David Leyonhjelm guest post. The problem with the police

Virtually all political persuasions agree on the need for police. For libertarians, maintaining a criminal justice system, of which the police are a major component, is viewed as one of the few legitimate roles of government.

The first modern and professional police force was the London Metropolitan Police Service, established in 1829. There had been substantial public opposition to a large and possibly armed police force until then, based on fears it could be used to suppress protest or support unpopular rule. The example of France, which had secret police at the time, was significant.

The Met was established by Robert Peel, Britain’s Home Secretary, who set out to address these concerns via his nine principles of policing. These principles are now famous and remain the gold standard for police everywhere.

Peel believed that the power of the police was dependent on public approval and derived from public cooperation rather than fear. Also known as policing by consent, his key principle was that “the police are the public and the public are the police”.

He ensured police uniforms were different from the military, avoided military ranks, and only armed officers with a wooden truncheon and rattle (later a whistle) to signal the need for assistance. Every officer was issued a warrant card with a unique identification number to assure accountability for his actions, and Londoners were expected to give assistance, including loaning their revolvers to officers in pursuit of armed felons. Many did exactly that.

Peel was also clear about the primary role of the police – to prevent crime. Police effectiveness is not measured by the number of arrests, he said, but by the absence of crime and disorder.

Almost two hundred years later, police in many locations could benefit from a reminder of Peel’s principles.

One issue is the steady militarisation of the police. This ranges from references to the public as civilians and assertions that the police place their lives on the line every day, to black uniforms, military assault rifles and equipment such as armoured personnel carriers. This is a bigger concern in America, where a lot of military surplus equipment is sold to police and the emphasis on armed conflict is more pronounced, but the trend is the same here.

When they see themselves as soldiers in a war, it is not surprising that some police have no regard for public welfare. The negligence leading to the death of Miss Dhu in police custody in WA, and of course the notorious deaths in America, are obvious examples of where that leads.

Peel’s principles also stipulate that police should only use physical force when persuasion, advice and warning are insufficient, to use only the minimum force necessary, and that the cooperation of the public diminishes proportionately with the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion.

Yet how often do we see police resort to violence when making an arrest? People are tackled, forced to the ground with knees on their back and neck amid blows, kicks and the vindictive use of Tasers, simply to apply handcuffs. Being ‘non-compliant’ or raising verbal objections is enough to prompt this, and some have died as a result.

Moreover, when the victims of such treatment are not convicted or imprisoned, such rough handling amounts to a form of punishment. That is also in conflict with Peel’s Principles, which require the police to avoid usurping the powers of the judiciary by authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

Enforcement of the Covid rules, including the authoritarian decrees and fines imposed by state premiers, provide further examples: petty closing of cafes, prosecutions for reading in a park, chasing individuals along a closed beach, stopping fishing from a pier the day after 10,000 have gathered in a demonstration, and even a Police Commissioner who denounces the cruise industry as criminal, are among them. The Australian public are never likely to accept the police as one of them while those sorts of things occur.

Change is necessary. Corrupt and thuggish police must be rooted out and the enforcement of laws that the public does not support, including political and victimless crimes, should never have priority. Moreover, arresting people seldom solves problems that originate in drug use, alcoholism, mental illness and poverty.

The fundamental responsibility of governments is to protect life, liberty and property. If the police were to focus on these while upholding Peel’s Principles, Australians might even come to their aid.

David Leyonhjelm is a former senator for the Liberal Democrats

This entry was posted in civil society, Guest Post, Oppressive government, Rule of law. Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to David Leyonhjelm guest post. The problem with the police

  1. Rex Anger

    Easy assertions to male when one assumes that the nature, sophistication and violence of the criminals the police are supposed to stop has evolved at least as fast, if not faster, tham the police.have ‘militarised.’

    How does a bobby with a truncheon and a whistle deal with gangsters of various ethnic and political persuasions and cultures of lethal braggadocio to live up to, blowing each other and innocent bystanders away with relative impunity? Sydney and Adelaide, I’m looking at you here…

    How does policing by consent work with drug addicts off their faces on heaven-alone-knows what, monstering the public and each other unmolested? Your turn, Perth…

    Can Peel’s 9 principles of Policing be used, unmodified to try and reduce or stop politically-motivated criminals using the public (Man Haron Monis, Abdul Jabbar, Numan Haider, Sevdet Besic, etc.) or particular.groups they don’t like, (Jaden Duong, the ‘non-religiously, politically or ideologically motivated’ gay activist, who suicide fire-bombed the Australian Christian Lobby’s Canberra offices on December 22, 2016) as the props and unwilling participants in their lethal performance art? Fedpol, step up…

    While I agree that there are very significant issues of governance and ideological capture at all levels in our state and federal police forces Mr Lleyjonhelm, you have badly missed the point here. This exercise in absolutism and shallow institution-bashing reads suspiciously like a BLM screed dressed up as ‘right-wing’ thought.

