Theresa May, the police and the abysmal truth – an open letter (pt 1)

Chris Hobbs /   May 19, 2017 at 8:57 PM 142,083 views

Note: This post contains images that some readers may find disturbing.

Dear Prime Minister,

As yet another election approaches and with you about to be confirmed as Prime Minister in a one-sided contest that resembles a Real Madrid versus Hartlepool reserves encounter, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reminisce with you, your time as the holder of one of the great offices of state.

You have, of course, been lauded as one of the great Home Secretaries, both strong and reforming, so let’s go back to those post 2010 election ‘heady days.’

Sir Tom

It all began so well Prime Minister if you remember with your promise of support for police. However wee Tom’s ‘independent’ report on police ‘reform’ bore an uncanny resemblance to the utterings on police reform of one David Cameron that began in 2006.

Strangely enough, expecting officers to roll around in the gutter with drunken yobs whilst approaching the age of 60 didn’t go down terribly well with those who missed the divisive pension cut. Equally, it soon became clear that being abused, spat on, attacked, and expected to be a cop 24 hours a day was deemed to be on a par with the salary of a McDonald’s trainee manager for those starting out on their career.

Still, it’s nice to see original, innovative work rewarded and you rewarded Tom, didn’t you Prime Minister, by making him Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, then giving him a knighthood for services to something or other. Clearly, rewards obtained on merit and nothing to do with you ensuring that your well-heeled shoe would be kept on the throat of the police service.

We saw Sir Tom’s eagerness to join the ranks of boys in blue when he donned a police uniform at a police memorial event. What an outcry there was over the trivial fact that Sir Tom had never performed a day’s police duty in his life. Perhaps, Prime Minister, he could have become a little more credible if he had worn his uniform whilst conducting a lone patrol around some of the more dubious estates of Hackney, Lambeth or Lewisham on a Friday or Saturday night. I’m sure some of the local, youthful, masked residents could have entertained him with a rap song or two. If that didn’t appeal, how about single crewing in a rural area where back up is miles away yet the drunken pub brawl isn’t.

In fairness to Sir Tom however, he at last appears to be ‘smelling the coffee’ as far as the difficulties faced by police are concerned and actually appears to be becoming ‘a fan.’ Sadly he’ll always be remembered as the puppet who put the skids under UK policing, but who knows, Prime Minister, what his next report might hold!!

Establishment contempt for police leads to increasing attacks on police

Shortly after the murder of two New York police officers in December 2015, New York Governor George E. Pataki tweeted: “Sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric.” Governor Pataki then named New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Attorney General Eric Holder.

I replied thus: “We see this anti-cop rhetoric in the UK. Sadly it comes from the very top of government.” That of course was a direct reference to yourself, your ministers and indeed your former boss David Cameron.

Back in 2010, the police service were expecting cutbacks from your new government. What we weren’t expecting was the level of bile and contempt that went with it. Do you remember your 2014 speech to the Police Federation when you used three lengthy paragraphs to list every police ‘transgression’ from Hillsborough to Plebgate. Some of these occurred before serving officers were even born, others in your list have still not been proven and the total number of officers involved, even if all are ‘guilty,’ are but a handful of the tens of thousands who served over that period. You however chose to smear every serving officer and in doing so gave encouragement to the thugs which in turn increased the threat to each of those officers.

Blurred image of a two police officers being attacked outside an east London school

Remember the speech in 2015 Prime Minister. There you accused the police of ‘crying wolf’ and ‘scaremongering.’ As the bodies begin to pile up, as the number of stabbing and shooting victims increase and as violent moped gangs cause havoc, what say you now? Probably not a lot, well at least not about policing.

The 2016 conference saw an outburst against police treatment of domestic violence victims. Strangely enough, in many units that deal with domestic violence and other safeguarding issues such as child sexual abuse, sexual offences officers might well agree with you.

Don’t be patting yourself on the back with that comment though, Prime Minister. These officers are struggling to cope with caseloads that number 20, 30 or 40 all of which are ticking time bombs. Believe it or not Prime Minister, it’s not like episodes of ‘The Bill’ where the whole station, both uniform and CID, can devote their time to solving one case. It’s not uncommon to see officers in these real life safeguarding units break down in tears, while recruitment is frequently a problem.

Of course in every speech you make concerning policing, there is a sentence that contains some faint praise for the police but we all know that this will be ignored by the media. We realise anti-police sentiment is not exclusively expressed by your good self. Others in your party and indeed the opposition make no secret of their loathing of police.

Do you remember the speech David Cameron made to the Tory faithful just two days after PC Dave Phillips was killed by a thug when he was trying to stop a stolen vehicle? The then Prime Minister’s one reference to police was as follows: “Opportunity doesn’t mean much to a black person constantly stopped and searched by the police because of the colour of their skin.”

Not a mock up: An officer’s blood stains his uniform after being attacked

As attacks on police officers increase in number and severity, would you agree that if establishment figures such as Prime Ministers and Home Secretaries treat the police with contempt by constant denigration, abuse and smearing as illustrated above, this increases the risk of abuse of, and attacks on, officers at the hands of the thugs?

Stop and Search: Blood on your hands, Prime Minister?

The term, ‘blood on your hands’ when applied to politicians is rather a dramatic one, isn’t it Prime Minister? It’s normally applied to those who have taken their country to a needless war such as Tony Blair or George Bush, or heads of state who have brutally suppressed their people such as Assad, Saddam and Mugabe.

You may or may not be surprised, Prime Minister, that many within the police service have applied that damning phrase to your good self. Did you know that if you Google, “Theresa May” and “Stop and Search” the result is 43,500 responses? Yes, I know that’s a rough and ready rule of thumb but it illustrates how you castigated police over stop and search, threatening legislation and accused officers of being racist.

Even in your current just published manifesto, you are again threatening the police with legislation in respect of stop and search thus again implying they are racist. Given the current carnage on the streets of London and elsewhere in the UK, that is truly breath taking.

As your rants continued did no-one show you a montage of the young fatal street crime victims of London? Such montages show a disproportionate number of victims who are black, mixed race or from other ethnic groups.

RIP. London’s young victims

The proportion of suspects/assailants are similar and thus the issue became ‘the elephant in the room’ and one that you, Prime Minister, can only have stuck your fingers in your ears and shouted ‘I can’t hear this, I can’t hear this.’ That is of course if any of your civil servants or other Home Office employees dared to inform you of the facts because by all accounts you didn’t suffer dissenters gladly.

Easier to stick to the race line Prime Minister, ignoring the fact that preventative stop and search also takes place in the predominately white high crime gangland areas of England and Wales in places such as Merseyside and parts of Manchester.

Interestingly, stop and search is also a contentious issue in Jamaica, not on racial grounds, but on the grounds of legality. Some state that that random road checks and road blocks conducted by the Jamaican Constabulary Force are largely unlawful when they result in vehicle searches – which is frequently.

The hierarchy of the JCF however maintain that the numerous firearms recovered from these searches justify their actions in that they save numerous lives. It remains to be seen whether stringent legal curbs are imposed by Jamaican lawmakers.

Of course in terms of London gangs and stop and search, there will be those activists, perhaps supported by yourself, who will say that the black community are being criminalised and stigmatised. The Met’s own gang matrix shows almost 80 per cent of gang members are black or of mixed race. This matrix has been labelled as racist but, Prime Minister, those figures are supported by that excellent charity Gangsline.

Did none of your staff tell you, Prime Minister, that gangs, be they predominately black, white or Asian, flourish in areas of socio-economic deprivation whose communities suffer with inadequate housing, poor education, a lack of job opportunities and often inferior health care especially in relation to those suffering mental health issues? Whose fault is this, eh Prime Minister? Could it be the fault of successive national governments from both right and left ‘supported’ by the inept local governance of local councils?

And of course it’s the police who are left having to deal with the increasing mess created by politicians.

Circulated widely on social media as a victim of London’s gang related violence

But no-one from the police community will claim that stop and search is the panacea which will, by itself, result in the virtual eradication of knife and gun crime. Communities need to take responsibility and, having had the privilege of living and working in London all my life, I know that from within the black community there is much outstanding work being carried out by truly remarkable individuals and organisations. Sadly that work is hampered by a withdrawal of funding by your government which is seeing youth centres, organisations and clubs being closed down. As Sheldon Thomas of Gangsline stated on Channel 5 news the other day, the government needs to start listening to those who know.

But what was the result of your tirades against police stop and search which were supported by politicians and activists of the left such as Diane Abbott. Stop and search figures crashed didn’t they Prime Minister, across the country but especially in London. And you and police chiefs gloated that whilst stop and searches were down, the proportion of successful arrests as against stop and searches increased.

