The Attitude Test
These guys get a ticket. In case you were wondering.
Policing used to be entirely governed by the Attitude Act of 1829. No other law was needed and people went around their lives knowing that if they were polite and respectful to police officers, nothing bad would ever happen to them. They could beat their wives, drive their carriage at speed through pedestrian areas and defraud thousands of pounds from businesses. But as long as they said, "I'm so sorry officer" when caught, they would be patted down and sent on their way.
A lot of very silly people thought this was an inappropriate way to run a police force. As a result, dozens of laws, policies and regulations have been introduced over the last 180 years to overrule the Attitude Act with things like the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the Public Order Act, the Battered Women and Poor Little Children Act and the Rich People Are Subhuman Acts of recent years*. The Human Rights Act is probably the most notable of the new legislation. Regardless of how someone behaves, we are obliged to treat them all the same.
This is a far better approach. Kids growing up in the enlightened Twenty-First Century know that if they bunk off school and swear at bus drivers, they are still just as good as the kids who do their homework and have a paper round. Motorists know that force policy will govern what kind of ticket we give out, so there's nothing to be gained by being polite. The same goes for people we arrest.
Personally I am suspicious of The Attitude Test. A contrite motorist lying through his/her teeth is just as likely to commit the same offence again, and the civility is in hope of getting away with it. Whereas the one swearing "I'll fucking go through a red light if I want and I'll speed every day of my life without any regard to you" is at least being truthful. But that said, there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to behave. No one should have to put up with a bad attitude, from the public or from the police, but it probably doesn't mean I'll give out any more tickets than I would have. You just might find yourself on the end of some Bloggs Sarcasm.
Some Bloggs Sarcasm
Irate Man: Can't you bloody police learn to park properly?
PCB: I'm sorry, sir, is there a problem?
Irate Man: You've fucking well parked me in, and I've got to go shopping.
PCB: I see.
Irate Man: Move your car now or I'm making a complaint.
PCB: But of course, sir. Perhaps you'd like to pop upstairs and administer CPR to the vomit-covered body you'll find in the bathroom, or restrain the dying woman's hysterical husband, while I drive half a mile to the nearest parking space.
Irate Man: Oh, er, not really.
PCB: Well sod off then.
Copyright of PC Bloggs.
*All these Acts exist and were not made up in any way.