Police and bureaucracy

The recent discussion about the time police officers spend completing forms is another example of policy coming round full circle.  Have we suddenly forgotten the Brixton riots?  Do we want the police able to stop and search on the street without having to justify their judgements and decisions?  The forms have a purpose that we should not forget.

Or perhaps, since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, do we believe that the police have changed their ways?  Institutional racism is no longer an issue?  To remove scrutiny from the acytions of police officers, to allow them to work with minimal constraint required a great deal of trust in their integrity and in their ability to exercise discretion.  That trust requires time to develop and effort to maintain.  And where are the reflexive practitioners who might be caspable of acting without scrutiny?


2 Responses to “Police and bureaucracy”

  1. 1 liverbird February 2, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    I was equally amazed that no Labour politicians seemed to want to explain why it is important that the Police should at least be able to justify why they stopped and searched someone. Can’t they remember? I clearly remember the strong sense within an inner city community, and particuarly the black community, of a community under seige. We seem to have forgotten, again, that the police only police with consent.

    There are strong paralells between this and what is happening in Croxteth and Norris Green where young people are being routinely stopped and searched on the grounds that they might be carrying weapons. This follows the terrible murder of Rhys Jones and the desire of the local police force to demonstrate that it is them, rather than the gangs, who are in control of the streets. In these circumstances we need to be reminded that the Police in exercising their powers should be scrutinised.

  2. 2 caulking May 30, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Caulking says : I absolutely agree with this !

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