  2. Rex Anger

    CORRECTION-

    Easy assertions to male when one assumes that the nature, sophistication and violence of the criminals the police are supposed to stop hasn’t evolved at least as fast, if not faster, tham the police.have ‘militarised.’

  3. Ed Case

    Easy assertions to male when one assumes that the nature, sophistication and violence of the criminals the police are supposed to stop hasn’t evolved at least as fast, if not faster, tham the police.have ‘militarised.’

    Seriously?
    The cops are close to out of control, it hasn’t helped that they now recruit likely PTSD former troops who’ve been in Afghanistan.

  4. Rebel with cause

    I reckon they would’ve been pretty handy with that truncheon though.

    The problem isn’t the use of force. It’s that some police are happy to harass and intimidate everyday people going about their normal business, yet when you need some cops to deal with gang violence or an ice head out of control they are nowhere to be found.

  5. Rafe Champion

    If people were allowed to carry guns it would be easier for the police to borrow a weapon:)

  6. Hay Stockard

    Can’t think of any Force in Australia which hasn’t been corrupted into a politised tool of the Government
    A part of the community my well proportioned glutes.

  7. Ed Case

    Robert Peel introduced the Police under the Prime Ministership of Wellington, generally accepted to have failed as PM.
    Peel himself as PM was known as the man who destroyed the British Conservative Party thru unpopular actions such as the police and Repeal of the Corn Laws.
    All in all, he was no good, and nothing he did was any good, either.

  8. Rex Anger

    The cops are close to out of control, it hasn’t helped that they now recruit likely PTSD former troops who’ve been in Afghanistan.

    Seriously Edgy, is there anyone you won’t smear in your little crusade against everything in society you don’t like?

    You too sound like a BLaMmer with your ‘Defund Tha Po-leez!’ schtick.

    You want a mutually respectful and polite society and policing experience, start at home. Then blame others.

    A copper has to assume these days that even if they say ‘G’day’ to someone in the street, the reaction will be hostile. You can blame the Marxists for that one, not the uniform and the ‘out of control’ service.

    Be polite towards them, regardless of the bullshit, and 99 times from 100 they’ll be polite too. Same, funnily enough, as any other person you encounter in public…

  9. Rex Anger

    It’s that some police are happy to harass and intimidate everyday people going about their normal business, yet when you need some cops to deal with gang violence or an ice head out of control they are nowhere to be found.

    Like I was saying about serious governance issues and ideological capture…

  10. dasher

    As someone who has had to call the police I can assure you than when you dial 000 in this country you want the people you mock to be there. The problem is not the police its is their political leaders. I could start with the reality that our politicians and courts do not support the police . It is now OK for yobbos to give the police curry without any penalty..how do these people carry out their work when they are jeered spat upon screamed at by nobodies with impunity. We can all improve , but my friends you are barking up the wrong tree if you think this is the way to go. In some ways it would teach many a good lesson to defund the police for for a period of time sufficient to make even the worst rabble wish they were there which is inevitable.

  11. Ed Case

    A copper has to assume these days that even if they say ‘G’day’ to someone in the street, the reaction will be hostile. You can blame the Marxists for that one, not the uniform and the ‘out of control’ service.

    Cry me a river, Rex.
    You must live on another planet.
    On this one, the cops have gone from one scandal to another in Victoria for 90 years, rangeing from Drugs to prostitution, back to drugs, on to more prostitution, with bushfires, murders in the street and watchhouses thrown in.
    It’s never stopped.
    No one’s ever held to account, no Government is ever game to call a halt.
    Is it time to call the whole concept a failure and shut it down yet?

  12. Rex Anger

    @ Dasher-

    +1 but the consequences of even a short withdrawal of service are too appalling to consider too closely. At least without having more permissive firearms laws in Australia.

  13. Ed Case

    Hi Dasher
    If even the worst rabble wanted a return of the Police in your fantasy, how is that an endorsement of the Police role.
    A society where the worst rabble live in fear would be a vast improvement on where we are now.

  14. Rex Anger

    Edgelord,

    One Victorian Police Farce does not an Australia make.

    You must live on another planet

    I do- One in which i recognise that no institution on this Earth, devised, staffed and operated by fallible, sinful and untrustworthy human beings is ever going to be right or perfect. One in which I also understand that the absence of such a force in society leads to anarchy. Nobody survives anarchy. Not even an Edgelord with an arsenal, deep coffers and an attitude.

