There’s a good discussion going on over at Tim Worstall’s about this incident, where two blitheringly incompetent policemen tasered a Rastafarian who was being a dick, only he turned out to have been a police race relations adviser. The video of the tasering can be seen in the second link and it says so much about the state of the British police it’s hard to know where to begin.
So let’s take a step back. Growing up in Britain you are sort of taught that policemen are nice people who are there to help. Terms like “citizens in uniform” and “friendly neighbourhood policeman” are bandied about, and this mindset appears in the British culture in shows like Dixon of Dock Green and the Noddy series of books where Noddy invites the policeman into his house for a cup of tea. As far as I can tell, British citizens still view the police as people to be trusted, approached for help, and to cooperate with at all times. For how long this continues is open to question.
I recently referenced Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, by Keith Lowe in another post and I shall do so again. One of the points made in the book was that Britain was fortunate enough never to be occupied during WWII and as such people are not wary of authorities in uniform. This contrasts sharply with places that were occupied, such as France for example. Here people think the gendarmes and other police forces are there to catch criminals and keep the piece, but are to be avoided wherever possible. They are not your friend, you don’t ask them the time or for directions, and nor do you invite them into your home for a cup of tea. You hope to go through life with a minimum of contact with them, and any other uniformed authority. The same view of the police and other security forces very much applies in Russia and I daresay in other European countries too.
My own dealings with the British police have been thankfully brief, but I was left distinctly underwhelmed by their competence. Others have not been so lucky – see the anecdotes of monoi and DocBud in Tim’s comments, and I have heard many, many other similar stories of police incompetence and/or dishonesty. Now I’m sure the police often do a good job and there are plenty of good policemen, and I am also under no illusions that their task is thankless and they have suffered far too much political interference. But, as somebody put it on another blog recently, the British police are increasingly acting like a blend of Robocop and the worst type of jobsworth you encounter in the public sector.
The policemen involved in the tasering incident I mentioned at the start of the post were a man and woman, with the woman being a sergeant and therefore the senior officer. Their control of the situation is pathetic, woefully so. Yes, the Rastafarian was being a dick but he is perfectly within his rights to do so: people in Britain are still allowed to go about their lawful business without Plod demanding to see identification. It is clear from the video that the police have no “presence”: they may as well be a couple of kids. The WPC appears to know everything about demanding respect and nothing about commanding it because faced with somebody who isn’t cooperating with a request to identify himself (but is otherwise harmless) she whips out her taser as a first resort. And once it’s out, you know she’s going to fire it, which she does, into his face. They have no authority over the situation at all, and as JuliaM of this blog points out wonderfully in Tim’s comments:
Authority is precisely what they lack. Instead, they have weapons.
This is what “diversity” policies have wrought (although they’re not solely to blame): a police force which cannot command respect, has no authority, panics at the slightest sign of legal non-cooperation, are unable to control the most benign of situations, and fires their weapons at the first chance they get. I am amazed this WPC is even a police officer so incompetent and unprofessional she is, let alone a sergeant. I’ve long since thought the British police is broken beyond repair, and it’s only a matter of time – perhaps one more generation – before they will be treated by the population in the same manner as European populations treat theirs. They will only have themselves to blame.