Ranks Defiled

A common response to stories demonstrating the moral corruption infesting the British police forces is that the attitudes of the leadership do not reflect those of the rank and file. While I am sure this is true in many cases, I’ve seen enough large organisations to know that corrupt leaders quickly find willing enablers among the workforce, who take to their new-found duties with enthusiasm. Before long anyone who isn’t on board with management directives is threatened, demoted, or ostracised while the quislings advance their careers in positions of ever-increasing importance.

Supporting this theory are examples of British citizens who have encountered rank and file policemen and discovered they’re less dealing with Dixon of Dock Green than state apparatchiks of middling intelligence burdened with a childlike vanity. Back in March I wrote about this story:

A van driver was arrested by a group of police officers after challenging them because they were parked on a double yellow line. Andy Mayfield, 53, was held in custody for 12 hours and strip searched under anti-terror laws after he started filming the cops, who were parked illegally outside their own police station in Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire in January. He was detained under the Terrorism Act and submitted to a rigorous questioning at the Newton Heath terrorism centre in Manchester before eventually being released.

Yesterday I read this one:

Mr Warner was charged with an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, namely that he used threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress as a result. This is a summary offence, which can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, and the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

The charge arose from an incident that took place outside the school where Mr Warner was picking up his young daughter. There appeared to be some confusion over where his daughter actually was, which understandably caused him to become agitated.

A nearby police officer, who could see Mr Warner’s agitation, approached to enquire what the problem was. During the conversation the police officer said “I can see you’re angry”, to which the concerned father replied “no sh*t I’m angry”. It is important to stress that the comment was a response directed at the police officer. Nobody else expressed any concern about the casual remark at the time.

Mr Warner’s daughter was located and he left the scene thinking nothing more about it.

Three weeks later the 45 year-old received a letter from the same police officer, inviting him to attend the police station to discuss an alleged public order offence.

At the recent trial the police officer recounted events exactly as described above, including the “no sh*t I’m angry” comment. When questioned about whether anyone else had been offended by the comment the officer suggested that members of the public had voiced their concerns, but the prosecution had offered no evidence to that effect.

It is quite clear that in many instances, should certain, non-protected members of the public fail to adopt the correct stance of cowed submission and deference before a police officer, they will have you arrested. Given the process is the punishment, it matters little to them that you may not be found guilty (as this man was) should you choose to contest the charges and it goes to court: you will have a file, your DNA will be on record, and you will have to declare the arrest on job application and visa forms for the rest of your days. While your life is being turned upside down through court appearances and lawyer’s fees, the officers concerned carry on with theirs as normal. They rarely face any penalty, even for lying in court.

That the British police should behave in this way is not surprising; this is how the police behave in much of the world. This is why in most countries you avoid the police at all costs, do not engage them in conversation, and most certainly do not view them as people who are on your side. As I’ve said on many occasions, the quicker the British public realise the police are not their friends and are best avoided, the better off they’ll be.

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29 thoughts on “Ranks Defiled

  1. We’re hearing a lot about the process being the punishment these days. It works on the level you describe (i.e. the hassle of the arrest, summons, court process, etc.) and also on the more immediate level of the initial interaction. The police often want to establish their personal dominance – either through physical intimidation if they are big and strong, or through psychological tactics like talking over you, “broken record” repetition, or a faked “I know better than you” way of talking down to you.

    Personal domination was always a tactic, and my parents talked of bobbies in the 1930s and 40s being very ready to thump lippy drunks or teach hard-nut kids a physical lesson. The difference is that this was restricted to a very small number of minor criminals, and you knew where you stood; the informal rules were obvious, and those same coppers were unfailingly courteous to law-abiding members of the public. Today, any middle-class person going about their business can find themselves confronted by a verbally aggressive goon who wants to remind them who is boss. It’s that fact, I believe, which is doing most to erode public trust. Even the most casual encounter can be a process which feels punishing.

  2. Today, any middle-class person going about their business can find themselves confronted by a verbally aggressive goon who wants to remind them who is boss.

    And the problem is compounded by the police appearing unwilling or unable to tackle burglars, gang rapists, and violent criminals.

  3. Today, any middle-class person going about their business can find themselves confronted by a verbally aggressive goon who wants to remind them who is boss.

