Corruption Report

Corruption is seen to be a major problem across the EU, both in terms of the EU’s institutions themselves and in the member countries.  A major report can be found at – – with the full EU report here –

In the depths of the report you will find that interviews with around 1300 people across the UK revealed that a third of UK citizens think that bribery or abuse of power is widespread among the police. By comparison the Finnish seem relatively confident in their police force, with just 7% considering abuse of power as an issue for police in Finland.  Generally speaking, across the report, those having the hardest economic times (struggling to pay bills) tend to believe there is more corruption than those better off.

58% of the those asked in the UK see bribery or abuse of power is widespread among politicians, while an astonishing 98% of those asked in Greece saw corruption as a major problem.  The costs incurred by corruption in the EU are around £100 billion per year. Worrying then that the majority of Europeans (70%) think that corruption is unavoidable and that it has always existed.

The report is based on typical social science opinion polling and doesn’t break much new ground.  Work like this can be found buried under our glossy ‘news production’ for years.  Big business runs on tax evasion it makes into avoidance by bribing politicians.  Britain is the hub of massive offshore tax havens.  Academics even attempt to justify it all through Laffer curves and the like – based on the notion pretty much anything is better than letting government get its hands on the money.  Hedge fund favourite Apple sits on a huge offshore haul, and, of course, crude worker exploitation in China.

Opinion, of course, may be just what people make up in their tiny little minds after a conversation with Fairies.  The big message may be that human behaviour tends to corruption when the system doesn’t keep us honest – but this is facile as one only has to watch sports to know this.  We may be approaching a time in which we need to sweep our organisational systems clean, with all the dangers this brings in changing power relations.  We need something as severe as revolution, but we’ve seen plenty and they have done little about the problem.  Behaviour doesn’t change, just possession of the whip and how can do the ripping off.  All the anti-corruption design of the New York PD left it needing Bill Braxton and communism has been little more than a notable failure (weirdly many of our performance management schemes are broadly ‘Soviet’).

Hard evidence on police corruption comes from areas like wire-taps and long-term observation.  If we turned this kind of investigation on our politicians and big business (which is done at micro-level in Panorama and Dispatches), god knows what we’d find.  Obama is preventing any such investigation into bank mortgage fraud and the rest – so the Establishment must know the likely outcome.

If this EU survey had caught me in its questioning, I’d have said I think our police are corrupt.  But it would not have gone on to ask why or whether I think I’d get a better deal from them in comparison with other places I’ve lived (generally a big yes).  The corruption issue for me is that our cops are not loosed on corruption in our wider societies.


A Short Introduction To Literature On Police Corruption – full text Home Office – full text Home office Maurice Punch

This article has two themes. Firstly, that police corruption is not an individual aberration of an incidental nature that can be readily combated with temporary, repressive measures. The ‘new realism’ on this maintains that corruption and police misconduct are persistent and constantly recurring hazards generated by the organisation itself. Secondly, there is consensus on effective measures to tackle it and to promote integrity. Ingredients are strong leadership, a multi-faceted organisational strategy, a well-resourced internal affairs unit, proactive techniques of investigation, and persistent efforts to promote professional standards. The essence is a judicious and sophisticated balance between negative and positive social control. Policing is about the rule of law and due process: corruption and other forms of police deviance undermine the legitimacy of the police organisation and by implication the state. A ‘clean’ police is a crucial barometer of a healthy society. One can have few illusions about the difficulty of achieving this but a comparative review of the experience in four societies – USA, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands – provides clear indicators about reform, control and leadership in fostering integrity and in tackling corruption.


The literature on police corruption tends to be dominated by North American studies of widespread “grass-eating”. By contrast, this article examines scandals in three European societies (Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain) requiring analysis at the system level. In all of these instances, police deviance was unlike much of that in North America: there was either gross failure in the system to perform adequately or systemic rule-bending to achieve formal or informal institutional ends. The cases reveal that misconduct and/or failure to perform fostered significant scandals that implicated others within the criminal justice system and even beyond it. Understanding such upheavals requires cross-cultural attention to the specific social-political context. In addition, reform of police and justice agencies after major scandal demands proposals at the system level. Institutions often rationalize excesses with the “rotten apple” metaphor (human failure is the cause and can be swiftly rectified by removal). Here, the systemic emphasis is conveyed by the alternative metaphor of “rotten orchards”

Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing – book, Maurice Punch:

