This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Friday, September 03, 2010

One Rule For Us

Apologies for the absence: I blame my computer.

Three years for the Special Constable convicted of beating up an off-duty soldier is fairly hefty, in my opinion.  Regardless of what one thinks of the actual assault, SC Lightfoot probably shouldn't have followed up his use of force by lying in court later, which no doubt added to the judge's irritation at the man's actions.

Nothing I've read or seen so far provides convincing proof of SC Lightfoot actually assaulting the victim in this case, however given the number of trials that have taken place (a conviction and appeal for the off-duty soldier, then the officer's trial), it's probably a pretty safe conviction and he probably did use excessive force.  Although in of themselves hitting someone repeatedly on the ground, pushing their face into the road and restraining them with several officers may all be justifiable under certain circumstances - and in fact are all trained as approved techniques in officer safety training.

But I do question the sentence given.  When recidivist burglars, repeat violent offenders and child abusers walk out of court without gracing the steps of their local prison for even a few moments, two years for an assault with no lasting injury is substantial in itself.  And to add a year for the officer lying in the previous trial seems a double standard when we are repeatedly told that it is only to be expected that a guilty man will lie to get out of his crimes and it does not normally constitute a second offence.

Suffice it to say, Peter Lightfoot won't be assaulting anyone else any time soon.  But the case has made it harder, and more frightening, for young officers to use the force they need to, when their colleagues depend on it.





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52 Comments:

Anonymous DBRG said...

Deserving of a guilty sentence? Yup. Deserving of THREE YEARS inside? Hardly.
Assault police is a mere six-monther and when did we hear of anyone getting the max for that, despite the litany of broken jaws, noses and teeth?
Try clicking on the case my username links to for a truly usual response...

03 September, 2010 14:57

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The perjury conviction related to :-
"In the appeal hearing, Lightfoot told the court under oath that he did not strike Mr Aspinall with a helmet and did not strike his head against the road claiming, 'I did not rub his face in the tarmac there, I was holding his head down'." (From the Daily Mail)

That was during Aspinall's appeal against conviction.
I think the assault related more to the scraping of his face on the ground.
The sentence is hefty though - especially the concurrent sentencing.

Tang0

03 September, 2010 14:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've recently started the process of applying to be a special. This is making me reconsider.

03 September, 2010 15:03

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops meant consecutive not concurrent. Still half asleep from nights.

DBRG,
Good to see such a harsh sentence for that scrote - serve 80 days - that'll teach him!!
Considering he had previously received a 160 day suspended sentence for common assault I would love to have seen his previous convictions.
I wonder why the Mags didn't just send him to Crown for sentencing.

Tang0

03 September, 2010 15:23

 
Anonymous Ben said...

Lying to get someone else off is perjury. Lying to put someone away is perjury.

Pleading guilty, or telling the truth in court, will result in a reduced sentence. So lying to get yourself off, and failing, is punished by a longer sentence. That seems straightforward enough to me.


Second, abuse of position is an aggravating factor surely? Doubly abusing your position by then lying to convict someone else -- yes, it requires a severe sentence.

If you think "burglars, repeat violent offenders and child abusers" should get longer sentences, I agree with that. That doesn't mean Lightfoot needs a shorter sentence.

Maybe you should just be happy to see appropriate sentencing for a change?

03 September, 2010 16:53

 
Anonymous ginnersinner said...

As I understand it, the perjury conviction relates to his alleged lying at the solider's trial, not his own.

03 September, 2010 19:27

 
Blogger blueknight said...

Makes you wonder whether the sentence was pay back for the Tomlinson case.

03 September, 2010 21:01

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

Lightfoot caught it because a) he was on CCTV, b) because he was an 18-stone bruiser and c) because the guy on the deck was a soldier.

If Lightfoot had been a 9-stone female officer my guess is that the sentencing would've been very different.

The man's injuries were minor - it just LOOKED terrible and looking terrible is a crime the police cannot commit any more.

03 September, 2010 21:31

 
Anonymous Interested MOP said...

