Today has seen an unprecedented and ill thought out attack on policing in this country by the “Think Tank” The Policy Exchange. In his second guest blog @SirIanBlair (spoof Twitter account) gives us his views.
The right wing think tank, The Policy Exchange, recently published its report “Cost of the Cops”. Boy oh boy has this caused further unrest in policing circles. You would have thought after Winsor, Hutton and Neyroud the government would have given “police bashing” a rest. Nope; seems like they are after the jugular of policing.
The Policy Exchange “about us” page states; The Policy Exchange is an independent, non-partisan educational charity. Based on the statements made today, independent is definitely something the exchange is not. They would appear to be peddling the governments bicycle for them and the proposals are very much in line with the governments 20% cuts policy. They claim to use “centre-right means to progressive ends.” and if that’s not broadly the current governments line I’m not sure what is. In fact everything about this Think Tank, or “Sink Tank” as I like to call it, is centred around the governments policies and despite their claim that they are trying to “strengthen society” the reality is they, together with their masters, are supporting 20% cuts with no clear idea of what policing entails.
The evidence of their strategic vision and right wing trends can be highlighted by two very simple examples which warn us that operational police decisions must not be influenced by government or think tanks.
Firstly, Theresa May seems to think that taking the mobile phones from ASB merchants and rioters would teach them a lesson and control their ability to organise riots. What utter tripe. What the government do not understand is that these same youths will commit further crime and steal a phone back. So then we imprison them and they believe harsher sentences will do the trick. I say, oh dear, we have no space in prisons and this will only cause tensions to encourage rioting inside. This is all about budgets they say. Of course it is.
The second example is a Policy Exchange example. They suggest police officers should travel to and from work in uniform to increase visibility. Oh deary me. It is clear that The Policy Exchange has no police experience or credibility. By this simple action police officers would be placing themselves and their family at risk. Some police officers, as has already been mentioned on our #noconfidenceintheresamay facebook page, travel on motorbikes, so they would hardly be visible. Some work in different force areas. Where will PPE be stored safely? These boys are not long out of school shorts and they are making ill thought through operational suggestions.
Squeezing more out of an already tired group of individuals is an absolute joke. Then we have to consider Northern Ireland? Should the police just mail police officer addresses to terrorists? Sadly The Policy Exchange is now turning out to be a laughable instigator of purist government thinking. The contempt with which these people hold policing is as unwarranted. Do we really want the US Commissioner model in this country? Where are you Peter Neyroud? It is punitive to have a Civil Servant, leading on issues of policing, force and powers. Just look at what the Tories say about the
Think tanks swing with the ruling politics at any given time. The ethos of policing by consent cannot adopt changing politics.