What a triumph! What was carefully kept away from the public, Prime Minister, was the fact that the total number of arrests that took place as a result of stop and search in London dropped by 1,000 a month. Did you not even ask the question when you were Home Secretary or were you told and decided to do nothing?

Some officers on social media stated that they continued to stop and search regardless; others emphatically stated that they were not going to place their livelihoods and indeed the welfare of their families at stake by risking complaints as the result of carrying out a resented stop and search. Make no mistake, any complaint that contains an element of racism will taint that officer for this entire career even if it is not proven, while the IPCC is simply not trusted when investigating allegations of alleged police racism.

The fact is, Prime Minister, that as stop and search tailed off, confidence grew in that individuals became aware that the risk of them being stopped in possession of a knife, gun or drugs was becoming ever more remote. The genie was emerging from the bottle and no-one was attempting to force it back in.

More knives were being carried on the streets and, quelle surprise, more stabbings and shootings as a result. As the situation worsened, some, not in gangs, felt it necessary to carry a knife in order to protect themselves.

You and David Cameron have accused the police of being racist in carrying out a disproportionate number of searches on youths and young men from the black community. Tell me Prime Minister, did any of your staff show you the footage that, for a short time circulated on social media, which showed the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of a young teen rapper known as Showkey?

The videos were taken down but a few seconds of this heart-breaking footage still exists. The original showed, as often happens these days as the NHS falls apart, police arriving before paramedics and turning over the lifeless, bleeding body of Showkey before frantically applying their skills to keep him alive. Sadly they failed and I suspect the trauma of that day will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

The death of Marcel Addai in Hoxton saw a similar scenario where an officer won praise from Marcel’s family and neighbours for desperately trying to save this young man’s life despite being surrounded by a hostile crowd.

These are but two example of those you refer to as ‘racist police’ trying and sometimes succeeding in saving young lives. Have you ever considered Prime Minister that these same officers are carrying out stop and search, not for the sadistic pleasure of harassing young black men, but to actually save lives?

Officers attempt to save the life of a teen stabbing victim (face obscured). Sadly the young man died

Yes, I know many stop and searches are for drugs but does that matter? As Damilola Taylor’s father pointed out and as was illustrated by Channel 5’s current documentary, ‘Inside the Gang,’ drugs are the oxygen of the gangs. If you, Prime Minister, lived in a gang-ridden Hackney Estate and were considering picking up a knife as you left home, wouldn’t the fact that you might be stop and searched for whatever reason, be it weapons or drugs, act as a deterrent?

Apologies, I appreciate that being a resident of a Hackney Estate will almost certainly be beyond your comprehension. It’s not beyond mine however because I was. As a matter of interest I returned to pay a nostalgic visit shortly before the Olympics. Each block now resembled Fort Knox. A sad sign of the times, eh Prime Minister?

Of course, despite the fact the genie in respect of knife and gun crime is well and truly out of the bottle, it seems that the mantra of the both the Met and government is that gangs are not really a major factor. The Met’s figure wobbles between five and 25 per cent in terms of gang involved knife crime, yet the Met’s own figures show that almost 80 per cent of violent knife crime remains unsolved.

So, and stay with me here Prime Minister, how on earth is it possible that the figure of 25 per cent is quantifiable given the level of knife crime unsolved? Those involved in working to divert young people away from gangs and knife crime I know agree that where some youths are  proven to be ‘carrying’ because of the fear of gangs this should warrant a tick in the ‘gang crime box.’

Interesting too that the Met, thus far, have refused to provide (to me) under the FOI the total number of knives seized across London by means of stop and search or sweeps. Surely Prime Minister this sort of information really should be in the public domain.

I wonder if anyone from the Home Office during your period of tenure actually placed on your desk any sort of report which suggested that knife and even gun crime is significantly under-reported. Did you know, Prime Minister, that there is a flourishing cottage back street industry in the treatment of non-life threatening knife and gun wounds? Did you know that those in gangs stabbed by rivals will treat their own relatively minor injuries by using super-glue? And, whilst we are looking at medical treatment, how much worse would the death toll be but for the acquired expertise of paramedics and hospital medical staff?

Did you also know that, despite a requirement that hospitals report all knife injuries, some staff will not do so if the patient claims it was an accident or, more significantly, if the patient states that by talking to the police, he/she will be regarded as a snitch which could result in further attacks or even being ostracised by his/her own gang friends. Snitches get stitches is not just an empty phrase!