Isn't it usual practice to impose harsher sentences on police officers convicted of criminal offences, especially if committed on duty? I'd say it was particularly appropriate when the officer concerned has abused his powers of restraint and also lied in an attempt to uphold a conviction.

Ok, three years sounds harsh, but would anyone here agree that the sentence for an offence committed by an on-duty policeman should be greater than that for a civilian committing the same offence. If so, how much greater? If not, why not?

03 September, 2010 22:02

 
Anonymous DJF said...

Yeah, Interested MOP is right on the money here...

The sentence is bob on.

Any public servant (rightly) should be whacked and hard for offences committed while carrying out their duties.

The fact is there is "one rule for us.... one rule for them"... and the reasons why that should be are pretty obvious, aren't they?

Police Officers should operate to the highest standards (as I've said before on this blog)... when they err as badly as this guy did it's right and proper that they are dealt with harshly.

03 September, 2010 22:53

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should be celebrating proper sentencing for once. Instead of calling for his sentence to be reduced, you should be pushing for the other cases to have their sentencing increased.

03 September, 2010 23:28

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like millions of others, I watched the CCTV of the assault on the news several times, and it made me cringe. You could see quite clearly that the officer was banging the man's head on the road and then rubbing his face into it, whilst held down by the other two cops. It looked bad, and it made the police look bad, and for that, Lightfoot was punished harshly.

I imagine that the sentence is a bit harsh when one considers that MoP repeat offenders are not treated the same by the courts.

This will have been done to send a message to the force and the public alike, that the OTT bad behaviour of police officers will not be swept under the carpet.

What a pity then, that they don't do the same to the paedophiles within law and order. But that sort of crime isn't usually on CCTV. Plus the sqaddie fought back, whereas children and their terrified families generally don't.

Lightfoot was made an example of.
The convenient scapegoat for the alter of public opinion and improving confidence in the police.

Yes, double standards - big time!

04 September, 2010 05:35

 
Blogger Kimpatsu said...

Incredible. I would have thought you'd approve stiffer sentences for thuggery and perjury, but not when the solidarity of the thin blue line is involved, evidently. I don't suppose you'd care to condemn the murderers of Jean Charles de Menezies, Ian Tomlinson, or Blair Peach, either...?

04 September, 2010 05:54

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

@ Anonymous - I don't think I've read anywhere that 'we've called for his sentence to be reduced. I suppose that's why it's unbelievable. You just imagined it.

@Kimpatsu - actually you're very wide of the mark. All but the most thick-necked officers think that Lightfoot was way out of line. However, the sentencing, even allowing for the blue serge, was W-A-Y out of whack with what happens to much more serious offenders. Check my first post for details.

Since the number of Lightfoot incidents are remarkable for their infrequency, where do you think the judiciary should begin imposing tough penalties? Any jail time is incredibly tough for officers and a piece of piss for our underclass.

04 September, 2010 09:05

 
Blogger Hogday said...

If the protectors are protected by the intelligent application of discretion by the courts, then this sort of thing would be even more rare than it currently is. If an officer perceives he/she needs to use force, of whatever intensity that might be, then the law machine usually favours the truthful admission and explanation before the Justices. Some violent types just can't be subdued by the waving of a lavender scented hanky. Excessive use of force should also be dealt with appropriately and proportionately, either by the discipline code or by the law. Thats all I ever asked for.

04 September, 2010 10:22

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

@Hogday - and so say all of us. When you look around the world, it's fair to say that Britain's cops are about as good as it gets.

But, like governance, the public inevitably gets the police force or service it deserves. In pretty much every other European country, nevermind the Americas or the East, it's unlikely that Lightfoot would have even received an admonishment.

04 September, 2010 12:28

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lying thug beat a defenceless man and lied through his teeth to try and evade justice.
considering that as a public servant and the fact that his word alone is enough to convict anyone that crosses his path then he truly deserves his sentence.
I am ashamed that many fellow serving officers are trying to justify his actions and claiming his sentence is too harsh.Why arent we all happy to see another bad apple rooted out of the system ?
Is it any wonder that the law abiding public see us as untouchable tax collectors ?