The book portrays police corruption as consisting of many deviant and criminal practices in the context of policing that may change character over time. Corruption is defined in a broad, multifaceted way that has the common thread of abuse of policing authority and the trust of the community. Its most serious forms involve criminal conspiracies that use specialized professional knowledge, contacts, and power to both commit crimes and evade detection. Typologies of corruption are identified, along with the forms of corruption that emerge in diverse policing environments. Also discussed are the pathways officers may take into corruption and their rationalizations for their corrupt and criminal behaviors. The book rejects the overarching portrayal of police corruption as caused by a few individual “bad apples” while promoting the metaphor of “bad orchards,” meaning that police corruption stems from corrupting police subcultures and temptations related to institutional failures and the nature of policing. Comparative analyses are made of police corruption, scandal, and reform in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. The analyses examine issues of control, accountability, and the new institutions of oversight, such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for England and Wales, at a time when external oversight of police has become a prominent feature of anticorruption efforts. This book is intended as an overview of the topic of police corruption for students, academics, police and criminal justice officials, and members of oversight agencies. Chapter notes, approximately 400 references, and a subject index.

An examination of the ‘blue code of silence –  This paper examines the ‘Blue Code of Silence’ and its contribution to police corruption. After offering evidence for the existence of such a code, the paper locates the origins of the code in the work and culture of policing. The paper also examines cases, commission reports and an original case study to understand how the code is reinforced. Based on ‘participant observation’ research of the New York County Prosecutor’s Official Corruption Unit, the paper also illustrates how the code impedes investigations by police overseers. Finally, the paper discusses various measures to address the code of silence.

full text on Australian management changes. – This paper examines issues concerned with police corruption and its control in England and Wales. The topic of defining police corruption is addressed, some current areas of risk are described and anti-corruption strategies, particularly those pursued by the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), are examined. What appears qualitatively and quantitatively different in the approach of services such as the MPS and Merseyside Police is the use of an adequately resourced, dedicated anti-corruption unit. This strategy has been buttressed by preventative measures involving management/administration and ethics/training. Dedicated units have been controversial, and preventative measures raise questions concerning evaluation. Nevertheless the approach to corruption bears comparison with that adopted by other major police services in other jurisdictions and represents a break with previous and unsuccessful efforts at corruption control in major police forces in England and Wales. – a recent review with the first page available free.

Procedural Justice, Trust and Institutional Legitimacy by Mike Hough, Jonathan Jackson, Ben Bradford, Andy Myhill and Paul Quinton – a free pdf can be found by hitting the link at –,5 – the IPCC in their ‘half-submission to the Home Secretary state little empirical research on public attitudes towards police corruption.  This paper demonstrates much work has in fact been done in relating empirical experience with explanatory theory.

This post represents half an hour of work by me done without any university access to what turns out to be a massive literature described in parts as ‘an industry’.  The IPCC ‘half-report’can be found at – by clicking the link there.

My own reading has been done as research for a novel.  I don’t believe our cops are substantially corrupt.  I do believe our CJS is and that our police are the best part of this wider system.  What’s wrong is subject to debate and the main problem is we aren’t getting this done in proper public scrutiny.  Any ‘blue code of silence’ is dwarfed by our pathetic secrecy practices (a theme of Heather Brookes) and the medieval ‘superiority’ our ‘authorities gone mad’ exhibit in covering up mistakes whilst blathering about ‘learning lessons’.

The IPCC make some mention of Cheshire detectives getting a felon out of prison to nod various crimes – he ends up with a mobile phone back in jail, drugs and was allowed to see his girlfriend.  I can find no full published report.  What they do say is known ‘gaming’ practice – you can get plenty of information at thinblueline (Steve Bennett).  Such reports need to be published in full and subject to academic scrutiny.  I witnesses much the same more than 30 years ago.  The big question is less about a couple of low-level jacks offering some perks to a chummy and his munter and more about how this is encouraged by more senior culture – we have no idea whether this is even entertained by the force PSD or IPCC worthies.  I’ll admit to having handed a few of my own ‘bodies’ over to this system – but then I can now.

The embarrassing truth is very few crimes are detected a la Jack Regan or though intelligence or detective case work.  Some ‘Plod’ (no derision intended from me) doing his or her job bravely spots some likely criminal and applies arrest – and this asset gets sweated.  Or despite a massive detective case, say, the ‘Black Panther’ or ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ remains free until ‘some Plod’ asks ‘what’s in that bag then’ (a phrase that leaves out much bravery).  Many detective efforts are huge feats of bureaucratic effort – like the Morecambe Cockle Pickers – which makes good examples no less brilliant.  I’d guess detection rates are nearer 4% than claimed figures if we take out TICs and other ‘clear up’ gaming.

