Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘ACPO

This Absurd Waste Of Police Time And Resources

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The spectacle of police officers breaking down doors all over the country is ridiculous.  It is the most disgraceful waste of police time and resources.  Last year the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the total number of  “commercial cannabis factories” found in 2009/10 was 6,886 – more than double the 3,032 discovered two years ago, and more than eight times the annual average between 2004 and 2007.

What does this cost?  What does it achieve?

The prohibition of cannabis is a major error in government policy.   It is prohibition that has made cannabis-growing so attractive to organised crime and with that has come violence and human trafficking.  It is the law that puts police officers in harm’s way, that creates violence on our streets.  It is the same stupid law that sends the same police officers using the same tactics into the homes of responsible citizens.  People who are growing a few plants for themselves, who have real medical need, are treated as if they are violent criminals.

Prohibition is the most inane, discredited, intellectually redundant idea there ever was!  Yet our poodle politicians whimper along behind it without the courage to grasp the nettle and undertake the reform that is desperately needed.

This is no minor issue.  It should be high in priority because, aside from the cost to human life and liberty,  in Britain it means that £19 billion per annum is being recklessly and uselessly discarded every year.  Police officers are put in danger.  Innocent citizens are terrorised.  Organised crime profits.  Ministers won’t even discuss it.

I remember last year I heard the story of a police officer involved in a raid who had both arms nearly severed by falling glass.  What ludicrous system is it that puts citizen against citizen like this, and endangers life on all sides?

And so the crooked circle turns, around and around.  There is no excuse.  All the intellectual, moral, health and science arguments have been won. The government’s policy is manifestly wrong, fundamentally immoral and a huge waste of money.

This is a scandal of neglect, cowardice, wasted lives and wasted money that shames our nation.

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Boris To Decide MP Prosecutions?

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Up and down the country Chief Constables have been deluged with complaints about local MPs.  Many constituents believe that their MP’s conduct has gone beyond error and misjudgement to the point where the police need to investigate.  There is huge anger and if Harriet Harman’s “Court Of Public Opinion” gets its way then there is to be much humiliation and many prison sentences for miscreant MPs.

The Man For The Job

The Man For The Job

Chief Constables are accused of sitting on their hands and being in fear of taking on such high profile suspects.  In fact, there is confusion about jurisdiction and about what recourse is open to the public if the police will not take action.

An attempt has already been made to bring a private prosecution against Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.  District Judge Bruce Morgan at Redditch Magistrates Court adjourned the application for a summons and referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police, saying that the applicant could *come back to court” if the Met failed to investigate.

The Association Of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) says that the Met is taking the lead and that jurisdiction for all MPs is likely to be in the Met’s hands as expenses claims are paid out from Parliament and not in the constituencies.

The Met’s current position is still that it’s thinking about it.  It “needs to understand the Parliamentary processes for expenses” as part of its assessment as to whether to launch an investigation.  After its clumsy and inept handling of the Damian Green affair it’s not surprising that discretion should be the better part of its valour but really, it’s a shabby response to what is probably the greatest ever betrayal of public trust.

Perhaps that’s what the problem is.  It all just seems too big, too grand, too important.  In reality, the sordid, self-serving decisions that so many MPs have taken are just as small and pathetic as any shoplifter or petty thief.

What we need here is clarity and courage.  We deserve a police service that can see through the obfuscation, blather and bluff.  If  you look at them in the same way as you would a shoplifter or a petty thief , brush away their pathetic excuses, well, officer, what are you going to do now?

If the police fail to take action, where will the public turn?  The Independent Police Complaints Commission has a very narrow remit.  It can only address questions of police misconduct.  Questions of policy, or the conduct of Chief Constables are a matter for the local police authority and in London, that means the Metropolitan Police Authority, chairman of which is ex-MP, Boris Johnson.  The Association of Police Authorities (APA) is waking up to this fast approaching buck and where it might be stopping.  Let’s hope Boris is too.