Keystone Cop Discipline?

The ‘Enfield Serious Crime Squad’ (or whatever) recently caught demolishing a Mini with laughably ‘non-issue’ baseball bats has rather sadly been disbanded.  Current cops shows lack the edge of ‘The Sweeny’ and this lot promised yo add Keystone humour and farce to our lives.  A better punishment than the slapped wrists and demotion of the obviously heroic detective sergeant running the show would have seen them followed everywhere by a documentary team led by Ricky Gervais.  At least the suspect, if not the one they invented, was in this Mini – in my days they shot one up and killed people only to discover the one they were after wasn’t in the car at all.

There was a time when the Met’s version of shock and awe involved 50 Bobbies wading ashore to ‘invade’ Anguilla – I believe some were sensible enough to stay.  Compared with the Stockwell fiasco this was underkill by the Enfield Crew.  Once again supervision seems to have been entirely absent and the IPCC looking on burning money to no effect.  It’s time to be rid of that organisation.  The cops did a fair job investigating themselves – the problem being the discipline isn’t transparent.

What’s being missed in discipline cases is that the police officers and the forces generally lie and don’t seem able to come clean.  Some poor sod at the bottom may get the push, but generally the problems are being covered-up – including the pressures on officers and the cultures in which they are under-performing.

The key area in need of investigation are broad miscarriages of justice in the CJS in terms of victims’ and complainants’ perceptions and what carte blanche investigation could discover.  This needs to be national and properly independent.  It certainly doesn’t need to be about nailing cops to the wall, but it does need to be an open process.

What I’m seeing is probably decent cops ending up in discipline trouble and little happening on the incompetence, inadequate management and changes in the dud CJS system that doesn’t help with many of the problems.  Recent promises on 120,000 dud families by the Home Secretary may as well come from the nether end of Tony Blair and the same useless bureaucrat he used is still making the same false promises (Louise whoever).

The aim in police improvement is somewhat of a paradox – we need cops with more discretion and less clown bureaucracy who don’t do the gaming that is destroying all credibility – and for these cops not to abuse this legitimate authority.  I would say at the outset you can’t design a system on the lines of anti-corruption through bureaucracy – if you do the job itself can’t be done.

The IPCC is little use because it was not given the remit needed on discipline and has ended up as Bandaid -a typical British watchdog with no teeth.  This was predicted by Graham Smith.  I knew as soon as I saw the kind of investigations they were doing – despite some good people, they mostly waste time on dross.  Softcock – the former Chair was an obvious disaster.and was quickly defending hopeless systems like local resolution on the grounds everyone was unhappy with it.  The lack of balls was obvious at Stockwell where he should have gone into the scene straight away with his investigators or got locked up trying.  Plenty of information is going into the IPCC on widespread corruption and incompetence yet there is no sign of them doing anything with it.  The lack of statistics on complaints (not weasel numbers) is as appalling as the regular gaming figures forces issue on crime itself.  What we need to see is the anatomy of police action that causes complaint and what in that process makes people feel justice or otherwise is being done.  Instead, we have to rely on ‘Panorama’.

The probllems are clearly wider than policing.  The CJS remains a dated mess lawyers and a wad of other ‘professionals’  make money from.  Courts often get round to hearing cases over a year after offences are committed – and I’m not talking complex cases.  If the riots demonstrated anything, it was that we can cure this, And I’m sure most of us still trust cops ahead of banksters and politicians.  Proper work opportunities would cure a lot too.

The “answers” I hear are 100 years past sell by, yet politicians still puke them and the only view on television and most main stream media is undergraduate piss (useful only for drug testing).  How anyone can say, after 60 years of universal education and more training than you can shake a stick at, that more of this is any answer eludes me – and I’m an educationalist.  Just as many cops I meet despair of being able to sort out ‘problem families’ (IQs maybe at 380 for a family of five) or protect victims from them but won’t tell the truth on this openly, I know many academics who won’t let their own kids build up a £50K debt going to a second class ‘university’ who are ‘quiet’ too.  From a currently cursory look, police discipline hasn’t changed much over 60 years and the IPCC has the same problems as previous bodies.

My guess is the first problem is that we can’t see the wood from the trees.  Research shows that people in the UK and US believe society is much fairer than it is, wealth shared much more than it is – and worse that their ‘ideal’ is massively more equal than the current situation and more like 1970 – an era in which we believed we were making progress on this.

Part of the answer on policing is to make the job better.  Neville Evans was good enough to send me a copy of his book on this,  My solutions would be more radical than his, but I share his analysis on there not being enough care about for officers and that this is largely ignored.  It may seem strange, but I share with Joseph Wambaugh (who did 16 years) the feeling that civilian discipline would actually help with that.  In the meantime,Nigel’s book might bring some help and solace to those officers not pretending to be John Wayne.