    So, no rivers cried, Edgy. But I think your impressions of policemen in Victoria in particular and Australia in general if you stop looking at them like a cowshit you just stepped in every time one so much as walks within a Grid Square of you. I can smell the attitude problems on you from WA- And my computer cannot smell! How much more so a GD on the beat or a traffic bramch guy who just pinged you for speeding?

  15. Rex Anger

    CORRECTION (2):

    I think your impressions of policemen in Victoria in particular and Australia in general would improve if you stop looking at them like a cowshit you just stepped in every time one so much as walks within a Grid Square of you.

    I am not doing very well tonight… 😕

  16. Chris M

    …his nine principles of policing. These principles are now famous and remain the gold standard for police everywhere.

    Haha you funny old buffer Dave. Remains the gold standard eh? Maybe way back when you were a child. Your next para makes this obviously wrong:

    “the police are the public and the public are the police”

    See the problem – where on earth is this the case? Never seen or heard of this in my lifetime. Give it a try Dave, do some policing and let us know how it goes.
    .

    ..even if they say ‘G’day’ to someone in the street, the reaction will be hostile. You can blame the Marxists for that

    Nope Rex, the politicians turned the police into bullies, thugs, thieves and SJW enforcers. They are little more than an armed wing of the tax office now and fighting actual crime is a bit part, not the going priority.

  17. Rex Anger

    @ Chris M-

    A clarification- The manipulations of Marxists at all angles, at the political and bureaucratic level to inculcate the bullying attitude you describe, and at our level by encouraging dissent, distrust and kockery of the police amd legal system. Further aided and abetted by fellow traveller lawyers, magistrates and judges. All interwebbed, all a mess. All bad for civil society.

    Apart from that, total agreement with your statement.

  18. Ed Case, Perhaps you could give us some examples to back up this claim.

    “The cops are close to out of control, it hasn’t helped that they now recruit likely PTSD former troops who’ve been in Afghanistan”.

  19. faceache

    Auckland 1971, on the night shift beat in Queen Street (The main drag) with hand cuffs, baton (Aussie hardwood) and a heavy torch. No radio, nothing else. I arrested the son of the boss of the local Communist party. His name was Karl, of course. He crept up behind me one night and kicked me in the arse. managed to drag him half mile to the watch house. For the rest of the week his father and his minions followed me around all night. Didn’t even offer me a cup of tea from their thermoses. Silly buggers

  20. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    “The cops are close to out of control, it hasn’t helped that they now recruit likely PTSD former troops who’ve been in Afghanistan”.

    Western Australian coppers have been recruited from “the cream of academia, now, for thirty years. We don’t see a degree as being out of place.” “The days when being an ex serviceman, assured you of a career in Western Australian Police, are long over.”

  21. Perfidious Albino

    I finally lost all respect for VicPol over Gargosolous/Bourke St – a monumental failure of policing from chicken shit command all the way down to the constables standing idly by watching him doing circle work out front of Flinders St Station. All swept under the carpet in the you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours regime of the ALP and our hopelessly politicised and increasingly para-military police force. Shit attitudes, shit uniforms, shit people – harsh?, yes, but as individuals they accept the standard of leadership they get.

  22. Ed Case

    Western Australian coppers have been recruited from “the cream of academia, now, for thirty years.

    They’ve been recruiting Lecturers and Professors, you say?
    Wake up to yourself.

  23. Aynsley Kellow

    ZK2A: I presided over a the introduction of a similar program here in Tasmania, in response to Police Commissioner Richard McCreadie, who did a degree in the 1980s and found it a valuable experience. Police trainees in Tasmania now undertake a university degree, although some cash in and take an associate degree only.

    They are not politicised here.

    For my sins, I was invited to give a speech and take the salute at a passing’s out parade at the Academy one year. I emphasised the importance of setting positive example and told a personal anecdote from one Christmas when I called the police because a very inebriated guy was on our nature strip and staggering all over the place and out onto the road – at considerable risk to himself. The window was open, so I could hear the way the treated him: with immense respect and care. They looked after him and got him home. I hade been having some reservations about calling them, but these evaporated because of their professionalism.

    Police face all sorts of challenges, and deserve our respect as the author suggests. It is unfortunate when some break that trust.

  24. Gerry

    The politicising of the police command in Victoria (I don’t know about other states) is the major problem in my view…….looking the other way for political masters, deciding who to police and who not to, fixing crime statistics, becoming tax collectors , and committing fraud with TAC money ……

  25. Entropy

    Betrayal by the Judiciary does not help the coppers’ case.

