The Bobbies take it on the chin – again

The News International story rages on in the U.K., with resignations of very high ranking Metropolitan Police now taking place. It’s a sad indictment of the Metropolitan force, but as a former UK police officer myself, it comes as no surprise that some members of that much-trumpeted organization have let down  the Metropolitan Police, themselves, and most importantly the public.

The ‘smoke’ is now thick, black and oily. The ‘fire’ is allegations of officers taking payments from the press for information. No surprises. There have been countless news stories over the years which could only have come from information directly from the police – and I have a feeling those guys (or gals) would very likely not have leaked information out of a sense of altruism. Accepting payments as a police officer is a very serious disciplinary offence as well as a criminal offence, and those involved will hopefully be brought to justice swiftly.

In the meantime, every honest and hard-working police officer (which is very definitely the majority) will no doubt be made to shoulder the slur of corruption by ordinary members of the public as well as by the everyday low-lifes and scum they are forced to deal with on behalf of the public. Nobody in public life is more accountable than a UK police officer.

Having been battered over the last year in a very public political game designed to reduce their wages and benefits (an issue that means many of society’s protectors are now facing severe financial hardship and uncertainty about their pensions), the country’s police men and women will now take the slurs on the chin, weather yet another storm, and keep going.

They will maintain the best standards of policing in the world, within what I believe to be the best system in the world. No it’s not perfect, but nothing is. It happens to be the best available, and at the same time, perhaps the least appreciated. Every time a scandal breaks, the actions of  a few are involved, but the repercussions spread across the country in a dismaying wave. Every ‘bobby’ braces for the onslaught of innuendo, lies and accusations as every one is automatically and without any accountability, hurled with venom and bitterness. In this case, even the Home Secretary (a woman seemingly with an agenda to ‘deal’ with “the Police’ as a boundary – free ‘problem’) has very deliberately used the cynically broad brush in parliament when speaking formally about the issue.

I know my former colleagues (I left the police service nine years ago after eighteen years proud duty) will smile balefully (no grinning) and bear it, as always. They always do – we always did. A small number of corrupt idiots have again sullied  the reputation of a large organization – although of course journalists everywhere will sing loud and long that a few corrupt journalists cannot sully the reputation of their profession – oh no, of course not. No doubt every journalist must be assumed to be angelic unless proven otherwise, according to the hypocritical and cynical journalist’s code.

The British public have never appreciated how lucky they are to be policed by such a complete, skilled and balanced group of people. The police are the easiest target for insult, ridicule, and attacks because every loud mouth is always eager to jump on that bandwagon, and there is never a shortage of lies to be told about police behaviour. Despite the inevitable barrage, I know the honest, vocational and principled men and women I served alongside and in some cases trained, will simply carry on doing their best because they value the principles of policing. They value their vocation. They value the public whom they serve.

If only the public valued them.

I hope (because I cannot be sure) that one day they will receive the respect, affection and gratitude that I KNOW they all deserve.

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2 Comments on “The Bobbies take it on the chin – again”

  1. Here here! Or is it “hear hear”? And either way, what the fook does it mean?

    Another well written blog. If only mine were as coherent and literate… don’t wanna ghost blog for me do ya?

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