When some awful tosser starts up on ‘illiterate cops’ we should remember that Plato himself wouldn’t have had the balls to ask ‘what’s in that bag then?’ – and no lawyers do that kind of asking or face the sawn-off pulled out.  We might get rid of a lot of corruption by making police work easier and doing something genuinely statistical with TICs- matters beyond scope here.  Most people would have no clue about getting nods,coughs and the rest out of a bent bastard.  Does anyone who has ever dealt with one think them likely to do so out of remorse (which they act) or ‘concerned citizenship’?  They do so through inducements.  Cops at the bottom of the scale doing what they do are not different in position to the phone hackers and their bosses no different than the ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ Murdoch-monkey species.  Finding a few who haven’t covered their tracks at the bottom is not a ‘corruption enquiry’ – finding out why they break the rules might be.  And we’ve known about TIC corruption for more than 50 years.

Just how many more cops would we need to get ‘real detections’ up to the claimed figures?  This might entail a ten-fold increase in on-street police activities.  The crooks I’ve interviewed all claim they get away with 99 out 100 crimes (they are, in part, wrong – as they all get nicked and TICed).  In a straight and naive system we could double street-policing to turn them over more often, triple burglary sweeps and so on.  Some of the corruption arises because we do policing on the cheap.  Where are the figures on detection where there has been a direct arrest and/or a direct evidence case for the offence?

There’s a can of worms here and what I think most unfair is probably decent cops at the bottom copping for discipline and harsh treatment doing what is the bidding of senior people and indeed the public.  The systemic problem needs to be addressed and maybe even something like an amnesty is needed to find out what is really going on.  I was good on TICs and you ca bet I was only smarter or luckier than the two Cheshire detectives.  They got no financial reward – something not true of some bureaucop taking a bonus on the basis of their work.



Cops Taking Bungs

Stephenson taking £24K (Telegraph) to live in as much comfort as possible is obviously wrong, even though he was ill. It’s weird because he could afford to pay and could probably excuse the Met paying.  He has a long history of turning down bonus money way in excess.  There’s an error of judgement here, but I’m not sure who’s it is.  That it’s connected with the ‘in-crowd’ Wallis stuff makes it worse.  He’s not on the take in brown envelopes here – but could favours of some kind be asked in return?  My own view is that the fact that there was no one about to say ‘no John, think of the impression this could give’ around suggests that he was left with only sycophants around him.  ACPO failed to stop chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne in a similar spree of unawareness.

More interesting in terms of what we generally hold as criminal corruption, is that the former DPP has said it only took him a few minutes to know that ScrewsNews emails were showing ‘dirty cops’.  The ‘bungs’ available to me when I started plodding were cups of tea, the odd bacon butty, curry, drops from the undertaker (£5 for the call to him from a sudden death, £10 if I helped out with the body) and vehicle recovery people and a few offered direct bribes.  I’m not sure how much I was offered in a couple of years.  Later, there were other offers that would identify people if I talked about them like this.  I was told over dinner by a modern police woman that all this is gone.  We were going Dutch, but the owner wouldn’t take the money.  All nothing to do with any police connections – it was to do with me helping him build the bar years ago when he was broke.  I am guilty of eating some bacon and drinking some tea.  And then there was VLP – visiting licensed premises – we did that by lot.  Not having that kind of drink would really have made me a raw prawn.  And I took drinks from criminals for a variety of reasons.  This was the culture and the closer to real money you got, the more opportunities.  What I took in bacon and tea wouldn’t pay from an ACPO’s individual reception bill.  There were cops on much more of a take 30 years ago and I don’t remember more than half-a-dozen dealt with.  The vast majority were more likely to stick a bribe attempt up where it hurts.

The world is much more corrupt these days and there’s more money awash in criminality.  I doubt much has changed.  This isn’t the kind of thing you can get rid of through bureaucracy, though the undertakers and vehicle rescue people have probably been sorted and VLP has gone.  Society has become more corrupt from selling pensions and mortgages to compensation culture and the rest.

