Puzzled by Police 169

I have just been watching live BBC helicopter footage of a group of young criminals attempting over a long period to break into a bookmakers and other businesses in (I think) Hackney. Police in full riot gear were just down the street, watching and making no attempt to disperse them.

I have been on perfectly peaceful demonstrations and been pushed around by policemen acting far more aggressively – and in hugely greater numbers – against non-violent protestors than they are reacting against violent criminals against whom, frankly, the police should be reacting with force; proportionate, but force.

Very hard to understand this at all.

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169 thoughts on “Puzzled by Police

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  • MJ

    “I have just been watching live BBC helicopter footage”
    Perhaps that’s why. Same with Saturday night’s event. They’re on live TV so they’re on best behaviour.

  • craig Post author

    I know what you mean, but we pay a lot of tax for the police and for me good behaviour is stopping crime and arresting criminals, not spectating them.

  • Owen

    I work next to Hackney Town Hall. Police were there from before noon, we were informed of impending trouble around 1. All shops were advised to close at the same time. We were instructed to leave our offices at 4 – and looking at the news (just home), not before time.

    SO! The police either knew what was coming, or their mere presence exacerbated a febrile situation. Either way, they could have clamped down on this harder, and faster. Most trouble started on the “narrow way” – http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Mare+Street,+Hackney&hl=en&ll=51.54855,-0.054857&spn=0.003389,0.009656&z=17 – the white north-south road here. They could have closed it at both ends, and kettled.

    They’re more than happy to kettle us on marches, but not in actually violent situations.

    Why didn’t they?

  • Paul

    They’ll be able to give thew police lots of shiny new powers and bigger truncheons if there’s rioters really riot.

  • mary

    Danj Hope he was well insured. Perhaps they knew who owned it. He’s just had a BIG party at the Dorchester for his golden wedding. Thatcher and Cameron were there. D Mail January 2011
    ‘With Crispin Blunt leaving his wife because he is gay and fellow Conservative MP Nadine Dorries romancing the husband of her former best friend, how refreshing to come across a political couple who met at the age of 16 and are still going strong in their 60s.
    So who are this virtuous pair? Step forward Tory peer and carpet king Lord Harris of Peckham and his wife, Dame Pauline, decorated for her charity work.
    At the weekend, Prime Minister David Cameron and his predecessors Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher were among 250 guests invited to The Dorchester to celebrate the couple’s golden wedding. Other guests included Cilla Black and her on-off companion Sir John Madejski, while Sir Tom Jones provided the cabaret.
    Grammar-school educated Philip Harris, 68, married Pauline in 1960 when they were both just 18. He is Britain’s 328th richest man, with homes in Kent and the South of France.’

    Yes why are the police watching it happen? Have they heard of the song ‘Why are we waiting’? They get paid enough and chose to be firstly Thatcher’s army and so on down the line to Cameron’s. He should ask for his money back. Useless.

  • larry Levin

    The police are protecting Tesco, the powerful and rich, as hackergate has shown us the met knows whose arse to kiss

  • A. Prole

    Quite. Same recently in the West End. “Anarchists” casually smashed shop windows whilst the BBC’s cameras rolled and where were the cops? Sorting out UK Uncut as they settled into a peaceful protest at Fortnums.

    The cops have very sinister priorities.

  • Azra

    Puzzled by the police?? why is that?
    If they try to stop the rioters they could possibly get hurt , but on the hand if they want to hurt the peaceful demonstrators, well that is a piece of cake! which would you chose?? forget we pay them to do their job!

  • conjunction

    As Larry Levin says, I wonder if the police are only prepared to risk their fragile reputations protecting the rich.

    I note, Craig, in the previous thread how carefully you separated the vicious culture from the deprived individuals. I worked as a social worker for many years in a high unemployment area and met countless young adults who had never even thought about working, or who had been on heavy doses of narcotics from the age of about 10, and yet who unsurprisingly were perfectly approachable and pleasant if they felt someone was listening to them.

    After years of having society ignore them and then find the masters can’t even sort out their own messes, its not hard to understand why this is happening.

  • sleight_of_hand

    As the stock markets lose another 3½% today…..on top of last weeks losses.
    I agree, the priorities of the law enforcement agency (police) seem strange.

  • NomadUK

    Not strange at all. The purpose of the police is to justify their existence and the use of force. The more destruction they allow to occur, the more the middle classes will call for stronger police tactics, and the more the establishment will be able to do to repress the only elements in society willing to take them on — those with nothing to lose.

    Pretty simple, really. Just wait for the coming crackdown.

  • John Goss

    I’ve just watched them let a building next door to Greggs on one side and a more substantially-constructed building on the other burn to the ground, without trying to protect the other buildings either side. It is unbelievable that the fire-engines were not shepherded in before they were. And now we’re just getting reports that there has been vandalism in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham.

