Tag Archives: police

Connectedness

29 Oct

wolf strength

I have blogged on Unity before, much of what I want to say about connectedness is really just repeating myself, that’s never put me off before and won’t now! 😉

In today’s society we have, in the main, been encouraged to become apathetic and divorced from feeling the connections between us and other beings.  Most of us look at the differences between another and our self and use this as a barrier to relational connections.  We label people groups, in ways that increase our self-righteousness in doing so and minimise our responsibility to critically think about the process and consequences of this state of being.

That seems to me to be how governments get away with poor, unjust behaviour; unless it directly affects us or our immediate circles we brush it aside and ignore.  I would like to encourage people to see how important it is to stand up for as many different types of people group as possible.  Who knows when you may need someone to stand with you?

I am particularly conscious of the injustices being foisted upon the police, the firefighters, lawyers, probation officers, paramedics, nurses, doctors, teachers to name but a few!

In order to function as a healthy society we need to acknowledge the vital role these groups carry out to make our lives better.  If you are fortunate enough to have never needed any services from any of these groups you are in a very small minority! Think again…where would you be now if these people did not exist?  Just because their roles seem invisible to you does not mean that you would not be adversely impacted if they were not there far from it!

We may not agree with the institutions that they are serving, but they can be changed, possibly more by our encouragement and support in their struggles with government than any other way!

How about reevaluating what you casually think about them by trying to actively find out, for yourself, exactly what they are struggling against and draw alongside?  This doesn’t mean passively accepting everything, discerning evaluation is vital and shortcomings MUST be challenged!

You may find friends and relational connections that surprise and enrich you as you come to clearer understanding of what they do, for ALL of us.

IPCC

23 Mar

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The IPCC has been in my mind a lot recently, it featured in a short exchange with my friend @occupypolice on Friday evening over on Twitter and has been in the news a lot recently also, for various reasons notably the Mark Duggan investigation , Plebgate, Dame Anne Owers comments in the Guardian  re Officer’s silence and the Police Federation’s response to the right to silence which subsequently ensued.  I make no comment on these issues, you can read and form your own.

All these things have added to my concern that ANY group of people, whether the Public or the Police should have the SAME rights as each other.  In my mind it is simply THIS:

No one is more or less equal than another person and these rights should be not skewed in any way, shape or form, that could be perceived as presuming either innocence or guilt.  

I feel that the balance may possibly be shifting away from this point.

Added to this  is the fact that the IPCC is formed by appointment of the Home Secretary, not an elected body, the political view of the Government of the day MAY be unequally represented by such a body.  I am not casting aspersions, merely being aware that such a possibility exists.  Who does the IPCC account to?  I believe it is the Home Secretary.  A grey process  to me.  I think the IPCC is unfortunate in that whomever feels more aggrieved by their outcome will probably feel that the IPCC is biased against them, whether this be the Public or the Police, True or False.  How then can this be addressed?  Should the Chair be an elected person as @MrCliveC suggested to me?

I don’t have a definitive solution to the problem, at the moment I am biased towards distrusting any organisation that seeks to give different levels of rights to different groups.  Do you have an opinion on the IPCC?  I would love to hear it!

Thanks!

Jules  😉

Institutionalised or insecurely attached? (Reblogged from @Policechoice)

3 Mar

wpid89-wolfinsheep.jpg

In the last few weeks I have been talking online via Twitter, then via email and more recently over the phone with @tonymunday1 the brains behind Policechoice. Part of what Policechoice are trying to achieve is a Legal challenge to gain Employment Rights for Police Officers. You can read about it here: http://www.policechoice.co.uk/legal-challenge/ and make your own mind up. Have lack of Employment Rights and more recently the view of Liberty that Officers should not be able to sue for redress when Personally defamed contributed to the decline in morale in the Force? The Federation have their hands tied on SO many issues, I can’t imagine that it helps the well being of Officers!

Our conversations have led me to crystalise a thought that has been in my mind for some time. I don’t know how to adequately explain it but here goes, no judgement is made, no criticism intended. It is merely my own simple observation. I would like to know what you think.

For the last 3 yrs I have been wondering about an explanation for the seeming acceptance of SOME intelligent and perceptive people, especially within large organisations like the Police to the shortcomings of said organisation. Yes, most question, but when push comes to shove most do not take the next step and take action.

Again THIS IS NOT A JUDGEMENT, IT IS ME SEEKING TO FIND AN EXPLANATION, IT IS A TENTATIVE THEORY!

Casting to one side, yet still keeping awareness of the very real and serious sanctions occurring for those deemed to be disaffected or causing disaffection, what could be involved in the conditioning of the mind at work here?

