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What Now? – politicalbetting.com

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  • eekeek Posts: 18,826
    edited October 2021
    malcolmg said:

    This is typical Tory practice and people wonder why the police are crap

    Malcolm Offord was rejected by the voters during the Holyrood election.
    Despite this he has been handed an unelected peerage in the house of lords as a U.K. gov minister Under the secretary of State for Scotland office.
    Amazing what £150,000 donation to the Cons party gets you!

    You can remove the £150,000 from that argument. It has always been the case that a PM can appoint anyone they want to be a Lord if they want them in the cabinet.

  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    Most US police are state police, the FBI is more a Federal intelligence and Security agency
    There are 1 zillion types of the Feds. Including the SWAT team for the Game Wardens....
    Then there are various state level police forces - including some mini-FBI type setups.
    Then there are county level forces.
    Then there are town level forces.

  • eekeek Posts: 18,826

    The police are never going to clean up their act if they cannot admit to having a problem, and the clearest way to establish that they have a problem is for the person in charge to show some leadership by realising that the corporate failure in this case was so large, and the shock to public confidence so serious, that responsibility has to be established by resigning.

    How can it be that a serving police officer uses his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder a woman and no-one in a position of authority is at all responsible?

    What are leadership positions for?

    On the specific, I am not sure how a chief constable can stop officers using a warrant card for nefarious purposes apart from requiring officers to hand them in at the end of each shift. And to be honest, if someone showed me a plausible warrant card I would have no idea if it was real or not. I think the warrant card part of the story is probably impossible to fix.

    From the header "Over half of Met officers who have committed sexual misconduct have kept their jobs." That is the kind of thing that can be quickly and easily fixed.

    Actually it can't be easily fixed - those people have been disciplined for the offence already and you don't get 2 bites of the cherry.

    What you can do is discipline those who decided they should remain in the job.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 27,715
    eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?

    malcolmg said:

    This is typical Tory practice and people wonder why the police are crap

    Malcolm Offord was rejected by the voters during the Holyrood election.
    Despite this he has been handed an unelected peerage in the house of lords as a U.K. gov minister Under the secretary of State for Scotland office.
    Amazing what £150,000 donation to the Cons party gets you!

    You can remove the £150,000 from that argument. It has always been the case that a PM can appoint anyone they want to be a Lord if they want them in the cabinet.

    It has, too, always been the case that a significant donation to the PM's party helps.
  • Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Half of those are even smaller than the Met so not especially relevant.

    But for the rest, yes. It results in a Police force even more institutionalised and even more out of touch. The bigger it gets, it becomes even more ossified and even more resistant to change. Even harder to root out problems. Corrupt a nationwide police force (via politics or a malign culture) and the entire nation's policing is now corrupted.

    Breaking up the Met which is a bit too big for its boots, would be better than making it nationwide.

    Small is better, it makes it easier to root out problems and if they set in then they only set in for a small institution rather than nationwide.
    Thank you! Playing the ball and not the man.

    You might be right, but my gut feeling is that the people with power in Westminster and Whitehall will be more interested in a national force than your suggestion of even further fragmentation. It is an important debate.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?

    As I mentioned below, a heck of a lot of top police officers get suspended from duty or sacked. Personally (and admittedly without much direct evidence) I think the issue is with promotion through the ranks. The role of a Chief Constable is very different from that of a bobby on the beat, and whilst they need knowledge of the problems police face, they also need a wide variety of other knowledge.

    I'm also unconvinced that fighting to scramble the greasy pole leads to the best candidates, either.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 97,818

    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    Most US police are state police, the FBI is more a Federal intelligence and Security agency
    There are 1 zillion types of the Feds. Including the SWAT team for the Game Wardens....
    Then there are various state level police forces - including some mini-FBI type setups.
    Then there are county level forces.
    Then there are town level forces.

    But the majority of US police, whether state, county or town are not US wide police.

    Only a minority of law enforcement officers in the US are US Federal officers
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 74,541

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    Except her issues go well beyond this case. That's why the campaign could be seen as outsized vs thus issue, because it's not happened in a vacuum but has a lit of history and mass already.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 97,818

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    The French have multiple police forces. Which spend a fair bit of time investigating each other for corruption.

    You should ask an Irish person what they think about corruption in the Guards. I haven't met a single one who is happy about it.

    The American system, like their health care, appears to be an attempt to create the worst overall result possible.
    How long before we are offered an Australian style police force as a solution?

    With no-one caring if we already have one, or how it works, but knowing that Australia is sunny with beaches.
    Each state of Australia also has its own police as well as the Australian Federal Police
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 7,529

    The police are never going to clean up their act if they cannot admit to having a problem, and the clearest way to establish that they have a problem is for the person in charge to show some leadership by realising that the corporate failure in this case was so large, and the shock to public confidence so serious, that responsibility has to be established by resigning.

    How can it be that a serving police officer uses his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder a woman and no-one in a position of authority is at all responsible?

    What are leadership positions for?

    On the specific, I am not sure how a chief constable can stop officers using a warrant card for nefarious purposes apart from requiring officers to hand them in at the end of each shift. And to be honest, if someone showed me a plausible warrant card I would have no idea if it was real or not. I think the warrant card part of the story is probably impossible to fix.

    From the header "Over half of Met officers who have committed sexual misconduct have kept their jobs." That is the kind of thing that can be quickly and easily fixed.
    Your latter point is an answer to the first - PC Couzens had allegations of indecent exposure made against him and was enough of a charmer to be called "the Rapist". He shouldn't still had a warrant card.

    Someone like that rarely commits such an offence from a standing start.
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?

    There was also the culture, encouraged in the 80's, when the people under discussion were choosing their careers, that 'public service' was some sort of second-best.
    It isn't.
    The police service is extremely good at "dealing with" officers it sees as "problematic"

    That is, people who try and change the culture.

    Very often they get investigated for corruption, with great enthusiasm and ended up leaving.

    So you have a problem of self selection.
  • Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?

    As I mentioned below, a heck of a lot of top police officers get suspended from duty or sacked. Personally (and admittedly without much direct evidence) I think the issue is with promotion through the ranks. The role of a Chief Constable is very different from that of a bobby on the beat, and whilst they need knowledge of the problems police face, they also need a wide variety of other knowledge.

    I'm also unconvinced that fighting to scramble the greasy pole leads to the best candidates, either.
    Correct. Leaders should be chosen for their leadership qualities. End of. This rising through the ranks stuff is just guaranteed to produce total duds. A few will be great leaders, some will be ok, but most will be useless leaders. In a national force, you can pick the few genuine talents, but when you have a multitude of daft little forces, the duds will dominate.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334

    The police are never going to clean up their act if they cannot admit to having a problem, and the clearest way to establish that they have a problem is for the person in charge to show some leadership by realising that the corporate failure in this case was so large, and the shock to public confidence so serious, that responsibility has to be established by resigning.

    How can it be that a serving police officer uses his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder a woman and no-one in a position of authority is at all responsible?

    What are leadership positions for?