04 September, 2010 17:24

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

I agree that we'd all rather everyone was sentenced more harshly. My point is the given sentence is WAY harsher than a similar assault by a recidivist criminal, who would be dealt with in Magistrates and get no prison whatsoever.

And whilst the CCTV does not look pretty, it looks no worse than the footage of PC Anthony Mulhall who was cleared after being villified for repeatedly punching a female under similar circumstances - the difference being other officers testified to her violent resistance (which was not visible in most of the footage due to the number of officers around her).

As I said, I think the guilty verdict is probably correct in this case, but I don't believe it's the extreme and overt case of police brutality that it has been treated as, and therefore I think the sentence is excessive.

04 September, 2010 17:40

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

Spot on, skip.

04 September, 2010 17:54

 
Anonymous Paul UK said...

I found this earlier at the "Jack of Kent" blog, it appears that there have been issues with SC Lightfoot. (Also useful to see what happens at management meetings)

http://www.gmp.police.uk/mainsite/0/CAD66A9A52A20F8B802576F60050B234/$file/Mins%2014.04.08.pdf

04 September, 2010 20:48

 
Blogger English Pensioner said...

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7980125/Police-officers-suspended-after-writing-off-suspects-sports-car.html

I'd be intrigued to have you view on these two traffic officers who went for a spin in a suspected "over-the-limit" driver's car!
In some ways it made my day as the police are always telling us about the special skills of their drivers!

04 September, 2010 21:21

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

English pensioner,
What makes you think they were traffic, or even uniformed officers?

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1316015_police_could_face_charges_over_sports_car_crash

Regardless of the cause of the crash, it looks like they have a good chance of ending up charged with TWOC and they will probably get sacked.

Tang0

04 September, 2010 21:52

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

It would be a pity if this case put (normally newer) officers off using appropriate and reasonable force to detain non-compliant subjects.
Particular individuals at our Force Training School have put new officers in fear of ever getting hands-on, delivering a pre-emptive strike or using the next level of force up from that which they are offered by their 'opponent'. It is actually important that not only CAN we use reasonable force, but, if it comes to it, we WILL.
That said, it should always be justifiable. I once ended up punching someone 7 or 8 times in the shoulder so he could be cuffed. He was drunk, violent and non-compliant. It was in the middle of a busy City Centre, on CCTV and in plain view of the public. Needless to say, I was complained about (not by the IP, by a morally outraged MoP). My statement said "I punched him 7 or 8 times because..." and the complaint was thrown out because what had happened was justifiable.

I don't think Lightfoot could claim any reasonable justification for what he did, nor do I think that lying on oath helped his case. I'm in two minds on the sentence but it's the old 'position of trust' thing. His past record won't have helped either.

Be that as it may, part of our job is that sometimes people need to be made to do something other than what they want. The day that officers are scared to do so, either by scaremongering at Training School or by the decisions of the Courts and/or PSD, will be a sad one indeed

05 September, 2010 01:05

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie,

As a MOP, my thoughts exactly when I read this in the papers...!

Maybe he wasn't justified in his use of force, but three years!

Yes, three years when thugs, robbers and asorted scum walk free from court time after time with multiple convictions under their belts!

What a bastard f***ing country we live in!!!!

05 September, 2010 07:48

 
Anonymous Sergeant Knothead said...

... mind you if any MOP used the same logic which I used in my post @01:05 such as "getting my retalliation in first" or any reason for using greater force than was offered to me, then I for one would have nicked them there and then!

Nothing like a good old hyprocritical woodentop to restore faith in the real way the world works.

Off now to have a drink with my old buddy Simon Harwood.

05 September, 2010 08:59

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

I see Pete the Troll has returned.

The aim of the Police use of force is to overcome the level of resistance being offered, not to match it. Equally, use of reasonable force by a MoP is justifiable on the same basis.

You know nothing, you just think you're clever.

Meanwhile Sgt Mark Andrews of Wiltshire stirs it up even more by assaulting a DP in custody. Anyone taking bets on the sentence for that one?

05 September, 2010 11:27

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

overall the need to review OST and the use of muiliple distraction strikes .... they appear to the public and on CCTV as going well over the top .......... a well measured aimed full power single strike far easier to justify.

