Category Archives: police

British policing in the old days

A policeman who was taking early retirement said to Dalrymple:

In the old days, we was nice to the nice people, and we was nasty to the nasty people.

The policeman told Dalrymple that

now that the police were professionally obliged to be nice to everyone, he could no longer stand the work. The strain of exercising no discretion was too great.

A frivolous, hopeless wreck of a police force

Nero’s fiddling was effective firefighting by comparison

Britain has by far the highest rate of violent crime in Western Europe, about five or six times that of Spain, for example. What is the response of the British police? Dalrymple writes that it is a fact of modern British life that

as the police appear more and more to resemble the paramilitary force of an authoritarian régime or military dictatorship, they become less and less effectual, whom only the law-abiding fear.

They seem to concentrate ever less on real police work, and

engage in parallel pseudo-activities, such as commiserating with the victims of the crimes they have failed to prevent and in the vast majority of cases make no attempt to solve.

He notes that a break-in during which an elderly person is murdered, for example,

is increasingly apt to be described as ‘a burglary that went tragically wrong’.

The British police love to

waste their time on the pseudo-pastoral care of those whom I suppose we must now call their clients.

Their primary object appears to be

work avoidance through work creation, a seemingly frantic activity — while never having to do anything that actually conduces to any conceivable end other than early retirement on the grounds of ill-health through stress. This is a world that is forever developing training packages, building and delivering capacity, etc., while actually doing nothing. Nero’s fiddling, by comparison, was effective firefighting – evidence-based, of course. It is always time for thinking outside the box, ringfencing a safe space for blue-skies thinking.

The increasing idleness, frivolity and worthlessness of Britain’s police

They have become, writes Dalrymple,

like a nearly defeated occupying colonial force that, while mayhem reigns everywhere else, has retreated to safe enclaves, there to shuffle paper and produce bogus information to propitiate their political masters.

Their first line of defence

is to refuse to record half the crime that comes to their attention, which itself is less than half the crime committed.

Then, they

refuse to investigate recorded crime, or to arrest the culprits even when it is easy to do so and the evidence against them is overwhelming.

A reliable and trustworthy police force is not a denial of freedom but a precondition of its exercise

This ‘all coppers are bastards’ view of the police has spread, Dalrymple observes,

to a large section of the bourgeois intellectual class. Not long ago a journalist told me, en passant, that he hated the police. I asked why: had they falsely arrested, unjustifiably manhandled, brutally interrogated him? No, he replied: he had no personal reason; he just hated them for what they were. Well, as Lear said, nothing comes of nothing: and the journalist’s hatred of the police was unlikely to have sprung completely at random and fully formed from his consciousness. I suspected, as is so often the case with opinions lightly adopted but firmly held, that this one was forged from a combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and fashion. By expressing a dislike of the police, a bourgeois intellectual is establishing his solidarity with the poor.

But the bourgeois intellectual

needs to find reasons for his opinions: rationalisation is his métier. And it isn’t difficult for him to think up such reasons with regard to the police. Their function is to defend the social order: and since the social order is widely held to be responsible for the poverty of the poor, it follows that the police are in part responsible for that poverty. They are a part of the social injustice system.

This pretence, that the police are

but the executive arm of a hypocritical bourgeoisie determined to preserve its ill-gotten gains at the expense of the poor,

is

terrifyingly shallow when tested against the experience of people who suffer weak policing.

Dalrymple points out that the idea that a juster social order would render the police redundant is

utopian nonsense.

Idle and incompetent police

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 14.16.20A few years ago, writes Dalrymple,

my wife called the police when she witnessed a serious crime being committed: arson. Only by persistence did she manage to get the police even to record the crime. (They had no intention of doing anything about it.)

A few minutes later an officer telephoned her

to tell her she had wasted police time; although he had time enough to telephone her to tell her so. The problem was that she had messed up his figures.

Ever since,

I have had difficulty in believing official crime statistics.

A Holy Office

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 08.53.25The police in Britain, writes Dalrymple, show a

sinister propensity to make mass arrests after a public outcry about something or other. It is not so much that the people arrested are innocent, but that the police appear to act in response to mob sentiment rather than to transgression of the law. Having ignored evidence of wrongdoing by people in high places for years or even decades, they suddenly act as a Holy Office, perhaps to deflect criticism from themselves.

