Wiltshire Police Dig In

Yesterday I said the British police had hit rock bottom and started to drill. Last night they shipped in some dynamite:

The Wiltshire Police sound like the NKVD without the charm and humour. And at least the Chekists had a few poets languishing in their cells who could have helped them write a decent tweet: the above reads like it was written by someone whose entire literary consumption consists of warning signs.

Wiltshire police wrote the tweet in response to the kicking they were getting on social media from their earlier stupidity, which by last night was circulating stateside. Rather than give someone a bollocking for tweeting shite and engaging in self-reflection, the police did what they always do: lash out in petulant fashion with threats. Having gotten quite used to bossing the population around on the street, tasering and arresting anyone who doesn’t immediately show deference to their authoritah, they thought they could do the same thing online. As they’re going to find out when America wakes up, they can’t.

Several people have pointed out that the Wiltshire police are making threats outwith their powers: they have no authority to ban people from posting offensive material, unless they’re referring to blocking them from their Twitter feed. The only thing that surprises me is that this surprises anyone. The police have become so used to making up the law as they go along, often deliberately misinforming citizens as to what the law is in order to get their way (particularly with regard to photographing things, and especially when the police are called in support of some jobsworth in a hi-viz vest), that they probably no longer know what the law is. The police don’t care either: their modus operandi is to make an arrest and subject the person to a lengthy, expensive, and damaging process in order to clear their name. If and when he does, he will be out of pocket but the policemen involved will get off without so much as a reprimand. The process is the punishment, the police know it, and they abuse it.

Personally, I think if it is proved that a policeman deliberately misled a member of the public into thinking he has broken the law when he hasn’t, the PC concerned should be given a written and final warning. If it happens again, he’s booted out and banned from policing for life. Otherwise we might as well replace our current lot with cheaper police from Nigeria.

If you talk to policemen on Twitter, their first line of defence is to say you don’t understand how things work, and ten of them pile in to say that the police don’t make the laws, they only enforce them. Their assumption is that you don’t know this. The point they miss is that much of the public don’t blame the police for enforcing shitty laws, but they detest the way they go about it with such obvious glee and pomposity. If the police adopted an attitude of “Sorry mate, but we have to do this…new laws, y’see” the public might think better of them. But they don’t, they fall over themselves to enforce these appalling laws – and boast about their powers online.

The second line of defence for policemen is to make you out as some sort of crank, way out of tune with the general public. They’ll all reiterate how much the public values them as per the latest polls, and most will talk about what a great job their colleagues are doing. Policemen seem to think their poor public image can be rectified by having policemen praise each other online. Others will say things like “the emergency services do a great job”, hoping the genuine appreciation people have for firemen and paramedics will rub off on hapless Plod. Eventually they’ll dismiss you as being a paranoid outlier and block you. One even said he was glad he was able to protect the public from “people like me”, as if this engineer with a blogging hobby was a danger to anyone. Seemingly not appreciating the police and showing signs of defiance makes you a threat in the eyes of Plod.

Personally I’m all for this sort of idiocy on Twitter. As I’ve said before, the sooner the public understand the nature of the British police and abandon the romantic Dixon of Dock Green image, the better. In the comments under my last piece, Schrodingers’s Dog says:

Clearly a major role of the British police seems to be the enforcement of a left wing political and social agenda. As such, the rest of us should be thinking in terms of non-cooperation with the them.

I can only agree with that, and I think that’s where we’re headed. Criminals and their families have famously refused to cooperate with the police, but so have the people who swim in the same waters. They figured out that the police are not on their side, never have been, and never will be: any mutual interests are coincidental and temporary, and in the long run cooperation simply isn’t worth it. It’s only a matter of time before ordinary people reach the same conclusion.

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25 thoughts on “Wiltshire Police Dig In

  1. They have been a bit quiet today. Have they finally wrestled the Twitter access code off the Chief Super..? 😂

  2. “It’s only a matter of time before ordinary people reach the same conclusion.”

    The problem with combating it is that it will take an equal amount of time to progressively diminish it as the same period of time that it has been insidiously creeping up to this high water mark, worse is that the tide is still rising and it has inertia on its side, so the first few years real progress at best could only hope to slow its inertia down. We wouldn’t have actually stopped progress even if we achieved this in the next five years, we would only have arrested its growth.

    The only way I can see things changing is if it goes to the next level of destabilization and we start to see true patriots emerge to threaten a very bloated and all encompassing one world government.

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  4. The first step that needs to be taken to combat this sort of nonsense and revert the British police back to its previous high standard is to completely remove women from the police force across the board.

    This will never happen so you’re screwed.