Perhaps an alternative, Prime Minister, would be to take on board the views of your own creation, the College of Policing (CoP). You probably haven’t been briefed as to the fact that there is a gap the width of the Pacific Ocean between rank and file officers and CoP. One recent report published with great gusto by the CoP compiled by three academics concluded that stop and search had a ‘negligible’ effect on violent crime. So if that is the case, why not simply end stop and search as has been suggested by many activists and even apparently considered by Sir Bernard? Couldn’t be a better test for the effectiveness of stop and search and if your academics are right, there will be no dramatic increase in knife crime, well, not above the increase we are already seeing.

One final thought Prime Minister before we move on to pastures new. Every individual fatally stabbed or shot on our streets would still be alive today if their assailants had been stopped and searched before encountering their victim.

Armed police on…off…on…our streets

Do you remember the Mumbai massacre in 2008 Prime Minister, when Islamic terrorists killed 164 people in a four day rampage? That sent a tremor through the UK’s police service and we were all asking ‘what if?’ The concern was most keenly felt amongst armed officers and then of course in 2010 you took office. Three years later in 2013, the Westgate Shopping Mall massacre in Nairobi caused again considerable concern throughout our police service but by that time the number of armed police in the UK was, under your watch, falling.

Earlier the same year, the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich shocked the world and throughout this period we saw other terror attacks in Ottawa, New York, Melbourne and Sydney. In Europe further incidents occurred; four persons were shot dead at a Jewish museum in Belgium while a terrorist incident on a French train was foiled by three US nationals including two servicemen.

It was the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015 followed by the murder of 30 UK nationals in Sousse in June 2015 that convinced front line UK officers that urgent action was needed and indeed would be taken by the UK government in respect of the number of armed officers policing the UK.

Yet amazingly, on your watch Prime Minister, numbers of armed officers continued to fall. What had been an establishment of approaching 6,000 armed officers in 2009 had shrunk by 1,300. What makes this even more inexcusable, Prime Minister, is that you must have been only too well aware that the trickle of UK jihadists travelling to fight abroad had turned into a flood.

It took the Paris attacks in November 2015 which included the Bataclan massacre that actually convinced David Cameron and yourself that less than 5,000 armed officers was woefully inadequate. You knew, didn’t you Prime Minster, that not to take action would have been political suicide? No matter how any independent enquiry was constituted, you would have been crucified even by the faithful Tory press that lauded your ‘taking on’ the police.

The Nice massacre in July 2016 really did ensure that the panic button was pushed and there have been frantic moves to recruit additional armed officers as you well know. It’s not always proved that easy though has it? Standards are high but a more relevant point as far as potential recruits are concerned isn’t the prospect of a firefight with terrorists armed with AK47’s, but what happens when the police trigger is pulled.

Some vague promises have been made by your good selves as to action to protect officers but there is little sympathy from’ or trust in the Independent Police Complaints Commissions, which even you admit Prime Minister is not fit for purpose.

It seems that much hard work by the police chief’s lead expert in armed policing, Simon Chesterman and others, including firearms instructors, has ensured that the uplift will be achieved. Attention has been paid to improving vehicles, communication and cooperation together with a surge capability that calls on armed officers from non-Home Office forces, but the actual numbers of armed officers on the streets will not be much greater than they were in 2009.

We saw, didn’t we Prime Minister, in the most heavily policed area of the UK, how devastating a terrorist attack could be. The death of PC Keith Palmer and four others was a tragedy that will never be forgotten. But where does that leave other areas of the UK outside of the big cities?

France of course covers a much larger area than the UK but has a similar population. Its police forces, Police Nationale and Gendarmarie, number around 260,000 officers; more than twice that of the UK and all are armed. Even in the smallest rural towns there is normally a police presence and while the previously unarmed 18,000 municipal police officers are also being equipped with firearms.

In the UK, thanks to your cuts, Prime Minister, the nearest single crewed unarmed police officer could be 20 minutes away from a substantial rural or coastal town as a terror attack commences. It really is no use talking about surges and SAS deployments unless the attack is of the prolonged Mumbai variety.

Look at the damage caused in just 82 seconds at Westminster. Imagine the carnage that would have been caused had that attack taken place along the high street of the small coastal town from where I am writing this. There would be a probable fifteen minute response from unarmed officers. The closest armed officers will have to stop their vehicles, open the gun cabinets in the boot and don protective clothing before proceeding to the call. It’s extremely probable that even their presence would fail to stop a Nice-type attack.

I once wrote that ’ minutes count’ in respect of a terrorist attack and was corrected by former Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley who stated ‘seconds count.’