The Secret Life of the Evil Poor (part one)

The following story is true, though written in anonymous form.  It’s about gutter scum in broken Britain.  I suspect if your life is blighted by close proximity of such scrote, that you will discover the authorities you previously thought ‘dealt’ with such matters are a bunch of incompetent arseholes and even worse than the scum (on the grounds the scum are usually ill-educated, low IQ no-hopers and people like your MP, cops, housing workers and social services should at least know what they are doing and give a damn).

You can get some clue about scrote in academic books and papers.  This isn’t my preferred route as the material is expensive and most people don’t access it.  I can assure you this story is in there.  I was an academic for a long time and don’t see this culture as likely to do anything worthwhile other than for its own members.

I was a middle class boy, the son of a headmaster who left school himself at 13.  Like many people who taught me, he’d survived WW2 and done some half-assed teacher training, some of which had been delivered in Latin.  They were a good lot and I remember his staff and my own teachers with gratitude.  I was never a good student, though near the top of my grammar school classes.  Various cock-ups led me into the police.

We can think of the story starting when I entered the first council house I’d ever been in.  It was a total shock to discover people living like this, even though most of my undergraduate accommodation had been crap and I’d been born a backstreet kid.  My parents were weird, but they’d loved and fed me.  This was a different world, though a minority one even amongst financial poverty.  ‘Husbands’ and ‘wives’ beat each other and their kids, the sexual ‘morality’ made my undergrad years look tame and the world was violent.  There were ‘riots’ centred on the town bus station every now and then and very few of us to cope with it.  The young hoods didn’t disguise themselves and quickly succumbed to factory work, joined the Army or sailed off with the Harrison Line.  I soon discovered most people I dealt with were actually rather decent, given the chance. There were a few ‘families’ and criminal elements that were not.

The same is true in the street I live in now.   The book I could write on Dirty Mary’s brothel (a corner council house), the drug gangs, illegal boozing and shagging dens and the bandits who joy-rided, burgled, shop-lifted, weighed in roof lead, screwed their daughters  and the rest could be written by a modern cop.  See the Night Jack archives or Inspector Gadget when she’s describing action and not trying to put cops above the law. My shift played hard, on and off the job.  The work was made unnecessarily hard by a rotten culture.  Some cops were bent, some actors in Horses Arse, the fictional GMO Division I’m sure I worked,  One colleague was arrested for burglary and turned out to have a previous conviction for such, which should have been impossible.  Later, others were on the take in incidents involving a night club which never had a justices’ licence. I never got to trust drug-squad detectives, but overall we were an honest bunch of sick puppies.

Fiction probably gives a better feel for this world than any sociology I’ve read, but two or three episodes of The Sweeny is a career.  The dull, boring and repetitive nature of police work is impossible to sell.  Much the same is true of the gutter scum lives I’ve been studying for the last 10 years – this is not my sole pursuit and I would be deranged if it was. Joseph Wambaugh and Charlie Owen give some clues along with Irving Welsh.  The Wire, The Shield, Spiral, Cops and Shameless get somewhere towards the right track, but the real story is too bleak to tell.

It is easy enough to paint the picture of people who ‘exchange’ their daughters to buy drink and drugs as miserable scum.  What is more difficult is to get at why they remain such a problem for people around them for so long, and persist in their pathetic, vile, criminal lives, making the problem generational.  Looking at the then 3 year old son of two scum who centre my story, my friend turned away, nearly in tears.  It was obvious to both of us the kid was already doomed.  Yet this was not obvious to the bent police inspector covering-up repeated failures by his officers, or the housing or social workers (it was, in private to one of them).  The kid, six years on, is described as ‘an empty space’ by his peers or ‘dead brain’.  We tried to save him, but it was pointless.  Easy enough to blame his scum parents, but what was going on was so obvious it is not enough.  The authorities gone mad and our weird economy for the rich plays its grinding grim part.  What chance has a kid left with parents with endless drink, drugs, mental health and criminal recidivism got?  Looking back, I could have made more difference writing a business plan for their drugs and shoplifting activities in the hope more ‘income’ would have made a difference!  They are gone from the street now and the quality of life here is immeasurably improved.  A family nearly died because the authorities were so useless, but there is no follow-up to ‘learn lessons’.

One answer to the scrote problem is a cull.  We’d do this in a farmed animal community.  I don’t approve, but this solution was popular in the 1920’s and 30’s.  What we need is a proper description of the scrote and a proper description of what is done to control them by the authorities, and how we might instigate beneficial changes and what interests lie in making real change and those involved in maintaining the status quo.

