Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Moat’s Last Moments. Are All Our Policemen Wonderful?

with 10 comments

Almost Over

On Friday night they had Raoul Moat cornered at last.  It was the culmination of something more akin to a military invasion than a reasonable response to just one deranged nutter.   Northumbria Police had already made fools of themselves but we were all biting our lips,  not yet protesting, hoping against hope that there would be no further casualties.

The first photographs from the stand-off were released and they clearly showed police pointing tasers.  On BBC News the ex-police firearms expert was interviewed and asked why a taser couldn’t be used to disable Moat.  He answered quite unequivocally that using a taser when a man has a gun pointed at his head was more than likely to result in him firing the weapon involuntarily.

First thing on Saturday morning and it was no surprise to learn that Moat was dead.  What was utterly shocking was to learn that two tasers had been fired and the recording broadcast by the BBC revealed the shouting before the sound of the shotgun blast.  The unavoidable conclusion is that exactly what the firearms expert had predicted was what happened.

I don’t have any sympathy for Moat.  As far as I’m concerned a good case could have been made for him being shot on sight but I am very, very unhappy with the way the police handled the affair.

All Over Now

It may be that the denouement itself was handled properly.  We will never know what really happened however many inquiries we have.  What I am certain of is that overall the police should have done much better.  Those far, far better qualified to judge than me have already said as much.  I speak only as a concerned citizen.

I really worry about our police service.  While I believe there are many brave, honourable coppers, some of whom are highly skilled,  there are too many worrying indications that our police service is not up to the job.

There’s thuggery and the rank-closing covering-up and justification of it.  There’s the appalling canteen culture which is at the root of all the institutionalised racism, thuggery and freemasonry.  There’s the amateurish approach of senior officers who seem barely competent at times.  There is inevitably some corruption but also a long-running deception that the decision to prosecute is at arms length.  The police decide who to investigate in the first place. The CPS and the police eat in the same canteen

Look at the brutality of the police, the TSG in particular, at the Gaza and G20 protests and how they’ve got away with it.  Look at the Inspector Gadget police website for an insight into the disgusting attitude of many officers.   Look at the management of situations like the Cumbrian shootings and the Raoul Moat affair and the use of ludicrous, self-evidently bad ideas like the “kettling” at the Gaza and G20 protests.  Look at the income generation from speed cameras promoted by some chief constables.  Look at the absurd, intrusive, wildly excessive use of CCTV.  Look at the ridiculous administration routines that many chief constables have imposed.  Look at the insistence on retaining the DNA of innocent people.

The police are now very well paid.  A starting police officer gets about twice as much as a starting soldier.   They have wonderful pension arrangements.  They’re also excused, let off and get away with behaviour that should never be allowed.  Look at the thug, Sergeant Delroy Smellie , who repeatedly beat Nicola Fisher at the G20 protest and got away with it, or the officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson, who later died, and who has still not been charged over a year later.

All the brave, honourable coppers are let down by those bad apples which myopic “support” of the police allows to rot and infect the rest.

The British police service needs a shake up.  It is complacent and inefficient.  Excellent work is done in anti-terrorism and organised crime but the truth is not all our policemen are wonderful.  We need to face up to that truth and make some changes.  Perhaps locally elected police chiefs are a way forward.

10 Responses

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  1. I may be biased by my focus on the rise of leftist fascism in the one party states of the United States and the UK. But this over-the-top multi million pounds operation seemed to me to be to a useful excercise for a national anti population police mobilisation, a training ground to prepare the police for civil disturbance in a future post-democratic state.


    July 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    • I share your concerns. There was no need for all this fuss and nonsense. It says something about paranioa, the nanny state, the police state – but I’m not quite sure what. All I know is that it was wrong. I despair of the way that our country is run. All this pretence about involvement and participation when the reverse is the truth. What the hell authorises a chief constable to go to these lengths at our expense?

      Peter Reynolds

      July 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    • The same though occured to me, Stressed. Trouble is, they looked just like a cheap american TV cops drama!

      They shot themselves in the foot, and the RIP Raoul Moat Facebook sites demonstrated that something had shifted in the relationship between the police and the population. Too many people have been subject to abuse by police that goes far beyond “It’s a fair cop!”


      July 21, 2010 at 7:11 am

      • Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that the police have lost the trust of the public. In my lifetime I’ve had too many bad personal experiences of the way they behave. I have first hand knowledge of them telling lies, of deceit, laziness, incompetence, arrogance and bullying. Let’s be clear though, Raoul Moat was lowlife scum. I have no sympathy for him at all whereas I do think that the police have a very difficult job to do

        Peter Reynolds

        July 21, 2010 at 10:36 am

  2. The pigs are a paramilitary band of shite. I bet you let them stick truncheons up your arse.

    Jim bob

    July 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    • Well I sort of three-quarters agree with your first remark. Your second? What provoked that? What sort of cretin are you? It’s clear what gets you off on a Friday night after the pub.