  26. Quibbler

    I have had some experience working with police over the past 20 years. I can safely say that most have been as described by Aynsley Kellow. It’s a difficult job attending suicides, fatal car crashes, drug overdoses, bashings, working in remote Aboriginal communities rife with violence and having to view child exploitation material, amongst other things. Yes, there are those who are unsuitable for the role (and we have all encountered them) but it’s no different to any other organisation.

    Where things fail is the use of police as revenue raisers and the dance of PC around black deaths in custody/levels of incarceration. Its hard to reconcile being given an infringement for doing 5km over the limit on an empty road and then hearing that the person who broke into the same car in your driveway has been released due to fear he will harm himself in the lock up.

  27. Suburban Boy

    Since we are all grown ups here, we should refer to the unfortunate victim of WA police negligence by her name, Julieka Dhu, rather than tiptoe around it on the offchance that tribal Aborigines would be reading this website.

  28. shatterzzz

    I only skimmed the story as I generally do with anything involving police as from personal experience I regard ALL farce members as corrupt and only in it for themselves ..
    I live in a small HC estate in western Sydney 700 mtres from a 100+ police outpost and a million miles from law & order ..during the period 1983 thru 2005 this estate was the drug capital of western Sydney, a farce NO GO zone except for the Friday afternoon visit by the bagman to pick up the rent. The media campaign to clean-up Cabramatta didn’t take into account the trade wouldn’t disappear but move elsewhere and we got the majority of the scum.
    Anyone with any authority whether it was political, state, federal or local, was padding their retirement funds at the expense of the folk that lived here .. lived may be overdoing it .. surviving in hell might be more appropriate!
    There may be honest NSW police who, actually, SERVE but for me, now 72, I’m way past believing in the TOOTH FAIRY!

  29. See the problem – where on earth is this the case? Never seen or heard of this in my lifetime. Give it a try Dave, do some policing and let us know how it goes.

    You should have respected the community’s civil rights a little bit more, champion.

  30. theleftfootkick

    I remember when going through recruit police training at the ‘new’ Glen Waverley’ academy back in 1974, (that long ago) and one of the first things we were taught about was Sir Robert Peel’s edicts, 1st one the primary role of the police officer was ‘keeping the peace’, that means acting before the trouble starts, good luck with that now days!! 2nd the prevention of crime, you think they are the same? kind of but there is a subtle difference, one again requiring action before the trouble starts and good luck with one now a days, and the 3rd, the investigation and arrest of an offender once a crime had been committed, and placing the offender before the courts etc. The most important one as far as I was concerned was as sworn police officer I had separation of powers from the Government, in other words no politician could come up to me and tell me what I had to do, the separation of powers! more important than anything. Today we see far too often the Chief Commissioner of Police and other high ranking police officers doing so called press conferences with the relevant Ministers of State looking over their shoulders. When I first went out of street patrol, I had small rubber baton, they were essentially useless, sometimes and old Browning .32 automatic pistol, that thing would not break a car window at 10 metres, LOL What do we see today with our modern police people on street patrol, bullet proof vests, armed with high powered guns, all kinds anti personal defensive sprays, and radios live cameras, and so on, I truly feel sorry for them. A mark of how society has progressed? I often wonder any young decent people would want to go anywhere the police force these days, but thankfully they do.

  31. PB

    “The politicising of the police command in Victoria (I don’t know about other states) is the major problem in my view…….”

    Is there any Institution left in Victoria that hasn’t been partisan-politicised?

  32. PB

    “Its hard to reconcile being given an infringement for doing 5km over the limit on an empty road and then hearing that the person who broke into the same car in your driveway has been released due to fear he will harm himself in the lock up.”

    There could never be enough upvotes for this sentence.

  33. Iampeter

    The militarization of the police is just a symptom.
    The actual problem is that there’s no longer any understanding of what “preventing crime” even means.
    People don’t even know what actually constitutes a crime anymore.
    If we go back to basics, a crime is an action which violates rights. Things like robbery or assault, for example. If police just dealt with this then there would be no issue.
    But today police spend almost all of their time going after people that aren’t violating anyone’s rights, like drug dealers, prostitutes and randomly pulling people over for speeding. This means it is the police who are violating rights and therefore makes them the criminals.
    On top of this, making activities that don’t violate rights into “crimes” creates actual crime. Well funded and heavily armed crime. This in turn requires the police to become more heavily armed too, so we have this spiral of doom.
    Not to mention the damage this does to the psychology of police officers, to constantly be in such self contradictory situations, even if they don’t explicitly realize it.

    For this to change we need to get back to basics. We need to learn what rights are, what the proper function of government is with respect to rights and only then will we be able to use the police force correctly.

