2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Politics

Supercops: Armed and Dangerous

23 September 2005

This week Sir Ian Blair addressed the annual conference of the Police Superintendents' Association. He had something new to propose; something radical. Something never seen before on English city streets. A new breed of cop for a new breed of criminal. Essentially, in newspaper-speak, what Blair proposed was a kind of supercop; a supercop with superpowers. Immediately, and typically, the usual liberals and crim-huggers went on the attack, childishly referencing both Judge Dredd and Robocop. Nonsense of course. All Blair wants to do is dispense with the courts and bring in the army. Relax.

'One idea,' he explained, straight-faced, 'is to have some police officers - paid more and with more powers - to impose an interim ASBO, for instance, or suspend a driving licence.' The thing that holds police back, he argued, is that 'the criminal justice system takes so long. We need to make justice more immediately apparent to the offender and the community.' Instant justice - that's the ultimate aim. Blair acknowledged the fact that giving the police powers more commonly associated with magistrates will blur the line between the role of bobbies and beaks, but he's not that fussed. He knows that that'll be nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when the army start roaming the streets with their guns cocked.

The spur for this long-overdue overhaul was of course the July bombings. The police force as it stands simply cannot successfully respond both to terror and to anti-social behaviour. Blair has found to his cost that if you put all your officers in the train stations, the chavs go hog-wild in the 'burbs. Something, therefore, has to change. Blair demands it. As well as extending the powers of community support officers and other currently non-warranted force staffers, his most radical suggestion is that the police should be bolstered by 'bring[ing] staff directly in from the armed services.' Like Rambo. Blair reckons that after 'a small amount of basic training and clear instructions', your average Gulf War vet will be able to step into current firearms officers' shoes with ease. He's most probably right. It'll be like Jean Charles de Menezes never existed at all.

The one light at the end of this otherwise terrifying tunnel is that Blair is fully aware of the potential for an increased abuse of power amongst the authorities that be, and he's dead against it. Knowing his proposals might seem frighteningly overzealous and completely out of control, he insisted that new superpowers should not be granted lightly, and, preferably, 'without turning the place into a police state, which,' he added, 'would be unfortunate'.

Unfortunate indeed. But on the cards.

Be afraid. Sir Ian Blair is a very dangerous man.

-

thestatewerein@thefridaything.co.uk



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved