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Can the Police be Trusted? Probably not

Can the police be trusted? Doubtful at best

Britain’s Police: Over-powerful, corrupt and seemingly above the Law

Recent events such as Hillsborough, the death of Ian Tomlinson and the now infamous Plebgate affair involving the former cabinet minister, Andrew Mitchell have caused the British public to question whether or not police officers can be trusted.

TheOpinionSite.org has to join those who are now asking, “Can the British police be trusted ever again?”

The revelations regarding Hillsborough and the appalling tragedy that took place during a football match were shocking enough in that senior police officers doctored evidence and statements, officers seem to have either lied or to have been forced to misrepresent events and over 1000 police officers are still to be questioned.

In the case of the death of Ian Tomlinson, not only did the officer responsible for Tomlinson’s death deny any involvement but once again, senior officers were ready to defend the perpetrator despite very clear and conclusive video and other evidence.

In the latest publicised infraction of the truth by police officers, the so-called “Plebgate affair”, officers belonging to the Police Federation lied about their meeting with the former and ousted Cabinet minister, Andrew Mitchell.

In the above case, it was only the fact that Mister Mitchell had taken advice from his wife which resulted in him recording the conversation with the police officers concerned.

Had it not been for this recorded evidence, some of which has been broadcast in the media, the truth – that police officers had lied – would never have been known.

So, should the police be trusted?

Given all the above, it is not unreasonable to ask whether police officers generally are untrustworthy and are simply a bunch of power-hungry liars who will say whatever they need to say in order to further their own ends or whether it is merely a case of a few ‘bad apples’ – or indeed whether it is only senior officers who are at fault.

The police in Britain carry out their duties by the consent of the British people and the alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear when it is necessary to ask ‘Can the police be trusted?’

The evidence suggests that they cannot be trusted; certainly not with the huge power they hold over the rest of us.

So concerned are politicians who wrongly – in the view of TheOpinionSite.org have continued to give the police more and more powers over the rest of us – that even the Prime Minister was forced during last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions to admit that the police had lied over the Andrew Mitchell affair.

The Home Affairs Select Committee have summoned three chief constables to attend Parliament this week in order that they may be questioned as to why no disciplinary procedures or action has been taken regarding the police officers who lied about their meeting with Andrew Mitchell.

In fairness, one should not pre-judge the outcome of such an interrogation – unlike so many police officers who, when investigating a crime and questioning a suspect, often pre-judge everything – but it is hard to see how our police can or indeed should ever be trusted again, given the evidence in the case of Andrew Mitchell and that in all the other cases of police dishonesty.

Recent surveys carried out by two different newspapers have shown that the public’s trust in Britain’s police force is waning.

A poll for the Sunday Times showed that only 66% of the public trust the police in Britain (when it used to be near 90%) whilst a poll for the Guardian showed that virtually no young people trusted the police at all.

Previous polls have showed that in the view of the public – and TheOpinionSite.org – the only people less trustworthy than police officers in Britain are politicians themselves; hardly surprising when one considers that the main interest of any politician is to remain in power…and to hell with everybody else.

The real question of course when considering the Andrew Mitchell case is, “If they can do this to a Cabinet minister, what can they do to an ordinary member of the public?”

That is indeed a very valid question given the extraordinary amount of power that the police in Britain have been given by successive governments over the years and also, as one very experienced senior probation officer told TheOpinionSite.org, “The police in Britain have only one mission in life: Arrest and bring to court.”

The ease with which policeman in Britain can stitch up anyone suspected of drug offences, sexual offences and even terrorism has been facilitated by the careful and calculated politically driven erosion of the rights of defendants, the removal in sexual offences of the need for corroborative evidence and the persistent mis-education and manipulation of public sentiment (through the generation of fear) by politicians of all parties over the last 20 years.

If the police in Britain were subject to the requirements and assessment of a British probation officer, the police would be regarded as being “very high risk”; an assessment the probation service is only too ready to apply to sex offenders, terrorists, those involved with drugs and anyone else often convicted on the very minimum of uncorroborated evidence.

TheOpinionSite.org is regrettably forced to the conclusion that it would be absolute madness for anyone in the UK to now take any police officer at his or her word.

The policing minister, Damian Green claims that there is to be a culture change in the higher ranks of the police that will solve the problem of corrupt, dishonest and lying officers.