Sgt Andrews i think is looking at a long stretch- 4 yrs???

05 September, 2010 15:16

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As has been previously mentioned, the police & c3po's are in a position of responsibility and the misuse of their position is a much graver offence than that of the recidivists they claim get let off.
The reason there are not more cases of police brutality/perjury etc in the courts is because of the majority of magistrates believing anyone in a uniform over MoPs as legal cases might undermine the public's confidence in their taxpaid protectors.
Do you know how difficult it is to sue the police publically or privately?
My father (60) was seriously hospitalised and traumatised by police officers acting on false id.
They broke his ribs, wrist and from being a very outgoing chap became introverted and wouldn't go out of the house.
It took 7 years (& god knows how much money) to get any sort of justice and all the officers involved are still employed by her majesty.
How many coppers are still on forces with unspent or otherwise convictions for violence or tbh anything?
I don't doubt there are honest coppers, i love the blog as it usually expresses common sense, but ignoring the fact that a vast majority see their uniform as a carte blanche to act above the law should be tackled honestly by those within and without the forces.

06 September, 2010 13:40

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Anon - I don't think it is a fact that officers act above the law.
The media make great play of any apparent wrongdoing - and let's face it, they do that to anyone in the public eye.
We can't have trial by CCTV or by public opinion in the absence of the full facts

Equally, those who overstep the mark, get off on the power trip and/or think they are untouchable should be held to account. Like most people, I cringe when I see things like Lightfoot and Andrews behaving as they did. As ever, the actions of a minority have a disproportionate impact on the rest.

I've read something somewhere about the Police holding the "monopoly of legitimate force" - which is sometimes a necessary part of the job. I don't think anyone denies that when that force ceases to be legitimate we're in trouble...

06 September, 2010 14:04

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Found it - Max Weber: "a [nation] state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory".
Discuss.

And as a caveat to the last post, I meant the vast majority of officers don't act above the law, a small minority may

06 September, 2010 14:16

 
Blogger Joker said...

NottsSarge, tricky one. He threw her to the [concrete?] floor, but that was one action. On the other hand, he was a bit of an animal, even 'escorting' her to [the holding cell?], but that normally wouldn't cause so much as a raised eyelid, I'd imagine.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/05/police-sergeant-suspended-assault-woman

06 September, 2010 17:30

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Joker - He's a Custody Sgt, he's responsible for the welfare of any DP in his 'care' and is supposed to be dispassionate and independent of any enquiries. He's also aware that there is CCTV, injuries are logged (by him) on arrival in custody and he's the first one who will be asked why someone who only came in with abrasions from handcuffs now needs to visit A&E for a broken nose.


Carting a non-compliant DP off to the cells is a regular thing and in the initial part of your clip you see that happen. Quite what he thinks he's doing dragging her away from the officers trying to breathalise her I don't know, and the rest of the footage speaks for itself really. I'd imagine that as he leaves the DP in the care of the Doctor he is already contemplating his next job as a security guard at Tescos. I can't say I have any sympathy for him, my point (and Ellie's, originally) is that, like it or not, there are times when force has to be used to achieve a legitimate aim, and that cops shouldn't be afraid to do so. Too many cops are scared to get hands-on as it is - these recent cases will hardly encourage them to do what sometimes needs to be done

07 September, 2010 00:35

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile.....a Welsh MoP has just received a sentence of 3 years 4 months, for a single punch to a male, that resulted in his death.

MANSLAUGHTER by a MoP gets about the same as SC Lightfoot's assault and perjury, for an abuse of his power and position, unpaid?

I wonder what would have happened to Lightfoot if he had been a regular officer, rather than a lowly volunteer. It's a lot easier to scapegoat a special constable to take all the blame.

The two regular officers who were with Lightfoot were holding down the squaddie, so why were they cleared as parties to the assault.
The ex soldier was running away from them, fell over in the road, and all three jumped on him.

07 September, 2010 00:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he'd been a regular PC I imagine he would have got the same.