    And it is not just the police. A lot of public ‘servants’ talk to the people paying their wages like they’re dirt. While standing under a sign that says there is zero tolerance for abuse of staff…

  4. I’m not sure if you’re correct about other countries, Tim. OK, my experience is largely restricted to Europe, but from what I’ve seen the police tend to be much more part of the community they serve. The bar round the corner from here seems to be where some of our uniformed town police choose to grab an on-shift coffee & bocadillo. I’ve seen them in there often enough that encountering them on the streets will produce an exchange of “buenos dias”. They’re part of the community, happen to be police. It was much the same with the gendarmes patrolled around our French village. Can remember a conversation with one when he spotted my out-of-departément hire car parked by the house. Just curious about the strange vehicle & ensuring the house wasn’t being robbed in my absence, since he hadn’t seen me around for a while.
    Trouble with Plod is, unless you know one personally, the only time you get to meet them is when they impose themselves on you or you impose yourself on them. I’m not saying one should go striking up conversation with the CRS on the streets of Paris during a riot but foreign police seem much more approachable than their uniformed thug UK equivalents. They certainly don’t seem to share the “Now you’ve come to our attention, let’s see if we can nick you for something” attitude.

  5. I’m not sure if you’re correct about other countries, Tim.

    Ask your housemates about South American police. 🙂 But yeah, French police seem okay.

  6. But yeah, French police seem okay.

    There’s a distinction one can make between the gendarmerie and the police.

  7. Tim, I doubt we would see any online vids of the Dutch police getting a kicking from vibrants and/or chavs as has been seen happening to the UK. On the whole, the Dutch police are affable and approachable but you certainly wouldn’t want to be arguing with ’em. Even the female coppers here are built like brick shithouses. Back in my UK hometown, the coppers I’ve seen around the place wouldn’t be able to catch a criminal even if he was fleeing at walking pace.

  8. “There’s a distinction one can make between the gendarmerie and the police.”
    And also worth explaining where & why you might encounter them. Police, in France, are responsible for policing towns. Between towns, out in the country where villages & towns are too small to rate their own police, it’s the gendarmerie’s responsibility.
    Similar in Spain. Here, where I am, we have the Police Locale. They do street patrols & minor crimes. Just along the road from their splendid HQ lurks the Police Nationale in their more scruffy establishment. They deal with more serious crimes & are who you see to get a residence permit. Out near the edge of town is the Guardia Civil headquarters. Their patch extends out into the campo. If you know who exactly is responsible for what you’re either a lawyer or wish you didn’t.

  9. If the cops invite you to an interview to discuss your alleged offence, it means they have almost nothing on you, and are hoping you will provide them the remaining evidence that will secure the conviction. People feel pressured to explain themselves, and in that explanation is something that can be used against you (while nothing you say will ever be given in your defence) You’re better off not going. I suspect they saw an easy collar from a loudmouth here (so more a problem of the faddish target- and metric-driven policing than an insititutional lack of empathy or sense of proportion), and if he talked to the cops a second time it was only to tighten his own noose.

  10. If the cops invite you to an interview to discuss your alleged offence, it means they have almost nothing on you, and are hoping you will provide them the remaining evidence that will secure the conviction.

    Indeed, as someone once put it: if you’re in trouble you won’t be able to talk your way out of it, but if you’re not in trouble you may well talk your way into it.

    if he talked to the cops a second time it was only to tighten his own noose.

    He didn’t: he refused to go, and they requisitioned him.

  11. Read the linked article people.

    The incident is even worse than Tim describes.

    And it looks like my newly discovered hobby of writing Limericks has a new target to send some Facebook/Twitter feedback to.

  12. Talking about attitudes & dealing with them.
    Few years ago I got pulled over at a gendarmerie roadblock, somewhere around Pau heading north from Spain. Saturday afternoon. Breathyliser session, catch the French farmers like a liquid lunch to round off the week. Devastatingly attractive gendarmette with a designer chrome pistol on her hip regrets the necessity, mais…. Genuinely pleased when I fail to colour the crystals pissed & wishes “Bon voyage!”
    Two days later, about the same time of day, I’m being pulled in Kent. “Have you been drinking, Sir” In that way that makes “Sir” an insult. Whilst I’m blowing in the device, second thug’s tyre-kicking his way round the car. “Can you open up the back, Sir”. Looks at 10 dozen bottles wine, 200 cans Leffe, assorted spirits. “Mind telling me why you have this in the vehicle, Sir?” “If you look, you’ll notice the ferry boarding pass is still hanging from the mirror” “You have receipts for this lot, Sir?” “You read French, do you?” Ended up with me pointing out that I’d just taken this lot through customs, who were quite content & imports were none of their fucking business.
    Cvnts. But that’s BritPlod, isn’t it? Uniformly useless or uselessly in uniform.Take your pick.