Mr Green relies on his ‘direct entry’ system to be introduced next year and which will allow anyone with suitable experience and qualifications to enter the police at a senior level right up to chief constable, without first having to be on the beat for several years.

The fact that Green suggests likely candidates for direct entry will probably come in the form of former head teachers, social workers and army officers does not exactly fill one with confidence.

TheOpinionSite.org would suggest a much better solution to the problem of policeman who regularly tell lies in order to protect their own position or that of their colleagues:

Appoint a judge to oversee every police investigation, just as they do in Europe. That way, the police – as well as the suspect – are always under investigation during the course of any police enquiry.

It might also be a good idea for politicians to severely limit the ‘professional judgement‘ of police officers, given that their judgement has frequently proved to be anything but professional.

Regrettably, it seems certain that the police in Britain will never be regarded as ‘trustworthy’ all the time they have so much power; power – some would say – that they do not need and which they abuse on a daily basis.

It is also sad that those police officers who are professional and who can be trusted will nevertheless be regarded as barefaced liars from now on by very many people, even though they may actually be perfectly honest – at present anyway.

The problem is, whichever way you look at it, any newly recruited officer – no matter how well-intentioned – will very soon be battered into submission by their more dishonest and more experienced colleagues.

TheOpinionSite.org believes that serious limitations must be placed on police operational independence, much greater oversight and scrutiny from politicians (other than the Home Secretary) must be applied and a supervisory judge must be involved in any police investigation that could result in a lengthy prison sentence for the suspect.

These are the minimum requirements that are necessary if the police in Britain are ever to be trusted again by those most likely to come into contact with them; and that will not include David Cameron’s beloved ‘hard working’ conservative voters living in leafy suburbs who apparently hate the poor and those less fortunate than themselves and who will always support the police – even when police officers are exposed as liars, manipulators and power-mongers.

That is of course until those very same voters or someone in their family are arrested for something – and then find themselves being stitched-up like a kipper by the same police officers they are always so anxious to defend.

(Give your opinion in our Forum)

10 Responses to Can the Police be Trusted? Probably not

  1. Donna
    April 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    We’ve had experience of the police lies and misrepresentation of the truth. Too long to post here but they’ve ruined our lives.

  2. David Green
    June 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Repeatedly police demonstrate themselves to be natural born liars. They will call black white and white black at the drop of their hats. For a long time now I have sought recompense from Hampshire police who in 2007 arrested both my Wife and I at the behest of their friends in MBNA. We had done no wrong and consequently were never charged. However, on entering custody my Wife was seriously ill (she had a stroke). Some hours in a doctor was called and told police that my Wife should be taken to hospital immediately. However, Leicestershire police wanted to interview me a second time and so we were retained by the officer in charge – a crass Terry Clawson (then an inspector). On release, seven hours after my Wife’s stroke the garbage Hampshire police “suggested” I take my Wife to hospital – they could not be bothered though. My Wife was kept in hospital four weeks in the Stroke Unit. As soon as a I formally complained to Hampshire Police, two days later, the hospital swarmed with police. They sought my Wife’s permission for them to bribe the senior registrar to construct a report absolving them from any blame – recovery from strokes improves with early treatment. The Senior Registrar and Consultant at St Mary’s lied in their reports, done for their friends in the police.
    Imagine after this traumatic time for I and my family a year later when seeking to go into an alternative career to teaching to which I was unable to return due to the impact of the stress of this event. (I tried to return but to no avail). To become a driving instructor I needed a CRB (as was). Because of the events in January 2007 the “corrupt” Hampshire police had failed to follow operating procedures and had created a false record on the PNC stating that I had convictions for robbery (1975) and drunk driving (1999) and so impeded my progress into alternative employment.
    I received no open apology and in seeking to be compensated for my losses (difference between earnings as a top of the scale classroom teacher and the new job) which amount to c £134,000 at present and which by the time I retire will amount to £240,000.
    To add insult to injury Hampshire police Collins and Burfitt assaulted me because they are that way inclined when protesting about the treatment I have received at the hands of this garbage, lying, false recording. In effect they arrested me and so they also falsely arrested me and demonstrated how they go into lying mode so easily. However, their lies were stymied by the fact that a witness can confirm that they sought to lie deliberately.
    I have submitted my complaint to their standards department but my previous experience demonstrates that they will lie through their teeth (as they did when Terry Clawson tried to kill my Wife by not allowing her to be treated for her stroke with any sense of urgency.