    On the specific, I am not sure how a chief constable can stop officers using a warrant card for nefarious purposes apart from requiring officers to hand them in at the end of each shift. And to be honest, if someone showed me a plausible warrant card I would have no idea if it was real or not. I think the warrant card part of the story is probably impossible to fix.

    From the header "Over half of Met officers who have committed sexual misconduct have kept their jobs." That is the kind of thing that can be quickly and easily fixed.

    You can't stop someone from doing that. You often cannot tell that someone is going to commit a crime until they do - especially if that person is faultless beforehand.

    So what matters is how you react to wrongdoing. Often, wrongdoing will be a genuine mistake: a procedure not followed correctly due to (say) time pressures. If it is minor, then there needs to be education and investment to ensure it doesn't happen again.

    But what happens in closed shops like the police, is that wrongdoing is all too often ignored. Because it is a hard job, because officers are routinely hated by large segments of the public, because false accusations are made, because investigations can be embarrassing for the organisation - they cover it up instead.

    And that's where the problems really start.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 5,174
    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    The protection of the public from future actions is part of all sentencing exercises. That person X will be a danger for ever is a truth about quite a lot of people, sadly. The judge needs to come to no particular conclusion about person X in front of him or her. The actions speak for themselves.

    It is deadly to have thousands of people in the prison system with no hope at all of release. They cannot be further punished and we must protect those who work in the prison service.

    The great majority of life prisoners will in due course be released.



  • kjhkjh Posts: 6,224
    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    The French have multiple police forces. Which spend a fair bit of time investigating each other for corruption.

    You should ask an Irish person what they think about corruption in the Guards. I haven't met a single one who is happy about it.

    The American system, like their health care, appears to be an attempt to create the worst overall result possible.
    How long before we are offered an Australian style police force as a solution?

    With no-one caring if we already have one, or how it works, but knowing that Australia is sunny with beaches.
    Each state of Australia also has its own police as well as the Australian Federal Police
    It was a (rather good) joke. It doesn't matter what Australia has.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

    There is a serious issue with the rank and file not liking "SMT" - Senior Management Team.

    The police themselves believe that the rapid promotion to such ranks requires conforming to the culture and expertise in political manoeuvring. That you have to *become* One Of Them.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    kjh said:

    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    The French have multiple police forces. Which spend a fair bit of time investigating each other for corruption.

    You should ask an Irish person what they think about corruption in the Guards. I haven't met a single one who is happy about it.

    The American system, like their health care, appears to be an attempt to create the worst overall result possible.
    How long before we are offered an Australian style police force as a solution?

    With no-one caring if we already have one, or how it works, but knowing that Australia is sunny with beaches.
    Each state of Australia also has its own police as well as the Australian Federal Police
    It was a (rather good) joke. It doesn't matter what Australia has.
    Australia police corruption scandals are awesome. There was one, IIRC, where the robbery squad was organising *all* the robberies. The murder squad......
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 74,541
    Sean_F said:




    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.

    Incels, though, are viewed in a similar light to paedophiles. They are derided and despised, and mix only with their own kind.

    But, I think you're on to something. I commented the other day about websites that are dedicated to (mocked up) pictures of young, attractive, women, being burned at the stake or tortured in a variety of imaginitive ways. That can't be healthy.

    Not to belittle the cultural problems in any way, but the police problem specifically encompasses more than that, since it has problems of stubbornness, abuse of authority, poor practice etc unrelated to it.

    Justice as a whole seems like a total mess. Underfunded, poorly served, counter productive government interference, I'm surprised they dont get it worse for it, but its an area where you just talk about being 'tough' and thats all people want to hear. And the first part of being tough is not being tough enough on police, since you need them compliant.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 74,541

    eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

    There is a serious issue with the rank and file not liking "SMT" - Senior Management Team.

    The police themselves believe that the rapid promotion to such ranks requires conforming to the culture and expertise in political manoeuvring. That you have to *become* One Of Them.
    Isnt that true of most institutions? You get some good eggs, but once in at the top people groupthink all the time.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 97,818
    kjh said:

    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    The French have multiple police forces. Which spend a fair bit of time investigating each other for corruption.

    You should ask an Irish person what they think about corruption in the Guards. I haven't met a single one who is happy about it.

    The American system, like their health care, appears to be an attempt to create the worst overall result possible.
    How long before we are offered an Australian style police force as a solution?

    With no-one caring if we already have one, or how it works, but knowing that Australia is sunny with beaches.
    Each state of Australia also has its own police as well as the Australian Federal Police
    It was a (rather good) joke. It doesn't matter what Australia has.
    In the end of course we got a Canada style trade deal with the EU, not Australia style.

    Canada too has the Federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police but also provincial and municipal police too
  • eek said:

    The police are never going to clean up their act if they cannot admit to having a problem, and the clearest way to establish that they have a problem is for the person in charge to show some leadership by realising that the corporate failure in this case was so large, and the shock to public confidence so serious, that responsibility has to be established by resigning.

    How can it be that a serving police officer uses his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder a woman and no-one in a position of authority is at all responsible?

    What are leadership positions for?

    On the specific, I am not sure how a chief constable can stop officers using a warrant card for nefarious purposes apart from requiring officers to hand them in at the end of each shift. And to be honest, if someone showed me a plausible warrant card I would have no idea if it was real or not. I think the warrant card part of the story is probably impossible to fix.

    From the header "Over half of Met officers who have committed sexual misconduct have kept their jobs." That is the kind of thing that can be quickly and easily fixed.

    Actually it can't be easily fixed - those people have been disciplined for the offence already and you don't get 2 bites of the cherry.

    What you can do is discipline those who decided they should remain in the job.
    Surely the HoC can pass a law requiring serving police officers have not been found guilty of sexual misconduct?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334
    Cyclefree said:

    Anyway I am halfway down the M6 having got up at 3:45 am to drive down to collect cat from Cat Hospital. I hope Moggy appreciates what I do for him.

    Have managed to fill up and listen to an interesting podcast about Scottish history. I never knew there was a Scottish potato famine a few years after the Irish one.

    Cats never appreciate what you do for them. That's a firm rule.

    As for history podcasts: I've been listening to the British History Podcast during some of my runs. I rather like it:
    https://www.thebritishhistorypodcast.com/

    He's been doing it for years, there are nearly 400 episodes, and I think he's still in Anglo-Saxon time...

    (For our Scottish friends, he does some Scotland-specific episodes called the 'Scotcast').
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826

    eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

    There is a serious issue with the rank and file not liking "SMT" - Senior Management Team.

    The police themselves believe that the rapid promotion to such ranks requires conforming to the culture and expertise in political manoeuvring. That you have to *become* One Of Them.
    Surely that's true of all internal promotion when it comes to management.

    To get promoted you need to fit in and play the game (I've never been bothered).
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 21,211
    Petrol stations are still running out of fuel faster than they can be resupplied, retailers have warned, amid reports of long queues continuing in some parts of the country.