The assault he was convicted of was scraping Aspinall's head on the ground. It's not clear how the other officers could have either seen or been part of any "joint enterprise" for that assault.

07 September, 2010 04:53

 
Anonymous Sierra Charlie said...

This case has not put me off using reasonable force. I suspect that MR Lightfoot could have justified his use of force if he had written good notes. That he was stupid enough to lie in court shows he was probably not clever enough to justify his actions on the street either.

07 September, 2010 10:24

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sierra charlie,
I think Lightfoot tried to justify his actions.
Scraping someone's head on the floor when he is prone and restrained is a tough one to justify though.
The perjury conviction is for saying on oath that he did not scrape anyone's head on the floor, when the footage clearly shows that , for whatever reason, he did.
I don't think any amount of notes is going to assist with that.
The sentence is a bloody hefty one though.

Tang0

07 September, 2010 10:42

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, my old Dad used to tell me to trust the police.
"Best in the world the British Police" he'd say.
" Because they always uphold the law, within the law"
If he could see Harwood, Lightfoot and Andrews he'd be spinning.
( well he would if we had'nt had him cremated )

07 September, 2010 11:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Traitors Gate ever needed romance I would suggest the head of Bloggs nestling on a spike next to Gadget.

07 September, 2010 16:26

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stray from topic to mention a serving woman police constable of the highest integrity. Had it not been for this brave officer, yet another miscarriage of justice would have been orchestrated - courtesy of her corrupt male colleagues.

There will be neither praise nor compliments for her on police blogs because she is PC Rachel Webb, the courageous woman who 'dobbed in' that piece of garbage, Sgt Mark Andrews.

As if his main deed was not bad enough, nauseating attempts to cover up his crime have emerged during his trial.

Collusion by officer 'mates' led to perjury in the witness box and these officers did all they could to compromise the case with deceit and lies. Their evidence obliged the trial judge to refer the liars back to their own Chief Constable.

We citizens have seen many attempts by rogue police to compromise justice and there are 'no lessons learned'. In UK courts today, police officers will lie on oath to clear themselves and defeat Justice. Our entire Judicial System has been brought into disrepute by prevalent corruption.

In general we are no longer served by police, save for the brave 'few' and I express fears for reprisals against PC Rachel Webb. Moves may have already been devised to stain by any means, her shining 24 carat character and future career prospects.

I merely ask of our politicians, "When will the much overdue purge of uniformed criminals and traitors, begin?"

08 September, 2010 10:29

 
Anonymous Sergeant Knothead said...

Bottom line is yhje police are pretty low-grade material: predominantly failured in other professions, Argos security guards and graduate failures.... it is thus inevitable that they will abuse that little bit of power with which they have been entrusted.

08 September, 2010 16:36

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

I think training is part of this that nobodys flagged up; i'm a MoP with 10+ years of contact martial arts experience. Even against the biggest noncomplaints when they are in the position that the squaddie/complainant was in you can destrain them with very little force by rotating the head c70-80 degrees to either left or right and applying pressure with shin from back-front (avoids biteing).

Ordinary PC's, much less SC's, just aren't given anywhere near enough unarmed/compliance training. Training also lets you learn to temper adrenaline and often react better and more efficiently to a struggle, which again looking at the footage is part of it; his blood is clearly up and he's looking slightly afraid in a few of the shots (the SC).

09 September, 2010 00:30

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melvin (anonymous)
For someone previously do precious with your own reputation, tossing around threats if you thought you were being "slandered", you are pretty quick with allegations of perjury.

I will wait until the appeal and perhaps we will see the full video of the woman's behavior there.

09 September, 2010 11:02

 
Anonymous shijuro said...

I contrast the treatment of the officers with mine...

I was assaulted by a PIC-he ripped my rotator cuff in my shoulder, requiring an operation and weeks of physio...

His sentence?

Nothing... not even arrested.

11 September, 2010 14:55

 
Anonymous ParkiePlod1980 said...