  34. JohnJJJ

    I am afraid society is too safe. Police have done such a good job that all the fools now criticize them. It is time for the cops to take a few months off and let’s watch what happens. For those who live in their safe little suburb, let me tell you what happens in other countries when some one is shot or robbed. Everyone runs away. Why? because when the police arrive they beat and arrest anyone. Then you pay a bribe. The bribe makes you innocent.
    God save me from this suburban thinking and God bless our coppers.

  35. Tom

    I feel you are making progress, IamGoebbels at 9.58am. It’s even possible for you to sound normal when you stop give up your hilarious attempts to upturn the definition of the political left and right.

    Now if we could only wean you off the government teat and get you a job in the real economy.

  36. Natural Instinct

    Recently had an interview with two constables about a break and enter.
    No iPad no computer just pen and notebook.
    But they did have all the paraphernalia of the modern officer e.g. radio mobile phone gun taser mace baton and webbing vest to hold it all.
    I did wonder what wearing all that stuff does to mentality when administrative job was go find member of public, take statement, come back to station.
    Yes i know that wete wearing it ca sees called to to other job but I wonder how often happens.

  37. Kneel

    “Police face all sorts of challenges, and deserve our respect as the author suggests. It is unfortunate when some break that trust.”

    Yes, that should be the default position, I agree.
    Alas, the last time I dealt with police I was deliberately misled in order to make their job easier. Frankly, if I encounter that particular officer again, I will refuse to deal with him point blank – and will not be shy in explaining why I think he is not worthy of trust or respect, and IMO is a disgrace to the uniform. Nor do I particularly care what he or any other officer thinks of the matter – if you want respect, you should earn it, and those who throw it away to make their own life easier don’t deserve it, full stop.
    Nor do I accept the excuse that this is imposed on them from above – “I was only following orders” and “I am only doing my job of enforcing the law” are no excuse when you want claim moral superiority or some other virtue.
    Stop demanding respect and start earning it – the former only creates the illusion of respect, while hiding the contempt that is really felt.

  38. Gerry

    But today police spend almost all of their time going after people that aren’t violating anyone’s rights, like drug dealers,

    The misery and sadness and desperation caused by habitual drug use is monumental ……..to have to live with addiction or have an addicted relative/ partner is devastating to families.

  39. Iampeter

    I feel you are making progress, IamGoebbels at 9.58am. It’s even possible for you to sound normal when you stop give up your hilarious attempts to upturn the definition of the political left and right.

    Not to derail, but I’m curious what your issue is with my definitions of the right v left?
    Also, why are you calling me IamGoebbels? I don’t get it…

  40. Hay Stockard

    Iampeter is the only one in step. What a maroon.

  41. Peter a crime is simply what the legislative arm (whatever that may be) of the state says is a crime.

    Sad but true.

    It could be a crime in NSW next week to offer lawn mowing services without a licence.

    It’s/would be a bullshit law and quite literally a victimless crime, but it can be made a penal law with the stroke of a pen/keyboard.

  42. Tom

    Iampeter, as Hitler’s propaganda minister, Paul Joseph Goebbels was the father of doublespeak, so naming you after him is a tribute to your upside-down linguistic inversions as you can’t tell the difference between a classic liberal and a progressive — a classic liberal being a conservative and a progressive a 21st century communist, whose positions you mostly parrot.

    Since you have never had a job in the real economy and Australia not having had a recession for 30 years until the current government-manufactured one, I can see why so many of the sheep like you thought it would be an excellent talking point at academic dinner parties to term yourself a libertarian — without being aware how readily lampooned libertarians are here on Australia’s only libertarian blog.

    I personally like Australia’s only libertarian politician in recent years, David Leyonhjelm, although I think it’s a very good thing that he didn’t get within a bull’s roar of the levers of power before he was thrown out after his accidental election in 2013, when he won the ballot lottery at the top of the AEC ticket.

  43. MatrixTransform

    IamGoebbels at 9.58am

    well I never …

    a start, a middle, and an end

    iCantBelieveItsNotPeter must have stopped drinking the bong water.

  44. MatrixTransform

    Also, why are you calling me IamGoebbels? I don’t get it…

    well that was brief.

  45. Roger

    There have always been bad apples in the police force, granted. But I spoke with a detective a few years back and his view the great challenge in modern policing is that the criminals have escalated the level of violence. They are now rarely met with “Yeah…fair cop, I’m nicked” but more likely with violence. Thus they are always anticipating the worst and have to be geared up for it. Even street policing comes with more violence these days.

  46. Tom he got elected over Artie Sinodonis.

    He won legitimately.

