The Police are not Knife Blocks, Punchbags, Social Services, Gatekeepers, Serving Military Personnel, etc. I will admit that some of them do a very good impression of Superheroes, Educationists, and Communication Experts (and some of them do a very good job of the last two on the list).
If you are wondering why I began my list of what Police are not with "Knife Blocks" - it comes from a tweet I sent on Sunday evening in response to the new that a Dutch Police Officer got stabbed twice (once in the back- literally - and once in the hand or arm). The rest of my tweet requested anybody who wanted to stab something to find a block of wood.
I make no apology for supporting the Police - after all - they keep you and me safe so we can sleep soundly at night.
But I am frightened - no - make that scared - no - make that petrified - by the cuts that are not only being made to the actual numbers of officers patrolling our streets (OK so they are mostly found in single-crewed cars these days - but you know what I mean) but to the resources and powers they have.
There are two "weapons" which the UK police forces have been known to make very good use of (in this instance helicopters don't count, even though they are being reduced as well) - Stop and Search powers and "Landsharks" (when not on duty a "Landshark" turns back into a German Shepherd Dog or an Alsatian - other Police Dogs are - or should I say were??? - available for different duties).
One is being cut due to lack of funding and the other one is being cut due to too many people complaining about it (something about "racial profiling" I think). I will leave you to guess which one is being cut for which reason!!!
One of the Twittercops I follow made another very good point regarding Police Officers - in fact he made a couple of good points - which may make you grateful for the Police and worried about their welfare.
The starting salary for a Police Constable is actually lower than the proposed Living Wage offered by the Government in the "Emergency" Budget this week - this is when you have taken the various statutory deductions into account.
The UK Police are "Officers of the Crown" - this means they are not covered by either UK Employment Law or UK Health and Safety Law.
In fact, the Dutch Police (who are having their own dispute over pay and conditions) have one advantage over the UK Police - the Dutch Police can (and have) go on strike. (Which you may have witnessed when the "Tour de France" passed through Rotterdam.)
As I sit here typing this I have some lyrics to "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell going through my head - "You don't know what you've got til it's gone".
Are we really prepared to wait until our Police Service is completely dismantled before we - the Public - start fighting for it??? Remember the UK Police Force works to the motto of "Policing for the Public by the Public". I really hope the rest of the Public remembers the debt of gratitude we owe to the men and women in our Police Forces who put their lives at risk on a daily basis.
I was disgusted to read about a poxy football player getting over £100,000.00 per week to stand around on a football pitch for 90 minutes a week (OK - maybe 180 minutes a week if there is a midweek match) whilst even the highest ranking Police Officer doesn't manage to earn that much!!! Maybe we should rethink our priorities and start paying those who risk their lives to keep us safe the salary that a Professional Premier League football player earns - and pay the football player the same salary as a Police Constable who is just starting out gets now???
Yes - I am aware that this post probably reads like a rant but I am sorry if you do not get the point I am trying to make!!! Our Police are Invaluable to us!!!
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