I have recently been assaulted by male when I was preventing a breach of the peace, he had already lashed out at another member of the public, anyway he punched me in the face twice and the cps have decided not to proceed with it as normal they initially said because I had not informed him that I was a police officer, given that I just stepped out of a marked vehicle in full uniform hat and all what a joke. Funnily enough this piece of scum who has never worked a day in his life and lives off benefits has now made a complaint, his excuse for his behaviour was he doesn't like authority and when he thinks he is being unfairly dealt with he punches people in the face. What a great message to send him that this behaviour is acceptable.

Likewise years ago was badly beaten up by two suspects, one of them detained at scene got to Crown Court only for the judge to say there should have been an ID parade. This was looked into and found that it was an incorrect judicial decision however the CRIMINAL PROTECTION SERVICE said that they wouldn't appeal it as a police officer was the victim

I wonder why I bother doing this job ???????????????????????????

12 September, 2010 17:05

 
Anonymous ParkiePlod1980 said...

The Binary Surfer - just as a matter of interest is your experience in competition or on the street as theres a vast difference between the two as I have found out over the years having done Karate, Aikido, Systema and Kickboxing as well as Close Combatives. Whilst I can appreicate your comment about restraining in that way as its not a technique we are actually taught at work, although you could justify it, it would make it more difficult and due to the high injury potential of twisting the head / neck there is no chance of it ever being taught. Since I joined 11 yrs ago our basic self defence training was about a week then two days a year since then. Its not enough without doing external things but at the end of the day the training is so the job can say they've trained you thereby limiting their liability and not it seems for us to actually protect ourselves effectively

12 September, 2010 17:10

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When recidivist burglars, repeat violent offenders and child abusers walk out of court without gracing the steps of their local prison for even a few moments, two years for an assault with no lasting injury is substantial in itself.

Yes EXACTLY. As a SC he's unlikely to have had previous convictions and has therefore likely to have lost a lot of job opportunities just due to having a conviction against him. This penalty is just harsh.

Sarah

12 September, 2010 20:07

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what are your views on PC Rachel Webb?
Compared with, oh ,lets say Acting sargent Kate smith?
(Acting being the right word)

13 September, 2010 11:09

 
Blogger SilverTiger said...

It was not the case that "made it harder, and more frightening, for young officers to use the force they need to, when their colleagues depend on it" but the behaviour of the officer who gave rise to the case and the concerns that he precipitated.

The police are given special powers and special privileges and if they abuse these powers and privileges then, yes, it is right that they be punished with special rigour.

I read a number of police blogs and have been disappointed, to say the least, with the attitude of prevarication and defensiveness over this and similar recent cases.

Even you, here, while admitting that "it's probably a pretty safe conviction and he probably did use excessive force" still find it necessary to say that "Nothing I've read or seen so far provides convincing proof of SC Lightfoot actually assaulting the victim in this case" - two statements strangely at odds with one another.

I have expressed my admiration of the police on a number of occasions (when young I thought of joining the police myself) but it seems to me that until the police, as an institution and as a group of individuals, is prepared to get off the fence and unequivocally condemn and repudiate the abusive actions of a small minority of officers, you cannot expect to receive the confidence and respect of the public which is your due.

Whingeing that there is one law for you and another for the rest of us will not do it.

13 September, 2010 14:40

 
Anonymous ParkiePlod1980 said...

Well how else can you look at it when on the one hand scum continually get away with assaulting officers with no sentence or the CPS dropping the case saying we should expect to be assaulted and yet on the other hand when an officer commits a common assault they get the maximum six months. For crying out loud repeat offenders don't get six months for commons assault. I m talking offenders who have been arrested 130 times and convicted for the majority of those arrests. The fact is there is one law for us and one law for everyone else, its us that always get shafted !!!!

13 September, 2010 23:06

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

SilverTiger - you make the same case that I have tried to make - that a small minority taint the majority through their unacceptable actions.

I think much of the defensiveness comes from a couple of things. Firstly, most MoPs have little idea of the level of force required to restrain a non-compliant subject. All too frequently do we hear "It doesn't take all of you " when rolling round trying to restrain a coked-up drunken yob who has the strength of ten in his intoxicated state. It ceases to be about 'fighting fair' and is about using reasonable and necessary force to restrain that person. Leg restraints alone require (according to training) 4 officers to put them on safely, and that is only when the subject is handcuffed prone on the floor. It looks messy and nasty, granted, but that's how it is. Why go one-on-one, as I have regularly been offered, when we can go four-on-one, not get injured and be available to carry on to the next person who requires our services?