To really understand scrote you need to try living next door to a set.  This is bad, but there’s worse – the areas dominated by them.  The shortages of volunteers for my living amongst scrote project tells us something about our existing regard for them.  Let’s face it we do jobs we don’t like to buy houses in areas where their kids don’t get to go to school. We already know something about them and what they do to the lives of others around them.  Every taxi driver knows about scrote.  Passing some council area regeneration programme that has made some clapped out row of shops presentable, they will mutter ‘it would be better if they did something about the scrotes’. You know – yet if I ask you how many there are you won’t know.  I don’t, though I’ve read some figures.

How many of our population do things like sex-exchanging their kids for a fix, or grows them to the kind of rioters we’ve seen recently, or live so noisily no one can live near them and so on?  What can you get done about them if they are moved in near you – increasingly likely in the shortage of social housing and increasing private rental sector?  We may not have precise answers, but we know enough to want to earn enough to be away from them.  This should raise moral questions, though I hear few of them.  I suspect this lack of morality is the real reason people like Fiona Pilkington have their lives destroyed and many others can’t get an even break.  We presumably expect our evil poor not be be in the top 50% of wealth owners and the top 50% own 93% of all the country’s wealth.  We presumably don’t think scrote own much of the wealth of the bottom 50% either.  We can conclude the evil poor are negligible in terms of wealth.  Some of us might well think half our population is if it only owns 7%.

Let’s say the scrote are the bottom 10% in wealth terms – that’s one in ten of our population.  Too high, I’d guess?  The point is laboured enough – they are decidedly fractional in wealth terms.  I suspect there are ways to establish a fairly exact number for the evil poor.  It’s important in defining them to understand they own almost nothing and that this doesn’t mean all of them are broke.  They are competing for scarce wealth resources with almost half the rest of our population that owns very little – the battle is going on in only 7% of UK wealth.  This makes them even bigger bastards in my book – they are perverting the system for the majority of our poorest.  In the UK the top 20% of households earn 16 times that of the poorest 20% – so we can assume scrote don’t trouble the scorer much on income as well as wealth.

Of course, if these bastards did own anything, the legal or benefits systems might well want to take it off them.  It’s obvious they aren’t cornering the country’s wealth and won’t be much more than a pimple on a flea’s back in terms of holding the economy back in any straightforward way.  Hate them for real, but don’t blame them for our advance towards banana republic status.

What other resources might scrote consume and steal from others as surely as they ‘borrow from shops’?  Nearly all of them are stealing from a benefit system they have never contributed to, but there are questions about whether many of them are fit for work in the normal sense.  It is clear that they consume social housing or housing benefit, general benefits, legal aid and all kinds of social work, police, prison, probation, charity and whatever they can steal or defraud.  I have no doubt this is an enormous problem, yet it is also small in comparison from what the rich siphon off.  It may be argued the rich earn their corn, but this is crap and we need to disabuse ourselves of this myth.  My own contention is that if we gave every scrote a million quid to leave the UK we’d be better off, but also find the bastards back in a year broke and begging again. If their are half-a-million evil poor families the cost would be 500,000 million or 500 billion or half a trillion.  How much did we bail the banks out for or what do the rich pay themselves every year? The UK’s richest 1000 people have about half a trillion in wealth.  We could probably get rid of our scrote for half of that.  If you think giving scrote families a million to fuck right off is stupid, ask yourself why we spend such huge amounts on some of them without the result of not seeing them again!

Let’s start back in my story, with Samuel and Sally Scrote moved into the other half of the semi-detached I lived in.  My partner had bought her council house when she had good neighbours.  Now who were Sam and Sally before they were moved in?  Decent hard-working people, disabled or otherwise ‘deserving’ – well no, they were well-know local thugs and drug-dealers.  Base-ball bats had been used in their previous ‘eviction’ from a house half-a-mile away, where the terrified neighbours through noise abuse, violence, constant domestic violence and visits from their colleagues in the drug industry.  I was working abroad and came home to find all our neighbours had complained.  When I went to the housing association to ask why they had moved such a pair of criminal shits in, I was told the woman had been a council tenant before, paid the rent and been no trouble. This turned out to be a lie.  Neither had ever been council tenants before.  This was the first example of the kind of lying and incompetence typical of the authorities.  The only answer if you are caught like this is to move.  I’ll explain why in part two and develop the ethnography of scrote economics further, as Sam and Sally sell their daughters into prostitution and we discover they are not standard 75 IQ evil poor.  At this IQ you are as dumb or smart as my dog and the average IQ of people passing through police interview rooms is 82 (that’s the bottom class in a bad comprehensive level).