I like to work in pictures, analogies and in *Jules World* the best comparison I have found is to liken it to Bowlby’s attachment theory. If you are unfamiliar with this you can read a simple explanation here: http://www.simplypsychology.org/bowlby.html

This theory deals with the connections a child makes with its primary care givers and then how it applies the relational connections learned to the rest of the world it experiences, for good or bad. The ideal would be *secure attachment* the child knows that it is unconditionally loved by its care giver and so feels free to explore and interact with others. As its confidence grows it will explore the world further. Some of the experiences it has will be positive, some less so, but because of it’s *secure* base it can cope and be comforted enough to go off and explore again. If the child does not have a *secure attachment* through some inability of the care giver to give appropriate care, this skews the child’s ability to form healthy relational attachments with its world. This is further complicated by the unpredictable reactions when it returns to base.

Obviously this is a very simplified version. What has it to do with the topic of the Police? Well, some police forces are better than others at being adequate care givers and helping the officers in their charge to feel secure. The officers know that the treatment they are given is fair and proportionate because they see that happening to those around them and experience it for themselves. This is the *ideal* Sometimes the fallibility of the force is balanced out by the reliable and efficient care given to the officers when difficulties arise by the Federation in the form of Reps. Just like in a family. Things can and do go awry. What then is the reaction open to the officers affected?

Some may choose to Whistleblow and take the consequences: some may choose to stand and try and change things from within: some may choose to leave: a few others MAY react how many insecurely, inappropriately attached children do. These children tend to do anything in order to prevent them from ascribing blame or thinking the unthinkable, that their care giver is at fault, they go to a default setting of: *my care giver cannot look after me adequately, help! If my care giver is wrong the world as it should be will fall apart, therefore the fault must lie with me* this is an unconscious thought and can lead to the child becoming withdrawn and listless.

Applied in a policing context some officers MAY feel that questioning the bedrock of the Police Service is wrong. It must be good and true and correct, otherwise their whole career choice has been based on an inconsistent lie. How hard it must be for them to realise that the one thing they have always looked to, and aspired to be the best of, is in fact not what they thought it was. It is in fact as flawed as anything else in the world. It is made up of flawed people. We are all flawed, yet we try our best (in general) to be good citizens. Some organisations, like the Police have internal rules, and external rules imposed upon them which have helped to warp the original ideal of Peelian principles because they are imposed by flawed people whose ideology is as flawed as they are.

My tentative theory is that left with the choice of condemning the service they love a few officers blame themselves, this impairs their ability to be an effective functional part of the service. The worst outcome is they become severely depressed and almost paralysed from acting in a constructive way to change things. In such conditions it would be natural to feel demoralised due to suppressive leadership and rules applied in an inconsistent, Draconian fashion. Are they conditioned to accept that there is no way that they can challenge both their leadership and the government? Is there a better explanation? What realistically is the choice open to them? How does this impact on the Public? Questions that I am left with.

Water Cannon in London

18 Feb

wolfinsheep

Yesterday I went to the Public Engagement Event on the possibility of the Metropolitan Police purchasing Water Cannon. The event was very well attended by a variety of people of all different ages, cultures and societal groupings. Nine people were given the opportunity to ask questions. You can see the event here:

http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/mayor/webcasts

I am not going to report on what was said there, apart from the fact no voice spoke in favour of water cannon apart from Mark Rowley the Senior Met Officer who presented the meeting and Stephen Greenhalgh the Deputy Mayor. This may have been due to the overwhelming *against* views that were very vocal and passionate.

I have always understood that the Police were policing by consent. It appeared from what was being said, and how it was being said that the decision TO purchase the Water Cannon had already been made and that the meeting was just part of a box ticking exercise. I hope that that is not the case, it was certainly the strongest perception that came across to me.

I would really like to know where the idea originated. Was it a political one via government, worried about the effects their austerity measures are having on the populace or was it from the Met? This makes a difference to me. If it is from the gvt then it actually gives me a glimmer of hope in the sense it shows that they realise the garden is not as rosy as they would like us to believe. If it came from the Met it grieves me more.

By saying that Water Cannon are needed the Met are saying to the people of London that all their attempts to engage with communities over the years has been wasted; they have lost control and have neither the numbers or the will to police protests without the assumption that mass civil unrest will follow on.

We were told that the Met want them as backup, a kind of insurance policy that they can deploy if needed. We were told that they recognised that the presence of Water Cannon on the streets could be inflammatory so they would be out of sight. I may be naive but I think three large trucks are going to be pretty hard to disguise, even if they put flowers in the nozzles and pretend they are planters.