  13. But they all look so cool with their action man uniforms and big guns, that is when not looking like scruffy teenagers in ill fitting uniforms and baseball caps….useless is the defining word.

  14. “Ask your housemates about South American police.”
    Easy to do. La Colombiana’s brother’s a copper in La Valle de Cuaca. Chat with him on Whatsap, regularly. Seems OK hombre. On the other hand, the other brother got himself topped on the highway from Armenia. Shot off his moto by a couple of guys on another. Other brother was a PoS, so likely drug related. Couldn’t even make a decent criminal. No particular loss.

  15. Thanks to Treason May and her shite little gang it is about to get worse.

    Even without her attempted Brexit betrayal the woman is the arrogant, authoritarian scum of the Earth. Which is why Brexit is only the beginning. The boss class of this country already had all the power and money it could ever have needed. But evil is never content.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPRA-a-EXco&t=11s

  16. “like scruffy teenagers in ill fitting uniforms and baseball caps”
    Something one notices. Other country’s cops look like professionals in well fitting uniforms. BritPol look like employees of a dodgy security company.

  17. Ask your housemates about South American police…

    Depends on the country I think but I’m with Bloke in Spain here. Peru’s police force is unquestionably part of the community it polices. As always, owning a car is the quickest way to come into contact with them and they’re always bribable, but they don’t act like an occupying army in the way -say- Northumbria Constabulary do.

  18. Tim, they still can’t compel you to testify against yourself. They will lie to you that you can, they will lie to you that you will be treated favourably if you admit it or plead guilty. Never talk to the police where there is the least possibility you are a suspect. All they care about is statistics – not whether the statistics are the right ones.

    Yes, read the article. Found not guilty.

  19. Never talk to the police where there is the least possibility you are a suspect.

    I’m not sure how realistic that is in the UK: we don’t have Miranda rights. The police caution says “your defence may be harmed if you later rely on in court something you failed to mention”. And I have it on very good authority that saying next to nothing during a police interview makes you look very bad in the eyes of a magistrate.

  20. That’s why you don’t go to police interviews or agree to being questioned under caution if you can possibly avoid it!

    You can’t draw an adverse inference from a question you didn’t answer because it was never asked, so don’t let them ask it in the first place.

  21. @TimN
    The best advice I’ve heard is answer direct questions unless, for some reason, you believe a reply might hazard your case. But don’t elaborate, don’t lie unless unavoidable & whatever you do, don’t try & talk you way out of trouble. That’s what your lawyer’s for. Most people succeed in talking their way into it. The police have to prove their case, not you your innocence. The less information you give them to work with, the better.

  22. The rule in the USA is to never talk to a federal agent. Roger Stone is just the latest person to be charged with ‘lying’ when the Feds can’t prove any real crime was committed.

  23. I’ve heard many a solicitor and even an Inspector say that you should never talk to the police without a solicitor present no matter how innocent you think you are. I used to think it was a bit OTT, but not now.

  24. @BIND

    Retired police sergeant I know told me similar. They’re trained at getting people to slip up – basically the point of the exercise for them.

  25. This is why in most countries you avoid the police at all costs, do not engage them in conversation, and most certainly do not view them as people who are on your side. As I’ve said on many occasions, the quicker the British public realise the police are not their friends and are best avoided, the better off they’ll be.

    +1

    See: Crimebodge

    I find it sad that UK police have in 20/30 years moved themselves from respected & trusted to loathed, ineffectual and mistrusted.

  26. Thai police are OK. It did take me a while to get my head round the idea that when they ask about Man United they’re just chatting and not trying to trick you into admitting a criminal offence.

    Anyway it would be considered unThai to persecute Thais so the cvnts go to work in immigration where they can persecute foreigners with impunity.

  27. Dad went to school to pick up Daughter
    who could not be found so he sought her
    A cop he thought would help
    him to find his lost whelp
    first cuffed him then jail’d him no quarter

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