The other thing, as Ellie so eloquently states, is that most cops feel we can't do right for doing wrong, whether that comes from inside or outside the organisation. To those who have never been cops (and I include in that definition a lot of the high-fliers within the Police who have spent little of their service on the front line and most of it box ticking to rise as high as possible in as short a time as they can), we are an easy target for criticism. Most real cops want to go to work, do the best they can and go home safely at the end of the shift. When we are harangued from all sides about things we didn't do, things we did do, things we might have done better, things over which we had no control whatsoever and things which were entirely the fault of the person on the receiving end, it's only natural that we become cynical and defensive at times. As I appear to have done here...

Bottom line - it's a tough job that not everyone can do. Some good ones never make it, some bad ones get through. Show me a job where that's not the case. But also show me another job with such intense scrutiny, internally and externally, in mass media, editorial comment, public perception, legal scrutiny, political review and so on.

We want the bad apples out. We also want to see criminality punished. Most of all, we want to be left to get on with the job that, in spite of everything, most of us love.

14 September, 2010 01:02

 
Anonymous Just Woke Up said...

The police 'service' is no longer the respected public body it was in days of yore. You are run as corporations by ACPO - another 'for profit' company. You are impolite, disrespectful, treat everyone as innocent until proven guilty of something, lie, perjure, and think you are something special. You are not. What happened to "civilians in uniform"? You haven't got a clue what your job is now due to constant political meddling. You dress up in paramilitary style uniforms that are aggressive and designed to intimidate lawful people like myself. I used to help the police. I used to excuse the police because its a hard job. No longer. These days you have a shit job as corporate tax collectors and we all know it. The fact that you choose to stay and not seek something more rewarding means that I care not a jot about your bleatings.

Whatever the circumstances, I watched the CCTV footage and saw a fucking thug in uniform grinding an ex-squaddies face into a tarmac road. What you fail to see here is that you have this thing about protecting other police officers and taking revenge when one of you is hurt. Same thing with squaddies. You hurt one of us and we won't forget it. You forget that most squaddies could be relied upon to help you out when you were in trouble. Burned that bridge on that dark evening in Wigan didn't we?

Oh, why bother? I have police friends and even they admit that the majority of the public do not trust uniforms anymore. They all, to a man, fucking hate their jobs and have no pride in what they do. Your job is not to protect the powers that be from us but the other way around and the quicker you get back to basics and serve the purpose that the police force was set up for, the better for everyone.

Don't even start me on specials! Need I remind you off the gormless fuckwits that stood and watched a young lad drown in a canal in Wigan because they hadn't been trained to rescue or some other purile nonsense. No place for jobsworths in a proper police force....

29 September, 2010 21:10

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the circumstances, I watched the CCTV footage and saw a fucking thug in uniform grinding an ex-squaddies face into a tarmac road. What you fail to see here is that you have this thing about protecting other police officers and taking revenge when one of you is hurt. Same thing with squaddies. You hurt one of us and we won't forget it.

The circumstances and context are that the "ex-squaddie" was drunk abusive, racist and violent to both bouncers and a paramedic. The special used excessive force and quite rightly was found guilty.

What police taking revenge on anybody has to do with anything I fail to see.

I hope you don't blindly support ex-squaddies just because they were ex-squaddies. The special was quite rightly found guilty - and I certainly don't support him. His sentence for the assault does appear to be excessive though - disputing that is not supporting his actions.

As for specials watching someone drown - it was PCSO's who attended, the lad had been under water and lost from view for at least ten minutes by that time, hence why the MOP's involved in rescuing the other kid involved (at the time of the initial incident) had all left the water as well.
They could have jumped in but lets not pretend, regardless of the Daily Wail, it would have been anything other than body recovery, which unfortunately proved to be the case.

30 September, 2010 23:33

 

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