Policing as it should be


One of my first and most memorable experiences of Law and Order in Northern Ireland was phoning the Police one evening in 1993 to deal with a disturbance outside my restaurant. When I told the Officer in Charge the name of the place I lived in, he laughed and told me the name of the individual in the village who would deal with my problem. As a new Yorker with firm ideas of why I pay my tax, and whose job it should be to police problems, I was outraged, but it was the beginning of a long learning process. There is no need for me to rehearse the various reasons and causes of the unacceptability of the Police in certain areas of Northern Ireland. Officially, as we know, there is still the party line that there is no communication with the service. But, as El Matador kindly drew to my attention, there appears to be a softening on the ground, with an increase in the number of incidents being reported in the heartland of republicanism, South Armagh. In particular, the number of (subs needed, 9.6.6) domestic violence incidents being reported has raised significantly with 192 incidents of domestic violence were reported in 2005/2006 compared with 162 the previous year and 70 in 2003/2004.

While it is only speculative, we do have to ask if this is a newly emerging and rising level of crime, or one that has gone unreported for years due to the inability of women to make these reports.

In Newry, there is also an obvious softening of the approach with officers on bicycles and a much more overt presence. Local councillor BrendanCurran has raised serious concerns about the level of drugs on the streets of Newry. If he is correct and we are starting to see the beginnings of a heroin problem, then this is the time to let the petty political concerns go and establish a partnership to take control of the streets.

My opinion remains firm. Without a Police service, there is no future. Without engagement, there is no Service. Much of the ‘organised’ crime offences we see are not the hallmark of an idealistic organisation committed to a peaceful future, but an inevitable opportunism that springs from a criminal justice vaccum.

  • Rory

    Not much to disagree with you on this, Miss Fitz. I am glad that there are growing signs of a softening of attitudes to police presence in nationalist areas and I take it that this may be an indication of a deliberate, but quiet, policy by Sinn Fein, or at least the lack of concerted opposition to the softening attitude might be policy, but progress nevertheless and of course acceptable, efficient policing is absolutely essential to the well being of any community – not least those so recently ravaged by long conflict and left to the mercy of low criminal elements.

    I should like to know, however, if you followed the policeman’s advice and brought your complaint to the local chief (of whatever) and what happened next.

    In discussions I have listened to here in Britain, the concensus opinion seems to be that the levels of brutal male behaviour towards women tends to remain fairly static but reporting of these attacks increases as it is made easier, safer and more comfortable for women to report them. Reliable statistics on the levels of attacks are almost impossible to obtain, but the more that women feel safe to report them then the more reliable the figures may become.

  • martin

    when those who make the law break the law, then there is no law.

  • GavBelfast

    And when Sinn Fein go onto the Policing Boards, we’ll all live happily ever after, eh Martin?

    (rolls eyes)

  • martin

    hopefully Gav mo cara the dummy/tits will wise up sooner rather than later and confine this corrupt little statelate to the dustbins of history. Iam sure most sane people would agree this neverland is a carbuncle on the face of democracy

  • Shore Road Resident

    The position of no policing under partition is clearly anti-agreement.
    Martin is therefore obviously a dissident republican. Miss Fitz, please report him to your local provo commander immediately, for a permament dunking in the Newry ship canal.

  • martin

    is a dunking in Newry canal really necessary,a few hundred thousand pounds .a nice house in Donegal preferably with its own fishing lake , exclusive rights to any book/film,re killing my fellow countrymen. treated like some sort of celebrity in all the state departments, and maybe a round of golf with my old mate Marty Mac . I think that would be sufficent punishment ,after all its what everyone else is getting, except poor Dennis of course

  • martin

    two drunks staggering home from fitz,s bar they decided to take a shortcut through a graveyard, this f@#kin country is full of them.anyway they came across a headstone which said Here lies a politician and an honest man, one drunk turns to his mate and says how the fuck did they get the two of them into one coffin .

  • Miss Fitz

    I have removed all comments that took this thread way off course. I judged that the ensuing debate didnt do justice to the main body of the argument, and I have no wish to allow any further trolling on this subject.

  • martin

    hi Pat I think the bould Mary and her shadow need a good boot up the arse for associating with murdering scum and gangasters,

  • bertie

    This certainly isn’t how policeing should be

    http://www.belfasttoday.net/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=3425&ArticleID=1551423

    I think that this is outrageous and I’m outraged that more people arn’t.

    Is the HET just another excuse for the police not to police?

  • m

    bertie when those who make the law break the law then there is no law

  • BogExile

    ‘…bertie when those who make the law break the law then there is no law.’

    I’m tempted to say, ‘change the record, dickhead,’ but I do realise that that would be needlessly offensive to someone who clearly can only communicate in Sinn Fein soundbites.

    Sooner or later, Sinn Fein are going to be brought kicking and screaming to the policing table. In this sense their electoral mandate is the best thing that could have happened because they cannot sustain the hilarous fiction of demonising the worlds softest police force much longer especially when the very communities they used to mobilise when there was a real ‘baddy’ about are starting to get a taste of law and order vacuum style without the reliable prospect of intervention by a provo with a power tool.

  • Wat the Tyler

    “worlds softest police force ”

    What do you believe by that? If you mean it in terms of leniency…then i beg to differ…Mr Bogexile.

  • martin

    would bogexile have us rely on the very same police force who murdered a neighbour a Mr Devenny away back in 69,or so, and never if memory serves me right was anyone brought to book , the provos ,and the brits ,its a hard call to say which is the worse,