    Watch GMB now 👉 http://daytimelink.itv.com/GMB
    https://twitter.com/GMB/status/1443806264807632896/video/1
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 17,748
    edited October 2021
    malcolmg said:

    This is typical Tory practice and people wonder why the police are crap

    Malcolm Offord was rejected by the voters during the Holyrood election.
    Despite this he has been handed an unelected peerage in the house of lords as a U.K. gov minister Under the secretary of State for Scotland office.
    Amazing what £150,000 donation to the Cons party gets you!

    I'm sure there is absolutely no link whatsoever between the £150k to party coffers and the coincidental issuing of a Baronetcy.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    kle4 said:

    eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

    There is a serious issue with the rank and file not liking "SMT" - Senior Management Team.

    The police themselves believe that the rapid promotion to such ranks requires conforming to the culture and expertise in political manoeuvring. That you have to *become* One Of Them.
    Isnt that true of most institutions? You get some good eggs, but once in at the top people groupthink all the time.
    Perhaps - but the attitude of the police at the bottom to "SMT" is pretty extreme. They regard them as enemies, who are only useful when the police as a whole are "threatened"

    This is one reason that SMT like to claim that various things are "anti-police" - it is a code phrase for "We need to stick together on this one".
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 74,541

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Half of those are even smaller than the Met so not especially relevant.

    But for the rest, yes. It results in a Police force even more institutionalised and even more out of touch. The bigger it gets, it becomes even more ossified and even more resistant to change. Even harder to root out problems. Corrupt a nationwide police force (via politics or a malign culture) and the entire nation's policing is now corrupted.

    Breaking up the Met which is a bit too big for its boots, would be better than making it nationwide.

    Small is better, it makes it easier to root out problems and if they set in then they only set in for a small institution rather than nationwide.
    Thank you! Playing the ball and not the man.

    You might be right, but my gut feeling is that the people with power in Westminster and Whitehall will be more interested in a national force than your suggestion of even further fragmentation. It is an important debate.
    Westminster loves to talk about localism. But Whitehall loves to centralise.

    Whitehsll always wins that one, since Westminster only wants to talk about it not do it.
  • Cyclefree said:

    Anyway I am halfway down the M6 having got up at 3:45 am to drive down to collect cat from Cat Hospital. I hope Moggy appreciates what I do for him.

    Have managed to fill up and listen to an interesting podcast about Scottish history. I never knew there was a Scottish potato famine a few years after the Irish one.

    The Scots were treated very differently by the British state.

    If you want Scotland-related podcast tips:

    - Radio 4’s excellent This Union: Two Kingdoms
    - Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball guest appearance by Douglas Ross
    - In Our Time on the Highland clearances
  • Cyclefree said:

    Anyway I am halfway down the M6 having got up at 3:45 am to drive down to collect cat from Cat Hospital. I hope Moggy appreciates what I do for him.

    Have managed to fill up and listen to an interesting podcast about Scottish history. I never knew there was a Scottish potato famine a few years after the Irish one.

    Cats never appreciate what you do for them. That's a firm rule.

    As for history podcasts: I've been listening to the British History Podcast during some of my runs. I rather like it:
    https://www.thebritishhistorypodcast.com/

    He's been doing it for years, there are nearly 400 episodes, and I think he's still in Anglo-Saxon time...

    (For our Scottish friends, he does some Scotland-specific episodes called the 'Scotcast').
    Funny how Anglo-Saxon history is “British”, but Jock stuff gets its own brand.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?

    As I mentioned below, a heck of a lot of top police officers get suspended from duty or sacked. Personally (and admittedly without much direct evidence) I think the issue is with promotion through the ranks. The role of a Chief Constable is very different from that of a bobby on the beat, and whilst they need knowledge of the problems police face, they also need a wide variety of other knowledge.

    I'm also unconvinced that fighting to scramble the greasy pole leads to the best candidates, either.
    Correct. Leaders should be chosen for their leadership qualities. End of. This rising through the ranks stuff is just guaranteed to produce total duds. A few will be great leaders, some will be ok, but most will be useless leaders. In a national force, you can pick the few genuine talents, but when you have a multitude of daft little forces, the duds will dominate.
    One of the best tech bosses I've known is absolutely hopeless with tech. He was an out-and-out salesman, something that many tech startups lack. But his best trait was that he was a god judge of character: he could easily sniff out when you tried to b/s him - something I learnt not to do early on. He developed a team around him of very technical people he could trust. He let them do the tech, whilst he managed the business.

    It's rare for techies to make good CEOs; at least without a heck of a lot of further career development. I'd rather have a salesman who listens in charge of a company than a techie who can't make deals.

    I think it's the same with the police. The top job is *not* about policing: it's about running a team of people that will deliver policing to the community.
  • eek said:

    Thanks for the header @Cyclefree. I think it seems odd and very worrying there is a view in Whitehall of 'who else is there?'.

    Are they saying none of the other Chief Constables across whole of UK are fit to be promoted to the "top" job? That's usually what happens.

    If so, why are so many mediocre people becoming Chiefs?


    Because I suspect those who would be good at the job just don't want it and decide to stick at a lower level which allows them to remain local to where they currently are and without hassle.

    I imagine a lot of spouses won't accept the requirement to move and the additional stress that comes with the job.

    Worse I suspect we will discover

    1) that forcing your family to move doesn't help you spouse to remain in their current job nor does the pay increase enough to justify your partner giving up work
    2) who aged 45+ wants to up sticks and move from say Liverpool or Birmingham into London. How on earth could you afford to do so.

    There is a serious issue with the rank and file not liking "SMT" - Senior Management Team.

    The police themselves believe that the rapid promotion to such ranks requires conforming to the culture and expertise in political manoeuvring. That you have to *become* One Of Them.
    Also, I wonder if senior policing is one of those jobs that, like being Galactic President, should never be done by someone who actively wants the role? (One might wonder the same about being World King Prime Minister.)

    There's a weird balance at the heart of policing. On one hand, police need to be utterly confident in applying extreme authority, because that's their job. On the other, they need to be continually aware of the dangers of abusing such authority. There is a balance, and I'm optimistic that a lot of police basically get it right. But it's easy to see how it can go horribly wrong.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 22,104
    One final point. There are two other things that need investigating by the police in relation to Couzens (my investigative antennae are twitching).

    1. Did the police know that he had had a relationship with an under age girl? He was 23. She was 14.
    2. His money troubles - he owed £29,000 apparently. How did that arise?

    Also his interest in prostitutes and apparently hard core porn, known to some other officers. On its own each of these may not have been a deal breaker - though having sex with an under-age girl certainly should be. But when you add them up, they paint a dark picture. They do not suggest to me someone who should be entrusted with a firearm, for instance.

    What exactly is the due diligence and vetting the police do? The HMIC representative interviewed on Woman's Hour yesterday stated that she could not say that the police did have adequate procedures. If true this is really shocking.
  • Can some enterprising journalist now ask Ed Davey or Sir Keir whether, if Wayne Couzens identifies later as a woman, he should be allowed to be transferred to a woman's prison?