  • mary

    Me also. The policy is to let it burn.
    Apparently Lord Harris whose premises were burnt out in Tottenham, was speaking pn the radio today. He said that the priority was to help the youngsters I am told and that he sounded quite a fair man. I haven’t listened yet but he is speaking here at 17 mins in.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    So, do you think agents provocateurs are helping to trigger these riots as a kind of pre-emptive ‘innoculation’ against projected larger, mass uprisings? Next time, the police will use armoured vehicles, the works, and who knows, maybe the army-dressed-as-police (just like in the miners’ strike of 1984-85) will be called in (the ones not fighting in Afghanistan) and everyone will say, “Bravo, chaps!”
    Plausible theory. Stranger things have happened.
    Oh the other hand, it makes the Govt look bad, weak, incompetant, etc. yet it gives them th opportinity to appear strong, firm, “tough on the causes of the causes of the causes…”.
    Prepare the sick-bowls: Now we will see Cameron pretending to be ‘Two Nations’ Disraeli and Winston Churchill, rolled into one. Cameron is neither an intellectual nor a statesman, he’s just another bankers’ flunky.
    Let’s see what transpires. John (Goss), be careful, man, if you’re that close to the action.

  • John Goss

    Suhayl, I’m well away from it, but thanks for the concern. It reeks of copy-cat vandalism and theft. Community groups, which have worked very hard in this city, are already condemning these and are resolved not to let a rogue element break down relations, which are currently good.

  • Jack

    The police don’t react because – as my late father, a lifelong trade-unionist, used to say – there’s always a hidden agenda. Always. In fact, he used to say, we’re often lucky if there’s only the one.

    It’s not hard to guess what agenda the establishment is working up to.

  • mary

    The Met’s press release. They refer to London as the Capital. Wonder if that contained a typo and should have been Kapital.
    There is trouble breaking out in Birmingham now. It takes our attention away from the sound of crashing stock exchanges.
    Markets fall despite Obama speech
    Robert Peston Gavin Hewitt
    Turmoil and you
    Root causes
    Market DataLast Updated at 20:36
    Market index Current value Trend Variation % variation
    FTSE 100 5068.95 Down -178.04 -3.39%
    Dax 5923.27 Down -312.89 -5.02%
    Cac 40 3125.19 Down -153.37 -4.68%
    Dow Jones 11055.06 Down -389.55 -3.40%
    Nasdaq 2418.99 Down -113.42 -4.48%
    BBC Global 30 5065.20 Down -180.52 -3.44%
    Global EconomyFactors behind market turmoil
    What it means for you
    Charting Europe’s economic woes
    Is the euro crumbling? Watch
    Global stock markets have extended their heavy losses, despite US President Barack Obama moving to try to reassure investors

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Guns & Ammo update: contrary to the account disseminated by the Met, it appears there was no ‘shoot-out’ when they killed Duggan.
    According to a Sky News report this evening, two shots were fired by the same officer — who would appear, all things considered, to have lost it somewhat. One dum-dum bullet hit its target; the other hit a colleague’s radio. According to ‘special correspndent’ Kurt Barling on BBC South East TV News, the weapon in Duggan’s sock was a replica.
    Mr Malthouse, ‘deputy mayor for policing,’ interviewed later in the same bulletin, uses, I note, the word ‘insurrection.’ Combined with police arrogance at all levels & visible contempt for disadvantaged ‘scum’ in particular, CO19’s long-standing de facto shoot-to-kill policy comes at an increasingly high price.

  • Yoav

    It’s obvious, the police will only use force against those people who are unlikely to fight back.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Is it anger over local hardships – or – is it tensions within local communities spurring on the violence? The former suggest a trickle down frustration from government to people. The latter suggests a trickle up from the people to the people to the government? Tottenham, as I understand it, has very high unemployment – so does this mean – no hope – no care about civic duties, law and order?
    The shooting of Duggan was the catalyst – but what is the fuel that continues to ignite – that’s my question?
    Seems to have started out as peaceful protest,then it disintegrated into opportunistic criminal activity.
    I think that in the very near future there will be a lot more of these types of disturbances across depressed areas in the UK, but I hope I am wrong.
    Peace I say ( but – the people keep asking me – where is the justice?)

    PS From my own experience of cases of this nature, I wager that one will find the Met setting out to mislead ( maybe plant evidence, disseminate false information and broadly speaking – simply “cover-up”). At this stage a lot of information still has to come in. There are probably rights on wrongs from either side – but let’s see.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Jonangus,

    “Mr Malthouse, ‘deputy mayor for policing,’ interviewed later in the same bulletin, uses, I note, the word ‘insurrection.’”

    Overstatement there. Some trouble indeed, but a better choice of word might have been “frustation” – indeed – all the way round and on all sides. It will calm down soon – not the end of the world. Just the beginning of other things that will unfold as domestic hardships bite deeper.

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