There has always been another way to be corrupt.  The boys and girls who have been selling stories to ScrewsNews only service a form of economic niche that wasn’t around in my day.  There will be others.  But this isn’t what I mean.  They changed the way up the greasy pole.  GF Newman’s Terry Sneed will now rise in the lily-white form of career portfolio builder, conference attending and image management smoozing that is unarguably more corrupting in my view and certainly costs us more money as tax payers.

These people are corrupt in the way Soviet performance managers were – there is only ‘accounting’ no real market testing – they start, like bankers being able to mark assets to models and not to real market prices.  In the financial world, the losses are ‘hidden’ in myriads of transactions that will only show up if the banks are asked to fess up and are forced out of the benefit culture.  In police statistics, the losses are stacking up in antisocial behaviour and other gaming.  We might say that we should return to ‘primitive’ banking and policing.  The corrupt top not only serves no purpose but is a major drain on the real economy and real crime busting.  Politics, of course, has its hands in both sets of this corruption, as is most of our media.  Too many of us suck at its teat.

There is currently as much chance of getting anything done about the real corruption as finding the evidence of mine – though I can think of some I’d like to be looking for the remains of the bacon butties and tea!

You have to admire John Yates in all this.  The timing of his resignation was sublime – done before the awkward questions about security from terrorists that should follow from the custard-pie man!  I suggest they put Wendi Murdoch in charge.  On Newshite tonight they claimed she prevented something even worse happening.  This is pretty frightening on the quality of our journalists – she jumped on him from behind in retaliation – that’s assault.  Not that my corrupt blind eye would have noticed.  The question the press should be asking is whether the £24K bung is worse than one of my cups of tea.  It is you know, but unlike the current blighters at the top, I wouldn’t expect to investigate myself.

The whole ‘Champers’ thing of Sir Paul trying to rush his return to work against all medical, family and general expectation, as the determined soldier, falls to the rot such stuff is when it turns out we can do without him and a major deputy overnight.  Part of the corruption is beginning to believe the ‘excellence’ bullshit and how vital you are.  Shagger Todd was the bee’s knee’s and yet Peter Fahey is now admitted to have had to cope with an utter mess when he took over.  We can now ring the police in Manchester and not be told they are too busy and to stop bothering them.  All this PR and cosy crud with newspapers has more to do with telling us the chiefs are supermen – for so they are until they fall or just fade away.  I doubt one in ten is even any good – we need these image-managers and their lackeys and toadies gone.  Police news could be delivered on line very cheaply.

Some Old Literature on Police Corruption

This, in effect was a literature review in 1999.  The following is the bullet-pointed conclusion:

  • police corruption is pervasive, continuing and not bounded by rank;
  • any definition of corruption should cover both ‘financial’ and ‘process’corruption, and should
  • acknowledge the varying means, ends and motives of corrupt activities;
  • the boundary between ‘corrupt’ and ‘non-corrupt’ activities is difficult to define,
  • primarily because this is at heart an ethical problem;
  • police corruption cannot simply be explained as the product of a few ‘bad apples’;
  • the ‘causes’ of corruption include: factors that are intrinsic to policing as a job;
  • the nature of police organisations; the nature of ‘police culture’; theopportunities for corruption
  • presented by the ‘political’ and ‘task’ environments’;and, the nature and extent of the effort
  • put in to controlling corruption;
  • some areas of policing are more prone to corruption than others;
  • although there are many barriers to successful corruption control,
  • there is evidence that police agencies can be reformed;
  • reform needs to go beyond the immediately identified problem;
  • reform must look at the political and task environments as well as the organisation itself;
  • reform tends not to be durable; and
  • continued vigilance and scepticism is vital.

This is from 2002/3 and describes some British police corruption. There is a large literature. with

little sign of linking corruption with bad work from the “users” point of view, or the evasion of

this through hapless statistics.  – giving up, the page editor has gone haywire.

What’s the difference between ‘jobsworth’ and ‘corrupt’?

Ambush Predator made the interesting point that ‘jobsworth’ has almost replaced ‘brave’ as a kind of public sector ideal these days.  The newspapers are full of stories about emergency services’ people hanging around while people die for all kinds of dire ‘reasons’.  No doubt much that is good goes unreported too, though this is much less likely in these PR days.  My own view tends towards the idea that we are just seeing the tip of an iceberg and we aren’t linking the sightings very well – it’s not bad apples, but a rotten orchard kind of thing.