  5. Adam,

    Not sure I see the logic there – it appears that there are a lot of men involved in the behaviour Tim highlights. Are you saying they’re doing it to impress women? Or that the very presence of women makes the police suspectible to stupid ideas and abuse of power (because all-male police forces historically have never done such things…).

    Or is this just a very stupid response to an issue which is much more about the way the state’s enforcement arm interacts with people everyday? This may be the case, as you seem to believe the police once had high standards, which is rather disputable if you look at the number of wrongful convictions, blatant cases of corruption and general attitudes towards vast sections of the population in the police’s history.

  6. Making the various Spanish police forces look pretty damn fine, you lads in blue in Wiltsha’.

    Have they really not got anything better to do?

    All I need now is the guy appointed to the Grenfell enquiry (who is clearly and eminently qualified for the post) to be sidelined for being white, old etc.. and my amazement will be complete.

    What a shower!

    The lunatics are running the asylum. Glad I pay my taxes in Spain (with the permission of the spudmeister, of course).

  7. Maybe there’s not enough vibrancy in Wiltshire so they have to make shit up to reach their targets.

  8. Phooey! Wiltshire Police seem to not have a Facebook page.

    This robs me of the opportunity to leave lots of nice comments recommending them for some “Sex & Travel” plus various versions of “Go forth & multiply”.

    Though by the time I switch on to some overseas plod (i.e. various UK forces) the pile-on is well under way & they’ve stopped reading their Facebook feed.

    Hopefully the citizenry of the USA will give ’em hell via twitter.

  9. OK, I’m beginning to get worried now.

    I just remembered we elect police and crime commissioners to oversea the police on behalf of the electorate. I therefore looked up the one for Wiltshire. His webpage (not sure if I can insert a link here, but it is googlable) is fun – you have to go to the bottom of his biography to find his name (not the front page, but a separate page). And he has the slightly-like-the-punchline-to-a-joke name of Angus McPherson (if he was a hanging and flogging type, that would be cool). It looks to me as if his webpage is run by the government, probably the police, and is designed to downplay him as a representative and instead make him into part of the machine. If the elected representative allows that, then no wonder there are issues…

    Anyway, I’d suggest contacting this particular gentleman to ask if this is what he wants the police force he oversees to be doing with their time.

  10. And he has the slightly-like-the-punchline-to-a-joke name of Angus McPherson

    This Angus McPherson:

    Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson remains in a “serious but stable condition” after suffering a heart attack.
    The 60-year-old was taken to hospital after being taken ill at an event in Trowbridge on Friday morning.
    He is being looked after in the intensive care unit at Bath’s Royal United Hospital

    The report is from 2014, perhaps somebody who’s suffered a major heart attack isn’t best placed to oversea a police department. Going off the results, anyway.

    It looks to me as if his webpage is run by the government, probably the police, and is designed to downplay him as a representative and instead make him into part of the machine.

    I just had a look, you’re not wrong.

  11. Watchman,

    The British police, like so many police forces in the Anglo-Saxon world, has been feminized. The men who excel in such an environment are the antithesis of what is required to save the British police. A major effect of this feminization is that the force is now run on emotion. Take a look at those tweets again that Tim has posted. They could have been written by a 15 year old girl.

    Like it or not, this is the crux of the issue. A police force that runs and reacts on the basis of emotion is dangerous, to itself and others. You have a very big problem over there.

  12. Adam,

    Frankly I think you are a bit dim sorry. It’s not masculine or feminine to be an idiot (remember the extreme proponents of these views are prone to outright violence – as masculine a tendency as you could wish for) or even to have an emotion (anger for example is normally regarded as masculine, as is stoicism, both of which the police responsible are probably experiencing now), and your contribution is basically unhelpful, as it makes people assume the issue with these tweets is simply that we think they are ‘girly’ and that therefore we are a bunch of guys sitting in a 1970s northern working man’s club, not people who have a serious complaint (if the complaint was the beer was bad, then the northern guys in the 70s working man’s club had one too to be fair…).

    You might have a definition of masculine that would make the police better that I have missed (and you have not posted), but if more violent, more agressive, more assertive is the sort of thing you are thinking then I would suggest that’s a bad idea for the state’s enforcement wing to be. Maybe you like the idea of police states – but the complaints here are about exactly the sort of assertiveness over areas where police have no business that being masculine would suggest to me (masculinity isn’t normally associated with keeping things private and to yourself you know – the private sphere is feminine, the public masculine traditionally). And you haven’t answered my earlier point about the problems with the definetly more masculine historical police anyway (which also included overreach – they just didn’t have an internet to overreach on).