    I also remember commenters here decrying how he may have stopped Sinodonis from sitting in the Senate before all votes were counted.

    It’s a bit rich to call it an accident without constantly pointing out the cowardice and dishonesty of the Photios Party.

  47. Iampeter

    Iampeter, as Hitler’s propaganda minister, Paul Joseph Goebbels was the father of doublespeak, so naming you after him is a tribute to your upside-down linguistic inversions as you can’t tell the difference between a classic liberal and a progressive — a classic liberal being a conservative and a progressive a 21st century communist, whose positions you mostly parrot.

    Wow, OK. So you have literally no idea what you’re talking about, made all the more hilarious by the condescending tone you’ve taken. There’s no recovering from this kind of beclownment, which is sadly all too common at the Cat.
    Also, as someone who thinks a classic liberal is a conservative, or that anything I say resembles a 21st century communist’s position, means your support for my earlier post in this thread makes no sense.
    You have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever.
    You have no business on a blog about politics and of course will find any clarity on this subject to be “double speak” given how far removed you are from this topic. Classic Cat.

  48. John A

    Yet how often do we see police resort to violence when making an arrest? People are tackled, forced to the ground with knees on their back and neck amid blows, kicks and the vindictive use of Tasers, simply to apply handcuffs. Being ‘non-compliant’ or raising verbal objections is enough to prompt this, and some have died as a result.

    Remember that we only see the sensational, news-making incidents which are reported by our media (don’t laugh, now). By definition, these are out of the ordinary and attract more of our attention than do respectful events such as those described above.

    Recalling one of Peel’s principles: “the police are the people and the people are the police” reminds us that the sworn officers can only be as good or as bad as the society from which they are drawn. And therefore if our society has gone (rather, plummeted) down the moral drain over the last say fifty years, we can’t expect our police to be moral saints.

  49. Peter S

    I suggest David go on patrol with frontline police officers for a week or two, and see what police have to deal with. Lofty principles are no substitute for practical experience.

  50. No, if cops can’t be professional they can quit.

    We have had some cops here saying Peel’s Principles are the first thing they were taught.

    They don’t have the right to taser people in the face for bring vocally noncompliant but not violent in any way.

    If they cannot affect an arrest of most unarmed civilians without using fists, chokeholds, CS spray, tasers or batons (or guns), they should quit, they should have never of graduated police college.

    Life was easier when plod had to be 6′ and a dude, preferably ex servicemen.

  51. Ed Case

    Recalling one of Peel’s principles: “the police are the people and the people are the police”

    Sure, so Peel was into moral relativism relatively early.
    Basically, Robert Peel was the god that failed.
    He was discredited during his lifetime, died 170 years ago.
    Why are we still persisting with the sinister stupidity of Police Forces?

  52. Tator

    Maybe David should talk to people like Derrick McManus about the need for vehicles like the Lenco BEARCAT which is designed primarily as a law enforcement rescue vehicle. McManus was shot 14 times in a siege at Nuriootpa in 1994. He was forced to lay there bleeding out for several hours until an armoured vehicle was sourced from a security company as Tony Grosser was holed up in the fortified house that McManus was lying next to with an arsenal of firearms and large amounts of ammo.
    These vehicles are not armed vehicles but ballistically protected vehicles used in high risk situations. Lenco BearCats have been credited with saving the lives of officers in armed confrontations on numerous occasions. In 2010 in Athens, Texas, an armed offender fired more than 35 rounds from a semi-automatic AK-74 rifle at tactical police. Not one round penetrated the BearCat.
    In June 2012 a BearCat, belonging to the Central Bucks Emergency Response Team, took 28 rounds from a “high-powered rifle” during a siege with no rounds penetrating the vehicle.
    In November 2015, a BearCat was used by police to rescue civilians during the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.
    The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office BearCat was shot between four and seven times with a rifle during an incident on December 29, 2015. Sheriff Whetsel was quoted as saying the BearCat saved the Deputies’ lives.
    On June 12, 2016, a BearCat was used to breach Pulse nightclub after a gunman shot and killed 49 clubgoers and injured 53 others.
    And for those who don’t think those incidents can happen here. Have a look at the latest info release on the Domenic Perre case where he and his sons were convicted of cultivating drugs and had semi auto rifles cached away on their farm. Perre is facing trial for the NCA bombing in 1994 so is not backward in using violence towards law enforcement.
    As for the uniforms, they are actually a dark navy blue and are more operationally kind than the old powder blue shirts which were a bastard to keep clean and serviceable. Plus the new pants were much more functional than the old ones which were far too heavy for summer usage and the extra pockets are a godsend. The colour is actually the same colour as Police Uniforms were in the 1800’s. I discovered this at a function when I was standing with the current uniform on and a Historical Society member was wearing an 1830s uniform and the colours matched.
    Load bearing vests are an essential upgrade as carrying a 7 kilo plus load on a traditional Sam Browne belt creates a lot of lower back issues. Especially when sitting in a police vehicle where the firearm holster twists the belt putting uneven pressure on the back. Even the newer gel belts never really fixed that problem but were a lot more comfortable to wear due to better adjustability. But the vests take the bulk of the weight and bulk off of the belt and reduce back stress phenomenally, they were too late in the piece for me to use as they were just being implemented as I was shitpotted out of operational duties due to workplace injuries.
    As for the long arms, in high risk incidents, using a long arm is much more effective in that accuracy and range are far superior than the semi auto handguns used. Basically they are just a tool of the trade and all police services have had them for decades for their tactical units but society has changed where newer units are being formed who are issued them. It is a return of a tool that was taken away by various Commissioners in the 90s who removed shotguns and long arms from general duties areas and forced an unhealthy reliance on the various tactical units creating a demand that was unsustainable on those units. There is no real argument against them except for they are black and scarey for some members of the public.
    Another thing to consider is that nearly every single piece of equipment that is considered “militarisation” is actually required under current OH&S legislation as appropriate PPE, ballistic helmets and vests, tasers, OC Spray and semi auto pistols have all been found to enhance the safety of the police officers using them. And that is all that really matters to the Police Services as far too many coppers get injured on the job every year and each permanently injured officer who is pensioned off costs the taxpayer more than $100k to just replace, let alone the ongoing workers compensation payments and medical costs as Police Services are self insuring agencies. So economically, it makes sense to reduce risk whenever possible with appropriate PPE.

