Published by The Guardian March 9 2016 Additional reporting by Poppy McPherson There is an old video clip which is famous in Myanmar. It shows a comedian on stage gesticulating with effervescent energy as his straight man challenges him to dance in different styles, first Indian, then Chinese and then… in the style of the […]
Stories categorized “Policing”:
The Guardian April 6 2010 Something very worrying has been going on at Scotland Yard. We now know that in dealing with the phone-hacking affair at the News of the World, they cut short their original inquiry; supressed evidence; misled the public and the press; concealed information and broke the law. Why? The problem goes […]
Why did it take six days and citizen journalism to shed light on Ian Tomlinson’s death? Nick Davies examines the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and asks who the media can trust. The Guardian, April 27 2009 The family of Ian Tomlinson, who died at the G20 protest earlier this month, are planning […]
The Guardian June 2008 When finally they caught him, it was a fluke. He had parked his lorry outside a football stadium in a small town in north-eastern Spain and he was waiting for dark to throw away the body of his latest victim. By sheer chance, a technician was installing a CCTV camera on […]
There are a lot of chief constables who would happily strangle George Dixon. It’s not so much that the old BBC copper with his folksy winking ways makes any real officer look inadequate, nor even that he had the infuriating advantage of scriptwriters to deliver his perfect results. The real problem is that Dixon is cemented into the public imagination – and he’s not very good at his job.
Here is a safe bet: at some point in the future, there will be a major scandal in this country when police are exposed for submitting fictitious reports of their work; specifically, we will discover that they have been cheating in their recording of crime and cheating in their claims to be detecting it.
David Blunkett has not been getting on too well with his chief constables. Last autumn, for example, the Home Secretary unveiled his brand new National Policing Plan, which is to guide the 43 constabularies of England and Wales in all their efforts to deal with crime and disorder.
The trouble with crime is that it’s illegal. Which means it’s secret. Which means that all the king’s forces and all the king’s men and women at every level of every criminal justice agency in the country don’t really know what’s happening.
In April last year (2002) Tony Blair launched a crusade against street crime. He personally chaired eight meetings of ministers and chief constables, which chose to spend £261 million on a concerted drive to arrest, try and convict street thieves in the ten forces where the problem was worst. Blair assigned a minister to each of the ten forces and made it their personal responsibility to deliver results and then declared publicly that they would crack the problem by September – only six months after the initiaitive started.
The police are changing sides. Where once they were the voice of conventional law enforcement, senior officers are now among its most outspoken critics, searching for alternatives among the cracks in the armoury of the criminal justice system.