    Could they also ask if Wayne Couzens needed to identify as a woman in order to commit kidnap and murder, or if the former is just a red herring?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334

    Cyclefree said:

    Anyway I am halfway down the M6 having got up at 3:45 am to drive down to collect cat from Cat Hospital. I hope Moggy appreciates what I do for him.

    Have managed to fill up and listen to an interesting podcast about Scottish history. I never knew there was a Scottish potato famine a few years after the Irish one.

    Cats never appreciate what you do for them. That's a firm rule.

    As for history podcasts: I've been listening to the British History Podcast during some of my runs. I rather like it:
    https://www.thebritishhistorypodcast.com/

    He's been doing it for years, there are nearly 400 episodes, and I think he's still in Anglo-Saxon time...

    (For our Scottish friends, he does some Scotland-specific episodes called the 'Scotcast').
    Funny how Anglo-Saxon history is “British”, but Jock stuff gets its own brand.
    He goes into this in the podcast. I'd recommend it.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,388
    Powerful header. I'm generally wary about firing top people for high profile disasters.

    It breeds a super risk averse/must look good spin culture in management rather than focusing on better performance.

    Cressida Dick seems an obvious exception though. The Daniel Morgan case showed unacceptable judgment by her specifically.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 22,104

    Cyclefree said:

    Anyway I am halfway down the M6 having got up at 3:45 am to drive down to collect cat from Cat Hospital. I hope Moggy appreciates what I do for him.

    Have managed to fill up and listen to an interesting podcast about Scottish history. I never knew there was a Scottish potato famine a few years after the Irish one.

    The Scots were treated very differently by the British state.

    If you want Scotland-related podcast tips:

    - Radio 4’s excellent This Union: Two Kingdoms
    - Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball guest appearance by Douglas Ross
    - In Our Time on the Highland clearances
    I've heard the last one. Very good. But thanks for the tips.

    And now I must be off. I am but a humble servant to my cat.
  • HYUFD said:

    kjh said:

    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    The French have multiple police forces. Which spend a fair bit of time investigating each other for corruption.

    You should ask an Irish person what they think about corruption in the Guards. I haven't met a single one who is happy about it.

    The American system, like their health care, appears to be an attempt to create the worst overall result possible.
    How long before we are offered an Australian style police force as a solution?

    With no-one caring if we already have one, or how it works, but knowing that Australia is sunny with beaches.
    Each state of Australia also has its own police as well as the Australian Federal Police
    It was a (rather good) joke. It doesn't matter what Australia has.
    In the end of course we got a Canada style trade deal with the EU, not Australia style.

    Canada too has the Federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police but also provincial and municipal police too
    You are HAL 9000 and I claim my five pounds.
  • HYUFD said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    Is there a single person here who thinks "incel" is acceptable?

    Aren't the "incel" crowd unsociable, unacceptable loners and weirdos already to be frank? What more specifically do you want to do?
    Indeed and Couzens was a police officer married with children, on the outside he was perfectly normal, not an incel at all.

    That was also what made him so dangerous
    How many perfectly normal men have the nickname "The rapist" amongst their colleagues?
    Some perfectly normal men may, though there's no signs here that Couzens is a perfectly normal man.

    I've been in environments before where people gave each other derogatory nicknames which had little serious reason behind it. "In-jokes" that started maybe from a conversation or an event with nothing malign about it.
  • Britain does already have a national police force in the shape of the National Crime Agency.
    https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658

    Can some enterprising journalist now ask Ed Davey or Sir Keir whether, if Wayne Couzens identifies later as a woman, he should be allowed to be transferred to a woman's prison?

    I guess it's unlikely that Couzens would hear such an interview, but I'd rather we didn't talk about that just in case. It might give him the idea...
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658

    Britain does already have a national police force in the shape of the National Crime Agency.
    https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/

    "The Feds", as my police officer friend refers to them as.
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
  • isamisam Posts: 38,638
    Cyclefree said:

    One final point. There are two other things that need investigating by the police in relation to Couzens (my investigative antennae are twitching).

    1. Did the police know that he had had a relationship with an under age girl? He was 23. She was 14.
    2. His money troubles - he owed £29,000 apparently. How did that arise?

    Also his interest in prostitutes and apparently hard core porn, known to some other officers. On its own each of these may not have been a deal breaker - though having sex with an under-age girl certainly should be. But when you add them up, they paint a dark picture. They do not suggest to me someone who should be entrusted with a firearm, for instance.

    What exactly is the due diligence and vetting the police do? The HMIC representative interviewed on Woman's Hour yesterday stated that she could not say that the police did have adequate procedures. If true this is really shocking.

    Imagine how the person who gave him the job is feeling this morning
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    Cyclefree said:

    One final point. There are two other things that need investigating by the police in relation to Couzens (my investigative antennae are twitching).

    1. Did the police know that he had had a relationship with an under age girl? He was 23. She was 14.
    2. His money troubles - he owed £29,000 apparently. How did that arise?

    Also his interest in prostitutes and apparently hard core porn, known to some other officers. On its own each of these may not have been a deal breaker - though having sex with an under-age girl certainly should be. But when you add them up, they paint a dark picture. They do not suggest to me someone who should be entrusted with a firearm, for instance.

    What exactly is the due diligence and vetting the police do? The HMIC representative interviewed on Woman's Hour yesterday stated that she could not say that the police did have adequate procedures. If true this is really shocking.

    Yes. One interesting point that came up with respect to the death of Ian Tomlinson, was the vagueness about the background checks with respect to Simon Harwood.

    The Met claimed that they had no idea that he left his previous force to avoid a complaint over a violent incident by the old standby - medical retirement due to stress.

    For those who don't know - retiring on medical grounds terminates nearly all internal police enquiries. You can then join another police force (the next day) - all good.... And no, the equities in previous conduct don't restart.

    Simply transferring police forces is nearly as good, at ending problems...
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Agreed, but I think a judge would be perfectly within their right to think that there's a good chance that they would have offended again had they not been caught. If the judge can't do that, then the differentiation between one victim and two or more victims should be scrapped.
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    The presumption of innocence is important but I would argue there is no point in specifying two victims in the guidelines, that one is enough.

    Innocent until proven guilty yes - but in this case he has been proven guilty. If he were not a police officer he would have not gotten a whole life tariff but the crime was so evil that it should have been a whole life tariff even if it was a random person not a police officer.

    For crimes like murder (as opposed to manslaughter) one strike ought to be enough for a whole life tariff. No rehabilitation, no redemption.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 35,758
    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    Her response on the radio last night was so lead-footed and tin-earred it was extraordinary.

    “I will do everything in my power to ensure that lessons are learnt”

    Doesn’t she even have 1 halfway competent PR adviser to tell that sounds like complete bullshit? Or the judgement to realise that herself?
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Except the judge didn't. Read the sentencing remarks about how he constructed, using the law and the guidelines, the sentence. He actually sets out his though process, in quite some detail.

    The point at issue was that whole life tariffs are for exceptional circumstances, with *some* examples given. The wording is quite clear that these aren't the *only* reasons for a whole life tariff.

