Friday, 19 October 2012
TORY-LED GOVERNMENT PREACHES RESPONSIBILITY WHILST PRACTISING DISRESPECT TOWARDS OUR POLICE
British police officers do a difficult, vital and all-too-often dangerous job to keeping our streets safe. It is challenging work, often in challenging circumstances, but they operate at their best because of a relationship with the public founded on consent rather than coercion.
This relationship is based on mutual respect. The police understand that they are public servants, charged with the responsibility to protect us, and the public understand that police officers are able to do this when they are treated with the respect they deserve.
Unfortunately, the current government seems to have forgotten this; they have treated the police with utter contempt and disrespect since coming into office.
The worst example of this has been the tirade of abuse that the Tory Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, recently subjected a police officer to outside Downing Street. Let us leave aside for a moment the fact that the officer’s role that day was to protect Mitchell and the Prime Minister in one of the most security-sensitive locations in the country. Let’s also leave aside that the Chief Whip swore at a police officer who was simply trying to do his job.
The heart of the matter is surely that a member of the Tory Cabinet believes it is appropriate to treat a police officer in such a way. Furthermore, the Prime Minister has chosen to keep Mitchell in his job instead of backing the police officer who was verbally abused.
Ask yourself this: what would you expect to happen to someone who swore at a police officer on duty in Derby’s city centre on a Saturday night? You would surely expect them to be arrested, and rightly so. But it seems that it is one rule for cabinet ministers in Downing Street and another for the rest of us on any other street in the country.
David Cameron, Andrew Mitchell and the rest of the Tory-led Government simply do not understand the nature of respect and responsibility when it comes to policing. That is why I’m backing our excellent candidate Alan Charles for Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on 15 November.
I have a simple question for the local Conservatives: Do you think Andrew Mitchell should have been sacked or not?
The answer is important because the arrogance displayed is indicative of this out-of-touch Tory-led government’s general attitude towards the police. Their lack of respect for the police has seen their numbers in England and Wales falling to their lowest level in nine years. The majority of the cuts have come from 999, neighbourhood and traffic response units - the officers we all rely on in an emergency.
As well as the NHS, the Tories simply cannot be trusted on the police.