  3. clint
    June 5, 2014 at 9:19 am

    The police breach udhr all the time, they lie to influence trials and use social services to threaten witnesses. The fabricate offences, say people are pressing charges when they’re not. This constant bending of the law in the name of justice must end..especially as we the people are forced to pay thier wages. Furthermore it can take several years to hold them accountable for such malpractice and the offending officers never stand trial. How hypocritical when we are told no one is above the law. Its sickening to see we are being persecuted by a totalitarian force that uses our taxes to pat its self on the back. And when you need an officer of the so called law where are they?? If they can’t respect the value of the law then why should the real hard working British people be forced to respect them while thier oppressive even nazi rule continues to over shadow all forms of justice.D day celebrates the fight for freedom of our rights, one now asks where has that freedom gone? what a waste of life and time when you realise the enemy lies within the force created to uphold the law. Oppression, racism, in equality, black mail, intimidation and corruption are all we hear of the truely fatiguing faction if the once great British society.

  4. BS
    April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I have fed up of reading about the police bullying and manipulating people right across the U.K. We need to pull together and out the badness in this organisation acting more and more like a gang every day. Police seem to swear an oath to each other rather than to queen and country. I am certain that there are many good honest hardworking police officers in the U.K. but why do they stand behind the corruption of their colleagues why???
    I have been forced to continue complaining for an unlawful arrest, which happened in the summer of 2012. Over the past fifteen months have nearly lost my home, my business and became mentally exhausted from the intrusive why some senior police officers questioned my complaint. I am still unfortunately awaiting a response from the Professional Standards – who are supposed to be a transparent and fair organisation. Has anyone experienced this fair and transparent complaint procedure? Families across the U.K have lost loved ones due to the incompetence of the police, and then they refuse to acknowledge that they are wrong and lie to avoid blame. They are work like a highly organised criminal gang, putting pressure onto venerable people to get the results they want.
    Why are we still putting up with it????

  5. AS
    February 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    What do peeps think about the programme on ITV2 last night -Tonight “Can the Police be trusted” the answer seems to be no.
    Those who wish to watch: https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/tonight/series-19/episode-8-tonight-can-we-trust-the-police-

  6. pete
    October 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    It seems to me that Raymond Peytors put his finger directly on the issue with this passage from his forthright article:

    “The ease with which policeman in Britain can stitch up anyone suspected of drug offences, sexual offences and even terrorism has been facilitated by the careful and calculated politically driven erosion of the rights of defendants, the removal in sexual offences of the need for corroborative evidence and the persistent mis-education and manipulation of public sentiment (through the generation of fear) by politicians of all parties over the last 20 years.”

    The period in question is roughly equivalent to the collapse of that worm-eaten monstrosity, the Soviet Union, and the disintegration of the symbol of its grim authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall. But the demise of this grotesque perversion of liberation struggle has not been a massive extension of international solidarity and brotherly love, despite the eagerness with which some well-healed intellectuals celebrated the advent of the so-called end of history and the dawn of a new post-ideological era. Beyond the comfortable academic atmosphere inhabited by prosperous liberal intellectuals and the air-conditioned, smoke-free environments of the think tanks and PR consultancies which incubate our new generation, wanna-be-do-gooder politicians (who have no experience of work, hardship and struggle), history, it turns out, went on being as brutally indifferent to poverty and exploitation as it had done before, at least for the massive new underclass which globalising capitalism was creating around the world.

    Anyway, to return to the point, the new philosophers and the politicians who hob-nobbed with them turned their backs in snobbish disdain on the liberation struggles of the sixties, which hit their high-point in May 1968, especially in France. They are the new fundamentalists: those trapped in the new consensus – an incorrigible delusion – that the loss of the ideological struggles of old was inherently a Good Thing. We can now see that it amounted to the loss of radical hope: all that’s left is tinkering with the system, with uninspiring and tedious competitions to gain a feeble, lukewarm electoral mandate to manage the status quo as efficiently as possible. Democratic decision making has been handed over to experts and administrators, and politicians of all hues have embraced what radical thinkers like Michel Foucault and Georgio Agamben would instantly recognise as “biopolitics”: struggles for sexual liberation, for freedom from State harassment and intrusion into private life, have been re-cast as moral deviations requiring the firm hand of the protective state. The goal of politics has become not emancipation, not freedom from want, not prosperity for all, not a massive extension of individual liberty, but Public Protection – the most paranoid and malignant mutation the capitalist state has undergone in modern history.

