Sunday, January 17, 2010

Police Protecting Criminal's Rights

Well here is another hard hat post I guess. It is a bit longer than usual. If anyone wants to argue in favour, or against, what I have to say feel free, because I feel really strongly about this.

I was really annoyed to find out that a law abiding young mother who brandished a kitchen knife in her own kitchen to scare off intruders found herself being warned about her behaviour by the police. Hertfordshire County Police in the UK.

The young mother was the classically trained musician, former chart star and popular celebrity Myleene Klass, she was at home, alone with her little daughter.

She was in her kitchen and male intruders to her property were in her yard, her daughter was upstairs, she was terrified, banged on the kitchen window and brandished a knife...

The intruders retreated and she called the police.

What happened when Hertfordshire's “finest” got there?. They warned the potential criminal who had called them about her behaviour using an offensive weapon to threaten the intruders is what!!

Now at this point surely any right thinking person has so got to start to wonder what the point of these useless public employees is.

Did they protect her in any way?. Did their existence put off these intruders in any way?

So we have a situation in the UK where the police seem to be very little actual practical use to the average law abiding citizen and householder, other than to turn up after the event and make a note of the details of any crime or disaster which happened. Maybe arrange for someone to clean up any mess and notify relatives.

When they do bother to turn up they are as likely to prosecute the victim as the perpetrator.

It used to be the British police had a natural store of good will from the law abiding majority of citizens.

Officers mostly tried to provide the sort of policing the majority wanted and expected. They protected the public from criminals. They saw themselves as working for and protecting the average law abiding citizen. Seeing a British bobby in a pointed helmet made you feel a little bit safer.

Not any more... and they mostly look like scary SWAT team members away from the tourist traps these days.

Over the last 20 years things seem to have really changed. These days the police act like they prefer an easy target that boosts their figures, and I guess there are none easier than a generally law abiding member of the public, especially with a huge increase in laws and rules that the normal person can't keep up with.

The police need to remember they are not some paramilitary occupying force. They are citizens, civil public servants, there to protect society and its honest citizens. Not treat everyone like crooks.

You can't have a much better example of who the police should be protecting, who they should be working on behalf of, than an innocent young mother and child menaced by trespassers in their own home.

They shouldn't be bullying her. If the Police feel they need to lean on such a person when they make a mild attempt to scare off intruders then there is something really wrong with how they think and are trained. Also maybe with the sort of person who runs/controls the police.

If what Myleene Klass did is against the law then there is something quite wrong with the law ...and those who make and interpret the law, because it should not be!!

If someone trespasses where they clearly should not be and without a lawful excuse then their rights should not be given preference, or even equal rating, over the owner of that property.

If they get injured being where they should not while doing wrong then surely it is their own fault. If they are injured by someone defending themselves their family and their property then again that is just too bad and the law should recognise it.

I really don't wonder the police are so against the public ever defending themselves, because it must show up what a poor job the police themselves do for the average citizen.

If an intruder is injured or killed, and the force used is fairly reasonable, taking into account what the defender knew, or thought and how physically able they were, then the householder should not be prosecuted.

If you have two physically mature male intruders and one female defender, then even if she shot them with a legally owned firearm then it should be lawful self defence.

The fact is that the average female is physically unlikely to be able to win against two males. Even if she is trained in unarmed combat it is not something a sensible person would want to try.

What option does a woman have under those circumstances? Especially knowing there is only her between her child and a threat, what option but to use any to a weapon to hand to make a believable threat? And if their bluff us called then maybe to use it.

This is always the problem for a woman defending herself. Against physical violence, actual or imminent.

She has to up the ante and do it first, or she loses.

If there is no escape she is left with the choice of “laying back and thinking of England” as it used to be said and hoping if they get what they want they won't hurt her... and then having to explain why she didn't try defend herself, or to try to take the guy out with a crippling attack.

I firmly believe a woman should be trained to defend herself, but I am realistic enough to know there are limitations. You try not to get in a bad situation, but sometimes it comes to you. Chances are way high there will be no police there to protect you if it does.

Now it looks like if you realistically try to defend yourself it makes you a criminal.

It is true not just for women, but for anyone who is weaker than or outnumbered by their attackers.

Am I unreasonable to be livid about this? I really don't think so.


jmb said...

That is a pretty horrible story Miss Moggs. It seems that the ordinary British citizen has no one to turn to nowadays.

Let's hope instances like this make everyone sit up and take notice and start to protest but it hardly seems likely, does it?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Sometimes there may be details of a story that we may not know about (trying to give the police some slack). However, based on what is known, it does seem like the police officers who responded are a bunch of dunderheads!

I am also concerned about the response of Australian Police to the rash of violence against Indian students and nationals in Victoria and NSW. They seem to continue to dismiss it as 'normal criminal activity" or "opportunistic crimes". I think they should just own up to the fact that there is a problem and get on with the effort of dealing with it.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

LGS, Well Maybe I beat up on the officers who actually attended more than they deserved.

Since I wrote the post I read that they were actually basically telling her "No. FGS, Don't mention the knife" when she was telling them what happened, to keep her out of trouble.

