The vital necessity of the thin blue line


thinEarlier this week I had the enormous privilege of spending some time with a senior Police Officer in Sussex listening to the stories of a number of events and cases that are currently being dealt with by their officers. All of the information was disclosed in a manner that ensured that the names and details of the cases remained outside of my hearing, but what was very clear from the stories was the impact that some deeply traumatic events have had on police officers who may have been having a really great day up until the events or may have come upon the situations having dealt with similar events in recent days and weeks. Any of the events would be a major challenge for most of us to deal with once in a lifetime, but to be faced with a series of such events as part of ones working week shows the challenge that our police forces face. Whilst I have some knowledge of how the UK Police service operates, I cannot imagine what life is like in the US. However this week we have had stories from Berkeley University where a proposed talk by Milo Yiannopoulos was called off as a result of disturbances at the University. The President of the USA has threatened to withdraw funding from the institution because of the lack of free speech. Whatever the hypocrisy of Trumps administration, the one element that has not emerged from that story is the extent to which the local Police force has been placed in a difficult position of maintaining peace between the two factions of students who apparently threw fireworks and other ‘missiles’ at one another. The work of the Police on both sides of the Atlantic is not without controversy from time to time. The fact is that no public service can be delivered without the risk of people getting things wrong or taking a liberty with the power they are given. However the truth is that our nations would be in a huge state of chaos had Sir Robert Peel and his successors not created the concept of ordinary residents being given warrants and gaining consent to police the rest of their neighbours and friends on behalf of society as a whole.

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Community Safety, Policing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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