Fickle (declining) Support…

 I vaguely recall hearing about this one last month, can’t understand why I didn’t comment at the time? With the snow and cold, I was probably still venting my spleen at the Winter Wingers

BBC News (14th Jan 2010): Police officers filmed using riot shields to sledge down a snowy hill while on duty have been reprimanded.

The subject slid into view (pun) again today when I noticed, a Facebook friend was one of the 3,756 fans of the sledging police officers page; I slipped on over (another pun, how many can I manage) to take a look.  After seeing the video again and having a chortle, I noted some of the fan comments, most of which were light hearted or tongue in cheek.

If truth were known, I suspect the original escapade and subsequent YouTube posts (ITN news clip) had been intended in a similar manner. But, in the cold light of day (last pun, honest), I got to thinking; how many of the (mostly flippant) comments are actually indicative of how the public perceive today’s British Police Service?

I’m sure that they will arrest him in retaliation for ‘public order offences and causing alarm and distress (to them)! They will then take his DNA and fingerprints and retain his data ILLEGALLY for the next 100 years! What a farse the police is in this country!!! YouTube Franksmith3436

Public opinion about the police in this country was always a little fickle and (usually) dependant upon which side of the law you were looking at the copper from! This is changing and, changing at an alarming rate. The whole concept of policing by the public for the public, as developed by Sir Robert Peel is becoming a very distant memory.

Some might say where is the problem with that? Or, the concept is outdated and not relevant in today’s society, I totally disagree (see British Policing).

My real worry is; the basic inherent trust and respect for police in the UK is being seriously eroded away. This is partly due to the declining levels of community spirit or selflessness in the individual but is mostly due to, successive governments creating a them & us mentality between the public and the police. The two sides have (in many ways) become enemies instead of friends. Any way back to the sledging…

The whole (in some respects sorry) incident has become a very popular talking point and source of Internet publication. A ‘sledging police officers’ search in Google returns some 47,700 results, not bad going in the short space of time since the event. I suppose I better make that 47,701 now 🙂

Example comments found included…

They’re obviously all on a tea break – are we really so po-faced about everything at all times that these officers have to be ‘reprimanded’? www.mumsnet.com forum

Re: Oxford riot shield sledging police officers (Video). I’m not paying for them to have fun I’m paying for them to uphold the law. www.thestudentroom.co.uk forum

BBC 17 Jan 2010 … Sledging Police Officers are Facebook hit…More than 160000 people have joined an internet fan group supporting police officers who were told off for using a riot shield to sledge

I suspect that many of the sledge Bobbies Facebook fans (increased by 11 since I started typing) will be either serving officers, police staff or police supporters as most of the comments there are humorous and/or totally supportive. The same cannot be said of the comments posted to You Tube, many of which are just abusive, disparaging or down right disgusting.

Good job useless policemen, nice knowing our money is being used to pay those idiots YouTube HamushD222

Most of the 494 other comments I noted on one posting of the video appeared to devolve into a rant and argument. The main protagonist was some halfwit Muppet by the You Tube name of MAZZZIT

This disturbed individual was obviously having extreme difficulty stringing any meaningful argument together. The 24yr old (apparently) may well be considered highly articulate in his chav circles however; he was a little more than a sad indictment of the state of our education system. He couldn’t manage anything that wasn’t swearing or constructed with more syllables than the brain cells he possessed. I digress…

Usually i am not a great fan of the police (as you can see from my other comments) but these officers have proven that they are only human and it is good for public relations, well said YouTube hypocritePOLICE

Despite the level of police bashing and profanity, there was the odd glimmer of light about the nature of our society like…

this has done more for police/community relations than any amount of paid for publicity… Laughter is the best medicine nanny state has gone mad! YouTube scarlett007100

The Home Office agency commissioned for the Policing Pledge national TV advertising campaign should maybe take note?  🙂

What a load of small (but very expensive) spherical objects, you know the ones… Created by so many self-important and self-perpetuating civil servants in Whitehall…

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 02-02-2010, in Police, Society Babble and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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