I am disgusted by the thought that I may be at a lawful protest and have to walk past a water cannon truck somewhere. It would symbolise to me that those who are there are expected to behave in the worst way possible. By it’s presence I would feel my democratic rights were being threatened. It is a tool to create fear. It is a tool that is used in other countries to suppress legitimate protest. How could anyone think this is a good image to give to the rest of the world or our own citizens? If they were off in the backstreets social media and mobile phone communications would pass this information on quickly. What would this do in the psyche of the protestors? Would it make them feel they had stood up and shown what they believe in or would it inflame them to react? Would the police seek injunctions to jam signals so communications would not be able to be passed on?

What is this sounding like to you? It sounds like intimidation and suppression to me.

I truly am not trying to trivialise the safety of officers or other members of the public. They are deserving of protection. I am saying how gut wrenchingly close to feeling like a dictatorship this move would make me feel. I am old, I have protested about issues I believed in since I was a teen. If I was a young person with little hope what would I have to gain by behaving in a compliant way? What would I have to loose by behaving as dissaffected as I felt?

What ever your view, rushing the purchase through by the summer tells me the Met is scared.
I suspect that it will come to pass this summer.
Tragic… it will cause tragedy.Liars promises

Why I support the fire fighter’s strike

13 Dec

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I support the fire fighter’s in their strike against the government’s decision to increase their working age, change the terms of the pension that they signed up for, and to make harsh cuts to their service. Just as I do for the police service.

Most of us are woefully ignorant of the wide remit of the challenging work that you do. I know it’s not simply fire fighting or rescue work. It’s prevention also.

I remember as a small child the house next door burning from an electrical fault. I remember the smell of burnt flesh. It seered into my consciousness in a way that I can’t ever describe.  You put yourselves out there for a barely adequate living wage. Trying to protect us mostly from ourselves.

As populations grow despite the tremendous preventative work you do. Incidents will occur. Accidents on roads etc.  I want to know that you are there. Within 5 mins of me or my family and friends.  I want to know that your service to us is fairly paid and adequately rewarded.  I want to know that you are fully equipped. 

Surely that is not too much to expect?

Keep fighting for us please. Stay unified and strong. If you can weaken the paralytic grip the gvt has on emergency services then it becomes more possible for the rest of the public sector to succeed also.

The frail excuse of austerity is not the whole truth.  Most people are seeing it’s lies now as the reaction to the MPs wage increase shows.

Even if it were true there are some services that are essential.  The infrastructure of the country needs a stable core.  Fire, police are part of that core as are ambulances,  hospitals and schools.

You ALL provide the framework that our society is undepinned by. Thank you for that.

Jules

Cake

16 Nov

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I had an interesting chat with some twit friends this morning regarding volunteers.   They highlighted some issues specifically police orientated.  Then the words police family came up to highlight the fact only police would be able to understand.  That’s fine. The police I speak to wish to receive our support as * members of the public* yet I have found a recurring theme amongst most police: one of separation.

I engage personally, professionally and on social media with many in the emergency services and armed forces. I have never been a member of any of them so I appreciate that I can never, ever comprehend what it feels like to be in an environment like that where closer bonds than brotherhood are forged. I know those bonds are tangible.

I have noticed that all reach out and try to encourage greater acceptance and support from the wider community which I have been able to offer. They all patiently explain my daftest questions and never make me feel foolish despite ample ammunition!

One thing puzzles me though: despite trying really hard to find out as much as possible to help bridge gaps the vast majority of police officers seem to have a default setting where they metaphorically reach out with one hand and slap down with a velvet gloved hand to any assistance even tentatively proffered by anyone who has not been in their family. The other services don’t appear to do this. I have observed it to other people not just myself. My question is why?

What is so peculiarly specific to the Police that this mindset prevails?

Obviously not every individual is like that but I do encounter it many times.

The Police are in dire need of support. For whatever reason they are not able to speak out due to the explicit nature of the restraints in their employment and federation.  Logic would say to me foster as much help and understanding from outside to be your advocates as possible.

Why do you sabotage that?

What do you think will happen if you as an organisation keep on highlighting  differences to the populace not your similarities?

On the one hand you say the police ARE the public on the other you hold invisible riot shields to keep your suppoters back.

Many will give up trying to understand and help because it is so frustrating.

I will not because I care and believe in the Peelian Principles.  You may not want my support, well tough, its bigger than just you and I.

Just  remember that saying *you can’t have your cake and eat it*

Choose and chose your path forward wisely

Jules

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