    The judge then took the view that the combination of pre-meditation, the nature of the crime, the lack of remorse and attempted cover up, combined with the level of mis-use of the public office raised the crime to the whole life tariff category.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 38,612

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own...
    I think you're conflating two things, though.
    The point Cyclefree's header makes is not about the murder itself, but the fact that there were several earlier opportunities for the police to have dealt with the perpetrator before it happened. Reform of institutional culture doesn't just mean changing male police officers' attitudes to women, but also an organisational reform that makes it impossible to turn a blind eye to potentially criminal behaviour by their colleagues.

    On the wider societal point, the great majority of rapists are known to the victim. So the immediate Met response to regain confidence - "An extra 650 new officers will patrol busy public areas in London." - again shows a cultural mindset which needs changing.
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    David Allen Green is good on this;
    https://davidallengreen.com/2021/09/why-the-whole-life-sentence-for-the-murderer-of-sarah-everard-is-correct/

    The way the law is framed is that the examples given are examples of exceptionally serious offences, rather than an exhaustive list. Which is frankly sensible. Otherwise, you get into the thing scrotty thirteen year-olds do, of asking where the school rules say they can't sing "God Save The Queen" (Sex Pistols version) loudly during assembly.

    It leaves space for a possible appeal, but that's not going to happen, is it?
  • TimSTimS Posts: 1,454
    Very good and interesting header, if rather depressing as all coverage of this revolting situation has been. It's easy to be sickened but harder, and necessary, to actually do something about it.

    One of the fascinating things on PB is the way you can usually tell who has written a header - or indeed a comment - within the first sentence. Just from the title alone I knew this was from Cyclefree. Likewise I can always guess a post by say HYUFD (deadpan factual style, no personal or emotional content), or BigG (the opposite), and of course malcolmg (comedy abuse) from the written style of the first few words.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    Her response on the radio last night was so lead-footed and tin-earred it was extraordinary.

    “I will do everything in my power to ensure that lessons are learnt”

    Doesn’t she even have 1 halfway competent PR adviser to tell that sounds like complete bullshit? Or the judgement to realise that herself?
    When I become unDictator of Britain.... people who use that phrase will go On The List.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 35,758

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    Why do we need a national police force?
    So when something goes wrong the SNP can refer to the “English police” rather than seeing a good opportunity to cause division go to waste
  • The reason Cressida Dick hasn't been sacked is because she is a woman.

    A man, especially a white man, would have been.

    But having people who tick diversity boxes in prominent positions is regarded as more important than their fitness to do the job.
  • boulayboulay Posts: 993
    On the issue of the problem of “rising up through the ranks” would it be feasible to change the police to mirror the army structure where you have your squaddies/constables trained to do their jobs rising through NCO style ranks and then a separately trained officer corps with a Sandhurst type selection and training.

    They would still do the jobs that all police have to do but also have been identified early on to have potentially more to offer in a command/management role and so their route to senior levels is marked out differently and trained differently where they’ve had experience of the dirty part of the job but are sufficiently detached?

    Might be a stupid idea but it seems the current set up isn’t much cop….. (sorry for pun).
  • Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Half of those are even smaller than the Met so not especially relevant.

    But for the rest, yes. It results in a Police force even more institutionalised and even more out of touch. The bigger it gets, it becomes even more ossified and even more resistant to change. Even harder to root out problems. Corrupt a nationwide police force (via politics or a malign culture) and the entire nation's policing is now corrupted.

    Breaking up the Met which is a bit too big for its boots, would be better than making it nationwide.

    Small is better, it makes it easier to root out problems and if they set in then they only set in for a small institution rather than nationwide.
    Thank you! Playing the ball and not the man.

    You might be right, but my gut feeling is that the people with power in Westminster and Whitehall will be more interested in a national force than your suggestion of even further fragmentation. It is an important debate.
    You say that like 'the people with power' in Westminster and Whitehall being interested is a good thing.

    The danger is that power corrupts and there's been evidence abroad (eg the national Spanish police force beating up pro-independence voters) just how far it can corrupt even in western nations. Or allegations of forced confessions following physical violence. Plus even at the best of times even without that, the more nationalised it gets the more the top brass are interested in politics than what is actually happening on the beat.

    As bad as our Police can be, they're nowhere near as bad as most other nations. Our localised Police actually work almost all the time and while reform is justified we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 34,508

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Fulford makes it perfectly clear in his remarks the reasons he has overridden this condition and David Allen Green has elaborated further.

    It is nothing to do with thinking he "might have" killed more people to reach the two victim threshold.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 35,758

    The police are never going to clean up their act if they cannot admit to having a problem, and the clearest way to establish that they have a problem is for the person in charge to show some leadership by realising that the corporate failure in this case was so large, and the shock to public confidence so serious, that responsibility has to be established by resigning.

    How can it be that a serving police officer uses his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder a woman and no-one in a position of authority is at all responsible?

    What are leadership positions for?

    It depends. Was there a bad judgement in giving him his warrant card? Was it a systematic problem that they didn’t ask the right questions? Should there be annual scrutiny to refresh?

    Basically was it an error by someone or was it a systemic problem? If a systemic problem is this something that the head could of/should have known about?

    Resigning as a token doesn’t always achieve anything
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 34,508
    There are several films set in the US, I saw one the other day but can't remember the name of it, where the baddies are being chased by State police and it's a race to the State border after which the baddies continue unhindered and the State police (usually in the films) get out of their cars at the border line, put their hands on their hips, and stare wistfully after their disappearing prey.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,062

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    No it isn't, not when you've got to this stage.

    It isn't anyway. For instance if you get wrongfully imprisoned the Justice Secretary can pay you compensation, or he can refuse it on the basis that ok the imprisonment was wrongful, but he's pretty sure you are as guilty as sin anyway.

    It isn't even a presumption in the first place, it's just a layman's way of saying that the Crown must prove its case.
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826
    edited October 2021
    Cyclefree said:

    One final point. There are two other things that need investigating by the police in relation to Couzens (my investigative antennae are twitching).

    1. Did the police know that he had had a relationship with an under age girl? He was 23. She was 14.
    2. His money troubles - he owed £29,000 apparently. How did that arise?

    Also his interest in prostitutes and apparently hard core porn, known to some other officers. On its own each of these may not have been a deal breaker - though having sex with an under-age girl certainly should be. But when you add them up, they paint a dark picture. They do not suggest to me someone who should be entrusted with a firearm, for instance.

    What exactly is the due diligence and vetting the police do? The HMIC representative interviewed on Woman's Hour yesterday stated that she could not say that the police did have adequate procedures. If true this is really shocking.

    I suspect one problem is that a lot of new recruits are recruited after being volunteer Specials first - and that may mean some steps are skipped (after all he/she is "already one of us") and I suspect the checks on Specials may not be as complete as elsewhere.

