Saturday, May 29, 2010

Short Memories

Various coppers are popping up on the telly, taking advantage of the political situation to complain about the time and money drained away by the bureaucracy they labour under. Cut paperwork, save money!

Oddly enough, no one explains the origins of important procedures that these coppers whine about. It was due to a generation of bad practice and miscarriages of justice, with a large sprinkling of racism and brutality.

This is why interviews are tape recorded. This is why the ethnicity of those stopped and searched is noted. This is why the police cells are monitored by people intent on ensuring no secret visits to those in custody by detectives intent on beating confessions out of prisoners.

The police brought much bureaucracy upon themselves by virtue of being untrustworthy. Each new paper trail was imposed in response to some widespread wrongdoing. To now ask that this be shredded in the name of cost-cutting is to forget this recent history. It is also to ask us to overlook the contemporary attitude of contempt that the police have developed for the people.

Any police who think it proper that they should ask for less accountability and supervision are the last ones who should be granted it.


  1. This is so true Ben, excellent post.

  2. Yes. Excellent. So easily overlooked in the red tape slashing frenzy. I had.

  3. Do you think that the development of this culture might account for a lot of the things you particularly dislike about prison and the people who staff/run them?