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.