    Another area may well be (that from memory) the protection service was reorganised around the time Couzens' became a police officer. I wonder if again steps were skipped because he was "already one of us"
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 35,758

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Most of them (ex Netherlands and France) are smaller than Greater London in terms of population. In France the police has always been a tool of centralised state control so glad not to have that.
  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,410
    HYUFD said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    Most US police are state police, the FBI is more a Federal intelligence and Security agency
    That's because, in the US, most law is state or local law - around 90% of criminal law is state. So most law enforcement is state or local.

    Here most law is national law. So it makes much more sense for law enforcement to be national.
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Except the judge didn't. Read the sentencing remarks about how he constructed, using the law and the guidelines, the sentence. He actually sets out his though process, in quite some detail.

    The point at issue was that whole life tariffs are for exceptional circumstances, with *some* examples given. The wording is quite clear that these aren't the *only* reasons for a whole life tariff.

    The judge then took the view that the combination of pre-meditation, the nature of the crime, the lack of remorse and attempted cover up, combined with the level of mis-use of the public office raised the crime to the whole life tariff category.
    Yes, I did ETA that the judge explicitly cited those other factors, but then cancelled its addition because I was responding to the pb thread which suggested this might have been camouflage.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 12,575
    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826
    Charles said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Most of them (ex Netherlands and France) are smaller than Greater London in terms of population. In France the police has always been a tool of centralised state control so glad not to have that.
    Didn't some of the local Scottish forces have problems that were more easily fixed by reorganisation rather than ongoing political issues?

    Round here you only have to watch all the other local Police forces doing everything they can to avoid taking over the mess that is Cleveland Police to see why people want local Police forces.
  • malcolmg said:

    This is typical Tory practice and people wonder why the police are crap

    Malcolm Offord was rejected by the voters during the Holyrood election.
    Despite this he has been handed an unelected peerage in the house of lords as a U.K. gov minister Under the secretary of State for Scotland office.
    Amazing what £150,000 donation to the Cons party gets you!

    I'm sure there is absolutely no link whatsoever between the £150k to party coffers and the coincidental issuing of a Baronetcy.
    If yer talented enough to enrich yourself to the point of being able to donate £150k to the party, yer talented enough to be parachuted into a post without the slightest democratic scrutiny #Torylogic

    Though encouragingly for once money wasn't able to buy an elected post for wannabe msp Offord.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,062
    TOPPING said:

    There are several films set in the US, I saw one the other day but can't remember the name of it, where the baddies are being chased by State police and it's a race to the State border after which the baddies continue unhindered and the State police (usually in the films) get out of their cars at the border line, put their hands on their hips, and stare wistfully after their disappearing prey.

    I am sure there are parallels where you are allowed to cross a border into someone else's country after your quarry. I think that's what "hot pursuit" means.
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826

    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.

    I don't think quite is required in that sentence - he's admitted murdering someone while abusing his position of being a police officer.

    I'm sorry but WTF were people thinking about supporting him..
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 36,478
    eek said:

    malcolmg said:

    This is typical Tory practice and people wonder why the police are crap

    Malcolm Offord was rejected by the voters during the Holyrood election.
    Despite this he has been handed an unelected peerage in the house of lords as a U.K. gov minister Under the secretary of State for Scotland office.
    Amazing what £150,000 donation to the Cons party gets you!

    You can remove the £150,000 from that argument. It has always been the case that a PM can appoint anyone they want to be a Lord if they want them in the cabinet.

    It is almost always someone who has greased their palms with silver, it has always been the Tory way.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658

    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.

    Have you got a source for that?
  • tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Except the judge didn't. Read the sentencing remarks about how he constructed, using the law and the guidelines, the sentence. He actually sets out his though process, in quite some detail.

    The point at issue was that whole life tariffs are for exceptional circumstances, with *some* examples given. The wording is quite clear that these aren't the *only* reasons for a whole life tariff.

    The judge then took the view that the combination of pre-meditation, the nature of the crime, the lack of remorse and attempted cover up, combined with the level of mis-use of the public office raised the crime to the whole life tariff category.
    Yes, I did ETA that the judge explicitly cited those other factors, but then cancelled its addition because I was responding to the pb thread which suggested this might have been camouflage.
    I wasn't suggesting it might have been camouflage. I was saying simply that he may have acted before and we may never know.

    I don't think suppositions should affect sentencing. I do think the crime was serious enough to justify a whole-life tariff without any extra crimes committed. And without him being an officer too, if it had been a baker or taxi driver or anyone else it should also be a whole life tariff in my humble opinion.
  • AlistairMAlistairM Posts: 872
    Charles said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Most of them (ex Netherlands and France) are smaller than Greater London in terms of population. In France the police has always been a tool of centralised state control so glad not to have that.
    In France they have BOTH local and national police. I once lost a ring in France and I wanted to report it in a small town in Normandy in case it turned up. There were 2 police stations in the town and both wanted to send me to the other one! Not an approach I would wish to replicate.
  • As a man, I just want to start by saying that I clearly have no idea what women go through on the streets of this country, particularly the capital where I now live. All of my female friends have been shouted at when they have been running, or leered at and cat called when they were out on their own.

    I've never gone through any of that, I will happily walk through most parts of London on my own. There are places I don't go out of choice but I am sure I would be perfectly safe. I have begun to consider now whether when out and about running whether my own behaviour might be taken the wrong way, a quick smile etc which is clearly incorrect but such is the depth of the problem, I am now going to consider what I do a lot more intensely.

    I had not mentioned this previously but Ms Everard was kidnapped very close to where my brother lives, very very close. I've run down the road where she was taken, I've been across the same path that she walked. And I never felt unsafe, in fact I consider it one of the safest places in London. And yet again, I am a man, I have no idea what it is actually like for so many. And it clearly is not safe.

    I don't have the answers for what we should do - but it's clear the trust between the public and the police has completely broken down and the Met needs urgent reform as it is clearly failing women.

    But so I think are men. When people call for cat calling to be made a hate crime, I start to have a lot more sympathy when this is what it might lead to, or the fear that it might.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 26,806
    IshmaelZ said:

    TOPPING said:

    There are several films set in the US, I saw one the other day but can't remember the name of it, where the baddies are being chased by State police and it's a race to the State border after which the baddies continue unhindered and the State police (usually in the films) get out of their cars at the border line, put their hands on their hips, and stare wistfully after their disappearing prey.

    I am sure there are parallels where you are allowed to cross a border into someone else's country after your quarry. I think that's what "hot pursuit" means.
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hot_trod
  • eekeek Posts: 18,826

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    For me, the problem is not so much the shocking revelations of this case, it is the mindset of an institution, and indeed a political class, that thought Cressida Dick was even a credible candidate for the position of Head of the Met in the first place. From the manslaughter of Charles de Menezes, the jaw dropping incompetence in Operation Midland and the blatant and identified obstruction of the Morgan inquiry it is painfully obvious that she should have been sacked long before she made the top chair. Is it really any surprise that the incompetence, genuinely weird political misjudgements (Extinction rebellion and the handling of the Sarah Everard commemoration to name just 2 examples) have continued?

