I walked past a police officer this morning. She was about 4 inches high and using her bullet proof vest to keep her hands warm. Her fellow police officer was a man and about 7 foot taller than her. Im accustomed to seeing female police officers and it got me thinking about how safe I would feel if I needed the female officer, now some way past me with her male colleague, to come to my assist. I expect she would be as fearless as the officer killed in Bradford. But basically peel away the uniform and without this conjuring up some nice little perverted image, what you are left with is a bird.
I’m not sure I have heard many questions about whether or not TWO unarmed unvested female officers should have been responding to such a call in the first place. I don’t care what part of the world you are in I cannot see how a female police officer can be expected to deal with a bunch of criminals in the throws of a robbery – or as they turned out to be – vicious (probably illegal) Somali thugs ~ with firearms. Isn’t this a question we should be asking? There was after all a barrage of questions about whether or not trained armed police should have been called in to deal with the incident at Stockwell. Surely we should be asking if it was right to allow two female officers to attend to a potentially dangerous situation ~ rather than twist this to serve as a case in point about the blanket arming of police officers.Sharon Beshenivsky is the first to have been shot by a criminal, rather than in a terrorist attack," said Anthony Rae, chairman of the Natonal Police Memorial trust. "Generally criminals won't attack policewomen."
Some might say that this serves as an example of political correctness in the force gone mad. Unquestionably. How my inch-high private eye cop, a second ago, could possibly be expected to deal as adequately as her male counterpart is beyond me. Maybe im the feminist’s anti Christ but I just don’t get it. I feel much the same way about female troops as it goes. The idea that criminals are less likely to attack female officers would suggest that we need an all women police force!
It is unlikely that we will change minds on this issue and ultimately I doubt that a male officer would have faired much better in Bradford. But ill have to accept that in the event of a tricky situation a male officer will not only have to concern himself with protecting the likes of me, for example, but also protect his fellow female officer.
I do NOT believe in a blanket arming of officers. That’s a daft idea. I don’t think a gun would have been much use to this officer and I don’t think this should be used as a case ‘for’. But if ever there was a case for trained ARUs to rock up when needed then this was it. The latter I do support. There is a need for armed officers. But you know what, I cant help but wonder had they shot the Somali, would we be out thanking our lucky stars? I doubt it. And after all, criminals, especially terrorists, have more rights than police officers and a police shooting is by its very nature always much much worse.
To me , this incident, underlines the enormous bravery of individual officers, who continue to operate IN SPITE of all the political correctness gone mad, IN SPITE of strange structures at the top and odd decisions that are made, and IN SPITE of our MPs best efforts to render them useless as a way of chastising their seniors. Officers who put this all to one side and just get on with it. They operate and respond on a needs basis to situations that are often quite beyond their control. We expect them to handle unprecedented levels of danger. To respond to an armed robbery, a terror threat, or head on into a tunnel where a tube train has inexplicably exploded and deal with the aftermath. Anyone who saw the BBCs ‘The Day the Bombs Came’ could not have failed to have been impressed by the courage of the officers there ~ the reunion of officers and the injured was humbling.
In the case of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky we have been SO quickly reminded of her ordinary human condition - associating her with her family much in the same way as we were told over and over again that Jean Charles was an innocent. Yet conversely we direct such bitter hostility at the police when things go wrong. We are right to be shocked and demand answers but we completely forget they are still human beings in the process. We dehumanise them as quickly as we can and parade them as cold blooded ’incompetent’ murderers - worse than criminals. We no longer question their tragic and incorrect actions in the context of the situation, as we are now doing with PC Beshenivsky, – we simply paint them as ‘evil’, ‘worse than terrorists’ as one banner in Brazil read after the fatal shooting in July. We judge our uniformed officers as though a uniform places them above the ability to make very human errors, even in spite of every training. We are always smugly capable of viewing their actions with the excellent self satisfying benefit of hindsight. Of course over the next few weeks we can expect much more of this as the De Menezes case reaches, what I really hope will be, its conclusion.
So I hope we keep that same very human image of those officers in Stockwell in mind also.
The use of ‘smart CCTV’
to track down the scum that murdered her was amazing. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) - the same technology as Ken uses to make sure ive paid my C charge. (DNA testing was also pioneered by the British – back in 1985. Hurray for us! )
I really do not have an issue with the fact that London and the UK has the most, and most advanced, mass surveillance systems in the world. The country has over 4 million CCTV cameras in operation some with facial recognition capability. The ANPR system was inaugurated in Bradford last year and clearly played the decisive role in catching the PCs killers.
“At its launch in May, Ch Supt Geoff Dodd of West Yorkshire Police, said: "I believe that this is the best investigative tool we have had since the introduction of DNA analysis.
"DNA broke new ground for the police service and this is another revolutionary tool in detecting crime.
""The importance of this system in the fight against crime cannot be underestimated”
It was devised under the threat of Irish terrorism and instigated in 1997 in London. You can read about its launch in its present form in Bradford last year and smile at the huge amount of print space given over to the civil rights moonbats by the Guardian. After all, this same technology in this same area is now responsible for the super fast apprehension of the PCs killers. Much in the same way CCTV played its massive role in July: