Received from a reader who notes: "I wish to remain anonymous - or I'll be sacked!":
I’m at my wits end! So I apologise in advance for this ‘rant’.
I have become increasingly frustrated by repeated , embarrassing stories of over reaction by my fellow colleagues within the police ‘service’ (or Force as it used to be called!), when dealing with lawful and law abiding firearms users. I hasten to add though this is not entirely their fault, rather than stemming from what is now the ‘scared sh*tless’ mentality of the management.
I am both a policeman (20+ years service) and a shooter. I am passionate about the job and the countryside. I live right in the ‘sticks’ and undertake various shooting pursuits; pigeon, driven, rough shooting and lamping. I look forward to working with my cocker picking up this season and on the beating line with him on my friend’s local shoot.
Although I’m an awful shot at times with the 12 bore, I’m still learning and enjoy all aspects of shooting and feel privileged to be able to partake in this way of life. The shooting and field sport community are a very welcoming bunch far from being law breakers!
I genuinely fear for the career I joined at 19 years of age, I almost don’t recognise it. The time has come I believe for a complete ‘Back to Basics’ overhaul to policing and a return to good old fashion ‘coppering’.
To start with I would like to see all political and management buzzwords (or boll*cks as I call it) removed from all police vocabulary immediately. Phrases such as ‘Anti Social Behaviour’, ’Engage with...’, ‘Dynamic Risk...’should be replaced by my favoured tried and tested old fashion terms, such as ‘Oi pack it in or else!’, ‘Speak to/have a word with (to tell them to pack it in all else)!’ and ‘What? Lets ‘ave ‘em!’ It’s simple, the bobby should be seen, villains should be nicked and the public should be served, no more complicated than that.
The public are tired of fancy meetings in damp village halls where the poor local officer has to prepare days in advance to defend his/herself on their inadequacies in policing a patch the size of Ethiopia. From a personal perspective ‘the travelling community’ are getting away with murder, they run amuck, thieving, poaching, taking people’s dogs and garden equipment daily! They are practically unpoliced. I have heard accounts where even young police officers are too scared to enter their sites due to institutional ‘namby pambyism!’ I want to scream at them,”Hang on, look behind you, the Army are rather tied up in Afghanistan, there’s no one else, the public pay you to do that, now get your stick out and get in there for God sake!”
I don’t feel I’m generalising too much common sense has for the time being disappeared from our Police Service. I sincerely hope for a return to the village bobby only having a ‘village’ to police not half a county, where Risk Assessing is put more into perspective with a touch of common sense added so incidents of pigeon cullers being nicked at gunpoint don’t occur, and when you leave your firearms in a locked secured vehicle and they are stolen, you are treated like a victim of theft and not the suspect of a murder!
If we as a police service alienate any more of our community we will never salvage anything of the relationship we have had with the public in times gone by.
Somebody, please bring back some sense!!