You Prime Minister, as the country faced an increasing terror threat, presided over a horrendous cut in overall police officer numbers that must have baffled your fellow European ministers. Even a further boost in armed police numbers over and above the original target to say 8,000 still leaves the UK’s population outside of the major cities massively vulnerable to any form of terror attack.

Those in the Palace of Westminster who opposed and to all practical purposes vetoed the wishes of senior police officers in respect of deploying armed officers to fixed points such as at the gates were, frankly, criminally negligent. Doubtless, in true establishment tradition, those issues will never be explored in full public view, but similar negligence is only too apparent in many parts of the UK.

Still Prime Minister, when a tragic terror attack away from the main UK cities takes place and grabs headlines across the world, we can take comfort from the fact that there will be a Cobra meeting!!

Part 2 in a few days. Let’s hope in the meantime, someone, somewhere asks you a few pertinent, probing questions in respect of your ‘policing record’ but I’m not holding my breath.

Chris Hobbs

(Metropolitan Police 1978 to 2011)

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35 thoughts on “Theresa May, the police and the abysmal truth – an open letter (pt 1)”

  1. Andy Wright says:

    Spot on, once gain, Chris. There MUST be a way to make that woman read this and we all need to ensure that her lies, arrogance and simple refusal to even acknowledge the reality is widely exposed. Thank you for continuing the fight.

  2. David Lucas says:

    Absolutely spot on. I cannot understand why Theresa May behaved as she did with the Police Service in General, not just the Met. She seems to be running a personal vendetta, on the face of it against the Police but doesn’t seem to heed or care about the ever increasing vulnerability of the population as a whole including Police Officers by doing so. As a retired officer I can only think that some greater power is influencing her or she has lost all reason. Either way, it will be the Electorate that decide the outcome of the forthcoming General Election and in fairness to them their potential fate needs explaining and that’s no exaggeration to say the least. It seems that the days of Robert Peel need to Return, the sooner the better.

  3. Roger Deans says:

    Chris, re stop & search, you did not mention here 2014 speech to Parliament regarding changes to stop & search and her demanding a reduction or further measures would be taken.

  4. Roger Deans says:

    Chris, re stop & search, did you not read her speech to Parliament in 2014 where she changed the rules and demanded a reduction or further measure would be taken.

  5. Colin White says:

    One of the best critiques I have read on the current state of policing. It is very clear that this is a heartfelt appeal for a non political assessment of problems and solutions, in the context of the present state of real world crime and violence.
    We seem to live in a world of inept leadership and a total unwillingness to confront people who are prepared to tear normal civilised conventions apart for their own selfish reasons.
    The police service has always been the whipping boy, but the present Prime Minister has failed both the public and police in a monumental way. I hope this excellent dissertation will be given much wider coverage so that others can make their own conclusions.
    Another unforgivable political failure. I think the expression, ‘………led by donkeys, is most accurate.

  6. Lyndon Brown says:

    Theresa May behaved the way she did towards the police because she was Camorons Lap Dog. He hated the Police with a passion and to further her career she used the opportunity given by him to beat the police to show her colleagues how strong she could be and ultimately become Prime Minister. She is simply a foul and revolting person and it sickens me that she claims to be a Christian. She is the very embodiment of what it is to be Antichrist.

  7. Chris Hall says:

    Well said Chris, you hit every point all us retired officers are thinking and vent the frustrations that serving officers feel too. Stop and search was and still is a valid method of reducing crime overall and specifically the carrying of drugs and weapons.

    As someone who still works in the centre of London it is obvious there is a lack of visible policing and especially at night. There has been a systematic closure of police stations throughout the Metropolitan area and contact with the police becomes difficult for victims of crime and trying to contact through the phone has been even more difficult. I heard recently that the only way to stop people speeding was the fear of being caught outweighs the cost of fines, funny how we can spend money and resources on speeding whilst people are dying from an epidemic of violence as there is no fear of being caught for it as there are no resources for this. The buck does stop with Theresa May, now PM, as she started the process as Home Secretary as you’ve rightly stated. Senior Police ranks are also responsible for letting this happen on their watch. Keep these articles coming and keep the pressure on. Thanks for what you do.

  8. Mike Ross says:

    As an ex-colleague of yours I have followed and agreed with all of your posts in various forums to date. I agree with all the points that you made with this post but because your addressee is Theresa May (TM) I fear that you are shouting at a deaf ear. However I completely support your attempt to draw attention to the damages done to the Police Service by TM and the limitations on its effectiveness. Your reports are regularly mentioned in a number of Police related Facebook groups almost completely without objection. In fact the only objection that I have seen so far regarding this post was that it was a bit long winded. I read that as a reflection on the complainant not on you.