Both the initial laxity and the subsequent zeal

undermine the impartiality of the law, with serious social consequences: for if the law is not impartial the moral imperative to obey is fatally weakened and people feel morally free to do what they can get away with.

Fuck Tha Police

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.38.38Dalrymple reports that this

charming little ballad,

performed by the gangsta rap group Niggaz With Attitude, is one of UK finance minister George Osborne’s favourites. It contains lines, says Dalrymple, that are

beautifully expressed and just the right message for the black youth of Los Angeles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.48.53Here are the lyrics:

Right about now NWA court is in full effect.
Judge Dre presiding in the case of NWA versus the police department.
Prosecuting attorneys are MC Ren Ice Cube and Eazy motheruckin’ E.
Order order order. Ice Cube take the motherfuckin’ stand.
Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth
and nothin but the truth so help your black arse?

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.36.41Why don’t you tell everybody what the fuck you gotta say?

Fuck tha police
Comin’ straight from the underground
Young nigga got it bad ’cause I’m brown
And not the other colour so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority

Attitude

Attitude

Fuck that shit, ’cause I ain’t tha one
For a punk motherfucka with a badge and a gun
To be beatin’ on, and throwin’ in jail
We could go toe to toe in the middle of a cell

Fuckin’ with me ’cause I’m a teenager
With a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin’ my car, lookin’ for the product
Thinkin’ every nigga is sellin narcotics

You’d rather see me in the pen
Then me and Lorenzo rollin’ in the Benzo
Beat tha police outta shape
And when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter
Still gettin’ swoll off bread and water

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.53.55I don’t know if they fags or what
Search a nigga down and grabbin’ his nuts
And on the other hand, without a gun they can’t get none
But don’t let it be a black and a white one
’cause they slam ya down to the street top
Black police showin’ out for the white cop

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.52.16Ice Cube will swarm
On any motherfucka in a blue uniform
Just ’cause I’m from the CPT, punk police are afraid of me
A young nigga on a warpath
And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
Of cops, dyin’ in LA
Yo Dre, I got somethin’ to say

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.53.32M.C. Ren, will you please give your testimony to the jury about this fucked-up incident.

Fuck tha police and Ren said it with authority
because the niggaz on the street is a majority.
A gang is with whoever I’m stepping
and the mutherfuckin’ weapon
is kept in a stash box, for the so-called law
wishin’ Ren was a nigga that they never saw

Lights start flashin’ behind me
But they’re scared of a nigga so they mace me to blind me
But that shit don’t work, I just laugh
Because it gives ’em a hint not to step in my path

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.10To the police I’m sayin’ fuck you punk
Readin’ my rights and shit, it’s all junk
Pullin’ out a silly club, so you stand
With a fake-arsed badge and a gun in your hand

But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
And we’ll go at it punk, I’m a fuck you up

Make ya think I’m a kick your ass
But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast
I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
But I’m a smoke ’em now, and not next time

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.59.37Smoke any motherfucka that sweats me
Or any asshole that threatens me
I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
Takin’ out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me

The motherfuckin’ villain that’s mad
With potential to get bad as fuck
So I’m a turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
Ya, somethin’ like that, but it all depends on the size of the gat

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.21Takin’ out a police would make my day
But a nigga like Ren don’t give a fuck to say

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Police, open now. We have a warrant for Eazy-E’s arrest.
Get down and put your hands up where I can see ’em.
Just shut the fuck up and get your motherfuckin’ arse on the floor.

and tell the jury how you feel abou this bullshit.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.53I’m tired of the motherfuckin’ jackin
Sweatin’ my gang while I’m chillin in the shackin’
Shining tha light in my face, and for what?
Maybe it’s because I kick so much butt

I kick arse, or maybe ’cause I blast
On a stupid-arsed nigga when I’m playin’ with the trigga
Of any Uzi or an AK
’cause the police always got somethin’ stupid to say

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.04.44They put up my picture with silence
’cause my identity by itself causes violence
The E with the criminal behavior
Yeah, I’m a gangsta, but still I got flavour

Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
A sucka in a uniform waitin’ to get shot,
By me, or another nigga.
and with a gat it don’t matter if he’s smarter or bigger
M.C. Ren: Sidle him, kid, he’s from the old school, fool

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.03.22And as you all know, E’s here to rule
Whenever I’m rollin, keep lookin’ in the mirror
And there’s no cue, yo, so I can hear a
Dumb motherfucka with a gun

And if I’m rollin’ off the 8, he’ll be tha one
That I take out, and then get away
And while I’m drivin’ off laughin’
This is what I’ll say

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.05.10Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

The jury has found you guilty of bein’ a redneck,
whitebread, chickenshit motherfucka.
Wait, that’s a lie. That’s a goddamn lie.
I want justice! I want justice!
Fuck you, you black motherfucka!

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.03.39

You do realise, don’t you, that your horse is homosexual?

Equus africanus asinus

Equus africanus asinus

The law in England today, writes Dalrymple, is an

ass.

The British State

does not know how to deter, prevent, or punish.

In England, where

an aggressive popular culture glorifies egotistical impulsivity and denigrates self-control,

the violent and evil

may destroy other people’s lives with impunity, for the British State does not care in the least about protecting them,

Equus ferus caballus

Equus ferus caballus

being

indifferent to and incapable of the one task that inescapably belongs to it: preserving the peace and ensuring that its citizens may go about their lawful business in safety.

The result is that England has

the highest rate of (real) crime in the Western world.

But that does not mean the British State is inactive. It takes some things very seriously indeed. For example, there is the case of the Oxford student who, slightly drunk after celebrating the end of his exams, approached a mounted policeman. ‘Excuse me,’ he said. ‘Do you realise your horse is gay?’

The policeman called two squad cars to his aid, and, in a city in which it is notoriously difficult to interest the police in so trivial a matter as robbery or burglary, they arrived almost at once. The mounted policeman thought that the young man’s remark was likely to ’cause harassment, alarm or distress’. He was arrested and charged under the Public Order Act for having made a ‘homophobic remark’ and spent the night in jail. Brought before the magistrates the following day, he was fined.

Payment of my mortgage requires my silence

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 08.11.26Integrity, writes Dalrymple,

is a fragile thing, and most people have only a limited reserve of it. They are usually more concerned for their private welfare than the public good. (I mean this as no criticism. It seems to me to be an ineluctable fact about being human.) So when intellectual, moral and financial corruption grows, they will not resist it to the bitter end. Rather they will join in – most with a heavy heart, some joyfully — and keep their traps shut.

But

the knowledge that they have sold their souls means that they live the rest of their lives in fear and self-loathing.

And the deep-seated cynicism

is inimical to real work and progress. Ersatz work comes to replace work: the production of signs, for example, saying ‘Allow us to help you’ when there is no intention of helping anyone. The cynicism corrodes the public servant and the public alike: everyone treats everything as a source of plunder and personal advancement.

Take the police. They are

adept at producing pleasing figures. They are very good at changing the category of crime into which a reported incident falls. Just as universities have an interest in inflating marks, thanks to government targets, so the police have an interest in deflating the seriousness of the crimes reported to them.

The job of chief constable, for instance,

is not that of a policeman any longer, but that of public relations officer and political toady. This is not because they are by nature wicked men, but because of the nature of modern administration, in which reality is less real, or at least less important, than the presentation of reality.

The human rights of drunken, violent youths

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 21.50.20An incident outside the Cirio

Belgian beer, Dalrymple points out, is

nectar.

In order to partake of some while enjoying the ambiance of the place, he and his wife pay a visit to the Cirio,

a fin de siècle establishment in the heart of Brussels.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.01.20As the Dalrymples emerge, greatly refreshed one imagines, from the bar, an inebriated student, who is celebrating the university’s special day,

throws a glass at us and other people nearby. It shatters on the ground in front of us.

A number of people could have been badly injured.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.06.04Policemen who happened to be in the vicinity

charge after the student, who sobers up at once in his flight into the crowd.

But Dalrymple makes this shocking statement:

I confess, though I am ashamed to admit it, that when I saw the police giving chase, my first thoughts were not of the student’s human rights.