Institutional Humanity & Heroism

It’s been a hell of a year for police officers in this country. Twelve months ago, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, policing stood accused of institutional racism. And it wasn’t the first time that had happened. Three months ago, in the aftermath of the murder of Sarah Everard, policing stood accused... Continue Reading →

A Blueprint for Policing (2021)

These are the most challenging times for policing in this country since the end of the Second World War. I said as much at the start of 2020. And then the virus came. And then George Floyd was killed. And then the streets filled with protestors. And then the second wave of the virus hit.... Continue Reading →

#KillTheBill

A night of rioting in Bristol. Yet another set of grim and deeply depressing headlines.  Police officers with serious injuries. Police vehicles overturned and in flames. Police buildings under sustained attack. Extreme violence and endless vitriol directed yet again at the brave women and men who stand on the thin blue line. What the hell... Continue Reading →

Crossroads

Policing is at a crossroads. The headlines this morning were truly grim. The pictures were even worse: photographs of women being pinned to the ground by police officers, at a vigil held in memory of a murdered woman. Clapham Common is a short walk from where I live. I went there yesterday. I went with... Continue Reading →

Gross Misconduct

To err is human, but to foul things up completely requires a politician. Or rather, it requires a particular kind of politician: ideologues flawed by incompetence and floored by dishonesty. Yesterday (Jan 17th), I read a powerful article written by Danny Shaw - who was, until very recently, the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent. Titled ‘Home... Continue Reading →

Questions, Questions

These are unprecedented times. No peacetime Government in the last hundred years has faced a greater set of challenges than those now facing the Government of Boris Johnson. That being said, I do have some questions about the response to Coronavirus in this country. I have never been a supporter of those who offer commentary... Continue Reading →

#OfficerDown

I originally wrote much of what follows last summer - in the desperate days that followed the killing of PC Andrew Harper. Little more than a year on, the agony of history is repeating itself. Officer Down. Most give what they can; some give all they have. Sergeant Matiu Ratana - known to all as... Continue Reading →

Perspectives

[Author’s Note: This blog is a little longer than those I usually write, but the subject matter seemed too important to make it any shorter.] Last Thursday evening in north London, the police were called to reports of a fight in the street. On arriving at the scene, officers identified a man who matched the... Continue Reading →

The Point of Failure

Policing is taking an absolute hammering at the moment - with the relentless criticism of a job that most couldn’t or wouldn’t do coming from almost every quarter. And, while it’s tempting to suggest that it was ever thus, there can be no doubt that it’s got demonstrably worse in the last few weeks. Quite... Continue Reading →

A.C.A.B.

I’m married to Bear. She’s wonderful. At the start of this week, we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary: eighteen years spent in the company of my best friend; eighteen years spent listening and learning and having the rough edges rubbed off me. Back in 2002, in the weeks leading up to our wedding, we signed... Continue Reading →

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