Friday, May 23, 2008

Public faith in the police collapses

According to the Daily Mail, only 40% of people have faith in the British police.

Our police forces were widely respected and the envy of the world not so long ago- so how is it that public faith in the police has collapsed so suddenly? The police themselves and opposition MP's seem to have little doubt according to the Mail.

Police and opposition MPs blame bureaucracy and Government targets for the findings.

They say officers are stuck behind their desks, rather than dealing with the crimes which worry the public.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: 'The fact less than half of the public believe police will be there when they need them is a consequence of how Labour have tied up our police in so much red tape.

Well, there is no doubt that the red tape has worsened since Labour came to power and imposed the target culture on the police, but don't forget who it was that introduced PACE - the Tories - and PACE is the biggest factor in keeping policemen chained to desks.

But if anyone believes that it is bureaucracy alone that has caused the collapse in public confidence in the police I think they are very much mistaken. The clue comes later in the article when it is revealed that the various police forces are now spending some £40million a year on "spin doctors".

The reason for this is that the police are now so heavily politicised. Not to any particular party, but to the ideology of progressive liberalism. This goes unnoticed by the main political parties because they are ALL left of centre progressive liberal parties and see nothing wrong with the police reflecting their ideology.

But the vast majority of people in Britain are still traditionally conservative and do see a problem with this. To be fair to the police, their rank and file are also still traditionally conservative too - even if their Chief Constables are almost uniformly progressive liberals - but the law has also become heavily politicised and the police, regardless of their own values, have to uphold the law as it is written. What is more, thanks to the target culture, they are required to prioritise their response according to the ideology which places far more weight to thought crimes than real crimes.

If the police want to get back the public confidence then the first thing they should do is return to the nine Peelian principles of policing. Every police officer should know these and, more importantly, understand them - especially Chief Constables. Unfortunately, they would simply dismiss them as outdated because Peelian principles do not fit well with the progressive liberal ideology.

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