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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

 

Bucking the pass

Been having a look and a listen at and to the various law enforcement news, both official and unofficial. Like any reasonable member of society, I am seriously perturbed at the news of Police beat officers spending less than 10% of their time actually being beat officers. Patrolling the streets as a great deal of the tax paying public seems to desire and require of them.

Having to patrol the streets myself, albeit in a lesser capacity, I’m beginning to understand why real Police spend so much time on non patrol duties. Let me explain; Handing out a ‘Decriminalised’ parking ticket is a fairly straightforward process, yet we are bound by the rules of evidence that must be provided for the successful prosecution of a miscreant. We have to ensure that 17 points of evidence are noted, both in hand held computer and pocket note book before the parking ticket can be upheld. We get it wrong and chummy gets off, even thought we might have thought he / she was ‘bang to rights’. Furthermore, we have to show evidence that we were where we said we were when said miscreants vehicle was booked. Thus our every movement is logged on hand held computer – including ‘comfort breaks’. If evidence in hand held computers and pocket notebooks is out by more than a minute or two, the adjudicators will often invalidate the ticket. Despite strong evidence of contravention: E.g. photographs. Mind you, if said miscreant coughs up the fine without challenge, you can get away with poor record keeping – for a short while, but it always catches up with you.

The stuff real Police have to deal with is more complex and involves court appearances, more complex evidence gathering which is time consuming. So why do the powers that be insist on micromanaging a Police Officers day?

In short it all seems to be to do with politics and making the politicians look good while actually playing all kinds of hell with the process of ‘keeping the Queens peace’. All the forms and a lot of the non essential record keeping such as information processing not directly connected to evidence gathering, just so some lousy political time server can say “Oo look, the police were brutal / racist / sexist and now our figures (Gathered by the beat officer on his own shift time) show they’re really nice fluffy vegetarians who like to cuddle pink bunny-wunnies.”

Speaking as one of societies more vulnerable people (Don’t laugh), I rely on the fact that if a bunch of wrong ‘uns decide to beat nine kinds of shit out of Mrs Stickers second son, he can get a distress call out and help will be no more than two minutes away, not stuck in the station filling out a form. I don’t give a monkeys what opinions said officer holds in his private life or if they have to bend the rules to put the dickheads away. So long as he / she is out there on the streets and on hand to save me having some serious dental restructuring. Sadly help has been known to take a lot longer and my Mum has expressed the wish that she does not wish to attend my funeral before I go to hers (Bless her). Ergo, I am in favour of cutting Police bureaucracy.

I think the problem is our politicians are so shit scared of losing possible votes from every half-baked vociferous minority that every poor bloody public servant has to bend over backwards, no matter how petty the cause. We need less, not more monitoring of the Police. We need more time for evidence gathering for prosecutions, not monitoring how ’nice’ our Police are. I want to see those cell doors slamming on Murderers, Burglars, Muggers, Tax inspectors, Chavs and violent Drunks and am not too worried about their physical / psychic well being once caught. In short, allowing the Police to do their job and remove the grit in life’s ointment. Not worrying about our PC’s being PC. Grr.

Ah, that's more like it. I feel so much better now.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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