  9. Ben Lacey says:

    I have maintained for some time now, that May and her advisors saw in the police service in general and the Federation in particular a toothless beast. Unable to fight back back but very high profile. She cynically created public bias against the Service and then, like some latter day St George, was seen to do battle against it. It was done for no other reason than her own self promotion. She cared little of the effects it had on the police nor the public. We are seeing on the streets the consequences of her work. I have also maintained that she is not the brightest bulb in the room.. Because it worked against the police she will and is following the same pattern as PM.

  10. Ruth says:

    Totally agree with this article and some of the comments thereafter.
    As for someone calling her the anti-Christ there may be something in that, a wolf in sheeps clothing? Who knows?
    But who ever gets in as PM truely doesn’t seem to improve the countries services, services a word I hate used for the police, the minute we stopped being a force I noticed a huge change and shift in the UK and how police were and are treated. It may be a minor point but it has a great impact on the way society sees and treats us. It’s the small points that escalate creating a knock on and devastating affect.
    I do wonder if the PM actually reads these articles, I hope and pray that she does. I also pray that that those in the background, the puppet masters wake up and listen to the voices that are shouting out loud and clear. Woe betide them if they don’t.

  11. Richard Ford says:

    As a retired police officer myself, I wholeheartedly agree with your views. Too many people jump on the “Race Bandwagon” and refuse to face up to what is happening in the UK. When the wheel really comes off, and we end up with riots in the streets again (Brixton, Toxteth, Bristol etc in the 1980s), they’ll wring their hands and complain that the police aren’t doing their job, they’re not “fit for purpose”, etc.
    Sadly, there is none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

  12. Jonny fartpants says:

    All you need now is for EVERY retired and serving officer to cut and paste this into a word document, stick it in an envelope and address it to T.M. 10 downing st. And stick it in the post collectively on Saturday June 3rd. At least her secretary and postman would notice something was afoot on the Monday morning….?

  13. Neil Roberts says:

    Chris, you are spot on, as usual. Maybe in Part 2 you will mention the damage done by senior “Management” who wish to make their way up the promotion ladder by making unnecessary changes in the name of “progress”. I can think of many examples during my career but I do not have your way with words.
    I do recall, shortly after retirement, speaking to one of my old skippers who told me that I had made the right move in leaving and that the unit had become unrecognisable in a few months. All, I suspect, due to someone high up seeking greater glory and approval from above.

  14. Kevin Smith says:

    Wise words Chris.

    I personally could never understand why Cameron and May considered the ‘Police’ to be the ‘enemy’, and the focus of their bile and recriminatory reform. The Police had been in a state of constant reform and were in my opinion the only Public Service that actually delivered an improved Public Service being the back-stop for the failures of most of the others, ie:- Social Workers clocking off at 5pm, (4pm on Fridays) and handing everything over to the Police. I realise this is a generalisation ?
    The Austerity measures put in place by Cameron and Osborne were I recall dis-proportionatly harsher for the Police than the other Public Services and apart from her obvious Patrician Class Tory attitude to the ‘oiks’ in the Job, one has to wonder what the end-game they have planned for the Police is likely to be with their recent continued intention to ‘defund’ the Police in this country.
    I suspect some form of privatisation??

    I would disagree with you on one point….the gap between the rank and file and CoP would be measured in light years as CoP operate on another Planet ?

  15. David lynn says:

    I headed this accordingly to grab your attention. This is something this open letter fails to do. It is a rant from someone who is very stressed. I get that and suffer myself having had 2 breakdowns from too much work.
    But you know. I don’t blame TM. It’s the organisation we need to shout at. They are so wasteful they need a massive kick up the derrière. Tens of millions spent on mobile data terminals that didn’t work. I was one that tested them and fed back that they didn’t work, yet they were still rolled out. The senior officer then became a director for that company.
    They then rolled out tablets for tens of millions. They failed and are now being scrapped for personal issued lap tops.
    Any company that ran like this would have gone out of business some time ago now.
    I’m sure you’ve all seen things like this. None of this is TM. It is our incompetent leaders.
    The federation who received their shakedown from TM. Rightly so. Look how much we all pay into that service and when we contact them they are little to no help. It is all smoke and mirrors on their part. If they cant represent us then why do we bother with them. It is another example of the bigger picture of what is wrong.
    We’ve all seen colleagues breaking down in tears. And many of us ourselves. What have the fed done to help. NOTHING.
    If our Forces didn’t waste so much money then we wouldn’t have such a big problem.
    I’m still furious over pension, pay and the lack of support by the government, but let’s apportion blame correctly.

