't changed; I still believe that if police officers walk around looking as if they have just been on a military exercise they will not be viewed as approachable by many. I'm an ordinary, reasonably law-abiding, citizen, but I do find the all-black combat kit intimidating. Subconsciously I am far less likely to wish to go up to a police officer and report something as a consequence of this.

    I understand why stab vests and the like are necessary police officer attire in some areas and times, but there are ways of providing the necessary protection discreetly and without making a uniform look paramilitary (I know, because I was peripherally involved in body armour development years ago).

    There seems to be a deliberate move to make police officers appear offensive (in the military sense), rather than upholders of the law and supporters of the law-abiding majority of the population. I believe that if you dress people up in paramilitary uniforms, and make their appearance aggressive, then that is how some of them will tend to act. I remain unconvinced that such an approach is good for policing overall, and is probably damaging to intelligence-based policing, just because I doubt I'm alone in being a bit reticent about approaching a battle-dress attired officer to mention something I've seen or heard.

    1. If you're a JP, you must see the attitude and behaviour of some of the people in court. You must see that many in society they are nasty violent individuals that don't respect law or conventions of behaviour.

      In a country like the UK, where the police are expected to use appropriate 'minimum' force (no matter how violent the person they are dealing with) the only way to prevent injury to police doing their job is to give them more and more protection equipment.

      You'll notice in other countries like France, Germany etc, the police don't often wear body armour etc to protect themselves. That's because their law, their courts, their government and their press understand that the police deal with the worst in society for the protection of society and the State. They give their police their full support as well as the equipment (including guns) to deal with violent situations. In other countries, an attack on the police is seen as an attack on the authority of the State and they don't tollorate it! In the UK an attack on a police officer is seen as little more that a part of the job, with derisory sentences.

      When the government, the courts and the press start supporting the police, when they give out a clear message that attacks on police will not be tolerated, then the police will not need to 'kit up' like other countries.

    2. The courts are not there to 'support the police' as you put it. Courts have no input into how officers dress or whether or not they are armed.

      Personally I don't really care what they wear. They are on duty in court as much as on the street and are certainly as likely to have to do their job at court as anywhere else given the courts general clientele.

    3. In reply to 18/08/2014 @ 23/55

      Well, the courts/law should support the police, in the same way as they should support anyone who is working for the good of society on behalf of the State.

      At the end of the day, its the courts who constantly let those guilty of assaulting police get away with meaningless sentences.

      These desisory sentences add to the general feeling that the police can be assaulted with little or no consequences. It's for this reason that the police have to 'kit up'.

      This is an explanation of why the police have to wear more and more protective equipment. After all, it was the point of the post!

    4. No. The police are there to support the courts, and the law. Not the other way around

    5. Some of the comments on here reflect why the courts and the law are held in such contempt by a significant number people in the UK, not least the criminals who perceive the CJS as being far too soft.

      Justice needs to be seen to be done and the simple fact is that the majority of 'normal' people do not believe that the courts are tough enough.

      A court should be a place of authority, a place of law and respect. A court shouldn't need security guards etc, because the mere fact that it's a court should be enough to make people behave. But we all know - if we ever sit in the public areas of a court - that it's often a place of menace from the yobs who loiter there.

      Society is getting more dangerous by the day, but some armchair generals on here want the police to go out in tunics and capes with a little peice of wood for protection. It just shows how out of touch you are. Would the same people expect to see the army fighting in red tunics with Lee-Enfield rifles - of course not, we've moved on.

      So, in a dangerous world, the police should expect backing from the courts when they are attempting to uphold the law - they used to get it in the old days, why not now?

      And to Newchodge, it works both ways, if you want the police to support the courts, then the courts should support the police when officers are assaulted. It seems a senseless and out of touch to argue otherwise.

      It may be worthy of note that when a Judge gets assaulted the full weight of the law is usually applied.

  4. Re your older post, they are wearing balaclavas and non-police kit because they are not police. I leave it to the reader to work out what they might in fact be.

    1. Providing moral support and guidance.



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