Lewes Forum thread

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Public perception of the police service

On 2 Jan 2012 at 3:40pm jrsussex wrote:
Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment and personal belongings have been stolen from police stations across Britain, ranging from a car to bottles of milk.
Given that in recent years we have been made aware of officers of all ranks having to resign for a variety of reasons as a serious question what level of faith does the public have in the present day police service of the UK? Mine is very low.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 3:51pm Sam spam wrote:
Whatever I is you are trying t pull it's unlikely to work! The police in Lewes do a good job under difficult circumstances and with ever tightening budgets/manpower. If more people took responsibility for their own actions and those of their kids then they would be even better!...
On 2 Jan 2012 at 4:03pm jrsussex wrote:
Please read the post, I am clearly referring to the police nationally not simply in Lewes. I am not "trying to pull anything", I am asking a serious question regarding the faith of the public in a police service that is continually in the news in recent years for wrong-doing. My faith is not what it should be and is not helped by hearing of thefts taking place from police stations across the UK.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 4:14pm NOT a police officer wrote:
The police have a tireless, thankless job where they put their life on the line day in, day out. They do this for less money than a train driver. They are in a no-win situation, they get slagged off if they do something wrong and told that it's their job, if they do something right. They are fighting against political correctness, soft judges and the CPS on a daily basis and it is incredibly frustrating to have to treat criminals with kid gloves because their human rights might be violated.

next time you slag the police off because a pint of milk has gone missing, spare a thought for the wider picture.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 4:57pm observer wrote:
The police do the job they are told to do, in regards to petty theft our politicians have a lot to answer for. Mind you I would like to see Police on foot throughout the towns and cities instead of in cars. There again it is not their fault it what they are told to do. It suprises me that you say they are on less money than a train driver, is their pension lower as well?
On 2 Jan 2012 at 5:52pm Extra wrote:
No such thing as 'petty theft' - theft is theft, it's a crime, and Police Officers should not steal - full stop!
And, we did Police pensions etc last year.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 6:29pm jrsussex wrote:
It is the public perception of the police service I refer to, not how well/badly they perform their duties. Do not bring salaries into the discussion, many armed services personel receive less than police officers but that is a separate discussion. To be open I do have a brother-in-law in the Sussex force and another brother-in-law and his wife in the Bedfordshire force so I do have a relatively good insight into the working life of a police officer. I would not be a police officer because of, amongst other matters, it is a fact that they could die at any time carrying out their duty but that in itself does not imply that they should be outside of the law.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 6:55pm NOT a police officer wrote:
You're just stirring things Sussex. We all know what a pox job they have...if you're worried about a pint of milk going missing here and there, and who knows someone didn't throw it away etc etc.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 7:39pm Clifford wrote:
'More than 900 serving police officers and community support officers have a criminal record, official figures show.
'Forces across England and Wales employ policemen and women with convictions including burglary, causing death by careless driving, robbery, supplying drugs, domestic violence, forgery and perverting the course of justice.
'Those with criminal records include senior officers, among them two detective chief inspectors and one chief inspector working for the Metropolitan Police.'

Presumably this is where the old adage 'set a thief to catch a thief' comes from.

Check it out here »
On 2 Jan 2012 at 8:30pm Pete the Plod wrote:
The police force only exists to serve its self, a public funded glorified boys club. You just have to look at some of the very expensive cars they run around in.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 8:36pm Clifford wrote:
'More than 130 Metropolitan Police (Met) officers were allowed to resign rather than facing misconducts panels over the last year, figures have shown. Another 43 were sacked over the same period, the Press Association found.'

Check it out here »
On 2 Jan 2012 at 8:56pm leweslad wrote:
a Police officer used his pepper spray on new years eve at the lansdown on a innocent group of people causing no disturbance. This kind of behaviour is not acceptable. We should not give in to this kind of intimidation.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 9:18pm jonnyboy wrote:
Clifford, a total of 173 employees of the Met represents 0.34% of their workforce, so is statistically insignificant. Reassuring to know that 99.66% are upstanding and totally honest. LOL
On 2 Jan 2012 at 9:53pm Zebedee wrote:
Except the behaviour of the please should be exemplary. To those that say the police all do a tireless, thankless job and put their lives on the line i have to point out that some do, but not all, and by no means even the majority. As with all large organisations nowadays the large majority of those that work in the police force are pen pushers, bureaucrats, IT staff, etc. There are few now who are at the sharp end. (Which is a shame as its damn obvious that there should be many, many more police walking the streets.) Those at the sharp end may deserve their early retirements and very generous pensions but the majority do not. If any one section of the state needed their pensions brought into line it's the police force. Personally I have little respect for the police. I'd have a lot more if I saw them doing good things every day on our streets. Btw. Good original post jrs.
On 2 Jan 2012 at 10:11pm Dixon of Dock Green wrote:
I have every sympathy for the police and I feel that they do the most tremendous job in the face of an ever growing hostile public.
However, I heard on the news this afternoon that Kent police have the highest statistics of officers with criminal records (I seem to recall it was 49).
What on earth is going on? I should have thought that any police officer obtaining a criminal record is grounds for instant dismissal, full stop.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 7:51am Clifford wrote:
Complacency is a dangerous thing Jonnyboy. The fact that jrsussex, who is far from being a raving lefty, feels it necessary to raise the issue of public confidence in the police, ought to make even you pause to think. We know there are thousands of decent coppers around because we've met them. But for thugs and liars to be able to hide behind a uniform is a legitimate matter of concern.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 8:12am mrnobody wrote:
Lewes lad -
I was in the lansdowne when this happened, the police didn't just turn up and start spraying people. They were arresting a rather large chap who had assaulted a female a few months ago and was wanted by the courts. He was asked to leave quietly and declined. If people want to stand and try to protect him they may well get a dose of the spray.
Get your facts right.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 10:18am some0ne else wrote:
I started to go on demos, and to football matches regularly, from the late seventies onwards. In those years I regularly saw the police beat the _ out of people who were doing little wrong, because it clearly entertained them so to do. I saw them conceal their ID numbers during the miner's strike. I've been the victim of crime and I've yet to have one solved.