  16. Pebbs says:

    Agree with Dave Lynn,
    The whole system is failing. NHS, Police, and even the “potholes” issue. I’m not making light of the subject but society as a whole is going down the drain because nobody seems to give a toss any more.
    Money is thrown into the trough and continually used up by the fat porker administrators before the piglets, the people who actually do the work, receive their pittance.
    I am ex job. In 1973 I was the local bobby on a well known N.Devon council estate. My police house was on the estate and I didn’t have a phone. Just a radio which worked when it wanted to. Where are all the RBO’s now?There were around six or seven officers per section working the shifts back then. How many “real” policemen/women on a shift these days?!!
    In the mid 80’s each division had it’s own crime squad and we had some excellent results but this didn’t last long because it wasn’t cost effective to send a team to Liverpool to follow a dealer etc. When has the police force ever been cost effective? It’s not the nature of the beast.
    These days, there are no police on the streets therefore everyone seems to do exactly what they want without fear of being prosecuted. Drunken, ignorant, uncaring, selfish and violent behavior is the norm it seems these days. Nobody there to stop it until it really kicks off and then, eventually a van arrives and out pour a dozen “robocops”! Too late. Should have been on the streets in the first place then we wouldn’t have all that we have today.
    I digress but I think you get my drift. Where is the money spent these days? Police, Highways, NHS. Not where it is needed. Too many jobs for the boys, and girls who aren’t actually police officers on the ground or doctors/nurses or highway engineers etc. but they are, apparently administrators who excel in their jobs. Oh. And have nice pensions!
    The big picture is……We’ve lost it and while there are more and more snouts in the ever increasingly large administrators trough, it ‘s not going to change.

  17. Nigel WAKE says:

    As a retired Met SO16 officer I wholeheartedly agree … The bottom line with regard to any government is the people who can make the decisions .. REALLY DON’T CARE !

    I live in France , and where I live there is literally no crime … but all the police are armed .

    As I have said many times .. I was proud to do thirty years in ‘The Job’ .. but SO glad I joined when I did … and SO glad I retired in 2005

  18. Chris Hobbs says:

    Thanks for all your comments. I have been stunned by the overall response to this and there is a part 2 in which some of the very valid points raised by yourselves will be examined. Part 3 will deal with other aspects of Theresa’s reign such as the poor old UK Border Force which at least escapes criticism from TM as it is her creation.

  19. Ian Leyland says:

    Stop and search is also a lot to do with what I’d call the “pavement population.” If its 2am and the population is mostly B.M.E. or there just aren’t any white European types in the local populace then its stands to reason you’re going to search them if you have the required suspicion.

  20. Math Geuyen says:

    Chris, I whole heartedly agree with that article. Spot on! It could not have been written better than that!

  21. Ray Jack says:

    Time to vote for UKIP I am afraid, she has done enough damage, time to call a halt to her despicable actions, I am not voting for the idiot liberal person or the big Twat Corbyn.

  22. Barry Blackmore says:

    Excellent as ever Chris. Nail squarely hit on head.

  23. STEPHEN HOLMES says:

    Brilliant piece Chris. You speak for the vast majority of us serving or retired police officers, and no doubt most of the public too. Your comments re a terror attack in a rural area are so true, and I have no doubt that there will be further loss of police lives due to this and previous Governments failure to properly protect our police with the right equipment.

  24. Mick P says:

    Every thing comes around,history always repeats its self,police officers every 60 odd years will be having the same rant over different issues, what you have to accept is nothing will change, until something really chaotic happens, I’m talking General strikes, world wars, conscription ending.
    The reason for this is ,it’s when the big people in charge,the real fat cats get scared and realise they need protection,and guess who they are going to call.
    The issue at the moment is Brexit, I foresee TM getting elected and after she does her thing with a majority,and succeeds,Labour will then win with a landslide,just like Churchill got booted out after the war.

  25. Kevin Barnsley says:

    I started my first shift in March 1979 and my sergeant a full career uniform officer said to me ‘This is a wonderful job for all different reasons, but before you retire society will have the police force (not PC I know) it deserves. It will not be our fault, or the public’s fault, but the Home Office and the new breed of bosses, who implement will their self serving agendas. Maybe a simplistic view but look at what has happened.