Most cops I’ve got to know since I left the job (long ago) don’t think there is much corruption in the UK.  They tell me they just never see any.  In my old days, we thought there was none in uniform, but probably was in CID and plain clothes (uniform officers in plain clothes).  I did work with a bent uniform cop – he was a burglar.  It struck me when I was a cop and now that anyone bent would be unlikely to tell me they were.  I’ve worked under-cover and it is very difficult to get in to even minor networks unless you have rather special resources and a lot of time.  The bent bastards, by their very nature, are a kind of secret society.

The “professionals” involved in the Baby P saga should be named, shamed and treated like criminals.  Those cops found guilty of corruption should be treated in the same manner.  So should our bankers and Enron merchants.  I doubt more than the Telegraph’s  ‘Saints List’ of our MPs and Peers should have survived into this Parliament.  We should be coming down hard on the jobsworth and corrupt – instead we still come down hard on whistle-blowers.

It’s very hard to tell the difference between a good cop and a bent cop at times.  Good cops have to break rules on informants to get information, but others are bent and really get used by certain types of informants.  I imagine even social work can have its ‘Dirty Harry‘ form – nursing certainly does.  I slept with someone once to get closer to an enquiry.  It was no big deal (no doubt what she says!).  I knew I was taking chances, in much the same way I had going into burning buildings before the fire brigade turned up and so on.  I was as likely to change a spare wheel for a nun as the infamous Norwegian tourist with big tits – more likely to be honest, even though I’m atheist.

Cops who think there is little corruption probably don’t work where the loose money is.  Whilst practised in ‘hard talk’, they are probably virgins who don’t notice what is going on around them.  It took Dutch police to unearth very high level corruption in the Liverpool drugs scene and a lot of undercover work to pull out the pathetic bent cops in the Colin Gunn case.  You have to remember in this that cops decide what gets investigated and often put forward diversionary cases they know will come up smelling of roses.  Across the public sector, we need new approaches to investigating corruption, but also the wider incompetence form of jobsworthiness and its role in promotion and supervision.

In the UK, we have a habit of allowing the bet to supervise and investigate themselves – the City being the most obvious.  We  also make corruption investigations very hard by not allowing wire-taps and modern IT-based equivalents.  Even where there is hard evidence, it is unlikely that an ordinary member of the public can get a fair investigation – we lack modern and sophisticated understandings of public scrutiny.  The junk statistics on crime are a classic example.  Crime rates have been falling forever, as the police force gets bigger and bigger, with no one really believing any of it.  If we had independent projects running alongside a few random police dealings, we’d soon see they cuff the majority of crime and dissuade people from reporting it through jobsworthiness tactics that make people think it isn’t worth it.  Burglaries have been coming down forever, but not my home contents insurance – burglary being the only claims I have ever made.  You should get the reasoning.  There are places to look other than police statistics.  I joined just at the time shop burglaries were coming down like falling off a cliff.  I was not personally responsible – alarms were making the difference and we saw an increase in ‘burglary dwelling’ – the villains just move their activities, and this is what they are doing now.

The jobsworth ACPOs do get bonuses and are on massively inflated salaries – so how close is this to corruption – indeed are they more corrupt than someone with fingers-in-pies old-style who does actually nick some bastards as a result?  For “ACPOs” you can read all kinds of people across sectors, such as Vice Chancellors, Town Clerks and so on.  This isn’t a police matter, it’s ripping the fabric of our society – indeed it may now even be stealing this and taking it abroad – the villas in Spain etc. (mine is far away from such loutish intrusions).

The key issue for me is the way we never really get open enquiry into our public sector.  A few posts back I mentioned that California created a prison empire that costs it 11% of State expenditure and has not improved its crime problems.  Prison officers and prison builders did very nicely, thank you.  My guess on the UK is that we have a massive CJS feeding a lot of people very well, but which hardly catches anyone other than the desperate crime palookas who give themselves up every so often.  I know I can’t have a fag in the pub, can drink the far more dangerous alcohol but not draw on some hash and that even willing cops can’t do much about crime inspired because of illegal drugs, and that I see (in passing) roulette games on television quoting the odds wrong, bullshit selling techniques all over that rip-off grannies and all kinds of crime nothing gets done about.  My MP should be investigated, but he won’t be.  They will keep on intermittently nicking very ill, very sad bastards and doing nothing for them, and nothing for the areas they are dumped in.  This is corrupt.  Who keeps making the money from it?