So I figure maybe they, personally, can have a little slack. Maybe there is hope for some of them.

They must know the 'system' better than most and they obviously thought she might get in trouble with the 'system' if she said anything that gave it (or some jobsworth) the chance to do her harm.Or maybe they would then be forced to report her to cover themselves once it got into the system.

It is wrong anyway.

JMB, I used to think if you had tried to be sensible, honest and basically law abiding you had nothing to fear from the 'system' and the police. That basically they were there for the citizen's benefit. I don't think that any more.

It used to be when I saw a police officer I felt a bit safer knowing they were around. If you were in trouble you could go to them. Now they mostly are not around. You do see these hopeless pretend police officers more often. But the worst thing is if I do see a real Officer I hope they don't notice me because they feel more like trouble than safety.

Anonymous said...

Makes me livid, too. If I were in the same circumstances, and especially if a child were under threat, I would do what it takes.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Mrwriteon, Thank you for your comment. I agree. I think many of us would and take any consequences after to protect our family.

The thing is we should not be in the position of having to take 'consequences' from what everyone I have spoken to agrees is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Plus the thought of being picked on by the state for daring to try protect ourselves when the state can't do it might just make you fatally hold back at a vital moment.

James Higham said...

There are any number of instances over here of that.

Rositta said...

I for one have a can of pepper (bear) spray beside the bed and I wouldn't hesitate use it if needed to give me an edge. Seems criminals have all the rights don't they?...ciao

Marites said...

Gee wow! What were they thinking? you have every right to be livid.

Ellee Seymour said...

Yes, this is a big issue in this country. The law here often seems to favour the criminal rather than the victim.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Thank you all for your comments.

I guess you basically agree there is a problem. Even the Prime Minister was trying to get in on the act, as usual, too little, too late, over the weekend by saying courts should "show mercy"

No they shouldn't, That's not good enough. Most times there should not be these prosecutions brought in the first place. That is very different. Maybe I am too influenced by the attitude in the US over this.. Maybe more by old fashioned Brit attitudes.

I would certainly feel safer with some sort of equaliser.

Whatever. Seems to me an intruder has basically waived their rights when they set out to commit crime and bring anything bad that happens on themselves.

A householder can't send them a questionnaire to see how far they are going to go or if they are armed. They just have to assume the worst and act on that using enough force to really deal with that level of threat.

James Higham said...

This is what the Albion Alliance is fighting over here. We want this sort of thing to stop, to be reversed and a citizen's home is his/her castle is an ancient principle in our land which is being flagrantly ignored.

That new police culture comes from somewhere and these things tend to come down from above. In replies from the 'above' to our campaign, we have noted the arrogance and disdain and that is, in turn coming from somewhere.

Now, apart from the hopeless government which is the laughing stock of the world, it has to be coming from somewhere else.

It is. It's coming out of Europe and the stranglehold of the laws as they're tightened up [thousands of new laws] and the sheer corruption over there.

For example, did you know that policy is decided in a think tank first, then presented to parliament in Brussels for rubber stamping? This can be verified by just looking at the pass rate for legislation.

This is where the un-British culture is coming down from and it was reflected in a TV series form the 80s which imagined that Germany had actually won, not lost and had taken over Britain.

The culture in that film was not a lot different to what we have now. That's why Myleene Klaas was treated that way.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

James, Wow that is a big comment after your other one-liner. So I make a bigger reply.

I am not sure where it is coming from. Maybe for a start the politicising of the police and all those endless 'policies' and 'targets' Labour set?

If you set a target of, (even an informal one... and you can bet they have those), how many arrests a police officer makes you had better be very sure they are real offences by real criminals.

It does seem scarily like too many of the police think most all the public are criminal... and treat us like it. Guilty until proven innocent.

Things like parking tickets and speeding tickets are just like that. You practically have to prove you are innocent. Lots of people can't be bothered and just pay up because it is easier, so then it becomes a sort of tax too.

Criminals know the system, they are not so easy to catch as an innocent member of the public caught out by some new law, or a change in the way old ones are enforced, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just reacting naturally and reasonably to what is happening.

Before the targets and such Police officers probably got to use their own common sense and discretion. Now It seems like some jobsworth is scripting it all like they are puppets.

Is there any bad European influence? I don't know. I figure if it is it is maybe not so intended. Incompetence, petty officials, stupidity, laziness and unintended things happening could account for it.

If there is bad influence maybe it is the political classes.

Europe's laws are mostly descended from the Napoleonic system aren't they? There you had examining magistrates, A bit like a souped up DA with less of the adversarial system and things like habeas corpus. Maybe some of that guilty until proven innocent attitude is seeping thru like backed up sewage between the European politicos and that includes UK ones.

Culturally Anglos see them as not so good if they prefer to be free, more authoritarian people love them with all the "If you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear" bull. Tell it to Myleen.

After all it's not like the people in charge of the police have nearly so much to be concerned about them as the rest of us do.

But I figure the real reason is more that it is just easier to do things like that, "more efficient", less expense and bother for those in charge. So I guess it turns out the road to hell is paved with intentions to make things more efficient.