“but calm was quickly restored..”

It would appear that, when public order situations arise, police still prefer to negotiate with “those with influence”. From the BBC report

Police in riot gear were on standby during the trouble, but calm was quickly restored after police talked to community workers.

Oh, community workers..

, , , ,

  • [aside]

    There’s a nice one-liner in this blog piece by Nick Robinson: “Police beat up defenceless woman”.

  • Pete Baker,

    Your italics tend to give the impression that you are surprised that the Police negotiated with “those with influence”. But given the fact that these ‘negotiations’ quickly led to calm being restored, then surely they were a good and responsible way of proceeding?

    Would you have preferred the police to ignore “those with influence”, and allow the situation to grow into a riot? Surely the key objective is to restore calm, rather than to snub people you don’t agree with? And if “those with influence” really are capable of controlling the hot-heads, then getting them to do so is sensible. If “those with influence” were not involved in any criminal acts at the time, then their associations are irrelevant in this instance. If the fact of having influence is sufficient proof, for the police or for you, that the people are members of a proscribed organisation, then we’re on a pretty slippery slope. I, for one, would prefer rather harder evidence of wrong-doing before jailing someone.

  • Very definitely worth a look:

    Heather Brooke, of “Your Right to Know” (who was the star of the MP’s expenses disclosure), has now turned her attention to PR spending by the different police authorities. This has resulted in two articles in today’s [London] Times:

    Long arm of police spin-doctors costs almost £40m a year

    Tough on crime – or on the image of crime?

    Your starter for ten: Guess which force is top of the list?

    We found that police forces across the UK are spending £39m each year on press and PR – enough to fund an extra 1,400 full time officers and more than enough to cover the annual police pay rise withheld by the Government. The force at the top of the league (Police Service Northern Ireland) spends eight times more per person on PR than the lowest (Derbyshire). Meanwhile, forces spend nearly ten times more on PR (what police want us to know) than on FOI (what we want to know).

    Also while resources are pumped into PR, we found a distinct lack of interest in responding to our FOI requests. Only 19 of 53 forces responded to our requests on time. All the rest broke the law. They had a variety of explanations though some offered none at all. Police Service Northern Ireland had the most novel excuse – their FOI officer was on an advanced driver training course. It had no affect in speeding up their tardy reply which came more than a month late.

    In passing, I reckon that means that the PR spend (which is under the control of the separate police authorities, not directly of the Government) could have taken the strain of the “cut” in the police pay award (which is under the Government’s control, and for which the Government took the PR hit). As the other Old Bill might have said: “Shurely shomething wrong.”

    The list is standardised on a “per hundred thousand population” basis:

    Police Service Northern Ireland £99,501.01
    Metropolitan Police Force £85,629.10 etc.

    So did everyone, down to the merest babe in arms, get their individual full quid’s worth last year?