  53. NoFixedAddress

    Defund the Judiciary.

  54. Tator

    Legalise Sedition,
    you will find that probably 95% percent of arrests do not require use of force. Most of the arrests where
    they cannot affect an arrest of most unarmed civilians without using fists, chokeholds, CS spray, tasers or batons (or guns) are when people actually resist being arrested. Now have a look at this link and see what the media found out about the difficulty in dealing with simple passive resistance.LINK
    It’s a lot harder than you think plus the key term that most non police do completely get is that “Reasonable Force” when used by police isn’t what a member of the public deems reasonable but a tried and tested legal definition that has lasted centuries. The Supreme Court of the US actually defined it in the Connor V Graham decision which is persuasive case law here in Australia.
    They issued instructions that state.
    “The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.”
    The “reasonable officer” standard is a thorn in the side of most police critics who look at videos and apply an untrained, ill-informed analysis to advocate for sanctions against the officer.
    In Victoria, case law from Slaveski V Victoria in 2012 stated:
    “The person exercising the power of arrest is entitled to use such a degree of force as in the circumstances they reasonably believe to be necessary to effect their purpose, provided that the means adopted by them are such as a reasonable person placed as they were placed would not consider to be disproportionate “to the evil to be prevented.”

  55. Rex Anger

    Thanks Tator.

    I remember seeing the first few chest rigs coming into police usage around the late 2000s to early 2010s. As a soldier at the time, and having very rapidly grown very fond of my own chest rig, I thought ‘At last! Decent loadbearing kit for the boys in blue also!’

    ‘Militarisation’ is a cheap shot buzzword flung about initially by academics and intelligentsia personalities of Marxist persuasions to delegitimise the police. Then the meeja took up the cry. Then came the ‘Freedom at all costs- Including mine’ brigade like Edgelord and Mr Lleyjonhelm. Followed closely by the wets, then the normies.

    And look where that little game of Chinese Whispers took us.

  56. I’m not having a go at you Tator, what about the “Aboriginal” drug dealer (alleged) in Sydney recently who got repeatedly tasered in the face, he was just gibbering on whilst on his knees?

    The cops looked like 90 lb weaklings with no combative skills other than point and pull the trigger.

  57. John A

    Ed Case #3510882, posted on July 12, 2020, at 3:16 pm

    Recalling one of Peel’s principles: “the police are the people and the people are the police”

    Sure, so Peel was into moral relativism relatively early.
    Basically, Robert Peel was the god that failed.
    He was discredited during his lifetime, died 170 years ago.
    Why are we still persisting with the sinister stupidity of Police Forces?

    If you wish to dismantle the principle, show why it is inadequate, delivers bad outcomes or is contrary to other higher principles.

    Why does his failure (if that was the case) invalidate the principle? The fact that Peel is dead has no bearing on the validity of his propositions.