  26. Robert Kerr says:

    We all need to think of the future, what is being planned behind closed doors in secret. I believe the aim is to do away with the uniformed police officer and have local elected and appointed law enforcement managers who will have the power to employ officers to patrol our streets, they will be appointed on tenure and only retain their position if they are supported by the senior local official, complicated cases will be the remit of a national force, similar in all respects to the USA. Other private run for profit companies will take over the security of our streets, zero hours contracts will be the norm and only those that can pay will get any response from them. Everything will be run by privately owned organisations, no police, no NHS, no fire or Ambo, and of course the owners of these companies will be in the House of Lords!

  27. David bowling says:

    I did my thirty years I was stabbed on three separate occasions run over once knocked unconscious once suffered lots of injuries on the front line.Been shot at and seen the affects of gun crime first hand in hackney .I worked with some truly amazing people and can say I was proud to have done so.i have seen the best and worst of leadership in the force/service I have seen compassion that knows no bounds and I have seen uncontrolled thuggery .Stress is unfortunately the bread and butter of policing ,work pressure ,sleep deprivation ,lack of work family balance ,injury,and post traumatic stress .The you never know factor .Being told we are all racist ,admittedly we are all human I think .We are all affected .I treat people as they treat me and I should not have to worry about calling someone black or white ,trust me we are all the same colour on the inside I know this ! To some degree I think we are often let down by senior officers and politicians they are often affected by a disease called personal ambition and self advancement .Then one comes along and makes a dynamic decision and sticks with the rank and file we all know these good people .Fed up with sexism racism all the isms we exist to fight crime not each other when you don the uniform your meant to be a cop that’s what the public want and deserve .To the pele who told me they paid my wages thanks you bunch of skinflints and to those who made comments about by late mother and sexual activities be this the case I would like to contact the CSA as I would be better off than trump May God watch over the boys and girls in blue who stand together bullets and knives show no discrimination when used stay safe be smart .I hope you pull pension for years and years . Thanks to the public for paying my wages I am going to

  28. Ian Knight says:

    Hi Chris

    Well put. The Tories have always been bad for police, just look at Sheehy, MacPherson and Windsor, all instructed by Tory governments. Look forward to Part 2.

  29. Ray Pier says:

    This is absolutely brilliant. You have encapsulated every frustration I have experienced over the last few years after completing the most amazing 35years service I was proud to have given the residents of Hampshire

  30. Dave says:

    Ian Knight, you are very wrong. The Tories have not always been bad to the police at all. I can only assume that you are very wrong because if you go back prior to Cameron you will find that the Tories always used to support the police and that because of that the Labour Party childishly did the opposite with many of their prominent politicians regularly, publicly attacking the police.

  31. Dave says:

    Sorry, I meant ‘very young’ in the second sentence.

  32. Maggie says:

    Unfortunately Ray Jack has exactly the attitude that can make sensible people, especially young people, hold Police Personnel in contempt. Chris has written a well-thought-out and accurate piece, nothing of which can be disputed, and which well shows the frustration experienced every day by Officers. To refer to Jeremy Corbyn, possibly the most honest politician we’ve seen in decades, as a “twat” makes me think Mr Jack longs for the “good old days” of the 1960s and 1970s when every type of police corruption was considered normal by the public in the bigger cities. Don’t say it didn’t happen; I saw it. Thank goodness we have a different type of officer these days, professional, responsible, and caring when the occasion calls for it. We just need many, many more of them.

  33. Doc says:

    As an ex PSU medic amongst other roles I wholeheartedly agree with this post. May saw the police as an easy target due to the toothless tiger federation. Since 2003 I have been saying “what the public doesn’t know would worry them”. I also agree with the comments on mobile data – absolutely useless. I’d rather vote for a strategically shaved baboon than May let’s hope lots of people feel the same and don’t vote for the utter snake and her compatriots!

  34. Yorkshiregirl says:

    Mrs May was whisked out of the House of Commons and in to her car very quickly when it was attacked wasn’t she. I bet she was glad to see the police arrive then. You all do a great job! Never think that the man in the street does not appreciate what you do, because we do value you and we admire your courage too.

  35. kevin says:

    voilà un petit test pour voir. En effet je veux absolument que mes liens s’indexent bordel. Ca fait trop là sinon mes amis.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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