    Anyway, I need to put on my flat cap, gather my whippet and get going.

  13. Adam, Watchman
    Shorter version:
    1. Stick to the day job, or the hours you are assigned
    2. … there is no 2

  14. Watchman,

    “Frankly I think you are a bit dim sorry.”

    Reading the rest of your inane comment, this is pure projection.

    Not sorry.

  15. Not to take sides here, but women police officers have generally been proven far better at calming and de-escalating tense situations than men.

    That alone makes their presence worthwhile.

    Their downside is their relative lack of upper body strength, but if that’s to be our complete measure of the worth of a police officer, the system already has no hope.

  16. Bobby b, I have watched with open mouthed amazement as a wpc created an incident out of nothing, so I as disinclined to agree.

  17. Not to take sides here, but women police officers have generally been proven far better at calming and de-escalating tense situations than men.

    Like RlJ, I have to disagree also. I think traditionally, when you had a WPC backed up by a gigantic male policeman, that would be the case. But look at the incident I wrote about here: you have a jumpy, panicky WPC with absolutely no presence resorting to her weapon at the first opportunity and firing it without any obvious grounds to do so.

    As JuliaM said so wonderfully here:

    Watch any of those reality cop shows and it’s often the brick-outhouse male cop who is calm & polite while the female is either ineffectual or behaves like one of those little yappy terriers, all hair & aggression, and makes the situation worse.

  18. Incomptent police of either sex regularly create incidents, so the anecdotes here are not going to help determine whether female police are an issue or not without some actual statistics (which I doubt exist – the police are not big on reporting their own failings), although I don’t disagree a lot of them are a problem – but that is presumably an issue of crap training, which will also reflect in male police acting stupidly (in the incident Tim cites, the male policeman did not seem to be inclined to intervene to calm his admittedly senior colleague, which is his job if he feels she has overstepped her authority). Indeed the fact the police display agresssion other than during actual arrests is itself a major issue – a characteristic of gang behaviour rather than of a neutral agency.

    I think my overall issue is simply the fact that this discussion assumes a set of characteristics (‘strong’, ‘calm’, ‘totally fucking unsuitable to be a police officer’) can be applied to individuals just on the basis of their gender. Whilst women are likely to be weaker I grew up with some terrifying school mates who could match men easily enough (and regularly did after nights out towards the end of my schooling), and men are quite capable of de-escalating situations. By regarding gender as the defining factor, rather than individual character and capabilities, we are taking short-cuts.

    Mind you, reducing the requirements for police service to enable candidates who happen to be predominantly from one gender to enter in larger numbers is ridiculous – there should be a minimum strength test for example if we expect police to have to actually physically engage. But if any candidate, male, female, transgender, whatever intersex means, or even Kryptonian can pass them, then that individual is suitable to do the job – lets focus on individual capabilities rather than assuming something because of gender (the flipside to this is that the police should be a lot keener to get rid of crap officers who can’t cope, regardless of gender).

  19. Whilst women are likely to be weaker I grew up with some terrifying school mates who could match men easily enough

    Unless you’re talking middle school, I call bollocks.

  20. Daniel,

    You didn’t grow up in small town northern England then (the middle school reference is a bit of a clue)? I’m not talking winning all out brawls (I wouldn’t back them against anyone but a small man for that) but throwing a punch or clawing someone’s face and basically standing off drunken friday night idiots by violence.

  21. No, I didn’t, but I presume sexual dimorphism hasn’t suddenly taken a long holiday in that part of the UK.

    You don’t really mean “I grew up with some terrifying school mates who could match men easily enough”; you mean “I grew up with some terrifying school mates who learned early on that most men don’t hit back when a woman gets on their tits”.

  22. I think Adam’s point is valid, I’m not a misogynist – as long as they do the ironing and have a decent tea on’table when get ‘ome I don’t mind women too much.

    I don’t think the standard of governance in the UK has improved since women got the vote (I’m not saying they shouldn’t have it merely making an observation).

    In general, organisations run by women tend to the touchy feely. In positions of authority some women tend to the terrier (as do plenty of blokes).

    Since a lot of policing is about projecting calm and that is in general dealing with blokes in stressed situations, the chances are that a certain physical presence combined with good training and knowledge and understanding of the law will be more effective than stamping feet and shouting.

    Not for nothing there is or was a minimum height requirement which is above the average height (5’10” if I’m not mistaken, it’s doubtless in millimeters nowadays).

    I’m not saying women can’t be police, and good ones at that. I’m making a generalisation, that for some specific aspects of the job it is likely that deploying blokes would be more effective. Largely for reasons of human nature.

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