I have always been fascinated about the concept of "Policing by Consent". It is a bit like democracy. The rulers rule because we put them their. They might actually do whatever they want once they get their but make no mistake WE PUT THEM THEIR. They sometimes circumvent our wish by making sure that whoever we put their is one of their own for example - Miliband vs. Cameron vs. Clegg - ANY DIFFERENCE? I don't think so.
Back to "Policing by Consent". I tried to explain the concept to a gathering of friends a few years ago. Take the last London riots as an example. You can see how stretched the Police were. Just imagine if all parts of the United Kingdom had simultaneously rioted. The police would have been incapable of restoring order. I several other examples and scenarios but would rather not go overboard on this issue.
I sincerely hope the ruling class and the Police recognise the fact that they only rule and police with our consent. I have noticed a few things in the public space that makes me wonder if the Police and Our Rulers get the point. Two recent examples come to mind:
1) The Adam Johnson Arrest
If the statement released by the Police is anything to go by, it appears Adam Johnson has done something very wrong. In order to arrest him, the Police rock up in his house with 3 squad vehicles. THREE. Potentially these 3 vehicles had a minimum of 6 OFFICERS to arrest ONE MAN. This is understandable if we are talking the secret leader of ISIS or a doomsday cult deep in the innermost part of Durham. No we are talking a 20 something professional footballer. What was he going to do? Resist arrest?
Was this the most cost efficient way of dealing with his arrest? Is this proof that the Police have spare capacity within their ranks since they could spare 6 OFFICERS to arrest ONE individual with no known history of violence.
This is not about anonymity for both rape victims and the accused. I just question how the Police allocate their resources. A trawl through the Internet will reveal many photographs of multiple police officers and patrol cars turning up to situations where one or at most two police officers can deal with. the situation. Who is really responsible for making these decisions? Do they understand the concept of proportionality? Do they understand we are broke as a nation? I don't think so.
2) UK Citizens attempting to emigrate to Syria
In one of my earlier posts, I commented about UK citizens / residents going off to fight for either side of the ISIS war in Syria & Iraq and indeed in other conflict areas around the world. My stance then and now is that these people should not be allowed back into the country under any circumstances.
If Micheal Adebolajo had been prevented from coming back from Kenya / Somalia, Lee Rigby will not have died from his crazed action in Woolwich. Also MI5 and our myriad security agencies would have saved the few bob they spent spying on him and his ilk.
As somewhat outlined above, the reason the Police are able to police effectively is because majority of the public are law abiding. If the flow of people to Syria is a trickle - the odd individual or if people are been kidnapped against their will, the state is justified in taking action. However what is reported in the media suggest that the rate at which people are attempting to go to Syria is turning from a trickle into something of a steady flow. I will question why where are preventing these people from leaving the UK.
Our Leaders, the Police and the security agencies should understand this point - SOME PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF UK LIFE & THEY WANT SOMETHING ELSE. Why are we preventing them? Why are we stopping them from actualising their dream? Why are we effectively reverse kidnapping them?
Please imagine the effects of these voluntary emigration on our collective purse - reduced pressure on GP / A & E / Hospital resources, smaller school classrooms, reduced pressure on social services? Reduced cost for security surveillance on these people etc.
Why are we so stuck on the idea that these people have to be prevented from running away to Syria? What exactly are we afraid of? What is even more annoying is that we bring some of these people back, spend loads of money prosecuting them in the courts of law and even spend a bigger shed load imprisoning them, given them free reign to radicalise more people in prison and allow the warped vicious cycle continue. Whose interest is the government protecting by preventing these people from going to Syria?
While I'm not asking for the government to actively encourage these people in their desire to go to Syria, I am definitely of the opinion that we should not be preventing them. I understand there are potential issues when these people get bored in Syria and decide they want to come back. That however is a different issue. We don't know if they would have sadly passed away before getting bored.
If they do genuinely get bored and want to come back, they need to obtain a travel document and that is entirely at our discretion how we deal with that request. A refusal wouldn't be out of place on my opinion. I would also imagine that their original travel documents are no longer valid once they decide to abandon the way of life here for what is effectively promoting terrorism.
As a country, we should be working with the international community & the United Nations on how international rules can be changed to ensure terrorists and their sympathisers are rendered stateless and we won't have to worry about the bored terrorist sympathisers who decide to come back.
Our leaders complain about the need to cut government spend but their actions and that of other governmental agencies like the police clearly does not support this 'broke' story.