I’d shoot a lot of our low-life criminals in much the same way as I’d put down a rabid dog or a faithful old hound in pain.  This kind of ‘social cleansing’ has been practised more than virgin liberal prudes can admit to themselves.  The Nazis, incidentally,  are only one example amongst many, from the unlovely Athenian Democracy, through Moses (Numbers 31) and god knows how many more from the Balkans to the Baltic and all  over.  You may wimp out at the ‘cull’ – yet would you if your pretty 14 year old daughter was about to be introduced to drugs (easier than you think) and become a slag-hag by 20?  We probably don’t want to licence any State with such a ‘cull’ – but we need some thinking about it as a thought experiment that at least  considers how victims feel.  Police are often so crap victims would be better off killing the vile crooks and doing the time.  Ghastly outfits like JUSTICE, Liberty-wankerdee and Human Rights Watch make  things worse by focusing on to middle class concerns.  They can afford not to want to kill the scum, always making sure they never have to live anywhere near it – or so they think until one of their kids is smacked and coked up and nasty drug dealers have them re-mortgaging.  I wouldn’t really advocate killing; yet we need something to stop the roundabout of jobsworth-corruption.  The point is that there is a solution.  We might have to kill a million people, maybe two million.  If the problem is this serious, then what should we be doing about it and why aren’t we?  Where are the real employment schemes for not very bright, not very skilled people; what are we doing to stop the next lot of kids moving into the crime networks … and who do we dump these problems on because we can’t build enough prisons or grasp the Rwandan nettle?  Liberals, of course, could always save the day by taking in scum families and removing the burden put on disabled and poor people.  Just see them pigs fly!

tells the story of a bent cop who evaded PV.  The burglar cop who was my colleague had CRO for burglary.  The same mistakes being made today were around me 30 years ago.  Nothing gets learned except how to keep conning the public.

If you want real corruption, nip to Nigeria – – but notice Paul Boatang in the story and wonder what he has done in the UK.  The UK and USA  don’t take the lead – – and we may have to face up to learning from other countries.

An awful lot of liberals get paid to keep the system much as it is, failing and stocked out with liberals telling us it ain’t.  Cops are even pretending to be hard-liners, whilst actually  going along like pussies eating at the establishment zoo, too scared to blow the whistle, bottling it as soon as their mortgage is under threat.  These are the same people we are supposed to see as virtuous when they give evidence!

Our Cowardly Cops, Politicians and Town Hall Scum

If you have seriously criminal and antisocial neighbours, the only alternatives are to move or kill them.  Anything else will stress you to fuck or leave you burned to death by the scrotes or your own hand.  The classic cases are those of the Cochranes and Pilkingtons.  If I’d killed the shitbags who used to live next door seven years ago, I’d have been out three years ago, their kids would have more chance in life and my partner might still work as an investigator of the very police corruption that fucked us good and proper, her own allegedly independent outfit proving to be worthless lackeys.  I’d be in better health too and would already have written this book!

Part of the evidence of what is going on is in police blogs.  Inspectorgadget and his book remain the market leader.  The cops know what is going on, but are nowhere to be seen when victims need someone to make a stand.  Guys (of whatever sex or orientation) who wade in like a rugby league team in a grudge match when iron bars are flailing, turn to quiescent, embarrassed wallflowers when it comes to criticising their own organisations and situation.  Hence the blogs.  Safety valve stuff.  Cops prove every day they ain’t cowards and every day that they are.  We are all like this, and if I point to cops as cowards, I’m pointing at us all.  A deeper explanation is needed than ‘finger-pointing’.

One way into a broader approach is to think about ‘foul language’.  You can get done on our streets for mouthing bilge like “fuck you copper”.  All kinds of people will treat you with disdain if you swear.  Yet the same people will do nothing about vile, aggressive swine making your life a misery, puking the shit out all day and every day in the street outside your house.  Tell a cop to “go fuck itself” and you risk arrest (though most of our cops are not this sensitive).  The same cop may run away leaving your violent neighbour threatening “to fucking have the grassing cunt” outside your house, whilst in an aggressive frenzy and pointing at you standing in your own front room.  When you go out in your dressing-gown and slippers, asking why the cop and his mate are driving off whilst a criminal offence is being committed and leaving decent people under threat, his mate may come at you in an aggressive manner.  There may be a later apology, and some fetid excuse about it being a Saturday night, no back up and they were leaving because they might get no help if things kicked off.