    Was the fact that she was a woman and gay more important to our right on politicians? I mean, for god's sake. The decision to renew her contract not even a month ago with this pending, is one of the more inexplicable political decisions in recent times. Dick is not the only one who should be considering her position.

    I'm not here to defend the Commissioner - would be very happy to see her resign. But there does appear to be a concerted campaign against her that is outsized vs the issue. Would - an example - a different commissioner have meant that this "man" would have been screened and caught out before he committed this heinous crime?
    This alone would not for me be reason for her to resign. As horrendous as it is, if none of the red flags had reached her desk there's no way she could have known.

    This, combined with the culture she's allowed to be in the Met, combined with the cover-up the Morgan Inquiry found, combined with de Menzies, combined with Midland . . . different story.
    Yes, so we're back into the institutional culture problem. As the police (all forces) draw more of certain groups of people in than other groups there is a risk of being unbalanced. All the more reason why the leadership from the very top needs to be robust.

    For me though this does feel like a bit of a blind alley. This case was so exceptional because it was that crime by a serving police officer - hence the exceptional sentence. If only the crime was an exception - it isn't. It isn't the police culture we need to change, but our own.

    Until women are equal to men we will keep this horrible problem. Yes its a small minority of men, but they are fuelled by a society that amplifies their "rights" and "needs" as overriding those of others. We managed to make drink driving completely unacceptable when it used to be the norm. We can make "incel" and "phwoar" and"just a bit of fun" completely unacceptable if we try.

    This won't 100% eradicate these kind of crimes because a very small number of people are unsaveable in this life. But we can shine light into the darkness.
    It does concern me that Couzens may have only got a proper life sentence because he was a police officer. For sure, that's an aggravating factor, but his actions alone ought to have been more than enough to ensure that he would never be released.
    Given the planning and that the attack was on a complete stranger, it seems almost certain that he would have repeated the crime if he'd not been caught.
    That's an interesting point. The guidance on whole life sentences includes:

    (a) the murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following— (i)a substantial degree of premeditation or planning, (ii)the abduction of the victim, or (iii)sexual or sadistic conduct...

    But as you say, he was caught after one (or, at least, one that we know of). I think it would perfectly reasonable for a judge to come to the conclusion that he would more than likely have done it again had he not been caught.
    There's every chance she was not his first victim too, but that he got away with others.
    What is the point of specifying two victims in the guidelines, if we are happy for the judge to infer, and pb to infer, that there were probably other victims so that's all right then? That is a dangerous path. Guilt should be proven, not assumed or asserted. The presumption of innocence is the golden thread...
    Except the judge didn't. Read the sentencing remarks about how he constructed, using the law and the guidelines, the sentence. He actually sets out his though process, in quite some detail.

    The point at issue was that whole life tariffs are for exceptional circumstances, with *some* examples given. The wording is quite clear that these aren't the *only* reasons for a whole life tariff.

    The judge then took the view that the combination of pre-meditation, the nature of the crime, the lack of remorse and attempted cover up, combined with the level of mis-use of the public office raised the crime to the whole life tariff category.
    Yes, I did ETA that the judge explicitly cited those other factors, but then cancelled its addition because I was responding to the pb thread which suggested this might have been camouflage.
    I wasn't suggesting it might have been camouflage. I was saying simply that he may have acted before and we may never know.

    I don't think suppositions should affect sentencing. I do think the crime was serious enough to justify a whole-life tariff without any extra crimes committed. And without him being an officer too, if it had been a baker or taxi driver or anyone else it should also be a whole life tariff in my humble opinion.
    I think we are getting two things confused here - as we need to look at 2 different questions

    1) is a police officer abusing his warrant card to pursue rape / murder enough to justify a whole life sentence (very possible)
    2) was this crime (as a whole) enough to justify a whole life sentence (again very possible)

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 58,409
    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Battery, catcalling as a hate crime seems over the top. Couzens didn't catcall or wolf whistle.

    The Met needs massive reform. Dick should go. Neither of these things will happen.

    Catcalling may be made illegal. It won't reduce the number of rapes. Rapists tend to either plan things carefully or be opportunists. Neither involves calling attention to oneself.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 34,508
    IshmaelZ said:

    TOPPING said:

    There are several films set in the US, I saw one the other day but can't remember the name of it, where the baddies are being chased by State police and it's a race to the State border after which the baddies continue unhindered and the State police (usually in the films) get out of their cars at the border line, put their hands on their hips, and stare wistfully after their disappearing prey.

    I am sure there are parallels where you are allowed to cross a border into someone else's country after your quarry. I think that's what "hot pursuit" means.
    I couldn't possibly comment but I believe that's exactly what is allowed.

    As we found out today, navigating past @Dura_Ace trying to frighten 10-yr old girls on their ponies as we go.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658
    @CorrectHorseBattery - not that I want to deter you from enjoying the outdoors, but you're probably just as likely to be attacked as a woman.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 31,489
    Horndean Downs (East Hampshire) by-election result:

    GRN: 49.2% (+33.3)
    CON: 44.7% (-8.0)
    IND: 6.1% (-12.6)

    Green GAIN from Conservative.

    No LDem (-12.8) as prev.

    Nice part of the world as I recall!
  • Charles said:

    Too many ugly old pike befouling tiny fish ponds.

    Time for England to follow Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and many other countries and establish an English national police force.

    They could call them the Antediluvian Imperial Bobbys, to keep JRM happy. Bung a plc on the end and the Tory snouts will love the new trough.

    You do know that the US has about as many police forces as Scotland has police officers, don’t you?
    Yes, I do. There is no need to be infantile or patronising, nor to play the straw man card. PB standard fare.

    The fact is that the US has national police. England doesn’t.
    So you're doubling down on the notion that you wish English policing was more like US policing? 🤔

    Pass, thanks.
    Nope. Again playing the straw man.

    How about all of England’s nearest neighbours - Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France? Why do they all choose national police? Are they all wrong and England right? Maybe. But please show your workings.
    Most of them (ex Netherlands and France) are smaller than Greater London in terms of population. In France the police has always been a tool of centralised state control so glad not to have that.
    And the Met is not a tool of centralised state control? Well, it’s a theory.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 12,575
    tlg86 said:

    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.

    Have you got a source for that?
    A passage from his defence team (admittedly found on Twitter):


  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 29,334
    Just to throw the conversation a little:

    I have known several women who have been abused and attacked. None were by strangers. All were by family members or family friends.

    (A relative was nearly attacked whilst working as a nurse in the 1960s. She was followed and grasped; she managed to run to the nursing residence before he could stop her, after which a posse went out to try to find him. This is the only direct anecdote I've heard about a stranger attacking a woman.)
  • Charles said:

    Foxy said:

    Tony Blair was the greatest PM of the last thirty years. If a Labour member cannot agree with that, then they should resign from the party immediately.

    Reluctantly, I would have to agree with that verdict, but it is rather like having to decide an order of precedence between a slug, a cockroach, a rat, a louse, a tick and a tapeworm.
    But which one is which?

