Sir Ian Blair has vindicated Mayor Johnson's sacking of him and demonstrated once and for all that he was a policeman who has completely forgotten the purpose of policing. He has suggested that offenders on community service should wear hi-vis vests.
He said offenders wearing high visibility vests is "unpalatable" but could help restore confidence in the courts.
Unpalatable? Why is it unpalatable? Just about everyone who works outdoors wears hi-vis jackets today - including the police, which is why it is hard to tell the difference between a copper and a navvy from a distance. In fact, if you see someone working outdoors who isn't wearing a hi-vis jacket you can be fairly sure it is some thug seeing out his community service order for biting the ear off his girlfriend.
If you are going to make offenders work in the community - give them bright pink overalls with dark blue arrows over them. Anyway - so why this bright idea, Sir Ian (scuse the pun).
Speaking at the annual Longford lecture, where speakers discuss questions of social and penal reform, Britain's most senior police officer said the public will always want criminals locked up if they see nothing else is effective.
"While many people accept prisons are not the answer to everything, they do not believe community sentences work because they do not see them happen."
Can you see where this is going? Yep - Joe Public is too dumb to understand 'cos we don't see it working. Nothing to do with the fact that people on community service orders committed over 120 murders between 2006 and April this year at all. With all due respect to Sir Ian (i.e. none) people like him don't understand that community service orders are not liked because he lives in an ivory tower well away from the sink estates and perpetual mayhem that is inflicted on the daily lives of people by low level crime which is usually punished ineffectually by community service orders.
So why do I think this proves that Blair has completely forgotten the purpose of policing?
Peelian principles. Number nine in particular.
The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
A copper who doesn't know that is out of touch with people and out of touch with policing - we will be so much better off without this man in charge. Those 9 principles are as relevant today as they were when Peel first thought of them. Coppers like Blair can recite police diversity mantras word for word, but can not remember the basic 9 principles of policing.
Good riddance to him.