We’ve been feeling very patriotic in our home following the ‘Jubilee’ especially on 6th June 2012 when we took some time to reflect that it was 68th anniversary of D Day. I was explaining the significance of this to my young daughter as the date that a massive military force set out from England towards France. It’s intention was to overthrow Nazi Germany and its leader Adolf Hitler.
In simple words British & Allied soldiers took the fight direct to the enemy.
I explained that this is important history – it’s very pertinent to us as our home town was where many preparations for D Day were made and literally just around the corner from our home is a slipway. From D Day onwards this slipway was used night and day by troops and vehicles departing to join the invasion force, this hectic activity continued from June through to September 1944.
I explained that the freedom that we experience today in Britain is very much due to the ordinary people who stood up and fought for what they believed in. She asked me what I meant by this and I gave her a simple recent example of when her Dad and I had joined the Police Protest March in London in May because we were free to show our unhappiness with the government’s planned cuts and changes to policing. She smiled and said oh I see because you’ve marched everything is going to be OK now.
Sadly I had to tell her No, that this particular ‘fight’ was continuing.
And it is, despite their being more than 30,000 officers marching and a growing body of support against planned changes to policing, the coalition government are continuing on their chosen road.
So Where is the Public Mandate for Change?
The coalition government was formed in 2010 and is the first time the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have had a power-sharing deal at Westminster and is also the first coalition in the UK since the Second World War.
The coalition apparently have a five-year fixed-term parliament , a short time you might think, but the decisions they are making with regard to public services will have long-term consequences to us, the ordinary people of Great Britain. Unfortunately many people haven’t woken up to this fact yet and I admit if my husband was not a serving Police Officer I’m not sure I would have recognised the significance of the changes proposed. I probably would have been more focused on the changes to the NHS which is also a focus of reform and cuts. Certainly I have been unable to find much prior to the election giving us the ‘voting’ public any insight into what was planned.
I heard today that Winsor (see my previous blogs) has been identified as the Home Secretary’s preferred candidate for Her Majesties Chief Inspector of Constabulary. If like me your not sure what a HMCIC is then have a look at this link
When rumours of this were leaked the #AntiWinsorNetwork on Twitter went crazy. A general feeling of despair was the general response.
Inspecting Policing in the Public Interest
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) independently assesses police forces and policing across activity from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism – in the public interest.
According to its website ‘HMIC is independent of Government and the police‘.
Judging by the Twitter frenzy this evening, I don’t think I’m alone in wondering how the same person appointed by the Government to lead the review of policing can then be responsible for leading HMIC and assessing police forces as an ‘independent’?
Policing by Consent
And so I urge you to find out more about what is proposed for the future of policing as this is something that us the ordinary folk of Great Britain rely on. In the UK policing is by consent, what does this mean? Peel’s most often quoted principle: The police are the public and the public are the police.
This is wonderfully summed up for me in this picture from the jubilee (sorry don’t know who took this)
So members of the public, get informed find out what’s planned for Policing, after all this is OUR service and ask yourself why are the government so keen on pushing through the reform of the police service, privatisation of elements of the service and putting in place someone with a vested interest to oversee the performance of police forces?
As yourself, what might the police force in Great Britain look like in 10 years time if these changes are implemented unopposed and if this is what you want the future of policing to be?
To my mind, like D-Day the battle to save Our Police will not be won overnight, it will rely on individuals coming together, standing up for what they believe in and ensuring that the future of policing in Great Britain is protected for future generations.