    If you wish to make a case for the concept of a police force being sinister and stupid, go for it, but don’t use the logical fallacy of guilt by association.

  58. Pyrmonter

    Peel was the stand-out reformer of the first half of the 19C – not just the police, but also free trade.

    I haven’t agreed with DL so much (I would quibble at the Covid snipes) for years.

  59. Boris

    The misery and sadness and desperation caused by habitual drug use is monumental ……..to have to live with addiction or have an addicted relative/ partner is devastating to families.

    Very True but the question is how you address this? The current approach known as the war on drugs has failed. Maybe need to try something else?

  60. Mark A

    Boris
    #3511381, posted on July 13, 2020 at 2:11 am

    The misery and sadness and desperation caused by habitual drug use is monumental ……..to have to live with addiction or have an addicted relative/ partner is devastating to families.

    Very True but the question is how you address this? The current approach known as the war on drugs has failed. Maybe need to try something else?

    Let it go rampant and let it cull the useless users is one way.
    See what happens.

    Disclaimer: not my idea bc. I have none that works.

  61. Tator

    Legalise Sedition,
    havent seen it yet so won’t try to justify any actions with that case.
    But I know for certain that sustained excessive force complaints are minimal in Australia. Considering that SAPOL alone deals with over 1200 public contacts a day and gets probably one complaint a week regarding excessive force AND only a small percentage of those complaints are sustained because of the difference in the definition of “reasonable force” Plus in SA, police officers have legislated immunity under the Police Act for any actions undertaken in good faith in the execution of their duties. This is both civil and criminally. This covers the rare occasion where the force was not reasonable but applied in error due to misjudgements that occur in the microseconds that police need to react in when dealing with an unrestricted combative situation. Not really sure about the other states set ups, but I am aware that they are all having issues with getting suitable recruits, even with the half decent salaries on offer these days as the psych profile used has changed since I joined the job as they moved from guys who wouldn’t back down to a more conciliatory attitude. As it is, most of the officers in my vintage are no longer operational in general duties as that is a younger persons game. Most move onto either investigations or supervisory roles.
    The main issue with these videos of “Police Brutality” is that they cannot tell the viewer what the police officer knows via intel, or good ole fashioned police knowledge, what the offender has done, whether he has a history of violence or carrying and using weapons against police or whether he is on drugs like PCP or Meth and is failing to respond to all other tactical options.
    With the SJW’s constant braying about getting more women and minorities into the police services means many who are selected to join are not the cream of the crop but purely the best of the minority they represent which is always the biggest issue with affirmative action policies. I have seen quite a few totally unsuitable people employed by SAPOL purely because of their minority status. Have seen quite a few absolute jaffas of coppers come out of these minority groups too. But there were far too many who only kept their job because of what they were and not because they were any good. Most left after a short while of their own accord after getting shunted around a bit to different postings in an effort to find a spot suitable for them. As it is, the average length of service in the police for males is only 8 years and for females its only 5. The biggest issue is the damage they do to policings image with their often misguided actions.
    BTW, just for a bit of perspective, general duties is basically the starting point for all police officers so it is generally full of coppers with not a lot of experience. Back in the early 2000’s, SAPOL had the absurd situation of having probationary officers being senior officers to other probationary officers as the organisational and rank structure did not encourage people to become long term patrol officers and most teams only had 2 experienced officers per team as everyone one who wanted to achieve promotion had to go elsewhere in the job. This changed in 2004 with a major change in the rank and pay structure which allowed insitu promotion to Senior Constable and the additional 6 increments of pay bands and the implementation of field training officer allowances for senior officers to train probationers. Making general duties a much more attractive place to work. Not to mention the additional leave for working long term night shifts brought in in 2008. These changes had a huge impact on the organisational experience profile within general duties. But having been the workplace PASA delegate during that period of time, I was privy to all the info on these negotiations and the reasonings behind them.

  62. Always like reading your stuff, but please got my eyes sake use paragraphs!

    Only Dr Fred Lenin can get away with it.

    This is the taser in face thing.

    He was being a shit but they couldn’t just cuff him after making a restraining motion?

    Isn’t it dangerous to taser someone when a brother officer is also physically arresting someone?

    …and in the face?

    Get hit by, get hit by, a taser in the face

  63. Tator

    Looking at that video, don’t believe that the taser was supposed to hit the offender in the face as that isn’t a very effective way of getting good probe spread and leaving a high probability of the taser not working. Plus the officer was really too close to use the probes, he may have just fired them off so the taser could be used in Drive Stun mode which can’t be used when the taser cartridge is unfired. Most of the drive stunning is done wherever the officer can reach. Lots of things that need to be raised during the officers next Operational Safety training day.

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