Maybe they've changed, but I'm afraid the die was cast for my perception of the police service many years ago.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 11:32am Kettle wrote:
I agree with someone else and have personally seen them abuse the use of on the spot fines. Some of the police on demo seem to be there for a scrap. I'm sure a lot of them do a good job and have an interest in clearing up their reputation. They should kick the bad ones out.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 12:56pm Old Cynic wrote:
The numbers we are talking about are so low. Look at education or medicine they too have a number of staff with 'criminal records' its not just the Police. So are we saying if you have a criminal record you shoiuld be barred from working?
On 3 Jan 2012 at 2:09pm jrsussex wrote:
Not a police officer - "You're just stirring things Sussex. We all know what a pox job they have...if you're worried about a pint of milk going missing here and there, and who knows someone didn't throw it away etc etc" I would not be unduly worried about a bottle of milk but two cars going missing from police stations(one later recovered) concerns me, are you saying you do not think that a matter of concern?
I was simply seeking opinions on the confidence the public have in the police, which so far seems to be that the work of the majority of the service is acknowledged and appreciated but there are concerns which, in my opinion, clearly need to be addressed to gain the respect of the public. Without it their job is made substantially more difficult.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 2:20pm some0ne else wrote:
All organisations have bad 'uns - that's inevitable. What's wrong with the Police is that they never acknowledge responsibility or weed out rot, and they've got form on concealing / distorting information when it matters.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 2:33pm Clifford wrote:
Old Cynic wrote: 'So are we saying if you have a criminal record you shoiuld be barred from working?'

I think most people would say 'Yes' because of the power we place in the hands of the police. You must know that the examples you give of teaching and medicine are not quite in the same league, but have you ever heard of the Criminal Records Bureau?
On 3 Jan 2012 at 2:35pm Kettle wrote:
Also- I still don't understand why pepper spray was used in an arrest unless the person was being violent at the time. What next? Pepper sprayed for not paying your tv licence?
Surely they should be trained to diffuse these sorts of situations without resorting to pepper spray.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 3:33pm Old Cynic wrote:
Clifford - I believe it is all a matter of context - the CRB check can show you have a conviction for say, shoplifting when you were 15 - does that mean you cant be a policeman or a nurse when you are 20?
Are you saying that if you did something you should nebver work again?
On 3 Jan 2012 at 4:05pm Clifford wrote:
Old Cynic - I'm saying that because of the nature of the job you should never be employed as a police officer if you have a criminal record. I'm surprised you disagree.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 5:38pm some0ne else wrote:
Clifford - that's absurd. You're saying that in a civilised country where it is accepted that completion of an appropriate sentence for a crime means that you may then be considered as free as anyone else, you are barred from an activity for life?

For what it's worth, a lad I was at school with was a drug dealer and years later became a pretty decent copper. I see nothing wrong with that.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 6:03pm Clifford wrote:
Someone else - and where would you draw the line? Shoplifting, drug dealing, GBH? It seems pretty obvious to me that anyone responsible for upholding the law and having power over the rest of us should at least not have been a criminal themselves.
On 3 Jan 2012 at 6:32pm Zebedee wrote:
So, okay in your world for a convicted paedophile to work with children some0ne else?
On 3 Jan 2012 at 9:11pm Old Cynic wrote:
Zebedee - thats just being silly - off course not! But if you shoplifted a pack of ciggies as a kid should that bar you from working with kids? Would you bar a paedophile from say, working on a farm?
On 4 Jan 2012 at 12:01am Zebedee wrote:
I think you've misunderstood that the comment was in response to the previous one from 'some0ne else' and merely extrapolated what he was saying.
On 4 Jan 2012 at 7:33pm Old Cynic wrote:
Quite right - apologies!
On 4 Jan 2012 at 9:54pm observer wrote:
I would definetely bar a paedophile from working on a farm Old Cynic. think of the baby animals.

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