      Don’t bother coming back here. You’re not welcome.

      Peter Reynolds

      July 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

  3. Moat was never going to come alive…
    Four options were likely

    (1) He would shoot himself
    (2) He would shoot/attempt to shoot others and be shot
    (3) He would wave the gun around and put himself in a postion where the cops would have had to shoot him – suicide by cop
    (4) He would be shot in an attempt to detain him.

    This case was unique – and like all unique things there is no precedence and no manual of how to deal with the incident with hindsight.
    Mistakes were always going to be made – the important bit is no further innocents got injured or died.

    Manchester Cop

    July 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    • I agree with you but the massive use of armed policemen from all over the country was disproportionate.

      Peter Reynolds

      July 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    • It seems to me that, far from great policing cornering Moat, he deliberately broke cover.

      It also seems to me that all one has to do is keep him cordoned off, and wait for him to fall asleep, if one wants a peaceful solution.

      To induce sleep, all that is needed is a peaceful atmosphere, which regretably seems to be absent in modern policing, which relies heavily on screaming and shouting, running around like headless chickens, and massive application of force.

      Instead, the police seem to have applied pressure throughout the stand-off, and having promised Moat that they would not come behind him, broke that promise in a bungled attempt to jump him under cover of background noise and distracting lights.

      Not surprisingly, Moat reacted strongly in the only way open to him ( barring submission ) to the assualt from behind, and threatened to pull the trigger. Police then fired tasers with shotguns, causing Moat to voluntarily or involuntarily pull the trigger.

      It seems to me that police procedure nationwide is to apply maximum force with maximum stress in the minimum time required to remove the incident. This has resulted in a large number of incidents where people have been shot dead in questionable circumstances.

      I think that the Moat case will prove to be a major stepping stone in the breakdown of trust in British police.

      The Moat case is a spotlight on what is wrong with Britain. Moat had asked for help, and it was refused.
      They begrudged a few hours help for Moat, but when he went insane, suddenly tens of thousands of man hours are suddenly made available.

      Moat complained that police would not let him alone when he was trying to go straight, and the police actually robbed him of his transport required for his business, and at a glance at the media, it seemed that he was uninsured. But the truth was that Moat WAS insured, but some law actually states that his insurance ONLY applied to his tree surgeon business, and the carrying of scrap metal not only rendered his insurance invalid, but also gave police opportunity to confiscate Moat’s vehicle.

      I cannot think of anything more calculated to enrage anyone than stealing a man’s vehicle. It has to be a supreme irony that one of the two officers who took Moat’s van, was PC Rathband, who was blinded by Moat.

      I have met policemen for whom I have the greatest respect – including a detective who came up to me after a two day Crown Court trial, and said “Well done!” after I was found Not Guilty of serious firearms offences. I was just 21 years old, and represented myself, cross-examing the two policemen, and a 45 minute winding-up speech. The judge was Sir Norman Skelhorn, ex-DPP, and very helpful to me.

      A probationary detective had, unknown to the detective, attempted to blackmail me into giving evidence against someone. My father was a wartime submarine officer, whose language taught me how to tell him to “B****r off!”, leading him to within twenty minutes begin a witness statement against me from the original target.

      My shotgun certificate was revoked before I ever saw a court – no apology was ever received from police officially for the probationers conduct, nor was my shotgun certificate replaced.

      Beyond that case, I know firsthand that police lie, as I caught a local authority redhanded commiting criminal offences. I spent two days with a detective inspector, whose report to the CPS later came into my hands. It failed to mention ANY of the points of danger to the council, or that three local councillors fully supported me to the extent of putting their own names to a private prosecution of the council solicitor, and signing an affidavit against their own council.

      One councillor had a bulldozer put through his house to shut him up. He died of cancer, and the others became silent. has it all.

      Massive pressure was applied by police to silence me, including the blackmail of my father by a Special Branch Superintendent. The Report to CPS is in the public domain, but no government person I have yet met will even look at it.


      July 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

  4. […] The Raoul Moat affair revealed how the police have lost the plot.   While some officers proved their courage and worth, others indulged in an orgy of technology, expense, hiding behind their procedures and precautions.  Others used banned super-Tasers, illegally obtained from their cronies in the arms industry and undoubtedly caused the death of the mad nutter.  Not a bad result but achieved in a dreadful way.  It was a dismal and demeaning epsiode for all concerned.  See here. […]

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