Robert Hampton

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9th April 2009

Please Police Me

It’s not been a good week or so for the nation’s police forces. Today of course we had the resignation of Bob Quick after he brandished top secret terror documents in plain view of photographers. By the way, what’s the difference between Bob Quick and Josef Fritzl? Fritzl remembered his binder. (thanks Popbitch!)

Elsewhere, the police unveiled a series of fear-mongering posters which could have come straight from Stalin’s Russia, encouraging people to inform on their friends and neighbours. Boing Boing rounded up parodies of something that was almost beyond parody.

There has, understandably, been a lot of anger about the death of an innocent bystander who had the misfortune to be caught up in the G20 protests and was subsequently assaulted by a policeman. While you wait for the IPCC report to exonerate all involved, you could read this good article in the Independent. It’s quite long, but all you need to know is in the title: The police: Unaccountable, secretive and out of control.

Meanwhile, in Newcastle:-

Tyneside-born Keith Henderson says he was put in a police van after he was pounced on by a police officer as he took innocent photos of Newcastle. […]

He was approached by a man wearing a black T-shirt and combat pants in Northumberland Street.

Mr Henderson, originally from Gosforth, said he was forced into an alleyway where he was accused of taking photos of young girls.

He did not recognise the man as a police officer and when he asked who he was, he says the officer refused to tell him.

Reform of the police is needed urgently. All of these incidents are going to result in a growing distrust of the police, which risks completely undermining the fight against crime. But don’t expect any action from this Government; their only response is to give the police even more powers to do whatever the hell they like.

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