What's the point in trying to help the police?

I went to town today to pay some cheques in. On the way to the car I came across the unappealing site of a drunk bloke and his wife balling at him, having a bit of a domestic. I thought, should I call the police – given the station is a minute away – but thought better of it, as my cynical self suspected they wouldn’t be interested.

Our house has a lovely grassed play area opposite an there is a foot path that goes round the estate that cyclists and dog walkers all enjoy. At around 3:00pm down the path comes a 20-30 year olf on his motorbike, no helmet etc etc.

This happened around a week ago just as I got back from London so I called the police to let them know – as it could be a real danger to the toddlers who play there, and frankly if the guy is riding along a footpath with no helmet what are the odds he has insurance, tax etc…

As the guy drives by I have my blackberry in hand and call the local police number who then put me through to the local police station- lets say 3 minutes car journey away. I get thanked and told they won’t send an officer as the guy has gone past. So me the law abiding citizen wanting to do his bit to help the police is effectively being told that because the chap is literally gone 60 seconds ago they won’t do anything.

Now yes I appreciate it isn’t the crime of the century – but a) why should we as law abiding residents put up with such behaviour b) why do the police make a judgement that they cant be bothered to send anyone to at least have a scout round for the guy c) why on earth would I bother reporting such an incident again?

And the final point is the one that annoys me that most. Maybe that’s why “crime” is falling. Lack of action on the part of the police means people like me won’t report such an incident. This really is why I am in favour of elected police commissioners. Nottinghamshire has come bottom of the rankings in terms of policing, and I would just love someone to grab hold of the force and implement a broken windows approach to policing, to send a message that anti social and illegal behaviour should not and will not be tolerated.

If it isn’t don’t for one minute think that criminals dont know that the police cant be bothered to even look at certain crimes. Unfortunately at the moment I am asking myself what is the point in trying to help the police?

Any answers – please??

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11 Responses to What's the point in trying to help the police?

  1. Olly says:

    Firstly regarding the police, they will not chase a motorcyclist who is not using a helmet. For a reference point go here: http://tinyurl.com/2ulb3ob

    Secondly I suspect you're correct about how crime has fallen, it's simply because a lot of it hasn't been reported. This is throwback to the Labour government who were more interested in ticking boxes and meeting targets than actually fighting crime.

    Thirdly, the police are a useless lot. They have no pride in the job they are employed to do. If they were then they'd be making noises about how they feel ineffective etc. All in-bred by Labour.

    Sure you get the good ones but I fear they are few and far between.

    There is no point in trying to help the police. They'd rather chase you because you're an easier target. Simple.

    The police are too politicised.

    And lastly

    ACPO.

    Enough said.

    • toryradio says:

      What I want to believe.. I really do, is that on the whole the police are decent people hindered by bureaucracy which is stopping them doing their job.

      What I don't want to hear is that they won't do x y or z – as frankly criminals arent as stupid as people think. If they know that driving at speed down a footpath right next to a 6 and unders toddlers play area has no come back then they will with no fear of any action being taken.

      In the case of motorbikes I know that the notts force actually have two scramblers to deal with these kinds of incidents. Problem is they are based in Worksop I believe. But hey – the nice new Newark police station is nice to look at! Good use of money on infrastructure. God forbid a crime happens outside of office hours though.

  2. thecredo says:

    Unfortunately, your assumptions are fairly spot on, TR.

    The systematic, institutional laziness of British police is both frustrating and widely endemic. Having worked as a police officer in another country, I can tell you that were we to *not* respond to that call, not only would be have been "written up", but possibly sacked.

    My wife has has actually forcibly stopped me from watching television shows like "Cops with Cameras", and "Police, Camera, Action" because it just about causes debilitating strokes!

    I recall watching one particular episode in which there was a group of youths who had been breaking into cars, in Greater Manchester. The police located them, gave brief chase, and then gave up – simply because they had run across a field. They were in plain view, and visibly taunting the police.

    And it's not just localised, either.

    I was on my way home from work one day, when I spotted a taxi driving up on the pavement trying to get around traffic – at speed. I called the police and followed the man, until they arrived. They actually had the gall to tick me off for following him! And this is after they were told about my background!

    I guess the problem is really two-fold, given these two things. First, there is the widespread institutionalist idea that the police are the boss, and ordinary citizens have no right to help make their communities safer places. Second, is the sheer laziness that seems to have crept up in the wake of severely limiting bureaucracy.

    In any event, it's a very sad reflection on a police force that used to be the envy of the world.

    thecredo

  3. operanut1972 says:

    Apart from agreeing what has been said, it is possible that when they said he had been past them 60 seconds ago, they may have already given him the proper paperwork and were giving him the benefit of the doubt. Or as you have said; They just couldn't be bothered to do anything about it!

  4. Editor says:

    No… He went past my house and I called literally 60 seconds after the incident and was told as hed gone they wouldn't bother asking a car to have a look round for him. So the message is essentially don't bother reporting it as of course a moving motorcycle will have gone. A disappointing attitude from the police…but in their eyes of course just a minor offence. That is until he ploughs into a toddler.

  5. operanut1972 says:

    Fair enough, I misinterpreted what was said. In that case what's the point in employing all those police officers, or were they all filling in tick boxes?

    • toryradio says:

      I think thats a reasonable question to ask. My worry is that the answer is that some "crimes" are no longer even investigated. Dont report illegal use of motorbikes – if you follow my experience. No need to report theft from a car – as again when it happened to me outside our house we never even saw anyone from the police. Many crimes against property are clearly NEVER looked into. Unless someone can prove me wrong. Thats why I would love to be a local representative elected to get the police doing what the public want. They would then look into these types of things as a matter of course as I believe in the broken windows approach to policing

  6. toryradio says:

    Its not another level- but replacing wha is there. How would elected official drive through change? By being given a mandate to do so. At the moment if the police do not deliver what the law abiding majority want, what happens? Nothing? Not one thing. If you have an elected police commissioner then they are tasked to deliver the platform they have stood on. If they not you choose someone who will deliver just like in any election.

  7. Steve Toone says:

    I'm not sure that another level of bureaucracy is required. Agreed something needs to happen. We need an institutional mindset change, not an easy task, but how is even harder. We have a generation of middle management who have gone up the ranks under Labour. This is going to take years more than the proposed 5 year Parliament. How would an elected official drive efficiency changes through?

  8. operanut1972 says:

    Perhaps I'm just belabouring the point, but what does this actually achieve. I don't personally want to have to go to the polls every twelve months. Does this person need to have come from within Police ranks (a la US Sheriffs)? If they do then we still face the problem that the people likely to be willing to fill this role will have qualified and risen through the ranks during Labour's reign. This for me is a sticking point, how do we ensure that it is not more of same, without constantly going back to the polls and wasting more money and even less efficacy savings?

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