Losing all respect

I am just astounded by the way the UK police are behaving right now.

TL;DR: Massive over reaction and police state style action way above what the law provides and with no regard for public health, for weeks now. Then massive under action on a public gathering with no regard for public health last night. They seem to have no clue. How can any of us have any respect for them?

Update: it is worth saying that I don't assume this is all police, but with the power the police have over us we need to hold them to the highest standards. It is clear that a lot of the police do not understand the rules, or the simplest concern of this being public health legislation, as I have heard numerous reports from friends who have been stopped and questioned unnecessarily when doing nothing wrong, each occasion creating risk of spreading the virus.

In the last few days we have had :-

Police surrounding a journalist after telling some women she cannot sit down for a moment whilst exercising, and telling him that he is killing people, even they are "in his face" with no PPE. They really are trying to be the plague spreaders here, aren't they?

Also, we have new guidelines by NPCC and College of police on why you can leave your home - but the rules have not changed. The only difference is these guidelines are perhaps easier to read and are more widely publicised (here) - apparently several police twitter accounts saying they are unenforceable even though the rules HAVE NOT CHANGED! We can only assume they are cross that the rules are not what they would like them to be and only just realised, weeks after they came in to force. (it is a separate debate as to whether the rules are adequate or not, and not one for the police to decide).

And then you have this, a public gathering on Westminster bridge yesterday and the police don't appear to be dispersing the gathering or enforcing the rules but actually participating!

Ever crazier, the police themselves posted about this gathering as if it was a good thing!!!

I have sent a freedom of information requests (here and here), and we'll see what they say.

Update: as of 11am on 22nd April the law changed to cover "being outside" not just "leaving". Here.


  1. There was a news article earlier today claiming that Nigerian security services (police et al) had killed more people enforcing the restrictions in Nigeria than the virus itself!

  2. That looks to be Cressida Dick in the video - Britain's most senior police officer. I thought this was an ill-advised and locally arranged event by junior officers who didn't think it through. Did not realise it was sanctioned from the top.

    Also: incorrect use of blue emergency lighting. And police vehicles parked on double-red lines. And in bus lanes. All permitted in an emergency. This was not an emergency.

    Was that the police helicopter seen overhead? About 30 years ago someone told me that a police helicopter has a running cost of £1,000 per hour. What is today's figure?

  3. The police have always made up their own rules when it suits them. Nothing changes in that regard. Some people do take the piss. If a shop is open and allowed to trade, then people will buy stuff like B&M etc. People are bored and want to make use of their time. And can't. I need 8 x 4 to finish a home diy renovation project. But can't get it ordered as I "don't have an account". Surely Visa works? Do you not want my business? I'd snap your hand off if I was in that position. If went out for the day and sat in the park to allow a builder to work on his own and distance, plod could decide to fine me for being outside. And don't get me started on people who cannot follow a one way system in a supermarket.... pretty sure they all drive Audi's or Mini's.

  4. Police officer angrily threatens to 'make something up' to arrest driver.


  5. As I said on your facebook post regarding this: it very much seems up to the particular force how they deal with this.

    Hampshire constabulary have so far been very decent in dealing with it.

    It's a very fine balance. I am usually anti-police-state as much as you, but on the flipside, those jackasses in various american states need to be shot before they infect normal people.

    It's a tightrope. A few forces have got it wrong. I think the majority are doing it right.

    But it is equally important that people like your good self keep tabs on them. Because a little power goes a long way toward making a bastard. (I know, i suffered boarding school)

  6. The thing about this is every absurd or controversial police intervention is being recorded and amplified on/in the (social) media - and I question if it's worth us all getting outraged about them individually.

    What I'd really like to know is how many police officers, as a percentage of the police force, are idiots? I continue to believe it'll be quite a bit lower than the percentage of idiots in the general population (although if they are allowed to continue to behave like idiots, they have the potential to affect a greater number of people.)

    If, each time an individual police officer does something stupid, but it doesn't permanently harm/threaten someone, and via letter writing, legal action and other means it's possible to resolve it and have them instructed not to do it in future, and if the number of such instances isn't growing, is it really a problem?

    Have you revk, for example, ever idly tried to calculate the percentage of your customers who are idiots? Is there an equivalent of the pandemic R0 value below where they're not really a problem? They waste some of your time, but you've developed processes to deal with them. But it is much harder for idiots to spread their idiocy to other people than it is to spread the virus, after all.

    I don't disagree with most of your points here/in other points. It's just this is all valuable time you could spend arguing with Openreach :)

  7. Have you seen this one?


    I think I have lost all respect for the UK police in the last few months.

  8. And another, albeit 5 years ago.


    The police are not our friends.

  9. I am aware i am in the minority of my opinion, now I dont think its right for police to stop children playing in a garden, and to tell someone they will "make things up" so they can arrest them.

    But I feel with what is happening now, the police have probably felt strangled for the past few decades, our current society is groomed e.g. to say minor crime is now acceptable such as anti social behaviour and shoplifting. The police have not been allowed to punish children, parents can even get in trouble for punishing their children, likewise teachers. We have simply put become too liberal.

    Its not hard to work out the two go hand in hand, every criminal starts at the bottom, and if you let the people at the bottom go unpunished, they eventually get more confident and move up the ladder.

    With the lockdown, it is important people take it seriously, and if the police are not allowed to approach people, and are not respected/feared, then their job becomes much harder. I dont like it when I see people having attitude with police officers, ministers overruling them and so on. The proper process is if you dont like your treatment, then take it to court. If ministers want to change how the police are behaving, then pass down an order in private, not via the press.

    1. It is not the job of the police to punish people.

      Parents may "punish" their children, but they may not physically assault them.

  10. The Derbyshire Chief Constable has retired !



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