    Major - slug
    Blair - tapeworm
    Brown - tick
    Cameron - rat
    May - louse
    Johnson - cockroach
    Good game.

    Perusing your list I can’t help but feel that Major was the only decent human being.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 12,575
    Of course police forces should be local.

    I note that many police forces in the U.K. straddle political boundaries, just like fire & rescue authorities, and the health CCGs etc.

    All deliberately chaotic in order to increase dependency and reliance on Whitehall.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 22,658

    tlg86 said:

    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.

    Have you got a source for that?
    A passage from his defence team (admittedly found on Twitter):


    Paragraph 11:

    https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Wayne-Couzens-Sentencing-Remarks.pdf

    I wonder what actually means? You often get the news interviewing the neighbours and they say "I'd never have guessed, he seemed like such a nice bloke, etc. etc."

    If they were asked to submit something formally, well, there's loyalty and then there's that.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 16,062

    IshmaelZ said:

    TOPPING said:

    There are several films set in the US, I saw one the other day but can't remember the name of it, where the baddies are being chased by State police and it's a race to the State border after which the baddies continue unhindered and the State police (usually in the films) get out of their cars at the border line, put their hands on their hips, and stare wistfully after their disappearing prey.

    I am sure there are parallels where you are allowed to cross a border into someone else's country after your quarry. I think that's what "hot pursuit" means.
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hot_trod
    Thanks. That, and hue and cry, were what I had in mind.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 31,489

    Just to throw the conversation a little:

    I have known several women who have been abused and attacked. None were by strangers. All were by family members or family friends.

    (A relative was nearly attacked whilst working as a nurse in the 1960s. She was followed and grasped; she managed to run to the nursing residence before he could stop her, after which a posse went out to try to find him. This is the only direct anecdote I've heard about a stranger attacking a woman.)

    While a school girl, my mother in law got off a bus in Mill Hill, and was followed by an older man who pestered her. She clobbered him with her satchel and ran off. She only told us this story a couple of years ago, but it had clearly stuck in her memory. It would have been the late 1940s.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 69,908
    edited October 2021
    rcs1000 said:

    tlg86 said:

    I also think the idea of bringing in senior officers who are not police is a good one. The greasy pole appears to well and truly in place within the police forces, and fresh blood - and fresh eyes - at the top could be positive.

    All good stuff Mr Jessop, but I want to highlight this bit. One person who never gets mentioned is Tom Winsor:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Winsor

    A close friend of mine is a police officer and he has zero respect for Winsor on the grounds that he has no idea what it's like to be a cop.

    I think an outside perspective is always helpful, but imposing non-police management on the rank and file could lead to outright revolt.
    Being a policeman is a horrible, difficult job. You put yourself in harms way every day, dealing with criminals, the insane, and event the drunken public.

    Your every action is scrutinised. If you slip up, it's front page news. You have to jump through 1,000 hoops to put even the most obviously guilty man behind bars.

    If I was a policeman, I'd probably feel the world was against me.

    The problem is that this kind of situation results in people putting loyalty to the group ahead of loyalty to the truth, or to what is morally right. If you see a colleague being attacked in the press, you rush to defend him. The union stands up to defend him. And senior officers follow suit.

    Because it's a difficult job, and people on the outside can't understand.

    Unfortunately, when you put your critical faculties away, and elevate loyalty to the group above all, well, that's when terrible shit happens. Otherwise good people cover up terrible atrocities, because they don't want to do *their* group down.

    It's exactly the same kind of mentality that results in so many moderate Muslims defending terrorists. Terrorist who - it should be noted - would feel no compunction about murdering said moderate.

    @Cyclefree is right. Those who exercise power over their fellow citizens need to be held to higher standards. Yes, we need to be aware that people are in shitty situations, and will sometimes react poorly. But we cannot have a situation where policemen attempt to fit up members of the cabinet, or who perjure themselves to bring prosecutions against innocent people (whose lives seem far more scarred than those of the police), or who look out for a colleague jokingly called "rapist".
    Thanks @Cyclefree for an excellent header.

    I've had few interactions with the police, but I've always found them to be extremely courteous even when I was nabbed for speeding on the M1. I find their patience with the cretins they have to deal with, often deliberately baiting them that they have to deal with on a daily basis absolutely fucking remarkable - with the likes of the M1 blockers they can't win either - ripping their glued hands off the M1 would probably land them in trouble even though I'd be sorely tempted to if I was an officer. Now I may be inclined to be supportive of the police than most due to my family history, but I think the average officer would probably want to see Couzens hang for his actions.

    @Ydoethur point that a police officer should have to pass at least the same checks as a teacher is a good one.
  • AlistairMAlistairM Posts: 872
    Foxy said:

    Horndean Downs (East Hampshire) by-election result:

    GRN: 49.2% (+33.3)
    CON: 44.7% (-8.0)
    IND: 6.1% (-12.6)

    Green GAIN from Conservative.

    No LDem (-12.8) as prev.

    Nice part of the world as I recall!

    Without even looking into it I would imagine there has been a lot of housebuilding there. In the last few years where I live in Buckinghamshire the Greens have surged and won council seats driven primarily in my view by resistance to too much development. Of course in this seat there was no Labour or Lib Dem which tipped it over the edge.

    After having typed that I did a quick Google search and this from 2020... https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/controversial-plans-800-new-homes-near-horndean-approved-2893252
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 34,508
    tlg86 said:

    @CorrectHorseBattery - not that I want to deter you from enjoying the outdoors, but you're probably just as likely to be attacked as a woman.

    It's obvs not a competition but I don't think this is true.

    Much or at least some of it is in the confidence that is displayed (hence why I believe fighting systems are so important to learn even if they are never deployed in anger) and it is surely the case that a majority of men whether rightly or wrongly or generally more physically confident than the majority of women.

    Just by being a woman often and to the wrong type of person, someone is, tragically, "presenting themselves as a victim". That happens less often I believe with men.

    But then I have no stats on anything.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 3,535
    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    Some of Couzens colleagues spoke in support of him in advance of sentencing, I believe.

    Which is quite fucked up.

    Have you got a source for that?
    A passage from his defence team (admittedly found on Twitter):


    Paragraph 11:

    https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Wayne-Couzens-Sentencing-Remarks.pdf

    I wonder what actually means? You often get the news interviewing the neighbours and they say "I'd never have guessed, he seemed like such a nice bloke, etc. etc."

    If they were asked to submit something formally, well, there's loyalty and then there's that.
    Yep, would be interesting to know more detail. If you're called and you've only had positive experience of the man (as likely if the defence call you) then what do you say? You'd be very foolish to lie.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 69,908
    Blimey

    Britain Elects
    @BritainElects
    ·
    10h
    Hetton (Sunderland) by-election result:

    LAB: 31.6% (-1.7)
    LDEM: 30.3% (+30.3)
    IND (Geddis): 18.5% (-3.1)
    CON: 14.5% (+8.8)
    IND (Allen): 3.2% (+3.2)
    GRN: 2.0% (-1.8)
This discussion has been closed.