    Public Protection ideology not only treats citizens as though they were infants, it dissolves and prevents informal networks of friendship and ordinary human solidarity, replacing them with mutual mistrust and misanthropic suspicion. It breeds a new kind of citizen: not the independent agent of his or her own destiny, which democratic governance depends upon, but the unassuageably aggrieved victim (or potential victim) in perpetual need of ever-escalating vengeance and punitive State protection. Biopolitics is always the politics of fear, and it spawns innumerable fear entrepreneurs in its wake, amongst them senior police officers, law’n’order politicians and our peculiarity misanthropic (and vindictive) child protection charities

    The police have been massive beneficiaries of this turn away from democratic governance toward punitive governance, the emblem of which is public protection. They have certainly played an active role in the rise of punitive governance (just look at the way organisations like ACPO and CEOP aggressively influence political policy), but it seems to me to be simplistic to lay the blame solely at their illiberal and authoritarian door. The police have always sought more power, more draconian laws, more resources; an axiom of democratic governance was that they should always be kept in their proper place. Under the single ideology state of punitive governance, they have been endlessly indulged, endlessly granted more and more power, more and more resources, a process which has undoubtedly cultivated a sense of invincibility and conceit: they are right and we are wrong, and if you don’t like it, they’ll bang you up or taser you.

    The police should always be expected to push for more privileges and powers; they always have done and they always will. What is unprecedented is the ease with which they have secured everything they’ve asked for over the last three to four decades – they’ve been pushing on political doors that have swung eagerly open merely at the sound of their approaching size tens.

    So in addition to the police, I would hold opportunist, ‘post-ideological’ politicians responsible for this appalling state of affairs as well as a dulling of the nerve of outrage that once animated ordinary people against the rise of illiberal authority.

    The great American essayist and libertarian, H. L. Mencken once wrote:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    The minimal reforms suggested by Mr Peytors are urgently, pressingly necessary. Punitive governance is rapidly delivering us into a police state.

  7. MN
    October 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Damien Green says there is a culture change in the higher ranks? That’s where the problems stem from!! Look at the Plebgate farce – it involves officers who have been promoted into higher positions of trust and responsibility.

    Since the 70’s, the police have been on a downward spiral, becoming ever more corrupt and self-interested. The bobbies on the beat from 30 years ago coming through that river of faeces, picking up the bad habits, learning the tricks, are now the Chief Supers and Chief Constables, interested in covering their own butts until their pension pot is swollen to bursting point.

    Policed by consent – well I withdraw my consent. I always say that anyone who wants to be a police officer should be immediately overlooked. What sort of person wants to do a job that gives them power? What is their mindset? Why do people want power over others if only to abuse it?

  8. Chris Knight
    October 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I have a friend who turns into an absolute demon when driving her car and sees the Police with their blue lights then does everything possible to make it difficult for them. WHY. The Police lied and she went to the police Complaints and they just found in the favor of the Police. Long story, but she was man handled and kneed in the back, as she was looking after her dying father, who has since passed, but wanted to keep in in the home. The hospital said he was ok and returned home 2 days later. The thing is the Police used excess force and then lied, she had photos taken of the bruises by a Doctor and the 4 police men lied – WHY. Then I had a motoring issue with the Police, they shown me a photo of THEIR speed, playing catch up. I was on cruise control. NOW I have joined her in with the thoughts on the Police. WHY.

  9. alano
    October 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I`m not sure what is worse, the dirty lying corrupt police officers of the UK, or the death squad of the Jamaican police over this side, but if i had to choose, then i would favor the Jamaican police, WHY” because if they kill you then you deserved to die, unlike the British system where by they don`t give a toss weather your guilty of a crime or not, basically any booking will do so long as it`s down on paper.
    SAD COUNTRY WITH LOTS OF SAD PEOPLE.
    GET UP STAND UP, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS.
    BOB MARLEY.

  10. Mandy
    October 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    When I was kid, police could be trusted. But they weren’t young, they were not power crazy and they had some experience of life.

    I hate to say it, but some of the worst now are the female officers who seem to relish their power over men.

    I agree that more scrutiny shold be given in every case – and not by the home secretary.

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